One thing that separates Christmas from other holidays is its wide array of specially-themed media. Every year new movies, music, TV specials, and plays are produced in an effort to give people new ways to celebrate the season.
Video games get in on this as well, albeit in varying ways. Some have in-game holiday events that offer up festive content for players, while others feature individual levels or story DLC mixing in elements of the Holidays with the rest of the game. While there are many, many options, these are ten that we’ve enjoyed the most through the years.
Dead Rising 4
It’s more than one level, but Dead Rising 4’s entire aesthetic hinges on being set during Christmas. Thus, we get to enjoy killing hordes of zombies with all manner of holiday-themed weaponry and apparel. Tis the season to be gory.
Freezeezy Peak – Banjo-Kazooie
This holiday-themed winter level was rife with activities, collectibles, and quests featuring Christmas presents, polar bears, lightbulbs, and one gigantic Christmas tree to scale. It’s a sprawling place to explore, with all manner of secrets to learn and hidden areas to unlock.
You Better Watch Out - Hitman: Blood Money
Argued as one of the best Hitman games to date, You Better Watch Out takes place during the holiday season, where 47 has to take out the son of a senator who has been naughty instead of nice (sorry, not sorry). It’s the most wonderful time of the year, with plenty of options for murder and mayhem.
Christmas is Here – Bully
This mission is one that strikes as all too familiar for many who suffered through their own awkward teenage years; ugly Christmas sweaters, the embarrassment of presents mailed from family, and the ridicule of fellow classmates. It feels like a scene ripped straight from A Christmas Story, and we love it for that.
How the Saints Saved Christmas - Saints Row IV
Christmas, Saints Row style. Naturally, in fitting with the rest of this series, this holiday-themed DLC put the Saints in the mix with some of the greatest holiday hits; Santa, BB guns from A Christmas Story, and your good, old-fashioned “save Christmas!” storyline, but with 100% more madcap murder and alien simulation.
Halloween Town - Kingdom Hearts II
The Nightmare Before Christmas has one of the more entertaining depictions of the holidays in recent years, with its gothic Claymation design and whimsy set against a bleak, creepy Halloween world. In Kingdom Hearts II, visiting Jack Skellington and the gang and experiencing Christmas alongside them was a fun way to experience a slice of the film’s world and characters, all with cool character costumes to boot.
Snowflake Mountain – Diddy Kong Racing
Diddy Kong Racing’s winter levels are basically a collage of different holiday themes and decorations, including giant snowballs, candy canes, ice caves, and snowy evergreen trees. Add to that a bright, fun soundtrack, and you’ve got a solid race course to celebrate the holidays.
Nuclear Winter – Duke Nukem
In this expansion for Duke Nukem 3D, Santa has been captured and brainwashed by same alien enemies Duke fought before. To save him—and Christmas—Duke travels to the North Pole to get Christmas cheer back, Nukem style.
Grubbins on Ice – Costume Quest
Grubbins on Ice was more Costume Quest, but in cute Wintry environments. It all kicks off when Everett, Lucy, Wren, and Reynold get sucked into Repugia through bizarre happenstance. New enemies, an adorable story, and costumes await in this frozen-over adventure add on.
Holiday Celebration – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
One of Animal Crossing’s many features includes its proclivity to celebrate the various holidays with themed get-togethers for the residents of its little town. Christmas is no exception; during the holidays, the adorable citizens get together and celebrate in bright, festive, and cute ways. Plus, the holidays usually give players access to exclusive gear not obtained via any other means.