In a market where game developers are constantly trying to outdo each other with the vastness of their in-game open worlds and the length of their action-packed plotlines, sometimes the side tasks are what makes a title truly stand out.
Rather than just being a distraction from the main action, truly great minigames have the ability to bolster the overall gameplay and add layers of entertainment. Some minigames are worse than others, while some are good enough to be considered the highlights of the game you can find them in – need we mention Hearthstone and Gent’s original incarnations? Without further ado, here are the best minigames in gaming history.
1. Resident Evil 4: The Mercenaries
Few games in the now-sprawling Resident Evil series have ever been able to compare to the legendary 2005 release, set in a secluded Spanish village. While the main plot will haunt you for years after, it is the “Mercenaries” minigame that got people talking within minutes of the game’s original release. In it, you get to play as any of the characters in the main game, with your challenge being to complete an increasingly creative set of zombie-killing targets. This is one minigame you can play for hours.
2. Yakuza 6: Club Sega
When it comes to minigames, the Yakuza series gives everyone else a run for their money. In the sixth installment, there are quite literally too many minigames to choose from, ranging from running a cat cafe to chatting to virtual strangers via webcam. However, their most memorable minigame goes by the name of Club Sega, which is the name of a Japanese-style arcade you can enter with your character. Once there you can play all of Sega’s classic arcade games via your PS4 controller, complete with those nostalgia-inducing ’90s soundtracks.
3. Red Dead Redemption: Blackjack
While Rockstar is no stranger to the art of the perfect minigame, it was the table card games available in RDR that most players remember fondly. While strolling into a saloon and sitting down to play blackjack for hours on end may seem pretty straightforward, this version managed to capture all the tension and excitement that makes people flock to platforms like Betfair Blackjack to continue playing their favourite casino card games online. While you couldn’t win any real money in Red Dead Redemption, the gameplay style always managed to make the stakes feel high.
4. Saints Row: Insurance Fraud
The best-selling Saints Row series always managed to tickle our funny bones. This neon-drenched absurdist parody of gang culture is chock-full of hilarious minigames, but none were as side-splittingly hilarious as Insurance Fraud. The premise is pretty simple: throw yourself in front of a moving vehicle and try to receive as much damage as possible to maximize your insurance claim. Finding an advantageous spot to dive in front of a 16-wheeler is always hilarious, whilst the rants and raves from the unfortunate driver are creatively obscene. This one holds a special place in our hearts.
A good minigame is often an indicator of how much effort a game developer puts into their product. All of these examples highlight just how much detail these iconic video games have been invested with, which is why you need to (re)play them today.