The 50 Funniest Video Games Ever

From ‘Earthworm Jim’ to ‘Worms: Armageddon’
The 50 Funniest Video Games Ever

When it comes to video games, “comedy” isn’t one of the top genres. Usually video games focus on story and playability, with more thought given to how a game functions as opposed to whether or not it makes you laugh. There have, however, been a lot of genuinely funny video games — if you know where to look.

From licensed games based on reliable comedy properties like South Park and The Simpsons, to original games that build their own uniquely humorous worlds, making a truly funny game is a challenge, and when it’s done well, it’s deserving of recognition. Given that, we assembled a crack team of video game writers and historians to determine the 50 funniest video games ever.

We did, however, set a few ground rules. For starters, only one game per franchise was allowed, lest the list be filled with only a handful of titles. Along those lines, we tried to pick the best of each franchise, but in cases where we couldn’t decide, we included the entire series as the entry. Also, the primary deciding factor was pure hilarity and nothing else. A game being particularly important or popular came second to how many laughs it delivered, which is why there are numerous obscure titles alongside the more recognizable ones.

Spanning the 1980s to the present day, and including everything from RPGs to fighting games to MS-DOS text-based games, the titles our expert panel selected offer a breadth of comedic sensibilities and protagonists that include androids, office workers, anthropomorphic animals, psychotic murderers, talking earthworms and one guy who just really wanted to get laid. 

And so, without further adieu, here are the 50 funniest video games of all time. Go forth and let the Stick of Truth guide your way.

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‘Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist’ (2015)

Dr. Langeskov is from one of the two people who worked on The Stanley Parable, and it’s sort of an anti-game in that the whole game is about waiting to start a game that never really happens,” explains Kate Willaert, a Patreon-funded video game historian and video essayist who writes about female protagonists and forgotten video game history at A Critical Hit!.

‘Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People’ (2008)

“If you’re familiar with the Strong Bad videos, Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People is that in game form,” says Jason Dyer, a game designer who writes at Renga in Blue. “It also integrates adventure gaming really well into the comedy from the series and has the same level of writing from the series itself.”

The ‘Parodius’ Series (1988-1997)

Parodius is a series of shoot-‘em-ups by Konami that are basically parodies of their other works,” says Kevin Bunch, a video game YouTuber and author of Atari Archive “They’re thoroughly bizarre, with enemies like showgirls and penguins and other cartoon-y, goofy things. Even the players are really strange, like a power up where you start shouting things through a megaphone. It’s really goofy.”

‘ToeJam & Earl’ (1991)

An action game about two bizarre-looking aliens stuck on Earth, “ToeJam & Earl is filled with so many humorous elements that you’re playing with a smile on your face the entire time,” says Dr. Kenneth Horowitz, author of Playing at the Next Level: A History of American Sega Games and From Pinballs to Pixels: An Arcade History of Williams-Bally-Midway, among other video game based books. The game, with its hip-hop sensibilities, was also a hit in the early 1990s, spawning a handful of sequels.

‘Grim Fandango’ (1998)

Grim Fandango is a really good game based around the Day of the Dead. It’s actually fairly serious, but some of the way the game looks is hilarious, as the dead people get turned into beds of flowers. The lead actor, Tony Plana, is also fantastic in this game, which adds a lot of humor to it,” Dyer explains.

‘Surgeon Simulator’ (2013)

Surgeon Simulator was the game that started the whole simulator trend. There probably would not be a Job Simulator or Goat Simulator without it,” says Willaert of the gory game where you play a surgeon.

‘Beavis and Butt-Head: The Game’ (1994) and ‘Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity’ (1995)

“I’m quite fond of Beavis and Butt-Head: The Game,” says Mark Roebuck, creator of Skitching the Elephant as well as the co-creator and former head writer of Hard Drive. “At the end, you dance onstage with GWAR, which is a ridiculous thing to have happen in a game.” While that Sega Genesis/Super Nintendo game is the best-known Beavis and Butt-Head title, Horowitz notes that the PC game Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity is often regarded as even better by Beavis and Butt-Head fans.

‘Boogerman: A Pick & Flick Adventure’ (1994)

Boogerman is probably the most childish, disgusting fart humor game you will ever play. That’s its entire theme: toilet humor,” says Horowitz. “It takes something that you wouldn’t normally think of for a video game, and it manages to wrap that around a pretty decent platform.”

‘Plants Vs. Zombies’ (2009)

“I love the original Plants Vs. Zombies,” says Roebuck. “I played it to death. The premise alone is funny, as zombies have been done a million times, but to throw in plants just made it all very innovative. It’s a crazy little world that that game takes place in.”

‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus: The Computer Game’ (1990)

“The classic 1990 Monty Python game is as close as you can get to going through Terry Gilliam’s fantasies, which were the segways on the program itself,” says Kim Justice, a YouTuber specializing in making documentaries about old computer and video games, mostly with a European slant. “It also tries its best to send up various video game tropes that might seem obvious today, but were new back then. It may not have aged the greatest, but it’s very Python-esque and still quite a fun thing to play.”

The ‘Hitman’ Trilogy (2000-2021)

“The thing with Hitman is that it’s a very dry sort of game, with the protagonist, Agent 47, being this very serious bald man with a barcode on the back of his head. The humor comes from the disguises and ridiculous situations he’s put in,” says Justice. “Like, there’s a mission that he has to do as Santa Claus and another where he’s a runway model. There are also very open-ended ways of doing the deed, as it’s a very open-ended game.”

‘Earthworm Jim 2’ (1995)

The Earthworm Jim series was a huge hit for the Sega Genesis, so much so that the hero would get his own, albeit short-lived, Saturday morning cartoon. Both Earthworm Jim and Earthworm Jim 2 deliver the same wacky world with irreverent, often juvenile humor, but as Horowitz notes, “The sequel was funnier, as it had even more oddball, wacky, what-the-fuck type humor.” Justice adds that “Earthworm Jim 2 has the ridiculous ‘Puppy Love’ stage where you’re catching puppies, which might be the funniest thing from the entire series.”

‘EarthBound’ (1994)

EarthBound is an RPG for the Super Nintendo from an era that’s held up for a bulletproof run of RPGs,” explains Roebuck. “It’s an odd, sci-fi, coming-of-age story like The Goonies or a John Hughes film about four kids on an adventure. There’s also funny little real-life things, like having to check in with your mom on the phone and, every time you level up, your dad puts money in your ATM account.”

‘Herc’s Adventures’ (1997)

Herc’s Adventure is a cult favorite,” says Horowitz. “It went under-the-radar a bit when it first came out, but it’s gotten popular over the years.” The action game is a wacky take on Greek mythology, which delivered laughs far more reliably than the Disney movie Hercules that came out the same year and had similar subject matter.

‘Eric the Unready’ (1993)

Eric the Unready is a text adventure with graphics from the early 1990s,” says Dyer. “I’ve heard it described as having bad humor that wraps around to being good again. It’s just a very funny game.” On top of that, Computer Gaming World called Eric the Unready “a comic masterpiece,” and it was named one of the 150 greatest games of all time by the publication back in 1996.

‘Wrestling Empire’ (2021)

“All the MDickie games are insane to watch,” says Justice. “For Wrestling Empire, there are these versions of wrestlers you do know — even if the names are slightly changed — but they go into the ring and get into ridiculous situations where their limbs will go flying or they’ll be attacking each other with 10,000 different types of weapons. It doesn’t have the presentation of a WWE game, but there’s no way a WWE game could have the creativity that Wrestling Empire has,” says Justice.

‘Psychonauts’ (2005)

Psychonauts, a game about a young boy with psychic powers, is widely loved for its sharp, funny writing. Among its countless positive reviews was GameSpy, which said of Psychonauts, “(Tim) Schafer’s games have always been known for featuring snappy writing and dryly funny dialogue, but Psychonauts takes the humor to a whole new level. You’ll undoubtedly find yourself laughing out loud during some of the conversations, and it’s impossible to play through the more imaginative levels without a smile crossing your face. Each of the characters is hilarious in his or her special way, with the excellent voicework only emphasizing the weird humor.”

‘Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga’ (2003)

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is a very hilarious and charming game. Mario is always funny in a cute way, but Superstar Saga is an actually funny game with good writing, good characters and funny animations,” says Roebuck.

‘Sam & Max Hit the Road’ (1993)

“Imagine if Leslie Nielsen’s Frank Drebin was teamed up with Rocket Raccoon and thrown in The Secret of Monkey Island, that’s Sam & Max Hit the Road,” says Willaert. The classic LucasArts game was based on the Sam & Max comic book series about two anthropomorphic animal private eyes, and the game became so beloved that many regard the duo as primarily video game characters.

‘The Ren & Stimpy Show Presents: Stimpy’s Invention’ (1993)

Stimpy’s Invention was done by Blue Sky Software, which were the same people that did the Sega-Genesis versions of Jurassic Park, among other games,” explains Horowitz. “It’s not a huge game data-wise, so there’s no voice to it, but it still manages to make you feel like you’re playing an episode of Ren & Stimpy, as it has the same raunchy charm that the show did.”

‘Borderlands 2’ (2012)

“The characters of the Borderlands games are why the games are so funny,” argues Horowitz. “The post-apocalyptic world itself isn’t that funny, but the characters you meet are very funny and interesting. It’s kind of like a funny Fallout, but it definitely stands on its own.” It was also nominated for Game of the Year in 2013, which means it’s a great game on top of being humorous.

The ‘Worms’ Series (1995-2020)

“The Worms series is about squads of worms warring against each other,” explains Roebuck. “You can give them different dialects so you can have British worms or alien worms and things like that. You can also give them little headbands and things. It’s funny in the way that a party game can be funny, where you can blow each other up. It’s also funny because it’s about worms. A lot of games just give you a good sandbox, but the Worms series has a fun premise and a wonderful sense of humor throughout, too.”

‘Paperboy’ (1985)

“Most video games have really extravagant premises, but Paperboy is just about having a summer job,” says Roebuck. As for what makes it funny, Roebuck explains that the game is “made up of comedic bits where you’re throwing newspapers through people’s windows, knocking jacks out from under cars and crushing people and thwarting robberies with the power of a newspaper. It’s funny in a mean-spirited way — you’re just there to spread chaos.”

‘Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures’ (1994)

Pac-Man 2 is a cartoon adventure game with a more modern take on Pac-Man with arms and legs and a face,” Bunch explains. “You don’t directly control Pac-Man, but you tell him what he should do and you can hit things with a slingshot — including Pac-Man — to make it happen. What makes it funny is Pac-Man’s reaction to everything: He has this whole gamut of moods, and they’re all funny. There’s also really funny things that happen to him, like you can have him get attacked by a chicken, a goat or a crow. It’s really ridiculous.”

‘Goat Simulator’ (2014)

Goat Simulator is interesting because the designers made this open-world game where you’re a goat and you can do all these goofy goat things, like pushing people around, kicking cars and wearing a jetpack,” says Dyer. “They also intentionally left in the bugs because they’re funny; so you can play a game where your goat is flat, or he’ll just launch to the side for no reason. Hilariously, the creators promised they’d never make a Goat Simulator 2, but they did eventually come out with Goat Simulator 3.”

‘Octodad’ (2010)

Octodad is one of those games where it’s hard to move around, and that’s where the comedy comes from,” explains Bunch. The game is about an octopus that’s undercover as a human, and he has to perform a series of ordinary, yet difficult-for-him tasks in order to keep his cover. It’s a ridiculous premise and has become a huge hit, even spawning a sequel.

‘Power Instinct: Matrimelee’ (2003)

As Bunch explains, “Matrimelee is a fighting game and the pinnacle of the Power Instinct series, which has always been lighthearted and goofy. Your final boss is a bride who can turn you into a frog — it’s really bizarre. Some of the stages are in an arena with strange stuff going on in the background; another stage is in a computer store with characters in the background singing about overclocking their computers. The fighters are equally strange, like a couple of old grannies and a dog man who kicks up crap from the ground. Finally, when you win, instead of the opponent being all beat up like in Street Fighter, you just draw all over their face. It’s a very strange game.”

‘Trombone Champ’ (2014)

Trombone Champ is a rhythm game with an ingenious setup,” says Dyer. “In the game, you’re playing a trombone, but unlike other rhythm games where you don’t actually hear the wrong notes you play, Trombone Champ plays everything that you play, so all of the songs sound hilarious. It’s very clever game design with very funny results.”

The ‘Katamari’ Series (2004-2023)

“The Katamari series is insane,” Roebuck says. “It’s a bit hard to grasp, but you’re this little guy with this tiny ball and you’re rolling it and collecting garbage. It starts tiny, collecting things like push pins and stuff like that, but as it gets bigger, you start to collect things like chairs and tables and people. By the end, you end up huge, terrorizing towns and pulling up chunks of the Earth.” 

‘Trio the Punch — Never Forget Me…’ (1990)

Trio the Punch — Never Forget Me… is a funny arcade game that has a sense of humor you don’t find in too many other arcade games,” Justice says. “It’s very surreal, and it makes all these weird references. There’s a moment where you end up getting turned into a ram. Again, it’s got all these ridiculous moments that you don’t normally see in an arcade game.”

‘Tennis in the Face’ (2013)

Tennis in the Face is a mobile game that has since been ported to the Nintendo Switch and things like that,” Willaert explains. “It’s about an energy drink company that has gone evil, and the only person willing to stand up to them is a former tennis pro turned action hero whose weapon of choice is a tennis racquet. It’s kind of a puzzle game where your objective is to knock out all the enemies with as few balls as possible. And, when you hit an enemy, they go all ragdoll — it has a very slapstick sense of humor to it.”

‘Jazzpunk’ (2014)

Jazzpunk is very funny and very short. It’s a quick little thing you can run through in a couple of hours,” says Roebuck. “It’s an episodic first-person adventure game where you’re tasked with some sort of vague mission like ‘Go to the embassy and steal something.’ Then you do it, and hilarity ensues. It’s an insane, one-of-a-kind game.”

‘Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards’ (1987)

Leisure Suit Larry stands out because it was aimed at adults, and the premise was simply about a 40-year-old virgin trying to get laid — that’s the story,” says Horowitz.

‘Don’t Shoot the Puppy’ (2006)

Don’t Shoot the Puppy is a great, underrated Flash game,” says Willaert. “It’s from the Flash era of games — the lost games — and it’s really an anti-game. The first time you play it, you load it up and the cannon immediately shoots the puppy. And every time you click ‘Start,’ it just shoots the puppy. You figure it must be a dumb joke, but eventually you figure out that, to not shoot the puppy, you have to not touch anything. You press ‘Start,’ and don’t even touch your mouse. If your mouse moves, you shoot the puppy. The rest of the game is then an anti-game trying to trick you into pressing something, or it just tries your patience.”

‘The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy’ (1984)

Written by Douglas Adams, the writer of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the game adaptation of the book is “very much of his writing,” says Justice. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is already something that’s incredibly famous, but the Douglas Adams video game version really stands on its own. It’s a text adventure, which means that it’s completely text, but Adams’ prose is unmatched as far as other gamewriters go — it almost feels like cheating to have him on it.”

‘Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives’ (2016)

Job Simulator is a VR game where you’re trying out all these different jobs, and there’s this machine talking to you while you’re doing them,” Dyer says. “You’re trying to do tasks with these VR hands, but the game also encourages you to do weird things, like when you’re stapling something, it gets you to shoot staples around the room. The environment encourages you to do silly stuff with the items you’ve got, along with having a goofy VR feel.”

‘Saints Row: The Third’ (2011)

Saints Row is a funnier Grand Theft Auto,” says Roebuck of the open-world action game. “In Saints Row: The Third, for example, if you click on the right stick, you punch someone in their dick, and at the end of the game, it’s revealed that the president is Burt Reynolds, and the character is actually played by Burt Reynolds. The first Saints Row was a little more straightforward. The series got gradually more bonkers as it went on, peaking with number three (four was completely off the rails).” Among our panel, there was a consensus that while Grant Theft Auto games often try to be funny, the Saints Row games actually are funny (which is why GTA didn’t make the list).

‘The Jackbox Party Pack 3: Trivia Murder Party’ (2016)

“The setup for Trivia Murder Party is that all the contestants have been kidnapped by a Saw-like protagonist who wants to murder you if you don’t answer his questions correctly, so if you answer wrong, you die,” explains Willaert. “It was such an important party game during the party game era and during COVID. It’s also a great Christmas game to bring over to your relatives. The trivia itself is pretty standard, but there are also mini-games that pit you against each other in darkly humorous ways. It’s a very dark, morbid, humorous game, and if you have friends and family who like a little bit of darkness in their humor, it’s a great time.”

‘What the Golf?’

What the Golf? is a funny, subversive game that was originally exclusive on Apple Arcade,” says Roebuck. “It’s a golf game where you play through these courses, each of which has a weird part to it that doesn’t reveal itself until you actually play. It takes a detour and becomes the game Superhot for a while, then it takes another detour and becomes the game Portal for a while — all of this by just whacking a golf ball around. It’s inspired and eccentric, and while you’re playing it, you can’t wait to see what they do next.”

‘Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters’ (1992)

This RPG space adventure is a landmark game in many regards, as it’s widely adored for its graphics, voice acting and richly detailed in-game universe. It also possesses big laughs. In fact, The Escapist called Star Control II “damn funny” and said that it features “the funniest aliens you’ll run into in any video game.”

‘Conker’s Bad Fur Day’ (2001)

The Nintendo 64 game Conker’s Bad Fur Day has earned a reputation for being “notorious.” Despite its adorable, seemingly child-friendly aesthetics, Conker, a foul-mouthed, hard-drinking cartoon squirrel, is definitely not suitable for kids. The game is, however, a product of its time, as Horowitz explains that “Conker’s Bad Fur Day does suffer from having topical humor that’s dated by now. Young people playing now may not get all the jokes. It’s still funny, but it’s one of those ‘you had to be there’ games.”

‘Bureaucracy’ (1987)

Another game from Douglas Adams is Bureaucracy, a text game where you’re jumping through absurd bureaucratic hurdles just to change your address. “While the Hitchhiker’s game is more important and better known,” Justice says, “Bureaucracy is perhaps even more funny and creative in the very limited text environment. One of its main gimmicks is the blood-pressure monitor. Every time something doesn’t go your way, your blood pressure goes up. Even in the text format, it’s trying to be as ambitious as possible. It’s very challenging — and it’ll make your head explode at points — but the wit of it is unmatched.”

‘South Park: The Stick of Truth’ (2014)

South Park: The Stick of Truth is an RPG that follows the children of South Park playing as wizards, elves and other mythical characters. The game is beloved for its series-level writing as well as for being a damn good RPG. As Roebuck explains, “A lot of us spent our childhood getting games we thought would be cool because we like the movie, but then the game itself is awful. When South Park: The Stick of Truth came out, it fulfilled what we used to think would happen — where it’s a wonderful extension of the thing you already love.”

‘Um Jammer Lammy’ (1999)

“The humor in Um Jammer Lammy was like you were channel-surfing in the 1990s and you hit on something late at night on MTV that’s really off-the-wall with surreal humor,” says Willaert of the cartoonish rhythm game that spun off from 1996’s PaRappa the Rapper.

‘Untitled Goose Game’

Untitled Goose Game has a mean-spiritedness that’s very funny,” says Justice. “A lot of the games on this list rely on snappy scripts and quotable lines, but Untitled Goose Game is probably 99 percent physical humor, which is something that’s not often seen in the video game format.”

‘The Simpsons: Hit and Run’ (2003)

While The Simpsons has had a lot of video games, most of them have been both terrible and fairly humorless. There is widespread love for the Konami arcade game, but it’s not really laugh-out-loud funny at any point. Even more cherished than that classic side scroller, however, is the Grand Theft Auto-like The Simpsons: Hit and Run where you play as Homer in the open world of Springfield. This game was huge back in the aughts for its playability and its genuinely funny writing. And, as Roebuck notes, “People still really love this game and continue to work on HD mods for it today.”

‘Maniac Mansion’ (1987)

Maniac Mansion is important when it comes to humor in games,” says Justice of the point-and-click 1980s irreverent adventure game. “It paved the way for The Secret of Monkey Island, as well as all the other LucasArts games like Indiana Jones and Loom.” Horowitz agrees: “Maniac Mansion had great characters, a great setting and plot, and while it didn’t create the point-and-click adventure, it definitely standardized it. It’s a landmark game.”

‘The Secret of Monkey Island’ (1990)

Like Maniac MansionThe Secret of Monkey Island is another point-and-click adventure game with really funny writing. As Bunch explains, “It has such a great sense of comedic timing. In the original game, everything was done through text popping up on screen, yet it’s still very snappy and clever. It reads like an old Steve Martin movie.” Justice concurs, saying, “It’s still the funniest of the LucasArts games.”

‘The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe’ (2022)

“In The Stanley Parable, you’re an office worker named Stanley, and you work in a cubicle with a very bland atmosphere,” explains Roebuck, who says that much of the humor comes from Stanley’s relationship with the narrator. “Like, when you go to the break room, there are two doors. You go through one of them, and the narrator says, ‘Stanley went to the door on the left, but you can also go to the door on the right.’ Then you go to the door on the right, and it says, ‘Stanley chose the door on the right, knowing that violent death awaited him.’ You’ll die, then it’ll loop. It’s sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure book with all these different permutations. It’s an interesting game where you can decide to listen to the narrator or go against him.” 

In 2022, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe was released, which Willaert explains is sort of a “1.5” version of the game featuring the original game plus a bunch of new features that make it even better.

‘Portal 2’ (2011)

Portal 2 is astonishing in terms of humor,” says Dyer. “Whatever they’re doing is in a different universe than anyone else besides The Stanley Parable. The gimmick of the Portal games is that you have a gun that can shoot at things and it creates a portal. Then you can jump from one location to another, and it creates a series of puzzles. For Portal 2, in addition to having the same darkly humorous setting of Portal, it adds funny lines so that the conversations in the game are hilarious.”

Moreover, he explains that Portal 2 is unique in that “it features participatory comedy, meaning that the humor is queued up to your actions. Whereas most humor games have funny cutscenes, what you’re actually doing in Portal 2 causes funny things to happen during the gameplay. There are just so many gags in it, which is why it deserves the top spot.”

Willaert feels the same way, adding, “The Portal games — and The Stanley Parable — set an incredibly high bar for everyone else writing comedy in video games.”

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