12 Games To Play After You’ve Finished High On Life

12 Games To Play After You’ve Finished High On Life

From start to finish, High on Life is a riot of a time. The game’s unique, wise-cracking guns, fun platforming, and Rick and Morty-esque humour combine for about 16 hours of gaming time well spent. That said, once the campaign wraps up and you’ve explored some of the hidden areas, there isn’t a whole lot else to do.

After the final boss, it’s about time to move on to a new game. But which to choose? High on Life taps into a few different styles of games: Absurd, meta humour and commentary, easy pick-up-and-shoot shooters, quick platforming, and games with clever weaponry and mechanics. Another comedy game is an easy follow up to Squanch Games’ latest Game Pass hit, but you might be interested in something a bit more thought-provoking. Or maybe you’ll want a shooter that messes with the standard formula a bit.

With a game that references so many other games, and so often, there’s a lot that pairs well with High on Life, so here’re 12 other games with some similar vibes, both comedic and serious, to jump into.

Conker’s Bad Fur Day

Screenshot: Microsoft
Screenshot: Microsoft

If you want: more comedy, more platforming, less shooting

Playable on: Rare Replay on Xbox One, Series S and X, or an N64 with an original cartridge copy

A drunken squirrel, weasel mafia, gross villains made of faecal matter and more, Conker’s Bad Fur Day is an unapologetically crass and unserious platformer that graced the N64 back in 2001. In the canon of definitely-not-for-children comedy games, Conker qualifies as a classic. In High on Life, you start out by selecting your avatar in a mirror clouded with coke lines; Conker’s opening moments have you guiding your plastered squirrel hero to sober up after a late night of drinking. These games clearly operate on similar frequencies, and pair together well if you’re willing to tolerate some N64-era physics.

Read More: Conker’s Bad Fur Day Is Irreverent Action At Its Best

Borderlands (any of them)

Screenshot: Gearbox Software
Screenshot: Gearbox Software

If you want: more humour, solid shooter mechanics, way more RPG stats

Playable on: Borderlands 3 and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands are available on PS5, PC, and Xbox Series consoles

For the past few generations, Borderlands has been one of the more notable comedy series to have permeated gamer culture. While you can certainly skip the very first Borderlands, from Borderlands 2 on you’re up for a good time filled with outrageous characters and scenarios.

Read More: Every Borderlands Game, Ranked From Worst To Best

Unlike High on Life, Borderlands sits more on the RPG side of things, but don’t let that fool you. The shooting feels great, even if you need to do a bit more maths with your your gear and abilities than in a standard shooter. Borderlands has the comedy, the silliness, and so, so many random nerdy pop culture references that it’s an easy pivot after you’ve wrapped High on Life.


Screenshot: People Can Fly
Screenshot: People Can Fly

If you want: more silly, over-the-top FPS gameplay

Playable on: the remastered version, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Series S, and X, 360, PS3, and Steam

Bulletstorm is an arcade shooter where you’re actively scoring points while taking out enemies, and its gunplay is just a little sharper than what High on Life has to offer.

Read More: Actually, Bulletstorm Is An Excellent Shooter

It’s also loud, obnoxious, and fun as hell. You’ll be zipping around with a power slide, sending enemies flying with triple-barrel shotguns, and oh so many fun explosions and zany violence. Guns have alternate fire modes for creative uses, and you can whip yourself into an enemy’s face with the energy leash. This is a very unrealistic and explosively fun time; there’s also a co-op mode, so unlike High on Life, you can team up with friends for some over the top shooter shenanigans.

South Park: The Stick of Truth (and The Fractured But Whole)

Screenshot: Obsidian
Screenshot: Obsidian

If you want: more crass comedy based on adult cartoons

Playable on: Nintendo Switch, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, One, Series S, X, and Steam

The writing in High on Life, or Rick and Morty for that matter, is way smarter, hardly as cruel, and arguably less self-congratulating than South Park, and that includes the two most recent games, The Stick of Truth and The Fractured But Whole, which are kind of like a long interactive episode of the show. If you’re a fan of the show, it’s hard to beat that. The art style and comedy matches the classic Comedy Central show to a near 1:1 ratio, making it an easy follow up to High on Life.

The Stanley Parable

Screenshot: Crows Crows Crows
Screenshot: Crows Crows Crows

If you want: less conventional gameplay, more comedy and meta shenanigans

Playable on: the recent, updated version is available on all modern gaming platforms

Where to even begin with this mind-bender of a game? While High on Life plays with meta concepts that risk going off the rails of a standard game experience, it mostly stays in its lane. The Stanley Parable tosses that out the window and doesn’t just replace the fourth wall, but instead rarely pretends it exists in the first place. As John Walker described the recent remaster/semi-sequel that landed just last year:

What I’ve found perhaps most interesting about The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe, is that, while certainly updated and more contemporary in its references, it’s almost defiantly anachronistic. It hasn’t taken the opportunity to make its graphics stunningly modern, nor gone to town on jokes about games-as-service or whatever 2022 gaming is about. TSPUD is a game about sequels, about both being and not being a sequel, a perennial topic that it explores with extraordinary self-loathing and scorn. As it ever was, The Stanley Parable is a game about itself.

Read More: The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe Is The Smartest, Silliest Game Of The Year

You can hang out in a closet and get yelled at by the narrator, who’ll increasingly take you to various subterranean circles of video game hell should you continue to veer off script. What you do, why you do it, and all the many, many ways the game constantly keeps you guessing and surprised make The Stanley Parable a reflexive recommendation if you’re looking for something slightly less conventional than High on Life, but just as absurd.

Grand Theft Auto V

Image: Rockstar Games
Image: Rockstar Games

If you want: more comedy and “satire”

Playable on: basically everything

If you somehow haven’t played Grand Theft Auto V over the countless re-releases its received since 2013, you absolutely should given how its absurd characters and plot themes tap into some of the same tonal palettes as High on Life.

Read More: Grand Theft Auto V Has Outlasted An Entire Console Generation

Like South Park, GTAV’s story and writing clearly thinks very highly of itself. In some ways I think this makes it a candidate worthy of being satirized itself. But it’s tough to deny the gameplay, which is some of the best in the series’ long history. It’s a wild, loud, fun ride that would serve as a great follow up to High on Life, but perhaps with a slightly more serious main story.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Screenshot: Konami
Screenshot: Konami

If you want: less comedy, more thought-provoking meta themes

Playable on: Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on Xbox One and Series consoles via backwards compatibility; the same collection on PS3 or Xbox 360; PS2 or OG Xbox.

Metal Gear Solid 2 may not spring to mind when you think “comedy games,” but c’mon, when a dude points to the bandana he has on his head and says he has “infinite ammo,” we’re not too far off from the kinda meta humour High on Life plays with.

Read More: Metal Gear Solid 2 Retrospective: Be Careful What You Wish For

And while High on Life is often teasing other mainstream games, it frequently wears a love of classic inspirations on its sleeve. While I didn’t catch any direct references to MGS2 in High on Life, the Nipulon boss fight does reference the Psycho Mantis fight from the first Metal Gear Solid, and plays with some of the same mind-warping concepts.

MGS2 lands on this list though for its meta themes about simulations, games, and war. If you know Metal Gear, then you know this series also has a huge appetite for silliness, but it’s often dealing with very serious topics just as much — if not moreso.

Spec Ops: The Line

Screenshot: Yager
Screenshot: Yager

If you want: a complete tonal shift, deeper meta themes

Playable on: Steam, PS3, Xbox 360

You probably shouldn’t be laughing while playing Spec Ops: The Line. But if you enjoyed the way High on Life toys with its meta concepts and direct callouts of the violence you’re causing, but with a more serious, contemplative tone, Spec Ops might be one hell of a thematic palette cleanser following High on Life.

Read More: Spec Ops: The Line: The Kotaku Review

Spec Ops has you take on the role of Captain Martin Walker, as the effects of post-traumatic stress take their toll during his deployment in Afghanistan. A third-person shooter, Spec Ops is a pretty solid game mechanically, but the complicated story elements and difficult moral decisions are the real draw here.

If you had your share of laughs but want a game that asks some more critical questions of your engagement with it and its violence, definitely give Spec Ops: The Line a shot after High on Life.

Halo 5: Guardians

Screenshot: 343 Industries
Screenshot: 343 Industries

If you want: a fucking joke of a story and more solid FPS gameplay with unique movement options

Playable on: Xbox One, Series S, X and on PC via Game Pass cloud streaming

Oh Halo 5…where do we even begin? Look, it has the worst story out of any Halo game out there. Honestly, it’s one of the worst stories in all of first-person shooters. But the core gameplay itself? Well, with the ability to zip around with thrusters, hover in the air as you aim, and slam down on grunts and elites from up high, it was one of the first shooters that came to mind when playing High on Life. If you’re looking for a game that has more than just moving, sprinting, and jumping, giving this 2015 Xbox title a spin is a good time.

Read More: Halo 5: The Kotaku Re-Review

And the only reason you shouldn’t skip the cutscenes is because you’re really high and you’re making fun of them. It’s melodramatic, stupid, and aimless. If it weren’t drenched in such lore-speak, it would be a much clearer mockery of itself and could at least be enjoyed in the same way one might “enjoy” watching Battlefield Earth or something. But for all the complaining I’ll do about the story, the actual mission structure of some of these levels is stellar. The whole arc of missions eight through 12 are fantastic.

Ratchet & Clank (any of them)

Screenshot: Insomniac
Screenshot: Insomniac

If you want more: silly gameplay and unconventional weapons

Playable on: various PlayStation versions

Insomniac’s PlayStation-exclusive action platformer series has had many, many entries, and they’re all of relatively high quality that has bordered on feeling a little samey over the years. In our review of the series’ most recent entry, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, “John Walker praised its “hours of exquisitely crafted worlds, world-leading platforming, and a bold, engaging story told by a superb cast,” though the feeling was somewhat familiar to the previous games.

Read More: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart: The Kotaku Review

But that’s good news for you if you haven’t played any of these and you’re fresh off the ending of High on Life, with an appetite for another silly game with zippy platforming and fun, creative weapons. The humour of Ratchet & Clank is definitely more on the side of a PG-13 experience than High on Life’s very clear R (or even NC-17), but when this series has had titles like 2004’s Up Your Arsenal or 2003’s Going Commando, it’s clear we’re in some similar comedic waters.

Resistance: Fall of Man (or Resistance 3)

Image: Insomniac
Image: Insomniac

If you want: no comedy and more FPS gameplay with experimental weapons

Playable on: Resistance 3 is streamable via PS Plus. Resistance: Fall of Man is locked to PS3 (discs are pretty cheap on eBay)

The PS3 had a number of shooters that I’d totally categorise as hidden gems. Killzone, SOCOM, the second iteration of Metal Gear Online, and the Resistance trilogy. While these alien-blasting shooters from Insomniac never reached the popular appeal of a Halo or Call of Duty, they are definitely worth your time if you want a shooter with an arsenal of strange guns that make great use of secondary fire functions.

The first and third games are perhaps closest to High on Life since you have access to all your guns via a weapon wheel (the second Resistance game ditched this for a more traditional, Halo-esque two weapon carry limit). The third one in particular has a pretty “meh” story and what I’d consider a sour end to the trilogy, but it feels the most modern of all of these and has plenty of fun moments.

Some standout guns are the Auger, which fires rounds that travel through physical walls as its main fire, and a shield as secondary. The Bullseye lets you tag an enemy with a dart that allows your shots to home in on the target, meaning you can even shoot around corners. The game’s sniper rifle has a secondary function that slows down time, so you can perfectly line up headshots.

Resistance doesn’t really have any comedy, but it’s a fun shooter with multifaceted weapons of the kind we see in High on Life, there’s just a whole lot more of them.

Saints Row IV

Image: Deep Silver Volition
Image: Deep Silver Volition

If you want: more silliness, meta humour, and a dildo for a weapon

Playable on: Nintendo Switch, Steam, PS3 and 4, Xbox 360, One, Series S and X

The last time I played Saints Row IV, my college roommate ended up giving me worried looks. Mind you, it wasn’t because of any of the game’s crude meta-humour spoofing sci-fi titles like Mass Effect, the bludgeoning potential of its dildo melee weapon, or the awesomeness of the Boss’ newfound superpowers. You see, much how Kotaku’s Alyssa Mercante adhered to the developer’s advice to play High on Life while stoned, I was zooted out of my mind on Colorado kush while playing Volition’s wacky Grand Theft Auto-like game.

Read More: Saints Row IV: The Kotaku Review

The fourth entry in the Saints Row series takes its self-aware buffoonery and cranks it to 11. You play as a gang leader turned influencer turned President of the United States in a battle against space invaders. Suffice it to say, the invaders trounce you in the opening half of the game but you quickly turn things around when you and your gang-affiliated compadres dismantle the virtual prison world they’re ensnared in with their newfound superpowers. If that sounds like a mad libs sci-fi plot, you’ve no idea how off-the-rails-ridiculous the rest of the game gets. Isaiah Colbert, Staff Writer.

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