5 Games To Play This Holiday Season

Whether you’re on Christmas break from school, taking a week off of work, or simply finding more time to relax within your normal schedule, December is a time for recreation. And for a lot of us, that means spending an hour or two zoning out with a favorite video game. And to keep things seasonal during your gaming sprees this holiday season, here’s a look at five of the best options out there for Christmas 2014 gaming.

Assassin’s Creed (Unity & Black Flag)

OK, so Assassin’s Creed has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas or the holiday spirit. But it has to go on the list of 2014 holiday video games because it’s part of one of the best “bundle” deals around. Xbox Ones remain expensive, and if you’re happy with your existing console, you’re better off sticking with what you’ve got. That said, the Assassin’s Creed bundle brings the One’s price down to $349, and it includes Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and the brand new, French Revolution-era Assassin’s Creed Unity. Seeing consoles bundled with a single game, or a handful of old games, is not uncommon, but the two most recent Assassin’s Creed games are worth over $100 together, which makes this a little different. Plus, these are great time-killing games for those who like open worlds, action, and adventure.

Super Mario 64

First of all, this is one of the most nostalgic games in existence for anyone born before 1995. For a while, the N64 was the go-to console, and Super Mario 64 was its flagship game. If you own it, chances are you got it for Christmas one year anyway, so it’s likely that you already associate the game with the holidays. It’s got all the carefree, wonderfully pleasant atmosphere you want out of a holiday gameā€”and then there’s the Snow Mountain level to consider. It’s not explicitly Christmas themed, but it’s amusing, wintry, and perfect for the season. This game earned honorable mention on Casually Hardcore’s top-ten Christmas video games, but we’d slot it in with the best of the best games to play during the holidays.

Santa Surprise Slots

Alright, so an online slot machine may not seem like the most Christmas-y of games. On the other hand, who wouldn’t like to win a little bit of bonus cash to help out with the holiday shopping rush? Regardless, Santa Surprise Slots is actually a pretty festive little game, as it features Christmas music and various holiday-themed icons on the slot wheels. The Santa icon stands in for the “wild” icon that exists in a lot of slots and spinning three Christmas tree images in one go unlocks a bonus in which you pick and open presents to collect whatever winnings are inside. Who said slots couldn’t be Christmas-y? The game is available for free in various places online, but the Betfair casino offers it with real-money prizes as well as a welcome bonus depending on how much you throw into your initial deposit.

Batman: Arkham Origins

The Batman gaming saga contained within the Arkham series is essentially a celebration of all things Gotham. The world of the game is beautiful and creepy; there’s a slew of DC characters and villains to enjoy; and playing as Batman is endlessly enjoyable. But the prequel game of the series, Arkham Origins, has the added perk of having a little bit of Christmas joy. Or, at least, Christmas atmosphere. Basically, the events of the game take place during the holiday season, with the game’s first mission involving a good old-fashioned Christmas Eve jailbreak.

Plants vs. Zombies 2 (Update)

First of all, if you don’t have Plants vs. Zombies 2 on your mobile, you’re missing out. Yes, it was one of the first popular games to shamelessly beg its users to make in-app purchases, but you can get plenty of fun out of this one without spending any money. And if you need any further incentive to download an addictive time-waster for your long hours at home this season, check out the game’s latest update. Basically, they’ve infused a winter/holiday atmosphere, offering snowball fights, snow-capped zombies, and so on. The iOS app store description of the new update even teases “the ugliest ugly sweaters you’ll see all season.”

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