Christmas Games Past |

Game of the Week is part of the Eurogamer Essentials newsletter which is sent to our supporters every Friday and hits the site on Sunday – and this week is free for everyone, with Christmas and all. Hope you’re having a great day (and don’t you have better things to do than read Eurogamer? Go drink some sherry or something!)

That’s it. We succeeded. 2022 is wrapped – about as neatly as the awkwardly shaped toiletry bottle that sits under the tree, held down with copious amounts of duct tape, but wrapped up, it’s all the same. We’ll be taking a short break over the holiday season, which means taking a break from the Game of the Week until we’re back in full swing in January (and when there might even be games to write about. also – 2023 looks like an exceptional year already).

Ever since I started playing it, Christmas has been inextricably linked to video games. Maybe it’s because so many defining moments of my playing life started under a Christmas tree; a Commodore 64, late in the life of the machine, this was my very first piece of hardware, on which I would play endless amounts of WEC Le Mans. A Game Gear with a set of six AA batteries that wouldn’t pass on Christmas morning, packed with its 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog (only recently did I realize how lucky I was – Ancient’s spin on what was to become an iconic series still stands out as the best of the first generation of Sonic). An original PlayStation, which was the most exotic of them all; this new window into the new world of 3D and the feeling that games had just changed forever.

Maybe there’s not that same sense of wide-eyed wonder now that I’m supposed to be an adult, but the holidays are still all about video games. It’s the promise of a week away from work with lots of dead hours to fill, and even though that promise doesn’t hold as much as it used to now, I have more family commitments, there’s still a little handful of long, lazy mornings browsing the back catalogue, or equally long, cold nights reconnecting with old favourites.

For reasons I don’t entirely understand, it was a Christmas tradition to play through a Tomb Raider during the festive break – preferably one of the classics like Underworld, something equally comforting and warming than a glass of mulled wine. This Christmas, for reasons I don’t understand either, I treated myself to the Callisto protocol; maybe there’s something about the insane, schlocky action that seems perfect for relaxing, or maybe 2022 really has been such a year that the best way to top it off is to spend a dozen hours beating people’s heads with an electrified baton. If I want something a little more stressful, there’s always the Golf update for Nintendo Switch Sports that’s ripe for spending a few booze hours with the extended family, and I just gave some polish to the Astro City in the living room and put Garou: Mark of the Wolves in place if anyone is brave enough for a late night fight.

So I’m looking forward to a few weeks of indulgence and reconnecting with the games I love the most as well as some of the ones I’ve missed over the past few months. Hope you all have a restful break and get the chance to play something wonderful – thanks for sticking with us through 2022 and into the new year.

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