"You better not pout, you better not cry, you better watch out, I'm tellin' you why: Santa Claus is comin' to town." Old Klingon Proverb
The original morality motivator way before Bioware got their grubby fingers all over it was Santa Claus. If you were good, you were rewarded. If you were bad, you weren't (well, at least in theory. Reality: if your parents have money, you get good stuff. If not, you are consumed by a guilt complex that assumes a bearded man in the North Pole has judged you unworthy of gifts). So it makes sense he would pop up every now and then in videogames. And here are the 10 merriest cameos by Ol' Saint Nick in videogame history.
10. Secret of Mana
Remember when Square games used to be fun? Not just technically-accomplished and engaging, but weird and fun and goofy? This attitude could probably best be exemplified by their output on the Super Nintendo most notably the Secret of Mana. Halfway through the game you fight Frost Gigas who, it turns out, is actually Santa Claus, who transformed into the evil being because children no longer believed in him (also he tried to grow a magic, big Christmas tree). So believe in Santa, kids, otherwise we'll have to deal with a frozen demon monstrosity who's really into Arbor Day.
9. Toy Commander Christmas Surprise
Not a lot of people played Dreamcast, and even less played Toy Commander. And now that we're already at maybe a handful of people, even less than that played Toy Commander: Christmas Surprise, which was only available as a demo disc that came with an issue of the Official Dreamcast Magazine. It's too bad though Toy Commander was a fun game, basically Toy Story but with the toys at war with one another for dominance of the household. And Christmas Surprise amounted to basically a fun bonus mission, where you protected Santa Claus (or Father Christmas) as he distributed toys throughout the house. And if you don't think having Buzz Lightyear blasting away at his fellow toys to save Christmas sounds like fun, you may literally be Ebenezer Scrooge. Watch out for ghosts on Christmas Eve (Boos and Pac-Man ghosts, mostly).
Given you can create pretty much anything in Scribblenauts, it's not much of a surprise that you can make Santa Claus as well. What makes him special here, though, is that you can create infinite Santa Clauses all of whom will give you presents (all of which you could have made on your own, but whatever). And if you put him in the vicinity of candy canes, cookies, or milk, he'll run towards them regardless of what else is going on. And you can create Jack Frost and finally recreate Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause in Scribblenauts form, just to cross off one more item on your bucket list.
On December 25th, if you're one of the two people still playing Shenmue on Dreamcast, you just might run into Santa Claus in town, in between playing Space Harrier and looking for sailors down by the docks. He's wandering around town, seemingly aimlessly, and won't give you any presents or anything, but he will wish you a Merry Christmas and tell you to eat some hamburgers or buy some flowers. Which is nice 'n all, trying to support local businesses, but I'd much rather have Shenmue 3. Which is totally still happening, guys.
6. Bully: Scholarship Edition
Okay, so Rudy may not be the "actual Santa Claus". He may be "a deranged, alcoholic bum dressed as a mall Santa and is obsessed with getting children to sit on his lap in a garbage-filled alleyway" but
jeez. Okay, I think that pretty much covers it.