Every Simpsons Video Game Ever
In honor of The Simpsons 25th anniversary we're revisiting this feature that collects all The Simpsons video games in one feature.
As The Simpsons celebrates 25 years on the air, one can’t help of think of the many Simpsons video games that have released over the years. Some terrible, some less terrible, and a handful of decent games give the interactive virtual incarnation of the show a strange history. You can check out the highs and lows of the library below, as well as see our review scores, where applicable.
The Simpsons Arcade Game (1991) – Arcade
Of the earlier Simpsons games, the arcade game stands out as being the most memorable of all the games that came to follow it. The arcade game offered a fantastic recreation of the show that was airing on TV, all while offering a fun multiplayer beat ‘em up experience. Its re-release as a downloadable title on consoles in 2012 was the source of a lot of excitement.
The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants (1991) – PC, NES, Sega Master System, Genesis, Game Gear
A mostly unimpressive platformer starring Bart, Bart vs. the Space Mutants didn’t do much to differentiate itself from similar platformers of the time.
Bart Simpson's Escape from Camp Deadly (1991) – Game Boy
Another fairly standard, straightforward Simpsons platformer, this game featured the appearance of Mr. Burns' nephew, Ironfist Burns, who never appeared in the show.
The Simpsons Bart vs. the World (1991) – NES, Sega Maser System, Game Gear
In this platfomer, Bart is sent on a globe hopping journey going to places like China, the North Pole, Egypt, and Hollywood where he must fight weird incarnations of Mr. Burns like The Abominable Snow Burns.
The Simpsons Bart's House of Weirdness (1992) – PC
Part point and click, part action game, Bart’s House of Weirdness was hard – a theme Simpsons video game fans would become all too familiar with.
The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Juggernauts (1992) – Game Boy
Moving away from the platformer gameplay of previous titles, Bart vs. the Juggernauts plays more the like an American Gladiators game with a collection of challenges like playing basketball on a bouncy court or skateboarding on an obstacle course.
The Simpsons Bartman Meets Radioactive Man (1992) – NES, Game Gear
After his brief stint in non-platforming on the Game Boy, Bart returned to what he knew best (but wasn’t particularly good at) for an adventure with Radioactive Man while he took on his Bartman alter ego
The Simpsons Bart's Nightmare (1992) – SNES, Genesis
Review Score: 8.5
One of The Simpsons games I am more familiar with, I have a lot of memories of playing this game, but not actually making much progress. In the game, Bart wanders the streets of his neighborhood picking up lost homework pages and getting periodically pulled into strange, surreal minigames that would do things like turn Bart into an Indiana Jones-type, or turn him into a blood cell to fight viruses.
The Itchy & Scratchy Game (1992) – SNES, Genesis, Game Gear
It may be the first game to not feature Bart at some playable capacity, but it didn’t abandon the mediocre platforming of previous titles. The big difference for this release, was that players played as the titular mouse, Itchy.
Krusty's Fun House (1992) – NES, Game Boy, SNES, Genesis, Game Gear, PC
Only privileged enough to feature The Simpsons, as it proudly proclaimed on the front of the box, Krusty’s Fun House was more like a puzzle game. Players played as Krusty as he exterminates rats in a series of levels.
Virtual Bart (1994) – SNES, Genesis
Another I am personally more familiar with than others on this list, Virtual Bart was basically a collection of games that were a little bigger than minigames, but none large enough to stand on their own. There was a weird post apocalypse, Mad Max-like game, a game where Bart played as a dinosaur, and one where he played as a pig. It was a strange game.
You can check out our Replay episode of Virtual Bart here.
Itchy & Scratchy in Miniature Golf Madness (1994) – Game Boy
A strange concept of a game, Itchy & Scratchy in Miniature Golf Madness was part platformer and part minigolf game. Players, as Scratchy, would putt a golf ball through a level while avoiding or attacking Itchy to keep him at bay.
The Simpsons: Bart & the Beanstalk (1995) – Game Boy
Another platformer starring Bart, this one used the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale as its backdrop for some reason. I played this game quite a bit, and remember it being brutally difficult.
The Simpsons: Virtual Springfield (1997) – PC
An apt title, Virtual Springfield let players explore a virtual Springfield. It was more like a point and click without much danger to impede your progress.
The Simpsons Bowling (2000) – Arcade
A game I have never played or seen in person, The Simpsons Bowling used the rolling ball popular in comparable arcade bowling games and golf games, and featured Simpsons characters.
The Simpsons Night of the Living Treehouse of Horror (2001) – Game Boy Color
Review Score: 7.5
Another platformer in a long line of Simpsons platformers, this one featured levels themed after specific Treehouse of Horror episodes of the TV show, like the Nightmare Cafeteria segment, for example.
Interesting sidenote: watching these episodes when I was young, I didn’t understand that they weren’t canonical and was confused why the assorted deaths and atrocities wouldn’t follow through to following episodes.
The Simpsons Wrestling (2001) – PlayStation
Review Score: 2
We don’t often hand out scores this low, so you can imagine how terrible this game was. The idea behind it is noble. It had the potential to be a bit like Super Smash Bros., pitting a collection of popular characters against one another, but it was a terrible, borderline unplayable mess.
You can see us play some of the game by watching the Roulette segment of this episode of Replay here.
The Simpsons Skateboarding (2001) – PlayStation 2
Trying to capitalize on the success of Tony Hawk (presumably), Skateboarding starred a bunch of Simpsons characters skateboarding. We were so turned off by Wrestling that we didn’t even bother reviewing it.
The Simpsons Road Rage (2001) – PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, [GBA, 2003]
Review Score: 8
This game was basically Crazy Taxi, but with Simpsons characters. The opportunity to explore Springfield and give rides to Simpsons characters, both obscure and well-known was actually a pretty good formula.
The Simpsons Hit & Run (2003) – PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, PC
Review Score: 8.5
Considered by many to be the best Simpsons game, Hit & Run looked to Grand Theft Auto for inspiration. Players performed missions and explored an open world Springfield, and unlike Road Rage, you could get out your car and walk around.
We played the game on a very recent episode of Replay, and you can watch it here.
The Simpsons Game (2007) – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP, DS, Wii
Review Score: 7.25
The strongest attempt to date (and likely ever) to bring a fully featured, triple-A Simpsons game to consoles. The simply titled The Simpsons Game used the show’s writers and show-runners to help build the game and featured cameos from Will Wright, and even had a Dance Dance Revolution contest with God. Joe Juba, a long time fan of the show, reviewed the game when it released:
“For all of its self-referential humor and nods to gaming classics (there are brief segments mimicking the likes of Frogger, Space Invaders, and Wolfenstein 3D), the process of actually playing The Simpsons Game is unfortunately average. The chuckles along the way make it worth the trouble for fans, but if you don’t know Arman Tamzarian from Disco Stu, most of the game’s redeeming elements will fall on deaf, bored ears.”
The Simpsons Tapped Out (2012) – iOS, Android
There were a few mobile games that released in 2007 and 2009 (The Simpsons Minutes to Meltdown and The Simpsons Itchy and Scratchy Land), but the one that stands out and continues to be incredibly popular is The Simpsons Tapped Out. It doesn’t do anything particularly novel or different in the world of mobile gaming, but it delivers the show’s sense of humor and visuals well enough to keep fans coming back.