Christmas expansions through the ages

7. LittleBigPlanet Festive Goodies Pack

What did you get? The game with DLC for every occasion didn’t disappoint with the holiday content: festive stickers, sleighs, and all the seasonal fixings could be yours to do with as you would.

How clunky were the additions? You could dress Sackboy up as a Christmas tree and/or the presents under said tree, which is both clunky and utterly delightful. There was also a full complement of candy canes and Christmas baubles, meaning – oh good! – 14-year-olds had a whole new host of things to put into levels that wouldn’t get released.

Above: Sackboy does not love your sexy sex level

Were you filled with holiday cheer? If you bought the content within its three-week availability window, you could lord your surfeit of seasonal euphoria over less canny friends for all time, or until the next DLC pack came out.

Christmas miracle rating:

6. Moley Christmas

What did you get? A new, Christmas-themed game in the Monty Mole series. Perhaps you kids, with your Ratchet & Daxter and your Grand Torino videogame entertainments, don’t appreciate that a new Monty Mole game was a pretty big deal.

Above: And you can surely see why

How clunky were the additions? Alright, sit the hell down while we lay this out. In Moley Christmas, your job was to wrangle the source code for a new Monty Mole game, oversee mastering of said game, and get it to distributors in time for Christmas, even as you played that very game. Remember the season of Seinfeld devoted to the making of a fictional Jerry Seinfeld sitcom? That was nothing compared to the postmodern genius of Moley Christmas.

Were you filled with holiday cheer? By replacing the drudgery of actual games programming and distribution with scenes of hectic Santa-suited platforming and dodging holiday traffic, Moley Christmas pretty much put a gun to your head and ordered you to make with the festive, bitch.

Christmas miracle rating:

5. Sam and Max: Ice Station Santa

What did you get? An installment of the reborn Sam and Max in which every trope of Christmas is rehashed, subverted and twisted into a plot that also involves demonic possession, corporate meddling and the imminent Apocalypse.

How clunky were the additions? Pretty seamless. How is it that it took until 2007 for game designers to capitalize on the fact that Santa is an anagram of Satan? Puns and videogames – who knew those tastes could go together?

Were you filled with holiday cheer? Sam and Max could take Tax Day and turn it into an occasion for festive merriment. By the time you’d digested the accompanying machinima, you could be forgiven for just not having any idea what to do with yourself.

Christmas miracle rating:

4. Christmas NiGHTS

What did you get? Two levels of cult Saturn-era Sega action-adventure NiGHTS into Dreams, set during Christmas and featuring date-sensitive holiday content.

How clunky were the additions? You wouldn’t even see them unless you played at the right time: the limited edition of NiGHTS wouldn’t turn into Winter Nights until November. Wait another month after that, and the game would bust out the seasonal festivities. Of course, you could just tell your Saturn every day was Christmas, and NiGHTS would be none the wiser.

Were you filled with holiday cheer? With all those presents, Christmas trees, sleighbells and techno-rearranged Christmas carols on offer, Christmas NiGHTS is a bit like eggnog. Sure, it’s great at the time, but yearly access would probably make you ill.

Christmas miracle rating:

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  • vitoruss - December 28, 2009 5:40 p.m.

    Next Christmas, Rockband should put in some "Halford: Winter Songs" along with that Trans Siberian Orchestra :D
  • FanofSaiyan - December 26, 2009 9:53 p.m.

    The LBP expansion pack looked incredible. I'd love to see some Christmas levels online. XD
  • Embolado - December 26, 2009 8:01 p.m.

    I remember changing the Saturns clock just to do the christmas level, and it still looks a mess
  • jackthemenace - December 25, 2009 10:46 a.m.

    Oh my god, there is so much crap at christmas. although i'd probably get the SC4 xmas stuff if it got free on the XBLMP :/
  • Harmonator - December 25, 2009 2:42 a.m.

    yes. I agree with you all, The Pogues should be in Rock Band. Definitely.
  • Americanadnan - December 25, 2009 2:17 a.m.

    @nik41507 Yes animal crossing does celebrate christmas by putting lights on the trees and having a reindeer dressed as Santa come and give you and your neighbors presents
  • garPOW - December 24, 2009 10:49 p.m.

    what about Scooby Doo on the original xbox? (it was my little brothers game I swear) but when the internal clock was on a holiday, the environment would change for that day, ie snow would fall on christmas and such. I thought it was a neat concept that needs to be added to other games.
  • nik41507 - December 24, 2009 5:56 p.m.

    oops The question mark was an accident Im such a bad typist. The Little Big Planet onw was the best
  • nik41507 - December 24, 2009 5:54 p.m.

    The Little ?Big Planet one was the best
  • oryandymackie - December 24, 2009 11:29 a.m.

    I created a Santa in SR2, and then set fire to Technically Legal with tens of happy clubbers inside. It doesn't seem right somehow.
  • Dolan88fan - December 24, 2009 1:24 a.m.

    happy birthday jesus. jesus lol
  • nik41507 - December 24, 2009 12:49 a.m.

    Didn't Animal Crossing have some kind of Christmas thing?
  • FriendlyFire - December 23, 2009 11:06 p.m.

    Why no Guild Wars holiday festivities? Free, original and fun. One of the few cases where the game has entirely new activities just for Christmas.
  • Multivac - December 23, 2009 10:33 p.m.

    What! No Duke Nukem: Nuclear Winter, I'm appaled GamesRadar! That expansion was so badass. But still, nice article, very funny.... Jazz Jackrabbit FTW!!!
  • TheDude - December 23, 2009 9:56 p.m.

    It's funny, right before I went here, I watched this:
  • Defguru7777 - December 23, 2009 9:44 p.m.

    Lots of GR references to the Star Wars Christmas special lately. First the podcast and now this... I'd like to take this moment to hate on the track We Three Kings released for Guitar Hero III. What a piece of crap.
  • Gahmah - December 23, 2009 8:17 p.m.

    Jazz Rackrabbit sounds like a prickly game
  • garnsr - December 23, 2009 4:23 p.m.

    Were there any combs around on Wookiee Life Day? And Christmas Nights was clearly the coolest Christmas add-on ever.
  • Cyberninja - December 23, 2009 12:10 p.m.

    i wish i could have been around for christmas nights i have the wii one though
  • sexyman500 - December 23, 2009 10:28 a.m.

    no thank, i'm voodoo

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