The best games to play over Christmas

How to pack your stocking with all killer, no filler

Christmas, in essence, is a time for catching up. Each year, people spend time with family and get all the latest updates on the lives of friends. We PC gamers on the other hand have something much more vital to do in the process of whiling away those many hours of light intoxication: we have a pile of shame to tackle.

It grows ever more insurmountable each year: saddled by the existential need to eat, sleep, and work, promising games inevitably slip by the wayside. As games get longer and more become fully-fledged ‘services’, we are increasingly encouraged to play fewer games, but each of them for longer. Nobody tells us where the extra hours are supposed to come from.

Christmas, then, is an important time for gamers. Each year, on Jesus’s special day, we can pretend to our royally-soused selves that we can conquer the heap of games we picked up in many a Steam sale, only to remain untouched. The following games are the ones you should think about releasing from their digital purgatory this holiday season.

The cleaners are shooting at a monster in a sewer.

Back 4 Blood

If you’re looking to spend some time online with friends this holiday, Back 4 Blood is a strategic co-op shooter, and one of the best zombie games on PC. From the creators of Left 4 Dead, this spiritual successor brings more zombie killing action and fast-paced level designs for you and your pals to blast through.

The four-player campaign has different characters to choose from, so each team member can find the perfect fit for their play style and use the intricate deck-building mechanic to flesh out their character’s skills.

Four Mass Effect squadmates, Javik, James, EDI, and Kaidan

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”.

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.

Isolated onboard a spaceship, you and your crewmates must figure out which one of you is killing off other team members – a masked villain disguised as the crew, known as the imposter. Work together to weed out the imposter by completing tasks, staying vigilant, and calling impromptu meetings to sling accusations at each other – all the Christmassy fun.

Man with a bottle of drink

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

If you need a good laugh over the holidays, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the game for you. In this turn-based game, you can explore extremely realistic Japanese locales, such as Yokohama and Osaka, while completing unique dungeons and getting fully immersed in a quirky, heart-warming story.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon also has a huge roster of mini-games to keep you occupied for short bursts of time. A full version of Virtua Fighter 5 is included in the arcade; a Mario Kart-esque mini-game that sees you riding karts through the streets of Yokohama with Gatling guns and rocket launchers. If those features don’t entice you, you can also attempt to help the main character stay awake during a movie or take to the Pachinko machines.

A snowy Christmas level in Overcooked 2

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 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.

Colourful Christmas level in 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 player’s 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.

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.

There you have it, some Christmas games new and old you 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.