You have to feel a little sorry for the video game heroes of the industry. Nearly every waking moment of their lives is dedicated to taking down some sort of big bad of the land, or restoring justice across the globe, and you know what? That must get so exhausting!
Sure it's fun to hack and slash your way through armies of undead, or dodge and weave through bullets as we make desperate escapes, but bloody hell you would definitely wish for a break or two if this was your day to day! Thankfully developers, being the kind souls they are, often like to break up the heavy slog of the main quest by populating their game worlds with enjoyable, relaxing, and sometimes outright bizarre distractions.
Side quests, collectathons, and of course, mini-games. These little moments are often so utterly enthralling despite their pocket-sized stature, that heroes and players can waste hours upon hours lost in the labyrinth of games within games, and some are so good that many argue that they're the best thing about the entire experience (looking at you Gwent)
So let's take a load off and indulge in some mini-games that are utterly fantastic.
8. Pocket Circuit Racing - Yakuza
Something stirred deep within me when I stumbled across the Pocket Circuit racing mini-game in Yakuza 0. As soon as the concept was explained as being a contest of speed based on a small race track using electric cars, I was suddenly transported back to my youth playing with Scalextric. The speed, the noise, the smell of burning electricals that was clearly a fire hazard, it was absolute bliss.
And thanks to Yakuza 0 I could relive this experience all over again! However before you write this off as a mere distraction, as with many things in the Yakuza series, things aren't always what they seem, as this is an incredibly deep and rewarding game that you can lose hours to. Being able to customise your car means that you are encouraged to explore the game world looking for rare parts and fishing for them in vending machines around town.
Then with your custom beast, you can annihilate the competition for some brilliant prizes and a surprisingly emotional sub-story featuring a Pocket Circuit champion who's not all he appears to be.
Plus the tracks are utterly insane and often contain enough loops that would make even Sonic The Hedgehog sick.