Up For Debate - What's the funniest game you've ever played?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sun, Sep 22, 2019 2:00 PM
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I’ll start with a very important distinction for the ~90% of you (we’re all guilty) who only read the headline and, at a push, the first paragraph - we’re talking funny here, not fun. The games which had you giggling like a baby at their one-liners, roaring in laughter at their broken physics, and making you cry in the best of ways at their relentlessly hilarious writing.

Comedy is a tricky craft, no matter which way you slice and dice it. Most fledgling stand-up comedians crash and burn faster than you can say ‘punching down’. Attempting comedy in a game though, one in which player agency is key? A nearly unworkable goal. Comedy’s all about the timing, and when the players themselves are in control of that timing, delivering great humour can be a potential nightmare.

There’s all sorts of ways games go about it though, including humourous writing, wacky one-liners, visual gags, references, memes, or satire. The easy route is to wrench control away from the player, resorting to videos for tried and trusted comedy methods. Most games that try to be funny really sort of… aren’t though. It’s been blowing up this week with Borderlands 3, a game and a franchise which can divide opinion like few others.

The sticky fingers of Randy Pitchford are all over Borderlands’ trademark in-your-face humour, right on down to a ‘healgasm’ shield which asks if players would like to see a ‘magic trick’. It’s called Overflowing Moxxi’s Embrace, calling to mind Pitchford’s passion for squirting girls. Yes, that’s the level we’re dealing with here. 

I can’t talk though, I loved South Park: The Stick of Truth. My god is that some puerile shite but I’d be kidding if I said I didn’t laugh from start to finish, over one bleary eyed weekend. There’s a lot more going on under the hood with South Park though. While the show can hit or miss these days, when the right balance is struck it’s finely-tuned satire that’s not afraid to dig deep into a few issues. It’s a show, and a game, which doesn’t pull its punches, which is where Borderlands ends up falling flat on its face. Borderlands is marketed as this 18-rated edge-fest and yet falls back on bleeped out swear words and terrible poo gags. It’s an 18-rated game as written by a bunch of 12-year-olds whose idea of a big night out is a Slush Puppie down at the ball pool.

But I digress, as millions upon millions are clearly loving it, and all things Borderlands. Comedy is about as subjective as it gets. I’ve seen people howling with laughter at Big Bang Theory, proving there really is something for everyone.

Enough blabbering though, it’s time to share the laughter. What are some of the funniest games you’ve ever played? And can great comedy carry a bad game? Let us know what’s tickling your ribs below!

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19:30 Nov-16-2019

Monkey Island series :)

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13:36 Sep-24-2019

West of Loathing, no contest :)

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11:05 Sep-24-2019

Mordhau?

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09:47 Sep-24-2019

Saints Row4 in all its random glory + in coop with frind

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18:23 Sep-23-2019

Probably some Half-Life 2 Mod

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15:55 Sep-23-2019

The tutorial on Far Cry Blood Dragon is pretty funny!

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14:24 Sep-23-2019

NOLF - both parts. When is the remake or sequel ever going to come? Sometimes I get so frustrated thinking about this I feel like walking up to the current rights holder and just buying the rights of the game from them.


But then reality sets in when I realize I don't have a million dollars lying around under the couch cushion

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10:53 Sep-23-2019

Stupid Invaders

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08:31 Sep-23-2019

any bloody MINI GOLF game holy **** those were good

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07:36 Sep-23-2019

Kingdom O'Magic.

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02:57 Sep-23-2019

I would say The Secret of Monkey Island would be on top of my list swordfighting with insults was amazing for example. Followed by Sam & Max Hit the Road. Fun games, really old MS-DOS games from 90s but great. Plus The Secret of Monkey got remastered, if anyone wants to give it a try, same game, just with much improved visuals.

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21:43 Sep-22-2019

To be completely honest, I have never played a funny game and the Borderlands humour does nothing for me. I wish it did, but I side with the opinions of the author, Jon.

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21:18 Sep-22-2019

West of Loathing is pretty good. Portal is fun, both 1 and 2. Stanley Parable is good too. Monkey Island, although I've never properly completed it.
Rimworld can be pretty funny when the pieces fall into place, same as Dwarf Fortress.

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20:55 Sep-22-2019

I loved Serious Sam 2 back in the day.

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19:41 Sep-22-2019

I'll say Deadpool

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19:41 Sep-22-2019

This reminds me that sadly, the gaming side of media really lacks humor. It only makes up for it in glitches and gamers' imagination, though that's unintended.

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18:33 Sep-22-2019

Tales of the borderlands but there were also some funny broken ass games i played like all the bugs in andromeda made me laugh plenty of games fit that category though lol

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18:23 Sep-22-2019

Telltale games like Tales from the Borderlands and Monkey Island are pretty funny.

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18:02 Sep-22-2019

I haven't seen anybody mention The Stanley Parable.

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08:30 Sep-23-2019

Can't believe I forgot!

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17:45 Sep-22-2019

Shadow Warrior 2 was pretty funny. Also, the Witcher and Mass Effect series had some scences which had me bawling with laughter

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