In concept, the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is just a big list of amazing gifts to get your significant other for the holidays. But in practice, it’s useless! Seriously. Who has twenty different kinds of birds on their wish list, and where would you even put them all? But it’s undeniably catchy. So, we thought we’d spruce up this classic carol by replacing all those unwanted fowl with some great game-related gifts you could get your true love (or really anyone) this holiday season. Hopefully, this version will catch on soon.
Twelve Spartans Fighting
Well, at least in Halo Infinite’s Big Team Battle multiplayer mode, twelve Spartans are fighting on your side. Another twelve are trying to take you down. But, because the developer made the latest Halo entry’s multiplayer free, it’s an easy gift to give. There’s also a really impressive single-player campaign if your giftee wants more Halo Infinite.
Eleven Engines Humming
Imagine sitting behind the wheel of a parachute-equipped car being pushed out of an airplane. Then, when the tires touch down, finding yourself in the middle of a race that runs through Mexico’s diverse landscape. Forza Horizon 5 players don’t have to imagine because this all happens in the game’s epic opening sequence and only gets better from there.
Ten Bikes A-Speeding
Who doesn’t want to fly across the desert on a hoverbike? Sable will leave your gift recipient feeling like a mix between a Jedi and Link in Breath of the Wild as they ride, climb, and glide through the beckoning environment. With no ever-present, over-arching mission looming over the adventure, players can simply enjoy this experience.
Nine Planets Rifting
The absolutely gorgeous return of PlayStation’s familiar mascots, Ratchet and Clank, sees the heroes battling across both space and time. The nostalgia-filled platformer features nine distinct planets, all of which are affected by the rifts that have begun to open up across the galaxy. This dimension-breaking game is an upgraded walk down memory lane.
Eight Marks A-Slaying
Colt is a man on a mission. He’s going to get off the isolated island he’s stuck on and break the loop that keeps him repeating the last day over and over again. To do that, he must kill eight powerful people. But with everyone against him and time running out, that task is easier said than done.
Seven Souls A-Reaping
In Death’s Door, you play as a crow whose 9 to 5 sees him reaping the souls of the living; until something goes wrong. To set things right, you have to fight your way through seven main bosses, each being harder than the last. The combat mechanics are top-tier and match the game’s surprisingly thoughtful narrative.
Six Geese A-Honking
We tried to get all the birds out of this carol, but one managed to sneak its way back in. Untitled Goose Game was initially released as a single-player experience but later expanded, allowing for couch co-op. So, really you’d need to get three copies of the game to get six geese honking all at once, but if you managed to get that set up, it would be worth it.
Five Tiiiiime Loops
It’s tempting to call 2021 the year of the time loop, as so many amazing titles featured the concept in their designs this year. Instead of being repetitive, these games managed to weave the idea into the gameplay in thoughtful and unique ways, ensuring each new take felt fresh and fun to play.
Four Colors Stirred
Represented by various hues, the hero of Life is Strange: True Colors, Alex Chen, can see others’ sadness, anger, fear, and joy. The latest entry in this much-loved series sports an enhanced new look but retains the moving narrative fans have come to expect from a Life is Strange title.
A slightly spooky title; Inscryption is short but perhaps the most unexpectedly interesting game of the year. It starts as a desperate card game. Your foe, a wild-eyed, cabin-dwelling baddie, throws three minor minions in your path to victory and freedom. This game is sure to surprise even the most seasoned video game enthusiast.
Two Dolls In Love
Okay, so the dolls aren’t so much in love as they are getting a divorce. And they’re not really dolls, but a pair of humans magically trapped in bodies of wood and clay. But that doesn’t stop It Takes Two from being one of the best games of 2021, and it’s a co-op adventure, so you can play it along with whoever you gave it to.
And The Tall Lady From That One Meme
Resident Evil Village may not seem to exude holiday cheer at first but just look at that castle entryway. You could fit an amazing tree in there. Plus, there’s even a quaint, snowy village nearby. If you’re cool with a veritable smorgasbord of horror tropes haunting your winter wonderland, pick this game up.