10 Best Thanksgiving Video Games

18 November, 2021

Thanksgiving is all about meeting family, eating a lot of turkey and mash, and spending fun time together. And though video games might not help much with the first or second thing on that list, they can definitely help with the third. Because after all, who wants to argue about the state of the nation or listen to Aunt Bertha’s lame jokes again?

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best Thanksgiving video games that you can pick up this holiday season. You can play them solo, but most are better to play with the family both on the couch and online if Uncle George can’t make the big dinner.

All these games are pretty family-friendly, whether you want to play with Grandpa Joe or your little cousin Sally, but we’ve added age ratings for anyone interested.

Let’s get started with the 10 best Thanksgiving video games to gobble up this year! 

Interested in more seasonal games? Check out our other helpful game articles:

Tools Up!

  • Age rating: ESRB Everyone
  • Platform: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
  • Game rating: 4,5 pumpkins

Family meet-ups are more than just arguing and catching up—it’s about shenanigans! What better way to stretch your family mischief muscles than by picking your tools up and renovating!

This party game lets you play with up to 4 players in local multiplayer via Steam Remote Play to finish the renovating tasks shown on the blueprint before the clock runs out. Obviously, puddles of paint, heaps of trash, and couriers with a bad sense of timing aren’t going to make it easy. 

If you feel interiors are cramping your style, take the renovation to the garden and see what kind of magic you can work in the yard! Gathering pumpkins and raking up autumn leaves makes this Tools Up! DLC a virtual Thanksgiving game. But be careful, there’s a whole bunch of crazy mischief lying in wait in the garden too!

Splatoon

  • Age rating: PEGI 7
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Game rating: 3 candied apples

Let’s face it, sometimes you just feel like you need to shoot something, especially before the pumpkin pie graces the table. That’s where Splatoon comes in, offering a family-oriented way to blow off some steam and let out some laughs.

Grab your friends and family into two teams of up to four and try to paint the entire level with your paint guns (and hopefully good aim) before time runs out. This paintball with a twist also lets you play online just in case all your cousins couldn’t make it for the turkey and mash.

Little Racer

  • Age rating: ESRB Everyone
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Game rating: 4 hay bales

Little Racer is a perfect Thanksgiving video game for parents and children alike. This dynamic slot car racing game has simple mechanics that let you jump right in and race across more than 100 levels of different tracks! Gather up your nieces and nephews and zoom across the track with up to 4 players in one race.

If you finish all the levels, but Aunt Martha said the turkey isn’t done yet, create your own tracks and race along those for hours of extra gameplay fun. With so much fun packed into such little cars, Little Racer is one of the best family co-op games you could choose.

Madden NFL

  • Age rating: PEGI 3
  • Platform: PC, PlayStation, Xbox
  • Rating: 3 yams

There’s nothing more traditional during Thanksgiving than watching football, but what better way to really get involved than by playing it yourself! Reek havoc on teams you’re not a fan of or show what your favorite team can really do on the field.

It takes some time to get good at this game, but there is a rookie mode that is great for Thanksgiving football players who just want to toss the ball around a little and have some fun. Hardcore football fans can also dive into the player management system to get a feel for draft season. 

Madden NFL supports online multiplayer so you can throw long passes to friends and family across the country.

Lumberhill

  • Age rating: ESRB Everyone
  • Platform: PC, Switch (planned)
  • Game rating: 4 cans of sweetcorn

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to get in touch with nature and learn that it can totally kick your butt. 

In Lumberhill, you play as a quirky lumberjack who has a lot to do like chop down trees or herd sheep all before the clock runs out. If you have enough of the forest, travel to other times and worlds and herd pandas or gather up dino eggs.

This multiplayer party game lets you play with up to 4 players in co-op or PvP mode, so have your family help you or just throw them off the map. You can also try to get your tasks done in single player mode if the rest of the fam is in a food coma. All in all, Lumberhill is a perfect Thanksgiving video game for the entire family to bond and laugh over.

Banished

  • Age rating: n/a
  • Platform: PC
  • Rating: 4 pilgrims

If you really want to get into the spirit of what the settlers encountered in the colonies, Banished can do just that. Start off a settlement with limited resources and settlers and live off of what nature offers and you can gather. The changing of the seasons plays an important role here; a sudden frost can make your harvest from bountiful to barely enough to survive.

It takes a little planning, strategy, and luck to make sure everyone is fed, housed, and warm, otherwise your entire settlement will become a ghost town quite quickly.

Red Wings: Aces of the Sky

  • Age rating: ESRB 10+
  • Platform: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
  • Rating: 4 pumpkin spice lattes

If a massive turkey dinner has you feeling too close to the ground, then take to the skies for a breath of fresh air. Red Wings: Aces of the Sky is an arcade fighter plane action game where you can zoom through the clouds over Europe by the Red Baron’s side or against him.

The flight mechanics are simple enough to enjoy the game after about five minutes, no matter your experience with flying games. Blow off some steam together with a sibling, or tap into your family rivalry with local co-op mode and try to shoot each other out of the sky and become the Thanksgiving ace of the family.

Firewatch

  • Age rating: PEGI 16
  • Platform: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
  • Game rating: 3,5 toasted marshmallows

If you need to spend some time away from the fam, this is a good Thanksgiving video game to get lost in since you play a character who is literally running away from a not-so-great life. In this single-player game, you man a fire lookout tower with a walkie-talkie that is your only contact with the outside world, but it soon turns out there are more mysteries waiting for you among the evergreens.

The game has simple mechanics and pleasant graphics, but really takes the cake (or apple pie) when it comes to the dialogue and voice actors. This Thanksgiving game is perfect for those who need a little downtime in between helpings of mashed potatoes.

Paradise Lost

  • Age rating: ESRB M
  • Platform: PC
  • Game rating: 4 turkeys

Why fight about politics and history over the dinner table, when you can experience an alternate history on your own?

Paradise Lost is a post-apocalyptic game that is reflective and somber and set in a cold, eerie world that never saw Nazi Germany defeated.

You play as 12-year-old Szymon who stumbled upon an abandoned bunker while trying to unlock the mysteries of his own past. The game mechanics are very simple since this game is primarily story-driven and with little complex action required from the player. The graphics are amazing and so is the soundtrack, letting you immerse yourself in the story and mystery interlaced with retro futuristic military technology as well as Slavic mythology the further down you venture. 

Don’t be surprised if, while playing this Thanksgiving video game, you realize you have a lot to be thankful for.

Mario Kart

  • Age rating: PEGI 3
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Game rating: 3,5 plates of mashed potatoes

Mario Kart is a family classic and a great game to play with all the young little turkeys in your family.

Race with up to 4 players locally in fun rides (like gliders or motorbikes) and using cool tricks like racing along walls and doing flips. The tracks are also in fun, different environments, including underwater racing. 

Obviously, the game is also well known for its colorful characters that keep coming back and never seem to get old, making Mario Kart a Thanksgiving video game classic.

So those are our top picks for the best video games to play this Thanksgiving. Have you spent one of your Thanksgivings playing any of these games? Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving video game that isn’t on the list? Let us know in the comments below or on our Discord!

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