Top 10 The Simpsons Games

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the show, we enlist the best Simpsons video games for you to play

By JohnnRckr, Posted 18 Dec 2014

Unless you have been living under the grid for the last 25 years you know who the Simpsons are, even if you haven't actually seen the show. Most of those who know the weird little family from Springfield, North Takoma, love them and there is good reason to it.

The Simpsons 25th Anniversary

The sprawling fame and success of The Simpsons is well justified, not only beccause of its original humour and take on pop culture, but because they reflect a part within society itself and within each and one of us that connot be denied. That's why, today, December 17 2014, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the airing of the first full-lenght episode of The Simpsons, Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire and, to do so, we bring you a list of the best video games featuring Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart, Maggie and company. This list includes games almost as old as the series iself and was created out of the 25 official licensed games in existence. 

10 The Simpsons: Bart's House of Weirdness

Simpsons House of Weridness

Most people don't know this games exists and, those who do, probably didn't played it, mainly because it was released in 1992 as a game for DOS, eventhough the game was published by one of the titans in the 90's, Konami. The game features Bart who, again, has been grounded and needs to escape his house; when he fnally escapes, he gets involved in a series of adventures around town, like fighting Space Mutants, dreaming he is within the Itchy & Scratchy world and saving Krusty the Clown from Sideshow Bob, among other things. The game is an action-adventure-strategy platformer with several issues concerning gameplay, but it is, also, a game that excells in its graphic detail for the time, which actually resembled the animation of the TV show, as well as because of its sound and music. Definetively an entertaining game to play if you are a die-hard Simpson fan and enjoy old-school platformers.

9 The Simpsons: Bart vs. The Juggernauts

Bart Juggernauts Game Boy

Released for the Game Boy in 1992, and one of my personal favorites, the game is a satirical take on classic american competition TV show, American Gladiators. In the game, Bart -he is the main characters in most 8/16 era Simpsons games- stars in a weekly show called Juggernauts USA and he has to face a series of challenges and earn money to avoid from being eliminated. The challenges are presented in a mini-game kind of fashion and are quite entertaining and original, although the limited controllers in the Game Boy did not allow a wide variety of actions. Despite this, the game stands as one of the best licensed titles for the Game Boy. One key aspect of the game is the narrators of the events, Dr. Marvin Monroe and Kent Brockman, who add humor and rescue some of The Simpsons writting. Their participations, often ridiculous, serve as a continous source of chuckles.

8 The Simpsons: Night of the Living Treehouse of Horror

Simpsons Anniversary 25 Treehouse Horror

The Treehouse of Horror rank among my favorite Simpsons episodes every season. Maybe it's the continuing parodies to series like The Twilight Zone or the weird depiction of classic horror stories what attracts me the most, but thing is true, in the series, those events didn't actually happened...or did they? To answer that, we have Night of the Living Treehouse of Horror, a game 2001 Game Boy Color side-scrolling platformer in which the members of the simpson family find themselves reliving one of the several stories in the annual Halloween special. Each member of the family has their own level, except for Homer, who actually has 3. The seven levels include stories like Dial 'Z' for Zombie, Bad Dream House, Fly vs. Fly, Bart Simpson's Dracula, Homer Kong, If I Only Had a Brain and Nightmare Cafeteria. If that's not enough motivation for you to get the game, then you should stop reading this list right now.

7 The Simpsons: Bart vs. The World

Bart The World

Not to be confuse with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, this 1991 side-scrolling platformer for the NES and, later, the Amiga, is one of the several Bartian side-scrollers and a really good one. Bart, who has won a trip around the world in a contest held in the Krusty the Clown Show, faces Mr. Burns and his family members, who rigged the trip as a way to destroy the Simpson family once and for all. During his travels, Bart visits China, where he encounters Fu Manchu Burns; The North Pole, where he finds The Abominable Snow Burns; Egypt, where he fights Ramses Burns, and Hollywood, where is is set to defeat Erin Von Burns. 

In each stage, Bart has to pick up several items, both for defense  health restoration, such as firecrackers and slushies, and, even, the cape that turns him into his alter-ego, Bartman [do the Bartman! Do the Bartman!], as as a series of Krusty collectibles. This may not be the most intrincate plot in a Simpsons game, but the gameplay, graphics and humor are pretty solid and it's sure worth a look.

6 The Simpsons Game

Simpsons Game

Thankfully, this 2007 last-gen game is not entirely based in the awful Simpsons Movie. Even when the game has its detractors, it is, to this day, one of the most praised Simpsons games and with total justification. The game not only has the participation of the series regular voice actors and writters, but its graphics and visuals are depicted so that they really resemble the atmosphere of the TV show and achieve so in an elegant fashion. Writters really outdid themselves with this games with the endless amount of satires, parodies and references to pop culture and other video games, not only in the form of jokes and gags, but in gameplay as well. Many recent Simpsons games are often critized because they rely on other game's mechanics and premises, but The Simpsons Game turns around that into its favor. You can find references to games like Frogger, Qbert, Street Fighter, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Guitar Hero, EverQuest, and, even, to previous Simpsons games, among many, many more. Think about a Cabin in the Woods of video games, where tropes and clichés are not only funny, but justified. Jeff Albertson appears on-screen everytime you discover a trope present in video games just to poin it out. The plot is also brilliant and as meta as Cabin in the Woods: the Simpson family discovers they're part of a video game and have to fight their way through in order to fight the person behind it.

The game was released for virtually every platform available in 2007, except for the original Xbox and the GameCube, so you probably have a fairly good chance to grab a copy if you haven't yet.

5 The Simpsons: Hit & Run

Simpsons Hit & Run

In 2003, the world was in awe because of the huge impact the Grand Theft Auto series had on the video game industry. Everyone wanted a piece of the chaos and mayhem cake, and the Simpsons did not hesitate on seizing the opportunity. Hit & Run was the result of this wave of free-roaming violent games and it was actually a great product. The voice acting was provided by the series regulars and writting was done byt the show's writters, so all of the classic Simpson humor was preserved. The plot is something I would've liked to see in a Tree House of Horror: Kang & Kodos are filming a reality show based on Earth, specifically on Springfield and, to make things more interesting, they add a new formulation of Buzz Cola to the citie's water supply, which derives in insanity from those who drink it; hence, havok, madness, chaos and mayhem. The first part of the premise may sound familiar to South Park fans; the episode Earth Gets Cancelled certanly rings a bell. The weird part of the game is that, when atempting to steal a car, an act that constitutes, well, auto theft, the player would simply get into the vehicle almos magicly while the NPC driving it appears outside of it. There is no violence in the crime that is being committed. I guess this was a move from the game developers to keep a low ESRB rating and keep the game under the label of mild cartoon violence. Road Rage was released as a cross-platform title for the conoles alive two generations ago.

4 The Simpsons: Road Rage

Simpson Road Rage

If Hit & Run was The Simpsons' GTA, then Road Rage was their Crazy Taxi. Released in 2001 for the generation of the GameCube, the Xbox and the PlayStation 2, Road Rage was one of the first attempts to bring the Simpson Universe to a glorious 3D world and achieved magnificently. For the first time, players could visit Springfield and its nearby areas in all its glory; furthermore, they could also take control of several characters apart from the core memebers of the Simpson family. The voice acting, provided by the series regular was superb and the humor was fresh and well presented. 

Beucase of a crisis in transportation, originated when Mr. Burns took down the transport services in town and replaced them with radioactive buses, the habitants of Springfiled have to take matters in their own hands and transport passengers around Springfield so they can earn money and pay Mr. Burns hoping everything could return to normal. One key fact in the game is the variety of vehicles the player can unlock, which includes the bizarre-looking Homer, among many emblematic means of transportation seen throughout the show. It is, definetively, a must-play for any Simpson fan.

3 The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare

Simpsons Bart Nightmare

Another personal favorite from my early gaming years. This 1992 classic platformer is one of the Simpsons masterpieces and, at least for me, the best Bartian game out there. The premise is one of the simplests and, yet, strikingly good: Bart has to write a paper for his class, but he falls asleep. In his dreamworld, we control Bart and have to aid him to find the missing pages of his paper. To to do, Bart must travel and sort obstacles present in a dream version of Evergreen Terrace. Each time Bart finds a page, the player must choose between two randomly chosen mini-games, which include adventures such as Bartzilla, Indiana Bart, Bartman and a visit to Itchy & Scratchy. If the mini-game is not completed, Bart will not retrieve the page and the game will continue. At the end, when Bart wakes up, he will be graded according to how many pages the player retrieved with the correspondent reaction from his family.

Mini-games are hauntingly entertaining and, being a game of its era, strikingly difficult at times. Animation and sound are superb and many critics have praised them since its release. It is, with no doubt, one of the highest ranking Simpsons games and deserves every positive reaction it has gotten. If you still have a SNES or a Genesis laying around, don't wait a second more to try to snatch a copy of this game, although it is not going to be easy.

2 The Simpsons: Bart vs. The Space Mutants

Simpsons Bart Space Mutants

Before Bart vs. The World, there was Bart vs. The Space Mutants, considered to be one of the best platformers out there and one of the best sSimpsons games ever made. Virtually every available console in 1991 received Bart vs. The Space Mutants. The Simpsons were hot and everybody wanted a piece of them. This classic side-scrolling platformer, the gem of the Bartian crown, puts the kid as the key to uncover the aliens's secret plans to take over the world. Thanks to his X-Ray Vision glasses, Bart is the only one able to see the aliens in disguise and the only one who knows what needs to be done to stop them. Through a total of five levels, Bart must destroy the items the aliens need to craft their super-weapon, and convence the memebrs of his family to aid him in doing so. Bart can be controlled, both, on foot or on his iconic skateboard and use a variety of items to terminate the aliens's plan. One of the key elements in the game is its continuing self-reference, aimed to please fans of the series, as well as its gameplay; although the term Nintendo Hard was coined around games like this one and its high levels of difficulty are often cause of controversy, as well as some controlling issues. The game, eventually, becomes a personal challenge with a high and satisfying reward upon completion. There is no way you can miss out on this game if you like The Simpsons.

1 The Simpsons Arcade Game

Simpsons Arcade Game

It all comes down where it all began. The very first Simpsons game is also the very best. Konami developed this masterpiece in 1991 and it has been a fan-favorite ever since. People like me, who were barely a year old when the game was launched, did not know this game in its original iteration, but had the opportunity to play in in its port to the Commodore 64, MS-DOS or, more recently,its release to the XBLA and the PSN. 

Unlike its successors, this game is a classic beat-'em up 2D game, and a really impressive one. Up to four players can play simultaneously, each as one of the memebers of the Simpson family, excepto for Maggie, who has been kidnapped and must be rescued. The Kidnapper, Smithers, took her after robbing a jewelry store and, accidentally, bumping into the Simpsons. This caused that a rare diamond fell into Maggie's mouth instead of her pacifier, hence the kidnap. Classic Simpsons. To avoid being captured, Smithers sends wave after wave of goons to fight the Simpsons through various locations, such as Krustyland, Moe's Tavern, The Nuclear Power Plant and, even, a dream world -the minds behind these games have a thing for dream worlds-. At the end, The Simpsons must face a nuclear-powered mech driven by none other than Mr. Burns and rescue poor little Maggie.

The game includes lots of self-referencing humor, as well as crazy easter eggs, such as the concealed bunny ears underneath Merg'es hair, a weird idea conceived by Matt Groening in the early years of The Simpsons and planned to be part of the serie's end game, but ultimately abandoned.

Each of this 10 games are worth every penny and every second spet in them. If you are a Simpson fan, if you have grown watching them, playing with them or even reading them, they are, certainly, part of your life. For most fans, Simpsons references are a natural part of his everyday and a key aspect of their humor, a part of who they are. Me, for example, have always lived in a Simpsons world, I am 24, and grew watching reruns and new episodes as time passed. With a little hope, future generations will learn to praise and value The Simpsons for what they are: a fundamental part of society and a satirical reflect of ourselves. So, don't have a cow, man, and hit this top 10 as soon as you can. Don't forget to let your spirit soar and keep reaching for that rainbow!

Worst. Top 10. Ever.

Simpsons Anniversary Top 25

Jonathan Coutiño, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3
Publisher(s): Konami
Developer(s): Konami
Genres: Beat-'Em-Up
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2012-02-07

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