Five Video Games You May Not Know Had Christmas Themes

For some, Christmas is an overly cheery holiday that borders on annoying especially how blatantly over the top it can be.

While there are specific titles the holiday is intricate to the plot like the Home Alone franchise, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Nightmare Before Christmas here are some titles you may not know that make a subtle mention of the holiday.

Duke Nukem 3D (1996)

As the Leisure Suit Larry of the first person shooter genre, the Duke Nukem franchise centers around an action everyman cut out of the 1980s. The games are laden with pop culture references from one-liners to levels inspired by other popular franchises like Terminator, Alien, and Evil Dead. While Duke Nukem 3D didn't include any references to Christmas in the main game, there was an expansion pack released called Duke: Nuclear Winter. Developed by Simply Silly Software and published by WizardWorks, the plot involved aliens mind-controlling Santa Claus and wreaking havoc on earth. One of the game's locations is the North Pole.


For fans of the Caped Crusader, there are two video games within the franchise that takes place during Christmas, Batman Returns (1993) and Batman: Arkham Origins (2013).

Batman Returns is based on the 1992 Tim Burton film of the same name. Given all the pomp and circumstance and winter-themes, it's not so much a surprise to anyone who's seen the film. Batman: Arkham Origins' plot happens to fall on Christmas Eve. Christmas is about as much focus on the game as the holiday has on Die Hard. It didn't matter what day the events of the game take place. The same would have happened.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Solid Snake

Like Batman, the holiday is just a coincidence when it comes to playing the game as one of the missions takes Solid Snake to Zanzibar Land to rescue Dr. Marv on Christmas Eve in 1999.

Parasite Eve (1998)

In one of Squaresoft's most underappreciated 3D action RPGs, the PlayStation classic takes place initially around Christmas when people begin to spontaneously combust during an opera.

James Pond 2: Robocod

If you haven't heard of this title, you missed out on a rare classic. The action platformer is bad James Bond pun knockoff also plays upon another franchise, RobocopJP2 follows up on the events of the first game where Pond's arch nemesis, Dr. Maybe escapes to the North Pole and taken over Santa's worship. The 1991 game was adapted to 16 different platforms from the Amiga to the PlayStation 2 over time.

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.

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