With the early afternoon darkness rolling in and temperatures plummeting, it can only mean one thing – Winter is here, and we’re ready to play some games. As I write these words from beneath a mountain of blankets, cup of tea beside me and hoodie pulled firmly over my head, I can concur that cosy season has well and truly arrived.
The winter months might not do much for our vitamin D intake, but they are a perfect time to get lost in our favourite gaming worlds. That lull between Christmas and New Year where no one truly knows what day or time it is, those are a perfect opportunity to catch up on some of the games you missed earlier in the year. Or, if you’re like me, you might like to further increase that wintry feeling by jumping into some cold and blustery titles.
Here are a few games that are perfect to play during the winter months.
Batman: Arkham Origins
Often perceived as the runt of the Arkham game litter, Origins gets more criticism than it deserves. Partly because it isn’t developed by Rocksteady Studios, the team that built Asylum, City, and Knight. But if you’ve not played Origins in a while, though, it’s almost certainly worth giving it another try. Sure, the open world of Gotham isn’t nearly as detailed or interesting to explore as the version in Arkham Knight.
However, the story it tells is one that’s super gritty and gets down to the crux of what makes Batman tick. This is a completely different Bruce Wayne to the one we’re used to, and it’s refreshing to explore his character this way in a video game. What truly makes it a winter game is that it’s set at Christmas. Gotham is completely snowed under with festive decorations adorning most facades. It’s a far cry from the neon grunge of Arkham Knight, but it’s much more suited to the cosy vibes of winter.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Although this is technically a sequel to 2013’s reboot, I’d actually recommend starting with this one if you haven’t played the new Tomb Raider games before. Lara is much more of a fleshed out character in Rise of the Tomb Raider with a great deal less unnecessary screaming. She’s confident and sure of herself, and the narrative does a good job of exploring that side of her.
I feel like the Tomb Raider reboots are often overlooked because they’re so vastly different from the original source material. However, if you’re looking for a similar game to the Uncharted series but with a bit of a twist, you can’t go wrong with these games. Rise of the Tomb Raider especially fits in with the winter theme, what with all that snow lying around.
God of War
Surely everyone and their mums have played God of War by now, but you can’t argue that it’s an ideal game to curl up with during the winter months. The Nordic landscape rolls from icy peaks to brisk tundra, all while encapsulated in an icy air. You can roll through the story in God of War in around 20-hours which is the perfect length to blast through in a few dark evenings.
Throw this game up on the biggest TV you can find to achieve maximum effect – it’s visuals are stunning, especially on the PS5! If you want to get the maximum graphical benefit, though, maybe wait until the game releases on PC next month.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Spider-Man: Miles Morales takes the incredible recreation of New York City from the first Spider-Man game and completely coats it in a thick layer of snow. Combined with the addition of ray tracing on the PS5, it’s the best a Spider-Man game has ever looked.
The story follows Miles Morales as he comes to terms with how to use his newfound spidey powers. It’s an incredibly character driven narrative with many of the beats focusing on Miles’ relationships with his friends and family. Given that Christmas is a period for spending time with loved ones, it can be quite a poignant game to play during the festive season.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I can’t quite explain why, but Skyrim will always be a Christmas game to me. It just has that vibe. The wintry setting might be doing much of the heavy lifting, but I feel that a lot of players might have nostalgic memories that date back to festive periods gone by.
For me, Skyrim is the purest form of escapism. The snowy mountains, rough tundra and calming pine forests are exactly the sort of relaxing terrain I adore in real life. When the Christmas social occasions became too much for me as an anxious teen, I remember sneaking away to sink hours into my Skyrim save. Hours were spent creating adventurous memories as I flitted from guild to guild, or built up my own homely manor.
What are some other games that you love to play during the winter time? Let us know across our social channels.
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