Festive Feeling Games


It’s that time of the year again :snowflake:

Last year I got into a kick of watching Christmas films to get in the mood of the season, but when I thought about doing the same for games, I couldn’t think of many examples.

I thought of the Snowdin part of Undertale. It’s a good feel game, and entering a snowy town full of friendly monsters has good vibes for me.

There’s also a Christmas case in Phoenix Wright.

…and I couldn’t think of any others. Elite Beat Agents has a Christmas level I guess.

What games mean something to you in this holiday time? Whether they’re actually set at the holidays (even for a small part) or just have that festive feeling.


Animal crossing and also weirdly Minecraft (and when they used to do seasonal events, TF2). Games about hanging out with people who you like for a special event


Longest Night, from the Night in the Woods team, captures some of that winter holiday feeling—though it’s less about the holiday itself and more about that weird time around the holiday, when everybody’s trekking around to see people they haven’t seen in ages and grappling with how they feel about the holiday—the traditions they grew up with, the ‘reasons for the season’, and what they ought to do now.


The Winter Holidays, more than even summer breaks for me, are times to play long RPGs. Nothing better than huddling up with some coffee or tea or hot chocolate and just getting deep into the weeds on something.

As a result the most holiday feeling games to me are things like Pillars of Eternity. Games that feel like I’m reading a long fantasy or sci-fi epic.

You could honestly just broaden this out generally to “long-ass video games”. Last winter I put about 70 hours into Mafia 3, and while that game is definitely worth digging into critically and has a fantastic narrative, its also a shlocky B-movie that was just fun as hell to play.


Actually working on a list of these.

Would recommend Scar of the Doll, a 1999 visual novel that takes place around the holidays, Yakuza 2, which probably plays up the holiday theme more than the rest of the series, and Kirby’s Epic Yarn, which has some of the best Christmas themed levels of any videogame due to its already incredibly warm and fuzzy graphical and art style complimenting it.


Stardew Valley’s (and Harvest Moon’s) winter season is great at evoking the holiday season for me. With no way to tend outside crops, your time is naturally funnelled toward getting cozy with your animals and interacting with the townspeople. It’s also the time of year where you are typically flush with cash and ingredients from the year’s harvest, and so you get to shower the people you care about with gifts! And if you played your cards right, you can even propose to your sweetie under the new year’s moon.


Celeste is appropriately wintery, although it really has nothing to do with the holiday in general.

I used to enjoy the holiday themed stuff in Overwatch, although I really don’t play it anymore.

Hitman had a Christmas themed version of the Paris level if I’m not mistaken.


The only true reason for the season, Xmas Lemmings.


I always associated Skyrim and the Fable games with the holiday season. Not really sure why these but especially Fable is tone-wise just very suitable for cold winter afternoons :blush: Thinking about it makes me feel fuzzy inside.


Skyrim was released around mid-November. Along with the winter climate, that game was absolutely perfect for cosy Christmas nights! It’s definitely associated with festive feelings fo me too!

Not a full game, but the Saints Row IV DLC “How the Saints Save Christmas” is also unsurprisingly perfect for the season!


Shenmue! Shenmue!! SHENMUE!!! dust falls from the ceiling as chanting intensifies

It’s set (if you play long enough) during the damn christmas with christmas music and a damn santa walking around and it’s absolutely wonderful and perfect.

For some reason I personally get the feeling to play Morrowind during christmas time, no idea why. Maybe I played it around that time for the first time, but I can’t remember. That was… oh god… 16 years ago???


Sure, Shenmue gives me that festive feeling, if the feeling you get for Christmas is an intense loathing for the rest of humanity and the needless inconvenience other people place on you constantly.


Dangit, that’s a much better thread title.


This is exactly how I feel during the holidays.

So, nailed it.


I’ll echo Stardew Valley - that game really feels like it captures a certain vibe for each of the seasons so well for me.

My other big one is Persona 4 (and to a lesser extent Persona 5). It takes a long time to get there, but the gradual changes in the weather, people’s clothing, routines, and the fun-with-friends stuff you do as the days slowly tick away adds a lot of weight to the season. Some this association may just be personal since it was winter when I first played Persona 4, but that’s still the season that stands out the most for me.

In general, I feel like games with irreversible time mechanics resonate a lot with me in terms of seasonality.


I love it when games do seasonal events. I’m usually excited about Halloween events because, uhhh, yeah… give me that spooky aesthetic. I do enjoy the Festive/Christmas/Winter/Candle Nights events that games do as well. I miss holiday DLC when that was a trend for games, not just seasonal events for multiplayer games.

Another thing that’s been getting me in the mood is the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. Growing up, I would get most of my games for Christmas and I got the Spyro games or any other platformer that I was into. Playing Spyro again during this time of year has been getting me in the mood. Get a nice hot glass of tea and 100% the game.


world of warcraft, just cuz it seems like i always end up playing it in december.


The Hitman 2016 DLC mission where you have to assassinate the Wet Bandits from Home Alone!

(I don’t think it’s ever officially identified as those characters, but they go about as far as I they legally could go to imply it)


It doesn’t come up often, but the Yakuza games take place around Christmas usually. I dunno how festive you’d consider them, but there’s snow and decorated trees.


Why! Aren’t! There! More! Not! Christmas! Games!