Gaming the Holidays: Games that Let You “Go Outside!”

We all have at least one relative who doesn’t quite get this gaming thing. Great Uncle Albert, for example, has a habit of shouting “It’s a beautiful day! Put that down and go outside!”

This holiday season, we think we’ve got a way to to avoid the roll-your-eyes-and-ignore-them response (hey, we’ve all done it), and connect with them instead.

Because what you can show Great Uncle Albert is that, even while staying indoors, you can spend quality time with him and share some beautiful sights. Here are our top suggestions for: Games for Outdoor Exploration Lovers.

The Long Dark

Purchase Info | Release Trailer | Game Website

The Long Dark plunges you deep into a cold, dark, winter apocalypse, where you must fight for survival by exploring the wilderness for resources. It’s a gorgeous yet desolate hike through an unforgiving world. This would be a great game for Great Uncle Albert to “build character.”


AER – Memories of Old

Purchase Info | Release Trailer | Game Website

AER – Memories of Old lets you fly around a series of floating islands. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful exploration game among the clouds. Your Great Uncles will have to admit that it’s a stunning experience that’s hard to replicate in the real world, as they fly in bird form around an ancient civilization, meet spirit animals, and discover old secrets.



Purchase Info | Release Trailer | Game Website

Firewatch is a suspenseful first-person mystery game where you play as Henry, a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. The game takes you exploring the local trails to keep the area safe; hiking, climbing, and admiring flora and fauna. Besides the wonderful story and excellent dialogue, Firewatch offers an immersive experience–as you trek through the great outdoors, you’ll really feel as though you’re exploring the area, and every subtle observation of the environment adds to the ambiance, as well as the underlying mystery.


theHunter: Call of the Wild

Purchase Info | Release Trailer | Game Website

Hunting! Not just hunting–the ultimate hunting experience. This hunting simulator offers an open world with all kinds of prey. With realistic acoustics, day and night cycles, weather, and even a scents-carrying wind mechanic, this is a deeply immersive experience that you and Great Uncle Albert can enjoy together.



Purchase Info | Release Trailer | Game Website

This is the outdoor exploration choice for the space-loving relative. Explore the galaxy to discover the secret of a rare material, Morphite. You can choose to delve into the story-driven plot, or simply explore the vast universe at your disposal. The low-poly design creates a delightful stylized environment, which only off-worlders like you and Great Uncle Albert have access to.



Purchase Info | Release Trailer | Game Website

A puzzle adventure game set on a mysterious island, RiME follows a young shipwrecked boy as he explores the area and solves environmental puzzles. With each area of the island representing one of the five stages of grief, the overarching story adds a subtle melancholy to your exploration, as you uncover the story throughout the game. It’s a bright, beautiful setting to spend some time with Great Uncle Albert as you share the emotional tale.


With these games, you can enjoy the great outdoors and play outside–and bring Great Uncle Albert with you! Spend some time discovering new adventures with your relatives this holiday season.

Happy (gaming) holidays!

Suzanne Wallace
ID@Xbox Community Manager