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Thursday
Dec042008

The 10 Funniest Video Games That Are Actually Funny - By: Michael Drucker

There are a lot of video games that think they're funny. You know a game thinks it's hilarious when a character can double-jump using a fart. Or the dialogue is all stolen from Army Of Darkness. Or there's a black character who says "motherf*cker" a lot while observing his place in the universe.

They are the video game equivalent of a pie-fight or Eddie Murphy in a fat suit.

But there are legitimately funny games out there. They may not all be funny for the same reason. And some may not even be funny on purpose. But goddamn if they don't make you laugh.

10. Resident Evil

Let's stop screwing around here: Resident Evil is funny.

Unlike most bad video game translations / dubbings, Resident Evil's dialogue sounds exactly like a B-movie. Not so bad that it's unintelligible (House of the Dead), but not so good that it's a crappy melodrama (Metal Gear Solid).

Listen to Barry dismiss Jill's fears that something in a mansion filled with zombies is amiss:

Although it's not intentionally funny, Resident Evil deserves a place on this list because it's odd, unintentional comedy doesn't ruin the game. Rather, it makes it far more memorable and fun.

While other crappy dubs might take you out of the action, Resident Evil lines such as "I coulda' been a Jill sandwich!" only make you feel like you're living an awful '50s horror flick.

9. Elite Beat Agents / Ouendan

I could explain this game two ways.

One, it's the only video game with a song by Cher.

Two takes a bit more back story.

Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan (Hey! Fight! Cheer Squad) was a successful game about male cheerleaders who boosted peoples' confidence through song and dance.

Nintendo began to notice that it was becoming a popular game for importers outside of Japan. Apparently Americans liked games involving men dancing to pop tunes so a sculptor had the confidence to make homoerotic pottery. C'mon--we're all Americans, you know we do.

But since male cheerleaders aren't as big here--so to speak--as they are in Japan, Nintendo decided to replace them with government agents based on the Men In Black.

This only made the game something like five-times as awesome.

Later renamed Elite Beat Agents, the American version of Ouendan kept the same insane humor while introducing America's favorite song: "Life After Love." It also sold absolutely no copies.

8. PaRappa The Rapper

If there's anything that Andy Samberg or the website Things White People Like tells us, is that white people think rap is very, very funny.

If you're on this website, you definitely own at least one Weird Al song. And that song is almost certainly "Amish Paradise."

PaRappa The Rapper is a silly-ass music video game with lyrics that live somewhere between the sovereign countries of Cute and Hilarious. Observe:


7. Red Alert Series

Yay! An American game! USA! USA! USA!

Albert Einstein travels back in time to kill Hitler. However, this allows Stalin to take over America. And Uncle Sam steps up to take out the trash.

The story is played as ridiculous as it sounds, with wack-a-doodle actors such as George Takei, Udo Kier, JK Simmons, and Tim Curry playing the main characters.

The games also feature bears, laser-equipped dolphins, and Keri Wuhrer.

6. ToeJam & Earl

You play as funky intergalactic aliens fending off Earthlings in ToeJam & Earl.

Santa Claus is in ToeJam & Earl.

There are nine rankings you can get in ToeJam & Earl: 1. Wiener, 2. Dufus, 3. Poindexter, 4. Peanut, 5. Dude, 6. Bro, 7. Homey, 8. Rapmaster and 9. Funklord.

The sequel to ToeJam & Earl was named "Panic On Funkotron."

So there you go.

5. Grand Theft Auto 4

Grand Theft Auto 4 isn't the first game to feature a comedy club (the wholly unfunny Leisure Suit Larry games did), but it is the first to headline with real comedians.

Ricky Gervais and Katt Williams headline in Liberty City's lone comedy club, doing bits from their actual sets. As a side note, choosing Ricky Gervais and Katt Williams is a strong indication that Rockstar really understands who's playing their games.

There are also voices the street and on the in-game radio from comedians such as Chelsea Peretti, Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, Patrice O'Neal, and Bryan Tucker--a veritable who's who of people whom you already know are funny.

4. WarioWare

WarioWare is funny like this:

Compared With Extreme Challenge from SNL:

Compared With a Back To The Future:

3. Earthbound

Earthbound is pretty funny now. But in the '90s, it was groundbreaking. Well, the first game in the series, Mother was actually the groundbreaking one, but that didn't make it to America, so let's ignore it for a second.

Most role-playing games at the time--and now, really--featured angst-filled teenagers who cried a lot as they saved the world from mythical creatures in magical worlds that had no possible basis in reality.

Earthbound parodied those games. Rather than staring angst-filled orphans that looked like the vampires from Twilight, Earthbound featured regular teens who called their parents to save the game. Instead of using swords to fight dragons, the main characters fought hippies. With baseball bats to the face.

Earthbound was a hilarious middle finger to RPGs. RPGs didn't have to be existential studies on love to be interesting. And they didn't need giant robot dinosaurs to be exciting. Rather, Earthbound proved that video game characters could smile once in a while.

2. Tim Schafer

Tim Schafer isn't a game in the same way Bill Murray isn't a movie. But sure as Bill Murray is the best part of many of the greatest comedy movies of all time, so Tim Schafer has created many of the funniest and greatest games ever.

From Grim Fandango to Monkey Island, Tim Schafer's games have featured not only some of the funniest in-game writing, but also some of the best in-game writing, period.

Sadly, Tim Schafer's current game, Brutal Legend--which stars Jack Black as a rock and roll roadie--is in development limbo as the current economic crisis keeps publishers from taking a chance on it.

But if it is released--I assure you, it'll be funny.

1. Portal

Portal is easily the funniest game ever made.

The gameplay--which involves using a teleportation device to solve death trap puzzles--would have been good on its own. It's fun. It's simple. Boom: good game.

But then there's GLaDOS. A helper / narrator / villain, GLaDOS the robot is, ironically, one of the most human video game villains ever written. She's essentially in love with the nameless main character. Her insults are meant to keep you from escaping her lonely world, which makes their misplaced anger all the funnier.

Oh. And after you beat the game, there's still the world's greatest end-game song.

Honorable Mentions

Earthworm Jim
The character designs are pretty funny. There was also a cartoon based on it.

Penny Arcade Adventures
Based on the successful web comic, Penny Arcade Adventures is a funny role-playing game that just happens to be a lot like the game Earthbound.

Your Favorite Game
I'm sorry I missed it. You have your own opinions and that's really good for you.

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Reader Comments (19)

Great list!! I love videogames!! I unfortunately have not played the majority of those games except for Earthbound SNES (and also the NES version on ROM) and many of the LucasArts SCUMM System games. Some day I hope to check them all out. Especially Portal.

Some of my favorite funny games are Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, The Ace Attourney series, Okami, SBCG4AP and the first Rayman Raving Rabbids game.
December 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersoce
Seaman for the Dreamcast was pretty funny! WHY ISN'T IT ON THIS LIST?!?!
December 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNate
I miss Guybrush Threepwood.
December 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin Ragheb
Anyone play A Bard's Tale on the PS2, was one of the funniest games Ive ever played
December 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPikagreg
Felicia Day sings Still Alive @ PAX 08

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAyqlX9toWk
December 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commentervinny
"...It also sold absolutely no copies".

LOL!
December 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAbbi Crutchfield
I love parappa the rapper. l.o.v.e.
December 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkelly
These all make me miss the old Activision game Kaboom!. You kids have no idea.
December 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterScott Bateman

I'm writing an article about (the lack of) funny games and so I found this old list while I was procrast... researching.

This is actually a pretty good list. I disagree with none of the entries. But it's also completely invalid and useless, because there's no sign of the. funniest. game. ever. made. period: Conker's Bad Fur Day.

"You have your own opinion, good for you". Thanks, but it's not my opinion. It's a well known fact, known by every single living person who ever played the game. Or watched some YouTube video about it. Or got a quick glimpse of its boxart.

November 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFabio Bracht

The funniest game i have ever played is the old Prince of Persia for the SNES if you get near a wall and try to jump he will start humping the wall. and anytime you go to fight a enemy there is a very funny suprize which i will not tell because it is vulgar.

December 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

It's a great list, but Fabio has it right - it is a fact, Conker's Bad Fur Day is the funniest game ever. Maybe you haven't played it? If you have, you'd agree.

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPearly

I haven't played a wide variety of games lately, but I could easily tell some of these are not funny games, Resident evil? Really? Shooting dead people is REAL funny. "ha ha, BAM! ha ha!" I could understand GTA because how things would work out and all come together. However, I was shocked to see you missed two important funny games which in retorspect, are much funnier then anything on that list. How could you miss out on Sam & Max? That game is way crude and funny! All it does is cracks an actual funny joke between each line. (And the puzzles are important as well.) You also missed SBCG4AP. (Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People) The name is even something to chuckle about. Although, it isn't as adult crude as Sam & Max. I find some of the jokes to be much funnier. But seriously dude, you have to be sure NOT to miss certain games that are actually funny. Although, I understand if you haven't played the game before. :p

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarksMan

We love Katamari is the funniest game ever.

March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony

1)Serious Sam 2.
2)Conker's Bad Fur Day.
3)Baldur's Gate.
4)Baldur's Gate 2.
5)Sam & Max Hit the Road.
6)Sam & Max season 1.
7)Sam & Max season 2.
8)Sam & Max season 3.
9)Mardek 2.
10)Probably Duke Nukem Forever.

April 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLai-Lai

Overlord 1 & 2 are lots of fun with black humor :D

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMango

I agree with a lot of the games on this list. I love that resident evil is on this list, the main point of humor would have to be Berry Burton, the things he says are funny as hell. But I do think Conkers bad fur day should be on the list, its another greatly funny game, sure its gross and immature but it also has a weird charm to it, from the story mode itself, to the humorous multiplayer modes, and the fact that it has the looks of a cartoony kids game. Only other game I could really think of would be Duke Nuke games.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Is conkers bad fur day funny?

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkay

Portal? I don't find it funny. I find it annoying. Rocket Slime, Kid Icarus:Uprising, and the LEGO games are funny.
Rocket Slime: You can make the Platypunk swear after getting the Platyportrait.
Kid Icarus: Uprising: Full of references. FULL.
LEGO games: Come on, it's a mini slapstick comedy.

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteryfef

I love how in #5, you directly insult people who think Katt Williams and/or Ricky Gervais are funny. Then you continue on to #3 where you claim Bill Murray as one of the funniest people alive. You, sir, in attempt to prove your comedic knowledge, have only proven how old you really are.

June 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStrype

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