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It’s Christmas! And it´s time to get into the spirit of the season, by giving the gift of listing off my top 10 favorite Christmas-themed video games.

Top 10 Christmas Video Games Of All Time

We can play video games all year but there is something magical and mystical about video games that take place during the most wonderful time of the year. I has been a staple of the winter holidays since my childhood to use the extra days off for some intense play sessions and I´m kicking off this list with games that only have one or two winter themed levels and only to amp up the Christmas spirt with the final places where the whole game is centered around this wonderful time. And you better watch out, because some of these games contain language and gameplay that might get you put on Santa’s Naughty list. With that said…

buy your steam games through my humble bundle link! Grab yourself some Christmas cookies and a hot cup of delicious coffee, kick back and make yourself comfortable and let´s get the kick out of gaming…

And now kicking off the top 10 greatest Christmas games with a few Christmas themed levels….

10. Max Payne 3

“…nothing kicks off the winter season better than delivering some old school justice in the Max Payne games! “

Technically the first game of Max Payne 1 is set around Christmas in a snow covered New York and Max Payne 3 has some throwback levels set in the same streets and rooftops of the Big Apple.

And nothing kicks off the winter season better than delivering some old school justice in the Max Payne games! Max´s quotes are almost poetry like and perfectly suited to be cited around the Christmas tree. Here is one to think about while writing your wishlist for Santa:

“Life knows two miseries; getting what you don’t want and not getting what you want.”

Well…that got dark pretty quick…time to look at some of my favorite memories from my formative years…

9. Halo 1

“…PC master race stood no chance…the og Xbox was pure magic….I still get goosebumps when the Halo 1 main menu theme comes on…..”

On of my earliest happy  Christmas gaming memories is sitting in my room after unboxing my original Xbox and popping in Halo 1 for the first time.

PC master race stood no chance. The og Xbox was pure magic. I still get goosebumps when the main menu theme comes on. Never had I seen a game like Halo before. From taking my first steps out of the emergency pod onto the Halo ring or landing on the beaches of space Normandy.

But the Christmas spirit took full hold of me when I drove my tank through the snow covered level of Assault on the control room. Doesn´t get more Christmasy than Assault on the control room. Halo will always have a special place in my heart. The next year I got Halo 2 for Christmas. So Christmas and Halo go hand in hand for me ever since….

8. Hitman Blood Money

“…. Agent 47 is coming to town! So ‘You Better Watch Out'”

With the recent digital re-relase of the Hitman Blood Money on PS4 and Xbox One it´s time to bring the Christmas spirit to town.

Another holiday themed level and heere Agent 47 has to infiltrate a Christmas party in Colorado to take out a adult entertainment tycoon and the son of a U.S. Senator.

These guys sure are on Santa´s naughty list and when Santa has had enough Agent 47 is coming to town! So ‘You Better Watch Out’

This is one of the most fun missions in Hitman Blood Money. And we find out why you never ever go in a hot tub with a glas floor.

On the plus side: After we show a Hugh Hefner lookalike how to do a Rudolf impersonation and fly from a balcony (don´t forget the sedated sausage for the dog) We are done playing secret Santa and are free to have some fun at the Christmas party and dress 47 as a Santa Claus and be on our jolly way.

It’s not particularly in Holiday spirit, but the next game has us playing as the evil guy in…

7. Overlord 2

“Overlord 2 seems to be the perfect game to play in today’s oversensitive gaming environment…”

…and the opening levels sure set the stage for a warm and happy holiday season with tongue and cheek humor. As little Overlord we have some Home Alone fun with the towns folk.

Overlord 2 seems to be the perfect game to play in today’s oversensitive gaming environment from clubbing baby seals for extra points to making fun of gender norms! This game kick political correctness right were it hurts. There was several times during the game that I laughed out loud and that helped make this already enjoyable game much more fun.

6. Skyrim

“…nothing gets the Christmas spirit going like fighting a Dragon in a snow storm!”

Even with Christmas behind us, it´s our job for the next couple of days is to try and keep the magic going. Preferably for as long as possible! That’s why Skyrim is the perfect pic with it´s wide variety of Christmas mods! 

The base game had already a pretty nice winter holiday feel. From the snowy College of Winterhold to the highest snowy mountain tops nothing gets the Christmas spirit going like fighting a Dragon in a snow storm.

5. Darkside Detective

“Darkside Detective is a chill and layed back experience perfect for the holiday season!”

The Darkside Detective is a successful spin on the classic point-and-click adventure, delivering an engaging narrative, funny characters and one of the strongest soundtracks in a good while. I sincerely hope a sequel is in the works.

Love the 80s “Stranger Things” vibe, soundtrack and the humor. If you are into funny point & click adventures and like pop-culture references, this is a no brainer. Not the longest game, but for my casual sessions on the switch it’s perfect. Will recommend this to friends as well.

Really love this game. Visuals are really nice and the soundtrack is great. Laughed a lot at the dialogue in the game, very well written. Highly recommend picking this up ! Can’t wait for the sequel

This is a chill and layed back experience perfect for the holiday season…

If you unsure about this game…watch the a let´s play and do a try not to laugh challenge…you will fail 100 percent…and that´s great….

4. Yakuza 5

“…when we make our way to town dressed as Santa to deliver a serious beating the Christmas spirit kicks in full gear too!”

Yakuza 5 was considered a high-water mark for the series, and it’s easy to see why. I’ve rarely seen a game that packs such a punch of content. From the opening hours with Kiryu’s  addictive taxi driving quests or half way through when we play as Saejima. And trying some survival-based hunting expeditions in snow covered mountains, you can lose hour after hour after hour to Yakuza 5. And when we make our way to town dressed as Santa to deliver a serious beating to some goons the Christmas spirit kicks in full gear!

But now: Enough with the Christmas themed levels. My Top 3 places are all fully Christmas Themed games. Where the most wonderful time of the year is front and center of the game world and we start with an episodic adventure. The opening episode of Sam & Max Season 2 is appropriately named….

3. Sam and Max 201: Ice Station Santa

“After this episode of Sam & Max you’ll never look at Santa Claus in quite the same way.”

Sam & Max must storm the North Pole to bring down a less-than-jolly foe. The most powerful opponent they’ve ever faced, an ancient being of myth – Santa Claus! To save the world’s children from a holiday tainted by tears and turmoil.

In the best Christmas Carol style we solve puzzles in the past, present and future to save Christmas and the rampaging Santa and his elves. If you’re looking for a few hours of non-stop comedy then you would be a fool to pass over Ice Station Santa. As always it´s an interesting story full of memorable characters and plot twists.

2. Dead Rising 4

“Nothing says ‘Happy Holidays’ like zombies!”

I´m a huge Dead Rising fan but I skipped part 4 until this year when my buddy Steven Wilds and the Youtuber Radical Reggie both recommended it. That pushed me over the edge to finally give Dead Rising 4 a try, and right around Christmas this is one fun game.

Nothing says ‘Happy Holidays’ like zombies! Frank West is back and returning to Willamette, the site of the original Dead Rising where all hell has broke loose. And while the game is missing important parts of that made the previous Dead Rising games so great (Coop Campaign and Psychos) what is here is still a ton of fun.

And 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 and Black Friday seems to up the commentary on consumerism like the original Dawn Of The Dead was meant to be.

1. Batman Arkham Origins

“Silent Knight observes Christmas, too. By punching criminals in the face.”

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.

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.

Silent Knight observes Christmas, too. By punching criminals in the face.

Batman’s origins get fleshed out a bit more in the Arkham game universe, and the game treats us to some great Gotham settings as well as decent vocal performances (though the absence of Mark Hamill is glaring, as good as Troy did). Arkham Origins was a game I thought to be clunkier than the Rocksteady games, but sometimes Christmas turns out like that. Despite all the planning and prep, things don’t come out perfect.

Honestly, I think Arkham Origins has more than simply taking place on Christmas Eve going for it. It’s about family. Because remember, why else did Bruce Wayne don the mantle of the bat other than because of family?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

This concludes our admittedly not very wholesome list of some games which have various spirits of Winter holidays flowing through their veins. Do you have your own picks? Do you have a particularly fond Xmas memory connected to gaming? Do share in the comments below.

And remember: winter holidays are for love, appreciation of your family and friends… and exploiting their false sense of security to yoink the bits of food bits off the table before they can react.

Christmas isn’t about the things, it’s about the memories.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

And most importantly: Have a great day and get the kick out of gaming!

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