We all know that Christmas is one of the best times to spend time with your dearly beloved family.
Unfortunately for gamers, it also marks a period off from the daily routine that we can binge on our favourite videogames, most likely brand new ones we just received as presents from that said family. It’s a Catch-22 struggle yearly. The solution? Play games with your family!
Here's a selection of some games that are available now that'll play great in between Christmas dinner and the like.
10. 'Monopoly' (Nintendo Switch)
Of course, you could play this traditionally, with a board, cash, and title deeds, but who really ever wants to be the banker? And who really knows all of the rules, or can agree on them? Nobody, that's who. That’s why playing a traditional family game like 'Monopoly' on the Switch makes so much more sense.
The banker’s job is automated, you can’t break the rules or cheat, and all of the intricacies of the game are more easily explained by the system than by a relative drunkenly shouting over everyone after Christmas dinner.
9. 'Just Dance 2020' (Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Google Stadia, Wii)
Indeed, even if you have a Wii knocking about in the ‘rents house, you could still fire up the latest edition of 'Just Dance'. The 2020 edition features all of this year’s greatest hits along with some returning classics. It’s well worth a play with the family even if only to work off all of those Christmas dinner calories.
Perhaps it’s not your thing, and you don’t dance, then you’re sure to still work those same calories off in the ensuing belly-aching laughter that comes from watching your Dad dance to 'Old Town Road'. One for the Insta Story so.
8. 'Super Mario Smash Bros. Ultimate' (Nintendo Switch)
There’s nothing more satisfying than picking out your favourite character from the 74-strong fighter roster, and demolishing your siblings in an epic brawl. It’s a game that’s accessible and cute enough for the younger side of the family to jump in, and challenging enough for the older hardcore gamers to get enjoyment from winning and losing alike.
You also won’t have anyone complaining it’s too violent, because well, what’s violent about Mario? Apart from the fact that he’s a serial mushroom murderer.
7. 'Mortal Kombat 11' (PC, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia)
On the complete opposite end of the fighting genre spectrum from 'Smash Bros.' comes the gory, vomit-inducing beat ‘em up, 'Mortal Kombat 11'. Strongly recommended for older members of the family only - or if there’s a cool older brother that will let you play with him (we do not recommend this) – 'Mortal Kombat 11' is available on most platforms for families without younger children, and could add that spark of biblical violence to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
6. 'Spyro Reignited Trilogy' (Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch)
Yes, this is only single-player, but if you’re of a vintage, then you’ll most likely have similar experiences of playing either 'Crash Bandicoot' or 'Spyro' back in the day on the PS1 when they were first launched. The quick-witted young dragon, voiced by 'Spongebob Squarepants' legendary voice actor Tom Kenny, is still an iconic family game.
And now it’s been remade for modern consoles, it’s back in the zeitgeist again. Just make sure to share the controller around the family after losing a life so that everyone gets a fair share of the good times.
5. 'Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy' (Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch)
You can't mention the legendary Crash Bandicoot in passing. For the same reason as Spyro Reignited Trilogy, the N. Sane Trilogy cuts the list here. Again, as with any single player game, make sure to share that Dualshock around. Hunamahgah!
4. 'JackBox Party Pack 5' (PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch)
The perfect game to fire up if you haven't got enough controllers, but have a big family to include in the festivities. Simply connect up to 8 smartphones and play away with all the party! Not only great at Christmas, 'JackBox' consists of a load of mini-games centring around trivia, who’s the most likely to X, competitive drawing, and all the other fun games we all eventually play at Christmas but with a fun interface and snarky, but lovable commentator.
3. 'Overcooked 2' (Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, PC, Mac, Xbox One)
Christmas dinner is over. The mad rush from everyone helping the head chef is gone for another year. There were shouting matches making sure all the ingredients were ready to be plated, but you really enjoyed the bonding experience? Then 'Overcooked 2' is definitely the game for your odd family.
Up to 4 players run around wildly, desperately trying to get enough food orders out in the right order to satisfy hungry diners. You’ll make memorable quotes to use until the next Christmas dinner like, “Mam, chop the tomatoes! No. Fire, fire, FIRE!!!”. And all is right in the world.
2. 'Wii Sport' (Nintendo Wii)
If you still have this knocking around at home, then this is a must for older families that remember how incredible that first Christmas with a Wii having only 'Wii Sports' to play was.
If you haven't got a Wii, or a copy of the game, you can literally pick them up together for between €10 and €40 on eBay or CeX. Then you can see who the best bowler, baseballer, boxer and golfer is in your family - it won’t always be who you’d expect.
1. 'Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe' (Nintendo Switch)
Oh, come on. Seriously, what else did you expect? 'Mario Kart' is the pinnacle of family gaming at Christmas. Enough said.