10 Video Games That Are Better When You Break Them

Zelda has become a sandbox of wonderful nonsense.

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild

Obviously, the thing that sets gaming apart from other, more passive forms of entertainment is the ability to fully interact with its physics, tools and code.

You can't step into a book or a movie and effect change on the world. For developers, that's what making a game is all about: it needs to be able to give the player the feeling of power and an amount of agency, without everything unravelling when they start thinking outside the box.

And let's not kid ourselves, people will start experimenting with the possibilities and the rules of a world no matter how interesting it otherwise is. It's human curiosity and ingenuity that has led to a great many things... including sailing over Hyrule on a rock, becoming outer space's richest man in minutes and developing a technique that makes a wacky party game into a genuine competitive powerhouse.

The titles on this list are the types where abusing their systems and mechanics has led to unexpectedly awesome experiences. Whilst the games themselves are all good as they are, they're just a whole other level of enjoyable when you start pulling them apart.

10. Final Fantasy VIII

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild
Square Enix

Unlike other role-playing games, Final Fantasy VIII's characters don't get stronger as they level up. The system purely exists as a way for the game to measure and increase the strength of the enemies around you. As weird as that sounds, the idea is that players can't over-level to overcome a challenge but it is something that turns many players off from the game.

In the long-run it's better to keep your levels low and increase stats by "junctioning" high numbers of one-use magic spells to characters.

Thankfully, the game has several abusable systems which turns the concept totally topsy-turvy. Cards from FF8's Triple Triad minigame can be turned into items which are turned into spells. Through dedicated card collecting it's possible for Squall to get swole with minimal lifting of his gunblade.

This brings us to the final hurdle for over-powering which is the early-game boss fight against the hulking spider-mech known as X-ATM092. The game actually expects players to run away from this fight but at this point, it is possible to kill it (in one hit, no less) if Squall's strength stat is high enough.

Incredibly, this boss can actually be farmed. Since bosses in FF8 give no experience and only a tonne of AP for strengthening your Guardian Force summon creatures, this once formidable foe is a shortcut to power.


The Red Mage of WhatCulture. Very long hair. She/they.