It’s that time of year again, a time when we drown ourselves in green beer and make long lasting, life altering mistakes all in honor of St. Patrick. Who did something important, possibly inventing alcohol? Whatever his accomplishments, all that matters is that it is now a day of celebration; but mostly getting passed out on the front lawn drunk by noon. As such we thought it was time to take another look at the video games that are fun to turn into drinking games, or even just play while drunk. Making use of our quickly dwindling mental capacity, we’ve put this into a list that makes it sound more official, but really it’s just to make sure we don’t list too few or too many games. Counting is hard. So without further delay, or ado, lets start downing these like Irish Car-Bombs. (Check out last years top 10 list while you are at it!)
#10 Kinect Sports
Last year we threw Wii Sports in at number ten and here we are ago, putting a novelty sports-party game in the ten spot. Obviously though, there is a reason. The natural competition that comes from anything related to sports, combined with the often awkward, hilarious and sometimes health damaging movements you make when playing a Kinect game are the exact things one looks for in a drunken gaming experience. The game is fun, and its interface results in even more fun. This is true even when sober, so obviously you up the game by throwing alcohol into the mix, making for some of the sloppiest, and funniest athletic demonstrations this side of peewee football.
A while back CBR listed Blur as our Underrated Game of the Month, largely for the multiplayer aspects. Taking Mario Kart style arcade racing and combining it with far more realistic cars and tracks made for a sometimes odd but mostly entertaining experience. The online play for the game was by far the highlight, and it is a real shame that the game never found a strong audience to support it. This is where you come in. Like most arcade racers, Blur can get pretty crazy and hectic, and like most games that can get pretty crazy and hectic it becomes a lot more so when you are on lap three and beer six. The game can be found for fairly cheap so next time you and some online buddies are looking for something to do on game night, head to your local liquor store and the local GameStop for some blurred vision Blur.
#8 Madden (series)
Admittedly, Madden is sort of like the jock that hangs out with the nerdy kid because he helps him with his homework. It sells well, so obviously a lot of people play it, but it has always had a sort of reputation among the gaming culture; it isn’t on the same level as Uncharted, Halo, Mario and so on. One reason it probably sells so well though is that even to this day, much like drinking, it is better with friends in the same room. Probably the biggest draw to the Madden games for a drunken gaming session is that even those who aren’t playing are often able to enjoy watching the game more than they are many other (often more epic) games. We are used to watching football in a non-participatory way so it isn’t much of a change. A couple of beers into the tournament and everyone is going for Hail Mary’s and QB sacks on every play as well, often resulting in many reasons for one to stand up and loudly proclaim that they are better than their opponent while bringing into question their sexuality, and isn’t that what friendship is about?
#7 Perfect Dark
By pure coincidence Perfect Dark has wound up in the number seven spot, just as Goldeneye did a year ago today. The spiritual successor, Perfect Dark hasn’t aged much better than its counterpart, though of course there is a very true to the original HD update available as well. One thing Perfect Dark did have though is the ability to alter an insane amount of details in your multiplayer match, meaning that no two games ever had to be the same. Additionally, you could always slap an opponent making them, what as a kid my friends and I referred to as ‘drunk.’ The crazy blurred vision after being slapped (or disarmed) becomes even more disorienting when the TV won’t stay still either! Crank up the bots and their level, add some rocket launchers and have yourself a nearly perfect time. One fun game type is to put a couple bots on the highest skill level while you and three friends try to team up and survive against them.
#6 Diddy Kong Racing
Once again a couple of N64 titles make their way to our list. Diddy Kong Racing is arguably the only kart/arcade racer out there that ever really threatened Mario Kart’s title as the king. With a lot more variety, more tracks and even more vehicles, Diddy Kong Racing offers much of the same that makes Mario Kart so great and then even adds a little more. It may not be the first title that everyone thinks of when they go to reach for a kart racer, but it is one of the best. Like most games of this nature there is a lot of fun to be had by getting drinking involved. Whether just playing while tipsy (and trying to not curse at how suddenly hard the plane is to pilot), or turning any of the game’s various game types into a drinking game, the options are nearly endless as is the entertainment value.
#5 Pac Man CE (or Pac Man CE DX)
The original Pac Man has lined the corners of bars around the country, and probably the world, for decades. It is little surprise then that the two most recent reiterations of the classic franchise would offer a fun experience when buzzed. The crazy music, elaborate visuals and most of all the sometimes frantic split-second reactions needed to play all combine for a rather crazy experience when you have had a few. Whether just looking for something to play after coming home from the bars, sad and alone once again, or want to get a friendly high score competition going with a friend on a lazy drunken afternoon, Pac Man CE (or Pac Man CE DX) are fantastic games that are sure to entertain.
#4 The Bigs 2
The Bigs 2 takes the traditional baseball games and more or less turns them on their head with over the top saves and a high level of focus on hitting balls out of the park. The Bigs 2, much like Madden, offers a highly competitive and fun gaming experience when you have someone next to you on the couch (especially the pitcher/hitter dynamic). Like most games that are best when drunk, The Bigs 2 is full of many “Oh snap!” moments bound to have you dancing awkwardly in you living room as a form of primitive celebration.
#3 Halo (Halo 3, Halo Reach, etc.)
Last year we gave Halo an honorable mention, but last year we also have a higher focus on games that could be turned into drinking games. While some ideas were suggested for that (namely the very frightening “drink for every Grunt head shot”), we ultimately felt like it shouldn’t make that list. After some consideration, and a few drunken nights spent on Reach, we’ve changed our minds. Halo when drunk can be a lot of fun, but primarily when played with a group of friends rather than open to the wide world of Xbox Live. This is largely because the game is so unrealistic (as opposed to COD) that there are some pretty crazy moments and experiences that are magnified through the lens of liquor. Now if we can only find a way to feed a beer hat into that armor…
#2 TMNT arcade, The Simpsons Arcade, X-Men Arcade
Three games at number two? Well, really that’s being somewhat generous as there really isn’t much separating these games from one another. But who cares? Especially after a half barrel of Spotted Cow lays empty in the bathroom tub. These classic arcade games featuring characters we all love and adore offers simple but fun gameplay. Possibly most importantly they feature simple, fun multiplayer gameplay. These games are without a doubt best experienced with at least one other person at your side, and their presentation makes playing with four friends in the same room not only easy but ideal. Sure it is mostly just jumping and punching waves of enemies over and over, but considering you can’t quite remember your name any more this is just about the perfect drunk gaming experience.
#1 Castle Crashers
Alert the trolls, we just put two games that are primarily button mashers at the top of our list, and they will surely have a lot to say!
Why is Castle Crashers at the top of the list? Because it takes the same simple but awesome gameplay from games like the arcade classics listed above, but makes it significantly better. On almost every level, Castle Crashers takes what is almost the perfect game for drinking and takes it to a new level. Better graphics, more depth and a lot more variety in terms of weapons, enemies and levels are just the tip of the iceberg. Underneath all that is the fact that the game simply plays better. Rather than feeling like a cheap attempt to take your quarters at the local arcade circa 1989, Castle Crashers feels like a more complete experience resulting in a much more enjoyable time for you and your friends. Whether just hacking and slashing your way through the levels after a couple of pints or finding a way to turn things like gold collected and princesses kissed into drinks taken, Castle Crashers will offer hours more entertainment than your brain has consciousness.
So there you have it! Ten more games that make drinking more enjoyable or are made more enjoyable by drinking, take your pick. Either way, have fun, but most importantly remember to drink responsibly and remember the only good drunk driving is done from your couch with a controller in hand! Happy St. Patrick’s Day from CBR!