4. Spongebob Squarepants
Remarkable though it may seem, this game might very well be the most critically revered game on our list. Relative to Spongebob’s THIRTY or so distinct games, ranging from mediocre to borderline theft, Battle for Bikini Bottom sits at a cozy 71 on Metacrtic. And good lord, those User Reviews are ADORABLE!
But that’s not why you’re here.
Why did it take until the PS2 to see Spongebob’s eternally earwormy intro recreated in a video game? More importantly for you Squarepants Superfans/non discerning gamers, why are you only now seeing this for the first time?! Well, this “opening” won’t win any awards for authenticity since it all takes place inside the Krusty Krab, but it does have the unique distinction of being the most difficult entry to ever see because it’s actually an alternate ending to the game. Sure, any pube-less GameCuber can cakewalk through Battle for Bikini Bottom’s critical path, but only a truly 1337 $~MLG~$ Spongebobber with an infuriating amount of free time has what it takes to seek out the 100+ hidden socks and Golden Spatulas required to look upon this unlockable ending/intro.
3. Powerpuff Girls
Glory be! Damned if this animated intro, whether on TV or a PlayStation 1, doesn’t hold up as better than the rest of our bunch. I’ll personally never tire of the opening nor it’s theme music, so with Emmy Award-winning Powerpuff Girls back on the airwaves after over a decade, what better time to revisit it?!
Call it crude if you like, but I think Craig McCracken’s minimalist style adapts pretty well on twenty-year-old console architecture. Better still, the original artist behind the intro for Powerpuff Girls: Chemical X-traction uploaded the raw, uncompressed version of this opening, so if you’ve ever wanted to see the above footage REMASTERED in glorious 480p, you need only click here.
2. South Park
There’s a whole lot of damning evidence in that image above that proves we’re looking at an outrageously ancient game, but can you guess which one of these classic characters was my favorite?! No, it’s not Chef, who’s been dead onscreen and gone for a decade (as we recently discussed on Thirty Twenty Ten), but you’re close. It’s fucking Pip, who while one of the primary cast members featured above, Trey, Matt, myself and all of you grew bored with almost fifteen years ago.
The first South Park game for PS1 and Nintendo 64 is violently abysmal, but I can’t help but love this wonderfully enhanced little reenactment courtesy of Acclaim and late 90s 3D technology. But no matter how much this particular intro warms my heart, it can’t be denied there have been like eight new South Park openings since this one. Kinda breaks my heart to think a teenaged South Park fan could watch the above video and not even recognize it. Whatever. Now you know, Skyler.
I’m almost too old (and far more of a Ren & Stimpy fan), but damned if I don’t have a baby head-sized soft spot for The Rats of Rug! Nothing embodies gloriously garish 90s animation more than the Rugrats, so thank God Nickelodeon doubled down on that spirit and immortalized the iconic Nicktoons intro on a PS1.
I don’t know what more to say, because all of you have undoubtedly played and loved 1998’s Rugrats: Search for Reptar, so for me to try and lump hack praise upon it is like saying Citizen Kane is “pretty good.” I kid! It’s terrible! But I find the whole intro here an absolute delight. Plus it pretty much inspired this whole piece. Watch it over and over like I’ve done for the last year on our YouTube channel. There are many GIFable moments contained within, however, if you wanna see the greatest rugrats GIF of all time, we’ve got you covered there too.
— Laser Time (@LaserTimeShow) September 9, 2015
[UPDATE: According to our Facebook, it looks as if we missed a big one, Dragon Ball Z’s US intro as rendered through Dragon Ball Z Budokai! Thanks, Phillip!]
Like stupid articles and podcasts about classic animation?! Be sure to check out Weird Product Placement in Animated Films, or 7 Cartoons That Mercilessly Mocked Other Cartoons, or maybe our exhaustive expose on Adult Jokes in Kids Cartoons, or perhaps The Top 10 Animated Films Based on TV Cartoons and possibly our follow-up The Worst Animated Movies Based on TV Cartoons. Too many plugs?