The Best Minigames and Side Missions From Video Game History

Video games have evolved in many ways over the years. They’ve got bigger, they’ve got more complex, and they’ve been given better graphics. Modern games also include multiplayer modes, enjoy an endless stream of updates that introduce new features, and can be played on the go through smartphones and tablets. 

Another thing we enjoy in modern titles is the minigame, a side quest that usually has little or no bearing on the outcome of the main game but uses the same characters and functionality. They were only made possible after the introduction of the Compact Disc to the gaming world in the 1990s as, before then, cartridges and floppy discs didn’t contain enough space for the additional code. 

Not all minigames and side missions are created equally though. Sonic Adventure’s “Fishing With Big” minigame was a tedious inconvenience on the path to completing the game, while some of these other minigames provided hours of fun. 

Fallout 4: Red Menace

In more recent years, developers have been creating a sort of video game inception by adding minigames that mimic a video game console being played by the character. One of these is Fallout 4: Red Menace which features a device called the “Pip Boy”, a form of personal computer/smartphone. 

As well as more important tasks, the Pip Boy can be used to play games. One of these is Red Menace, a 2D platformer game that bears a striking resemblance to Nintendo’s Donkey Kong. It’s a great game to enjoy for a few minutes in between completing other tasks in the game. 

Grand Theft Auto Online: Casino

After the original slot machine was invented in the 19th century, the format has evolved a lot. Gone are the mechanical “one-armed bandit” machines seen in the 20th century, replaced with entirely digital devices known as video slots that offer bonus games and improved graphics. 

Being digital also allows slot games to be available online through casino websites and mobile apps. It gives slot creators the chance to be creative with new, unique game ideas and themes, with everything from the cowboy-themed Wild Draw Saloon to the Ancient Egyptian-themed Pharaoh’s Loot. 

Seeing the popularity of these video slots, Rockstar Games, the creators of Grand Theft Auto, decided to include the feature in their GTA Online world. 

The Grand Theft Auto franchise is packed with great minigames and side missions; even the infuriatingly long ones like the 3D-era vehicle missions were still fun to play. In 2004, San Andreas took the series to a whole new level, with many more minigames that had ever been included before, including video game consoles inside the game that you could play on. 

However, few have proved to be as popular as the casino games, particularly since the Diamond Casino & Resort update was released for GTA Online in mid-2019.

Shenmue: Forklift Racing

Shenmue for the Sega Dreamcast was cutting edge for its time, creating an open-world 3D environment that combined brawling, role-playing, and life simulation elements. It also packed in dozens of minigames, the best of which involved forklift racing.