Merry Christmas everybody! To kick off our festive content, here are some of our favourite video games that are perfect to see you through the holidays.
This year has been a great one for gaming, with both big-budget names and smaller indie titles making their mark on the industry. Fallout fans are still working their way through the latest instalment in the franchise while the lads from 1001Up are partnering up with friends in Star Wars Battlefront to get as many headshots as possible; and creative games such as Her Story by Sam Barlow and Rocket League by Psyonix have received positive feedback from players and critics alike.
But it’s not just newer releases that get us into the festive spirit and we all have fond memories that stick with us. That time we spent playing The Secret of Monkey Island with dad and managed to figure out the grog-and-mugs puzzle before him. The time we received a Mega Drive from Santa and spent all day playing (arguing over) Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with siblings. And that one Christmas when mum tried her hand at BioShock whilst making ‘pew-pew’ noises (thanks mum!).
With the day now upon us, we can’t help but think of all those titles we’ve played over past festive periods. In this article, 1001Up and friends give their favourite titles and explain what makes them perfect for the holidays – so dim the lights, cuddle up close with our controller, and get ready for a Christmas adventure.
Will from Geek Sleep Rinse Repeat:
“For some reason I always find it good to get stuck into a story-driven game over Christmas, possibly an adventure like Tomb Raider. I don’t know what it is about this time of year but I just feel drawn to them. Maybe it’s because it’s usually cold and wet outside and there’s nothing better than getting wrapped up – both literally, and in a good story. I’d definitely be getting into Rise of the Tomb Raider right now but alas, it has to wait to be purchased early next year.
“Failing that, playing any game with a snow level is always great. What is it about them, they just look so good! I feel like any level created in a title is almost instantly better if you just chuck some snow on it.”
Tim from GeekOut South-West:
“Usually I play games from my childhood over the Christmas period. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles comes to mind. I recently showed Kevin from The Mental Attic my skill and he agreed: I played it better than The Completionist who was excited when he got Super Sonic quickly on an episode of the GameGrumps.
“I play games like this as a reminder of my gaming roots.”
Kevin from The Mental Attic:
“In terms of what games are perfect over Christmas, it depends really. If it’s a party game to play with your family, then I’d suggest the one that has me hoooked: Quiplash. Everyone puts in their answers and we vote on them and it gives Grandad a chance to say those dirty jokes he’s been holding onto for years. It’s a really fun game to play with lots of people. It’s Cards Against Humanity but you make up all the answers.
“If you’re playing on your own or with your partner, I’d suggest the Blackwell series of adventure games. I don’t know about others but to me there has always been something alluring about Christmas Ghost stories; in fact, some of the best haunting tales are on the holidays so why not enjoy great ghost tales and phenomenal adventure titles at the same time? There’s even a bit of noir there, because who doesn’t love noir?
“As for me, I’ll be playing Xenoblade Chonicles X. Been waiting for it for a long time and its expansive world, wide cast of characters and intriguing plot will keep me entertained for quite a while… and of course I’m also riding a giant robot and punching dinosaurs, so there’s that too.”
Pete, designer and friend of 1001Up:
“If I’m honest, I’m probably going to end up playing my son’s video games with him most of the time at Christmas! We’re surprising him with Yoshi’s Woolly World on his Wii U – along with a Green Yarn Yoshi – and there’ll probably be some The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time thrown in for good measure, as that seems to be one of his favourites at the moment.
“If I get a chance to play some video games for myself, I’ll be downloading Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Seeing as Father Christmas has been so kind as to bring me a PlayStation 4 this year. Oh, and possibly a bit of Star Wars Battlefront too.”
Kim from 1001Up:
“I love playing fantasy games during Christmas: when it’s cold outside and cosy indoors, there’s nothing better to do than losing yourself in an adventure when you have some free time. Fable is one of my favourite titles to play during the holidays (and the second instalment in the series is even better) due to its magical quests, colourful characters and warm humour. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is great too: travelling through the snowy mountains in search of frost trolls before hitting the local tavern for ale and listening to the bard.
“This year however, after gifting my other-half a PlayStation 4, I’m going to be playing Beyond: Two Souls. I completed the PlayStation 3 version some time ago but loved the story so much that I can’t wait to revisit it; and the fact that there’s a co-op mode means I can rope Pete in too. If there’s time, I’d also like to try out Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – and no doubt my stepson will want to play various LEGO titles after getting him his first Steam voucher!”
Phil from 1001Up:
“Even with Fallout 4 finally out and into the the hands of any self-respecting gamer, there’s still a very good reason to revisit Skyrim: the Saturalia mod. While the word ‘Christmas‘ is never mentioned in this free festive mod for PC players, the strangely-familiar winter holiday of Saturalia is almost upon us celebrating the long forgotten god of debauchery, traditionally held on the 25th of Evening Star (December to you and I).
“The mod itself features plenty of festive decorations, carol singers, food, and of course gifts along with Father Saturalia’s enchanted workshop populated by Falmer workers. If that’s not enough there’s also two fully-voice quests to enjoy, and so a perfect excuse to fire up this action-RPG classic.”