You know what there isn’t enough of in the gaming industry: funny video games. We have our gems, but more attention needs to be paid to making games that get you to laugh, not just cry or gasp. After all, some of the most memorable games I’ve played have been humorous, and it’s because a funny video game has access to a whole unique aspect of comedy.
Video games are filled with tropes and cliches, both narratively and mechanically, that lend themselves for self-aware roasting. Many comedic video games access this to set themselves apart from other types of comedy. In other words, a great comedic video game doesn’t just have funny writing: it builds a humorous world, incorporates hilarious combat, and has a style that can’t help but put a grin on your face. They do all of this in a way that is unique to video games.
So, without further ado, here are the 10 funniest video games as of today, with only one game per franchise. Let’s appreciate them, so that more may come in the future!
10. Goat Simulator
Glitches are funny. When they aren’t breaking games, they bring a smile to our face as they break immersion in the most ridiculous of ways. Goat Simulator took this concept and made a game out of it. The game is purposely glitchy, with physics being incredibly sensitive and powerful. The graphics aren’t fantastic, which supports the entire theme of a game not properly developed.
Also, you play as a goat, which is frickin’ hilarious, and you use your tongue as a weapon. Feel free to grab a person with your tongue and ride a skateboard down the street with them dragging behind you. It is open-world, meaning there is a large area full of secrets and hijinks to discover. So, it succeeds in having funny easter eggs and concepts, but it is the gameplay, which is purposefully glitchy, that makes this game one of the funniest video games you’ll ever play.
9. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
The Far Cry series has always dabbled in comedy, presenting the player with outrageous characters and situations amidst its more serious games. However, Blood Dragon decided to completely indulge in the comedy typical of the Far Cry series. A standalone title, although it is an off-shoot of Far Cry 3 itself, Blood Dragon should be called 80’s Action Movie: The Game. The dialogue is so incredibly cheesy and dumb, many of the jokes make fun of the concepts and plots of many famous action flicks, and the cutscenes play out like an 80’s arcade game.
The comical writing isn’t all, however. The world is composed of many colours, all in bright neon. As well, almost everything has lasers because lasers are awesome. There are dinosaurs in the game that shoot lasers because this game is awesome. All costumes, weapons, and more fit with the 80’s action movie aesthetic, which makes it almost impossible not to smile when you play this game. Also, some of the weapons are ridiculous…ridiculously fun! There is a shuriken that shoots lasers! If that doesn’t make you want to play this hysterical game, I don’t know what will, you joyless husk.
8. The Stanley Parable
The Stanley Parable is a rather simple little indie game that, despite its tiny size, is complete genius. The core concept is that you are Stanley, you work at an office, and a British narrator begins to tell you what to do via narration. You must choose to follow the story laid out by the narration or to begin disobeying the narrator at any point. There are many, many endings to this game, all of which depend on a wide variety of choices. Although some are rather serious, other endings are hysterical.
Disobeying the narrator leads him to deliver hilarious lines in a perfectly comical tone. As well, the method in which you disobey the narrator can lead to increasingly hilarious situations. You can break the game yourself, make the narrator so made he simply stops the game, and much more. There is also a particularly hilarious scene involving fire and a cardboard cut-out of a baby. I won’t say any more – you’ll just have to find out for yourself. This is an hysterical game, with intelligent, self-aware, and unique humour.
7. Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Conker first graced consoles in 2001, in a time oversaturated with gaming mascots all competing for the public’s attention. Conker’s Bad Fur Day started as a typical children’s game but quickly changed in a very key way to stand out amongst the competition; Rare decided to make Conker, the adorable little squirrel, M-rated. And, yes, that is as funny as it sounds.
The world is animated as if it was a children’s game, and the voice acting sounds like it was ripped straight out of a children’s cartoon. However, the game is filled with profanity and gore, with also an incredible amount of ridiculous, scandalous, and shocking situations. Did you ever want to facilitate fornication between a flower and a bee? Have you ever wanted to become inebriated and slay your enemies with your pee? Have you ever wanted to slay a giant piece of poop that, you must admit, has a pretty good singing voice? Then Conker’s Bad Fur Day is the game for you. It’s one of the funniest video games of all time, but, please, make sure no kids play it.
6. Saints Row IV
The Saints Row series may have started as your standard open-world affair, but it soon blossomed into something beautiful. To be distinct in an oversaturated genre, Saints Row became silly, ridiculous, and hilarious. Saints Row: The Third is an admittedly hilarious game, but the fourth entry in the series wins out based on premise alone:
The main character, who used to be a leader of a massive criminal organization, is now the President of the United States and tasked with reclaiming Earth after a successful alien invasion. And your chief-of-staff is Keith David. Yes, the actor Keith David.
Not sold? Well, what if I told you that the writing is hilarious, with incredible voice actors rendering even the most boring line amusing? The missions in the game are incredibly silly, and the superpowers you obtain throughout the game (did I forget to mention you have superpowers, Mr President?) can make even the most mundane tasks funny. Some of the weapons are hysterical, with the Dubstep gun being as effective as it is silly, and a certain phallic-oriented blunt instrument being especially hilarious, if immature. By all accounts, you won’t be able to stop laughing when you play Saints Row IV.
5. Octodad: Dadliest Catch
Octodad: Dadliest Catch takes a similar approach to humour as Goat Simulator does but improves upon the idea in a few key ways. First, the core concept is that you are an octopus who has married a human woman, sired human children, and work a human job. You’ve done all of this for years, but no one knows that you aren’t human, but an octopus. The objective of the game is to make sure that no one finds out what you are, which is quite difficult given how cumbersome the controls are.
It’s all on purpose, though, as struggling to control each of his four primary limbs makes completing even the simplest task a hilarious disaster. There are many jokes, though, with some clever writing that makes you laugh throughout the game, making sure that the game has an appeal beyond its gameplay. The graphics are simple but light and colourful, all of which contribute to a humorous tone. Best of all, though, is the fact that there is co-op. Each player can control up to one or two limbs, making communication essential for success. Sadly, you will rarely be successful as you and your friends will stumble and wreck your way through increasingly hilarious situations, making this one of the funniest video games ever, and one to enjoy thoroughly with your friends.
4. The Outer Worlds
This is the newest entry on this list, but it is among the best of them. The game is developed by Obsidian, the same studio that made Fallout: New Vegas. Therefore, the game takes the humour that was evident in that rather grim game and ratchets it up to 11. Set in a segment of space that is ruled by capitalist ideals and companies, The Outer Worlds uses the world it creates to craft a poignant yet hilarious satire.
All the characters are hilarious, and the writing is top-notch; in fact, The Outer Worlds may have the best writing of any game on this list. Science Weapons allow for some goofiness in combat, but it is mainly the story, world, quests, and dialogue that make this game the comedic force that it is. Concepts like if a person dies on the job, their closest living relative is responsible for the funeral costs don’t seem funny at first. Then, you learn that closest living relative means the closest living person relative to where that person died, and you can’t stop laughing. This is one of the funniest video games of all time, and it just recently hit shelves.
3. Borderlands 2
You can’t make a funniest video games list without having a Borderlands game make an appearance. Although the first and the third game in the series are very amusing, Borderlands 2 is the funniest of all of them. It took everything, including the humour, of the first game and improved upon them in every single way. There were more jokes than ever about video games themselves, with the game using quests to troll players in hilarious, various ways. Borderlands 2 knows what gamers love and hate, and it uses that to make an abundant amount of jokes regarding the medium itself.
The story was also hysterical, with many characters constantly bringing a smile to your face. However, Handsome Jack is the real star here. In addition to being one of the most menacing villains in gaming, he is also one of the funniest. Every time you hear his voice through your ECHO, you are ready to laugh. Combat was also humorous; certain characters (either yourself, enemies, or others) will say hilarious things during a battle, and some weapons are just silly to use, making you laugh. Shoutout to the most annoying gun ever, Energizing Bane, that slows your character down to a crawl and, when you pull the trigger, emits the sound of a dozen screaming, high pitched voices. Borderlands 2 is a game built on comedy, and it pulls it off exquisitely, making it one of the funniest video games ever.
2. South Park: The Stick of Truth
Usually, I would not include a video game based on a successful TV show. However, the entire plot, all of the dialogue, and everything else were written only for the game. Considering that, and that it is also just a good game, South Park: The Stick of Truth deserves a place on this list. Now, since it is written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators and writers of South Park, the writing is hilarious. You find yourself in increasingly ridiculous scenarios that you don’t need previous experience with South Park to find funny, although the game is even funnier if you are a fan of the show.
Although the South Park: The Fractured But Whole is also a hilarious game, the first takes the cake because it is filled to the brim with comedy. Battles are hysterical with many disgusting, immature, but undeniably funny attacks, all of which are based on fantasy RPGs in one way or another. As well, the game makes fun of video games in the most loving yet savage way possible. This game will make anyone who loves video games laugh. The style, writing, combat – hell, every single aspect of this game- is hilarious. It is one of the funniest video games of all time, whether you have seen the show or not.
1. Portal 2
Portal 2 was something that never should have worked. Taking the core concept of an perfect, short puzzle experience and expanding it into a much larger game should have, at the very least, ended with mixed results, if not a failure. Instead, what we get is the funniest video game of all time. The story is hysterical, the writing is hilarious, and the world of Aperature Labs is filled with light-hearted, humorous character.
Wheatley is a comedic highlight, played by the hilarious Stephen Merchant, who, in fact, just had a small but hilarious part in the recently released Jojo Rabbit. Glados, as always, is hysterical, especially when she is reduced to the status of a potato that is attached to your portal gun. As a whole, nearly every corner of this game, from the concept of the portal experiments themselves to the dangerously polite robots, is hilarious, making it the funniest game of all time. If you haven’t played this title yet, please, go do so now. Go. I’ll wait.
And there we go. I hope you had a laugh or two reminiscing about some of the games on this list. If not, I hope you realized just exactly where your next paycheck is going. Hint: towards the games on this list.
Were there any games you felt deserved a place on this list? Would you change the order? Let us know in the comments below!