One of the great things about gaming, and a key thing that separates it from other popular mediums, is that players get a chance to really explore the setting. Because of this, video games are often jam-packed with secrets to discover, ranging from the tiniest Easter egg to entire side-games.
Secret levels have existed in gaming for decades. There was once a time when just about every popular shooter was guaranteed to ship with at least one secret area in each zone. Whether accessed using special jumping techniques, or just by delving down a maze of corridors, these hidden zones strongly encouraged exploration in a time when navigating a 3D virtual world was a novelty.
The prospect of an undiscovered secret area or level has enthralled gamers for decades, often prompting playground rumours and online discussions. On occasion, a secret area has existed only in the minds of the fans, with no such place actually existing in the first place. When developers are extra sneaky, there can even be hidden levels that take years for players to discover.
This list takes a look at ten brilliant secret areas that were in some of your favourite games. In many of these cases, there's a good chance you never even knew of their existence! From seedy gentleman's clubs to worlds hidden inside paintings, here's a selection of some of the best secrets gaming has to offer!