12 of the best mini-games of all time: fishing for Zelda, Gwent and more

Blade Runner is available from GOG (PC)

Project Gotham Racing 2 (2003)

Geometry wars

An extremely popular racing game and an Xbox exclusive, Project Gotham Racing 2 landed in 2003. I spent weeks playing this, in part because there was a race in my hometown of Edinburgh. It wasn’t until a friend told me to go to the garage and try out the arcade cabinet that I discovered Geometry wars. It was a delightfully intense and chaotic top-down multi-directional shooter that reminded me of Robotron. I was addicted.

Geometry wars was popular enough to spawn a series, including a standalone sequel Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved on Xbox 360 and To smoke (PC). Later versions also landed on Nintendo and PlayStation consoles.

Final Fantasy X (2001) and Final Fantasy VIII (1999)

Blitzball and triple triad

Photography: Square

Few game series can match the epic scale of Final fantasy, which hosts a multitude of mini-games. Two of the best are Blitzball and Triple Triad. Blitzball is a bizarre, complex, full contact underwater sport that is extremely popular in Final Fantasy X. Choose to play and it’s easy to get obsessed with building the ultimate team to win tournaments.

Triple Triad is a strategic card game that first appeared in Final Fantasy VIII. It’s easy to understand, but building a good deck takes time and there’s enough strategic depth to hang in there. One of the other great things about Triple Triad is that you can challenge almost any NPC in the world to one game.

Driver (1999)

Survival cop hunt

This action-packed driving game for the original PlayStation has you cast as undercover cop John Tanner and tasked you with infiltrating a crime syndicate while posing as the ultimate pilot of your getaway. If you managed to get past the incredibly frustrating tutorial and get out of the parking lot, it has pushed the boundaries with expansive maps covering Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.

When playing as Tanner, you have the option to select different driving modes that work like mini-games, like checkpoint races. But Survival was the band’s choice for me. Vanity is simple: It challenged you to stay alive for as long as possible, as an endless supply of police cars tried to knock you off the road.

Fallout 4 (2015)

Pip-Boy Terminal Hacking Application

Photography: Bethesda

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