When the holidays come around, households split into two camps. Some become a whirlwind of activity with a glut of guests that need feeding and entertaining.
Others find the house quiet and although it allows them some well-earned downtime, it can also be a little boring. Whatever you do on the big day, it helps to have some entertainment ready. Click below to browse all our games, or scroll down to continue reading.
To get in the holiday spirit with the best Thanksgiving video games, check out our top picks:
One of the sports games of the year is also one of the stand-out Thanksgiving games in 2022. For many, a Thanksgiving sports game is part of the routine. The Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys always have a game on the day - why shouldn't you?
Madden NFL 2023 is the latest game in the long-running football franchise. Released in August, it is available on Xbox, PlayStation and Microsoft Windows. For the first time in over 20 years, Madden himself appears on the cover. It has a range of new modes including legacy games and extra features like free agency tools.
The animated series South Park has had a few console outings, but this one is one of the wackiest "Happy Thanksgiving!" video games to date. Upon its initial release in 1998, the game was only available on the Nintendo 64 console. Unexpectedly, it is a first-person shooter.
In the game, a comet lands on earth releasing a host of enemies, some of which are rabid turkeys. You must run around the map, launching snowballs at them. It's such a Thanksgiving-themed game that its subtitle is "Turkey Butt". Other odd weapons include cow launchers and the obligatory Terence and Phillip dolls.
When the time comes for Thanksgiving day games, you may have already spent enough time in the kitchen and be sick of it. Yet if you revel in competitive cooking and want to take on your family, casual games do not come much better than Overcooked 2, a fun cooking simulator game.
The premise is that teams of four have to cook up dishes in a range of crazy restaurants. You have to chop, cook, wash dishes, and prepare food while trying not to bump into teammates. The action builds along with the tension, as you traverse moving floors, fire pits and numerous platforms to get the job done. It has one of the best cooperative gameplay modes available, so brings lots of family fun to the Thanksgiving video games table.
For this retro classic, you may need to get in the attic and dust off your grandparent's Atari 2600, or at least head to eBay. EggoMania is possibly the only one of the Thanksgiving video games whose title character is a turkey.
Eggs are thrown by a turkey, and the player must catch them in a hat. Points accumulate and the player can even gain more by throwing the eggs back at the turkey when the round ends. It is simple, but so enjoyable, and the speed increases when the rounds go on.
Assassin's Creed III harks back to Boston and New York in 1770. Like most of the Assassins Creed games, it is mired in semi-truthful historical narrative and lets you meet luminaries such as George Washington. The game has recently had a remaster, featuring all the downloadable content and the Liberation addition.
If you were worried about its Thanksgiving video games credentials, then rest assured: find the hidden easter eggs and you'll see how it fits into the Thanksgiving celebrations. Enter a specific house and blow a whistle to see a plump, juicy wild turkey arrives. Entering a cheat code means the turkey dons the white hood, and you can use him to carry out assassination tasks.
Playing this game may take a little more work on Thanksgiving, as it is a classic arcade game from 2000 that was mostly available in bars. But if you can find it, it's sure to satisfy your hankering for Thanksgiving video games. It uses light gun technology, much like the famous Big Buck Hunter games, and was published by Sammy Studios.
The premise is simple: you drop in the coins, then take the pump action shotgun from the arcade machine. You then have a time limit in which you must blast as many wild turkeys as possible. The game is fun, but the limitation of only shooting one animal meant it did not have the repeat playability that many of its contemporaries did.
This all depends on the type of Thanksgiving games your family loves, but the most popular ones could be on consoles like the Nintendo Switch, while some of the biggest offline options include Thanksgiving bingo or a scavenger hunt.
Shake your tail feather is one of the easiest and fun games to play on Thanksgiving. All the family can take part, from small children to seniors. It involves tying a box around your waist that sits at the lower back. Filled with feathers, competitors are timed and must shake the box rapidly until their turn is over. The feathers are then counted and the person who has shaken the most from the box takes the prize.
Aside from serving them delicious food, you may want to arrange some games, including Thanksgiving video games. These can be adaptations of simple party games, with no need for crazy adventure games. Don’t neglect simple activities either, such as going for a walk after lunch and spending time around the table making conversation.