Top Ten Feel Good Games on PC
Post date: 07-Apr-2014 19:16:47
Tired of the BS top ten lists clogging the internet? Sick of having each entry on a separate webpage? Fear not! Here is a top ten list you can read all at once! Following my previous top ten list from Halloween 2013, and in the spirit of Spring, here are my personal Top Ten Feel Good PC Games of all time! Remember, I only include games I’ve actually played, so if you’re missing your favorite game then I either didn’t like it enough or haven’t played it. Now, on with the list:
10. Sonic Generations
Developer: Devil’s Details
This choice might cause some controversy, but I really enjoyed Sonic Generations (until it stopped recognizing my Logitech controller and now demands an Xbox 360 controller, which really pissed me off). Bringing together the new, slightly-annoying Sonic with the older, gloriously silent original Sonic was a great way to stay modern while still delivering the classic 2D gameplay. Add into that a strange story about the world being whitewashed, and Sonic having to restore normalcy and color to the world, and you have a recipe for some great feel-good moments. This works to great effect when Sonic rescues one of his friends, and even when restoring some of the levels and worlds back to their former luster. If you want a new Sonic, but either hate the 3D sections or the 2D sections, this game has half of each and might be worth your while.
Developer: Amanita Design
In a world full of dark, gritty, gore-infested murder games, Botanicula stands strong and positive like Gandhi against the British Empire. Players control a handful of unidentifiable bugs or animals that must save their tree-habitat from being destroyed by evil looking spider creatures who are infecting everything. There is no intelligible dialog, but each one of these creatures is filled with personality and goofiness. While many of the game’s puzzles might frustrate the average player, the overall tone of the game will keep most players feeling warm and cuddly. Definitely worth checking out when you’re feeling low.
8. Knights of Pen and Paper +1
Developer: Behold Studios
Knights of Pen and Paper +1 is an RPG spoof that isn’t afraid to be genre aware, self-aware, industry aware, and even just plain brave enough to break the fourth wall now and then. The game itself can be way too easy at times, so most of the enjoyment comes from the game’s witty and convoluted narrative and unique characters. You play as a few good friends who sit down to play some D&D clone. That’s right, it’s a game inside of a game, which makes for some great meta moments. About halfway through, the gameworld your characters are playing in starts leaking into their real world, and things get really crazy. The game isn’t too deep in terms of mechanics or locations or quests, but the dialog and characters are entertaining enough to keep the game flowing along. Expect to smile and chuckle a lot when playing this one.
7. Sam & Max (All Seasons)
Released: 2006 - 2010
Developer: Telltale Games
Sam & Max is a hard IP to describe, and I mean that in the best way possible. If you’ve never read any of the comics, seen the cartoon show, or played any of the games, then you should probably remedy that as soon as possible. Sam the Dog and Max the Rabbit-Thing, private investigators, are at their comedic finest during their episodic, classic point-and-click adventure game series. The highlight of these episodic games clearly lies in the ridiculous characters and dialog, as well as the hilarious and unbelievable plots. The low points of these games often comes in the puzzle solving sections, as these titles sometimes fall prey to completely non-intuitive puzzles. However, if you can deal with a little extra clicking to get your laughs, then Sam & Max are ready to deliver quality goods.
6. The Stanley Parable
Developer: Galactic Café
While I never played the mod back when it was released (although I knew of it), I’m almost glad I waited for the full release (which I had no idea was being made). This was one of my more appreciated purchases last year, and while the game may be extremely short with little to no replay value, the core experience is unquestionably worth the price. There are few games that will successfully mess with your head as effortlessly and effectively as The Stanley Parable. This is what happens when you pair a seemingly simple idea with many, many insane ideas.
Never before in a game have I ever interacted with a janitor’s closet for close to 15 minutes while laughing my ass off the entire time. Never before in a game have I thought “what if I did this?” and have it pay off in ways I never expected so many times. Never before have I played a game with a narrator that I hoped would never shut up. I can’t explain this title. You just have to experience the madness for yourself. Had this game been longer or had more replay value, then it would have easily been in the top 5. Instead, it has to settle for 6th place.
5. Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness (1 and 2)
Developer: Hothead Games
Many people may prefer Zeboyd Games’ retro takes with Episodes 3 and 4, but for me, PA:OtRSPoD Eps 1 and 2 are where the magic is. Woefully overlooked by many gamers, the first two episodes of this series are comical and enjoyable, if not a little short. These games bear a striking resemblance to the #1 game on this list, but their brevity and repetitiveness prevent them from rising any higher than #5 for me. Still, if you’re a fan of Penny Arcade’s near monopoly on gaming comedy, then you’ll definitely enjoy these two titles.
Players create their own character and are immediately thrust into high adventure with two of the most beloved webcomic characters of all time, Tycho and Gabe. The comedy is nearly flawless the entire way through, and I found myself becoming immersed with the game’s goofy world and characters. While there are some sections that feel tedious (fetch quests mostly), the games overall hold together wonderfully and provide tons of laughs along the way.
4. The Bard’s Tale
Developer: InXile Entertainment
Originally released for PS2 and Xbox, this spoof of fantasy RPG dungeon crawlers is one of the funniest and most self-aware games I’ve ever encountered. Players take control of The Bard, a sarcastic, selfish womanizer, in the hopes of rescuing a fair damsel in distress. This quest takes him to many unique locations packed with hilarity (especially the drinking song sections). Although not connected to the original Bard’s Tale game from 1985 or its sequels, this game definitely stands on its own as an action-packed laugh-fest from beginning to end.
The story is intentionally cliché, as are the locations and characters, and they all work to wonderful effect, creating a world that is 90% overused fantasy and 10% modern humor (or maybe more like 60/40). There is a twist in the storyline toward the end which is nice, and also manages to play itself for laughs. This is another title I haven’t played in a few years, but I can’t remember many low points. The only criticism I can offer is that sometimes the combat can drag on a bit, but there’s plenty of interesting abilities, weapons, and bard songs to keep things flowing. The Bard’s Tale definitely earns its spot at number 4.
3. Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Originally a Playstation 1 game, Rayman 2 greatly improved upon the already winning formula of its predecessor. With a cast of lovable characters, awesome art and level design, and nearly flawless controls (with a few minor exceptions toward the end), Rayman 2: The Great Escape would’ve been an awesome game no matter what it was about. Add to that a thoroughly enjoyable story and the fact that there is literally no comprehensible dialog in the entire game, this gem shines even brighter. It even holds up today, although I haven’t played it in a few years.
The story, while simple, is told so well that running around destroying robot pirates in pursuit of Admiral Razorbeard is a true exercise in joy. Rayman somehow manages to be cute and tough at the same time, with his faithful pal Globox serving as sidekick. Clearly the best linear 3D platformer of all time (beating out classics like Crash Bandicoot and even Donkey Kong Country for me), I encourage everyone to appease their inner child by finding a copy of this game and enjoying the hell out of it.
Developer: Double Fine Productions
If a game as hilariously awesome as Psychonauts is a developer’s very first game, and especially when the amazing Tim Schaefer is at the helm, then it deserves all the recognition it can get. A quirky romp through pseudo-psychology and summer camp, Psychonauts clocks in at number 2 for its endearing characters, hilarious storyline, and insane level design. The only complaint I can even imagine would be leveled at the game’s less-than-perfect controls. However, at least one of the game’s levels are so mind-bending that even perfect controls wouldn’t have helped much (but this is a good thing in this case).
Floating above the rest, often literally, the main character Raz (voiced by none other than Richard Horvitz of Invader Zim and The Angry Beavers glory) gives Psychonauts much of its attitude and enjoyment as he runs, jumps, floats, and zaps his way to victory. Supporting characters are equally enjoyable, and jumping into their minds to help save the day is always a unique experience. Even the item collecting quests and challenges are fun, which says a lot since I usually hate such things. All in all, Psychonauts is one of the greatest 3D platformers of all time, and definitely leaves me feeling upbeat and refreshed.
1. South Park: The Stick of Truth™
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment/South Park Digital Studios
I’ve logged about 15 hours into this one, and although I haven’t finished it yet, I’m supremely confident placing SP:TSoT™ in the number 1 slot. It’s like being a part of an extremely long and well-paced episode of the titular show, which is something I’ve been waiting for since South Park premiered way back in 1997 (a very good year for entertainment, I must say).
This game makes great use of South Park’s many characters and locations. Add to that an engaging combat system, extensive equipment lists and customizations, stellar voice acting, and hilarious comedy and it’s small wonder that this game tops this list. Just to name a few of the inventive things you can do in this game, you can: throw your own (or others’) feces at your enemies to gross them out, hot-swap allies in combat, roshambo your enemies into submission, and beat the ever-loving shit out of characters such as Al Gore and even Eric Cartman himself.
Games that tickle your insides like this only come around once in a great while, and despite the game’s somewhat less than impressive length, playing around in 17 years of South Park history still makes me grin from ear to ear every time.
King’s Quest 6
Poker Night at the Inventory (1 and 2)
To the Moon