Listmas 2019: The Duck’s Favorite Games to Play Around Christmastime

This week, we’re covering the games we enjoy playing around Christmastime, whether it be alone or with others.  I must confess that I don’t have many games that I would specifically play around Christmas, so I’m instead going to largely focus on games that I have played around Christmas (regardless of how much fun was had), along with a few special choices.

Animal Crossing: Well, there is one obvious wintertime choice, and that is Animal Crossing.  Who doesn’t like to play Animal Crossing around the holidays, whether it be Halloween, Thanksgiving, or of course, Christmas?  Being a life simulation game that celebrates various holidays just as we do in the real world, no other franchise manages to make the holidays feel special quite like Animal Crossing.

Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal – Qwark Levels: Okay, so just the title alone doesn’t sound like the most appropriate choice for Christmas.  But if I want something special to play, and I don’t feel like committing to a full playthrough, the sidescrolling Captain Qwark levels in the third Ratchet & Clank on the PS2 are at the top of my list.  There are five levels in total, and they largely follow Captain Qwark’s fight against Dr. Nefarious.  They are fun, they are funny, and they are a delightful example of sidescrolling goodness that I’ve revisited even more often than I’ve played the full game itself.

Donkey Kong Country: Though participating in multiplayer is fairly uncommon in our household, the Donkey Kong Country series is one set of games I can actually get my parents to play with me…because they’ve been playing the series for even longer than I have.  Whether it be the original SNES games or DKC Returns on the Wii (we have yet to play Tropical Freeze as a family), this is a good way to enjoy some competitive gaming with others.

New Super Mario Bros: This, however, was a game we did not really enjoy playing together.  After completing a competitive playthrough of Donkey Kong Country Returns with my dad one year, we decided to start a co-op game of New Super Mario Bros.  Unlike the previous game, we actually didn’t have tons of fun with this one.  In fact, we slowly devolved into passively sabotaging the other due to how dull our experience was.  Jumping on the other person’s head as they’re jumping over a pit…  Pushing the other person over the edge…  While we didn’t really enjoy playing this game together, at least the memories were amusing.

Mario Kart 64: While perusing the Virtual Console shop one Christmas (give or take a few days) for a game to play together, we decided to download Mario Kart 64, our very first Mario Kart game.  Mother Duck and I played this one together, and we had a blast.  Though we’ve considered buying a newer Mario Kart to play together, we haven’t quite gotten around to it yet.  Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea, though….

Assorted SNES Games: Having grown up with the SNES, I have a special place in my heart for my very first console.  And so, that is why the SNES collection on the Switch will likely come in very handy this Christmas season.  I look forward to relaxing with a bunch of old classics, along with some new ones that I don’t know that much about, not unlike what I used to do many years ago before our SNES died (or at least, it got so wonky that it stopped being very fun to play).  SNES, your memory lives on in the Switch!

Screenshot from Flickr User: LeonardoGoldn

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