Which Christmas movies should you play instead of watching?

christmas movie games harry potter 2

Who doesn’t love a good Christmas movie? Whether it’s something joyously sentimental like A Christmas Carol, distinctively weird such as A Nightmare Before Christmas, or just set at Christmas like Die Hard (yes, it’s a Christmas film), we all have a specific fave that we revisit every time December rolls around.

But why not mix it up this year? We’re not saying that you should abandon the Christmas delights, but immerse yourself in them even more by playing these Christmas movies instead of just merely watching them. So grab your (un)comfy Christmas jumper, warm up with a mulled beverage, and fire up your console.

1. A Christmas Carol

The Jim Carrey CGI Christmas Carol got its very own gaming adaptation for the Nintendo DS, letting you guide Scrooge to his epiphany through some very Christmassy mini-games. Fun fact: Game designer Charles Cecil, who made the Broken Sword games, is the voice of the narrator.

2. Die Hard Trilogy

Yippie Ki Yay, John McClane fans. This triple bill of gaming goodness covers the first three Die Hard films, with each one offering a different way to play. Die Hard is a 3rd person shooter, as you clear out the Nakatomi Plaza building, while Die Hard 2 is an on-rails 1st person affair. Whichever you choose, you can be sure the spirit of Christmas will be safe from any nefarious types trying to hijack a skyscraper or airport.

3. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge

Oogie’s back to cause more trouble (and kill the Santa, the blighter) in this sequel to the beloved animated film. It’s up to you as Jack Skellington to return to Halloween Town and send the ghost back to his grave in this action-adventure follow-up.

4. Home Alone

Can you defend the McCallister household from the Wet Bandits? This 16-bit platformer puts you in the tiny shoes of Kevin, as he runs around his improbably large home trying to hide the valuables his family has. While there’s a few differences between this and the movie (there’s a lot more aggressive rats in this), it still captures the film’s charm.

5. LEGO Dimensions: Gremlins

It’s a Mogwai showdown in the unique LEGO platformer, where you can get LEGO models of Gizmo and Stripe, and explore the town of Kingston Falls. Or, you could send them into different LEGO universes in the game, if you can’t get enough of the pair. Any chance to hear that iconic title music again…

6. The Grinch

If the Christmas cheer is getting too much for you, step into the world of the Grinch and start spreading some festive gloom instead. Smash up presents, launch rotten eggs, and solve puzzles with the help of your faithful dog Max, in this festive game based on the beloved Dr Seuss book.

7. Batman Returns

While some people might not associate the Caped Crusader with Christmas, Batman Returns sees The Dark Knight stomping through the festive period in a bid to foil the plans of The Penguin and Catwoman. Playing a little like Streets of Rage, and with a digitized version of Danny Elfman’s iconic score, this will satisfy old-school action fans as well as Batman obsessives.

8. LEGO Harry Potter

Christmas isn’t Christmas without at least one viewing of Harry Potter (though at 19 hours and 39 minutes, the entire movie marathon might be a tad too much). Or alternatively, you could dive into the LEGO version to experience the magic of Harry’s life at Hogwarts for yourself, featuring all the best movie moments, a hefty sprinkle of humour, and a whole lot of building brilliance.