It's finally (almost here): after years of torturous waiting, Obsidian's South Park RPG The Stick of Truth is at long last being released. Over at Gamespot they've put together a short list of episodes you should watch to prepare for the game, whose hundreds of pages long-script written by showrunners Trey Parker and Matt Stone is sure to be crammed with enough in-jokes to make one's head explode.

The episodes mentioned range from the show's rather surreal beginnings to its more pop-culturally contemporary critiques – the "Black Friday" Game of Thrones trilogy is particularly wonderful – but no list can arguably be complete without some of the following episodes.

S3E14: The Red Badge Of Gayness - Not happy with the results of South Park's annual Civil War re-enactment, Cartman leads the town's confederate re-enactors on a drunken march from across the South in order to change history. One of earliest episodes featuring the kids playing, this one is hysterical for Cartman's Robert E. Lee personification alone.

S4E17: A Very Crappy Christmas - Mr. Hankey's gotten married and started a family and his wife is an out of control drunk. We've already seen callbacks to this in the Stick of Truth clips released.

S5E4: Scott Tenorman Must Die - The Radiohead references are little dated but Cartman feeding his arch-rival his own parents is priceless (as is wearing Tenorman's pubes on his face).

S5E8: Towelie - Parker and Stone created Towlie to make fun of the sheer amount of merchandising South Park was exploited for at the time. Cartman breaks the fourth wall in the last scene of the episode by telling the talking towel that he's the worst character ever. "I know," says Towelie. (Also expect some Stick of Truth callbacks to evil villains explaining plans the kids aren't interested in, which started here.)

S6E9: Free Hat - Lucas and Spielberg and a cool island song. That is all.

S6E13: The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers – One of the boys' best playtime adventures, maybe only second to the Black Friday GoT trilogy.

S6E14: The Death Camp Of Tolerance - This is the first appearance of Mr. Slave and Lemmiwinks, the class gerbil, who must escape from, uh, inside Mr. Slave's rectum in a parody of the vintage animated Hobbit film. It would be a crime if the Frog Prince, Sparrow King and Catatafish don't make an appearance in Stick of Truth.

S6E17: Red Sleigh Down - South Park christmas episode are always incredible, and this one contains one of Jesus' best appearances.

S7E15: Christmas In Canada – The name says it all. One of the best Canada-related episodes.

S8E1: Fun With Weapons - The anime episode, and yet another adventure episode for the boys. This one will have callbacks in Stick of Truth.

S8E12: Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset - Mr. Slave has a whore-off with Paris Hilton. Callbacks to Lemmiwinks.

S8E14: Woodland Critter Christmas - Stan runs afoul of some very innocent-looking woodland critters trying to witness a holiday miracle. Another fantastic Christmas-themed episode. Expect them to make a Stick of Truth appearance somewhere.

S9E11: Ginger Kids - Cartman wakes up one day to find that he's a ginger. Plans for cleansing ensue.

S10E08: Make Love, Not Warcraft - The boys must band together to kill a griefer in WoW. You've probably seen this one.

S11E10-12: Imaginationland – Just go watch this one. Too many callbacks.

S12E03: Major Boobage - Kenny's Heavy Metal parody could easily show up in some form in Stick of Truth.

S12E7: Super Fun Time – Mr. Garrison's class is forced to take a field trip to a living history museum where the actors refuse to break character, even when the museum is taken over by Die Hard-style thieves. One of the most absurd episodes in recent memory.

S13E02: The Coon - The boys play superheroes in Dark Knight-esque fashion.

S14E11-13: The Coon Returns – Probably South Park's second best trilogy, involving Cthulu and BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident.

S15: Human CentiPad – Kyle becomes a victim of Apple's horrible user agreement laws.

S15E10: Bass To Mouth - Lemmiwinks and his animal companions make their triumphant return to stop Wikileaks.

S15E13: A History Channel Thanksgiving – The name says it all.

S16E03: Faith Hilling - South Park on memes. Probably even more relevant given the spread of gif culture and Reddit.

Of course there's a million other references and such that will probably make it into Stick of Truth, but if you don't marathon this list you're gonna have bad time. Y'know, comparatively.

South Park episodes can be streamed for free at South Park Studios.

[Via Gamespot]