These are the 10 pc games that made us laugh the hardest.
Whenever people want to have a tiresome talk about the dramatic or artistic potential of video games, it’s a perfect time to remind them that games can also make us laugh with great stories and characters. Even better, games can even make fun of themselves and the occasionally arbitrary decisions that we as gamers just take for granted.
Here is a list of ten PC games guaranteed to remind you that games are, first and foremost, about having fun.
The first Borderlands was amusing, but it took the sequel to transform the series into a full on comedy franchise. Like Portal 2, this one has a pair of standout characters. Players of the original Borderlands already met the hilarious Claptrap, and his turn in the sequel is even better. From his despair over not being able to climb stairs, to his truly depressing birthday party, he nearly steals the show.
I say “nearly” because of Handsome Jack, one of the most likeable and funny bad guys in all of video games. It gets a lot less funny toward the end of the game, but that only makes his casual joking early in the game that much funnier.
The funniest thing about Goat Simulator is that it was released as a joke and became a huge hit. But outside of the story of the game’s release, the game itself is also hilarious. You take control of a goat and basically run through the city causing chaos and getting in trouble.
But it’s so much more gonzo than that. Satanic rituals for the blood goat, head butting humans off a bridge, and basically using your tongue to destroy the world around you makes Goat Simulator an utterly incomprehensible yet completely hilarious experience.
3-Human Fall Flat
Another game where the humor comes more from circumstance and physics than from story or character, Human Fall Flat is an absolute train wreck of a game, often literally, and always intentionally. Trying to maneuver your doughy little humans around the various obstacles and challenges and puzzles of the world shows just how arbitrary video game control schemes are, and just how bad you are at playing them.
But there’s so much fun and humor watching these little doughboys throw themselves into harm’s way for your amusement, that it’s darn near irresistible.
4-Octodad Dadliest Catch
In the same style of games like QWOP or the equally hilarious Manual Samuel, Octodad: Dadliest Catch is a game intentionally built to be frustrating to play. The premise is hilarious enough by itself – you play a mild-mannered Octopus pretending to be an ordinary human and doing ordinary human things.
But the catch is that you have to perform a series of increasingly challenging chores and tasks by manipulating each and every limb independently. It is, to put it mildly, usually as disastrous as it is hilarious.
To be honest, this slot should really be both Portal games as they’re equally hilarious. The original Portal introduced us to one of the most amazing villains ever in the psychotic AI, GlaDOS.
Her dry, murderous attitude set the perfect comedy tone for the story of a rebellious test subject’s attempts to subvert the system. But when Portal 2 introduced Stephen Merchant as Wheatley, who’s just as hilarious and subversive. It’s particularly to the game’s credit that it has some of the smartest gameplay around but it still best known for the strong writing and voice acting.
It’s one of the older games on the list and the first of two entries by one of the industry’s funniest game designers: Tim Schafer. This one is a platformer about psychic kids at a camp for training psychic spies.
From there, the game devolves into an investigation into a strange mystery or conspiracy at the camp. From a conspiratorial milkman to a deadpan G-Man, to weeping emotional (literal) baggage, to the mutant lungfish, this is a game that isn’t afraid to throw absolutely everything at you without giving you a second to even try to make any sense of it. Oh my god! Let’s make out!
7-Saints Row IV
Every Saints Row game is hilarious, but this one has you becoming President of the United States and beating back an alien invasion. And that’s not even the craziest part of the game. Toss in a giant marauding soda can, a They Live homage complete with Rowdy Roddy Piper, and some hilarious game-breaking powers.
The game also makes fun of games in general by introducing hilarious text adventure, 2D side-scrolling sections, and Metal Gear style box sneaking. This is the perfect game to show to people who don’t understand games to convince them that they never will.
8-The Secret of Monkey Island
LucasArts was on a roll with hilarious adventure games, and you could easily substitute in Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max, or literally any of its other games. Tim Schafer’s vision helped bring forth one of the funniest PC games ever.
The Secret of Monkey Island is a loving, tongue-in-cheek send up, not just of all the usual pirate tropes, but also a send up of all the usual adventure game tropes. From the hilarious insult-focused sword battle to the reminder that sleeping dogs are not necessarily dead, there are so many laugh-out-loud moments that the laugh-per-minute ratio is about as high as in any other game on the list.
9-South Park The Stick of Truth
As with other entries on this list, this is another game where the rest of the franchise is just as funny, but it’s the satirical and irreverent take of the fantasy RPG genre that pushes it slightly ahead of the sequel, The Fractured But Whole.
The Stick of Truth is basically just a playable version of the TV show that lasts 20 hours. Written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker and produced using all the other talent behind the animated series, this is as funny, offensive, and irreverent as the series gets. As a bonus, it also happens to be a good game.
Along with Octodad, this is another game where the lack of a useful interface or control scheme is kind of the point. As a hardcore surgeon, you’ve got to perform a number of extremely difficult operations in ridiculously unlikely settings. With the control scheme problems, you’ll often end up causing lots of extra and unnecessary harm during the operations.
Whether you’re accidentally dosing yourself with anesthesia or accidentally dropping a deadly instrument in your patient’s open chest cavity, the whole game is full of wonderfully awesome slapstick failures that you have to see to believe.