Gaming funny moments

Gaming funny moments DEFAULT
My videos are only 3 - 5 min long and I spend 2 - 4 hours editing them and could easily spend more time editing. The more planning I put into it the less time editing takes, but obviously the more time I spent planning.

I've heard of podcasters who clap 3 times when they make a mistake so it's easier for them to find it and cut it out. I imagine something like that might make editing long form content like a gaming video more streamline.

PhysicsFreak101 said:

Subtitles are optional for funny moments, I only use them to put emphasis on the punch line, you don't need to subtitle the whole video.

Click to expand...

when you say Subtitles, if you mean Open caption that are part of the video and can't be turned off, then I agree.
But if you mean closed captions that viewers can turn on and off and translate, then I disagree.
I caption my videos for people who are not native English speakers and for people who are hard of hearing. Also, people can always auto translate the captions into their language seeing as 80% of the world doesn't speak English.



The Legend of Zelda's 10 Funniest Moments Of All Time

While mainly an adventure game, The Legend of Zelda has countless hilarious moments that keep a smile on players' faces from start to finish!

Few franchises have earned the same level of status and respect that The Legend of Zelda holds. The adventures are epic, the characters are full of depth, the lore is beautifully crafted, and yet, one aspect of the series goes unnoticed: Its humor. The developers at Nintendo have never failed to deliver a healthy dose of laughter amid The Legend of Zelda's often dark and immersive universe. Whether it's an offhand joke by an odd man in a green jumpsuit, or a slapstick-heavy band of pirates, Nintendo has made sure that players are smiling while they wield the controller.

When The Legend of Zelda was first introduced to the world in 1986, video game designer Miyamoto along with his team at Nintendo surely had no idea what kind of an impression they would be making on the video game world. Despite being wildly ahead of its time and limited by the technology of its era, The Legend of Zelda laid the groundwork for all future video game franchises, both in content and in player experience.

Related: What Zelda Games Should Be Included In Its 35th Anniversary Collection

From even some of the earliest games within the series, Miyamoto knew that laughter would be what kept players returning to the land of Hyrule. Here are some of The Legend of Zelda franchise's funniest moments.

#10 - An Error in Adventure of Link

Early on in the second installment of the Zelda franchise, Link meets an oddly named character in the town of Ruto. Upon entering one of the homes, the only words Link can seem to get out of the gentleman is "I am Error!" It's widely believed to be a joke implemented intentionally into the game, though many believe it could be the result of a mistranslation, or even an actual error message gone unnoticed. Regardless, it's fun to imply to new players that there's an error in the game and to provide actual proof!

#9 - Banana Fever in Breath of the Wild

Due to the vast open world that Breath of the Wild offers players, there is much to experiment with. The game offers little to no direction and allows players to discover things at their own pace, like the various mask effects on civilians and enemies, or just what exactly a shock arrow does to the fish in the shallows. One of the most bizarre plot points in Breath of the Wild is the big bad Yiga clan, and their obsession with... bananas. Their lair is full of them, they're distracted when Link lays one down, and nearly all of them drop bananas upon being defeated (implying that they carry them on their person at all times). For a group full of tough ninja fighters, that's one weird and funny kryptonite.

#8 - The Mailman in Twilight Princess

Twilight Princess is perhaps the darkest game in the Zelda franchise. The whole vibe of the game appeals more to the ever-present Twilight rather than the usual beauty of Hyrule. However, one character that never ceases to break the tension is the Mailman. First of all, he halts all gameplay when he finds Link with a loopy "HEEEEEEY!" as he proceeds to huff and puff his way up to the hero.

Related: Why Breath Of The Wild Fans Should Play Genshin Impact

If his lack of stamina, gigantic bunny flag, or his revealing shorts aren't enough to crack a player's smile, if one listen's carefully, the odd delivery man does his own theme music! When he delivers a message to Link, the Mailman will sing the "bum bada ba bum" players usually hear from a chest, or he'll sing other familiar 'item found' melodies well-known within the series. If that's not funny, it's at least very clever, and a very welcome break from the otherwise macabre Twilight Princess.

#7 - Offensive Food in Breath of the Wild

One of the most experimental aspects of Breath of the Wild is Link's new ability to cook. If he's got the recipe, Link can make some incredible feasts ranging from freshly skewered veggies, to delicious cakes that all provide various health boosts in his travels. Link isn't above making mistakes, and the game is willing to shame him in the process. Besides being labeled "Dubious Food," developers went one step further and censored the abomination, calling it "...too gross to even look at." Link's unfortunate creation will still offer a small amount of health, but it sure is funny to watch him eat it!

#6 - The Shopkeeper's Kamehameha in Link's Awakening

Link is always painted as the hero of the story, dedicated to fighting evil and saving the kingdom. However, Link's Awakening gives the young protagonist the opportunity to draw the line of law and order himself. When browsing the Tool Shop in Mabe Village, Link can pick up an item and attempt to leave without paying. He is stopped, of course, by the polite shopkeeper, but if players leave from around his back, Link will slip out seemingly unnoticed. When Link returns, however, he is met with a terrible fate. The Shopkeeper has been waiting for him, and in an epic display of unprecedented power, ends Link's game in retribution! The laugh (albeit a defeated one) comes when players' shocked surprise finally catches up as they see that Game Over screen and balance is restored.

#5 - Bunny Boy in A Link to the Past

A Link to the Past is a landmark game within the series that defined a layout that players would come to expect from The Legend of Zelda henceforth. It begins with real pomp and circumstance, as Link inherits his dying uncle's sword and quest to save Zelda, and it is so jam packed with content that players are practically blindsided with confusion when Link gets to the Dark World unequipped. Upon his first entrance into the parallel kingdom, Link is transformed into a useless shell of his former self until he acquires the Moon Pearl. However, that shell just happens to be a pink bunny rabbit. With no sword and no dignity, Link is forced to brave the dangerous mountain adorably while players shake their heads and laugh at the absurdity.

#4 - The Hand in Majora's Mask

There can be little debate that perhaps the oddest character in the entire franchise is the Hand at the Inn in Majora's Mask. Link has the opportunity to fulfill a short side quest by retrieving a piece of paper for this... um... tenant. The Hand doesn't specify what the paper is for, exactly, but seeing as how he lives in what looks like a makeshift toilet, one can only assume. What is this creature? Who knows. Why does he need paper? No one needs to know. But with the moon looming overhead, the ever-present deadlines, and danger around every corner, this interaction is a hilarious moment of levity in the game.

#3 - Tetra's Barrel Idea in Wind Waker

Early in Wind Waker, Link is charged with the task of infiltrating the Forsaken Fortress to rescue his little sister. Discussion regarding how to get in results in Tetra's brilliant idea of firing Link in a barrel out of a cannon. The subsequent scene is a hysterical few moments of shock, anger, and acceptance by Link as he explodes into the air.

Related: Zelda Characters We DEFINITELY Need In Breath of the Wild 2

His pirate friends oafishly waving him goodbye after liftoff is comedy gold, and sets the tone for the entire game. Wind Waker's Link is one of the most animated reincarnations of the Hero, and his facial expressions are one of the best reasons to play this game over and over.

#2 - Darunia's Dance in Ocarina of Time

Ocarina of Time gave The Legend of Zelda an entire new level of depth with its 3D graphics and attention to detail. The development opportunities that came with the Nintendo 64 breathed new life into Hyrule. A towering icon in the game is Darunia, chief of the Gorons. He is intimidating, powerful, and a stalwart figurehead for the Gorons. Play him Saria's Song, though, and he drops some of the sickest dance moves Hyrule has ever seen. Link has to step back as the stoic chief busts out all the stops to move to the forest beat. It's honestly a hilarious moment that does a lot to invest players in the wonderfully charming inhabitants of Death Mountain.

#1 - Groose's Freakout in Skyward Sword

First in the lore timeline of The Legend of Zeldais the motion-controlled Skyward Sword, released for Wii in 2011. Link begins the game in a civilization above the clouds surrounded by peers his own age. One of those peers is Groose, a textbook schoolyard bully that often gives Link a hard time. Eventually, when Link assumes his heroic duties, he must plummet to the ground below to begin his adventure. Unseen by Link, Groose somehow ends up falling too! Once he lands, the reality of his circumstance is too much to handle though, as Groose devolves into a rabid panic dismantling his tough guy exterior in an instant. His facial expressions are a riot, and players aren't disappointed to see his antics finally catch up with him.

It is an undeniable truth that the Legend of Zelda franchise has perfected the balance of heavy and light in its games. The challenges of the series' puzzles are just as important to the fiber of the experience as the smiles players get when they enjoy a funny moment with Link. Every masterful installment of The Legend of Zelda gives players a new and exciting world to explore, and during the adventure, one can always count on having a few laughs. It is just a game, after all.

Next: Zelda Theory: Breath of the Wild's Timeline Placement Makes No Sense


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About The Author
Ross Griffin (36 Articles Published)

Based in NYC, Ross is a well-rounded, experienced gamer with a Bachelor's in Theater and an expertise in Zelda. Ross has spent the last ten years working in theater and traveling the country with his wife and dog.

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Far Cry 5's weirdest, wildest, funniest moments

Gif from Reddit by adrianmignogna

Far Cry 5 puts people, weapons, wild animals, and physics in a sandbox, shakes up that sandbox, then puts that sandbox back down where it's immediately attacked by a cougar and run over by a speeding truck which then explodes. Things happen, in other words, as enemies, friends, and wildlife constantly overlap in the hectic, unpredictable game world.

Below (and above) we've collected the weirdest and wildest moments we've seen from Far Cry 5.

Far Cry 5 in a Nutshell

The above clip has it all. A gunfight. A friendly bear. Several rampaging moose on the highway. A car hitting a rampaging moose, then being possessed by Satan. A moose stuck in a tree. A van hitting another moose, and that moose being punched repeatedly in the ass before taking revenge on the player. The friendly bear killing the moose but then being trapped behind the moose corpse and therefore unable to save the player. That's Far Cry 5, and that kind of stuff happens every few minutes.

Hitch a ride

Seems like a simple enough task. There are cargo trucks with ramps in the back. There's enough space for an ATV. Why not drive the ATV into the truck and drive away with it? YouTuber Maxament had a bit of a hitch while trying to hitch a ride.

Helicopter Parkour

It's a talented chopper pilot that can dive into a barrel-rolling chopper—which hasn't even taken off yet—and somehow still manage to fly.

What the elk?

This clip from Dimitri Wu on YouTube shows an caribou teleporting, winking in and out of existence, and occasionally being sucked into a mini-black hole that seems to reside in its abdomen. I don't know, man. Maybe caribou are magic, maybe it's just something in the water.

Batter up

With so many weapons, it's easy to forget there's a second inventory screen where you can craft and use potions. Combine a speed boost with a melee boost, and turn a baseball bat into the perfect moose-hunting weapon.

Big ups

I'll say this for the death cult: some of their members have tremendous leg strength. They might be a bit tightly wound, though. They hear one little gunshot and they just jump.

Gettin' FarCry'd

MrOwnageQc posted a video to Reddit, in which he used the phrase 'You just got FarCry'd', which is a pretty good way to put it when you're attempting to do one thing, such as shoot the driver of an approaching truck, and something else happens, such as a cougar suddenly pouncing on you. In other words, the game can suddenly and unexpectedly screw you over, as it does here to MrOwnage.

It's hard to be mad at Far Cry 5, though, as the game screws everyone else equally. In the above video, TheStagGamer attempts to rescue a civilian from some cultists. Unfortunately, the civilian (and the cultists) get FarCry'd themselves.

Or in the clip above, taking down the final helicopter after a lengthy assault by cultists. Job's done, got the 'all clear' on the radio. But we're not all clear, not if Far Cry 5 has something to say about it.

As we can see above in a video from MKMTwists, even moose aren't immune from being FarCry'd. Granted, this moose was being a real dickweed.

Head wound

Ever get a nosebleed that takes forever to stop? This is a bit like that, only 1,000 times worse. 

Stealth surgery

Not everything in Far Cry 5 involves crazy animals and vehicles that won't behave. There's also the potential for some skilled stealth outpost liberation, and no one does it better than SteathGamerBR. Sit back and watch the master at work.

Rocket ain't in a rush

Look, just because it's a rocket doesn't mean it needs to be in a hurry about everything. This is Montana, not Los Angeles. Slow down and enjoy the scenery.

Turkey Terminator

In a game filled with rampaging bears, cougars, bison, and wolverines, you might not expect a turkey to be an unstoppable killing machine. You'd be wrong, naturally.

Shovel stuff

We've paid homage to Far Cry's shovel, the finest weapon in the game and one that even has a little happy face because it knows it's a good little shovel. I haven't gotten tired of throwing it at things yet, and above (also on YouTube) you can watch me fill a car with shovels as if its a pincushion. For some reason, the shovels all land on their handles, giving me a happy-faced passenger as I speed away. 

Then things get weird.

Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring stories in RPGs so he can make up his own.

Top 10 Funniest Gaming Youtubers

It's about time we get our laugh on.

Gaming channels on YouTube exploded in 2012. Many people started their careers in recording themselves playing Call of Duty, Minecraft, and horror games. Since then, YouTube has exploded in popularity, and many of the channels you see today are either Let’s Plays, or big company shows.YouTubers on this list managed to make us laugh during serious games, puzzle games, horror games, and even bad games. Either way, here are some of the funniest YouTubers on the platform.

10. Daniel Middleton (DanTDM)

Dan losing his marbles in "BEST OF THEDIAMONDMINECART // DANTDM!!"

Daniel Middleton is a British YouTuber that started mainly in Minecraft, Pokémon, and Roblox. A lot of his comedy comes from weird Mods he tries in Minecraft or sandbox-like games. As of 2020, he began to play random games that caught his interest and expanded his audience.

Daniel has earned himself a name in Minecraft. He achieved the Guinness Book of Records for “Most views for a dedicated Minecraft video channel” and for “Most goals scored in a game of Rocket League (team of three)”. He also won Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards for UK’s favorite Tipster two years in a row. He currently has 22.5 million subscribers and continues to be funny in his videos. He also wrote a graphic novel called “Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal”.

Check out Dan's channel:

9. Evan Fong (VanossGaming)

Evan playing G-Mod in Toystory mode in "Gmod Sandbox - The Toys Escape! (Garry's Mod Skits & Funny Moments)"

Evan Fong is a Canadian YouTuber that generally plays games like Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty: World at War with friends. He takes games and makes them into montages, taking only the funniest parts of the game. Although this takes away some story elements, it focuses on the important content. His videos also tend to be a bit shorter than the others.

Evan Fong isn’t just a YouTuber; he has created an image in the music industry under the name “Rynx”. He also was the creative director for the game “Dead Realm” and worked on a small computer-animated show. Through all this, he still continues his YouTube channel, uploading once every two days.

Check out Evan's channel:

8. Jonathan (H20Delirious)

Hidden footage and knowledge from "GTA 5 & GMOD UNUSED FOOTAGE! NEVER BEFORE SEEN! LOST FILES!"

Okay, so not much is known about H20 Delirious himself. His name is Jonathan, and he is from North Carolina. Jonathan has never shown his face, and sports around an avatar that resembles a cute Jason. That’s about it. However, what is known is his collaborations and YouTube achievements.

Jonathan is well known for his unusual style of gaming, and his ‘Delirious’ laugh. During his Let’s Plays, he never knows what’s going on and freaks out. If he’s not doing that, he’s playing multiplayer games with friends. A lot of his content contains collaborations with others like VanossGaming and others.

Check out Jonathan's channel:

7. Charles White (Cr1TiKal), (penguinz0)

Charles ranting about a game in "Everyone Was Wrong About This Game"

Charles White has an interesting sense of humor. He has a very dry sense of humor, and this earned him a solid 4.5 million on his channel. Charles lives in Tampa, Florida and currently does a lot of live streaming from his Tampa home. He still makes it on this list because of his wild humor and that he still posts gaming videos on his main channel.

Charles has been known as one of YouTube’s funniest commentators for a long time, but he is also known for his acting. He has appeared in quite a few projects, such as Hellsing Ultimate Abridged, Anima: Gate of Memories, and even directed a few TV series. Between his acting career, and YouTube career, Charles found a way to slip his dry humor into the audience’s lives.

Check out Charles' channel:

6. Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane (Yogscast)

Yogscast screaming in Minecraft in the video "Yogscast Best Bits (Jan-Feb Simon & Lewis)"

Unlike the other channels here, Yogscast is actually a company run under Lewis, Simon, and Richard Keith. At first, their content was mostly on World of Warcraft videos. However, once they started playing Minecraft and other sandbox games, they quickly rose in the charts and became one of the most recognizable YouTube channels.

Yogscast is hosted in Bristol, UK, and they do a lot with the company. They produce music, held their convention (Yogcon), produce their live-action RPG, and run a podcast. They also made a lot in charity, hosting events to raise money for those in need.

Check out Yogscast's channel:

5. Daniel Hardcastle (OfficialNerdCubed)

Daniel playing around with mods in GTA V in the video "Nerd³ Mods... GTA V - Hottest Fuzz"

The UK is bringing a lot to this list. Daniel Hardcastle was just like any University student, studying astrophysics. After a year, he decided to drop out and started doing a scripted Minecraft comic, comedic vlogs, and a Let’s Play series in Minecraft. He has been nominated for the golden joystick for “Personality of the Year”.

Daniel has written one book which reached the New York Times Bestseller and started crowdfunding for a second book. These books also contain the same humor that the YouTuber has. Although he had to demonetize his channel for lawful reasons, he is still thriving through his hard work and dedication to the craft.

Check out Daniel's channel:

4. Jason Gastrow (VideogameDunkey)

Jason reacts to wild things in "Legend of Zelda : Donkey Breath"

Jason was a video editor in 2003, making him the perfect candidate for YouTube’s platform. He started by reviewing video games in an essay format while using crude humor to entertain the audience. He now has 6 million subscribers and over one billion views on his channel. His video style differs depending on the video. Sometimes he voices over his playthroughs, while other times he does his commentary while playing the game.

Jason also produces animations on Newgrounds, one of the animations called “Great Yoshi Migration” that is a parody of “Y.M.C.A”. He works under Curse LLC and has been prospering since signing the contract.

Check out Jason's channel:

3. Leigh ‘Dan’ Avidan and Arin Hanson (GameGrumps)

Arin overreacting to everything in "Game Grumps BEST BITS Compilation!"

When Game Grumps started, it originally was hosted by Arin and Jon Jafari. The two created the Let’s Play channel, and Jon quickly left the channel after its creation. After this, Dan joined as co-host and took over Jon’s part. Arin and Dan still to this day create Let’s Plays along with their other YouTube projects. During a Let’s Plays, you never know what they’re going to say. To this day, they work on music projects, host shows, and many other awesome things to enjoy.

Dan is well known for his comedic music, and rocks out with Brian Wecht in their band “Ninja Sex Party”. Although the duo has released serious albums and covers, most of the music associated with them is comical and relates to video games. Arin, on the other hand, started in Animation as Egoraptor, and developed a music career with Dan and Brian in a new band called “Starbomb”, once again focused on the comedic aspects of gaming. As of late, Ninja Sex Party has been taking a more serious tone (while still funny), and Starbomb has taken over as the ‘silly/funny band’.

Check out the GameGrumps' channel:

2. Sean McLoughlin (Jacksepticeye)

Sean losing his mind in TABS, laughing his way through "1,000 Clams Vs. Black Beard In Totally Accurate Battle Simulator"

Sean McLoughlin is an Irish YouTuber that got his start in 2012. He had a small following for a while until 2013 when Pewdiepie gave him a shoutout. This shot his channel up to 800,000 subscribers by the next year. However, in 2015 he managed to reach 3.2 million subscribers after a lot of dedication and work. For Sean, his work paid off and his success skyrocketed in just a few years.

Sean is one of the most energetic YouTubers on the platform. His energy, Positive Mental Attitude (PMA!), and his genuineness is what drives most of his audience to keep watching. He has gotten so big that he began a comedy show, and toured around the world in different cities. He is also Ireland's “Most-Watched YouTuber”, and has donated millions to charity through his work as a YouTuber.

Check out Sean's channel:

1. Mark Fischbach (Markiplier)

Mark acting like a fool in "Funny Moments Compilation #1"

Mark Fischbach is a Youtuber known for his Let’s Plays and is known for his hilarious reactions. He started his YouTube career in Cincinnati, Ohio after dropping out of university. He started with some of the most popular Horror games during 2012, the first being Amnesia the Dark Descent. During this time, Markiplier was living at home and was starting from the ground up. As of the publication of this article, his YouTube channel has over 25 million subscribers. 

Mark quickly gained popularity as people found his antics to be hilarious, reacting to horror games and making fun of the characters as he played. Mark also likes to play games for charity, with merchandise going towards the cause that day. To this day, he creates gaming content for all of us to enjoy. He even held a comedy show and toured around the world to different cities.

Check out Mark's channel:

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Funny moments gaming

The 27 funniest video games of all time

Video games have always been funny. From the lumbering kidnap animation in Donkey Kong to the witty wordplay of the Uncharted series, developers have used every tool at their disposal to make us giggle while we shoot, jump, explore and accelerate. Sometimes the humour comes from the script, sometimes the mechanics, and sometimes it’s just the emergent joy of competing against friends. Whichever, we all remember games that have had us doubled over our controllers, helpless with laughter.

Here then, are the funniest games we’ve ever played. Please share your own rib-tickling reminiscences in the comments.

27. Jazzpunk (2014)

It’s funny because: it’s one of those rare video games that’s actually designed as a piece of humour. From the very beginning, when you step out of a person-shaped suitcase into its cartoon cyberpunk world, the gags are fast, furious and sophisticated.

26. West of Loathing (2017)

It’s funny because: it’s a black-and-white wild west adventure entirely populated by stick figures and sight gags. Much of the comedy comes from the way the script and mechanics work together with a delightful sense of wordplay, so that the ghost town is actually made out of ghosts and the needles you pick locks with are all hidden in haystacks.

25. Spy vs Spy (series, 1984-86)

It’s funny because: it’s a two-player espionage challenge that perfectly captures the look and slapstick humour of the Mad magazine cartoon strip it’s inspired by. A lot of the laughs come from setting traps for your opponent and then accidentally tripping them yourself, prompting a range of lovely Loony Tunes-style death animations.

24. PaRappa the Rappa (1996)

It’s funny because: it’s the heartwarming tale of a paper-thin canine rapper who is taught the meaning of life by a karate-chopping onion. Enough said.

23. Undertale (2015)

It’s funny because: it’s a refreshingly original and light-hearted role-playing adventure where the overarching war between humans and monsters is undercut both by the winsome characters (such as pun-loving skeleton Sans and blushing crush-prone scientist Alphys) and the fact that enemies can be vanquished with a nice hug.

22. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1984)

It’s funny because: it’s co-written by Douglas Adams, closely follows the plot of the book and radio series, and contains one of the most devilish challenges in the history of text adventures: the babel fish puzzle. It also starts with the best two inventory items in history: a splitting headache and no tea.

21. Overcooked (2016)

It’s funny because: it’s a multiplayer cooperative cooking game where the kitchens are highly impractical – and often moving – and you’ve always got one hopeless friend who keeps setting things on fire.

20: Katamari Damacy (2004)

It’s funny because: it’s a game about having to repair the universe after your father – the King of All Cosmos – has destroyed it in a drinking spree. You do this by rolling objects into giant balls to make new stars. We can just leave it there really.

19. Worms (series, 1995-)

It’s funny because: it’s a turn-based military strategy game in which the military strategy involves holy hand grenades, banana bombs, weaponised grandmothers and exploding sheep.

18. WarioWare (series, 2003-)

It’s funny because: it’s a frenzied series of microgame collections that trade in surprise and utter weirdness. Whether you’re running away from a dinosaur or picking a giant nose, the humour comes in watching the cartoon scenarios then frantically figuring out what the hell you’re supposed to do.

17. Octodad (2010)

It’s funny because: you play as an octopus going undercover as a human dad. It’s also the perfect example of humour through mechanics, as the requirement to control each of the character’s limbs separately inevitably leaves him flailing around the screen, rendering even the simplest human task hilariously difficult.

16. Hitman (series, 2000-)

It’s funny because: it looks like a serious assassination sim, but through its wonderfully open and pliable systems, it often makes you feel more like Mr Bean than James Bond. If you’ve ever tried to stealthily kill a foreign agent only to accidentally squash a number of his party guests under falling spotlight, you’ll know what we mean.

15. Skate 3 (2010)

It’s funny because: the combination of an open-world environment, a wonky physics engine and some gigantic bugs turned this okay skating game into the world’s greatest accident simulator. Just type “Skate 3 compilation” into YouTube and watch the eye-watering chaos unfold.

14. Psychonauts (2005)

It’s funny because: it’s a platform adventure written by Monkey Island scribe Tim Schaffer and set in a series of bizarre dreamworlds including a paranoid milkman’s conspiracy laden suburb, a frenetic dance party and a metropolis inhabited by lungfish.

13. South Park: Stick of Truth (2014)

It’s funny because: it’s as puerile and gleefully offensive as you’d expect, thanks to the close collaboration with Matt Stone and Trey Parker. There are anal probes, there are parental genital assaults and there are weapon customisation items called strap-ons.

12. Goat Simulator (2014)

It’s funny because: you’re a goat, clip-clopping around a glitchy urban environment ruining barbecues, destroying museums and licking passing trucks. It’s also funny because Swedish developer Coffee Stain Studios made it as a joke and never actually meant to release it, but it did and now more than 2.5 million people have played.

11. Conker’s Bad Fur Day (2001)

It’s funny because: it’s about a foul-mouthed binge-drinking squirrel whose attempts to get home to his girlfriend are continually thwarted by an embittered Prussian weasel. Released after a series of beautiful family platformers, Rare’s mature-rated masterpiece remains one of the most subversive acts in console game history.

10. Lego City Undercover (2013)

It’s funny because: it’s a brilliant Grand Theft Auto pastiche in which super-cop Chase McCain hunts crime boss Rex Fury through a cavalcade of deconstructed action movie cliches, daft characters and whip-smart one-liners – all of which gleefully whiz over the heads of its younger fans.

9. The Stanley Parable (2013)

It’s funny because: it’s a complete deconstruction of video game narrative conventions, allowing the player – as downtrodden office worker Stanley – to disobey and contradict the ongoing voice over exposition. It’s like an interactive Franz Kafka novel, only a lot more enjoyable.

8. Saints Row IV (2013)

It’s funny because: on the surface it appears to be a game about hitting people with a giant purple dildo, but in fact, when you delve deeper, you realise it is a game about becoming president of the United States, committing insurance fraud, repelling an alien invasion, and hitting people with a giant purple dildo.

7. Fable (series, 2008)

It’s funny because: its a British-made role-playing adventure and that means it has more fart gags, condoms and double entendres than it does monsters. The Fable series wonderfully challenged the po-faced pomposity of most fantasy games – and the sad thing is, we’ll never see another.

6. Surgeon Simulator (2013)

It’s funny because: it’s about incompetent organ removal, using a deliberately inaccurate physics model to render the player laughably ineffectual. Forget Drunk History, this is Drunk Surgery.

5. Grand Theft Auto (series, 1996-)

It’s funny because: every instalment takes place in a horrendous moral vacuum where thudding violence and high-speed vehicular mayhem are only ever a button press away. Even if you hate the sledgehammer satire of the scripts, you’ll stay for the anarchy that comes whenever open-world environments, innocent pedestrians, zealous cops and freely available firearms collide.

4. Bulletstorm (2011)

It’s funny because: it’s a sci-fi shooter about rogue mercenaries guilty of massive war crimes but it’s also a bawdy comedy that mercilessly mocks macho gaming conventions. Scripted by Marvel writer Rick Remender, most of the best lines are unquotable in a family publication, though we can at least rejoice in the fact that it features a giant robot dinosaur called Waggleton P Tallylicker.

3. The Sims (series; 2000–)

It’s funny because: developer Will Wright intended his interactive reality TV show to be an exploration of urban life and relationships – but what did we do? We drowned our sims in swimming pools, forced them to pee on the kitchen floor and locked them in the cellar so that they could endlessly produce paintings for our profit. The Sims taught us that in video games, the real monsters are on this side of the screen.

2. Portal 1 (2007) and 2 (2011)

It’s funny because: one of the greatest characters in the history of video games is a murderous computer that sadistically toys with the player at every opportunity. That character is of course Glados, a vengeful AI who sets all the physics tasks in this first-person puzzler, while calling you a monster, lying about cake and singing about science. The sequel adds a brilliant comic performance by Stephen Merchant as ineffectual robot assistant Wheatley, but it’s Glados who steals the show once again – even when extracted into a potato battery.

1. The Secret of Monkey Island (1990)

It’s funny because: it’s a loving tribute to swashbuckling Errol Flynn movies which brilliantly ridicules and subverts the conventions of its genre. Throughout the 1990s, LucasArts created a series of point-and-click adventures that would become legendary for their sharp sardonic humour – Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Sam and Max Hit the Road – but Monkey Island is the pinnacle, best known for the brilliant insult sword-fighting sequence, its eccentric characters and its gorgeous one-liners.

No other developer and no other game could have made taken a line like “that’s the second biggest monkey head I’ve ever seen” and turned it into a moment of unforgettable comic genius. A triumph.


Video games have captured our imaginations since the medium’s earliest years. They’ve taken us to grand new worlds, introduced us to unforgettable characters, and let us carve out a role for ourselves in each extraordinary adventure. Games have surprised us, scared us, challenged us, and rewarded us. No matter the genre or platform, there are an endless number of memories to be made in the world of games.

But which video game moments are the most unforgettable to us? Iconic? Impactful? IGN decided to find out.

We judged each moment on the following criteria:

  • How much did the moment impact us? Did it make us genuinely feel something? (This was most important.)
  • Is the moment iconic, or does it hold some historical significance in games?
  • Has the moment become definitive of the game or gaming as a whole in some way?

For the purposes of this list, we defined a moment as:

  • A single scene, sequence of scenes, obstacle, or turning point that can be clearly identified and defined.
  • Can be a moment from a level, but not an entire level start to finish.
  • Boss fights are okay.
  • The moment must be emotionally impactful somehow: did it amuse, surprise, scare, sadden, anger, or excite us?


Zachary Ryan

Say what you will about Bioshock Infinite's haphazard combat, the game's mind-boggling ending is still a force to be reckoned with. As Elizabeth achieves omniscience, she walks Booker (and the player) through a world literally reconstructing and folding in on itself. Using Bioshock's most iconic location as a jumping off point to explain the multiverse in which the entire series has (apparently) taken place, is a stroke of genius, and walking through the "Sea of Doors" is nothing short of breathtaking. It's a moment that retroactively puts all of the clues and puzzle pieces strewn throughout Bioshock Infinite into place, and turns a nebulous narrative into a bonafide sci-fi classic.

They meet

GameMs. Pac-Man

Release Date1982

Lucas M. Thomas

The video game industry's first leading lady was created out of impatience. The original Pac-Man had been a culture-shaking success in 1981 – an arcade game so popular that it's still the highest-grossing video game of all-time, entirely due to the sheer avalanche of quarters shoved into its coin slots over 30 years ago. Adjusted for inflation, it's made over $7,000,000,000 to date, most of that within just its first year of availability! After such insane success, it’s understandable that Midway, Pac-Man’s North American distributor, was more than eager for Namco to deliver a follow-up as the calendar flipped into 1982. So eager, in fact, that they ultimately gave up on waiting and embraced an American team’s conversion kit that transformed existing Pac-Man cabinets into an all-new sequel. After a whirlwind of edits and a presentation to Namco that legitimized the entire project, Ms. Pac-Man was welcomed into the world. Her game was faster and more varied than her husband’s, and in-between rounds spent dashing around its dot-filled mazes were some of the first and most iconic cutscenes in gaming. A traditional love story of boy Pac meets girl Pac (while being chased by ghosts), boy and girl Pac chase one another and then a teeny little baby Pac is delivered via stork to form a full Pac family.

Chris Reed

When it comes to licensed games, most of us have learned to keep our expectations in check. For every great licensed game, you’ll find 20 heaps of steaming garbage emblazoned with the names of famous franchises. So it was a terrific surprise when South Park: The Stick of Truth turned out to be fun, hilarious, and filled with creative ideas.

One of those ideas is particularly inspired. It happens when the gang heads north to Canada. For the vast majority of the game, The Stick of Truth is a side-scrolling RPG that looks almost exactly like an episode of South Park. But once you cross the northern border, the game transforms into a top-down game that wouldn’t look out of place on the SNES. The game world becomes pixelated, and the soundtrack goes full chiptune. There’s even an overworld to explore, dotted with towns like Ottawa, Banff, and Winnipeg. The only thing that doesn’t change is the game’s delightful potty-mouthed humor.

The unicorn

GameThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Release Date2015

Chris Reed

When video games dabble in sex, the results are often problematic, laughable, or just plain bad. Leave it to The Witcher 3 to sidestep (and maybe even embrace) all of those issues by serving up one of most absurd sex scenes in the history of moving images.

The encounter begins after the Witcher Geralt and his on-again-off-again lover Yennifer have been apart for years. Circumstances throw them together, and they survive a typical Witcher mission, which means they barely escape with their lives. All that action leaves them with some (sexual) energy to burn.

When they return to their room, they have a chat. If you choose the flirty dialog choices for Geralt, you’ll find that Yennifer is thinking along the same lines. Only she doesn’t want to do it on the bed, presumably because that would be too comfortable. Instead, she hops on a unicorn. A stuffed unicorn.

Geralt goes along with it, and you get the sense that this isn’t the first time they’ve copulated on this unique piece of furniture. Only a game like The Witcher 3 could pull off a scene like this and have players take it in stride. That’s what makes it so perfect.

Watching TV with Jenny

GameThe Darkness

Release Date2007

Chris Reed

In a first-person shooter called The Darkness — which follows a mafia hitman named Jackie whose body is host to a mysterious ancient entity that craves violence — it makes sense that you’d spend the majority of your time gruesomely murdering your enemies.

It definitely doesn’t sound like a game where you’d spend much time relaxing on the couch with a loved one. But at an early point in the game, Jackie and his girlfriend Jenny get together for a relaxing night in front of the television. You sit back, snuggle up, and turn on the classic black-and-white movie To Kill a Mockingbird.

Oddly enough, the movie actually starts playing on the television in the game. Soon your partner falls asleep, and your character gets the urge to slip out quietly to go about his business. But maybe you’d rather spend a bit more time with Jenny. Maybe you’re a fan of classic movies and you don’t feel like getting up. Surely the movie clip stops at some point, right?

Wrong. The Darkness contains the entire movie To Kill a Mockingbird. So if you want, you can kick back yourself and watch the whole thing from start to finish. But more unusual and impressive than that is the fact that in such a gritty, dark action game, we could be graced with such a peaceful and loving moment between two people in the first place, before things take a turn for the worse.


GameYume Nikki

Release Date2004

Chloi Rad

In a game full of weird, scripted moments — many of which require a walkthrough to find due to their extremely specific circumstances — discovering Uboa is probably the most iconic and definitive of Yume Nikki as a whole. Yume Nikki is a weird game to begin with. It’s free, it was made by a Japanese developer whose identity is still unknown, and it provides little instruction outside of your primary routine: sleep, dream, and wake up. It’s how and where you end up getting lost in those dream worlds that makes Yume Nikki so special.

Even if you’ve had Uboa spoiled, or had to look up a guide to triggering the event, the mythos it’s built up in the freeware game community by nature of those very things make it worthwhile. So how do you actually find Uboa? Head to a certain character’s house, flip her light switch off then on again, leave the house, and repeat. There’s a 1 in 64 chance that Uboa will appear in the room. It’s unfair to call it a mere jump scare. It’s more like one of the few moments when the wavering dread coursing through most of Yume Nikki peaks into something tangible, but still as baffling and alien as ever — especially since it happens in a relatively pleasant branch of Yume Nikki’s feverishly looping dreamverse.

First contact

GameElite: Dangerous

Release Date2014

Tom Marks

This isn’t a thing that’s supposed to happen. In fact, until the first time it did to some poor, unprepared soul and word began to spread, it had literally never happened. You’re flying through hyperspace, when an alien pulls forcefully you out, disables your ship, and looms ominously over you as you watch helplessly, left wondering what just happened.

To put this in context for non-Elite players, traveling through hyperspace has always essentially been a loading screen. You charge up your Frame Shift Drive and blast off from one star system to another, the flashing lights and colors of hyperspace speeding by your windows to ease the boredom as new planets load into the game.

But then, without warning, it wasn’t just a load screen anymore. Imagine if that happened for any other game. Imagine if you were loading into a new area of The Witcher or Uncharted when suddenly the load screen starts to glitch out and there’s a boss you’ve never seen and no one even knew existed now staring you down ready to fight.

That’s close to what this is like, except the frequency of hyperspace jumps had made it a completely mundane and common task for players. The aliens pulling you out upset that calm. The first time you get ripped out of that comfortable waiting room is personal and terrifying - and in retrospect, it was a sign of a lot more alien encounters to come.

Chris Reed

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City kicks off when Tommy Vercetti gets released from jail and his old mafia boss sends him to Vice City to set up a criminal enterprise. That’s where you meet Lance Vance, a man who’s sympathetic to your cause. The two of you form an alliance that turns into a friendship throughout the course of the game. He even shows you his very own patented Lance Vance Dance.

Like so much in a life of crime, the relationship comes crumbling down eventually. During a drug deal in the “Keep Your Friends Close” mission, Lance betrays you by tipping off the recipient that you’re giving him fake cash. Turns out Lance wasn’t so loyal after all — and it’s because of your big ego.

It’s a jaw-dropping moment that Vercetti probably should have seen coming. Now, in addition to having to defend your house against a storm of Mafiosos, you have to kill you friend Lance for his betrayal.

Maybe the old saying is true, and crime doesn’t pay.

Christian Holt

Trivia question: what was the first time, post Return of the Jedi, that a lightsaber battle was filmed? Answer: 1997’s Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2. While Dark Forces was often slighted as a Doom clone, Dark Forces 2 featured FMVs with a full cast, multiplayer support, and a massive campaign. Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight is perhaps now best remembered as the first time gamers got to truly experience the feeling of playing as a Jedi in a video game. In Chapter 4, series protagonist Kyle Katarn finally gets into his father’s house and finds his lightsaber. The cutscene concludes with an immensely satisfying session with a combat remote like the one Luke used in A New Hope! Suddenly you’re deflecting laser blasts and ready for some force powers. Your journey to a Jedi Knight really starts with that first time you flick on the light saber.

Chris Reed

At first blush, Rez seems like a standard arcade-style game. You control a blocky figure who floats through space, blasting enemies to the beat of trippy electronic music. As you play, you inevitably find your groove and give into the almost hallucinogenic experience.

If you play well, eliminating enemies and dodging attacks, you’ll notice that your character gradually starts to change. The squares that initially made up your body shift into a more realistic human shape. Keep playing like a pro, and you’re rewarded with metallic skin, kind of like Silver Surfer. The next form has you assume a lotus position, as if you’ve achieved a state of Zen.

At any point, if you start missing shots or getting hit, you can fall back into a previous form. It’s tough to get this far. But if you persevere and play with precision, your character will shift into its final form: a dark sphere encircled by jagged sound waves that pulse with the beat.

What it all means is left ambiguous, but when you’ve entered a state of flow playing the game, the sphere shape makes perfect sense. There’s nothing quite like it. Just don’t get hit, because then you’d have to turn back into a lowly human.

Chris Reed

When the Xbox 360 first launched, gamers were keen to discover what kind of experiences this powerful new hardware could deliver. One of the launch games was Condemned: Criminal Origins, a horror game about an FBI agent on the hunt for a serial killer.

At one point you find yourself traversing a mall at night. Naturally, the only light source is your flashlight. As you explore the area, you can’t help but notice a bunch of mannequins standing in a row behind a barrier. Mannequins in the dark are always creepy, but when you turn away to move on, you hear a shuffling sound. Look back, and you’ll see the mannequins lined up behind you, much closer than before.

As you continue, the mannequins keep repositioning themselves, blocking your way back. It’s such an unforgettable sequence that similar gimmicks have popped up in other horror games as clever homages.

And in case you’re wondering, the Doctor Who episode “Blink” didn’t air until two years after Condemned came out. In this case, video games did it first.

Defeating Olmec


Release Date2012

Andrew Goldfarb

For a first time player, Spelunky is brutal. You’re likely to die within 30 seconds as the game teaches you its traps and enemies, and that’s just in the first, easiest area. But as you keep going, you learn from each death, and there’s a special sense of accomplishment as you finish each level and move onto the next one, eventually reaching a new area. For this reason, finally fighting and beating Olmec feels absolutely incredible. After so much time, after so many deaths, you finally come to a final battle that’s a culmination of all of your hard work. And sure, you’ll probably die a few more dozen times fighting him, but finally reaching the end still feels like such a monumental achievement when you look back on your early days dying to bats at the start of the game. Olmec tests every skill you’ve learned, teaches you to be cautious, and beating him in and of itself is a puzzle since you can’t actually damage him conventionally and instead have to figure out how to force him to fall into the lava below (without falling in yourself). There’s yet another secret boss hidden in Spelunky’s Hell area, but nothing quite matches your first moment taking on Olmec’s golden bouncing head.

Samus removes her helmet


Release Date1986

Lucas M. Thomas

With today’s cinematic storytelling in video games, plot twists are a commonplace occurrence – 30 years ago, though, the technology of ‘80s games didn’t leave a lot of opportunity for such moments of shock and surprise. Nintendo’s original Metroid therefore set up its big reveal through its instruction manual, telling the backstory of the game and of its hero, Samus Aran, while innocuously using male pronouns to refer to the bounty hunter. Gamers with enough skill and resolve to be able to run through the entirety of Planet Zebes and defeat the sinister Mother Brain fast enough, though, were greeted by an ending credits sequence that revealed the truth: Samus removed *her* helmet, revealing that she was a woman inside all along! (The North American version of the game then took things one step further with the infamous “Justin Bailey” code, a password that, when entered, allowed players to re-experience the adventure with a powered-up Samus who’d swapped out her armor for a bathing suit instead.)

Lucas M. Thomas

As video games have become more and more cinematic in look and scope, the pressure to deliver a movie-quality experience right from the first seconds of your experience has ramped up. Some games grab your attention well, setting up a strong story to come. Others bobble their first impression, often spoiling the impact of everything to follow. One of the greatest opening sequences in the history of the industry, though, belongs to the 2006 edition of 2K Games’ Prey. Opening in a disgustingly dirty restroom of all places, we meet protagonist Tommy Towadi as he monologues to his reflection in the mirror. It’s quickly established that he’s sick of his current life and wants nothing more than to put his hometown behind him – but his girlfriend’s holding him back. She wants to stay where she’s always lived and... CRASH. Boom! What the heck was that? Is that car floating in the air? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ROOF??? Tommy’s whining youthful rebellion is cut out from under him when aliens literally rip the building apart and abduct him, his girlfriend and his grandfather on the spot. Cut to their ship orbiting high above the Earth and a few explosions later, and a story that briefly seemed like it was going to be about leaving home has quickly transformed into a desperate struggle to get back there.

Hangman with a ghost


Release Date2016

Marty Sliva

Oxenfree’s Freaks and Geeks-meets-Poltergeist adventure is filled with memorable moments ranging from quiet and poignant character interactions to terrifying displays of the paranormal. But none stuck with us quite like when we stumbled our way into an abandoned Army base, only to find ourselves engaged in a game of Hangman against one of the island’s supernatural residents.

What starts with ominous handprints on a chalk board quickly escalates into a spooky game with the specter that tests your knowledge of the island’s history. The game begins to break the fourth wall, with static filling the world, and the entire screen flipping upside down. The tension reaches a high when a wrong answer causes your friends to become possessed, the air filled with their screams. The sense of dread and terror that this game of Hangman exudes solidifies Oxenfree as one of the smartest and most atmospheric adventure games in recent memory.

Fighting the Cyberdemon


Release Date1993

Lucas M. Thomas

After the brutal Nazi killing spree of Wolfenstein 3D that reached its climax in the gruesome death of Adolf Hitler himself, id Software had to turn to the depths of hell to find another group of enemies to oppose players in their next first-person shooter, Doom. From cannon-fodder Imps to the mono-eyed, many-horned hovering horrors that are the Cacodemons, Doom’s rogues’ gallery of foes worth carving up with a chainsaw is diverse and disgusting – but none is as terrifying as the game’s ultimate enemy, the Cyberdemon. This massive goat-legged creature has a rocket launcher instead of a right arm and a wholly cybernetic right leg (with hoof), and it hunts you mercilessly as you do your best to keep your distance and fire off rockets of your own. What made the showdown with the Cyberdemon such an especially memorable moment back in 1993 was the fact that the game’s instruction manual listed every enemy in the game... except for him. So you’d blaze through the whole quest thinking you were prepared in advance for everything that would come your way, and then, bam! Eight-foot-tall goat man hurling missiles into your face.

The Jindosh Riddle

GameDishonored 2

Release Date2016

Chris Reed

Game developers love throwing puzzles at players. But the Jindosh Riddle in Dishonored 2 isn’t your average video game puzzle. It’s much more involved, and requires a lot more work on the player’s part.

Essentially, it’s a logic puzzle that you find on a locked door in the Jindosh mansion. The puzzle comes in the form of a story about a dinner party that gives you vague details about the five attendees. Your job is to weed through the information presented and figure out which heirloom belongs to which attendee. It’s like a Professor Layton puzzle, if Professor Layton was made for grad students.

The puzzle is randomized, so you can’t look online for a simple solution either. You have to solve it on your own. If you have no patience for these kinds of things, you can find a couple of workarounds, but a trophy or achievement awaits those who put in the work to figure out the solution on their own. In a game about sneaking around and finding creative ways to kill people, a puzzle that involved is an interesting but welcome surprise.

Loghain's betrayal

GameDragon Age: Origins

Release Date2009

Christian Holt

Dragon Age: Origins starts out with your character working their way to the Grey Wardens through whatever specialty and race they chose. All of these several hour long campaigns converge when you journey with Duncan to Ostagar to fight the darkspawn. Loghain’s army are supposed to help fight the darkspawn, the big baddies in the game. But when the time comes, Loghain doesn’t attack the enemy’s flank and instead orders a retreat — the coward! King Cailan and Duncan are amongst the slain. Duncan’s death is particularly painful because no matter what origin story you went with, he played a role as a steady but firm hand that not only saved your life, but initiated you into the Grey Wardens. As far as plot starters go, Loghain’s betrayal at Ostagar is a pretty great one: you’re now one of the last Grey Wardens, capable of defeating the darkspawn. And now there’s no king and so Loghain seizes power for himself and blames the Grey Wardens for everything! What. A. Jerk. The player spends the rest of the game recruiting allies and resources to overthrow Loghain and stop the darkspawn. But in the end, like a true Bioware game, you get to decide Loghain’s fate. Was he a sniveling coward or intelligent for not entering a hopeless battle? Were the Grey Wardens too powerful? Should he be executed or allowed to redeem himself? It’s all set up by a Loghain’s action at Ostagar in the game’s first hours.

Dating Papyrus


Release Date2015

Miranda Sanchez

There are many wonderful, heartfelt moments in Undertale. It's a heavy game, but moments like the Papyrus date help round it out tonally. This hilarious pseudo-romance topped off with spaghetti establishes one of the best relationships in the game. Perusing his food museum, meeting his pet rock, and going to his room to "do whatever people do when they date" are all an awesome prologue to the actual date. Everything ends up being hilariously gamified — Dating HUD and dating power bar included — until you build up so much tension and dating power that Papyrus snaps. His ultimate confession is strange and sweet, like just about everything Papyrus does. While this route is optional, it is definitely one of the essential experiences you need to have in Undertale.

Chloi Rad

By the time you discover the hotel in Limbo, you’ve already encountered giant spiders, killer kids, numerous kinds of mechanical death trap, and mind-controlling parasitic glow worms. Limbo is a game that drops you right into the middle of this terrifying black and white world and expects you to navigate it without explanation, but for some reason it isn’t until you reach the hotel — with its giant, collapsing neon letters — that you really begin to question where you are. In a black and white, silhouetted world that feels like the backdrop for some terrifying German expressionist film — all disjointed angles and exaggerated architecture — stumbling upon something so familiar and mundane is almost more startling than its most bizarre and lethal beats. It also makes for quite the moody platforming puzzle.

Brendan Graeber

Over the course of Half-Life 2, the Gravity Gun easily becomes a standout part of your arsenal, with almost limitless ways to utilize it both in combat and puzzle-solving. But near the end, in the sterile confines of the Citadel, it looked like the ingenious contraption was becoming less and less useful, forcing you to rely on more traditional weapons. Then, in a clever stroke, you're relieved of all your hard-earned weapons, save one. Panic sets in once the Combine approach, as you search in vain for something to latch onto with your gun. Then you press the trigger, and the nearest soldier flies into the gun’s grip like a ragdoll, and then shoots into the crowd of Combine, flooring the whole group. With this revelation, a new door was now open, and other weapons just seemed insignificant in comparison.

The Wrathgate Incident

GameWoW: Wrath of the Lich King

Release Date2008

Chris Reed

Only a handful of games can boast strong, active communities for over a decade. Thanks to a dedicated player base and regular expansions, World of Warcraft has managed to keep its servers running since 2004.

It doesn’t hurt that those expansions have infused the game with lots of solid new ideas, areas, and story arcs. The most exciting moment in the history of the game — and one of the craziest moments in the history of gaming itself — happened in the 2008 Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

It takes place during a cut scene that lasts less than five minutes, but is packed with fist-pumping moments — that is, until one final twist.

Lord Bolvar Fordragon has gathered his Alliance army at the Wrathgate to lay siege on the Lich King and his Scourge. Just when it looks like they might be overwhelmed, Dranosh Saurfang and his Horde army arrive, looking to band together with the Alliance to face the Scourge’s greater evil.

And it appears that they’re going to win — until the Forsaken army shows up on the cliffs above and rains down a cloud of New Plague, killing nearly everyone on the battlefield, heroes and villains alike.

Chris Reed

Even in 2007, it was obvious Uncharted was an homage to pulp classics, much like the Indiana Jones movies. But which parts it would borrow from the source material was still unclear the first time you played the game.

Nathan Drake is a wise-cracking hero who’s always on the lookout for a new globetrotting adventure involving ancient artifacts. His companion is Elena, a journalist and eventual love interest who’s no slouch when it comes to blasting bad guys. And it wouldn’t be much of a pulp story without a team of villains, led by Gabriel Roman, hot on their heels.

But the one scene that really cements Uncharted as a story for the ages is the moment we realize this isn’t just a swashbuckling tale about rival treasure hunters. When all the characters converge on the treasure they’ve been seeking, the excitement cranks up to 11.

The big reveal happens when Roman opens the treasure of El Dorado. Instead of finding riches beyond his wildest dreams, he finds a dusty mummified corpse whose fumes turn his eyes black and send him into a murderous rage. Turns out everyone who’s made it this far in search of the treasure has succumbed to El Dorado’s Curse, turning them into raging mutants. Cue the raging mutants, who clamber out of a nearby pit, hungry for blood.

The heroes barely make it out alive, and now they have a new supernatural enemy to face. It’s a thrilling scene that lets you know you’re in for a wild ride that’s not necessarily rooted in reality.

Lucas M. Thomas

Cutscenes have become common in video games out of necessity. Though some games have expertly woven their narratives into their gameplay, there are times when a movie-like storytelling experience can only be achieved by making games temporarily behave like movies do – removing all control from you and just having you watch some scene play out on the screen for a while. Though early arcade games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong had small story sequences accenting their play experiences, the true pioneer of the cutscene as we know it was Tecmo’s Ninja Gaiden. Its action scenes are fast and frenetic, featuring ninja hero Ryu Hayabusa leaping around the screen, clinging to walls and slashing enemies apart with his katana. But serving as a slower-paced buffer between those fast-action levels were calm, thoughtful cutscenes containing simple exchanges of dialogue between characters. Or sometimes no dialogue at all! The greatest, most iconic cutscene of the game is its very first one, an entirely wordless scene depicting two ninjas clashing in a moonlit field. The two of them leap; their blades meet in mid-air. When they land, one remains standing – the other falls to the ground. This is the death of Ryu Hayabusa’s father, the catalyst for his quest for revenge – and, in retrospect, the catalyst for how decades of other future video games would tell their tales as well!

Chris Reed

There’s no shortage of iconic moments in the Metal Gear Solid franchise. But one of its most dramatic sequences takes place toward the end of Metal Gear Solid 4. Snake has been aging at an accelerated rate (don’t ask) and is feeling very old. His mission is to disrupt a network that helps keep the Patriots in control of world events.

Old Snake and Meryl fight their way through enemy territory until they get close to the network’s control center. But to reach it, Snake has to traverse a corridor that’s been rigged with microwaves. That means he’ll essentially be cooked in the process. After a tearful farewell to Meryl, Snake heads into the hallway while she holds off a rush of enemy forces.

What follows is an unforgettable sequence. Conversations with old friends echo in Snake’s mind, as if his life is flashing before his eyes. The heat is intense when he enters the hallway, and Snake is in pain with every step. Then a somber song begins as the screen splits in half, with Snake stumbling down the microwave corridor on the bottom and the other characters fighting to keep him covered on the top. As you watch your allies become overwhelmed by the enemy, you have to keep tapping the triangle button to keep Snake moving, now on all fours, inching along in agony.

But Snake makes it through, and falls to the floor vomiting as he exits the hallway. We know how you feel, Snake. We’ve just witnessed one of the most powerful and triumphant sequences ever to appear in a video game.

Lucas M. Thomas

Some of the best moments in gaming are those that hit you with a sense of déjà vu. In long-running series in particular, the judicious re-use of a setting from a previous installment can instantly trigger an incredible form of nostalgia. “I’ve been here before! I know this place!” Such was the delight that greeted players of Super Mario Galaxy 2 who progressed far enough into its adventure to come across its incredible callback to Super Mario 64: the Throwback Galaxy! It was a full, visually enhanced remake of the Whomp’s Fortress area first seen as Mario’s second hunting place for Power Stars 14 years earlier. As before, a massive Whomp King lorded over the area – though the fight against him was even more epic the second time around! What further callbacks to his previous quests can we expect Mario to come across in the future? The Galaxy games themselves would certainly be worthy of such a nostalgic nod.

The Sinner Sandwich

GameDeadly Premonition

Release Date2010

Chris Reed

Put down your peanut butter and jelly. Drop your ham and cheese in the garbage. Those old sandwiches are played out. The Sinner Sandwich is what you need. What’s in a Sinner Sandwich, you ask? If you’ve played Deadly Premonition, you’ll know it’s the best sandwich around.

Clearly made on a shoestring budget and modeled after Twin Peaks, Deadly Premonition is a murder mystery that’s set in a small town called Greenvale. You play as FBI agent Francis York Morgan, who’s been sent to investigate a murder.

The game is certifiably creepy and darkly comedic as you encounter the strange residents of the town. But perhaps the strangest part happens when you and a local deputy sit down for lunch in a diner. Just after you order your food, a man wearing a gas mask named Mr. Stewart enters and has his assistant order his favorite sandwich. The sandwich in question consists of bread, turkey, strawberry jam, and cereal.

Overhearing the odd request, Agent Morgan labels it a “Sinner Sandwich,” a meal so gross that it could only be ordered as a form of self-imposed punishment. Not so, says Mr. Stewart, who insists Morgan try it. Morgan does, and you know what? He loves it. He even changes his order to a Sinner Sandwich.

The cutscene is so weird and memorable that even if you don’t think Deadly Premonition is a cult masterpiece, you might treat yourself to a Sinner Sandwich anyway.

Battling Poseidon

GameGod of War 3

Release Date2010

Chris Reed

No games do spectacle on a grand scale like the God of War series. The first two installments brought the myths of ancient Greece to life in a way that seemed hard to top. But when God of War 3 came out on PS3, it did exactly that.

The whole first level is a marvel of design, as Kratos hitches a ride on the titan Gaia as she ascends the towering Mount Olympus. As the titan’s earthy flesh writhes beneath you, you slice your way through hordes of enemies before facing off against Leviathan, a massive mythical beast that’s made of water. But if you thought the scale of the Leviathan battle was big, you haven’t seen anything yet.

In a watery surge, Poseidon himself emerges from the water and soars up the mountain to where you cling to Gaia. Not only is Poseidon an astonishingly colossal presence, but he also comes riding on an entire herd of Leviathans. This multi-part battle rages a mile up Mount Olympus as you and Gaia work together to stop him. It’s a stunning boss fight that anyone who plays the game won’t soon forget.

Lucas M. Thomas

By the time Nintendo fully took the leap into 3D gaming with the release of the Nintendo 64 in 1996, The Empire Strikes Back was over 16 years old – already old enough to drive! And yet we hadn’t yet been able to drive one of its iconic snowspeeders. Despite a few past video game attempts to adapt the Star Wars sequel’s opening action scene, the Battle of Hoth, no prior game design had truly managed to capture the feeling of launching out a harpoon and tow cable, wrapping it around the legs of a lumbering AT-AT and watching it trip itself to fall over and topple into the snow below. Shadows of the Empire was the first game to get it right, doing so as one of the earliest third-party adventures released for the Nintendo 64. Though the rest of scoundrel Dash Rendar’s quest seems dated today, that snowspeeder sequence still holds up over two decades later!

Brendan Graeber

It’s hard to top the emotional rollercoaster that is fist-fighting the Pope, but Assassin’s Creed 2 managed to up the ante in a jaw-dropping reveal as Ezio encounters the image of Minerva in a vault from the first civilization. If this wasn’t a big enough bombshell, the act of Minerva turning away from Ezio to look straight at the camera to address Desmond sent chills down my spine. In that moment it feels like you're being acknowledged directly as the one reliving the memories of Ezio — and the fact that a ghostly hologram knew that this would one day happened blew our minds. We were also left feeling bad for Ezio, who struggled to accept that his entire journey culminated in a message for someone he would never see or meet. This moment stands as a great turning point for both the series unveiling more of its world, and for Ezio finding meaning in his own path.

Mordin's song

GameMass Effect 2

Release Date2010

Christian Holt

The Mass Effect series is overstuffed with great companions. But Salarian scientist Mordin has always stuck out as a fan favorite with his fast-talking, rambling, pronoun-free language. He’s a lovable mad scientist and not terrible in a fight. He sees the world in black and whites though, and that can be difficult when trying to navigate interpersonal relationships. During an exchange with Shepard, he remarks uncharacteristically about how Mass Effect 2’s villains lacked culture or art. Such a love for the arts suprises Shepard, and when you call Mordin on it, he professes a love for singing, especially Gilbert and Sullivan. You’re then treated to his own version of "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" — which is just a treat. It embodies so much of what Bioware does right: humorous moments in a dark subject matter, an added layer to a character, and just exceptional writing.

Chloi Rad

For all of the big, weird moments that the Metal Gear series is famous for, it’s a surprisingly quiet, introspective scene that ranks among the highest in fans’ memories. The infamous ladder sequence in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater comes immediately after the fight with The End — a grueling one-on-one sniper battle that plays out like a hypnotically slow game of cat and mouse in the dense green jungle of the Russian wilderness. Unlike most action-oriented games, there are plenty of moments to sit and reflect on your deeds in the stealth-based Metal Gear series. The fight with The End is one of them. A later battle, against the ghostly Sorrow, is another. But that ladder sequence is perhaps one of the most graceful and visually striking of all.

As you approach the ladder, you have no way of knowing how high it is. It’s just a ladder. You’ve climbed plenty of ladders in games. But once you start your ascent, something starts to feel off. The ladder keeps going. And going. There’s no way to tell how close you are to the top, so all you can do is stare down at Snake as it gradually becomes too hard to tell how far you are from the bottom. Then a haunting, vocals-only version of the theme song starts playing. Fans have discussed the “meaning” of the ladder for years. Is it a representation of Snake’s isolation? The sheer scale of his undertaking? His inability to have perspective on his own journey? Is it simply a moody interlude after an intense fight? An elaborate snakes and ladders joke? It probably doesn’t matter. The ladder is equal parts haunting, hilarious, strange, and solemnly introspective, qualities that not only make Snake Eater such a beautiful entry in the series, but which have defined much of Metal Gear Solid’s legacy for years.

Andrew Goldfarb

Persona 4 is all about the bonds you make with friends and classmates in the town of Inaba. You’re a transfer student without anyone on your side, and the people you meet quickly become your family. But none of the bonds you form are quite as special as your relationship with your surrogate younger sister Nanako, and no moment in the game hits quite as hard as her eventual kidnapping. Persona 4 is a murder mystery that sees lots of victims taken into the Midnight Channel, but the shock at sweet little Nanako disappearing from your doorstep and showing up on the TV is genuinely upsetting in a way few of the other victims even come close to. Nanako is completely innocent and caught in the middle of something she couldn’t hope to understand, and her Heaven dungeon and the snippets of her voice you hear throughout are the game’s most heart-wrenching scenes. In the aftermath of Heaven, losing Nanako even temporarily is the final step that bonds the investigation team and pushes Persona 4 toward its endgame, and checking in on Nanako in the hospital becomes the emotional center of the later parts of the game. Nanako is one of the most pure, sweet characters in the franchise, and seeing her in trouble is a gut punch that’s hard to forget.

Chris Reed

On the surface, Frog Fractions is about as unassuming as video games come. It looks for all the world like an educational game made for school-age kids. You play as a frog sitting on a lily pad. You control the frog’s tongue, which you use to ensnare insects that buzz around the screen. Collecting fruit lets you purchase upgrades that make your frog even more of a bug-eating powerhouse.

Silly game, right? Who cares? Turns out that’s just the beginning. When you upgrade your lily pad to a turtle, you can move around the screen. If you move to the bottom of the screen, you go underwater, where you find a huge piles of dropped fruit. Collect it, and you’ll find yourself with (and I quote) “like a billion” fruit pieces.

With that much currency, you can upgrade your turtle to a dragon and fly through an asteroid field to a bug planet, where… well, you should probably just see for yourself. It’s a free flash game after all. But for anyone who plays Frog Fractions without being in the know, going underwater and beginning the “real” game is a mind-melting experience you won’t soon forget.

Shooting a portal at the moon

GamePortal 2

Release Date2011

Tom Marks

Portal 2 is a game full of incredible moments, but none of them payoff quite as spectacularly as the last portal Chell ever has to fire. Plopping a portal on the moon in your final fight against Wheatley is spectacular and tense, but it’s also incredible how subtly it is set up throughout the game.

Suddenly Cave Johnson’s recorded ramblings about moon rocks making great portal surfaces isn’t just to set up how he got sick, it’s also foreshadowing for this moment — along with the space-obsessed corrupted core that gets sucked through the portal with you. Johnson even has a threatening line where he says, “I can put a doorway on the moon and another into your parking lot!”

So when the roof peels away and the moon is in clear view, white and shimmering, you just fire. Everyone fires. Everyone knows to fire, despite the game doing nothing explicit that tells them to do so. You’re just ready to do it because it’s what needs to be done in the moment. It’s not a cutscene, you get to click and fire… and then immediately suffer the consequences of what that means.

It’s incredible how natural Valve made this choice feel, to the point where hardly anyone stops to think about the implications of it. It’s a catastrophic move, and one that makes for an insane finale. It’s hours of subtle preparation adding up to an incredible climax, which is just about as Portal as you can get.

Battling the Hydra

GameGod of War

Release Date2005

Chris Reed

The idea of large-scale enemies wasn’t exactly new when God of War landed on PS2 in 2005. We’d seen bosses like Kraid, the towering reptile in Super Metroid, and fought our way up three screens’ worth of Kefka in Final Fantasy VI. But compared to the hydra battle in God of War, those enemies feel stiff and rigid.

As God of War begins, you take control of Kratos as he makes his way from one end of a ship to the other while sailing through a raging storm. You get a feel for the fluid combat as you swing your chain-attached Blades of Athena at all manner of mythical monsters. But none of that prepares you for what waits at the bow of the ship.


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Look, look what boobs. He nodded toward a busty eighteen-year-old girl in a white bathing suit who was leisurely strolling along the water's edge. An athletic figure, a gorgeous waist and a third (and maybe bigger) chest, all this attracted us to her, dreaming of depraved and dirty sex.

- Yes, a girl that you need. I agreed.

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