6. Diddy Kong Racing – Snowflake Mountain
One of the more unique game to the racing genre with an open world to explore, we focus specifically on one of the areas in the game known as Snowflake Mountain. Made up of five separate snow-based tracks, Snowflake Mountain is specific to Christmas with Christmas trees all throughout the stages. In addition, the finish lap signs are held up by two large candy canes. How much more like Christmas can you get?
5. Christmas NiGHTS Into Dreams
Christmas NiGHTS Into Dreams was kind of one of the first forays into downloadable content, but available on its own disc. Coming with a specific Sega Saturn bundle and later certain Sega Saturn games and magazines, Christmas NiGHTS was a special sampler disc that remixed the first two stages from the original NiGHTS with a Christmas theme. This special variation of the game can now be unlocked in NiGHTS Into Dreams HD on PSN and XBLA, so that is likely your best route if you want to play it.
4. Kingdom Hearts 2 – Halloween Town
The title of this world in Kingdom Hearts 2 is certainly misleading, as you would assume it would be more fitting for a Halloween list. However, the majority of your time here will be spent in the Christmas Town section. While the movie itself had Jack going to Christmas Town for a short time, this game spends a good bit of time there, with some additional story being added to the original. We do travel back for awhile to Halloween Town, but the time spent in Christmas Town is well worth playing. Even better, Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, which can now be played on the recently released Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX collection, gives Sora a special black Santa themed costume in this part of the town.
3. Donkey Kong Country 3
This is the one game on the list that I literally pull out and play every single Christmas at one point or another due to a special cheat. By entering the cheat, all bonus games are altered to have a Christmas theme with new music and the collectible bananas and such turned into ornaments now. It may not seem like much, but it has long been one of the most memorable cheats in gaming that is especially fun throughout the snow sections of the game.
2. Banjo-Kazooie – Freezeezy Peak
Rare just keeps popping up on this list, as they just seem to know how to implement a Christmas theme into video games so far. Banjo-Kazooie is still one of my favorite platformers of all time and one of the best stages in the game is easily Freezeezy Peak, so there was no way it could not be near the top of this list. The stage has a giant snowman in the center that you must climb, with a Christmas tree on the side that you must light up in a somewhat mini-game involving bulbs. The snow setting just ties everything together and makes this as much fun to play as it was the first time.
1. Batman: Arkham Origins
This game may only be a year old at this point, but Batman: Arkham Origins is already a game I foresee myself playing every Christmas. Set on Christmas Eve, Batman is targeted by eight assassins as he fights to just survive the night. The dark settings of Gotham City are perfectly meshed with the Christmas decorations and music, which presents one of the better atmospheres in recent gaming history. Unlike many of these that are a single stage, Batman: Arkham Origins keeps the same design the entire game due to being set across Christmas Eve, so it can be picked up at any point and played to get into the Christmas spirit.