The cold winter months are the perfect time to get cozy, whether that be with a wholesome Christmas movie and a hot drink or sweating out some intense games. Winter-themed games are best played from the comfort of a couch or bed, snuggled up while avoiding the cold outside elements.
The games on this list all take place during winter or feature winter seasons, some of which have truly frosty climates, so make sure to stay warm and toasty while playing. These are the best and cozy winter games currently available on the market.
10/10 little inferno
Platforms: PC, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android devices.
As temperatures outside begin to drop and frost begins to form, what better game to play than one that involves throwing toys into a fire? little inferno is a satirical masterpiece with gameplay entirely focused around a warm fireplace, away from the cold world outside.
The player gets to throw many different toys and props onto a roaring fire and watch the flames burn, using anything from credit cards to exploding fish to fuel their pyromaniac fantasies. little inferno is a fantastic indie adventure game that will take the chill off and warm any player’s bones during the cold winter season. Ten years after its release, it has received a Ho-Ho-Holiday Expansion just in time for the festive season.
9/10 Red Lantern
Platforms: PC and Nintendo Switch
Red Lantern takes place in the Alaskan freezing-cold tundra, surrounded by ice-capped mountains and endless snowy wilderness. The player takes control of the Musher as she embarks on her new life in Alaska and must dash through snow and treacherous terrain to find her de ella log cabin, aided by her five trusty canine companions.
As they make their way across the frozen wilderness, the player must manage their resources and ensure their dogs’ survival as well as their own by hunting for food and conserving their energy by resting at a cozy campfire. Every decision the player makes in Red Lantern can either help or hide their trek home, so choose wisely.
8/10 A Short Hike
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch
Explore an expansive mountainous island park in A Short Hike. Players control a bird named Claire, visiting her Aunt. She must climb to the snowy summit of his tall mountain to get cell phone reception. Claire can unlock abilities to fly, climb, and glide as she collects gold and silver feathers, allowing her to battle the elements and trek her way to the top.
Along her journey to the mountain’s peak, Claire encounters many quirky characters, each with their own minor task to complete. Helping the island’s residents with their requests is optional but a fun and charming way to experience more of what A Short Hike offers.
7/10 I Am Setsuna
Platforms: PC, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.
Set in a whimsical world of snow and ice, coupled with a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, is I Am Setsuna. Players take control of a masked mercenary named Endir, given the arduous task of killing the next chosen sacrifice, Satsuna, to maintain peace and quell the growing onslaught of monsters plaguing their island.
Endir decides against murdering Satsuna and instead aids her on her journey to the Last Lands in a heart-warming journey. I Am Setsunais a short and sweet JRPG, brought to life with a charming cast of characters and delicately hand-painted icy environments.
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android devices.
Spiritfarer Takes players on a wholesome and joyous journey of exploring life and death with stunningly hand-drawn landscapes. Players take control of Stella, a young ferry master, as she befriends various spirits and guides them to the afterlife, creating cherishable memories.
It features wholesome resource-management aspects, as Stella can customize her boat and cook new recipes, with endless other activities awaiting her. Although Spiritfarer Tackles difficult topics like loss and death, it is an adorably wholesome and cozy game that teaches players how to cope with grief and how to say goodbye to loved ones.
5/10 The Long Dark
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Not many survival games are as immersive as The Long Dark. Players are thrust into a cold and unforgiving landscape, with no way of survival other than their own wits. The player character, Will Mackenzie, must navigate the Canadian wilderness after his plane crashes with danger seemingly at every turn.
It is survival of the fittest in The Long Dark as the player must hunt for their own food and scavenge for life-saving resources. As if that wasn’t enough, players should try and stay moving to avoid the animals that may be hunting them in the dark, like wolves and bears. Players must build a cozy shelter and stay warm to prevent succumbing to dangerous ailments like frostbite and hypothermia.
Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.
Inspired by Scandinavian folklore, roki Takes players on a whirlwind adventure through a forgotten world full of intrigue, monsters, and magic. Players join a young girl by the name of Trove as she explores these mystical and snowy landscapes in search of her lost family.
roki is a point-and-click adventure game with a fairytale twist, as Trove encounters many magical creatures on her journey, from the friendly and mystical to the downright mysterious. This Nordic snowy wilderness is bursting with secrets to explore and a charming wintery addition to any gamer’s wishlists.
3/10 Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Platforms: Nintendo Switch.
No other game celebrates the festive season and Christmas quite like Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Mid-way through November in the Northern Hemisphere, players should begin to see their islands decorated in snow, with large catchable snowflakes falling from the sky. The snowy season means players can craft dozens of wintery-themed DIY recipes and build an iconic snowman.
Snow transforms any Animal Crossing: New Horizon island into a gorgeous winter wonderland to enjoy. Players can build cute and cozy hotspots with campfires for their villagers to escape the cold. On the 24th of December, a reindeer Santa-esque character named Jingle will be in the Town Square for Toy Day, rewarding the player with presents for completing small tasks to get into the holiday spirit.
2/10 Stardew Valley
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Stardew Valley features the iconic four-way seasons, and it is delightful to watch the seasonal transition. Winter in Stardew Valley It is a time of preparation to gear their farm up for the upcoming year and upgrade all their tools, but it is also a great time to build friendships with Pelican Town’s residents.
On the 25th of Winter, aspiring farmers are invited to Pelican Town to celebrate the Feast of the Winter Star. The town is decorated with candy canes and Christmas trees that not even a Grinch could resist. There’s even a secret gift-giving event where the player is given a random villager to exchange gifts with for festive fun.
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim remains one of the most popular RPGs in gaming history, even a decade after its release. Straight from the get-go, the Dragonborn player character is immediately plunged into a frosty Nordic landscape with snow-capped trees as far as the eye can see.
Skyrim has no specific seasons, only seemingly endless winter and snowy conditions. Players can rest at local inns to escape the cold and warm up by the fire with a tankard of mead. There’s nothing quite like the nostalgia of roaming around Skyrim’s snowy open wilderness at night while seeing a glowing Aurora Borealis on the skyline’s horizon.
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