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11 perfect games to play over Christmas

Share the festive spirit with your friends this year with the best games to play over the holidays, from Overcooked 2 to Baldur's Gate 3.

A Baldur's Gate 3 character clutching magic.

Looking for the perfect games to play over Christmas? We’ve got you. With all the free time the holiday season can sometimes offer, it’s the best time to start dealing with the pile of shame that is your gaming backlog. Even if you’ve managed to avoid this year’s numerous Steam sales, there’s a high chance you have a bunch of unplayed or unfinished games you’re itching to tick off your list before the new year—and we’re going to highlight the best ones to finally unwrap and wrap up.

The pile of shame grows ever more insurmountable each year: saddled by the insufferable need to eat, sleep, and work. Promising games inevitably slip by the wayside. As games get longer and more become fully-fledged ‘services’, we’re encouraged to play fewer games, but each of them for longer. Nobody tells us where the extra hours are supposed to come from. Each year, we can pretend to our royally soused selves that we can conquer that heap of games. The key to doing so? Deciding where to start.

Best games to play at Christmas: Elden Ring

Elden Ring

For those who want a splash of gritty fantasy with their mulled wine and spiced tea, there’s no better option than Elden Ring. Coming from the creators of Dark Souls and Bloodbourne, Elden Ring is an open-world epic adventure that will surprise, delight, and push your gaming abilities to their limit.

If you’re looking to kill time during the festive period, the minimum of 30 hours it’ll take to beat the main story of Elden Ring should see you through to the new year with ease. Not exactly the cheeriest entry on this list, but it’s hard to ignore its almost universal praise among critics and players alike. It scored a perfect ten in our Elden Ring review. And if you don’t want to lose days to a single boss battle, let our guide to the best Elden Ring builds make the Lands Between a little easier to deal with.

Best games to play at Christmas: Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium

You wake up, hangover blaring. ‘Where are my pants?’ you wonder, as you eye the broken mess that is your hotel room. You haven’t shaved in days and, frankly, it’s difficult to remember your own name, never mind how you got to that god-forsaken hellhole. Well, get yourself together, you’ve got one of the best PC games ever to play.

Disco Elysium is an isometric RPG that puts you in the shoes of an amnesiac detective. You’ll spend your time trying to solve an especially tasty murder mystery, while also piecing together your past and learning more about the post-war city you find yourself in. There’s no combat. Instead, you’ll solve everything with sheer creativity or absolute thickheadedness, which makes this the ideal game to sink your teeth into while you’re in a shortbread stupor in that post-Christmas wasteland. Our Disco Elysium review calls it “a new standard of RPG writing.”

Best games to play at Christmas: The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3

Now finally with a deserved next-gen update, there has never been a better time to try one of the best RPG games ever made. Whether you’re taking on Wild Hunt for the first time or your tenth, The Witcher 3 deserves everyone’s time at least once.

Picture this: it’s Boxing Day, and you’ve just devoured your third Christmas dinner sandwich. ‘No thanks’, you whimper, as you’re offered your fifth Baileys of the afternoon. When all else fails and you’ve got nothing left to give, load up The Witcher 3, whistle for your horse, and go on a drunken adventure. If it is your umpteenth time running across the plains, checking out the best Witcher 3 mods might just make it another Christmas to remember.

Best games to play at Christmas: Mass Effect

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Got some time to kill this holiday? You’re going to need it if you plan on tackling Mass Effect Legendary Edition. The iconic space games have been remastered for 4K – upgrading the performance and visuals across the trilogy.

Deputy guides editor Jen absolutely loved this remaster of these old games, and says in her impressions piece that, “Mass Effect Legendary Edition still plays like a series that started in the ’00s. But if you like RPG games with rich sci-fi settings then you’ll have a ball.” When there’s a good Steam sale going on, you can get the lot for about £5. That’s a lot of laser for your space dubloon.

Best games to play at Christmas: Among Us

Among Us

If other multiplayer games limit how many of your family and friends can play online together this year, Among Us is a simple yet effective social deduction game with up to 15 players. Even though you’ll obviously be playing on PC, Among Us has crossplay functionality so the rest of the friends and family can play using pretty much whatever device they have at hand.

Isolated onboard a spaceship, you and your crewmates must figure out which one of you is killing off other team members – an imposted disguised as the crew. Work together to weed out the faker by completing tasks, staying vigilant, and calling impromptu meetings to sling accusations at each other. What’s Christmas without a good shouting match or two?

Best games to play over Christmas: Overcooked

Overcooked 2

A co-op game that can make or break a family depending on how competitive you all are, Overcooked 2 has a two to four-player couch co-op mode that requires serious teamwork to bake, boil, chop, and fry for impatient restaurant patrons. Don’t be surprised if you end up shouting garbled, food-based insults at fellow players for not pulling their weight in the kitchen. There are also some adorable Christmas-themed levels, so don your Santa hats and get back in the kitchen.

Best games to play at Christmas: Fall Guys

Fall Guys

Even more competitive fun, but luckily for this title you don’t need to track down three friends or family members to enjoy the game. This battle-royale game pits 40 – 60 players against each other in numerous challenges that will have you jumping through hoops, stealing other players’ tails, and scoring goals with huge footballs.

Fall Guys Season 3 fully embraces the festive season and includes Christmassy outfits, wintery levels, and a lot, a lot of snow.

Best games to play at Christmas: PUBG

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

OK, so you might have to settle for chicken rather than turkey in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – or, let’s be honest, nothing at all for the most part – but there is still no finer way to celebrate Christmas than by hiding in the shadows until the bitter end. Add some sherry to the equation and that’s our Christmas day sorted, frankly.

A person with a mohawk looks over a busy road in Cyberpunk 2077.

Cyberpunk 2077

Now properly resurrected and arguably perfected after its disastrous launch in 2020, if you decided to bench Cyberpunk 2077 in the hopes that it would eventually live up to its lofty expectations, now’s the time to finally jump in. Not only did its big 2.0 update address most of the technical concerns that plagued its initial release, but this year’s massive Phantom Liberty DLC has helped Cyberpunk 2077 become the game many expected all those years ago.

A Metacritic score of 89 puts the expansion as one of the strongest releases of the year, and the whole package even won Best Ongoing Game at this year’s TGAs. You will have to pay for that expanded story, but most of the boons and benefits were added to the base game in a free update, finally wrapping up the base experience with a great big neon bow. It’s more of what you might now love, and it’s a great Steam Deck game as well. Somehow.

Four adventurers run toward a distant platform in a dark cavern in Baldur's Gate 3.

Baldur’s Gate 3

With just how long Larian Studios’ latest RPG hit takes to complete, the holiday season might be your only chance to the 2023 game of the year through. The other issue is that very few people settle for just one run. Sitting pretty with over 500,000 Steam user reviews in just over four months (and countless perfect scores at major publications) it’s rated highly enough to be viewed as one of the greatest games of all time.

With a near-infinite number of choices and allegiances you can make along the way, this story-heavy turn-based tactical RPG sequel has finally left its early access model behind, sweeping this year’s awards season and captivating social media in a way that even the very team that worked on it never could have expected. It’s another one of the most played games on Steam Deck this year, and a great couch co-op title to play with a like-minded buddy.

A Starfield space adventurer looks up at a distant mountain with a planet clearly in view.


Bethesda Game Studios’ long-awaited Starfield may not have captivated every inch of the gaming world quite like Skyrim did before, but that by no means rules it out as a game you should experience if you have the time. This space-faring adventure hardly rewrites the rulebook when it comes to making sprawling open-world RPGs. In fact, the most common complaint is that it doesn’t feel like an open-world RPG at all.

Even still, Starfield is packed to the brim with Bethesda’s iconic charm and wacky ways to break it all. You’ll find plenty of characters to spend your days with, myriad roles to play to wile away the hours, and plenty of sub-systems and traditional RPG elements to poke around with. And even if you decide that going off on your own isn’t for you, the major talking point is the main story. Finish it once and you’ll want to finish it again. And again. And probably again. It’s one of this year’s longest games. Good thing you have the time.

There you have it, some Christmas games new and old for you to have fun with over the holidays. If you are looking for games that included some snow-encrusted Christmas levels, we can help with that too.