Image: Microsoft

So, this is Christmas. And what have you done?

Well, not a great deal to be honest — as is typical at this time of year, it's quiet out there in the world of video games as everyone settles down for a well-earned holiday break.

We're into the very final stretch of 2021, but a few things have been occurring nonetheless. Not content with winning every video game award ever, Supergiant's Hades has now taken to picking up Hugo Awards, too. Elsewhere, Japan continues to get incredible gaming swag we'll never see in the West, and Metacritic's 'worst' game of 2021 surprises precisely nobody. It's not really fair on poor old Balan — there were far worse games to play this year. Then again, 'worst cross-platform game that had a relatively high profile and was widely reviewed of 2021' doesn't have the same ring, does it?.

Now, though, it's time to chill out and discuss our weekend gaming plans. A few members of the Nintendo Life team have done just that below, so feel free to give our entries a read and then join in with your own via our comment section. Enjoy!

Gavin Lane, editor

This weekend I'll be making my customary annual pilgrimage to Freezeezy Peak — I would have liked to have done so on Switch, but Banjo-Kazooie won't be coming to Nintendo Switch Online until January. Guh-huh, indeed.

Beyond that, I'll likely pick up some final collectibles with Samus in Metroid Dread and I'd love to get really stuck into Death's Door, a relatively late arrival in 2021 that I just haven't been able to put much time into. It's largely my own fault (I've been knee-deep in that most festive of games, Blasphemous), but a wrong I hope to put right over the holidays.

Thomas Whitehead, deputy editor

We're having an overdue family get-together on Christmas Day, which will be awesome. I suspect the Switch will be a go-to as we battle to digest a hefty lunch, and the old favourites will probably be dusted off; yep, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Party. Outside of the big day I'll probably jump into The Sinking City that I got on sale, and I'm still enjoying The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.

Elsewhere (I don't want to play the Cloud version) my main Christmas game this year will be Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy; I've heard good things about it!

Kate Gray, staff writer

I am still trapped in Canada for the foreseeable future, but I will be hanging out with my partner's family this Christmas. And you know what that means: Low-key multiplayer games! I think I will attempt to teach everyone Mario Party Superstars, but realistically I should probably keep it a bit simpler. Maybe Oink Games' new release will go down well?

What I'm really looking forward to, though, is having some free time to catch up on games. I'm going to give Paper Mario a go, and finish Unpacking, and Ni No Kuni, and Eastward, and Islanders... the holiday is starting to feels bit more like work, now!

Jon Cartwright, video producer

Happy festivities everyone! I've already booted up Christmas NiGHTS, I'm ahead of the curve. I'm using the end of the year to catch up on a bunch of 2021 games that passed me by — I've kept fairly up to date with Nintendo but didn't give Neo The World Ends With You the chance it deserved. Bought it day one to support the cause but it's only lived a life on my shelf so far, very eager to finally give it a go.

Also planning to play through NieR Replicant, I chose Pokémon Snap over it back in April and haven't found the time to give it a proper spotlight. Automata was non stop cheer so I'm sure this will get me in the Christmas spirit, too. If somehow it turns out to not be a jolly cheerful game I also have Kena: Bridge of Spirits to check out, it reminds me a ton of Star Fox Adventures but without Trippy (probably a good thing).

PJ O'Reilly, reviewer

Hello and Merry Christmas to you all. This festive season, in between nicking lots of my children’s sweets and strenuously denying that I am behind the mysterious disappearance of 80% of the pâté in my house, I’m going to be getting properly stuck into Shin Megami Tensei V. I picked this one up a few weeks back, played a bit and loved it, but have been struggling to find the time to continue my adventure, something the holiday season should hopefully remedy.

Besides that I’ll be doing my usual Xmas rewind back through some older titles, with Link’s Awakening and Bayonetta 2 looking likely candidates so far. Oh, and there’ll definitely be some Just Dance 2022 happening, gotta work those turkey sandwiches off somehow.

Ollie Reynolds, reviewer

Hello! It’s going to be a bit of a quiet one this weekend in terms of gaming for me, what with it being Christmas ‘n’ all. The family and I will no doubt be diving into some Jackbox Party Packs as we head into the evening, in a rather desperate attempt to ward off the encroaching drowsiness that creeps in once ol’ Queenie has done her speech.

Other than that, I’m still working my way through Danganronpa (big surprise), so if I can find some time to knock out a couple of hours, then I might actually be able to move onto the third and final game in the core trilogy. Have a great weekend everyone, whether you celebrate Christmas or not!

Gonçalo Lopes, reviewer

From deep within the longs halls of Dwarrowdelf something stirred and a faith red aura began to distinguish itself from the inescapable darkness of Moria. ‘...Santa!?’ - Pippin mused only to be immediately scolded by the Grey Wizard - ‘A Balrog of Morgoth, you fool!’”

Last year I was well over halfway into The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age on GameCube and being a creature of habits these holidays will be spend revising Aragorn’s Quest on the Wii. I reckon this game has been quietly and unjustly forgotten, so an overdue revisit is my top choice to spend this festive weekend. It is a great way to sooth the spirit between hardcore sessions of Geometry Wars Galaxies as well.

Hope all you readers out there have an excellent holiday (and no Balrogs down your chimney).

As always, thanks for reading! Make sure to leave us a comment below with your weekend gaming plans!