It’s Christmas! And Gamify is getting into the spirit of the season, by giving the gift of listing off our 10 favourite Christmas-themed video games. Merry Christmas!
Our Christmas Games list includes:
- Dead Rising 4
- NBA JAM: On fire Edition
- Super Mario Odyssey - Snow Kingdom
- Hitman - Holiday Hoarders
- The Escapists - Santa's Sweatshop & Santa's Shakedown
- Batman: Arkham Origins
- Call of Duty: Snowball Fight
- Animal Crossing: Toy Day
- Saints Row IV - How the Saints Saved Christmas
So whether you’re feeling festive or you’re just trying to avoid your annoying cousins during a family gathering, we have the perfect video games to play at this time of year.
Here are Gamify's top Christmas video games.
The Dead Rising series has been known mostly for its large list of imaginative and innovative weapons that can be found or built to fight off hordes of zombies, but nothing warms the heart quite like dressing up as Santa and shooting into a crowd of the undead with an explosive candy cane crossbow, or clubbing a corpse with a baseball bat outfitted with barbed wire and Christmas lights.
Also, the game’s setting of a zombie-filled mall during Christmas time seems to be a very tongue-in-cheek commentary on the consumerism within the holiday period.
NBA JAM is an iconic game series that dates back to 1993. Known for having quirky bonus characters on it’s roster, the “On Fire Edition” has added some Christmas cheer to its line-up with Santa and his elves as playable characters.
If you want to play a game that is universally praised for its fun and easy gameplay but also want to feel that you’re getting into the spirit of the season, then NBA JAM is for you. What better way to show some Christmas spirit, then to play as Santa Claus dunking on LeBron!
Not every game needs to strongly divert away from the original elements of the game in order to pay respect to the holiday period. Overwatch is a perfect example of this, with “Winter Wonderland”, a seasonal game expansion that offers festive character skins, snowy landscapes and brawls such as Yeti Hunter and Mei's Snowball Offensive.
Simple but effective.
Sometimes it’s the little things that go a long way. In Super Mario Odyssey, amongst a range of diverse levels, including sunny beaches and hot deserts. The Snow Kingdom is peppered with Christmas flair.
The sound of sleigh bells in the distance and certain enemies wearing Santa hats makes you almost want to not jump on their dumb heads, almost.
In the “Holiday Hoarders” DLC expansion pack, you play as Agent 47, you work your way through a decorative Paris on a mission to stop two thieves who plan on stealing presents on Christmas night. In amongst all of the Christmas cheer, you can stroll through in a Santa outfit and take care of business. You can almost think of it as Home Alone, only more deadly.
Don't be fooled by the 16-bit aesthetic, the original game of The Escapists is a pretty intense game about surviving and escaping prison. Santa's Sweatshop and Santa’s Shakedown are free add-ons in which you play as an elf named Buddy. Much of the gameplay is the same, but with a lot of festive flair.
It turns out that Santa isn’t the loveable character we’ve all known him to be and is in fact causing suffering on his elves under his cruel regime. Wanting to escape Santa’s sweatshop, you will need to be smart & cunning, patiently waiting for opportunities to present themselves.
In Arkham Origins, you get to be Batman as he patrols both Gotham and Arkham City during Christmas eve.
The cityscapes are covered in snow and holiday decorations, and even some of the henchmen you come up against are getting into the spirit of the season with their holiday themed festive outfits.
Sometimes that's all you need for some Christmas cheer.
The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare team decided to ease up on all the violence during the holiday season with a decidedly kinder, more lighthearted Snowball fight mode.
It's exactly what it sounds like: while Christmas music plays, you and a partner have to take down foes using snowballs instead of the usual guns and explosives. The game mode is full of unlockable easter eggs which include carrot noses for players and a drive-by visit from Santa Claus himself.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf isn’t strictly a Christmas game but it did feature a number of special timed events including a whole holiday season in December. Players encountered a change in the weather and a whole host of winter clothing, furniture and items to collect.
You could even don a Santa costume and deliver presents to all of the villagers on Christmas Eve, if they made the nice list.
Much like Dead Rising, Saints Row has always been a self-aware and over-the-top game. The creators have always wanted to simply give the players an outrageously fun experience.
Framed entirely as a tale told by a crackling fire, How the Saints Save Christmas spins a tale of your own character losing sight of 'the real value of Christmas', just as it's revealed the future world itself is enslaved by a very evil 'Santa Claws'. You'll fight demonic gingerbread men, sing carols and wear appropriately ugly Christmas jumpers.
Bonus Game: Ginger Ninja (Gamify)
As a little bonus to this list, the team at Gamify created a game specifically for you to play right now!
It's called “Ginger Ninja” and you play as Santa’s trusted gingerbread friend. Unable to complete his gift deliveries this year, Santa has entrusted you to help with some of his deliveries.
As you run along the snowy rooftops of buildings, you must avoid the hungry pigeons while delivering gifts down the chimneys… Your candy cane throwing stars will definitely come in handy.
So that’s our list. Make sure you play at least one of these titles, around the Christmas break. If you want to put forth your own top 10 for Christmas, then please enter your list in the comments below. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!