20 Funniest Video Game Commercials
VOICE OVER: Callum Janes
WRITTEN BY: NA
The video game industry isn't afraid to get crazy with their marketing efforts! For this video, we're looking at video game commercials that range from funny to hilariously bizarre! Our list includes “Squid Kid” Splatoon (2015), “In the Toilet” Mass Effect 2 (2010), “Visiting Nintendo” Crash Bandicoot (1996), “Weapon Testing” Ratchet & Clank Series (2002-), “Puppet Show” Resident Evil Village (2021) and more!
Welcome to MojoPlays, and today we’re looking at the 20 Funniest Video Game Commercials.
Which of these commercials was the most memorable to you? Let us know in the comments below!
You’re a kid now. You’re a squid now. Did you get that? In case you didn’t, let’s repeat it over and over again! This commercial quickly became infamous for its repetitive jingle, sending listeners into a hypnotic state. In the vein of a 90s pop song, the ad is obnoxious, generic, and will drive you crazy. At the same time, however, it’s surprisingly catchy, lovingly corny, and will never leave your head. Stirring up so many mixed feelings, the commercial ultimately transcended its annoying nature and became something we could all have a good laugh about. It gained so much attention that Nintendo later released an extended cut with a wider range of lyrics.
The “Mass Effect” games have no shortage of heavy drama and impossible choices. However, the series can also be quite funny when it wants to be and this GameStop commercial wonderfully encompasses that refreshing sense of humor. Commencing with an intense shootout, the ad showcases the M-490 Blackstorm, a gun that generates a gravitational singularity. As the enemies get sucked into a black hole, Commander Shepard and company are left to wonder where they ended up. It’s then hilariously revealed that the enemies have been transported into a toilet where they all cry out for help. Unfortunately, in space, no one can hear you scream… or flush.
Remember when Sega proclaimed, “Genesis does what Nintendon't?” Sony launched a similar campaign with the release of the original PlayStation. This commercial centers on everyone’s favorite bandicoot, who arrives at Nintendo Headquarters with a megaphone. Demonstrating the PlayStation’s capabilities, Crash informs a certain “plumber boy” that there’s a new system in town. Of course it isn’t long until a security guard sends him packing. As far as video game mascots go, Crash Bandicoot can’t exactly be compared to Mario. However, he certainly helped put the PlayStation on the map and this humorous commercial officially marked the beginning of a new console war.
The “Ratchet & Clank” series has given birth to some of the kookiest weapons in all gaming. This series of commercials pictures what it would be like if these gadgets and guns actually existed. They fall into the possession of a few irresponsible teenagers and the results that are every bit as destructive as you’d expect, not to mention hysterical. People are turned into animals, property damage skyrockets, and anything that can blow up will blow up. It’s like an episode of “Jackass,” but with the slapstick you’d find in “Looney Tunes.” These ads never fail to make us smile, although we can see why Ratchet and Clank’s arsenal isn’t fit for this world.
You know how “22 Jump Street” ended with a montage of fake sequels? Well, imagine if one of those sequels found Schmidt and Jenko in a wartime setting. Now imagine if Jonah Hill was paired up with Sam Worthington instead of Channing Tatum. You’d get something along the lines of this priceless advertisement, which follows Worthington as a seasoned soldier and Hill as the bumbling newbie. Despite getting off to a rocky start, Hill soon evolves into an experienced vet and Dwight Howard becomes the squad’s resident noob. Part of what makes this commercial so funny is that it goes all out with A-list talent and impressive production values, raising the bar for epic comedy.
“Conker’s Bad Fur Day” is easily among the raunchiest games in the N64 library, following a hungover squirrel on an adventure full of adult humour. This commercial is a fitting representation of Conker’s obscene nature. By ditching the game’s cartoony look for a live-action makeover, it cranks the depravity up to another level. After a date with a toilet, a gassy Conker emerges from the bathroom to spend some time with his lady friend. Thus ensues a series of sidesplitting innuendos, as Conker pumps a keg of beer and the scantily clad woman gives him a tubby rub. We’re just grateful the singing poop didn’t show up.
It’s no secret that some senior citizens tend to drive well below the speed limit. Likewise, old folks typically aren’t the most hands-on gamers… unless we’re talking about “Wii Sports.” This commercial pokes fun at both of these stereotypes, as a grandma plays “Jet Moto 2.” Although this racing game is best remembered for its fast-paced thrills, the elderly lady moves her hoverbike at a slug’s pace. Eventually, the frustrated racer exits his vehicle and breaks the fourth wall, telling the woman to hit the gas already. He also instructs her to turn off the bike’s blinker. She may not be fast or furious, but this commercial will have you laughing a mile a minute.
He might be cute, small, and pink, but few video game characters can kick butt quite like Kirby. Nowhere is that better demonstrated than in the commercial for “Kirby: Triple Deluxe.” Just as Kirby sucks up his enemies, a choir immediately sucks the audience in with a rendition of “Messa da Requiem.” However, the musical composition is given new lyrics that accentuate Kirby’s all-around awesomeness. Although the game itself is very colorful and lighthearted, the ad makes it sound like the most epic thing in the history of mankind. It’s a pitch perfect contrast that’s guaranteed to put a grin on your face.
Even when he was given a limited amount of screen time, the late Phil Hartman could deliver comedic gold. Before the funnyman rose to prominence on “SNL,” he was looking to purchase a copy of “Ice Hockey” by Activision. Although Hartman enters the store with a mild-mannered attitude, he goes completely berserk when the clerk shows him the game in action. Gee, if Hartman got this pumped over an Atari 2600 game, we wonder how he would react to something really hardcore like “Grand Theft Auto” or “God of War.” In any case, the commercial proves that there are two things in this world that can turn people into savage animals: sports and video games.
Ever since starring in “Taken,” Liam Neeson has built up a badass onscreen persona. The actor pokes fun at his tough guy image in this Super Bowl commercial for “Clash of Clans.” It might just be a freemium game, but Neeson goes into action hero mode when his defense falls. Staring at his tiny phone screen, he vows to reclaim his gold and make BigBuffetBoy85 pay. Right after dealing with a clerk that gets his name wrong, AngryNeeson52 shows that all the barbarians and dragons in the world are no match for his very particular set of skills. The fact that Neeson plays this role with a straight face makes it all the more hilarious.
No matter where you are, no matter what you do… If you’re not playing the Sega Saturn, Segata Sanshiro is coming for you. A parody of Akira Kurosawa’s “Sugata Sanshiro”, this judo master punishes anyone who isn’t playing Sega’s 5th generation console. Segata Sanshiro promoted the system and its various titles with his catchphrase “You must play the Sega Saturn!” He trains in the mountains, faced off against zombies and he even dramatically sacrificed himself so that Sega may live on. The Sega Saturn owes its success in Japan to this one badass man.
What do tanks and teddy bears have in common? Nothing, that’s why it’s up to these tanks to eliminate all cuddly laundry bears. Parodying the fabric softener Snuggle and its furry mascot, a tank bulldozes its way through a house and chases down the poor bear. Limbs ripped off, partially on fire and coughing up fluff, the bear would live to see another day as he was brought back for the sequel’s commercial in yet another parody, this time of “The Six Million Dollar Man”. Too bad the bear got run over again.
A perfect day is defined by a duel to the death, dangerous street racing and of course, all-out war. That’s what this hilarious ad for the PlayStation 4 demonstrates, as two buddies engage in live action versions of games they would typically be playing on Sony’s newest console. The two fight each other with swords and axes, race in exotic cars and engage in a shootout while singing Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”. Sony got it right: spending hours one-upping your buddy in video games really is the perfect day.
There’s nothing better than receiving a new game to play at your birthday party, and that’s how this ad starts off, as friends and family have gathered to celebrate. It’s all so heartwarming… Until mom brings a lame sponge cake, and that’s when all hell breaks loose. This commercial clicks on all cylinders: it’s hilarious, vulgar and nostalgic, and it sells the player on the game. Play “Jam Sessions” and you’ll be an instant rock star, attitude included.
The Japanese sure know how to market things! This commercial does away with the dark and gloomy aesthetic of Resident Evil Village in favor of a cheerful singalong with cute puppets representing some of the game’s notable bosses, including the fan favorite Lady Dimitrescu. The commercial starts out innocently enough with the happy cast of characters singing and dancing together. Before long though, things start to take a dark turn and the commercial quickly degenerates into a scene worthy of the Resident Evil franchise.
While it may not be the funniest commercial in terms of laughs provided, we guarantee you this one will have you smiling from ear to ear for a while. As gameplay from “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D” is shown, we hear the soothing voice of the late Robin Williams serenade us with a speech geared towards Princess Zelda – or is it meant for his daughter Zelda, who owes her name to this iconic series? It’s a touching commercial, amplified by the passing of the legendary comedian.
As part of their “It Only Does Everything” marketing campaign for the PlayStation 3, Sony created the beloved Kevin Butler character. Whether he’s the VP of Realistic Movements, the Regional Manager of War or the VP of Heroic Actions, Butler became a PlayStation sensation with his plethora of job titles. Responding to “Dear PlayStation” queries submitted by fans, Kevin Butler provides hilarious, on point answers as he praises and promotes the console and its various games. Butler even takes shots at competitors Microsoft and Nintendo while continuing the PlayStation hype.
Microsoft rightfully prides itself on its quality first-person shooting titles, so why not make them the focus of their Xbox 360 commercial? In a bustling train station, two men exchange dirty looks, leading up to the brandishing of handguns - quite literally, their fingers forming a gun as children would do. Soon after, everyone in the station partakes in this standoff, waving around and pointing their fingers. Although this commercial wasn’t officially banned, Microsoft chose not to air it, which is all the more of a shame since you can see that the actors are clearly enjoying themselves.
With blue skies high above, a group of four familiar friends happily hold hands together and skip across a field filled with sunflowers. And then they proceed to stomp the crap out of each other. This uproariously hysterical commercial degenerates into an all-out brawl as Yoshi gets double-teamed and Donkey Kong throws Pikachu by the tail, with punches and kicks being thrown relentlessly and unapologetically. Who thought Nintendo could get this violent?!
Celebrity involvement in commercials has always yielded hilarious results. Such is the case for Blizzard’s phenomenal series of commercials to promote their biggest hit, “World of Warcraft”. They didn’t just get one celebrity; they pulled out all the stops and got pop culture legends such as Ozzy Osbourne, Mr. T and William Shatner. Best of all? They got Chuck freakin’ Norris. Whether it was Ozzy debating about his status as the Prince of Darkness, Mr. T’s self-created character known as the “Knight Elf Mohawk” or Chuck Norris’ pure awesomeness, these commercials are priceless.