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Merry Christmas From GamesReviews

Whether you’re opening new consoles this morning or reading this on a brand new phone or tablet, everybody at GamesReviews wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!


It’s been an interesting year, and that’s something we’re going to examine more over the next week. A lot has happened, both positive and negative. From the Activision merger finally completing and a roster of games that’ll be tough to beat in years to come, to countless job losses, studio closures and project cancellations. It has been a year of two very different sides.

But today isn’t really the day to look too hard at 2023 in news. Today is the day for family, for fun and for gaming. Some of my favourite childhood memories revolve around games. Opening up Sonic Adventure alongside a brand new Dreamcast, drawing out the games I wanted for the PS1. I remember being corrected on the pronunciation of Chameleon in Pokemon Red, and trying to explain the “Char” was shared across three different animals to a bunch of eye-rolling adults.

Those are all 90s memories, but we still create them even as adults. Last year my tired wife slept with our newborn baby while I booted up Sonic Frontiers for the first time. It ended up being one of my favourite games of the year. That’s a memory I’ll cherish for a long, long time to come.

Gaming is so intrinsically linked with Christmas to me. Not just because of new stuff, although obviously there’s that as well. There’s a reason those videos of kids opening Super Nintendos go viral every December. But also because it’s a time of year to sit back and take stock, to allow yourself to give into your nostalgia. There’s something really nice about that.

Beginning to Play A Lot Like Christmas

Shenmue – bonus points if you knew that was what was in the picture above – is the first game I think about when I think of Christmas. I’m not sure I even played it at Christmas originally, but the time of year is depicted perfectly. It’s cosy, before cosy was a thing. Well, before the murder of your father and the search for sailors anyway.

Other Christmas classics include Nights and Batman: Arkham Origins. But honestly, playing Christmas games doesn’t feel like watching Christmas movies. It can take too long at a time of year when we have food to cook, presents to wrap and family members to shout at for their political beliefs.

Instead, I find myself digging out classics. I love retro games, no doubt about it, but I tend to look at things that I’m not familiar with. Maybe it’s stuff I never finished, or games I never played at all. This time of year I break those rules. For instance, right now I’m playing Dynasty Warriors 3. It’s harder than Demon Souls. How the hell did I finish this game so quickly as a kid? It’s ridiculous.

Times change, but Christmas memories are for as long as we live. To gamers, it’s a time of new experiences, excitement as devices are plugged in for the first time. It’s about two hour waits for updates (if you’re not as old as I am).

And whether you’re old or young, everybody here at GamesReviews wishes you a very merry Christmas, and a lifetime of wonderful gaming memories made today.


Article By

blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott