Playlist: The Best Christmas Songs from Video Games

By: Chris Hodges, editor-in-chief

Want something a different to play at your holiday gathering this year? How about this playlist I have compiled of Christmas-inspired tunes from video games? Be sure to share links to some of your favorites as well.
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First up, this original tune from the 16-bit game Daze Before Christmas. Other than the Jingle Bells that plays over the title screen, much of the soundtrack of this game is surprisingly un-festive, save for this bouncy, jingly tune that plays during the 5th level.

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In the tradition of Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, all of the darkness and murder of Snatcher takes place with the merry Christmas season as a backdrop. Because of that, we are treated to this awesome synth-heavy 80s-style take on Jingle Bells.

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We all got a little tired of Rob Zombie’s music in the late 90s and early 00s, after approximately five thousand video games featured the song Dragula. But this creative hybrid of Jingle Bells and More Human Than Human was still a fun use of his style.

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Reinterpretations of Jingle Bells are a little heavy in this list, but Dream Bells is still the most iconic song from the Christmas Nights soundtrack so that’s the one that is here to represent what is a beautiful soundtrack across the board. Runner-up: The acapella end-credit song.

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This one definitely covers the most ground, incorporating elements from over a half dozen different Christmas songs into its two minutes and twenty seconds. This whimsical medley sounds like the Looney Tunes taking on The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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It takes awhile to get there, but buried in the dense, pounding music of this track is, indeed, elements of the Christmas classic Up on the Housetop. That “Click click click” can also describe noises a gun will make was, I’m sure, not lost on the developers.

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When people talk about Christmas and Shenmue it’s usually to poke fun at the creepy Santa holding an umbrella. But that does a disservice to this lovely original tune that has slight hints of Vince Guraldi’s classic Peanuts holiday song Christmas Time Is Here.

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To accompany Animal Crossing‘s version of Christmas, “Toy Day,” comes this boppy little tune. There are orchestral versions and “better” versions from the console games, but the old-school style of the one from New Leaf just seems to be the most fun.

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This holiday tune from The Sims 4 may sound more like it would be played during a Christmas pool party in Las Vegas while sipping martinis than snuggled around a fireplace with snow coming down outside, but who says that Christmas songs can’t be that, too?

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You’d probably assume that a Saints Row Christmas song would come off very cynical (and probably have cursing in it), but the instrumental music that accompanies a Christmas-themed DLC mission from SRIV is a surprisingly pure and cheerful holiday tune.

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Hope you enjoyed this Christmas playlist, and be sure to tell me your thoughts–as well as your suggested additions–in the comments!

 

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2 thoughts on “Playlist: The Best Christmas Songs from Video Games

  1. Dead rising 4 deserves a mention here. Many times getting into a vehicle or walking around anywhere, or Every time you go to the pause menu a christmas song is playing. Kind of a fun way to make dr4 unique.

    Liked by 1 person

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