Sometimes life can be really stressful. Whether you’re swamped in school, work, or perhaps your deadline for publishing an article about funny games is coming up, you need outlets for stress.

A lot of people think of games as a way to raise your blood pressure, and that’s not totally untrue. I mean, a competitive round of Peggle 2 with my roommate certainly doesn’t help me sleep at night. But the best medicine for stress is laughter, and I have here a list of games that will bring a smile to your face and light a fire in your heart, or wherever it is that you feel happiness.

Here they are—my favorite funny video games.

BattleBlock TheaterThe Behemoth

ESRB Rating: T for Teen
PC, Xbox 360

You know how “Adventure Time” gets a ton of laughs from its surreal and surprising dialogue? BattleBlock Theater pulls off the same bizarre humor, and it had me cackling. It’s a platforming and fighting game that supports 1-4 players. The players are pitted against a variety of obstacles and dangerous creature for the gladiatorial entertainment of a bunch of sadistic cats.

cats funny games


These cats are watching you fight on a stage as if they were spectators in a play. Probably the most iconic and hilarious part of BattleBlock Theater is the narrator’s over-the-top threats. (Especially when you die. He really doesn’t like it when you die.)

BattleBlock Theater isn’t exactly a game for all ages—the humor can be a little crude (get ready to stop yourself from saying “what the fart” all the time), and the cartoonish violence includes quite a lot of blood splatter. The game is rated T for a reason.

But that basically makes BattleBlock Theater the equivalent of a PG-13 action comedy.  Gosh darnit if I didn’t laugh my butt off when that character pooped so hard he died. If I liked this game, there’s a good chance your pre-teen will like it too.

The LittleBigPlanet SeriesMedia Molecule and Sumo Digital

ESRB Rating: E for Everyone, E10+ for Everyone 10 & Up
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Portable

If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written, you know how much I love LittleBigPlanet games. A lot of that is because the games are infinitely charming. The hand-made craft aesthetic lets it get away with some really surreal levels, like the one in LittleBigPlanet 2 where you’re shooting cupcakes from your head. The games also have a fantastic, dry (very British) sense of humor. The third one even features Hugh Laurie as a villain and has you trapping titans in a tea tin, for goodness’ sake.

Plus, these games are all incredibly fun to play with a friend—maybe even more fun than they are in single-player mode. Check out our Quick Pix to hear my take on LittleBigPlanet 3!

The Stanley Parable—Davey Wreden, Galactic Cafe

ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Platforms: PC, Mac

Like BattleBlock Theater, The Stanley Parable pits the player against a less-than-kind narrator who knows you’re in a game. The game is only about 20 minutes long, and you can either do what the narrator tells you to—or disobey and feel his wrath.

The game is incredibly replayable because there are lots of different endings. It’s a darkly clever game that will appeal to teenagers and adults more than it will to younger kids. In tone it’s actually pretty reminiscent of GLaDOS’s commentary in Portal! Check out the trailer to see what I mean.

Portal 2Valve

ESRB Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 & Up
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

If you haven’t played Portal 2 yet—honestly, what are you waiting for? It’s a brilliant puzzle game, and on top of that, it’s hilarious. As you try to escape the testing facilities, the menacing AI GLaDOS insults and berates you in impressively creative ways. You can play Portal 2 in co-op mode to share the experience with a friend. Compilations of GLaDOS’s best quotes are all over YouTube, but believe me, they’re best experienced as you play the game.

Ittle DewLudosity

ESRB Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 & Up
 PC, Mac, Nintendo Wii U

In Ittle Dew a sassy, quick-witted little girl searches for treasure and banters with her fox fairy companion. You can compare the gameplay to The Legend of Zelda games—there’s puzzles, adventure, and treasure! What more do you want?? But Ittle Dew is also important because it stars a rough-and-tumble girl as the main character; something that’s all too rare in games and other visual media.

Borderlands SeriesGearbox Software, Telltale Games

ESRB Rating: M for Mature
PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360

On the more adult end of the spectrum, the Borderlands games are full of surreal, not-so-PG humor involving explosions and horses named Butt Stallion. Borderlands and Borderlands 2 can both be played as co-op games. Tales from the Borderlands is a story game in the style of other Telltale games, which combines important player decisions during dialogue with quicktime events to make surprisingly compelling gameplay and storytelling. If you like “Wild West in outer space” stories, Borderlands is a great example of the genre done well.

Costume QuestDouble Fine Games

ESRB Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 & Up
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, iOS, Android

There is basically nothing objectionable about Costume Quest, the adventure series from Double Fine Games about some kids who turn into their Halloween costumes. You go around collecting candy and fighting bad guys, and the dialogue is just freaking funny. Here’s Courtney’s take on why she likes these games so much:

Funny Games and Unique Humor

One interesting thing I noticed about these games is that the sadistic narrator trope tends to crop up a lot. Portal, The Stanley Parable, and BattleBlock Theater all have cruel disembodied voices trying to tell you what to do. In the case of The Stanley Parable, the voice is making philosophical commentary on free will in games. I think this crops up because sometimes the barriers we find in games are inherently funny. In the first Fable game, for instance, you’re a super-powerful hero! But if you try to leave the path, you’ll find that you can’t jump over a 2-foot fence.

Inconsistencies like that are still a fact of gaming, due to technical limitations. Games like Sunset Overdrive and The Stanley Parable poke fun at those rules of gaming that we take for granted.

If you’re looking for more funny games, try the humor section of our Game Picker!

This article was written by

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.