The holidays are here, which means it's a great time to get some gaming in, either by digging through your backlog for something you bought but never played, trying out something completely new, or just comfortably zoning out with a current favorite.
What games will you be playing over the holidays? We've got answers from the PC Gamer staff members and forums below, but we'd love to hear what you'll be playing down in the comments, too!
Jody Macgregor: More Hades. Sure, I've defeated [Redacted] and escaped the Underworld already, but I haven't unlocked all of the hidden weapon aspects. Or fulfilled all the prophecies, done all sidequests, cleaned up the dog hair, decorated my room with tasteful posters of Achilles, won Skelly's prizes, caught all the fish, or romanced Megaera and Thanatos at the same time.
Shaun Prescott: After a season of sprawling, ostentatious blockbuster games, I'm looking forward to diving into Monster Sanctuary. It's a Metroidvania monster collecting game with really pretty pixel-art. I'm curious how the balance between exploration and turn-based combat will work, but overall the art style is what appeals to me, and the use of tamed monsters for various unique traversal styles is a really clever idea. I'm really craving 8- and 16-bit adventures, they're what I turn to when I need to unwind. I may also dive into Alwa's Legacy, which looks great: the first game in the series, Alwa's Awakening, is an overlooked gem.
Evan Lahti: Each year, I wrongly convince myself that the fabled Break as an endless expanse within which every TV show, book, and game I didn't get to in 2020 can be caught-up on and absorbed. And each year, I fall short of this lofty goal and for the most part settle back into the comfortable, familiar stuff I'm already playing.
I want to play: Red Dead Redemption 2, Paradise Killer, and get back into Deep Rock Galactic. But realistically I will probably keep playing: Spelunky 2 (100 hours), COD Cold War (40 hours), Rainbow Six Siege (600 hours).
James Davenport: I might take a breather from games and catch up on some reading, but my current list is heavily inspired by what I've been playing lately, so it could be considered extra credit. Cyberpunk 2077 left me hungry for more cyberpunk stories, so I already re-read Neuromancer and now I'm working my way through the rest of The Sprawl Trilogy for the first time. Count Zero's clearly braided narrative is a big change up from the drifty, dreamy perspective of Neuromancer's Case, but I'm digging its contrasts. It's a much funnier book with some pretty rad action sequences (that go horrifically wrong, yes). Curious how Mona Lisa Overdrive wraps things up. Dipping back into cyberpunk lit has me realizing how safe Cyberpunk 2077 plays things, but simultaneously juiced to see where those expansions take us. Hopefully into more cerebral territory. Or the moon.
Morgan Park: Death Stranding. The benefits of this year's PC port inspired a second playthrough, and this time I'm getting 5 stars from every prepper if it kills me. That game is still surprising me with useful, completely optional tools that I missed the first time around. Did you know that a guy who lives in the side of a crevice and collects classic game consoles can teach you how to make a backpack cover? Really handy against the death rain. Outside of that, I'll be grinding through Rainbow Six Siege's battle pass and playing more of the newest defender, Aruni.
Andy Chalk: I've been playing nothing but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt since mid-July and I'm just about ready to start the final boss fight of the base game, so the great likelihood is that I'll keep riding that pony all the way to the new year. Maybe try to finish off Serious Sam 4 when I need to take a break with something a little less mentally taxing.
Graeme Meredith: I need to finish Dragon Quest XI... which was my Christmas present from last year. It's embarrassing how few games I've completed in 2020, something I definitely need to work on next year.
Jacob Ridley: I'm keen to revisit Assassin's Creed Valhalla following a 40-hour Cyberpunk 2077 detour, but I'm still eyeing up another Crusader Kings III stint. That game feels oddly Christmassy to me. Also being impossible to buy Christmas gifts for, I gave out Fuser as a potential gift for the fam. So I'm likely going to be mixing some dreadful country-EDM while Christmas dinner is in the oven.
Andy Kelly: I added Alien: Isolation to my Epic library because it was being given away for free, despite owning it on three other platforms, and accidentally got back into it. So I'll be playing through that again over the break. It's somehow six years old, but it hasn't aged a day. I also have the Star Wars: Squadrons singleplayer campaign lined up, as well as a preview build of an exciting upcoming game that I'm not allowed to talk about. You can read about that next year. All this, plus the six months of free Disney+ I got through my mobile phone provider, means I should be sorted for screen-based entertainment well into January.
Dave James: I feel like a bad PC Gamer staffer. I'm in an elite niche where some things don't bug me as much... I'm still rocking the RTX 3090, and have actually been having a blast with Cyberpunk 2077. So I will likely continue ploughing time into the main story quests, headshotting folk from the shadows, and stuffing them in convenient bins for profit and pleasure. All while I for some reason keep putting off finishing Red Dead Redemption 2, despite being right near the end.
And of course Football Manager 2021, because some addictions are impossible to kick.
Wes Fenlon: I'm on a major retro FPS spree right now, and I know I won't get through all of these in a week and a half, but here's what's on my plate:
- Ion Fury
- Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death
- Blood: Fresh Supply
- Quake 2 RTX
It's gonna be a bloody good break.
Robin Valentine: Like Evan, I have totally unrealistic dreams of catching up on all the games I didn't get to this year. In practice, I'll be happy if I win my current XCOM 2 Commander Ironman run, and maybe play a few generations of Crusader Kings III.
Chris Livingston: I'm near the end of the main storyline of Cyberpunk 2077, so I imagine I'll push through that just to wrap it up. And then I may leave my PC for a bit so I can finally play Breath of the Wild on my new Switch. I'm also hankering to start a new season of Super Mega Baseball 3 at some point. Hopefully I can lead the Owlbears to a championship this year.
Jorge Jimenez: Addressing my backlog in any way is going to be a losing battle considering I bought a half dozen games on sale this week that I most likely won't play till late next year. I might finally beat Cyberpunk 2077, so I don't have to think about Cyberpunk 2077 anymore. The break is a good time to play some Halo and Call of Duty with friends and family who are off also.
Alan Dexter: This Christmas I'll mostly be playing WoW: Shadowlands. It'll be good to actually sit down and play a game, as opposed to benchmarking with it, which is how I've experienced most releases this year. Plenty of them have caught my attention—Assassin's Creed: Valhalla looks particularly beautiful and good fun. Cyberpunk 2077, for all its problems, also looks like somewhere I could spend a lot of time. I've also been collecting all of Epic's freebies, so there's no shortage of games to play. The problem is, Wow's new expansion has just landed, and that tends to win out every single time, so I won't kid anyone, especially not myself. I'll be playing WoW.
From our forums
drunkpunk: I'm probably going to be playing some Shadowlands this holiday season. I recently unlocked all of the allied races, so I've been leveling a couple up for that heritage armor. Hoping to get to level 60 on two of them, which should be easy enough (just hit 50 on one of them in about 17 hours of play, pretty quick these days).
I'm also probably going to start a new run of Divinity: Original Sin 2. 500 hours of that game and I still can't get enough. I just might finish Cyberpunk, although I just haven't found the will to continue it recently.
Pifanjr: My friend upgraded his computer this week (so he can play Cyberpunk) and gave me his old computer, so now I can play Stardew Valley with my wife over the holidays. She recently got back into it, perfectly timed for the new 1.5 version that released yesterday and which adds a bunch of late game content.
mainer: Well, originally I had planned on playing CP2077, but seeing the state it's in from all the articles and posts, at PCG and elsewhere, I've put that on hold for at least a few months. So I decided to pick up Outer Worlds, especially as it's 50% off on the Steam Winter Sale. I hear it's rather short, but I love Obsidian's games so I know I'll enjoy it.