A video game demo is something of a rarity in this day and age, but when I was but a wee lad, they were all the rage.
Spying a plastic case on the front of a gaming magazine was basically an advert saying "pick me up pal as we're gonna have a great time", and it's true that the snippets of games on those discs really did provide hours and hours of free entertainment.
A demo gives you an insight into a game you're interested in just as much as it does potentially sell you on an idea you had no clue you even wanted, and it was a challenge to the developer to put their best foot forward and showcase why their product was worthy of our time and our money.
In fact, some developers and publishers went one step further, not only providing players with a vertical slice of gameplay, but doing so in a way that made the demos self-contained, essential to the plot, or something completely unique that complimented the title overall.
Either way, we're grateful that these demos went above and beyond.
8. Dead Rising: Case Zero
While it might be cheating a little bit to include a demo that fans actually had to pay for, there's no denying that the Dead Rising 2 standalone content, "Case Zero" and "Case West" weren't utterly brilliant slices of gameplay. Set before the events of the second game, "Case Zero" especially held a lot of weight as it was the first chance players had to get to grips with the new mechanics of the upcoming title.
The ability to craft combo weapons was a huge improvement to the overall gameplay of the Dead Rising franchise, and the introduction to Katey's infection finally gave the timed nature of events carry more meaning. Now it wasn't just a race against time that felt arbitrary, here you were trying to save your daughter from turning into a zombie.
Capped off with a simple but still enjoyable battle with a crazed mechanic, Dead Rising: Case Zero achieved exactly what it set out to do according to Keji Inafune, which was to showcase a standalone introduction and actually let players experience the new features in a contextual manner.
Plus, now we know why Chuck was so driven to indulge in the craziness of the zombie gladiatorial games, as here he's left with limited supplies, and just one goal.
Keep Katey safe.