Christmas has arrived upon us all around the world once again. A time for eating and drinking far too much, watching the same old films they show on the TV every year and of course playing games…

But perhaps after all these years you know all the answers to your Trivial Pursuit, Cluedo just doesn’t have the same sense of thrilling mystery and you know full well that Monopoly will end as it always does in a rage fueled flurry of cross words and flying hotels. Perhaps it’s time to throw away the board games of old and find something that everyone can enjoy in the world of video games. Here’s five ideas to introduce video games into the family festivities this Christmas night:

Mario Party

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This is an obvious one perhaps, what with party being in the title. Its one that I feel could be easily picked up by the young and the old, what with it already having a board game style to it, with the roll of the dice determining your moves and the fun little mini games that keep it interesting. You may need to spend a couple of minutes explaining to Gran how the controls work, but I believe this is one that the whole family can enjoy

Mario Kart

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To be honest any game with Mario in the title would make for an enjoyable Christmas experience for the whole family. I will however restrict it to just two Mario titles, including Mario Kart and all its installments as games that are fun, colourful and most importantly having that competitive nature which is what Christmas games are all about. Its not enough to have fun, you also want to shove it in your little brother’s face just how badly you can beat him on Rainbow Road.

Rock Band/Guitar Hero

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I have a lot of fun memories breaking these games out at parties and get togethers with friends. Its an enjoyable multiplayer experience in which everyone can have their own role and imagine themselves as rockstars. There’s the choice for amending the difficulty for new players, or you can delegate them to singing duties of course. With the newer titles and a larger array of songs to play you can ensure everyone gets to play something they enjoy too, and let dad live his teenage dreams of being in Van Halen.

Street Fighter

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A very different choice perhaps, but one I feel could be good for family Christmas fun. It has the competitive nature to it and two player so more than one person can play, so no having to wait for any controller hogs. You can make your own league table, have winner play winner and genuinely get everyone participating to be crowned the best of the family. Maybe not one for the older family members, and could potentially cause an actual fight between siblings, but isn’t that what Christmas is really about?

Rocket League

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If you need to convince your dad to join in, just tell him its like Subbuteo, but in a video game, and with cars! ROCKET cars no less! This is a great mix between driving game and sports game and something that can be fun for all ages. It has the competitiveness down, you can play split screen with family members, and you can also play against other people online, perhaps other families with the same idea as you on Christmas! Make The Joneses vs. The Smiths a battle that will be reminisced about for many Christmases to come.

Those are just a few suggestions for games that could make your Christmas night a little more exciting. If you have any other suggestions for games this festive season do let us know, or perhaps you have your own gaming traditions each Christmas to share.

Whatever you’re playing this year, we wish you all a very merry *insert national/cultural holiday here*!

By James Burch

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