stub 5 Surprisingly Good Video Games Based on Popular Cartoons -
Connect with us

Best Of

5 Surprisingly Good Video Games Based on Popular Cartoons



Like movies, TV shows and cartoons just shouldn't be turned into video games. There's something not quite right in the water, and more often than not, it usually makes our stomachs far more queazy that it does joyful. But contrary to what most of us believe, video game developers still prefer to dabble in said waters, desperate to churn out a respectable port that can ultimately live up to the show's reputation.

They crash and burn most of the time, of course. But on occasion, they have managed to do a show proud and produce little specs of gold. It's rare, of course — but definitely possible. I mean, just take a look at these five great games for example. Somehow, these devs managed to crack the formula and prove us all wrong, teaching us that some TV shows and cartoons, with a whole lot of love and affection, can in fact be ported over to the gaming world. Touché.


5. Futurama

It shouldn't have worked, but it did. It actually did. Futurama, along with all its witty charm and outrageous humour actually managed to land on the gaming front, and in flying colours, to our absolute surprise. But what was it that made Groening's classic TV show work so well on outdated consoles? Well, that's just it. Was it thanks to the popularity of the franchise that helped carry the sales — or was it a genuine work of art that had the power to stand on its own two feet without the extra support?

Perhaps it was the open world that allowed us to explore the legendary Planet Express Headquarters, or the fact we could fill the boots of our favourite characters and hop from planet to planet on an unforgettable space expedition. Whatever it was that launched Futurama towards awe-inspiring heights, it definitely didn't hold back on the award-winning components. It did the show proud, and actually managed to zip a few sceptical lips along the way. So, a win-win, I guess.


4. The Simpsons Hit & Run

At this point, I'm almost tired of coughing up facts about The Simpsons: Hit & Run. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's popped up at least a few dozen times in the last twelve months alone. And yet, despite its endless hype and almost cult-like following — I still can't seem to give it the boot in exchange for something else, no matter how hard I try.

From the open world in which Springfield sprung to life and unraveled all its explorable nooks and crannies, to the wide range of playable characters and iconic catchphrases — everything about it just glimmered perfection. It was hands down one of the greatest adventure titles of its time, and even today, still holds a place at the bottom of our hearts. The question that remains, of course, is whether or not we'll be graced with a remaster in the future.


3. South Park: The Stick of Truth


Parker and Stone are certainly known for producing some of the most risqué pieces of art for TV and film. And yet, despite all the lawsuits and cancellations, South Park has still managed to stay afloat and keep the seasons flowing. So what better way to laugh in the face of danger than to cash-in on a few video games? Seemed only natural during the golden age of Nintendo 64 gaming, of course. But, you know, that's a subject we'd rather not talk about, to be honest.

Luckily, the comedy duo were able to get their second chance well over a decade later, with The Stick of Truth being their new platform for experimentation. With fine-tuned role-playing ingredients and a dollop of refined humour, the 2014 open world adventure became an instant classic, effectively redeeming Parker and Stone of their god-awful Nintendo 64 atrocity. Well played.


2. Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion


Admittedly, Cartoon Network hasn't had the smoothest ride since dipping into the video game realm. I mean, how could we turn a blind eye to 2016's shockingly bad Battle Crashers? Even before that, the acclaimed network still couldn't cement a genuinely compelling video game to help bolster its reputation. Punch Time Explosion, on the other hand, well, let's just say that was a minor exception.

It might not have been Super Smash Bros., but it was definitely an admirable tribute that shared a few similarities with it. And as far as its iconic roster went, well, let's just say Punch Time Explosion still holds up today with its jam-packed cast and unlikely crossovers. Gameplay-wise, it was nothing special. But for the sake of nostalgia, as well as having a whole web of shows barreled into one arena — it was absolute bliss, and a genuine credit to Cartoon Network.


1. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom — Rehydrated


Like Cartoon Network, the guys over at Nickelodeon have also had a tough time with building a successful video game off the back of one of their beloved shows. And truth be told, it has taken them a few failed attempts in order to learn how to iron out the kinks and make something just the slightest bit compatible. But they got there — right around the time SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom rolled out.

Using the whole of the aquatic metropolis as a playground for the sea sponge's antics, Battle for Bikini Bottom set the bar incredibly high, fusing a loveable cast with a hearty tale. And let's face it — the fact it was remastered a ways down the line just sort of amplified its worth as an adventure game.


So, what do you make of the above five? Do you agree with our list? What video games based on cartoons would you suggest playing? Let us know over on our socials here.

Looking for more content? You could always take a look at one of these lists:

5 Video Game Villains We Couldn’t Help But Sympathize With

Return to Arkham Asylum: 5 Best Boss Fights, Ranked

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.