The holiday season is a great time for gamers. We have more time to spend playing games, and the weather is usually cold outside, which are the perfect conditions for playing our favorite games. On top of that, there are tons of various deals during the holiday season, so we can afford to play even more games than during the rest of the year.
The same goes for absolutely every platform, be it Windows PC, Steam, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4. But as we’ve already presented you our list of the best PC games to play this Christmas, it’s time for a treat for Xbox One gamers.
We’ve created a list of the best Xbox One games to play this Christmas. Some of them are heavily Christmas-themed, while some are not related to Christmas at all, yet they’re still good choices to play during this time of the year. So, if you have some free time, but (as usually) don’t know what to play during the winter holidays, keep reading this article.
Best Xbox One games to play this Christmas
1. Forza Horizon 3 Blizzard Mountain
Microsoft Studios released the new Blizzard Mountain expansion of Forza Horizon 3 just in time for the holidays. If take a look at online reviews, many pundits consider Forza Horizon 3 a great game to play during holidays. But the Blizzard Mountain expansion is actually the missing piece that makes this game a perfect car racing simulation to play for Christmas.
In Blizzard Mountain, the game keeps all its key elements and features, and puts them into a beautiful snow land. You’ll be able to race with your friends or opponents through beautiful snow-covered landscapes, and feel how it is to drive a rally on the ice. We know driving during the winter is not such a pleasant experience in real life, but with Blizzard Mountain, it’s a totally different story in the virtual world.
Forza Horizon 3 Blizzard Mountain is available in the Xbox Store for the price of $19.99. Owners of the Forza Horizon 3 season pass will receive this expansion for free.
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2. FIFA 18/NBA 2K17
FIFA 17, or NBA 2K17, or basically any other sports simulation game of your choice is a perfect pick for the holidays. We usually play sport simulations when we’re around friends and family, so the answer why sport simulation games are good for Christmas answers itself.
There’s nothing better than beating your cousin with a weaker team in FIFA, or scoring the buzzer-beater in 2K17. Just gather your loved ones, prepare two gamepads, and the family tournament can begin.
Of course, you don’t need to stick to FIFA 17 or NBA 2K17. If you feel nostalgic during the holidays, you can relive memories by playing any of your favorite sport simulation games released in the past. These games have been around since 90’s, so the choice is pretty big.
If you want to test the new game versions of the two games, you can also play FIFA 18 and NBA 2K18.
Buy the games from Amazon:
3. Jackbox Party Pack
If you’re planning to throw a chilling Christmas party for your family or friends, you need to prepare usual party games. But, you don’t need the good old games anymore, because Jackbox Party Pack combines them all together, in a huge party pack for Christmas, and other celebrations.
Jackbox Party contains five traditional party games. The game features a trivia game, a fill-in-the-blank game, a guess-the-lie game, and a drawing game. As all these games should look familiar to you, there should be no problems in getting around.
Perhaps the best game of the whole pack is a drawing game called Drawful. This game allows players to draw something on their mobile phones, and project it on the TV screen, so other can guess what it is. Jackbox Party is definitely a great mix of old social games, so don’t start planning the Christmas party without taking this game in consideration.
4. Gears of War 4
Gears of War 4 is one of the biggest titles that hit the Xbox One Store this year. So, if you haven’t got your hands on this game during the year, now’s the time to reconsider. Additionally, there will probably be some deals and discounts during the holidays, so wait no more.
Gears 4 takes place 25 years after the events of the previous title. The new hero, JD Fenix steps up instead of his father Marcus in his fight for the future of the mankind. The game has been improved and polished a lot since the last release, and general reviews are mainly positive. So, if you’re a fan of the franchise or the genre, now’s the great time to refresh your collection with this blockbuster title.
Gears of War 4 is available in the Xbox One Store, for the price of $59.99. You can also get it from Amazon.
5. Assassin’s Creed IV: The Black Flag
You may ask: What does The Black Flag have to do with Christmas? Well, exactly that! If you’re tired of the cold weather, snow, wind, and other magical characteristics of winter, transferring yourself to a tropical paradise can be a relief.
You’ll hardly find a better, more-detailed game to roam the seas and tropical islands than The Black Flag. You play as Edward Kenway, a young aspiring pirate fighting against Templars and sea sharks. So, if you want to visit a pirate ship for the holidays, instead of Santa’s workshop, The Black Flag is perfect. When it comes to gameplay, it contains all the known AC elements, so if you’ve ever played a game from this franchise, you’ll have no problems getting around.
Assasin’s Creed IV: The Black Flag is available in the Xbox Store for the price of $29.99 or from Amazon.
6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3 is another game that’s not related to Christmas, but is still suitable for playing during this time of the year. There are a couple of reasons to play The Witcher 3 during winter holidays. First of all, it’s one of the biggest games ever made. So, a lot of people who’ve purchased the game haven’t actually finished it. And the winter break seems like a perfect opportunity for finally finishing the story.
Speaking of the story, The Witcher 3 also has an amazing storyline. And who doesn’t want a good story for Christmas? If we take into account the game‘s graphics, along with some other features and elements, and add the fact that you know what you’ve been missing the whole year, we get the perfect combination for finally playing The Witcher 3. There will also be some deals around Christmas, so you might have a chance to get this amazing game for a lower price.
7. Destiny 2
Destiny 2 challenges you to save humanity from the overwhelming invasion force led by the brutal Red Legion. You task is to venture to mysterious, unexplored worlds of the solar system in order to discover new weapons and develop new combat skills that will allow you to eventually defeat the Red Legion.
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8. Star Wars Battlefront II
If you’re a Star Wars fan, this is definitely the perfect game for you. You can choose one of the characters from the Star Wars universe and then lead it to epic online battles.
The array of weapons and vehicles that you can choose from is pretty impressive: you can dogfight in X-wings, TIE fighters, Jedi starfighters and much more.
Pay close attention at all times as you will encounter special opportunities throughout the game to wield a lightsaber and use your favorite Force powers as a Jedi.
9. Call of duty: WW2
Call of Duty: WWII is an impressive game that aim at redefining the World War II gaming theater.
As a player, you’ll land in Normandy on D-Day and engage in fierce battles across Europe through iconic locations. You’ll experience classic Call of Duty combat, as well as the unforgiving nature of war so you’d better be prepared for anything.
10. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
The sequel to the popular Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the best games that you can play this Christmas. Your task is to go behind enemy lines and create a powerful army that you can then use to confront the Dark Lord Sauron and his accolites.
Become a true warrior and learn how to quickly dominate your enemies. Become a true leader and command your follower through personal example and courage.
11. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S Battlegrounds is a last-one-standing shooter that will definitely blow you away. The PC game version has been the most popular game on Steam ever since its launch.
As a player, you’ll land on a remote island with nothing but the clothes on your back. The battle for survival begins the very moment you arrive on the island, as the predator can become prey at any moment.
Keep your eyes wide open and defeat every player on the map to win the game.
12. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is one of the most popular titles launched this year. The game sends players to Nazi-controlled America and bestows a vital mission upon them: recruit courage-driven resistance leaders.
Be prepared to engage in fierce battles against the Nazis with every step you take. Improve your fighting skills and collect new weapons to send those nasty Nazis down as soon as possible.
Wolfenstein II is definitely the best first-person shooter of the year.
13. Far Cry 5
If you’re a fan of first-person shooters, you should definitely try Far Cry 5 this Christmas. As a player, you need to use your wits to liberate the Hope County from Eden’s Gate influence. This is a doomsday cult that controls the land. The gameplay is dominated by two keywords: combat and exploration. You’ll engage in fierce battles against enemy soldiers as well as side quests.
Keep your head cool and you might just survive.
14. NiGHTS into Dreams: Christmas Nights
NiGHTS into Dreams is a remarkable game, even 20 years after its release. This game was one of Sega’s flagship games back in the day, but it has remained relevant for so many years. Originally developed for Sega’s consoles, NiGHTS into Dreams made its way to other platforms relatively recently.
Although the game is not Christmas-related by itself, it contains a level called Christmas Nights. You play as the game‘s standard protagonists, Claris and Elliot, and lead them through the journey of getting back the stolen Christmas star from an evil creature called Gillwing.
NiGHTS into Dreams (including Christmas Nights) is available in the Xbox Store, for the price of $9.99.
15. Overcooked – The Festive Seasoning
In the mood for some holiday cooking? Of course you are, if not in real life, then in a super-addictive game. Well, that’s exactly what Overcooked will allow you. Overcooked is a multiplayer kitchen simulator, that will make your life complicated.
The game is played by up to four chefs, who need to prepare a certain recipe to pass levels. The concept looks harmless at first eye, but if we add water traps, and constant changes of the environment, along with the limited time, things can get really chaotic.
The standalone game itself is good for the holiday season, because it requires teamwork, and allows you to prepare various recipes. However, to implement some more holiday spirit in the game, the developer has released a new DLC called The Festive Seasoning, which brings some more recipes and characters, specially for Christmas.
16. Santa’s Sweatshop
Tired of all those sweet holiday stories about Santa Claus and his tireless elves who deliver presents to good kids all over the world? Think it’s not fair for the elves to do all the work by themselves? Well, why don’t you help them escape Santa’s cruel regime?
The Escapists is a well-known game where you help prisoners escape from their prison cells. And the Santa’s Sweatshop DLC transforms the game into a perfect pixel adventure for these holidays. If you’re already familiar with the game, you probably know that the main goal is to find and craft your way out of Santa’s ‘evil’ factory. If nothing else, Santa’s Sweatshop is not one of the classic, cliche Christmas games for kids.
17. Bonus: Your favorite franchise
A lot of people have their own tradition for Christmas when they play a certain franchise. So, if you have your favorite game to play during the holidays, play it. We’re not going to mention any title, because we assume you have your own pick. Also, it’s a great time to start a tradition of playing a certain game. The choice is completely yours, at the end of the day.
That’s it for our list of suggestions of the best Xbox One games to play during the winter holidays. We hope you now have a better idea of how to spend that time you saved by leaving the Christmas dinner earlier.
Do you agree with our list? Or you have some more suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2016 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.