Everyone loves video games. What’s better than escaping into your own virtual reality for a few hours a day? The very best video games are those who keep things interesting by varying up the gameplay.
Of course, a watertight main quest line is important but elite game developers understand that players sometimes want to enjoy some lower stakes action. We are talking about mini games. Those charming, random bits of the adventure that never affect the storyline in any meaningful way – but we still keep flocking back to them time after time.
Mini games are not easy to get right. However, these three below will game down in history as some of the best ever.
Legend of Zelda – Fishing
When Legend of Zelda first hit the Gameboy Colour back in 1993 it changed the video game industry forever. With its intuitive gameplay, charming storyline and adorable main characters, it soon became a favourite of children and adults alike. Since its first incarnation, Zelda has been remade and remastered countless times with the latest iteration being released in 2019.
Throughout this entire period, one constant has remained – the fishing mini game. At first glance, virtual fishing really should not be that interesting. It involves a lot of waiting around, fiddling with gameplay mechanics and a fairly underwhelming payoff. However, in Zelda, it works perfectly.
The catchy music which you only hear when playing the mini-game definitely plays a role in bringing you back time after time and the sense of accomplishment you get after a big haul of fish is also addictive.
Red Dead Redemption – Texas Hold’em
What’s the only thing better than online poker? Playing Texas Hold’em in the Wild West of course. Red Dead Redemption offers you the chance to do exactly that. In the game, you play as John Marsden, a former outlaw trying to deal with some business from his past so he can get back to his family.
The main storyline, set pieces and lively set of characters are all exceptional. What makes the game even better is its long list of mini games. Pistol duels, knife games and breaking in horses are all available but none are as good as Texas Hold’em.
There are tens of different locations dotted around the map that offer this service and scoring a big win is challenging but extremely satisfying at the same time.
Final Fantasy VIII – Card Game
Final Fantasy is one of the biggest names in the video game industry. It has produced countless titles and continues to be a favourite in its native Japan and internationally.
Widely considered the best FF game ever made, Final Fantasy VIII earned a lot of praise for its innovative Triple Triad card-based mini game.
Played on a three-by-three square grid, it is a bit like Top Trumps with a mysterious twist. Monsters, bosses and other characters from the game are all available in card form and collecting all the cards requires the character to go on several interesting side quests.