The Best and Worst (Mostly Worst) ‘South Park’ Video Games Ever
The word on the 8-bit street is that the show’s principal creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are working with Obsidian, the makers of the “Fallout: New Vegas” series, on a RPG title based around the long running satirical cartoon series. It’s in the very early stages of development, so any idea on whether or not the game will be good, is pure opinion.
‘South Park’ is one of the most celebrated shows of its time for its ability to elicit deep thought about complex socio-political issues and ignorant pop culture trends. An impressive feat for a cartoon that produces more farts per second than a ‘Golden Corral’ on Saturday night. However, when it comes to the show’s video game counterparts, it’s the digital equivalent of how all that flatulence would actually smell.
In terms of quality, a new ‘South Park’ game has nowhere else to go but up from the abysmal titles from it’s past. Here’s a look back at the bad and horribly bad games that almost killed the potential for a good ‘South Park’ game, you bastards.
‘South Park’ 
This first title from Acclaim came with a high level of anticipation after the show’s insane success. It was one of the first titles on the Nintendo 64 to carry a ‘Mature’ rating, ensuring that the abrasive humor of the characters wouldn’t be lost in Nintendo’s family friendly fare. A first-person shooter game that followed the four boys taking on an endless number of enemies with toys like flatulent exploding Terrance and Phillip dolls and foam dart guns and strange weaponry such as a cow launcher. The repetitiveness of the gameplay and the voiceovers that seemed to utter only five or six lines every time you beat an enemy turned it into a big disappointment for even the most ardent fans of the show.
‘South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack’ 
The success of the first title and the growing popularity of the show prompted Acclaim to capture the town and its antics in digital form. It tried to mix the whimsy of the ‘Mario Party’ mini-games with the trivia wit of ‘You Don’t Know Jack’ mixed with the ‘South Park’ style, but everything felt thrown together and unimaginative. It was clear they were just trying to cash in on the success of the series by slapping ‘South Park’ on the cover. It felt nothing like an actual episode of the show, except for the appearance of the characters and Isaac ‘Chef’ Hayes behind the mic as the game show’s host.
‘South Park Rally’ 
Thanks to the popularity of the ‘Mario Kart’ games, there was an endless series of racer spinoffs designed to give the fans of a console’s staple game or TV show’s characters another excuse to buy something else. Cartoon Network’s characters did it. ‘Pac-Man‘ did it. Even ‘The Simpsons’ did it. ‘South Park’ jumped into the fray with their own kart racer featuring an expanded roster of playable characters in a character appropriate kart. The game went a little deeper into ‘South Park’s’ psyche than previous games but the gameplay felt like every other racer before it with a more adult twist.
‘South Park Let’s Go Tower Defense Play!’ 
Almost an entire decade passed before another ‘South Park’ game, and thankfully, this DLC title ended up being the most fun and functional of the series but that’s not saying much. The game looked like a glorified Flash tower defense game playable with an XBox controller, but it was actually very challenging and entertaining. The boys fight wave after wave of ginger kids and 6th graders to prevent them from destroying their beloved town by pelting them with snowballs and setting up automated gun turrets to wipe them out as they advanced. It also marked the first time that Parker and Stone were directly involved with the game’s development, giving it a story to drive the gameplay and even entertaining cut scenes that gave the whole game an edgy anime feel.
‘South Park Mega Millionaire’ 
The iPhone ushered a whole new level of potential for the ‘South Park’ franchise and even though Apple turned down an app for the show because it “violated” their terms of service over appropriate content, it led to two new games for the touch screen device. The first was a side scrolling run and jump that for some reason takes place in a Japanese game show featuring the boys running, jumping and skating for big bucks. The game’s graphics made it look like something from the TV series, but the unimaginative interface that used tilting to move the character made it cumbersome to control and the endless levels felt repetitive and dull. The lack of any kind of fart power-up was unforgivable.
‘South Park: Imaginationland’ 
The game ‘Angry Birds’ lead to a number of imitators in the App Store and ‘South Park’ fell prey to the feathered menace by releasing their own title. This game tied itself into the highly acclaimed ‘Imaginationland’ episode that made the precarious Butters the hero. The game had little to do with the story of the episode, except for some brief explanations about the motivations of the game where Butters must launch himself to collect rainbows through a series of physics puzzles. However, the gameplay was actually engaging and challenging, even though it could have been replicated with any number of properties or characters in the same context.
So there it is, all the ‘South Park’ games in one kind-of terrible list. Which game was the worst of the group?