Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has a Metroidvania sequel in big year for Christmas games

Whether 2023 is one of the best years for video games is up for debate. But it's certainly one of the best years for Christmas video games, thanks to a surprising number of festive Christmas-themed releases. That includes a video game sequel to Charles Dickens' A Christmas carolstarring Ebenezer Scrooge and made in the Metroidvania style.

While many live service games will be dipping into Christmas and Hanukkah-themed cosmetics and card makeovers this month, not since Sega's Christmas nights in dreams… Has there been such an eclectic mix of festive dishes? Some are naughty, and some are nice. And at least one, a gory slasher that will appeal to fans of the murderous Rockstar Games Questis definitely not for children.

Here's a look at the 2023 Christmas games.

Ebenezer and the Invisible World

It takes place after the events of Ebenezer Scrooge's encounter with Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come. Ebenezer and the Invisible World sees the once stingy grump heading for a new adventure. Invigorated by Christmas spirit, Ebenezer is called upon by another spirit to help change the fate of Caspar Malthus, the evil industrialist and proponent of population principles. Ebenezer is aided in his mission by many more spirits – which are essentially summonable familiars and power-ups heavily inspired by Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. (Ebenezer even has Alucard's dashboard.)

Ebenezer and the Invisible World is an enjoyable action-adventure game with more depth than you might think. The hand-drawn graphics and the wide range of characters and quests keep things running smoothly; Plus, it's just fun to see old Ebenezer wield a giant ax or spin a flaming spear. He is very spry for his age!

Ebenezer and the Invisible World is now available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series

More: Season's Greetings

The video game More is a cozy, narrative adventure set in the sleepy town of Providence Oaks, Oregon. Set in 1986, players stepped into the shoes of Meredith Weiss, a metropolitan, career-driven woman who returns home to temporarily take over her father's mail route. More: Season's Greetings delivers similar small-town atmosphere, but this time players tour the town as Thomas Weiss, Meredith's father, approaches the Christmas season.

More: Season's Greetings is a prequel to the original More, available as DLC for that game. This cozy, wintery atmosphere is available on PS4, PS5, Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series

Christmas murder

Make it a silent night, make it a deadly night with the stealth slasher Christmas murderwhich made its debut on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 in November. (It's been on PC since 2021.) Inspired by a snuff game Questshoot them from above Hotline Miamiand the PlayStation 1 era aesthetic, Christmas murder get killed as Larry, a man who is clearly not well because his Christmas tree orders him to be killed.

Evidently, Christmas murder is probably not something you should play with the whole family, but if over-the-top violence and gore in super lo-fi is your thing, it's a fun romp, as murder rampages go. You'll throw flames at rooms full of children and nuns, just like a warning.

Christmas murder is available on PS4, PS5 and Windows PC via Steam.

The Grinch: Christmas Adventures

The Grinch by Dr. Seuss stars in a 2D side-scrolling platform adventure game that may or may not be good – I haven't played it! But The Grinch: Christmas Adventures puts players in control of The Grinch himself (and his dog Max, in local two-player co-op) on a new Christmas-ruining mission. Like it Ebenezer and the Invisible World, this is a sequel to the original source material set a year later. And like The Grinch who stole ChristmasGrinchs Christmas adventures promising to teach him a “valuable lesson about the true spirit of the holiday.” Hopefully he learns for good this time!!

The Grinch: Christmas Adventures is now available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series

Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis: The Gift of the Sacred Flame

Tifa wears a Christmas-themed costume in Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis

Image: Square Enix

Square Enix's mobile remake of the expansive Final Fantasy 7 franchise has a new holiday event, which isn't a standalone game, but a new story with two key elements.

One of these is a Christmassy new Tifa costume that is currently delighting Tifa fans around the world. You can see that above.

The other is that the main antagonist of Final Fantasy 7 Ever CrisisThe new holiday-themed story is a gingerbread cactuar. Astonishing!

Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis is currently available on Android and iOS devices, and will be coming to PC via Steam on December 7, Square Enix just announced. The game's The Holy Flame's Gift story is now available.