Videogames are, and always will be, an inherently ridiculous entertainment medium. They can tell virtually any kind of story and let the player do nearly anything. So, of course, games routinely go to extremely imaginative places and tell some pretty high-concept stories. However, an underappreciated aspect of videogames is how strange some of the titles are.
With so many games being developed all over the world, when a truly bizarre title pops up, it’s hard not to notice — especially when it’s a lesser-known game. But you might be surprised to learn that there’s a certain level of depth to these strange titles. So, here’s our list of six ridiculous videogame titles — and what makes each of them uniquely odd.
Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha
The Dead Rising franchise, where a single character can easily decimate hordes of zombies, is known for its bizarre gameplay. Violent to the point of hilarity, the series embraces its odd nature by never taking itself too seriously. It’s why Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha, a piece of DLC for Dead Rising 3, was the perfect addition to this outlandish series.
The title is actually a reference to the Street Fighter franchise. Capcom owns both the Dead Rising series and the Street Fighter property. This allowed the DLC creators to use one word from each enhanced edition of Street Fighter in the title (as well as feature costumes from other Capcom properties). It’s a good thing the gameplay is as fun as it’s over-the-top title.
Super Smash Bros.
What even is a Smash Brother? Is it using late-’90s slang to convey that it’s a fighting-party game hybrid that you can play with your friend? Is it playing into the subtle sexism and gatekeeping common in the videogame industry of the ’90s by suggesting that this is a game played by male siblings? Did they just name the series Super Smash Bros. because it sounds cool? It’s impossible to say for sure, but no one can deny that this is a ridiculous videogame name.
Nothing in the title suggests this is a Nintendo crossover fighting series for casual and hardcore players alike. But it works. Even those with barely any videogame knowledge know what people mean when they say “smash.” It truly is a testament to Nintendo’s marketing skills and the quality of the Smash Bros. franchise that this name is accepted by essentially everyone.
If you play Final Fantasy games and talk to people about them, the first question you’re inevitably going to hear will be, “Why is it called Final Fantasy (insert whatever entry in the series you’re playing).” Supposedly, the name Final Fantasy stems from the original being the last game the development company Square could make before going bankrupt.
However, Final Fantasy I did so well that the company avoided closing down and the smash hit became a franchise. However, this comeback story also had the unintended effect: each entry in the series has a contradictory title. The series gets more and more inaccurate with each new game.
At the end of the day, though, Final Fantasy is still a really cool name for a videogame, and at this point, it’s ubiquitous with the JRPG genre. It’s just not the most appropriate name for one of gaming’s longest-running franchises.
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is the second game in the Ogre Battle franchise. While you will find solid isometric strategy gameplay in this title, you aren’t going to see any Ogres. Also, instead of people clinging together, you’re going to find a story of civil and political dissonance brought on by decades of ethnic discrimination and a sudden leadership vacuum.
Evidently, this game’s name comes from the 1976 Queen song “Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)” from their album A Day at the Races. While musical references in media can be loads of fun — just look at the success of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and the popularity of Super Mario Bros. 3’s Koopalings — they only work if the reference is appropriate for the media or character. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is ultimately an interesting game that fails to convey its entertainment potential in its title.
Big Mutha Truckers 2: Truck Me Harder
Videogames went through a weird transitional period in the early and mid-2000s. The majority of gamers were suddenly old enough to appreciate and desire more adult content and themes in games. But many developers weren’t quite sure how to tastefully fill that newfound niche. Enter Big Mutha Truckers 2: Truck Me Harder.
This game and its title are, perhaps more than any other game on this list, a product of their time. The graphics are rather dated, the gameplay loop of delivering truckloads while dodging law enforcement and UFOs is a bit tedious, and the humor is crass and exceptionally on the nose. However, Big Mutha Truckers 2: Truck Me Harder is now a fascinating snapshot of a very weird time in the history of games. It certainly wouldn’t have been made today.
In a lesson of less not always being more, Thief is a ridiculously minimalistic and vague title for a game. Released in 2014 as one of the first triple-A games on the PlayStation 4, Thief is a stealth-focused game that will appeal to fans of the genre — but not many others. It’s also a reboot of the Thief series of games which contains titles with longer, but equally generic, names like Thief: The Dark Project and Thief: Deadly Shadows.
Beyond the title, other aspects of Thief’s lore and setting feel strangely bland. You play as a master thief, known only as Garrett, who sneaks through a steampunk locale called the ‘The City’ on a mission to take power and wealth away from the society’s elite. While videogames are known and often chastised for having titles that are lengthy or adjective heavy, they can also be far too dull. Thief definitely falls into the latter category.