When it comes to making a video game that is a hit critically with the pundits and commercially with the fans, but also one that keeps players engaged for hundreds of hours after that first purchase, the formula looks pretty straightforward. An engaging storyline, smooth mechanics, interesting characters and engaging gameplay are naturally all vital, but there's one feature in the world of gaming that still possesses the ability to suck out more hours in a gamer than any main storyline: good minigames.
Often overlooked as small servings stacked on the side of a bigger dish, either through gimmicky games or extra bits of content developers had the time to throw in as a sort of bonus to players, minigames can be some of the most addictive and rewarding parts of a franchise when stumbled upon by the right players.
There's something that doesn't seem quite right about how something so small can pull in so much of a gamer's time, usually at the expense of what the developers actually spent all their time invested in, but that's the sort of thing that happens when there are Chaos to be raised or classic tabletops to be played...
10. Motor Kombat - Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
The mid-2000s were a golden age for gaming, with the heyday of the PS2 allowing for some seriously creative, albeit somewhat wacky, titles to be released over the years. Mortal Kombat's seventh edition, Armageddon, is one such game, being released for the PS2 and Xbox in October 2006 and then for the Nintendo Wii in May 2007.
As the final game in the original Mortal Kombat storyline, Armageddon pulled out all the stops to make this the biggest game the franchise had ever produced. All the characters from the previous games in the series were playable, the ending of the Mortal Kombat universe could be decided by the player and a plethora of new game modes were also introduced.
And though it didn't scoop up the level of praise something like Konquest garnered, the 'Motor Kombat' minigame was a fun addition that anyone could hop on and invest a few dozen hours into. Players would be able to take control of a number of characters from the game who, complete with their oversized heads and surprising amount of kart variety that Sonic Racers would be proud of, would take to a series of Mario Kart-esque tracks and race away.
The minigame was surprisingly well polished for something so wildly against the grain for the franchise, and the wide variety of power ups gave the whole mode a crazy party feel that's always fun to play with.