12 of the Best Video Games to Play at Christmas
We're spending the 12 Days of Christmas playing video games that take place during the most wonderful time of year.
Video games have been a staple of the holidays since the 80s, so its not an uncommon thing to ring in the new year playing a recently received game. However, instead of looking at the best games to get at Christmas, this list focuses on games that have to do directly with Christmas, either in the plot or just being set at Christmas.
Not all of these games can be played on modern systems, so be prepared to break your your Super Nintendo and Playstation 2 if you want to get through all 12 games on this list.
And some of these videos contain language that might get you put on Santa's Naughty list.
'Saints Row 4' was greatly overshaddowed by the release of 'Grand Theft Auto V', but it is definitely worth the price of admission and has some of the best downloadable content ever. Aside from the 4th wall breaking 'Enter the Dominatrix', another DLC was released showing the remaining members of the Saints celebrating Christmas in space and having to help Santa defeat an evil version of himself and save Christmas for everyone. Like the core Saints Row games, 'How the Saints Saved Christmas' is full of so many references to Christmas movies that you'll want to play the hour long DLC several times over just to catch everything.
As a bonus episode for the episodic relaunch of 'Hitman' in 2016, there is a Christmas themed bonus mission for the Paris level where Agent 47 targets two theives who are trying to burglarize the Palais De Walewska. Agent 47 is tasked with taking our Harry and Marv (blatant nods to 'Home Alone'), and even has additional objectives to steal first everything Harry and Marv are trying to steal.
While Rocksteady was working on 'Batman: Arkham Knight', WB Interactive Entertainment wanted to keep the 'Arkham' franchise going with a prequel to the franchise, 'Arkham Origins'. Created by WB Games Montréal, this game uses the same mechanics as the other Arkham games and the same map as 'Arkham City', but has a different graphic style and voice cast than the main games. Taking place on Christmas Eve five years before the events of 'Arkham Asylum', Batman is facing off against 8 of the world's deadliest assassins who are trying to cash in on Black Mask's $50 million contract on the Dark Knight.
While most video game adaptations of movies are horrible (as you'll see later), this one did the right thing by not trying to recreate the movie, but make a brand new story using the established characters and setting. Taking place a year after the events of the classic movie, 'Oogie's Revenge' starts with Jack receiving an award for "most spines tingled by a non-corporeal being". While Jack tries to bring a new Halloween to Halloween Town, Lock, Shock, and Barrel resurrect Oogie Boogie who takes over Halloween Town and plans to take over all holidays.
As a special 'Festive Surprise', players of 'GTA Online' were given the treat of holiday-themed vehicles, outfits, and weapons, including unusual snowfall in San Andreas that allowed players to take part in snowball fights.
If you enter the cheat code "merry" in the SNES game "Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble", all mini-games have a Christmas overlay to them, with Christmas music and presents showing up.
'Arkham Origins' isn't the first time a Batman story has been set at Christmas. The second movie to star Michael Keaton has become a beloved movie set during the holidays, and the video game tie ins continue with the Christmas feel. For this one you'll have to break out your old Super Nintendo, but it will be worth it to enjoy one of the most underrated 16-bit beat'em ups.
Another holiday themed round for Agent 47, this time having to infiltrate a Christmas party in Colorado to take out a porn tycoon and the son of a U.S. Senator.
The yearly 'Winter Wonderland' gives the online battle video game 'Overwatch' a Christmas redesign, with all characters getting Christman-themed outfits, guns, loot boxes, and so on and so on.
Nothing says 'Happy Holidays' like zombies! Technically the 5th entry into the 'Dead Rising' franchise, 'Dead Rising 4' centers around the original protagonist Frank West having to return to Willamette, CO, the site of the original outbreak where he became infected, to investigate the latest outbreak during a Black Friday sale. (Black Friday shoppers = Zombies. Get it?)
'Home Alone' came out at a peak of the video games wars, resulting in its release on multiple consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Super NES, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Amiga and MS-DOS. All of the versions dealt with Kevin avoiding the Wet Bandits, while the various Nintento versions had the additional function of Kevin trying to gather valuables throughout the house and send them to a safe room in the basement.
Playing this game isn't meant to be enjoyable, but more in the lines of creating your own episode of 'The Angry Video Game Nerd'. Voted Worst Sequel of 1992 by Electronic Gaming Monthly and Worst Movie-to-Game, 'Home Alone 2' was poorly adapted to a side-scrolling game with Kevin trying to escape The Plaza hotel, his uncle's townhouse, and Central Park.