The holidays are upon us. While we might have dusted off the Hallowe’en cobwebs for another year, that pumpkin-spiced festival of fear is just the beginning of a long slog of events that ends with tinsel, turkey, and staying up past our bedtimes to witness the year change on our calendars.

It’s during this quarter of the year that we find ourselves returning to our favourite indoor activities. Gone are sunbathing, walks on the beach, and barbeques – replaced with books, movies, and games as we seek refuge from the harsh battering that the cold, wind, and rain can subject us to.

In recent years, we’ve seen gaming climb the list of popular activities during the holiday season thanks to a resurgence of board games and the widening of the appeal of video games.

It’s easy to see why. Gaming provides a form of entertainment that’s more interactive than simply staring at a screen. The format puts players in control and forces them to be present; after all, you can doom scroll through Twitter while you binge-watch a series on Netflix, but you need to give League of Legends your full attention.

Of course, not all games enjoy equal popularity. Some are in high demand while others are more tempered, with this ebb and flow showing just how certain styles go in and out of fashion.

So, as we head deeper into the busiest gaming period of the year, here are some of the most in-demand games of the season.


Poker is a firm favorite during the holidays. It’s a social game that places people around a table and forces them to talk – even if it is only about the cards. So at a time when more of us meet up with our friends and loved ones, poker is a go-to game.

The game is centuries old but it has enjoyed a resurgence in the last couple of decades thanks to online poker platforms that match players from across the country or even the world.

These sites also offer players educational resources, such as guides that explain the values of each hand and how they’re ranked, as well as more advanced topics around psychology and strategy.

This means there are more poker players than ever before, increasing the number of people wanting to show off their skills around the dinner table.

Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 is now eight years old but it continues to be a firm favourite among players. The game was given a new lease of life through a remake with better graphics for the Nintendo Switch and continues to enjoy regular DLC releases that Nintendo calls “booster packs”.

The latest of these landed in August, adding seven remastered circuits from previous Mario Kart games alongside an entirely new track called Sky High Sundae. This is in addition to the 8 maps that Nintendo dropped back in February and the third DLC pack that is scheduled to be released before the end of 2022.

Unlike other racing games, Mario Kart appeals to almost everyone. Hardcore petrolheads and complete gaming novices can compete together on an almost level playing field thanks to the power-ups, while the cartoon graphics help to make it less daunting.

This makes it perfect for playing while everyone is gathered around the TV after eating too much food.

Call of Duty Warzone 2

You can set your watch by the regularity with which Call of Duty games are released every autumn. But while much of the attention will be on Modern Warfare II, a second CoD will be landing as well.

Warzone 2 will be the follow-up to Activision’s first free-to-play battle royale. It will include many of the same upgrades to shooting and movement mechanics, as well as the progression of stats.

In addition to some polishing around the edges, this new release introduces an entirely new gameplay mode called Gulag. It marks a major change for Call of Duty as it will be played 2v2, rather than with larger teams.

This mode will also offer players the opportunity to bag some loot, provided they can make it out of the game in one piece.

Being free to play, newly released, and bearing the Call of Duty name, there’s no doubt that Warzone 2 will be one of the hottest games of the 2022 holiday season.