'Tis the season to be gaming so join us for a look at the Christmassy games of the past.
Ho-ho-ho, the season of goodwill and gaming is upon us, so take a break from the turkey to unwrap this bundle of Christmas-themed games that a jolly man in a red suit has left under the big PlayStation tree.
Bruce Wayne can forget all about enjoying a silent night as his enemies gather to hunt down his alter ego Batman on Christmas Eve. The notorious Black Mask has put a figure on the Caped Crusader's head so large that even dear old Santa might be tempted to take a shot. The world's greatest detective must step out into the snow-covered streets of Gotham to face his foes, or innocent people will die in this all-action Arkham classic.
A zombie-filled post-apocalyptic shooter may not seem the most obvious choice in a list of Christmas-themed games, but it very much depends on what time of year you play. For if you tool up to battle the undead during the month of December you just might be lucky/unlucky enough to stumble across a zombified Santa Claus. Do you have the heart to blast his beard off? What if we said the cash reward is massive? Yeah, thought that might swing it... poor Rudolph.
Create your very own North Pole with the downloadable festive-themed level kit. But what good is a snowy wonderland without Santa running around? Well, luckily you can also get your mitts on a Santa hat, beard, coat and boots to dress your little Sackboy up as everyone's favourite Yuletide trespasser. You can even dress Sackboy and Sackgirl up as a Christmas tree or cover them from head to toe in festive wrapping paper if you like.
Planet-hopping, crime fighting duo Ratchet and Clank are famed for their taste in exotic weaponry. The fearless heroes just love to dole out a bit of heavy-handed justice to the meanest villains across the galaxy, and what better way to celebrate the Christmas season than by zapping evil-doers with the Winterizer - a device that blasts a wave of snowflakes at their foes, turning them into frosty snowmen. They'll soon be walking in the air... straight to jail.
Fans of this comedic action-adventure franchise can download a stocking-full of missions, vehicles and weapons with the brilliantly titled game pack - How the Saints Save Christmas. The gang is given a highly important mission... to rescue Santa Claus. Old St Nick has become trapped in the in-game simulation, but the Third Street Saints boss doesn't have enough Christmas cheer to want to save him. Can the gang show their boss the true meaning of Christmas in time?
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge
The Pumpkin King of Halloween Town is back in the game inspired by Tim Burton's monster hit stop-motion movie. Jack Skellington faces off against the mischievous Oogie Boogie in a platforming action-adventure. When you tire of firing off the Soul Robber weapon, just unlock Jack's special Christmas outfit and hey presto, you can now throw gift-wrapped Christmas pressies at your foes. This is a popular children's game that retains all of the charm, atmosphere and eerie music of the beloved movie.
The Polar Express
One of the most popular Christmas movies of recent years was transformed into an inspiring platform and puzzle-solving adventure, sharing the same storyline. Hold on tight for an incredible ride alongside the mysterious Conductor to meet Santa Claus at the North Pole. Meet up with famous characters from the movie including, of course, those all too loveable elves. Young children will simply love this magical journey, as will all those who truly believe. All aboard!
Based on the hit movie of the same name you take control of Kevin, a little boy who has been left at home alone at Christmas. It's now down to you to foil the best efforts of Harry and Marv, two burglars who have their eye on breaking into Kevin's home. Collect and use any tools you can find to shut off all of the doors or windows the burglars may be trying to sneak through, while also laying crafty traps throughout the house.
Santa Claus Saves the Earth
A bit of a rare collector's item this one, SCSTE was one of the last titles to be released on PS one. As ever, Santa is prepping himself for an unbelievably busy Christmas Eve of toy-delivering when, wouldn't you just know it, he is kidnapped by a very naughty fairy! Now you must help Santa negotiate his way back home through a fast-paced platform adventure while battling against cowboys, cavemen and lots of other bizarre foes. Collect sweets and pop to power up Santa and save Christmas, hooray!
If singing carols around the Christmas tree and stealing a kiss under the mistletoe is not your bag, then why not become the ultimate scrooge? Take on the role of the grumpy green groaner as you uncover blueprints and devise fiendish gadgets from the dank dark corners of your cave. Then let the unhappy times begin as you try and ruin the festivities for everyone else in the town of Whoville by smashing up presents and making everyone catch a whiff of your very smelly breath.
Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko
Set the sleigh bells ringing around your head by taking a skate through the fun-packed Totally Scrooged level with our favourite scaly lizard. Explore the whimsical world of Santa's Village and the snow-laden surroundings as you create your own ice sculptures, jump into battle against a horde of naughty snowboarding elves and then hunt down the Evil Santa (Booo! Hiss!) in brilliantly classic platforming action.
And let's wrap up this list of Christmas-themed games with Tearaway. Wait, that's not a Chrismassy game. But... the jolly old souls at Media Molecule have a very special present for you. Just head to mediamolecule.com and you can download a papercraft plan to create a rather unique Christmas ornament... a Tearaway reindeer! Play safe with the scissors though, otherwise you won't be able to open up all your pressies on the big day.