December is maybe the best time of the year to play video games. After all, it’s easy to justify sitting around and playing games when it gets dark at 5pm and it’s 3 degrees outside. Plus, many of us have extra time off of work during the holidays so there really aren’t any good excuses to not sit around the television, gorge yourself on hot apple cider and Christmas cookies, and play video games until your eyes fall out of your head. But what are the best games to play when you’re feeling that holiday spirit? Don’t worry… we got you covered.
DEAD RISING 4
At first glance, this 2016 zombie gore-fest might not seem to be the ideal game to get you in the mood for singing Christmas Carols and making gingerbread houses, but Capcom made a brilliant decision when they decided to place the latest entry in their horror series in and around a shopping mall during Christmas. Dressing as Santa Claus and pummeling the undead with giant candy canes while holiday tunes play from the mall speakers gives this 4th entry a distinct personality that will put on a smile on your face while you’re bashing in skulls.
A big part of the fun of playing an Animal Crossing game are the calendar events that happen in real time. Watching the seasons change and holidays come and go creates a real connection with the game world that has you checking in every single day so that you don’t miss anything special. For weeks leading up it, the folks in your town will talk about the upcoming Toy Day which takes place at the end of December. Then on the big day, the town will be filled with holiday lights and decorations, and Jingle the Reindeer will show up to pass out gifts. You’d have to be a Grinch not to love a game like that!
One the most popular shooters in all the land continues it’s holiday tradition this year with their annual Winter Wonderland event! Throughout the month of December you can participate in special game modes such as Yeti Hunt and Mei’s Snowball Offensive, enjoy special holiday decorated maps, and unlock festive new skins like Sugar Plum Fairy Mercy and Snow Fox Lucio. Overwatch is constantly adding new things to keep the game fresh, and this yearly event is one the most fun ways to celebrate the season.
Released in December 1996, this two-level bonus edition of the popular SEGA Saturn game was one of the first examples of a special holiday themed version of a video game. Players follow Elliot and Claris as they once again join forces with Nights to find the missing Christmas Star. The early days of 3D gaming might not hold up quite as well as other generations of games, but it’s still a fun holiday blast of nostalgia for 90’s kids or those that want to relive the glory days of SEGA.
BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS
There’s just something about Batman and Christmas isn’t there? They just seem to go together like chocolate and peanut butter, or Hall and Oates (kids, ask your parents). This prequel to Arkham Asylum features a caped crusader in his sophomore year dealing with a breakout of Blackgate Prison on Christmas Eve. Not only that, but it seems that 8 of the deadliest killers in the world are trying to collect a bounty that’s been placed on Batman’s head. Ho Ho Ho. It might not be a feel good story that will warm the cockles of your heart, but the gentle snowfall and Christmas atmosphere of Gotham City will no doubt have you loving this Ghost of Batman Past.
Okay, so technically SSX doesn’t have a “holiday” theme, but I’m making an executive decision that if a game takes place in a snow filled environment it can be included on the list. Speeding down the slopes and catching huge air while fireworks explode all around you is an incredible rush, and this wintery extreme sports series will make you feel all warm and fuzzy while you’re chilling on Christmas morning with a cup of hot cocoa. And before you ask, if you’re wondering which of the many SSX titles you should be playing, the answer is Tricky…. it’s always Tricky.
SAINTS ROW IV: HOW THE SAINTS SAVE CHRISTMAS
If you’re looking for classy, intelligent holiday entertainment… then you’ll probably want to look somewhere else. But if you’re looking for a rude, crude, jolly old time then you can’t go wrong with this special Christmas themed DLC for Saint’s Row IV. It features the Saints on a quest to save Santa Claus and the developers describe it as a “holiday classic for the whole family”. I’m not entirely sure what your family is like, but I would probably recommend waiting until the children are nestle all snug in their beds before playing this one.
Whatever games you’ll be playing this year, have a Happy Holiday from the Mega Dads!