To those looking for the best games to play over Christmas; we’ve got you. 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 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 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.
For those who want a splash of gritty fantasy with their mulled wine and spiced tea, there’s no better option this year than Elden Ring. Coming from legendary studio FromSoftware, 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 perhaps the best – it earned almost-universal praise among critics and players alike, and scored a perfect ten in our Elden Ring review. Make sure you follow our guide to the best Elden Ring builds if you want to make the Lands Between a little easier to deal with.
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 own past, and learning more about the post-war city you find yourself in. There’s no combat, either. 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. If you need any more convincing, read why our Disco Elysium review calls it “a new standard of RPG writing”.
The Witcher 3
With its next-gen update hot off the press, there has never been a better time to try one of the best RPG games ever made. Whether you’re taking on the Wild Hunt for the first time, or if this is your tenth time brawling at a Gwent tournament, The Witcher 3 is a masterpiece and absolutely deserves everyone’s time.
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. You’re useful to nobody at that point, a human-sized potato that can no longer form words. When all else fails, and you’ve got nothing left to give, load The Witcher 3 up, whistle for your horse, and go on an adventure. If it is your umpteenth time chasing after Ciri and Yennefer, spice up your experience with some of the best Witcher 3 mods.
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”.
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 – 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.
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.
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.
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.