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The Most Un-Festive Games To Play This Christmas

The Most Un-Festive Games To Play This Christmas

Tis the season to be grumpy.

Ewan Moore

Ewan Moore

The Christmas period can be overwhelming for a lot of us. Endless board games, irritating family members, and a near-constant stream of Mariah Carey warbling away in our ears.

To this end, I would like to suggest to you, dear reader, a list of ten games that are so at odds with the spirit of the festive season that you'll likely be able to forget about the whole sorry thing. If only for a few sweet, stolen hours in between drawn out conversations with drunk uncles about "that Jeremy Corbyn menace."

DOOM (2016)

Doom (2016) alternate cover art
Doom (2016) alternate cover art

I prescribe 2016's excellent DOOM reboot for three key reasons. The first is that DOOM Eternal is out next year, so now is the time to... you know, go and play its predecessor. The second is that the game's sublime soundtrack of crunchy heavy metal will immediately expel any traces of All I Want For Christmas Is You.

The third, and most important reason, is that the sight of the DOOMslayer tearing off demon limbs in and gunning down waves of monsters in a shower of deep red blood should be more than enough to dissuade your young cousins from walking into your room and asking if they can play.

The Last Of Us

The Last of Us
The Last of Us

The Last Of Us is the perfect game for anyone looking to get their Scrooge on this Christmas. I mean, Naughty Dog's bleak post-apocalyptic adventure starts with the collapse of society and the murder of a 12-year-old girl, and things kind of just spiral further downwards from there.

So, if your parents come knocking and ask you to come downstairs and sit with them while they watch Love Actually, politely explain to them that you'd much rather have a Bloater snap your jaw off. They won't know what it means, but it's a powerful image.

Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2

Much like the zombies that swarm the streets of Raccoon City in Resident Evil 2, family are everywhere at Christmas. Of course, if you get cornered by a zombie in Capcom's excellent 2019 remake, they'll just bite your throat out. Get cornered by your grandparents in real life, and they'll chew your ear off with a misguided and undeniably racist rant about the Polish family that moved in next door.

I'd take my chances with the zombies.

Plus, you know... Resident Evil 2 was one of the best games of this year, so... go play it.

Agony

Agony
Agony

Nobody should actually have to play Agony at any time of year, because it's about as enjoyable to play as a four-hour game of Monopoly with parents who are clearly trying to stave off divorce for at least one more Christmas. We've all been there, right? Wait - we haven't? Oh god.

Regardless of quality, Agony is a game with some truly horrifying imagery. As such, it'll do a fine job of clearing any room of potential Christmas revelers.

Shadow The Hedgehog

Shadow The Hedgehog /
SEGA

You could have given me ten years locked in a windowless room with nothing but a pen, paper, and my darkest thoughts, and I never would have conceived of Shadow The Hedgehog.

In my honest opinion, there is nothing less Christmassy than an edgy "evil" version of a lovable cartoon hedgehog running around and shooting at things. If I recall rightly, there's a mission at the end of the game where Shadow straight up shoots Doctor Eggman in the face? Am I remembering that right?

Okay I just checked on YouTube. Shadow doesn't shoot Eggman, he does definitely kill him, though. How about that? Crazy. Anyway, my point is that Shadow is as far from a Christmas as it's possible to get. I guess that's a good thing? I've lost sight of why we're doing this.

Mortal Kombat 11

Raiden, as he appears in Mortal Kombat 11
Raiden, as he appears in Mortal Kombat 11

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a few games with the family now, would it? Are you sick of busting out Wii Sports and the Wii from the attic just because nan likes it? Are you tired of Singstar and Just Dance? I have a solution.

Whack on Mortal Kombat 11 for the whole family. Nan will be so horrified by the way you reach into your younger brother's virtual chest cavity and pull out his still-beating heart that you probably won't ever have to play another video game with them again. Big win.

There's also a chance your family will simply stop talking to you altogether, but... that's not exactly a loss, either.

Manhunt

Manhunt /
Rockstar

Manhunt is very very old, and really kind of gross. Even to this day, Rockstar's stealth-focused survival horror is a pretty harrowing experience. That's what makes it a perfect antidote to the sugary sweetness of the Christmas period.

What's that mum? Oh, the John Lewis advert has a cute dragon in it this year? Great. I just crept up behind someone and suffocated them with a plastic bag. I win. I'm not sure how. But I win.

The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt isn't an inherently un-christmassy game. Certainly, it's not quite as grim, joyless, controversial or divisive as some of the other games on this list.

I mean hell, there's even a heartwarming snowball fight with your daughter at one point in this epic fantasy adventure. It basically plays like a scene from a heartwarming fantasy Christmas movie that was never made. It's seriously sweet.

With that said, the majority of The Witcher 3 is about as far away from Christmas as you can get. So, if you're looking to escape the festive season and hang out with a cast of morally dubious monster slayers, you could do a lot worse than this one.

Dark Souls

Dark Souls 3
Dark Souls 3

Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men. Two things you will never experience while playing through FromSoftware's infamously difficult action-RPG Dark Souls.

The Christmas break - at least on paper - is supposed to be a time where you get to kick back, relax, and reflect on the year you've just managed to pull yourself through. Inevitably that's never the case, and the holidays are a garbled mess of stress and disappointment... so you might as well boot up Dark Souls.

The iconic, brutal game might still throw up a garbled mess of stress and disappointment, but at least it's a situation you'll be in control of.

Genital Jousting

Yeah, I know.
Yeah, I know.

I don't know who needs to hear this, but Genital Jousting is not a Christmassy game. You'd think I wouldn't need to explain it, but I may have overheard someone in the office suggest that it's a perfect family game.

Here's why Genital Jousting is not a perfect family game: It is a game about flaccid penises and wiggly anuses. That's it. That's all the reason I need to give.

Not a perfect family game then, but absolutely and 100 percent the kind of game you should play with any mates who also might want to forget Christmas.

Featured Image Credit: Naughty Dog/Bethesda