Best The Simpsons Games – Push Square
What are the best The Simpsons games? When The Simpsons first aired in late 1989, few could have anticipated its cultural impact. While its appeal may have waned slightly over the past 30 years, it remains the longest running American animated series, racking up over 700 episodes and counting. Created by Matt Groening and depicting the exploits of an average, everyday family, its cast of characters – including the titular Simpsons – have become household names.
Unsurprisingly, with such long-running success, there have been a number of video game tie-ins, with many coming on the NES and SNES during the franchise’s early 90s explosion. The number of releases has cooled off in subsequent years, as overall interest in The Simpsons has naturally plateaued, but there are still several PlayStation titles inspired by the show that have become cult classics.
Perhaps most interesting of all is how versatile The Simpsons franchise has proven. Over the course of the past three decades, it’s played host to driving games, wrestling games, open world games, and even skateboarding games. That underlying flexibility has resulted in some sharp ups-and-downs for Springfield’s most famous family, but the likes of The Simpsons: Hit & Run are still very much coveted today, 20 years after first releasing.
On this page, we’ve included a list of the best The Simpsons games, spanning the series’ first adaptations for PS1 all the way through to more modern PS3 titles. Of course, it’s up to you to determine this order, as our list is ordered based on your personal ratings. You can submit your own thoughts by using the search box below, or by clicking the star next each game’s box.
To reiterate: that means the best The Simpsons games is yours to decide. This list will auto-update and evolve as more of your ratings are entered, so what you see below is a live representation of your thoughts. Do you agree with the list or not? Don’t ponder whether you’re out of touch like Principal Skinner, and influence the order of the games below.
Best PlayStation Games by Series
Publisher: Activision / Developer: Big Ape Productions
Similarly to The Simpsons Skateboarding, which launched on the PS2 a year or so later, The Simpsons Wrestling was a TV show tie-in chasing trends. At the time, WWF titles were huge on PlayStation, and so throwing the likes of Barney Gumble and Groundskeeper Willie into a wrestling ring no doubt made sense to the group of money-motivated executives who signed off on the project. Unfortunately, developer Big Ape Productions delivered a sloppy experience, with laggy controls and a complete and utter lack of gameplay balance. The visuals were somewhat impressive for the PS1, but this was a critical disaster that was panned by practically every publication upon its release in 2001.
Publisher: Electronic Arts / Developer: The Code Monkeys
When The Simpsons Skateboarding released in 2002, franchises like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and SSX were at the peak of their powers. In fact, extreme sports were the in-thing in the early noughties, and given The Simpsons often depicted Bart on a skateboard, the crossover made sense. Unfortunately, the game was terrible, with sloppy controls and poor quality presentation. It was massively overshadowed by The Simpsons: Road Rage, which launched a year prior and was a vastly superior – if legally contentious – title.
Publisher: Electronic Arts / Developer: EA Redwood Shores
The PS2 was such a successful console that publishers were still porting games to it as late as 2007. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, The Simpsons Game plays great on it. While publisher Electronic Arts did have to make graphical compromises compared to the PS3 release, the core adventure remained intact, allowing you to take control of a number of different characters from the TV show across a wide variety of levels, each offering a unique insight into the eclectic and often irreverent world of Springfield.
Publisher: Electronic Arts / Developer: EA Redwood Shores
While the Nintendo DS version of The Simpsons Game was a completely different experience, the horsepower of Sony’s handheld allowed Electronic Arts to port the PS2 version to the PSP. That meant this portable port offered the same 3D adventure as its console counterparts, complete with cut-scenes identical to the television show. Obviously there were graphical compromises made, and the PS3 version still ruled supreme, but this edition could be played entirely on the go, making it impressive in its own right.
Publisher: Electronic Arts / Developer: Radical Entertainment
The Simpsons: Road Rage was so staggeringly similar to Crazy Taxi that it actually invited a lawsuit from juggernaut publisher SEGA, who felt that the TV show tie-in infringed on its original idea. This legal battle was eventually settled privately for an undisclosed fee, perhaps insinuating that Electronic Arts didn’t have a leg to stand on. With all this in mind, it won’t surprise you to learn that Road Rage was a driving game, in which you ferried the famous inhabitants of Springfield around to various iconic destinations. Despite the obvious plagiarism, the gameplay loop was fun, although the entire concept was bettered by The Simpsons: Hit & Run.
After the success of The Simpsons: Hit & Run, it felt like Springfield was about to become an iconic video game backdrop, on par with the Mushroom Kingdom and Hyrule. As it turns out, there was a four year break between Radical Entertainment’s open world effort and Redwood Shores’ co-op adventure. The gameplay loop in The Simpsons Game can be best compared to modern LEGO titles, where you play as a multitude of characters each with special abilities in order to solve a multitude of gameplay puzzles. It was short and a little unpolished, but still a faithful rendition of the hugely popular TV programme.
One of the earliest adaptations of The Simpsons, and arguably still one of the best: Konami’s four-player brawler featuring Springfield’s most famous faces was such a slamdunk that it was eventually ported to the PS3 as The Simpsons Arcade Game over 21 years after its original release. And it’s still a corker, with its pixel-perfect recreation of Matt Groening’s universe and high-octane combat systems. With the entire Simpsons family being playable, sans Maggie, there’s a huge variety in gameplay, as each character has their own themed weapon – including a vacuum cleaner, which matriarch Marge amusingly wields.
Publisher: Vivendi Universal Games / Developer: Radical Entertainment
Generally regarded as the greatest adaptation of The Simpsons in video game form, there are still large pockets of the gaming community that demand a remake of this PS2 era Grand Theft Auto parody. Retaining the driving gameplay from The Simpsons: Road Rage, The Simpsons: Hit & Run transformed Springfield into a sandbox, allowing you to explore freely and pick-up missions from iconic characters from the television show. While a sequel was never made, it was a critical and commercial hit, and it’s remembered fondly for its irreverent humour and sharp visual style.
And faster than a Nelson Muntz wedgie, we’re pulling up the pants of our best The Simpsons games list! Remember, the order of the games is determined entirely by you, so if you think your favourite is getting short-changed, you can do something about it. You can use the search tool at the start of the article to rate any of the titles, or simply click the star beneath the name to submit a score. And if you think there’s a The Simpsons game missing from our PlayStation Games Database, then let us know.
With all that out of the way, thanks for spending time in sunny Springfield with us today for our list of best The Simpsons games, and once again be sure to let us know your favourites in the comments section below.