Christmas in films and television is a common sight, but it’s a lot more rare to experience the holiday season in virtual form. However, on occasion video game developers choose to set their games at Christmas with snow covered cities and fully decorated interiors and it’s always something special. Here are some of our favourites.
Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza (2002)
The greatest action movie ever made, debates have raged about whether or not it’s classed as a Christmas film. But whatever your thoughts that's not what we’re here for.
Over the years, several video games have been released based on the movie, but Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza comes closest to recreating the location and scenes we’ve all come to know like the back of our hands.
Taking place on Christmas Eve, the player takes on the role of John McClane as he goes up against a group of terrorists who have taken control of the skyscraper. Plenty of festive fun in this one.
Rockstar Games’ take on school life takes place over the course of a school year and by chapter 3 winter has come and the school and surrounding town are covered in snow and dressed with festive decorations.
As the player character Jimmy Hopkins, you gain the ability to throw snowballs with reckless abandon at teachers and prefects and even receive a present from your mother; a snazzy Christmas Jumper you can wear.
The Scholarship Edition includes bonus missions helping a homeless Santa get revenge and saving the Christmas pageant.
Batman: Arkham Asylum (2013)
Batman is no stranger to the festive season with both the film Batman Returns (1992) and the comic Batman: Noel taking place around the holidays.
Batman: Arkham Origins is set on Christmas Eve early in Bruce Wayne’s career as the caped crusader. Stalking the streets of a snow covered Gotham City, Batman must fend off eight of the world’s greatest assassins after a bounty is placed on his head by Black Mask. Not to mention being hunted by the police and thwarting the plans of Joker and Anarky.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales (2020)
Another comic book superhero revelling in a winter wonderland, Spider-Man: Miles Morales kicks off on Christmas and gives players the ability to swing through a stunning frost bitten New York City as a light snow falls.
Still coming to terms with his new abilities, Miles is tasked with protecting Harlem from two rival factions; the Roxxon Energy Corporation and a criminal army called the Underground led by the Tinkerer.
In the quiet moments, walking around Miles’ apartment and admiring all the decorations really gets you in the festive mood.
Just because he spends most of the year murdering does not mean Agent 47 doesn’t enjoy the season of giving. Especially when what he’s giving is a Christmas star launched across the room and into someone’s head.
This limited time bonus mission for Hitman was made available permanently on Hitman 3 in 2021. Re-theming the Paris palace with some of the most exquisite decorations that would put the royal family to shame, Agent 47 dons his Santa suit and goes hunting for two robbers named Harry and Marv. I see what they did there.
Saints Row IV (2013)
The fourth game in this open world franchise, it was even more crazy than people were expecting and just as humorous. In 2013 a bonus missions pack was released called How the Saints Save Christmas and in true Saints Row style Santa Claus has been trapped in a simulation and his evil doppelgänger Clawz has taken over.
It’s up to the player (whose character doesn’t believe in Christmas) to save the day. With references to various Christmas films and festively themed clothing, vehicles and weapons there was a lot to keep us entertained in the lead up to Christmas.
So there we have it. Six of our favourite video games to feature christmas. Do you agree with our list or are there any christmassy video games you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below.