Since its quick rise to fame in the late ’90s, becoming a pop culture mainstay for decades to come, there have been a seemingly countless number of SpongeBob SquarePants video games dedicated to the iconic yellow goofy goober himself. Although many of these games find it difficult to do the show complete justice, that doesn’t mean they weren’t surprisingly good fun in the eyes of those who played them.
Now that the reviews of SpongeBob SquarePants: Cosmic Shake are in after its release on January 31, fans have been given a glimpse at the bright future in store for all the SpongeBob games that will follow. But when it comes to both entertainment and gameplay, which are the best of all the square sponge’s titles released so far?
10 SpongeBob SquarePants: The Yellow Avenger (2005)
In SpongeBob SquarePants: The Yellow Avenger, SpongeBob lives his dream of acquiring the powers of his and Patrick’s favorite superheroes. Tasked with defeating villainous foes like the Atomic Flounder and Man Ray, SpongeBob must bypass obstacles in order to save the citizens of Bikini Bottom.
Any loyal fan of the show knows that some of the greatest SpongeBob SquarePants episodes include the heroic duo Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, showcasing their shenanigans (or struggles) alongside their biggest, spongy fan. The Nintendo DS side-scrolling platformer challenges the player to obtain specific items and bring them to another area to solve problems, and they are sometimes met with spiky chasms that require perfect timing to get across unscathed. Unfortunately, the game can feel like a chore after a while because of backtracking and the lack of direction given while trying to find specific items.
9 SpongeBob’s Atlantis SquarePantis (2007)
SpongeBob’s Atlantis SquarePantis is an interesting title for several reasons, namely because its two ports were constructed by different developers. While developer Altron made the version for handhelds (Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS), Blitz Games created it for the Wii and PS2.
One of the most memorable TV musical episodes due to how weird it was, “Atlantis SquarePantis” was the obvious inspiration for the game. The title had enjoyable mechanics that corresponded with each character’s unique skill set, like Mr. Krabs sucking up money and using it against enemies. It fell victim to levels that lacked inventiveness, but made up for this with unique situations, like being able to zap Atlantis as Plankton. Multiplayer mode even allowed two players to each control a character while completing the story, something that fans wish to see more often.
8 SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature From The Krusty Krab (2006)
Creature From The Krusty Krab follows SpongeBob, Patrick, and Plankton as they fight through their nightmares in a 3D platforming adventure like no other. While going through these strange SpongeBob SquarePants characters’ even weirder dreams, there are racing segments in which the player must ride over pits and even some flying levels to take down huge, evil monsters.
Like Atlantis SquarPantis, Blitz Games developed the non-handheld versions, while WayForward Technologies and AWE Games did the Nintendo DS and PC ports. Creature From The Krusty Krab included a slew of gameplay types, with unique designs that embodied the sleeping character’s creepy nightmares and heroic dreams, each of them taking turns as playable heroes. Having three different endings for each character was a nice touch, along with solid motion controls and combo moves that made mini-games (as well as the Arcade mode) a blast.
7 SpongeBob’s Truth Or Square (2009)
As one of the best kids’ cartoons from the 2000s, it’s hard to forget the confusing “Truth Or Square” special that aired in 2009 or the game that followed suit. SpongeBob’s Truth Or Square lets players travel through SpongeBob’s memories to visit locations like the Salty Spitoon and Jellyfish Fields as they search for the missing Krabby Patty secret formula, just in time for the restaurant’s anniversary.
Throughout 10 levels, SpongeBob can morph into objects or soak up water to squirt at Plankton’s robots, using abilities like Propeller Spin and Spatula Slam. These creative ways of attacking gave the game charm that perfectly aligned with the entertaining elements of the show. By using coins, SpongeBob’s outfit and home furniture could even be upgraded. Furthermore, the co-op mode made it possible for friends to play as Plankton or SpongBob while solving puzzles to unlock new areas and conquer strong monstrosities.
6 SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge Of The Flying Dutchman (2002)
Mist fans will never forget the Flying Dutchman from one of SpongeBob SquarePants‘ scariest episodes, “Shanghaied,” which holds many similarities with the plot of SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman. Developed by Vicarious Visions and BigSky Interactive, the platformer focused on SpongeBob striving to take down the ghostly menace and escape a life of servitude.
Made for Game Boy Advance, GameCube, and PS2, the game is great at allowing the player to explore various areas while finding ways to weaken the Flying Dutchman. To do so, players can choose a customizable party of the usual selection of SpongeBob characters, each holding a cool key skill to use against the ghoul. Players also need to complete tasks for the citizens of Bikini Bottom and collect neat gadgets within levels, like Sandy’s Treedome, to strengthen their abilities.
5 Drawn To Life: SpongeBob Squarepants Edition (2008)
Anything but relaxing, the puzzle-platformer game Drawn To Life: SpongeBob SquarePants Edition utilized the episode “Frankendoodle” to create a 2D side-scrolling platformer reliant on the player’s drawings. Released for the Wii but an absolute hit on the Nintendo DS due to the use of the handheld’s stylus, the goal of the game is to defeat DoodleBob while playing as a doodle-Patrick.
In terms of customization, the sky is the limit, since players can scribble up their own foes, platforms, allies, and more. These details made it perfect for creative (or even crude) people and made fixing the ink blotches in each level riveting. There are also collectible tokens that are used to upgrade the player’s handcrafted starfish sketch. The game’s distinct, innovative feel is what makes it one of SpongeBob’s best games.
4 SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! (2005)
SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! is a game that every SpongeBob fan should play once. Seemingly inspired by the Mario Party game series, this title is made up of super fun and whimsical multiplayer mini-games to enjoy with friends. Developed by THQ’s Australia Studio for Xbox, PS2, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and PC, its graphics still hold up quite well to this day.
Going head-to-head, players partake in 30 nautical nonsense mini-games, like racing each other to make meals at the Krusty Krab, playing music, and fishing, in hopes of being chosen for a role in a “Mermaidman and BarnacleBoy” TV release. On top of this, players can customize episodes in the Director feature, adding even more variety to the gameplay while perfectly mimicking the humor and style of the TV show.
3 SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake (2023)
When SpongeBob and Patrick attain a magical wish-granting Mermaid’s Tears Bubbles, they grant everyone’s wishes to the point of tearing the fabric of the universe. Filled with some of SpongeBob and Patrick’s funniest moments, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake dares to be just as laughter-inducing as its predecessor. The game can be played on the Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, or PC.
To save Bikini Bottom and its inhabitants, the dynamic duo must listen to a mermaid’s directions and leap through interdimensional portals to the spectacular Wishworlds. Players must compete against enemies, find their friends, and gather magic jelly to mend the universe back together. The game’s imaginative game mechanics make each level special, turning into a 2D side-scroller at some points while letting characters transform into bizarre things at others. Most of all, playing the game feels like having a front-row seat at a well-made SpongeBob special.
2 The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004)
Arguably one of the best games based on a cartoon movie, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie game is built of 18 levels that just about mirror the events from the movie to a T. The game was developed by three different studios for every sixth-generation video game console and was ironically released weeks before the movie. Playing as SpongeBob and Patrick, players adventure across a series of platforming levels to find King Neptune’s stolen crown and save Bikini Bottom.
While journeying about levels, Goofy Goober Tokens and Manliness points are collected to use towards upgrading abilities like health or SpongeBob’s Karate Spin attack. However, the best part of the game is the driving platform stages, where players get to control the Krabby Patty vehicle from the movie and slide using a bathtub. These levels are as smooth and fun as they are challenging, with humor oozing from every corner of the game.
1 SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated (2020)
One of the best feel-good games of 2020, fans couldn’t contain themselves when SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated was announced, 17 years after the original title was released on the GameCube. On every eighth-generation console, SpongeBob and Patrick go on an adventure to stop Plankton’s reign over Bikini Bottom by destroying robots and collecting socks to unlock different areas.
Like Super Mario 64 but with SpongeBob, the gameplay is a perfect example of a classic 3D platformer with an overwhelming amount of variety in each level and charming collectibles that are a testament to how lovingly crafted the title was back in 2003. Retaining the TV show’s outlandish comedy style and vibrant landscapes, the best friends forever are gifted diverse move-sets (as well as weapons) that effortlessly fit their personalities.
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