What are the best Christmas levels in gaming? It may only come around once a year, but this festive season certainly knows how to make life incredibly difficult. Not only does it force you to brave that familiar chill of winter to buy a million presents, but it also imposes the issue of getting all your family together in one place.
The holidays make the perfect time for indulging in a few levels of a co-op game with the family that will help you get through those cold, lazy days. Luckily, plenty of games have wintery-themed updates just for the holiday season, but let’s not disregard all those with some of the best Christmas levels you can play all year round.
Best Christmas levels
Here are the best Christmas levels in PC games:
- Hatoful Boyfriend – Holiday Star
- Bully 3 – Chapter 3
- Undertale – Snowdin
- Stardew Valley – Feast of the Winter Star
- Hitman: Blood Money – You Better Watch Out…
- Hitman 3 – Holiday Hoarders
- Splinter Cell: Blacklist – American Consumption
- Batman: Arkham Origins – Gotham
- Mafia 2 – Home Sweet Home
- Borderlands 2 – How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day
- World of Warcraft – Feast of Winter Veil
Hatoful Boyfriend – Holiday Star
Because nobirdy should feel lonely during the festive season, everyone’s favourite pigeon dating simulator is here to spice up your holidays with its Christmas-themed four-episode DLC.
Playing as the only human in a world of talking birds, you are tasked with working alongside the returning cast of colourful avian characters to solve various mysteries around the city – from uncovering who is stealing everybirdie’s Christmas trees to an absurd plot revolving around an unhinged king in a dreamland.
While not as heavy on the romance as its predecessor, Holiday Star brings enough of the series’ nonsensical charm to the table that it will make you wonder if you have had a little too much eggnog.
Bully – Chapter 3
Bully’s wintry third chapter is nothing short of a Christmas miracle for anyone with a penchant for misbehaviour and delinquency. Donning his best Rudolph sweater, protagonist Jimmy decides to bring his own kind of Christmas traditions to Bullworth, which mostly involves pelting many people in the face with snowballs and getting chased by angry elves (most of which have been hit by said snowballs).
Never to miss a beat, Rockstar’s finely crafted festive missions are a real treat, each laced with its trademark humour, ranging from helping an alcoholic Santa decorate his grotto with trash to taking part in what looks like an acid-fuelled Christmas pageant whilst dressed as a creepy Nutcracker. This is what the holidays are really about, folks.
Undertale – Snowdin
If Bully is the Gremlins of Christmas-themed videogames, then Undertale is arguably its Home Alone counterpart: a whimsical story of a child left by themselves to fend against monsters who have no understanding of personal boundaries.
Snowdin is an overwhelmingly charming and perpetually festive town in Undertale. It is adorned with fairy lights, presents, and a giant Christmas tree centrepiece, natch. It is also home to fan-favourite skeleton brothers Sans and Papyrus – two siblings who enjoy nothing more than cracking jokes and cooking spaghetti, who both take a liking to protagonist Frisk upon their first meeting. The rest of the town’s eccentric population, along with its nostalgia-inducing music and puzzles, are enough to make you positively sick with Christmas cheer.
Stardew Valley – Feast of the Winter Star
Taking place on the 25th of every Winter, the festivities begin in the crafting game as soon as you enter Pelican Town between 9am and 2pm. Your entire day from this point on is spent trying to find the randomly selected villager to hand over a secret gift to. At this point, you should already have your villager and present, so all that’s left is to deliver it to them. When you hand it over, you get five times the regular amount of friendship points, so choose wisely.
One of the villagers will also have a gift for you, and depending on who the gift-giver is, you have a chance to get some very rare items. After the present-giving step, you‘re free to explore the town, take in the story of the Winter Star, buying decorative items from Pierre to spruce up your lodgings. However, as soon as you leave town, the feast ends as quickly as it began, much like Christmas Day really.
Hitman: Blood Money – You Better Watch Out…
No Christmas is ever complete without a little bit of karma. In Hitman: Blood Money, Agent 47 has quite the lengthy naughty list, with one particular mission tasking you with infiltrating an opulent mountain lodge to assassinate a pornography tycoon and a senator’s son, who you can probably tell from that description alone aren’t the nicest folks in town.
This location is littered with bizarre characters, including a crew of belligerent Santas that you are free to knock senseless and use their costumes as a disguise or, if you are completely absent of Christmas spirit, kill without remorse. Either way, there is something oddly satisfying about donning old Saint Nick’s famous attire and murdering with expert precision. Nobody suspects Santa Claus…
Hitman 3 – Holiday Hoarders
Agent 47 looks particularly good in a Santa suit, but you probably won’t want whatever he’s bringing you. You will want to play Hitman 3’s seasonal event, however. It’s a repeat of Hitman 2’s Holiday Hoarders event and takes place on the updated Paris map. Like all the best presents, it’s free, too.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist – American Consumption
Christmas is not just about spending time with loved ones and the gift of giving. It is also about participating in the nightmare that is unabashed capitalism in all its gift-wrapped glory.
American Consumption sees Sam Fisher infiltrate a shopping mall plastered with the tackiest Christmas decorations you will probably ever see. His intention is to prevent the terrorist organisation The Engineers from using the mall to poison Chicago’s water supply.
You need to use every tree, decoration, and festival stall available to successfully sneak your way through the complex, doing so while Tom Paxton’s song “We’re Going To Get The Christmas Tree” plays in the background. Yes, it is nearly as unbearable as Christmas shopping in a mall in real life.
Batman: Arkham Origins – Gotham
Never one to have a good time at any point in the year, Batman’s holidays get off to an aptly downcast start. Putting a considerable bounty on the caped crusader’s head, crime lord Black Mask attracts a motley crew of Batman’s villains to Gotham, including Bane and Deadshot, who all fancy a chance at getting a hefty Christmas bonus.
While not the best-received Batman game in the series, there is something special about seeing Gotham covered in a layer of snow and decorations in Arkham Origins, with the chill of winter being the perfect backdrop to a younger Batman’s battle against the odds. It is also a lovely nod to 1980s flick Batman Returns, seeing Gotham set to a Christmas backdrop. In one particularly heart-wrenching moment, Alfred wishes Bruce (aka Batman, spoiler alert) a ‘Merry Christmas’ over their comms, reminding you who you really should be spending the holidays with rather than beating goons to a pulp in the streets.
Mafia 2 – Home Sweet Home
In one of the purest senses, the second chapter of Mafia 2 is about as Christmassy as it gets, even if it doesn’t look like it at first. Vito Scaletta arrives back home for the holidays after getting wounded by the Nazi’s during the war. You start by getting a beer with your friend Joe and catching up on what’s happened since you left. After learning about Joe’s offer to get him out of the war permanently, he takes a walk through the snow-covered neighbourhood, catching up with some of the locals, before arriving home to his Ma and sister.
This is a particularly heartwarming scene as Vito enjoys a family meal for the first time in years, and while things do take a turn as you fight a local loan shark to sort out his family’s debt, it’s a brief reminder of what Christmas is really all about, even when the country isn’t feeling all that festive.
Dead Rising 4 – Willamette
Nothing lets the sheer madness and creativity of Dead Rising shine brighter than Willamette at Christmas. It is a playground for protagonist Frank West to unleash havoc among the undead that roam the place. Returning for the first time since the series’ original iteration in 2006, Frank brings his unique brand of photojournalism to investigate why an outbreak has occurred once again, this time on Black Friday.
Willamette’s oddly jolly atmosphere – complete with Christmas jingles and gaudy neon decorations – is the perfect setting for you to let off some steam against the legions of zombies. It hardly matters whether your weapon of choice is a baseball bat adorned with fairy lights, a gun that launches festive ornaments, or a wand that turns murderous hordes into yet more malevolent gingerbread men, Willamette caters to a merry, bloody Christmas. Goodwill to all men! Except the dead.
Borderlands 2 – How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day
There seems to be a piece of Borderlands DLC for every occasion under the sun, and Christmas is no exception. Gearbox’s short and sweet tribute to the holiday season sees you visiting the town of Frost Bottom through a magical wardrobe in Marcus’s workshop (a lovely nod to C. S. Lewis’s Narnia series) to investigate a gun shipment gone AWOL.
Following a series of instructions from the Grinch-like Marcus, you face opposition from all manner of festive baddies – from hostile snowmen to packs of abdominal yetis – as you prevent Mercenary Day from being ruined. The level culminates in you facing off against Tinder Snowman, who I assume is unrelated to the dating app, with your Christmas present being the gift of his head (which you can wear) upon besting the creature.
World of Warcraft – Feast of Winter Veil
The Feast of Winter Veil, or the Feast of Great-Winter, is World of Warcraft’s take on the holiday season. For several weeks players can fling snowballs, perform quests to obtain gaudy Christmas sweaters or festive mounts, and defeat the Abominable Greench to halt its attempts to steal Christmas in a very Grinch-like manner.
Santa, oh, I mean Greatfather Winter, won’t be giving out gifts for free to good girls and boys, in World of Warcraft, you need to purchase the seasonal goodies from him and collect milk and cookies for the jolly old fellow in exchange for gifts. But it’s all worth it for the delicious ale and candy canes.
Now you know what the best Christmas levels are, make yourself a warm bevvie, light a fire, and get as snug as a bug in a rug. Be sure to play some of the best PC games from this year too, and with any luck, there will be some more festive levels for next year. Oh, and check our updated list of Minecraft Christmas skins, builds and seeds 2022.