Best Christmas Levels In Video Games
It's the most wonderful time of the year! And what could be more wholeheartedly festive than hiding away from your relatives for a few hours to spend some quality time on the best Christmas gaming levels. There's actually a wide variety of seasonal game levels and updates out there so, to help you get in the festive mood, here are our picks for the top 10 Christmas and snowy levels in video games.
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Best Christmas Levels: Die Hard Trilogy: Die Hard (#10)
Now I have a PlayStation 1, ho-ho-ho. 90s gamers will definitely remember this gem of a video game series. Based on the 1988 iconic Die Hard, the third-person shooter game gives players the chance to be the famous sharp-shooting vest-sporting action hero, John McClane. Bouncing bare-footed around the rooftop and corridors of the Nakatomi Plaza, players have to take down Hans Gruber's henchmen in glorious pixelated fashion.
Whilst this first instalment in the Die Hard game trilogy is a friendly piece of PlayStation nostalgia, there isn't a whole load of Christmas aesthetic within the game. So, sadly, that's why it's way down at the bottom of the list.
Best Christmas Levels: Mario Kart Wii: N64 Sherbet Land (#9)
We're gonna stick to the gaming nostalgia days and go one-up on the Christmas aesthetic now with Mario Kart Wii's N64 Sherbet Land level. Let's be real: Mario Kart Wii is one of those games which starts off as a friendly bit of fun which the whole family can enjoy after a delicious Christmas dinner. Then, suddenly it becomes a deadly competitive showdown between you and your grandmother in an epic race for the finish line.
Similarly to Die Hard, Mario Kart Wii may not have much in terms of Christmas aesthetic other than snow and pesky penguins, but it is a great, family-friendly racing game that everyone can have some fun with. If you want to continue with a Christmas-themed Mario Kart Wii game, DK Summit is another race set in a winter wonderland.
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Best Christmas Levels: Stardew Valley: Feast Of The Winter Star (#8)
Stardew Valley. Arguably one of the most wholesome games of all time, and never is that more apparent than during The Feast Of The Winter Star. As you work your way to the Day One of Winter, you receive a letter from Mayor Lewis informing you of the upcoming event, held on the 25th, and which of the townsfolk you will secretly need to find a present for. The way to get the best reaction from your chosen character is to learn their most loved gifts and have one ready for them to open under the Christmas tree in the town square.
During the feast, the decoration of the town is as sugary sweet as a candy cane. You then receive the gift from your very own 'secret Santa' but it can be a lucky dip situation. Sometimes you can end up with a really handy Iridium bar and sometimes... clay (thanks, Vincent).
Best Christmas Levels: World of Warcraft: Feast Of Winter Veil (#7)
Another festive feast! This time however, World of Warcraft's Feast Of Winter Veil, or the Feast Of Great-Winter, couldn't be any more different to the fairy tale of Stardew Valley. The event lasts for several weeks over the Christmas and New Year Period. Also, what makes this event really fantastic is that it runs in real-time, so if you want to celebrate the holidays both in-person as well as Azeroth you very much can!
During the event, players can take part in quests to get themselves some flashy Christmas jumpers, have the chance to throw snowballs and receive an abundant amount of limited edition weapons. However, in World of Warcraft, Sant- I mean- Greatfather Winter, doesn't drop off these gifts out of the goodness of his heart. Seasonal goodies have to be bought from him, as well as milk and cookies.
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Best Christmas Levels: Animal Crossing: Toy Day (#6)
Back to the wholesome and jolly side of the season with Animal Crossing's answer to Christmas-Toy Day. Like World of Warcraft, Animal Crossing is a real-time game meaning your Animal Crossing avatar will be experiencing the Christmas season at exactly the same time as you. Toy Day varies at different times of the year depending on which version of the game you are playing. For example, in New Horizons it occurs on December 24-25.
During the Toy Day of New Horizons in 2020, players had to don the red suit and visit their villagers to give them presents, after helping make some Christmas wrapping paper for Jingle the reindeer. If they managed to give presents to all the villagers, they received some brilliant prizes in return.
Best Christmas Levels: Batman: Arkham Origins - Gotham (#5)
'Twas The Dark Knight before Christmas, and not even then could the caped crusader have an evening off in Batman: Arkham Origins. The very first chapter of the game is set on Christmas Eve night and, after an intense opening battle with Killer Croc, Batman learns that supervillain Black Mask has set a price on the hero's head for $50 million. Subsequently, some of the world's deadliest assassins are out to get Batman.
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It wasn't one of the most well-received of the Batman games, but the opening Christmas scene of Batman: Arkham Origins is a nice nod to the '80s flick Batman Returns. There's also something very humbling about being able to fight some of Gotham's most evil supervillains whilst you're sat in front of the fire with a mince pie and some eggnog.
Best Christmas Levels: Mafia 2: Home Sweet Home (#4)
If your Christmas doesn't involve delivering presents to all your anthropomorphic animal pals or beating your arch nemesis to a pulp on the streets of Gotham, then maybe you'll relate to the understated chapter of Home Sweet Home in Mafia 2. In 1945, two years following the events of the opening chapter of the game, protagonist Vito Scaletta returns to Empire Bay to spend Christmas with his family. Only, it turns out that for this up-and-coming gangster, there is no such thing as a silent night.
What is great about this chapter is that amongst the extravagant violence and sweetness of some of the other games in this list, Mafia 2 demonstrates moments of authentic Christmas moments. Not working alongside the Mafia, but coming home for Christmas, reuniting with loved ones and, of course, a hearty homemade meal.
Best Christmas Levels: Hitman: Holiday Hoarders (#3)
Santa Claus is coming to town! Only he's actually a highly-skilled paid assassin in a Santa suit in Hitman's Holiday Hoarders chapter. The level was specially created for the December update of 2016's Hitman game and returned in Hitman 2. In the sequel, the player is tasked with crashing a fancy Parisian ball to locate and dispatch two thieves, Harry and Marv. Yep, Christmas film fanatics out there will immediately appreciate this reference to 1990's festive favourite, and arguably the best Christmas film of all time, Home Alone.
Any Christmas video game/movie game crossover is sure to bag some extra points. However, what sets this game firmly on the nice list is that it was released in support of World Cancer Research Fund.
- Our list of the best PS5 games is ideal if you want a game for your new Christmas console
Best Christmas Levels: Dead Rising 4: Willamette Town (#2)
If there's one game which capsulises the cheesy spirit of Christmas, it's Dead Rising 4. Okay, it can't be number one because it's breaking the rules a little bit given how the whole game is set at Christmas, so we'll specifically examine the Willamette Town chapter of the game. Now, Die Hard may not be swimming in tinsel, fairy lights and, Christmas puddings, but it is still considered to be a classic Christmas film. The same can be said for Dead Rising 4. It takes all the classic images and symbols of Christmas and transforms them into a zombie-fuelled rollercoaster of a game.
In the game, photojournalist Frank West returns to the scene of the first zombie outbreak seen in the first Dead Rising instalment; a seasonally decorated shopping mall infested with the living dead. Dead Rising 4 doesn't stop there. Players can battle the ravenous hoards with a variety of Yuletide weaponry, such as an incredibly powerful ball of holiday rubbish, an explosive ornament gun and, a magic wand which turns the undead into an array of Christmas-themed monstrosities.
Best Christmas Levels: Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko - Holiday Broadcasting (#1)
If you've always thought there was something sinister lurking behind St. Nick's rosy cheeks and warm smile, then Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko is the game for you. Any ideas of Santa's nice little workshop up in the North Pole, where cheery elves work all day throughout the year to make toys for the world's entire population of children, gets completely blown out of the water.
In the game's first level, Holiday Broadcasting, players must suit up in Gex's winter sports gear and complete a series of missions taking on giant evil snowboarding elves and funky dancing candy canes. But, it's the final part of the level in which things get really exciting. Hiding away is the red-eyed mini-boss Evil Santa, revealing the jolly man in the red suit is actually a corporate-driven tyrant lurking in the shadows of the North Pole.
Fancy something a bit scarier than the best Christmas levels? Check out the best horror games list.