Being funny in video games is extremely difficult for various reasons. Needless to say, most video games that try to be funny fail miserably (I’m looking at you Duke Nukem Forever,) but despite this fact, I decided to compile a list with what I believe are some of the funniest video games ever made. Furthermore, below each description you’ll find a funny quote from that particular game to illustrate how funny it is. Spoiler alert: this list features pretty much every single Lucas Arts game ever made.
10. Saints Row: The Third (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
What if there was an open-world title where you could do pretty much anything you wanted. That game exists and is called Saints Row: The Third, an open-world title that prioritizes absurdity over the constrictions proper of the genre. Do you want to call in airstrikes? Done. Do you want to punch enemies with boxing gloves? You got it. Do you want to skydive? Why not? The self-aware sense of humor, ridiculous action moments and fun cooperative mode make Saints Row the Third irresistible.
Favorite quote: “The last time a big naked dude said he could help me, it did not end well.” Pierce Washington
9. Brutal Legend (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac, Linux)
Brutal Legend is an action-adventure game with real-time strategy elements where you assume the role of Eddie Riggs (Jack Black,) a roadie who’s transported to a fantasy world inspired by Heavy Metal icons. In that world, Eddie meets some of the most popular heavy metal musicians, including Ozzie Osborne, Litta Ford and Lemmy Kilmister, among others. Fantastic voice acting, a massive soundtrack and numerous musical references make Brutal Legend a great game. But thankfully, there’s also room for some ridiculous moments.
Favorite quote: “I’m supposed to think you’re a nun but I know you’re really some kind of big ugly demon, so lets have it. [Battle Nun turns to face him] Aha! See? I knew it – big ugly demon! … Kinda sexy though, in a weird way.” Eddie Riggs
8. Giants: Citizen Kabuto (PC, Mac, PlayStation 2)
Giants: Citizen Kabuto is a third-person shooter with real-time strategy elements. Throughout the game you play as three different races: Meccaryns, Sea Reapers and Kabuto, each with its unique abilities. But while using these abilities is a blast, the humorous story is the reason why you’ll finish this game in just a few hours.
Favorite quote: “[After Baz get’s licked by Delphi/Kabuto] That’s gotta be the sickest thing I’ve ever seen. [points at Samurai Smartie] Except for that poncy git there.” Reg
7. Conker’s Bad Fur Day (Nintendo 64)
There was a time when developer Rare made some of the best platformers. One of those platformers was Conker’s Bad Fur Day, a title that started as a colorful Super Mario 64 clone, but ended up as something completely different. Players are put in the shoes of an alcoholic squirrel who’s trying to get back to his house to see his girlfriend. The game has graphic violence, sexual themes, strong language, a dark sense of humor and references to classic films. An example of the game’s sense of humor? One of the bosses is a mountain of Diarrhea. By the way, the multiplayer is as good as the single-player campaign.
Favorite quote: “Well … there I am … Conker the king, king of all the land! Who’d have thought that? “But how did I come to this?”, I hear ya say. “And who are those strange fellows that surround my throne?”, that you also say. Well, it’s a long story. Come closer, and I’ll tell ya. It all started … yesterday, and what a day that was. It’s what I call … A Bad Fur Day.” Conker
6. The Secret of Monkey Island (Amiga, Atari ST, CDTV, DOS, FM Towns, Mac, Sega CD)
As most veteran players probably know, The Secret of Monkey Island is a graphic adventure set in the Caribbean in the age of piracy. In the game, you assume the role of Guybrush Threepwood, a young man who dreams of becoming a pirate. Sharp writing, lovable characters and memorable moments make The Secret of Monkey Island one of the funniest Lucas Arts games. An audiovisual remake called The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition was released in 2009.
Favorite quote: “Swordfighting is a little like making love. It’s not always what you do, but what you say.” Sword Teacher to Guybrush Threepwood
5. Psychonauts (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Mac, Linux, PlayStation Network)
In Psychonauts you play as Raz, a boy with psychic abilities who runs away from a circus and ends up in a summer camp where children with similar abilities live. Soon after getting there, Raz discovers a sinister plot. Like most of the games Tim Schafer worked on, Psychonauts was considered a financial failure, but critical acclaim and word of mouth helped the game gain a cult status. No matter what review you read, all of them have the words “funny,” “hilarious” and “humorous” in their paragraphs.
Favorite quote: “Can you believe a great battle was once fought on this very fields, upon which you now, so peacefully, graze? Many men died. Some did it for money, some for country. And some did it just because they had guns. And now, no one is left on the battle fields, except you cows. Crazy world, isn’t it? Huh? Don’t you think it’s crazy? Mm? Hey, I’m talking to you, cow! We fought and died for you, so you could chew your cud in peace! If it wasn’t for me, you’d all be talking French right now! Shame on you, ungrateful cow.” Raz
4. Sam & Max: Hit the Road (DOS, Mac, PC, Amiga)
In Sam and Max, you play as an anthropomorphic dog and a hyper-kinetic rabbit who solve cases. The latest case involves a giraffe girl, some bizarre American attractions and Bigfoot. Usually regarded as one of the best video games of all time, Sam and Max: Hit the Road also happens to be one of the funniest.
Favorite quote: “You know, Max, I can’t help but think that we have may have tampered with the fragile inner workings of this little spaceship we call Earth.” Sam
3. Grim Fandango (PC)
Is this the best point-and-click adventure ever made? I guess that’s a question for another article, but regardless of what you think, Grim Fandango is definitely one of the most unconventional adventures. The dark comedy takes inspiration in neo-noir films and the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead (el Dia de los Muertos in Spanish.) In the game, you play as Manuel “Manny” Calavera as he tries to save the newly arrived Mercedes “Meche” Colomar from going to the Ninth Underworld. The painstaking attention to detail, fantastic art direction, wacky characters and unconventional story are all elements that make Grim Fandango hilarious.
Favorite quote: “I am an elemental spirit summoned from the Land of the Dead itself, given one purpose, one skill, one desire… to DRIVE!!” Glottis
2. Portal (PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
When the original Portal came out as part of The Orange Box compilation, everyone thought that the game was a clever puzzler where you advanced in a linear fashion through several test chambers. Eventually though, Portal became one of the Valve’s most original games. The main protagonist is challenged by a homicidal, narcissistic and passive aggressive artificial intelligence called GLaDOS who utters some of the funniest lines to ever grace a video game. On top of that, the song that plays at the end of the game is the icing on the cake. Well, I guess there was no cake after all.
Favorite quote: “I’d just like to point out that you were given every opportunity to succeed. There was even going to be a party for you. A big party that all your friends were invited to. I invited your best friend, the Companion Cube. Of course, he couldn’t come, because you murdered him. All your other friends couldn’t come either, because you don’t have any other friends. Because of how unlikeable you are. It says so here in your personnel file: unlikeable. Liked by no one. A bitter, unlikeable loner whose passing shall not be mourned. “Shall not be mourned.” That’s exactly what it says. Very formal. Very official. It also says you were adopted. So that’s funny too.” GlaDOS
1. Day of the Tentacle (DOS, Mac)
What can I say about Day of the Tentacle that hasn’t been said? Let’s describe the original premise: in the game, the three main characters Bernard, Hoaggie and Laverne travel in time to three different periods in history. The player must figure out how to solve puzzles in each separate period, but at times, certain items can be shared by placing them in the unconventional time machine (read: a portable toilet.) Time traveling, homicidal tentacles, cartoon versions of George Washington and obscure yet amusing puzzles make up this a unique experience. As far as hilarious video games go, it doesn’t get better than this old school graphic adventure.
Favorite quote: “You know what they say: “If you want to save the world, you have to push a few old ladies down the stairs.” Bernard Bernoulli
These are some of the games that were considered for this article, but didn’t make it to the final cut: Borderlands, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Deadpool, South Park, Saints Row, Stubbs the Zombie, Full Throttle, Maniac Mansion, Penny Arcade, Strong Bad, Postal, Armed & Dangerous, Battlefield: Bad Company, Worms, Super Meat Boy, The Simpsons Game, Fable II, Earthworm Jim.