The Top 5 Funniest Games of 2020

The Top 5 Funniest Games of 2020

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Rich Walker and Matt Lorrigan

Comedy is hard to pull off at the best of times, but it’s particularly hard to get right in a video game, where writers wrestle with perfecting their comedic timing, and players are often free to wander off-script.

In the bleak year that has been 2020, it’s been more important than ever to get your doctor-recommended daily dose of laughter, so it’s bloody lucky that this has also been a great year for some genuinely funny video game releases. There are even some honourable mentions that didn’t quite make the list, such as the emergent couch co-op comedy of Overcooked! All You Can Eat and Moving Out, or some of the brilliantly wacky NPCs and side-stories of Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition. So if you’re itching for a good laugh in these tough times, look no further than the below games*.

*Warning - your comedic tastes may vary, Xbox Achievements is not liable if you don’t find the listed titles funny, please direct all complaints to the comment section below.

Journey to the Savage Planet

It may have flown under the radar for a lot of players when it launched, in January, but anyone who did make the journey to the game’s titular savage planet was greeted with a colourful romp that put comedy front and centre. Whether it’s the sly jabs taken at late-stage capitalism in the brilliant, darkly funny adverts you’re greeted with when you return to your ship, or the quips of your sarcastic AI, the comedic script shines throughout. The real genius of Journey to the Savage Planet, however, is the way that the game’s comedy jumps off the script and weaves its way into the gameplay. From the way your spacefaring explorer shudders and vocally despairs, when you make them shove some stamina-increasing orange goo in their gob, to the way a pufferbird arcs through the air once you’ve given it a good kicking, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a laugh (or several) during this 7-hour adventure.

Immortals Fenyx Rising

There’s not much better in comedy than a good double act, and narrators-slash-gods Zeus and Prometheus pull it off with aplomb in Immortals Fenyx Rising. With Prometheus as the straight man, and Zeus as the impulsive and sloppy meathead, this odd couple adds a brilliant sprinkling of humour throughout Fenyx’s adventures. They’ll argue about the details of classic Greek stories, or drop genuinely funny anecdotes pulled straight from mythology, and the script is sharp and laugh-out-loud funny at times. Even outside of the narration, Immortals Fenyx Rising is funny throughout, with character interactions often making light of the big dysfunctional family that are the Gods and Titans of Greek mythology. Throw in some fun easter eggs and references for those who know their Classics, and Immortals Fenyx Rising proves to be an amusing Greek comedy brought to life.

Lair of the Clockwork God

This is a game that could have found its way onto this list simply by virtue of having a wanking booth. But, as connoisseurs of comedy, we demand something more, and Lair of the Clockwork God goes far beyond the inherent hilarity of a wanking booth, with tongue-in-cheek commentary on video game tropes, and jokes about microtransactions among the myriad witty observations on offer. Other highlights include an incomprehensible vaping 'yoof' and a xenophobic brain in a jar whose worldview comes directly from the pages of the Daily Mail, and that's before mentioning the Sonic the Hedgehog-inspired level, with its rivers of beer, or the limbo where video game characters go to respawn. Lair of the Clockwork God expertly lampoons a lot in the space of a few hours, all while delivering fiendish puzzles, hybrid point-and-click and platforming gameplay, and a memorable post-apocalyptic story – it's easily one of 2020's most thoroughly enjoyable, and properly funny games.

Battletoads

A throwback to Saturday morning cartoons, Battletoads has the very same level of infectious comic energy, its exuberant story moving at a breakneck pace that seldom lets up on the brilliantly daft jokes. Think of a brand of humour in the vein of Ren & Stimpy, Spongebob Squarepants, or Cow & Chicken, and you're pretty much there. It's the speed at which everything that moves in Battletoads that makes its unhinged silliness work so well, and the quality of the animation and art certainly helps a lot, too. Granted, the bit with the turbo bikes might only be funny in an “oh my god, I think I'm going to cry” sort of way, but it's hard to fault the game's moments of properly laugh-out-loud mania. If you play Battletoads and don't feel like an excited, giggling kid again, there might be something wrong with you.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

You need only look at protagonist Ichiban Kasuga's outlandish frazzled perm to know that Yakuza: Like a Dragon doesn't take itself entirely seriously. And while – in the grand tradition of all Yakuza games – there's a (mostly) serious story at the heart of the game, on the fringes of Yokohama, you'll find all manner of wonderful silliness. As ever, it's all in the substories: Yakuza's place for unfettered moments of the daft, which in Like a Dragon range from stopping a public urinator peeing in the river to fighting an escaped chimp driving a digger. You can employ a chicken to help manage your own confectionary company, summon a deadly rain of crawfish or a grown man in a diaper during battles, go to the movies to fend off sheep, and race a sumo wrestler in Dragon Kart. Yakuza: Like a Dragon is gleefully silly, and we love it.

Comments
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  • Yakuza like a dragon highly recommend what a game!
  • Loved Battletoads. Played it with my girls in co-op.
  • Yea, Battletoads was an awesome playthrough with the kids.
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