Reduce that Backlog: Games You Should Play during the Holiday Break

Written by Louis

December 6, 2020

Long breaks mean more game days and more game days mean more time to chip away at that dangerously growing backlog of titles.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the glare of your monitor is so delightful, and since there’s no place to go, well, game on. The holidays are just around the corner, and that means that people are getting their well-deserved break. Of course, we’re still all inside our homes while we ride out the pandemic and look forward to a brighter next year. But what better way to spend that than to chill, stretch our legs, and play some video games. As the months, and perhaps years went by, all of us may have already accumulated a good backlog of titles, some of which we haven’t even installed yet. Don’t fret though, because we’re gonna help you pick out some of the great titles and franchises that you can enjoy while on your holiday vacation.

Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt
Available on Windows PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox One X

It’s coming out this week and for sure you already have it pre-ordered. Cyberpunk 2077 is the much-awaited next big title from CD Projekt who once blew our minds with The Witcher series of games. Set in the far future, and featuring Keanu Reeves, Cyberpunk 2077 is this year’s most promising AAA title. While a lot of news about its delays may have flooded our feed for the past few weeks, CDR promises that Dec 10 is the final release date, and we’re all looking forward to getting our copies very soon. Plus, the game’s more than 170 hours long so, even just this one should be enough for your holiday binge gaming.

SpiderMan: Miles Morales, Insomniac Games
Available on PS4, PS5

Insomniac really did a great job with Marvel’s SpiderMan for the PS4 especially in letting you be Spiderman. Now for the PS5, they’re aiming to repeat that experience once again by making you feel like the new generation Spiderman, Miles Morales, in the game SpiderMan: Miles Morales. Kidding aside, SpiderMan: Miles Morales is a solid title, featuring all of what’s best with its predecessor, Marvel’sSpiderMan and as well as cool new stuff. The formula worked well with the previous game so why bother fixing amirite?

Dark Souls Trilogy, From Software
Available on Windows PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch

Wait, really, Souls games? As if the year isn’t on hard mode already?
Now, before you go on raising your Zweihanders, there’s more to the Souls series than it’s usually talked about Difficulty spike. Of course, it’s not as easy as other AAA titles but that doesn’t mean that you can’t any of its games over the course of a weekend. People might talk more about how “hard but fair” the game would be but in truth Dark Souls’ biggest asset is its lore. All 3 titles have more to offer than just the surface, filling pages and pages of Wiki entries in terms of story, descriptions, and how it fits together. Combat and gameplay, well it can get a little cliche but finding out what stuff works best for you is part of the fun. That and continuously seeing the “You Died” screen.

Assassin’s Creed Vallhalla (or Odyssey or even Origins), Ubisoft
Available on Windows PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One

To say that the modern Assassin’s Creed games are the best there is would spark a global debate or even a large scale conflict, so let’s just say that they’re pretty good open-world titles with Assassin’s Creed mechanics mixed in. With tons of stuff to collect, a lot of areas to explore, and of course, an evil organization to overthrow, it’s not an argument that Ubisoft did try and put in a lot of content into the new-gen AC games, despite most of them just repetitive fillers and copy-paste missions. It’s still fun to air-assassinate random animals for meat and hide though, it never gets old.

Genshin Impact, miHoYo
Available on Windows PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

miHoYo’s newest offering easily became the talk of the town once it was released and quickly blew up in popularity and (profit). While it is strong in its pseudo-MMORPG elements, the most common thing that’s talked and memed about this game is the gacha. And it’s fitting for at its core Genshin Impact IS a Gacha Game and there’s nothing wrong with that. Now of course before you tell yourself “gacha=P2W” it’s not entirely true about Genshin, well at least for now, as PVP is nil, and you can pretty much survive and reach endgame even with just the starting characters. Also, the design aesthetic easily reminds you of BotW, and the relatable and quirky characters easily divert your attention from the awful grinding that you’re about to partake.

Persona 4 Golden, Atlus
Now available on Windows via Steam

Good news, you don’t need to dust off your old console to solve crimes using a television! That’s right, released FINALLY on Steam back in June of this year, Persona 4 Golden will let you live (or relive) that fantasy of being an Anime Protagonist tasked to save the world by destroying a literal god. If power fantasy is your thing but thinks that moving down wave after wave of nameless mobs is a bore, then Persona’s take on the JRPG formula might just be the thing for you. Also, it’s not just about killing god, it’s also about making friends, maxing out best girl, and of course, suriving High School so good luck!

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim BUT with Requiem and Alternate Start Mods, Bethesda
Available on every currently existing platform on the planet, but best on PC because mods.

Okay, first, no, we are not being paid by Todd Howard for this, second, yes, you probably are getting tired of the same old Skyrim BUT at the same time, you probably aren’t tired of Skyrim with the Alternate Start mod installed. As the name suggests, Alternate Start – Live Another Life overhauls how the main story plays out, by putting you on an alternate beginning to the Skyrim story. No, you will not be waking up on the back of a carriage, and heck, you wouldn’t even know that you’re the Dragonborn up until much later in the game. The best partner for this mod of course, we think, is Requiem which also tweaks how difficulty works in the game by introducing a more proper balance system to combat meaning that you won’t just be swinging swords at dragons, you’d have to hit certain levels before you could even put a dent on its scales. So it basically makes it Souls, or whatever. Anyway, if both aren’t up your alley then you can always resort to turning Alduin into Macho Man Randy Savage.

 

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