With fans of South Park growing more excited for the upcoming game The Fractured But Whole, I figured it would be cool to chronicle the history of the series and it's successful and failed past ventures into gaming...
South Park (1998) N64, PSX, PC
Originally slated for the Gameboy Color (which was eventually scrapped) the original South Park video game was a mess. The game was ridiculously hard (unless you had infinite weapons and ammo like the guy in the video above), the voice acting repetitive, and the game itself not too fun. The PC version did have online play in "head to head" mode and you could unlock several characters to play within the game which added to the fun.
Even so, critics thought the game sucked then, and having played it not too long ago I can confirm it still sucks now.
South Park: Chefs Luv Shack (1999) PSX, N64, Dreamcast
This game was essentially South Park's answer to Mario Party. As opposed to a Game Board players would answer questions and then proceed to a minigame for points. If a player didn't know the answer to a question they could "shaft" another player and force them into answering...
This game received better critical reception from critics, but was still considered an awful game. One complaint in particular was that there was no AI available for singleplayer mode so playing alone meant you were the only contestant and you won no matter what.
To it's credit the game boasted 23 mini games all based on classic games and they weren't completely bad.
South Park Rally (1999) PSX, Dreamcast, N64
You know how people say the third time is a charm? That still wasn't the case with this title. South Park Rally was nothing more than a Mario Kart 64 mod except whoever modded it didn't know how to make a decent mod. It's worth noting that all 3 previously mentioned games have been openly criticized by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
It's also worth noting that these three games have been openly criticized by literally everyone else.
Cancelled South Park Game (????) PS2, Xbox
This game was going to be a spiritual successor to the first game in the series of bad South Park games but was likely cancelled due to how much the two following it sucked...
South Park Lets Go Tower Defense Play! (2009) Xbox Live Arcade
It took nearly 10 years to wash the bad taste of all prior South Park games out of people's mouths. This game stepped away from trying to create the South Park team in 3D and returned to 2D roots with cutscenes provided by South Park Studios. It paid off in the long run as the game would go on to be the most positively rated game to date with a 75% approval rating.
South Park: Tenorman's Revenge (2012) Xbox Live Arcade
It didn't take long for the franchise to fall again. Tenorman's Revenge had the story required to make a good South Park game, but poor gameplay gave this one a low rating that hadn't been seen since South Park Rally. Partof me wonders if the game was really fully given the love it warranted as 2 years later South Park would release their biggest game yet...
South Park The Stick Of Truth (2014) PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4
16 years after they would release their first game, South Park would finally release a game to widespread critical acclaim. The Stick of Truth actually felt like you were playing an episode of the television show! You had RPG elements, hilarity, and uncensored content that was too risky for TV. It also allowed you to create your own character that was the star of the game! It was and still remains the gold standard for South Park games.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole (2016) Xbox One, PS4
What we hope will be a great follow up to The Stick of Truth. If history is any indication it'll bomb, but something tells me that won't be the case this time around.