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What is the best Christmas game?

Brandon Erickson's picture

Christmas NiGHTS

For the past couple days, I've been pretty much snowed in here in Seattle. And looking at all this white stuff has got me thinking about all the different incarnations of snow-themed levels that have been appearing in games for basically forever. The slippery snow levels in the original Mario on the NES. The icy dungeons in Zelda. The ice-themed levels in almost every RPG ever created. Metal Gear Solid is pretty much cold and snowy all throughout. And now that I think about it, Snatcher actually takes place around Christmas time.

So are there any games that stand out as being particularly Christmassy or winter holiday appropriate? Christmas NiGHTS for the Saturn is an obvious choice here. I don't actually have the game, though I would love to have a copy just so that I could pop it into my Sega Saturn Kiosk every year. There are plenty of winter sports games, although these aren't explicitly holiday oriented. A quick search on GiantBomb reveals a number of Christmas-related games, such as the Nintendo DS version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

So what does everyone else think? Is there a particular game out there that you consider the ideal Christmas game? Maybe it's a game that doesn't directly have anything to do with Christmas and yet somehow feels strangely fitting or appropriate. What game best evokes Christmassy feelings for you? Is there a video game that you especially like to play at this time of year?

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Christmas game

Good post!

Christmas NiGHTS for the Saturn gets the vote as my favorite game for this time of year. I do have a copy that I like to play on Christmas Eve. I didn't get around to it last year, but I was just thinking I should dig out the Saturn this week.

As for snow levels in RPGs, you do have a point. I'd like to give a particular shout-out to the icy city of Baroque and its surrounding regions, which I am currently visiting in Eternal Sonata. It's very pretty, and does have a different feel when I'm sitting cozy inside with my real-life Christmas tree nearby.

Honorable mentions go to the snowy city in Baten Kaitos with its winter wonderland of giant sweets; and the charming town of Keterburg in the cold north of Tales of the Abyss.

Lastly, I like Animal Crossing this time of year, both for GCN and Wii. A couple of weeks before Christmas the town gets coated with snow, and many of the town's trees are decorated with strings of colored lights. The background music becomes accented with the sound of sleigh bells. And of course Jingle the Reindeer stops by for a visit on Christmas Eve. Lots of fun if you get the seasonal spirit.


Donkey Kong Country 3 has a

Donkey Kong Country 3 has a cheat you can enter which turns the whole game snowy and Christmassy and even changes the music to goofy holiday tracks.

i remember when christmas

i remember when christmas nights was kind of an easter egg-

in so much that the game was simply a demo of Nights and didn't change into it's chirstmas incarnation until the saturn's internal clock hit the 24th of the 12th month. it's not a full fledged game somuch as a surprising and entertaining diversion
(nights is still one of the most underrated 32-bit games ever)

otherwise i have to agree with animal crossing-
the combination of the changing enviorment along with your all ready established relationships with your townfolk is appealing and enjoyable in so many ways most games just couldn't replicate

Christmas NIGHTS is awesome

'Christmas Nights' is the best Christmas video game ever. I managed to get a copy when it came out, but Sega should have made it a bit more accessible for Saturn owners.

IIRC, wasn't Christmas

IIRC, wasn't Christmas Nights only available as a pack-in with an issue of GamePro or something like that? i can't quite recall why it was so hard to find. it's really the only "rare" game that i don't have a copy of, and i never see any around. anybody remember what the deal was, exactly?

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