By which criteria does one judge a ‘funniest game ever’, you ask? Who knows.
In this list of some of the funniest PC games ever released, some entries were chosen because of well-written dialogue, or witty and dry characters, or that the games have hilarious emergent gameplay, or well, just … because. So, I guess the rules are that there are no rules, except that they must have resulted in laughter.
The Sims 4
First on our list, and a bit of a no-brainer, is The Sims 4. Actually, just throw the entire franchise in there, because they all provide endless hours of amusement.
Developed by Maxis, and published by EA, The Sims is a life sim with plenty of options for customization; it features an insane level of detail. By design, The Sims is a simple game – make a character, build a home, friends and family. The real charm, and humor, in The Sims comes from the Sims themselves. From their wacky personalities, laugh-out-loud interactions, weird and bizarre encounters, and their hilarious language, Simlish, the humor is never-ending.
This now-classic, neo-noir point-and-click title is something of a masterpiece, easily featuring some of the best writing and dialogue ever seen in a video game. Its rich story, genuinely intelligent dialogue and humor, and excellent OST to boot, it’s no wonder it’s so well-remembered.
In Grim Fandango, you arrive in hell, thereafter embarking on a journey to essentially win a shorter journey to heaven – or, in the world of Grim Fandango, to Floor Nine: the Realm of Eternal Sleep.
If you’re interested in having a laugh while navigating your way around hell as a skeleton on the Day of the Dead, then grab yourself a copy on Steam.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Honestly, any South Park game could be on this list, but we especially love the RPGs The Fractured But Whole, and The Stick of Truth because they’re basically the TV show, but in game form.
In other words, they’re packed full of the dark humor for which the TV show is known and loved. Go on ridiculous quests and experience equally ridiculous encounters with the whole beloved cast (and original voice actors).
If you’re a fan of South Park, then you really must try at least one of the games – you won’t regret it.
South Park: TFBW is available to purchase on Steam.
The Elder Scrolls
The Elder Scrolls deserves some recognition for its comedy.
The story is rich with quests, mystery and intrigue, but the encounters you have from simply walking down a random lane or hanging about in a tavern are just some of the many moments that make The Elder Scrolls funny.
But the NPCs are the MVPs. From the famous “arrow in the knee” line to the children of Skyrim always pushing their luck with their smart mouths, there’s always something to tickle your funny bone in this series.
The Elder Scrolls Bundle is available to purchase on Steam.
Shower With Your Dad Simulator 2015: Do You Still Shower With Your Dad?
Published and developed by marbenx, Shower With Your Dad Simulator 2015 is funny because it’s just bizarre. You have to, well, shower with your dad. But your dad, not someone else’s!
Game mode-wise, you have Enduroad, Dadathlon, and Dad Division – and that’s really it.
And that’s really it all-round. Its basic art style and 8-bit quality make it even funnier, not accounting for its completely ridiculous premise.
Get clean on Steam for the insignificant fee of £0.79 / $0.99.
The thinking that led Coffee Stain Studios to Goat Simulator is pretty unique and clever. Pragmatic, too: instead of fixing bugs, they left them in – those, at least that didn’t crash the game.
So, between the mess left by these bugs and the already buggy in-game physics, you’re guaranteed a good laugh.
Travel the map as a goat, kicking and headbutting anything that dares to block your path. Make your own goat, if you like, or become the alpha goat whilst living out your wildest goat dreams.
Sounds good, right? Well, grab yourself a copy on Steam.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Yakuza is comedy dramatics at its finest. Developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and published by SEGA, the series has always been funny, and wacky. However, the comedy in Like a Dragon is cry-laughing levels of funny.
Take on the Yokohama underworld as Ichiban Kasuga (not previous titles’ legendary Kazuma Kiryu) with your trusty bat and oddball gangster friends. Interact with people, visit stores and brawl with whatever objects you find to hand, including a (*ahem*) massager (*ahem*).
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a comedy masterpiece, so grab yourself a copy on Steam.
Grand Theft Auto
Choosing the funniest Grand Theft Auto game wasn’t easy – we even struggled to narrow it down to two. So we chose three, Vice City, San Andreas, and GTA V, with an honorary nod to IV’s The Ballad of Gay Tony DLC. The point is, Grand Theft Auto is hilarious.
Its rich, and at times, oddly relatable story, characters, its NPCs (who just want to go about their day without being carjacked or randomly assaulted), and the bizarre oddball ads and conversations laced throughout each game’s radio broadcasts, make GTA rank high up on our list of funniest games ever released.
All GTA titles are available to purchase on Steam.
Portal 2 is witty, dark and sophisticated comedy at its finest. Developed and published by Valve, Portal was released in 2011, but it’s as funny today as it was a decade ago. Play through myriad puzzles – “test chambers” – as Chell, the series’ silent and mysterious protagonist, and survive the hilarious GLaDOS, a supercomputer with a penchant for murder.
Dry, dark humor is our favorite kind of comedy, and Portal 2’s presentation is effortless. Massive credit to the voice actors, as they did a truly superb job.
Grab a copy of Portal 1 and 2 from Steam.
You can probably tell from the title – this is going to be a disaster.
You play an aspiring surgeon, Nigel Burke, performing risky surgeries on sick and dying patients – including an alien and Donald Trump, hmmm...
Well, good luck with that, because the controls in this game are a joke in and of themselves. Each of your surgeon’s fingers is controlled by a different key on your keyboard, so attempting to coordinate them well enough to perform surgery is hilariously difficult.
It’s so wrong, but we love it, and it’s available to purchase on Steam.
The Stanley Parable
It wouldn’t be right to not include this legendary title on our list. The Stanley Parable is extremely smart, clever, moving, delightfully witty and laugh-out-loud funny; it’s a masterpiece.
It has a unique, rich story and a narrator who almost takes all the shine in this game. The other characters and events are just as amusing, and for every choice you make, there’s a consequence that affects how the game progresses (or doesn’t ...).
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Rosario Blue is a writer, playwright, and freelance journalist.
She is a Global Goodwill Ambassador for Postcards for Peace.