Don’t you wish you could go back to being a kid, only worried about having fun after you finish homework or tidy up your room? Those times are gone, unfortunately. But, you can do the next best thing. Either play a video game with cartoon elements or go back to a game you played as a kid for nostalgia’s sake. Don’t let the time that passed or genre trick you, many of the games often require brainpower and detective skills to complete an objective or solve a puzzle. We will also try to maintain a good balance of older and newer releases with cartoon elements on our list. With that said, here’s our pick of the best cartoon games for PC.
1. Borderlands 3
Borderlands 3 is among the 3D games with the best graphics on our list, as far as cartoon games are concerned. They’re so advanced that we’re sure it’s stretching the definition of the cartoon, although this is a good thing. Borderlands 3 is an action RPG, released in late 2019, and its setting takes place about 7 years after Borderlands 2. The game has a single-player and a multiplayer mode and allows you to play as one of the 4 characters, Amara, FL4K, Zane, or Moze. On the planet named Pandora, you will shoot and kill aliens, fly spaceships, and ultimately try to eliminate the cult leader.
2. The Simpsons: Hit & Run
One of the cartoon games we’ve had the most fun with on PC is The Simpsons: Hit & Run. It can be classified as the cartoon version of GTA V, in our opinion. That’s because it allows for the same level of crazy driving, drifting, completing main and side quests, melee fighting, and just all-out craziness. The game has 7 levels in total, and you can control one of the characters in the Simpson family – Homer, Lisa, Bart, and Marge, but also Apu, the owner of Kwik-E-Mart. Additionally, it’s also a fun looting game, because you can collect currencies such as Itchy/Scratchy cards and coins.
Once again, the graphics in Fortnite have gotten far from what you’d consider cartoon, but they have that iconic look nonetheless. In this third-person shooter battle royale, you drop in from the sky and land somewhere on the vast island. You’re then in a rush to gather resources, loot weapons, and armor. Problem is – you’re never alone – other players are have also dropped in at the same time, and are in the same rush. This is a delight if you’re a lover of PvP (Player vs. Player) content. Fans of PvE (Player vs. Environment) can partake in Fortnite: Save the World, a campaign for two players or more.
Minecraft is one of the best-paid games for PC and one of the PC games for boys we typically recommend. We don’t think it needs any introduction or explanation. The game is held to high regard and recognized across the globe. We also recommend Creative Mode over Survival Mode if you’re looking for a classic cartoon building game. And, although the graphics by default don’t have a classical cartoon look, they can be altered using a variety of Minecraft shader and texture packs.
Unturned is a free-to-play game for kids we often recommend as an alternative to Minecraft when your wallet has a cobweb in it. Its graphics are much closer to cartoons, and the game is a better fit by default. It’s set in a world overrun by zombies, and you need to work as a team to eliminate the threat using weapons and come out as a hero. The game can be played as a singleplayer. In that case, we recommend taking a subtle approach and using stealth. You also must grow crops or hunt, fish, and forage for food, and maintain your shelter’s safety at all times.
We’re sure someone will be surprised to see that Terraria, a 2D game, is very popular in 2020. However, it’s incredibly fun to play, as you would quickly discover. You start by chopping wood, gathering resources, and building a shelter to survive through the night. And, just like in Minecraft’s Survival Mode, you either craft or earn weapons and armor by blasting through dungeons and killing words boss monsters. The best part is that besides on PC, Terraria is available on Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One, so you can play it whenever the urge strikes.
What better way to present a cartoon game for PC than one that has been heavily inspired by the cartoons aired in the 1930s? Cuphead is a run and gun game with a very old school feel, complete with hand-drawn animations, watercolor backgrounds, and oldies jazz music. The game is difficult, with a lot of hurdles to overcome and secrets to unveil, just like things were back then, before World War II. The game can be played solo or with a friend, and will test your patience and resilience, that’s for sure.
8. Grow Defense
Whoever is interested in building a kingdom, and then being forced into a tower defense, will grow fond of this game rather quickly. Grow Defense is a cartoonish 3D game, but also considered an idle game for PC. It allows you to defend the castle under your command from a safe position behind the walls. You send air projectiles onto the oncoming horde of enemies, fending off one attack after another. And, as you and your castle grow stronger, the enemies do too. That means the feeling of dread is never gone, and the game remains challenging.
9. Paladins: Champions of the Realm
At first glance, Paladins looks like an MMORPG made by Blizzard. But the reality is different. Made by Hi-Rez Studios, Paladins is a fantasy FPS and has a large emphasis on working as a team, developing a strategy, and completing objectives. The Champion characters look like they were made for Apex Legends, Overwatch, or Fortnite, which gives them a sense of familiarity. Plus, the game is free-to-play and has very low system requirements, so you don’t have to invest a lot of money to start. Oh, and the champions can be customized using skins so you will always stand out.
10. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
It was concluded long ago that you don’t need to be Japanese to love Naruto anime and manga series. After all, who doesn’t like Naruto, a goofy ninja with an honorable heart and immense power? Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 takes a more brutal, warrior-like violence-filled approach. The game is focused on close-range and long-range battles between ninjas, aided or resolved quickly by special abilities known as jutsus. You’re not limited to only playing as Naruto, and DLCs and Scenario Packs expand the game further.
11. Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet
Now that we mentioned one Japanese cartoon game, it would be unfair to skip out on such a great contender. Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is also influenced by the anime of the same name. You’re playing in the third person and will experience elements of MMORPG, action, shooting, and fantasy. Oh, and your journey throughout the game will be accompanied by a very smart artificial intelligence entity named ArFA-Sys. We don’t want to spoil the game, although there’s not a lot to spoil – your in-game choices affect the entire adventure.
12. Dungeon Defenders
Released in late 2011, this indie tower defense game is a masterful mix of RPG, strategy, and action. It’s set in the magical land of Etheria, where the Good threatened by an Ancient Evil. You pick one of the different classes based on your play style – spellcasting, heavy armor, spear and light armor, or archer. Then, you are forced to defeat wave after wave of incoming enemies and protect your stronghold. Besides singleplayer, the game also has a 4-player online and LAN modes.
13. Fallout Shelter
Fallout Shelter is part of Bethesda’s Fallout franchise, but it’s free to play and a very low-spec game. You should’ve already guessed it’s a post-apocalyptic game, set in a desolate world. Your task is to develop an underground shelter, manage its residents and their relationships, and ensure you have enough resources for survival. There are also building and exploration elements to it. For one, you must dig into 2000 feet of bedrock and expand your shelter as time goes on. You can also send your residents to explore the surface world and scavenge for resources.
14. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
We’ve already mentioned zombies in Unturned. But what if there is an even scarier opponent – plants? They’re often terrifying and can obliterate zombies at times. You can experience this 4-player co-op online game by being split into two teams of 12 players. You will quickly find yourself in some epic battles, constantly attacking and defending territories. Besides regular fights, this cartoon game also has unique modes such as Deathmatch, Plant the Gnome Bomb, of even stealing tacos, if you can believe that.
Contrary to the game’s title, it is not a gigantic game… yet. But, the title serves as the reminder and promise that this strategic hero shooter can become one of the best-rated games for PC someday. Gigantic looks like a cartoon version of Monster Hunter: World and Dauntless and also allows you to fight massive monsters. You have freedom of movement in large arenas, and can play in teams of 5, against the environment or other players. In our opinion, the game has a very good mix of fast-paced action and slower, strategic moments.
We believe there’s no need to explain the premise of the game. It is climbing, of course. But this Virtual Reality game also has parkour elements and is considered hardcore among those that have tried it. There are tons of obstacles to overcome and levels to pass, and all of this is made even more difficult because each attempt is timed. We realize that it requires an investment into a better PC and VR equipment. But if you already have those – it doesn’t hurt to try Climbey and feel the adrenaline pumping.
17. Evil Defenders
We just cannot resist tower defense games with cartoon elements. But can you blame us? What’s there not to like about being mentally challenged and pushed to the limits? Especially with 90 levels, 15 mission maps, 5 regions, and 6 difficulty modes? Oh, and the hordes of incoming enemies trying to break the castle gates and flood the insides, killing everything in sight? As long as you’re courageous enough and keep defeating them, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Evil Defenders will let you upgrade more than 60 towers, develop a skill tree, and expand your kingdom.
18. Tales of Zestiria
We present to you an RPG game from Bandai Namco, so you know this is a quality one. This action open-world game blends combat, fantasy, monsters, heroes, and villains, and has a very immersive storyline and captivating voice acting. Furthermore, you can employ side characters to either help with the storyline by using special abilities or provide trivial, fun conversations. Even better, the game can be played in LAN with a four-player team, so hit your friends and acquaintances up.
19. Kerbal Space Program
Whoever is interested in flying airplanes or space will find the Kerbal Space Program very charming, funny, and compelling. It’s a rocket simulation game and includes an alien race named Kerbals, obviously. The game is based on real-world orbital physics and aerodynamics, and once you build and launch your rocket, the endeavor truly starts. You start constructing stations and bases in space and start exploring the solar system. All three game modes, Career, Sandbox, and Science, let you unlock newer technologies and space programs.
20. My Life is a Maiden
We’ve saved an authentic game for last, in the spirit of equality and acceptance. In My Life is a Maiden you’ll play as a 17-year-old boy who has been heavily bullied for his feminine look. To combat the issue, he decides to embrace it and starts dressing and acting like a woman named Maria Lockhart. He quickly rises through the ranks and becomes very popular among the pupils, especially girls. We have to warn you, the game has romantic and suggestive content, but its storyline is very captivating.