There’s no doubt the developers devote their full force to create main quests. Colourful cut scenes, pretentious soundtrack, emotions running high – this is all about to create a beautiful and, most importantly, memorable story. But sometimes you just want to stay off the main road, shut off the mini-map and find some adventure on your own.
Proper side quests are not just about an additional experience and further reward. In this top 10 of the most fun side quests I tried to collect in a good way silly, absurd and simply extremely hilarious episodes from video games. Maybe they’ll just refresh your memory about your favourite titles, or maybe will motivate you to try new things. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist – what time is it? It’s Adventure Time!
10. Claptrap’s Birthday Bash! (Borderlands 2) – Forever Alone
Claptrap’s Birthday Bash! ranks 10th in my top 10 of the most fun side quests in games. So, clearly, Borderlands 2 is rich in all kinds of absurd stories but next on the agenda is a special sweet episode – robot Claptrap’s birthday “party”. The point is to help him to throw a proper party: invite someone, have a good slice of pizza, make a whistle with the music and all that stuff.
But here’s the thing: while living in the Sanctuary our little iron friend has been a real pain in the front. And it just so happens that nobody showed up for the party. Personally, I just couldn’t leave him alone. Therefore it turns out that the real purpose of the quest is to liberate Claptrap from his world of loneliness and isolation. Even for a moment. And of course, you should have the patience to hear his various remarks at the drop of a hat – for example, that everybody just got lost and didn’t make it to the party.
In fact, I almost feel sorry for Claptrap. He has become a calling card of the Borderlands universe, but failed to make friends. Well, as a consolation prize he’s got a place here, in my top.
9. The Fabulous Five (Divinity: Original Sin) – “If you are good at something never do it for free”
The Fabulous Five ranks 9th in my top 10 of the most fun side quests in games. Divinity: Original Sin is somewhat similar to the Discworld Novels by Terry Pratchett. The game is filled with extravagant individuals of all stripes and some of them are always ready to mess with your mind.
Once, the Source Hunters encountered a gang modestly called The Fabulous Five hanging around the tavern in Cyseal. According to them, they are the best of the best, although their little squad sounds suspiciously like modern multi level marketing. Then by hook or by crook, they’ll try to convince you to join their team and even give you a highly sensitive task. The goal is to deal with the robot Arhu SparkMaster 5000. You’ll have a long way to travel to the сrazy robot’s lair and on your return you’d better prepare yourself for a surprise. Actually, it turns out that the “Fab Five” picked up your award and pulled up stakes.
8. The Silver Shroud (Fallout 4) – Who are you without the suit?
The Silver Shroud ranks 8th in my top 10 of the most fun side quests in games. When it comes to Fallout series, it’s hard to pick just one particular quest. There were plenty of candidates, given that the first two games are entirely made up of cool content. Next on my list were Come Fly With Me from New Vegas about ghouls riding in rockets and The Superhuman Gambit from Fallout 3 about a struggle between two “superheroes”. But they already achieved due recognition.
Fallout 4 is the most controversial and under appreciated title in the Fallout universe and in part it’s quite fair. But still, there is good to be found in everything. So let’s go with that. At first sight The Silver Shroud is not unusual or special: you walk, talk and kill – in other words, pretty routine. But the best part is the idea of being inside someone else’s skin, and more specifically a superhero one. And this time, you’ll impersonate the legendary Silver Shroud! I mean, literally, wait for information about crimes on radio before showing up to deliver justice. And the whole thing is scored with typical and ridiculous superhero demagoguery. The only thing missing is an epic superhero landing.
7. A Brush With Death (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion) – Best prank ever
A Brush With Death ranks 7th in my top 10 of the most fun side quests in games. In The Elder Scrolls universe the main storyline is just for the record. It’s a lot more fun to wander through and have some fun adventures, getting into trouble again and again. You have plenty of options: for instance catch vampirism or become head of The Thieves Guild. In fact, we’ve got enough fun quests in each part of the series. One need only recall The Fork of Horripilation.
However it is Rythe Lythandas artworks that deeply etched into my mind. The artist created a whole new world in a painting, but cunning Bosmer stole the magic brush and painted over some trolls. Well, fortunately, some turpentine would clear that right up.
6. Epsilon Program (GTA V) – Welcome to my cult
Epsilon Program ranks 6th in my top 10 of the most fun side quests in games. GTA V is a gold mine of crazy side quests of all stripes, so once again I was faced with a tough call. For instance, fighting with glitching aliens, helping an inadequate paparazzi or searching for celebrities’ souvenirs. The last one is particularly amusing: you are helping a weird old couple to bring home some celebrities’ memorabilia. I think my favourite one is the gold tooth, which first you have to beat out of a famous rockstar.
But if I were to choose one quest that stood out as particularly nuts, it would always be the Epsilon Program. The point is a simple one: you are invited to join a cult and perform various absurd assignments. How about covering 8 miles on foot across the desert? Or wearing a wacky blue suit within 10 days? Maybe even donating a nice sum for the organisation? Well, in short, be ready to do anything to reach the so-called enlightenment. And, in the process, your employers are talking nonsense: kind of a parody of scientologists & Co.
And now, for the icing of the cake: at the end you can rob those zealots, by stealing no less than two million dollars.
5. Sit in Judgement (Dragon Age: Inquisition)
Sit in Judgement ranks 5th in my top 10 of the most fun side quests in games. The latest game of Dragon Age series has attracted a good deal of valid criticism and clearly it has big problems with side quests. Another matter is a long quest Sit in Judgement, during which you have to reach a verdict on a range of very diverse issues: to execute, pardon, expel or to reward. So, in short – thumbs up or thumbs down.
However, most of these episodes are rather grim, but there are some openly ironic moments as well. And the most notable among them is the trial of Morvan the Under. He’s accused of attacking Skyhold with a goat. I just think it’s hilarious to listen to the accusations and reach a verdict on this character and Dragon Age: Inquisition has another chance to rehabilitate.
4. Paperchase (Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, DLC: Blood and Wine) – Bureaucratic nightmare
Paperchase ranks 4th in my top 10 of the most fun side quests in games. There’s no doubt that CD Projekt Red has a great sense of humour. Like every other quest refers to famous movies or books: from Game of Thrones and Kill Bill to H.P. Lovecraft and even Karl Marx.
However, I want to single out a particular quest from the DLC: Blood and Wine named Paperchase. Geralt learns that he got a tidy sum stashed out in the Chiafannelli bank. But it’s a strain to get them. You have to queue up for ages, running from one window to the next and even flirt with the cashier. Anyway, you are led through the nine circles of bureaucratic hell.
In the end, however, it turns out that money is already spent. Well, then what’s to stop you from “collecting” some orens from the banker?
3. Cornelius has lost his gold pocket watch (Fallout 2) – A pipe burst
Cornelius has lost his gold pocket watch ranks 3rd in my top 10 of the most fun side quests in games. Compared to the first Fallout, in the second game there is much more place for funny and crazy things. From super mutants family quarrels to a talentless comic in New Reno – once you’re off the main road, the game blooms in all its glory.
One of the quests sends you to search for an ill-tempered old man’s gold pocket watch and immediately baffles you. As soon as things get serious, you shall not escape an explosion. Literally. The thing is, the old man is quite forgetful and dropped his precious down the public toilet. If you want to find it, you’ve got to make it to the cave just under the “crime scene” and blow through one of the walls.
But that’s not all. Right after the blast the city of Modok will be forever coloured in a characteristic shade of brown. If you know what I mean. Be careful with the timer though, otherwise, the wave will come for you too.
2. The Party (Mass Effect: Citadel) – Dancing from sunset on
The Party ranks 2nd in my top 10 of the most fun side quests in games. Basically, the whole DLC could be considered as one big side story. And more importantly a hilariously funny one: every other dialogue option or plotline is a real comedy, which puns on established fan memes. But particularly stood out the set up for the party. And of course the party itself.
During the festivities familial characters opened up from a whole new side: they had fun, joked, argued, trash-talked, competed and even danced. And the next morning, they were lying on the floor, suffering from a hangover. We all had times like that though, don’t we?
After all, this quest is not only funny, but incredibly touching one: this whole story was conceived as a sort of farewell to our favourite characters. And it came out so pointedly and charmingly than I ever thought was possible. Too bad we won’t be seeing the second act and it is unclear what is to become of the franchise in general.
1. Amorous Adventures (Kingdom Come: Deliverance) – Plague of passion
Amorous Adventures has the honour to chair my top 10 of the most fun side quests in games. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is probably one of the few RPGs which is “man enough” to go toe-to-toe with such heavyweights like The Witcher or Fallout regarding memorable side quests. Thus, I was once again faced with a hard choice. I felt like a kid in a candy store: on the one hand you’ve got a hilarious night out with the priest in Uzhitz and a satanic party deep in the woods, and on the other – charlatan’s apprentice daily grind and unforgettable adventures with Sir Hans Capon.
In the end my choice fell on Amorous Adventures featuring our unrivalled Sir Hans. And this time the ardent nobleman asks Henry to help him to win the heart of the beautiful butcher’s daughter Karolina. Social differences don’t bother him: fooly conventions won’t be an obstacle to love.
In doing so, he doesn’t make it easy. Banal love declarations are not his style. Let’s just take a look at Sir Hans long con: to present her with a family heirloom and then to conquer her with romantic poetry, without forgetting some magic potion.
Naturally, things are not going as planned: Sir Hans loses his precious family necklace at dice and that’s Henry’s job to find it and return to its rightful owner. The notorious merchant nicknamed “Charlatan” refuses to sell the potion until you get some fishy job done. Sir Hans is not good at poetry, so once again you are forced to take matters into our own hands. This means you need to find a poetry book, then you have a bunch of lines to learn and finally you should act as a good prompter. Love requires sacrifice.