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Ten Tuesday 27
Top Ten Funniest Games
There are many top ten lists, but this one is mine. If you think a
game is missing here, I either didn't play it, didn't have any
interest in it, or I just hate you.
is tough. In all my film classes we were warned repeatedly to never
do comedy, and it's a huge rookie mistake. Humor is extremely
subjective and comes from a unique combination of writing and
delivery that speaks to each person differently. Video games have
come a long way since just text on the screen and now we can
appreciate a whole range of human emotions on screen from comic
relief characters to satire. As the writing has evolved so too has
the capacity for jokes, hilarious voice acting, and light-hearted
moments that keep us grounded during the all too familiar Murder 'Em
All plotlines of today's games. Having recently played The Bard's
Tale, a game particularly known for its humor, I decided to see where
exactly it would stack up in my personal list for Top Ten Funniest
Ten Funniest Games
Toejam and Earl in Panic on Funkotron
brilliantly fun same-screen cooperative platformer (that definitely
made my co-op list), this sequel put our titular heroes back on their
home planet of Funkotron and tasked with recapturing all the
Earthlings that stowed away on their ship. Enemies include typical
annoying tourists whose cameras stun you, rich old ladies with
ferocious poodles, a ghost cow capable of briefly possessing our
heroes, and an inexplicably naked man in a box who....sings at you
and throws tomatoes. The game was zany 90s humor at its best full of
minigames that shouted words like RADICAL and FUNKY at you, not to
mention a kind of 2D version of those Sonic tunnels called the
Hyperfunk Zone. Certainly a classic of its era and one in which I
always remember fondly and hilariously.
The Bard's Tale
undead are rising from their graves, even my mother in law! It was
tough enough killing her the first time!"
I started listing out my short list of funny games The Bard's Tale
just couldn't compete with some of my favorites. I fear that much of
this is because The Bard's Tale is the weakest game on this list,
even though I'm trying to judge solely on how much I enjoyed the
overall humor in each game. While I did enjoy a lot of the jokes and
gags that were presented, I felt like there was a lot of low-hanging
fruit to be had with making fun of tired fantasy and video game
tropes, especially by the time I played it. But The Bard's Tale does make
this list and The Bard is definitely a hilariously snarky character.
I especially enjoyed his relationship with the omnipresent narrator,
who clearly hates him.
can read my Final Thoughts on The Bard's Tale right here.
Plants Vs. Zombies
from the title name you know you're in for a not-so-serious take on
some classic tower defense gameplay. The cartoony graphics and silly
humor make the game standout from the rest, from the funny misspelled
notes the zombies leave at the end of each section to your sole human
ally Crazy Dave living up to his name as an obsessed horticulturist.
The plants range from potato mines and peashooters and all have cutsy
little faces as the faceoff against the relentless zombie hordes,
whom are equally adorable with screen door shields and traffic cones.
Disco zombies, zombies driving zambonis, zombies swimming underwater
using snorkels - the game is one visual gag after another, and it
all comes together in one of the best video game music videos ever.
Quest for Glory 4
attempt to have a meaningful dialogue with the cat. It says 'meow.'"
LucasArts were known more for injecting humor into their point and
click adventure games, Sierra still did a fine job sticking in jokes
and jabs throughout their high fantasy adventures, especially my
beloved Quest for Glory series. The Fourth installment really hit it
out of the park as it added this incredible new aspect called voice
acting thanks to the awesome new CD-ROM technology. Sierra got the
great Jonathan Rhys-Davis as the narrator and his droll but
comforting voice makes plenty of jokes throughout the journey
(usually at the Hero's expense), and even the most mundane "That
didn't do anything!" always brought a smile to my face. The whole
colorful cast of characters were fully voiced as well: from the
suspicious Russian Burgomeister to the very Boris Karloff inspired
castle gatekeeper, and my personal favorites - the three townsfolk
in the tavern, clearly modeled after Jack Nicholson, Rodney
Dangerfield, and Robert DeNiro. Their string of ad-libbing over the
subtitles is still one of my favorite and funniest moments in video
Grand Theft Auto IV
this entry the entire Grand Theft Auto series - like South Park
it's sometimes crass, sometimes clever, but always brilliant satire
on modern society and all the crazy things we mock on a day to day
basis. GTA4 is the most recent, and the fake television shows alone
would be enough to make this list. Republican Space Rangers!
Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness
me preface by explaining that I have only just recently purchased the
fourth and final episode of this wacky and fun role playing series
based on famous webcomic by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, better
known as Gabe and Tycho of Penny Arcade. The first three episodes
alone easily cement it as one of the funniest game series I've ever
played. If you enjoy the webcomic you'll love seeing many of your
favorite characters, gags, Jerry's trademark humor and Mike's art
style. The first two were developed by HotHead and created somewhat
average turn based adventure gameplay, while the last two were
developed by retro RPG genius Zeboyd, and Episode 3 was not only an
amazingly funny game, but a great throwback SNES era RPG in its own
right. What other RPG lets you play as a Crabomancer and fight hobos?
"Ever feel like you were born in the wrong time - like you should
have been born earlier when the music was...real?"
"...like the seventies?"
"No, earlier. Like....the early seventies."
always carried a pretty big torch for Double Fine's criminally
underrated and basically commercial failure Brutal Legend. Combining
Tim Schafer's love of Metal and light-hearted style humor, Brutal
Legend imagines a world where Jack Black gets thrown into an awesome
world of Metal album covers with all its wacky denizens. Eddie Riggs
forms a resistance group out of the headbangers, razor girls, and
thunderhogs among other leather wearing hard rockers to battle the
glam rock likes of Lionwhyte, the goth forces of the Drowning Doom,
and the ultimate death metal demonic armies of Doviculous. The art
style is reminiscent of the best Tim Burton stuff and the writing is
pure Schafer awesome. Even if you only think Jack Black or Tenacious
D is okay, there's still a lot to love in Brutal Legend.
The Secret of Monkey Island
being a huge fan of adventure games, I never played what many
consider to be LucasArts' best adventure series, and one of the best
adventure games ever made until an HD remake came out a few years
ago. I got to enjoy the game with all new updated graphics,
painstakiling recreating scene by scene and with a nifty function
that with a press of a button could revert the screen back to its
original pixelated form. Of course, the writing didn't need updating
at all and it's still an incredibly clever and fun tale of an inept
pirate wannabe. My favorite standout moment is when hero Guybrush
Threepwood has to learn how to duel the pirate way, which is 100%
about yelling various insults at each other with swords drawn. A
of Double Fine's games are generally funny and light-hearted, and Tim
Schafer seems to possess a special Pixar type quality that brings us
funny and heart warming tales that can easily be enjoyed by adults
and kids alike. Double Fine's debut title, Psychonauts, still remains
their funniest to date - telling the story of a hopeful young
psychic warrior's adventures at psychic summer camp. The concept of
levels that took place in the demented citizens minds made for some
really great level design and ranged from clever to creepy but all
generally enjoyable. Raz was definitely the sane person in an insane
world, and the final section took place in an insane asylum, offering
up some truly crazy levels. All the various kids and camp counselors
are all the right kinds of funny and weird, like something out of a
classic Saturday Morning Cartoon.
can read the very first Final Thoughts I ever wrote on Psychonauts
difficult to rank some of the entries in this list, there was never
any doubt on which would be #1. The Borderlands series and all its
various downloadable content has by far been the most I've ever
laughed while playing a video game. From its comic book art style to
pitch perfect voice acting and laugh out loud dialogue, this series
hits all the right notes for me and tickles my funny bone like no
other. From the very first boss fight against Nine Toes in the first
game, when your told for no reason whatsoever that he has three
balls, you know you're in for a unique experience. While the first
game lacked somewhat in a cohesive story, the sequel ramped
everything up in such a perfect and satisfying way that I'm not sure
how Gearbox can top it. Returning characters and fan favorites were
given expanded roles like Mad Moxxi, Claptrap, and Scooter, all the
returning Vault Hunters were now featured as important story
characters and brilliant new characters that fit the insane and
irreverent universe perfectly really stole the game, namely the
villainous Handsome Jack and the precocious and demented Tiny Tina.
Special mention must also be given to the remarkably amazing
downloadable content that has been released, and should be proof that
Gearbox can indeed build upon the awesome world they've created.
Namely, the character of Mister Torgue is quite possibly the funniest
character in all of video gaming, and the most recent DLC, Tiny
Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, puts our Vault Hunters playing a
parody game of Dungeons and Dragons, called Bunkers and Badasses,
that subverts and celebrates all things nerdy and geeky while also
creating a unique and fun experience.
said above, humor is really difficult and we all react to it in
different ways. I don't begrudge anyone disagreeing with my list; you
could easily name your own Top Ten funniest games and not have a
single game on here, and that's perfectly fine. In fact, it would
celebrate the diversity we have in video gaming that would allow for
different types of humor. Or I just need to play more humorous games!
just know, if you don't find Mister Torgue funny we probably couldn't
be friends in real life. EXPLOSIONS!!!!!!