The 8 Funniest Games I’ve Played Throughout My Gaming Career
Gaming can evoke a wide range of emotions, from fear and stress to euphoria and invigoration, but titles that instill a genuine sense of happiness are rarer than you might think. As a rule, with all pleasure comes darkness – and it’s hard to find something brilliant all the way through. Even then, some things that are meant to be joyful end up being overwhelming, more effectively producing a migraine instead of warming your heart.
There are many experiences with a cheerful exterior, but once you break its shell, what lies beneath is anything but happy. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch has a colorful aesthetic and lovable character designs, but its story is occupied by a darkness that revolves around trauma and overcoming grief. We’re not looking to highlight games like this today. Here are games that can make you happy without the baggage that surrounds it, delivering good vibes and joyful themes to the fore. Every title on this list has brought me happiness and always makes me smile after thinking.
Astro’s Playroom is the epitome of lighthearted fun without a darker core. If you’re a fan of PlayStation and its long history, this game will put a smile on your face. It features a ton of references to classic and modern Sony exclusives, as well as a collectible area for every piece of hardware the company has ever released. Each soundtrack is upbeat and full of fun mechanical sound effects, with one even featuring adorable robotic voices singing “I’m Your GPU” in an unreasonably catchy song.
It’s especially fun that each area ties into a part of the PlayStation 5, taking players to areas like SSD Speedway and CPU Plaza. Since the game is free and automatically installs on the PS5, it’s a fun way to sneak into Sony’s latest and greatest hardware. If you’re in the mood for something that has nothing more to say than a love letter to a beloved facet of gaming history, Astro’s Playroom is a solid choice.
Sky: Children of the Light
Sky: Children of the Light is the only game on this list that betrays my original promise to avoid cheerful-looking games with a darker center. While it’s a comfortable foray into a soft, pastel world of cheerful cooperation and peaceful moods, the more the player delves into the story and game world, the more they’ll understand what’s really lurking within. below.
Sky: Children of the Light is a game about the inevitability of death and the glory of rebirth, driven by the player’s run-ins with a mysterious entity shrouded in darkness. In the game’s final act, the player runs through a nightmarish hellscape littered with the corpses of other players who perished before him, and your only choice is to devote all of your energy to saving their souls with your light. There is no way to survive this encounter; your death is inevitable. It’s dark and admittedly not the happiest ending, but every moment before it is the exact opposite.
Sky is a lovely little game about silently communicating with others through adorable emotes, little sounds you can make by pressing a button and holding hands while browsing its cloudy aesthetic. Every animation and high-pitched noise brought me the biggest smile, and working with adorable strangers to unlock new areas and uncover secrets is unforgettable.
A hat in time
A Hat in Time is a charming platformer inspired by Nintendo 64 3D platformer titles like Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie. While rough around the edges, Gears for Breakfast understands what made games from that era charming, throwing players into stylized, dynamic worlds that perfectly encapsulate the simple beauty of that aesthetic. Movement is key, and controlling Hat Girl feels great as she cruises around on her scooter, double-jumps, dashes, and glides through areas that seem straight out of Nintendo’s GameCube.
Although there aren’t many areas, each is powered by a radically different idea with particular goals. In one level, the player scales an escalating harbor town occupied by angry sailors, and in the next, they’ll rush through a huge movie studio, get thrown on a train, and deduce who’s responsible for a murder in sepia film style. Much of A Hat in Time is absolutely adorable, and each chapter has the weight and diversity of its own game.
A short hike
A Short Hike takes players on a journey to the top of Hawk Peak as a cute little bird trying to find its way in the world. It’s an easy-to-digest experience, only taking an hour or two to enjoy what the game has to offer. Overwhelmed with worry about taking an important phone call, Claire has to climb to the top of the mountain to get cell phone reception. The player can run around and do various activities or interact with a group of characters who constantly support him. The gentle winds, atmospheric soundtrack, and mellow aesthetic imbue every moment of A Short Hike with a reassuring warmth.
The day I started A Short Hike was not a good day; I felt depressed, useless, and overwhelmed with the feeling that none of my actions could ever matter. But it’s an experience that perfectly balances tranquility with positivity, managing not to be overwhelming with its joy while harboring relatable themes rooted in anxiety and living in the moment. It’s a truly spectacular little game and one of my favorite feel-good experiences in the medium.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing holds immeasurable power over my heart. The shortest line of dialogue or the smallest emote from one of my villagers could easily make me cry. There’s something about the ethos of this series that makes every little moment, no matter how understated, carry the weight of a bombshell.
New Horizons continues this trend and takes it to a slightly larger scale. Every piece of furniture and every asset seems to have been made with love, and every animation has a tangible joy. From the soft color scheme to the various character personalities, Animal Crossing can deliver an immersive feel akin to a second life.
To put my emotional investment into context, I forgot to log in on my birthday and missed the party my villagers threw for me. Overwhelmed with grief and sadness for doing such a horrible thing to them, I haven’t launched the game since.
See our complete Animal Crossing: New Horizons review.
Tearaway: Unfolded has quickly become my favorite 3D platformer for its amazing level design and the creativity behind every asset and paper animation. It’s a journey that takes the player to a new land of origami, offering unique ways to explore and battle as they progress through each area. It also has a cheerful soundtrack that includes frequent drumming and explosive use of instruments to make every track sound somewhere between epic and silly. Unlike LittleBigPlanet, players can’t dive as deep into the creative aspects with Tearaway, but there are plenty of opportunities to customize their character.
Tearaway: Unfolded brought a gigantic, silly grin to my face. It’s special to find a game that puts so much love into every little thing and has as many varied appearance areas as it does. It perfectly taps into the feeling that it was crafted through a child’s imagination, throwing you into the throes of a small child’s origami wonderland.
I will never stop loving Minecraft. Along with being an absolute joy to play, I have fond memories of watching YouTubers like Yogscast, Seananners, and X go through their journeys in early 2010. And it’s not just a game that remains nostalgic for me, Like almost every year, I’m making new memories by starting new games with friends trying out a new mod or joining a unique server with special rules.
Considerable periods of my life can be associated with a new Minecraft-based memory that could be identified as its own unique gaming experience. Whether it’s playing classic Minecraft at launch, rushing through the adventure game terrors of Yogsquest, being attacked in factions, building a cozy swamp house, participating in Minecraft Hunger Games or playing wild mods where you step into alternate dimensions and inadvertently cause tears across the space-time continuum, Minecraft is the gift that keeps on giving.
little big planet
LittleBigPlanet is my favorite game of all time and is responsible for my fondest childhood memories. It shaped my life in a monumental way today, as I spent thousands and thousands of hours between the first two games over the course of about five years. I have met the majority of my best friends through this game; these are people that I still hang out with and that I meet physically quite frequently.
LittleBigPlanet fully understands how to ignite a child’s creativity, and there’s nothing that evokes greater joy than experiencing it firsthand. And of course, many years ago, I was that child. Working on new projects every day and seeing what everyone else in the community had to do was magical. These games have become my home and have been my most powerful source of daily happiness. They gave me the courage to be creative, picked me up when I was down, and reassured me that I was safe when I felt otherwise.
I’ve never invested so much energy into creating games, music and worlds as when I was a teenager playing LittleBigPlanet. Remembering my innocence, my joy and my confidence makes me cry.