The Best Christmas Games For Humbugs

TheGamer is a very Christmassy bunch. We do Secret Santa, themed quizzes, and a whole bunch of festive articles to pepper over the holidays. It’s a merry ol’ time. But I’m a bit of a humbug myself.



I grew up with an atheist dad and a pagan-turned-Christian mother (don’t ask, it’s complicated), but I was baptised very young and Christmas was always a big deal. My Grinchsona doesn’t stem from never celebrating Christmas, I just have some pretty bad memories that drag the whole thing down.

Like I said, humbug. But to do some festive things and, like a zoomer Scrooge whose ghost of Christmas past shows them happily playing Skyrim as a kid, I’ve put together some recommendations for the other humbugs out there.

Killing Floor

Santa holding a giant axe in front of zombies in Killing Floor 2

Deck the halls with guts and glory, falalala, la la la la. Nothing says Christmas like sticking it to Krampus with a shotty, obliterating Zs while dressed as Santa, and splattering their blood across the piles of gifts so kids will wake up in the morning to a nice and red holiday.

Killing Floor has always done festive seasons across both games and every time it’s a treat. The usual Christmas decorations and motifs thrust into a bleak dystopian world where all that matters is carnage is such a striking clash of tones, but whaling on gingerbread Zs is just cathartic.

Hitman 3

Agent 47 dressed as Santa in front of Christmas trees in Hitman 3

Agent 47 is coming to town. Hitman 3 is now a live-service behemoth, merging the entire trilogy into one gift-wrapped package. That means it constantly gets updates, which also means that there are festive events. Last year, we were tasked with protecting a home from Harry and Marv (yes, the Home Alone duo), but instead of laying elaborate traps, you get to pop a bullet in the back of their heads. Little McCallister is all grown up.

If I told my nan that I was spending Christmas dressed up as Santa shooting home invaders with a silenced pistol, she’d probably find it weird: perfect for the humbugs.

Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City

This one is a little bit of a wild card but hear me out. Dark Souls 3 has a DLC where you venture to the land of the Furtive Pygmy from the first game. We find the horrors that Gwyn unleashed upon them, uncovering his dirtiest laundry. But at the heart of it all is Slave Knight Gael, who frankly just looks like Santa. Rejoice humbugs everywhere, here is a game where you can murder old Saint Nick himself.

I’ve got plenty of reasons to not like Christmas, and I’m sure others do too. It can be a tough holiday when you have so many difficult memories, but there are ways to cut through the noise and get some enjoyment out of it, reclaiming the season for yourself.

For me, that’s always been Killing Floor and the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Christmas special. Unconventional, sure, but it’s something. So, if you’re not big on Christmas spirit and don’t have three ghosts handy to get you in the mood, try Hitman or Dark Souls. Who knows, it could be a merry Christmas after all.


Can A Gamer Have A Truly Merry Christmas Anymore?

With the digital future, online play, battle passes, and long installation times, the gamer Christmases we grew up with are gone.

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