Question Weekend Question: What game has the best explosions?

PCG Jody

Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
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I ask the PCG staff a regular Weekend Question and post the answers on the site. If you'd like to throw in an answer here, I'll squeeze the best into the finished article!

This week's question is: What game has the best explosions?

A misspent childhood nuking all of the lemmings in Lemmings will give you a taste for videogame explosions that can last a lifetime, and before you know it you're watching compilations of nukes going off in Garry's Mod. Which big bangs are the best? Are you a fan of Mad Max's cars and firebombs, Divinity: Original Sin's oil barrels, a whole dang star going nova in Outer Wilds, or something even bigger?
 

Frindis

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Jan 14, 2020
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Oh, explosions you say. Well, there can be only one and that is Worms Armageddon! It just got every explosion you could ever want. Everything from a simple airstrike to the beloved holy hand grenade, super sheep, and straight up to the Big Bada Boom , the armageddon which is basically humongous asteroids falling from the sky and obliterating anything not dug deep enough. It got more explosions than all the explosions in all the games combined..and then some!
 

Frindis

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Jan 14, 2020
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Just start playing Minecraft with my nephews @Pifanjr Have not played for roughly eight years and last time I basically played a lot of party games, but not really entering the Minecraft world. I built my first house in Minecraft some days ago and it looks like a big squared block of dirt. As one guy in the realm commented: "what is that awful thing on top of the tree over there?" My nephew's answer: "Oh, that is my uncle building his house". So, yeah...got some work ahead of me :D
 
Jan 17, 2020
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Just start playing Minecraft with my nephews @Pifanjr Have not played for roughly eight years and last time I basically played a lot of party games, but not really entering the Minecraft world. I built my first house in Minecraft some days ago and it looks like a big squared block of dirt. As one guy in the realm commented: "what is that awful thing on top of the tree over there?" My nephew's answer: "Oh, that is my uncle building his house". So, yeah...got some work ahead of me :D
It's called MineCraft, not MineCraftBuild, and that's how I've always played the game. I mine and I craft and let other players use the resources I've collected to actually build stuff.
 
Apr 25, 2020
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A good explosion should give a sense of satisfaction, that is probably explained best by Sigmund Freud. To me the greatest explosions follow a precision shot on a fuel tank. I know Just Cause is famous for them, but I'd say Mad Max (2015) had the best. That whole world was just crawling with things ready to explode.
 
Jun 26, 2020
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Time to let my fanboy shine and say Divinity Original Sin 2. Stacking oil barrels and sending a spark to let the explosions fly is a time consuming endeavor but a worthwhile one. Watching how far you can let that fire explode is pretty amusing.

GTA 5 can also be pretty satisfying, just jump on a highway and commence with the mayhem and you can get some nice chain reactions going.
 
Jan 14, 2020
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They aren't the "best" explosions by any stretch, as there's no fireball, but some of my favorite explosions have been in Age of Empires 2 & 3. There's just something satisfying about seeing your Bombard Cannon or Cannon Galleon fire a solitary cannonball and then watch as a few seconds later an enemy barracks explodes and collapses into a hundred little bits of wood and brick.
 
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McStabStab

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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Mad Max and Just Cause have the best explosions. I think a deeper requirement than the explosion looking cool is how good it sounds. The sound designers are the ones who make you FEEL it.
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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The best explosions for their time would be in the arcade Missile Command game. Not only were they great looking (compared to Space Invaders or Asteroids), missiles destroyed in the explosion also exploded, causing chain reactions! For today, the Just Cause series.
 
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Aug 25, 2020
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Game series:
I join the Just Cause boomwagon.

Game:
Any ol' game has the ol' boom-boom, right? Yeah, ol' yawn.
But what game has Bee Bombs? Yes, bombs which stick around for a while were invented in 10,000 BC—not for them the boring modern 'Boom, I'm done', those were the days of 'Hey that was fun, let's go boom this other guy too'! Far Cry Primal beats the buzzsaw any ol' day!.

Favs to watch:
Clockner's Far Cry 3 /4 videos on YouTube—he likes to clear the last guy in an outpost by attaching a few explosives to a truck, detonating, and watching it curve thru the air over the buildings to land on the poor ol' bad guy. Never gets old!

Fav I did:
I think it was Far Cry 3, one of those 'I wonder if…' things which worked.
Small side road up a little hill off a main bad guy patrol road. Drove a truck up there, turned it around, attached C4, climbed in.
Patrol comes back around, press accelerator, jump out, press detonate key. Two bad guy technicals jump for joy! :D

Not remotely impressive, but for some reason I get a perverse pleasure in Crysis from popping the little gas cans on the back of trucks. Not a big boom or anything, just … I probably need help :(
 

Sarafan

Community Contributor
Jan 14, 2020
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I'd say Just Cause (probably the third one), but since so many people mentioned it, I'll pick Quake Champions. Why? While rocket explosions aren't great by themselves, everything changes when you directly hit another player. The game has one of the best gore systems in history. I don't have to mention what's the effect of a rocket hitting another player. If you think that most of the modern online shooters are too polite, check the carnage in Quake Champions!
 
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Jan 17, 2020
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Fav I did:
I think it was Far Cry 3, one of those 'I wonder if…' things which worked.
Small side road up a little hill off a main bad guy patrol road. Drove a truck up there, turned it around, attached C4, climbed in.
Patrol comes back around, press accelerator, jump out, press detonate key. Two bad guy technicals jump for joy! :D
This reminds me of Mercenaries 2. Attach a cluster bomb beacon to a car, drive it full speed towards a ramp pointed at an enemy base and jump out at the last second, then watch as the entire base blows up.
 
Jun 26, 2020
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This reminds me of Mercenaries 2. Attach a cluster bomb beacon to a car, drive it full speed towards a ramp pointed at an enemy base and jump out at the last second, then watch as the entire base blows up.
I totally forgot about that game, the mercenaries games had excellent explosions. Maybe not so visually, but functionally they were great.
 
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Feb 4, 2021
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Just Cause has done a great job when it comes to explosions in any game. The sheer joy of being able to blow almost everything up is insane.
 

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