The Best Games For The Gamer Who's About To Have Two Weeks Off

holiday gift guide games

The holidays are approaching fast. For many that means a fortnight of pure, relaxing bliss. It's the perfect opportunity to chew through games on your shame pile, or to buy a few more and add to it. If you're about to head into a solid break, these are the titles that are absolutely perfect to get started with.

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

Image: Barkar B (Flickr)

If you haven't already played The Witcher III, the holidays are the perfect excuse to start. Not only is there a brand new TV adaptation releasing on Netflix, it's now available on Switch and it was just introduced to Xbox Game Pass! At over 200 hours worth of story to devour, you'll certainly need two full weeks to chow down on this monster-slaying action-adventure, but there's hardly a more rewarding and fun game you could choose to play.

Xbox Game Pass Is Loaded This Week

There was a time when the monthly drops for Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus were worth looking forward to. Xbox Game Pass is now the one to watch out for, especially in a week when you get games like The Witcher 3 and Untitled Goose Game.

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Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 got lost in the Jedi/Pokémon kerfuffle of November for me, so it's been sitting on my shame pile for a little while — but it's the perfect game for your two week holiday. At around the 15-20 hour mark, it won't take a million years to finish, and you might even be able to fit in another game around it. It'll also make for a fun time with your siblings via its local co-op features. There's nothing funner than slaying squads of beasties with your extended family, after all.

Pokémon Sword/Shield

Image: The Pokémon Company

The end of the year tends to get hectic for games, and there's no shame in having missed the latest Pokémon entry. Despite the kerfuffle around Dexit, Pokémon Sword and Shield were both fantastic and fun Pokémon games that brought back the spirit of classic Poké adventures. It's great for young and old, and the perfect title for a soirée when the hot weather gets too much.

Pokémon Sword And Shield's Opal Is The Gym Leader This Generation Deserves

Each generation of Pokémon games has introduced a variety of interesting Gym Leaders who all speak to the ideals of their home cities and try their hardest to make you a better trainer as you work toward becoming the latest regional Pokémon Champion.

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The Last Of Us Remastered

You might've heard, but The Last Of Us Part II is on the way next year. There's no better time to remind yourself of what made the original game so great than playing through it once more over the holiday break. That way, you'll be well prepared when the sequel does finally release — and admit it, you know you're not going to find time to replay your faves once next year's game releases start dropping.

Control

Remedy's Control is simply incredible, and a must-play for fans of action-adventure games and/or spooky weirdness. It's the perfect, self-contained story to play through in a solid two-week block, and with enough twists and turns to keep you permanently on edge, you'll want to finish this one all at once. New DLC is coming to Control throughout next year, including a chapter that may dip into Alan Wake lore, so your two week holiday is perfect for catching up before they release.

Control: The Kotaku Review

Control is the latest game from the makers of Max Payne, Alan Wake and Quantum Break. It’s a twisted, haunting odyssey through an old post-WWII office building under siege by parasitic beings from another dimension. Control has all the standard elements of a regular third-person shooter, but its exhaustive world building and all-consuming eeriness make it much more.

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Final Fantasy VII

The original Final Fantasy VII is available digitally on every modern platform now, from the Switch to PC and even Xbox One. With the remaster coming out early 2020, your two week holiday would be fantastic for a journey into the past to rediscover Final Fantasy VII at its peak. While the graphics don't quite hold up, it's still an incredible world to play through, and features a brilliant story that's definitely worthy of remastering.

Concrete Genie

Concrete Genie fell a bit by the wayside this year, amongst a slew of AAA titles and more visible indie hits, but it's definitely deserving of more love. It's beautiful, fun and severely underrated, plus younger kids will enjoy its heart-warming story and innovative gameplay just as much as adults. Concrete Genie is definitely one to revisit over the holidays if you're looking for a short and heart-felt journey.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy & Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

If you've got family coming around and want to fit your gaming time around them, a family friendly set of games like Spyro Reignited Trilogy or Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy are absolutely perfect to get everyone in the family evolved. Even if you didn't grow up playing the games, they're super fun and entertaining for all ages. While Crash often requires a bit of finesse, Spyro's gameplay is easy to pick up for even the youngest in your family.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Image: Supplied

Hellblade II was just announced for Xbox's next gen console, so what better time to catch up with the franchise? The original Hellblade is a masterful tale following warrior Senua as she battles her demons both literal and metaphorical. Senua's Sacrifice is a must-play game, and while you'll have a long time to wait before the next title is unleashed, you'll be plenty prepared if you choose to conquer it this holiday break.

The Ending Of Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice Explained

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice isn't a very long game, but it sticks with you when it's over. With a storyline that covers some dark themes and its unrelenting depictions of psychosis, it certainly took me some time to sort through everything that went down. So let's talk about the ending.

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Ring Fit Adventure

Let's face it, the holidays come hand in hand with food feasts, and when you've got two weeks alone it's tempting to use them to stay in and game all day. Thankfully, there's Ring Fit Adventure, an exercise-themed adventure game from Nintendo that'll have you pumping iron and working your muscles to beat your enemies so you can stay inside and stay active. Ring Fit really does give you a workout, and it'll help you burn off that extra holiday weight fast.


What games are you planning to chow down on during the holidays? Replaying any old favourites? Spill the beans!


As Kotaku editors we write about stuff we like and think you'll like too. Kotaku often has affiliate partnerships, so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.


Comments

    I'm gonna try to make a decent dent in Kingdom Come Deliverance (either that or decide its not worth the effort and give up on it). And maybe try to finish off the Resident Evil 2 remake.

    Gonna work on Tales of Vesperia when I get a chance. Otherwise I'm gonna keep improving my cycling. Time for some mountains while I've got the chance

    In the real world people work and don't get to enjoy Christmas time so maybe sometime think about other people that make sacrifices so you can have 2 weeks off.

      Edgelord retail worker detected

      Nah. Stuff ‘Em. I want to eat ham, spend my time with in-laws that I find irritable at best, drink beer before 10am and play video games. Sitting around in pity for the plebs who have to work on Christmas doesn’t give me any Marie Kondo spark of joy.

      Huh? I personally do not have time off over Christmas but it is an option in my job to take two weeks leave. Of our 31 people in the business, four will be working.

      I'd say about 90% of my friends and family, the vast majority of which are middle-class people, have two weeks off as of last Friday.

      Not to discredit our police, defence, fireys, ambos etc but I don't know what 'real world people' you are referring to otherwise.

      skintox is pissed cos noone would swap his Boxing Day shift at McDonald's, all his mates are going to the plaza AND Tamika is going to be there! FML

      p.s. I don't work and I don't enjoy christmas.

      I'm also one of the "unlucky" ones to not have holidays now, as someone who works in entertainment and events it's the busiest time of the year for me. But, you know how every article isn't for everybody? Like if I see the names or pics of Pewdiepie or Ninja I'll just say "Hell no!" and move on. Why don't you give that a go, mate? Don't have a sook about it. If you don't like how your job does or doesn't dish out downtime, then get a new one. If you like your job enough that it's worth keeping, don't be so bloody precious about the fact that quite a significant amount of people still have holidays at this time of year. Clearly enough to merit an article such as this. With so many genuinely shitty things going on in the world, THIS is the thing you took time and effort to bitch about? Or do you have a card which gives you a discount on your 7th outrage or something? Chill, dude. Merry Christmas and try to be kind to your fellow humans n all that, from one worker to another (and to everyone else reading this too!).

    Hellblade? Shouldnt that be for the Gamer with the night off? Its barely a 6 hour game...

      And a bit too intense for multiple playthroughs in my opinion

      It took me two weeks to finish cause I only get to play an hour or so every other day.

      And it’s a great recommendation because it’s dirt cheap right now and the sequel is getting a lot of buzz.

    I've just about finished the base campaign of FFXIV, and have managed to get it running on my laptop on absolute minimum settings at a shakey 30fps, so I'll be running through the pre-Heavensward limbo questlines while I'm away, and trying not to be a burden on my allies during the mandatory dungeons/trials. With a bit of luck, I'll get back to my PC and be ready for Heavensward in a couple of weeks.

    On my list for 2 weeks off:
    Finish off Death Stranding
    Rise of the Tomb Raider
    Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice

      That's a good list and I am strongly considering making it my own.

        Thanks. I didn't want to overwhelm it with too many games. I've heard hellblade is like 6-7 hours long. Death stranding I've been playing for a while so I think I can finish that quickly, and tomb raider is something I could definitely finish over a few days.

          Hellblade is just the length it needs to be, and no more. That may be due to budget constraints as much as anything, but I wish more games would learn that lesson rather than padding 10 hours of genuine entertainment out into 40 hours of drudgery.

      6 hours into death stranding, I’ve heard the start is a slog but I’m still not really engaged with it. I can see what Kojima is trying to do but I don’t think it’s for me.

      Can those who have played say whether it changes from after act 3?

    I'll b looking at getting through some pile'o'shame games:
    - Finally finishing off BOTW, I've been putting off Ganon for too long now!
    - DOS: 2 - It's fun but my progress has slowed a bit on the 2nd island as every encounter I come across a couple of levels higher and I just get my arse handed to me.
    - Keep pushing on in Bloodborne (even though my OG PS4 sounds like it's on the brink of death every time I play it!)
    - Spending way too much time playing Dirt Rally
    That should keep me busy!

    "What are we going to do tonight Braain?"
    "The same thing we do every night Pinky - RDR2!"

    Gonna finish BotW! Main Story Quest that is. & then who knows after that. Perhaps whittle away the long hours with KINGDOMS

    Just finished God Of War. Now onto -

    Horizon Zero Dawn
    Jedi Fallen Order (nearly finished it)
    Bloodbourne (want to try it on my pro)
    Persona 5
    Uncharted 1 - 4
    BoTW (never can get through the entire thing... get distracted too easily)
    And a bunch of PC games if I can be bothered....

    Whilst you certainly can smash out a playthrough of Borderlands 3 in 15-20 hours (or even less), you're not playing it right if it doesn't take you 150 hours.

    The Outer worlds
    My Time at Portia (I don't know why)
    and A heap of games on the PS4

    I see Ring Fit Adventure and Witcher 3 on my horizon. Which to get....or will I get some xmas money....

    Outer Worlds I gotta finish. Also gonna try to smash out Mech Warrior 5 to some degree despite my issues with it.

    I wish you would add what platforms these games are on. Control won't be on PC for a while. Concreate Genie is Playstation only, etc.

    This would help for those of us like me that after reading the article were genuinely excited over the description and then disappointed when I can't buy the game on my platform.

      Control is definitely available on PC, and well worth a purchase.

        But it isn't really on PC if it's only on EGS /sarcasm

    Gonna grind to bake some cookies on destiny 2. Game just doesn’t want to give me god rolled cold front. Also hoping to get through some Jedi fallen order. After New Years I’m heading to China for a month so I’m only going to be able to bring my switch. Thankfully, I just upgraded to a 256 GB sd card. Going to knock off some games in my pile of shame, xenoblade chronicles 2, links awakening, Luigi’s mansion 3, Pokemon, fire emblem, daemon x machine and astral chain.

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