Games are a fun and special part of the holidays, right up there with the food, the family, and the hope that your Uncle Steve will finally remember to bring his hearing aid this year. And while we love all games equally, there’s something extra-special about playing video games around Christmas time. Maybe it’s because you’re probably on vacation from work or school. Maybe it’s because you’re trapped in a blizzard. Or maybe it’s just because there is something magical about playing video games in a room that has been lovingly decorated for Christmas (and smells like roasted turkey). Whatever the case may be, we’ve assembled what we think is a definitive list of holiday-themed video games you should consider trying this winter break—or any time you need an escape from reality during the holidays!
1. World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in 2004 by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the Warcraft fantasy universe, which was first introduced by WarCraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994. World of Warcraft takes place within the world of Azeroth, approximately four years after Blizzard’s previous release, WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos.
Apart from its story and quests, World of Warcraft offers multiple ways to progress your character through the game. The player can earn experience points (XP) by completing quests and killing monsters or they can level up their characters without questing at all by engaging in Player Vs Player (PvP) combat with other players online – which unlocks additional specializations for each class as well as access to new dungeons and raids available only through PvP mode
2. Sims 1
What this game lacks in gameplay, it makes up for in innovation. The Sims is a life simulation game (also known as “the virtual dollhouse”) that gives you total control over everything your characters do; from their daily routine to the way they dress, eat and sleep. You can customize all of these things using a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows players to tweak their characters’ appearances or personalities with just a few clicks.
Since its release in 2000, there have been many versions of The Sims games: four on PC/Mac computers, two on consoles, and one on smartphones. They’ve sold over 150 million copies worldwide—making them one of the most successful video game franchises ever made!
3. Tomb Raider 1
This game is set in the fictional Yamatai island, where Lara Croft is shipwrecked after taking part in an archaeological expedition. The game sold over 6 million copies and was critically acclaimed for its graphics, sound design, and gameplay. It was later ported to many platforms such as PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox (Xbox Live Arcade).
4. The Legend of Zelda (NES)
You can’t have a list of the best video games to play this Christmas without including The Legend of Zelda. This franchise has been around since 1987 and is known for its incredible gameplay, memorable characters, and epic stories. There are currently 16 mainline Zelda games (many of which easily qualify as some of the best Christmas games ever made), but here’s a quick breakdown of your four most essential options:
- The Legend of Zelda (NES): A classic that’s still worth playing today.
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: A legendary game from 1991 that holds up brilliantly today.
- The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX: This Game Boy Color remake added color palette swaps, auto-scrolling dungeons, new bosses and minibosses, more secrets than before…and even Tingle! Who doesn’t love Tingle?! We do!
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D/Master Quest Edition: If you played this classic on your Nintendo 64 back in 1998—or if you missed it altogether—this definitive version is an absolute must-have experience that has been remastered with updated graphics and controls while keeping everything else intact (including all previously inaccessible content).
5. Maniac Mansion
- Maniac Mansion is a 1987 adventure game developed and published by Lucasfilm Games, originally released for the Commodore 64 and Apple II. The game was designed by Ron Gilbert, who later created Day of the Tentacle.
- The player takes on the role of one of five characters: Bernard (the nerd), Razor (the punk rocker with a shaved head), Syd (the ditzy blonde girl), and Wendy (the jock) or Michael (the brainy kid). All but Bernard have their own special traits that players can exploit during gameplay. To get out alive you’ll need to solve puzzles while dealing with such things as alien abductions, rooms full of toxic waste, and strange monsters lurking around every corner.
6. Super Mario Brothers 3
In the same vein as Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario World, Super Mario Brothers 3 is a side-scrolling platformer that has you racing through levels to save Princess Toadstool from Bowser. It’s the third game in the series and was released in 1990 by Nintendo.
It was one of the best-selling video games of all time, with more than 40 million copies sold worldwide. It also spawned a lot of spin-offs like Dr. Luigi and All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros., which are great if you like your Christmas games on steroids!
7. The Secret of Monkey Island
In this section, we look at seven games that are worth your time (and money!) if you want to give yourself a Christmas gift.
If you’re looking for some classic gaming action, The Secret of Monkey Island is the place to start. This point-and-click adventure game was released by LucasArts in 1990 and remains one of the best from those early years. You play as Guybrush Threepwood, a pirate wannabe who wants nothing more than to become part of the Caribbean’s most feared crew: LeChuck’s Ghost Pirates.
The gameplay is simple enough: walk around and talk with other characters using verb commands like “talk,” “look” or “use.” When interacting with an object, players can either pick it up or use it on something else in their environment—which often results in hilarious responses from NPCs!
The graphics were impressive when they were first released but still hold up today because they make great use of color palettes that help establish moods throughout each scene; the soundtrack consists mostly of light jazz music which adds another layer of depth to each location visited by players during their quest through Monkey Island; replayability comes from multiple endings based on decisions made during gameplay (or lack thereof). And although popularity isn’t necessarily a factor when considering whether something deserves inclusion on this list—it does help determine its influence over other games made later down its own timeline (see also: Metal Gear Solid). Other similar titles include Maniac Mansion.
8. Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII was released on the PlayStation in 1997. It was the first game in the series to feature 3D graphics and voice acting.
Final Fantasy VII is also one of the rare Christmas games in which you can create your own character, choosing his or her gender and face type at the start of a new game. In addition to these features, Final Fantasy VII had several other innovations that would go on to define future installments of this beloved RPG series: an open-world environment with towns full of shops and NPCs (non-playable characters) who could join your party; an extensive magic system with dozens of spells; quick-time events that required players to press certain buttons at key moments during battle sequences; leveling up characters by gaining experience points from battles; and multiple endings based on how well you completed all side quests during your playthroughs!
9. Grand Theft Auto (1997)
This is one of the most fun games to play, watch and talk about. It’s also a great game to play with your friends. You can go out and do whatever you want, but it’s important not to get caught by the police or else it’ll be over for you!
10. Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 was released in 2005 and is the first game in the series to be released on a non-Nintendo platform. It was also the first game in the series to use a third-person perspective instead of its traditional overhead view, which had been used since 1996’s Resident Evil 2. This change was made as part of an effort to rejuvenate interest in what was becoming an increasingly stale franchise that had lost much of its original appeal after over 10 years under Capcom’s publishing armory.
In Resident Evil 4, players assume control of Leon S Kennedy (voiced by Paul Haddad), an agent sent by a mysterious U.S government organization known as President Adam Benford’s Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.). After being sent on assignment from his base in Raccoon City, Leon encounters several villagers who have been infected with mind-controlling parasites and are now attempting to kill him for unknown reasons. He soon learns that Las Plagas—strange creatures with one large eye on each side of their heads—have been introduced into these villagers’ bodies via parasitic eggs implanted within them during routine vaccinations administered by their local priestess Osmund Saddler (voiced by David Gasman).
In Bioshock, you play as a survivor of an airplane crash who stumbles upon the underwater city of Rapture. The game was released in 2007 and was developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games. It can be played on the Xbox 360, PC, and PS3.
The game received positive reviews from critics who praised its story and atmosphere. In particular, it has been called one of the greatest video games ever made by many critics including IGN’s Colin Moriarty and GameSpot’s Maxwell McGee who both added it to their top 100 games list at number 70 respectively.
12. Halo (XBOX)
You might be wondering why a first-person shooter is on this list. Well, Halo is one of the best Christmas games ever made and deserves to be recognized as such.
The first game in the Halo series was released on November 15th, 2001 for Microsoft’s Xbox console. It was developed by Bungie Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios.
The game begins with an ancient alien race known as the “Flood” escaping from containment and attacking humans living on planet Earth. You play as Master Chief John-117 who must fight his way through hordes of aliens to rescue survivors from their destroyed colony ship orbiting Planet Reach before its destruction sends debris crashing into other planets nearby causing untold destruction throughout not only our Solar System but potentially beyond!
13. Portal 2
If you’re looking for a game that will not only test your brain but also make you laugh, then Portal 2 is the game for you. It was developed by Valve Corporation and published on April 19th, 2011. It’s a puzzle-platform video game that has been praised by many reviewers for its humor and writing.
According to Metacritic: “Portal 2 received universal acclaim upon release”, where they gave it an average score of 94/100. The game has sold more than 4 million copies as of December 2012.
We hope we’ve given you some new games to try out this holiday season, whether they make you think or just want to shoot something. And if none of these float your boat, well, there are always the classics like Myst. Happy holidays!
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