The festive season is around the corner. For many, it means picking up the controller and losing themselves in a game filled with holiday cheer.
Our list of top video games to get this holiday season spans genres and experiences. You can rescue Santa as a Saint, or save snowy New York as an iconic hero. You can cook up and serve some classic festive recipes, or partake in festivities with fellow villagers.
Here’s our list of top video games to put on your holiday wishlist.
Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch)
Super Mario Odyssey has sold close to 24 million copies as of June 30, 2022, and with good reason. Released during the 2017 holiday season, this critically-acclaimed title helped establish the Switch as a family-friendly console.
So what makes Odyssey perfect for the holiday season? Well, firstly, it’s the ensemble. Nintendo added a special Santa hat and outfit along with others into the game a year after its release. So you can deck your Mario out with Santa’s clothes and a matching beard.
Then there’s the Snow Kingdom. The Mario catalog has seen several wintry levels, but the Snow Kingdom is a joy to explore. Available after you complete the Metro Kingdom, the Snow Kingdom is primarily located in sub-worlds. Shiveria Town is the most prominent one, leading to four Story Moon rooms and a Multi Moon mission.
With The Super Mario Bros. Movie on the horizon, booting up Odyssey would be the perfect way to join in the hype. You can get this game exclusively on the Switch with some Nintendo eShop Cards at OffGamers here!
Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC)
One of the best games to get into the holiday spirit is Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which features a wintry setting, themes, and even character arcs.
The spin-off/successor to Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018), the open-world adventure is set in December in New York City. While the first game told the story of Peter Parker, Miles Morales is the titular character here with a specific focus on Harlem. The game captures the holiday season with spectacular graphics and a gorgeous weather system.
However, it goes beyond aesthetics. Spider-Man: Miles Morales tells a tale of compassion and love. The game sees Morales balance friendships, family, and fighting crime. It explores the relationships between Miles and his father, Phil, Ganke, and his mom.
A holiday meal early on in the game sees Miles put on vinyl records while his mother prepares dinner. Immediately afterwards, the web-slinger zips across a snowy New York. It can’t get more Christmassy than that.
Overcooked 2 (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, PC, Mac)
What’s the holiday season but fun with family and friends, with a dash of chaos? Overcooked 2 perfectly encapsulates the fun frenzy. The excellent party game is great for fans of cooking games and even better for the non-gamers in the household.
You will team up with friends and family to control a group of chefs chopping, cooking, and serving food to impatient customers. The kitchen space keeps changing, with whacky levels such as hot air balloons and speeding trucks.
You will be constantly communicating (read: shouting orders) at your teammates. Remember, the perfect team is one with clearly defined roles. So, assign people to do the dishes, chop up veggies, cook, and serve. Thanks to its simple controls, the game is accessible to both the elders and the young ‘uns in the family.
Add Overcooked 2’s DLCs for even more festive spirits. Kevin’s Christmas Cracker and Winter Wonderland are Christmas-themed expansions that add tons of content, including recipes like hot chocolate, pancakes, roast dinners, Christmas puddings, and mince pies. You can play as cute reindeer chefs or (slightly creepy) present-head chefs.
Saints Row IV (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Linux, Nintendo Switch)
Disappointed by the Saints Row reboot that came out earlier this year? How about revisiting the classic that was 2013’s Saints Row IV?
The acclaimed action-adventure game was a typical blast to play with an outlandish story, characters, and whacky futuristic weaponry. And then the developers added the festive-themed DLC.
The ‘How The Saints Save Christmas’ DLC featured characters donning Christmas sweaters, themed enemies, and weapons and enemies such as Red Rider BB Gun and the reindeer sleigh. In typical Saints Row style, the DLC added easter eggs and references to multiple Christmas movies such as A Christmas Story and Die Hard.
This festive season, rescue Santa Claus as the leader of the Saints and find the true meaning of Christmas.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo Switch)
Timed events are part of the charm when it comes to Animal Crossing. While all the events are enjoyable, the holiday season in Animal Crossing especially hits the spot.
New Horizons updates the deserted island according to the changing of the seasons. For the holidays, expect lovely snowy designs with trees and themed items. The characters wear festive outfits, roll snowballs, and exchange toys on Toy Day (Christmas Eve).
Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to the franchise, the holiday season is the perfect time to get into Animal Crossing: New Horizons. With a lovingly-decorated setting, themed recipes, and villagers dressed up in cheerful clothes, you would feel like you’re coming home for the holidays.
Tracks – The Train Set Game (2019, PC, Xbox One, Switch)
Remember the elation of unwrapping presents and getting that shining new train set? Tracks bring those memories back. The toy-train builder lets you sink in hours working on a railway line with junctions, multiple trains, and more. These railway systems can be as complex as you want and can be part of worlds modelled after nighttime wonderlands and modern lounges.
With no progression or achievements to unlock, Tracks might appear purposeless. However, treat it as a time machine that lets you recreate childhood memories or a tool for creativity. This holiday season, make your own Christmas village and build your trains out of gingerbread.
Whether you’re looking to build family and friends together or want to lose yourself in a solo adventure, our list has something for everyone. We hope our list helped you find that perfect festive game. Game on and happy holidays!
I am a junior content outreach writer for OffGamers. I foster relationships between gaming enthusiasts and gaming developers to create relevant content for gamers worldwide. I also happen to be a passionate writer and a certified night owl.