100 Interesting Facts About Your Favorite Video Games

Written by: Shash Wighton
Reading time: 46 mins
Last updated: November 18, 2021

Left 4 Dead 2 was so popular that an expansion was released eleven years after the original launch date.

100 Video Game Facts

Do you often find yourself reflecting on all the different games you’ve played over the years?

If you try and think off the top of your head about the best video games, only a few will come to mind.

If you stop and remember all the great games you feel nostalgic about – old or new – you’ll find there’s a lot more than you first thought!

We’ve made the monumental effort of reducing that almighty list down to a short, sweet 100, and we’re here to tell you all about them!

So stay awhile, and check out these 100 facts about your best gaming moments!

A custom-made demo of SimCity 2000 is exhibited in the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Sim City 2000

The Museum of Modern Art added SimCity 2000 to its halls in 2012, one of twelve games considered to be perfect heralds of applied design.

Many of the games exhibited are playable to some degree.

There’s a demo of SimCity 2000, which was explicitly designed for the exhibition due to the sheer size of the game.

The dragon Paarthurnax in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is voiced by the same man who voices Nintendo’s Mario.

Paarthurnax Skyrim

That’s right, both the leader of the Greybeards with the deep husky voice and Nintendo’s most iconic character with his high-pitched Italian accent is voiced by Charles Martinet.

Some other notable people behind some of Skyrim’s voices include Lynda Carter (Miss World USA 1972), Christopher Plummer (Charles F. Muntz from Pixar’s UP), and Michael Hogan (Colonel Saul Tigh from Battlestar Galactica).

Gears of War 2 was featured in AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Gears of War 2

During a flashback in the final episode of season ten of The Walking Dead, the season’s antagonist, Negan, can be seen playing Gears of War 2.

While Negan is supposedly playing multiplayer with a couple of other players, keen-eyed viewers figured out that the gameplay footage was from a point in the game’s campaign, specifically Act 2.

Left 4 Dead 2 was so popular that an expansion was released 11 years after the original launch date.

Characters in the Left 4 Dead 2

As far as zombie survival games go, Left 4 Dead 2 found a formula for exciting yet refreshing gameplay that’s incredibly hard to beat.

Combine that with surprisingly good graphics for its time, and this is why ten years from launch, it still had enough of a dedicated following to warrant an expansion.

Valve, the producers of the game, were initially planning to create a next-gen sequel but instead decided to make The Last Stand Expansion to what is commonly referred to as “the game that refuses to die.”

Rockstar Games hired real-life gang members to voice background characters in Grand Theft Auto V.

Grand Theft Auto V gangsters

In an attempt to add as much authenticity as possible to a game set in a fictional criminal underworld, the producers decided to shy away from “goofy LA actors,” who added little more than two dimensions to the characters they voiced.

Quite a lot of the background characters are gangsters belonging to Latino and Black gangs, so Rockstar Games got a guy to go around and hire genuine gangsters to voice the part.

Many who saw their scripts threw them on the floor, as they weren’t “real” enough, and they recorded their own version instead!

Half-Life was listed as the Best-Selling First-Person Shooter of All Time (PC) in the 2008 gamer’s edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Half-Life

Not only did Half-Life completely redefine the PC first-person shooter genre, but it also had an incredibly mind-bending sci-fi story to back it up!

It’s no wonder that by 2008 it ended up selling more than 9.3 million copies at retail alone, being described by IGN at the time as the best shooter since the first Doom game.

Many game critics and reviewers gave it a full ten out of ten, with PC Gamer awarding it the title of Best PC Game Ever in 1999, 2001, and 2005.

The creators of PUBG tried to sue the makers of Fortnite.

Game play from Player Unknown Battleground

If you haven’t played either of the battle royale giants, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’re pretty much the same game.

Bluehole, the company behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), obviously thought the same as they attempted to sue Epic Games because Fortnite allegedly copied their battle royale game-style.

The case was eventually dropped, which leaves us wondering whether they realized that the idea had been around for a while in other media formats – like the Japanese Battle Royale film released in 2000.

There are multiple references in Batman: Arkham City to ABC’s hit TV series Lost.

Batman Arkham City

First up, did you know that the Joker in Batman: Arkham City is voiced by none other than Mark Hamill, of Star Wars fame?

It turns out that Hamill was a massive fan of Lost, so he managed to sneak in a reference to his favorite show during one of the Joker’s monologues.

On top of this, if you wander around in the game long enough, you can hear some background crooks wondering out loud about whether the island in Lost was ever actually explained.

The studio behind Thief II: The Metal Age ran out of money, so they donated their tools to the game’s fans to expand upon the game.

Thief II Metal Age cover

Despite their games being instant cult classics, Looking Glass Studios were hit by financial setback after setback and were forced to close down in 2000.

It’s thanks to the developer’s generosity that the unofficial yet incredibly well-made expansion pack Thief 2X: Shadows of the Metal Age was able to come to life.

The game featured a range of new missions, cut-scenes, more than 3,000 lines of dialogue, and an entirely new playable character!

It took five years of hard work from more than 60 people to make the expansion a reality.

The initial designs for the Little Sisters in BioShock were absolutely horrifying.

A scary little sister from Bioshock

Originally referred to by the game studio as “gatherers,” the purpose of Little Sisters was to harvest a rare chemical called ADAM from the corpses you see strewn around the place.

Some of the first concepts for BioShock‘s gatherers were equally horrifying. For example, there was, what appeared to be, a Doberman in a wheelchair and a frog that had some sort of funnel sticking out of its butt.

Fortunately, the game studio decided to go with downright creepy-looking little girls to make the player sympathize with them.

The background noises in Silent Hill 2 were randomized to keep players on the edge of their seats.

Silent Hill 2 game play

In many games having a keen ear and picking out sounds can mean the difference between life and death.

The developers of Silent Hill 2 found that by randomizing the order and timing that sounds like footsteps, breathing, the shattering of glass, and even pig squeals, players were kept on edge and were unable to predict what might come next.

From a development point of view, this method was an absolute genius move, but I still don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive them!

God of War (2018) plays out like a movie that’s been shot in one single take, with no cuts or loading screens.

God of War game play

In the movie industry, it’s pretty much impossible to film anything without taking multiple cuts, which has influenced how we put together stories – not just in movies but also in the vast majority of video games.

The creators of God of War (2018) wanted to try something different to pull the players focus more on Kratos himself and everything he was experiencing.

By doing this, they were able to immerse players into the game at an entirely new level!

Counter-Strike was initially a custom mod you could play in Half-Life.

Counter Strike

In 1999, Minh Le and Jess Cliffe created the first version of Counter-Strike, in a custom map in Half-Life.

By 2000, the pair had gone through five beta releases and created a website, which drew enough attention from Half-Life’s developers to buy them out and hire them to create a full version of Counter-Strike.

Counter-Strike became one of the most influential first-person shooter games, developing many of the FPS game mechanics found in nearly all modern shooters!

Divinity: Original Sin 2 wasn’t meant to be released with voiced dialogue.

Divinity Original Sin 2 characters

One of the best things about DOS2, if it’s even possible to narrow it down to a few things, is the witty yet refreshingly different dialogue you hear throughout the game.

Sometimes it adds some insight into what you’re doing. Sometimes it’s your character being a sarcastic ass; either way – it really hooks you into the game!

Amazingly, it was only after the initial launch date was pushed back that DOS2’s developers made the call to introduce dialogue, going over millions of lines of scripts before finally releasing the game in 2017.

In 2012 the developers of Terraria tried to cancel further updates to the game.

A stunning city on Terraria

Lead developer Andrew “Redigit” Spinks announced in February 2012 that there would be no further updates to Terraria.

He felt that it was time to move on from the game and wished to spend more time with his family.

Fans didn’t take this news lightly, but they didn’t have to wait long for some good news.

In September 2012, Terraria was ported to Xbox 360 and PS3. The renewed interest in the game led to many more updates to the PC version – we just hope that Spinks ended up getting some time with his family before returning to Terraria!

X-COM: UFO Defense was nearly canceled twice!

X-Com: UFO Defense

The Gollop brothers first pitched their idea of the first X-COM game to Microprose back in 1991.

Still, their initial game design document was so flawed and lacking in detail that the publishers almost rejected it, only giving the brothers a contract when they were able to explain the game in person.

In 1993 Microprose was bought out by Spectrum Holobyte, who took one look at X-COM and told them to can the idea.

Microprose ignored the official cancellation, kept the brothers working on the game, and successfully re-pitch the finished version to Spectrum in 1994!

Baldur’s Gate was developed by Bioware, the same developer who would later make the Mass Effect series.

Baldur's Gate game cover

Bioware was founded in 1995 by three recently graduated doctors who shared a passion for medicine, video games, and role-playing games.

Three years later, Bioware had released their second and most famous game – Baldur’s Gate, for which they were able to obtain a Dungeons & Dragons license, using the 2nd edition rules.

It took so much time and effort to create Baldur’s Gate that two of the three founders dropped medicine completely to focus entirely on their new careers as video game developers!

Released in 1991, Neverwinter Nights was the first successful MMORPG.

Neverwinter Nights

Some may claim that a few previous games were the first MMORPGs, but Neverwinter Nights was the first to follow a similar format to what would later become the standard MMORPG format.

When Neverwinter Nights first came out, it cost so much to connect to the internet that just playing one hour of the game would cost you six dollars!

By 1995 the game had reached peak popularity, and its servers could host up to 500 players at a time.

The creators of Rock Band were the same people who made the first two Guitar Hero games.

Rock Band game play

Harmonix Music systems were the brains behind both Guitar Hero I and II.

Still, they could not make other Guitar Hero games after the producer was bought out by Activision, and Harmonix themselves was bought out by MTV.

It turns out that pairing Harmonix with MTV was the perfect combination.

Harmonix had ideas lined up for a much more musically sophisticated game, while MTV had all the right connections in the music industry to land all the necessary record deals.

In the first 24 hours of its release, more than a million people logged into Xbox Live to play Halo 3.

Halo 3

Halo 3 set a new precedent for the Halo series, raking in $300 million during the first week of sales.

By the time the billionth online Halo 3 match had been played in 2009, only 800 thousand games of Halo 2 had been played – despite it being released some three years beforehand!

It’s no wonder that Halo 3, the game that was ranked as the most wanted game in 2007, is considered one of the most hyped-up games in video game history!

Democracy activists used Animal Crossing: New Horizons to spread messages that criticized China’s rule of Hong Kong.

Animal Crossign characters

Tensions were exceptionally high in Hong Kong during the early months of 2020, with a simultaneous increase in pro-democracy protests and strict anti-protest measures.

Although Animal Crossing wasn’t released for sale in China, would-be players could access foreign copies of the game through various online sales platforms.

Some pro-democracy activists were able to create custom anti-Chinese Communist Party messages on their in-game islands, which called for the freedom of Hong Kong.

The author of The Witcher novels tried to sue the developers of The Witcher 3 for more royalty payments.

Witcher 3

When CD Projekt Red first approached the author, Andrzej Sapkowski, he thought they would never make much money off the games.

So Sapkowski pressed them to pay him up-front for the rights to The Witcher series instead of taking the more traditional percentage of total sales.

It wasn’t until 2018, after the wildfire success of The Witcher 3, that Sapkowski demanded that CD Projekt Red pay him an extra 16 million dollars just for that title alone.

The developers were surprisingly reasonable with the author, making a new private agreement in 2019 which seemed to leave both parties happy!

FIFA 11 was the first FIFA game to let you play as the goalkeeper.

The FIFA 11 game cover

Released in late 2010, you were finally able to control all soccer players on the pitch in FIFA 11!

While that in itself was pretty awesome, this update finally allowed the ability for teams of eleven players to work together, and each play a fixed role in online games against other teams of eleven.

The first gaming event in the US to be held at a national level was the Red Annihilation multiplayer Quake event in 1997.

Red Annihilation cover

Believe it or not, the history of e-sports began back in 1997, when Quake created the mold for the future of competitive gaming.

About 2,000 competitors from across the US participated, with sixteen finalists battling it out in Atlanta, Georgia.

The prize? Nothing other than a 1987 Ferrari 328 GTS convertible – something the winner wasn’t even insured to drive!

There are five different forms that MissingNo. can take in the original Pokémon GameBoy games.

The Pokemon MissingNo character

If you played Pokémon Red or Blue back in the day, you almost certainly knew about the glitch that allowed you to catch MissingNo., a glitched-out Pokémon.

It turns out that MissingNo. could appear differently, depending on the placing of certain letters in your character’s name.

The five forms that MissingNo. could take were the “normal” form, with a glitched-out sprite. There were three forms that took on the sprites of Kabutops, Aerodactyl, and the ghost from the Pokémon Tower.

The final form is actually found in Pokémon Yellow and has a glitched-out red and yellow sprite.

The Colossi in Shadow of the Colossus don’t actually have names.

A Colossi in Shadow Colossus

Well, that’s not entirely correct – all of the colossi have names, but these names are unofficial nicknames that the game developers and fans gave them over time.

For example, the first colossus you meet was nicknamed by the developers as “Minotaur A,” while fans gave it the much more exciting nickname of “Valus.”

Fun Fact: There are only sixteen characters in the entire game that you can fight, and they’re all the boss-fight-level colossi!

The first playable demo of Starcraft was essentially a re-skinned version of Warcraft, but in space.

Game play from Starcraft

In fact, it was literally referred to by its own studio as “orcs in space,” as it was meant to be a rush-job game that would capitalize on the huge success of Warcraft.

Coming from such an uninspired background, it’s no wonder that Blizzard was faced with huge criticism over their demo.

The team behind Starcraft had some shake-ups, and it was decided to essentially re-do the entire game.

Something that I, for one, am incredibly happy about!

The two characters who fight during the intro to Street Fighter II actually have names!

Street Fighter II opening scene fight

For decades after Street Fighter II‘s release, players wondered who the two mysterious characters seen during the intro were.

The fighters were finally identified by Capcom in 2016 and Street Fighter V‘s release, although still not as playable characters.

It turns out that they are Scott, who likes going to the lake but dislikes caterpillars, and Max, who likes sparkly things and gambling.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert was one of the first video games to be banned in China.

Game play in Command and Conquer

As a game which in essence, allows you to battle your army against Communist armies, it’s not exactly the kind of thing that China would have wanted going around.

Someone tipped the Chinese government off about this, so they banned Red Alert and its subsequent sequels.

Other Command & Conquer games, ones that didn’t focus on the total annihilation of Communism, have been legally sold in China over the years with no issues.

Assassin’s Creed was initially meant to be a spin-off of Prince of Persia.

Assassins Creed

Back in 2003, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time was all the rage.

Ubisoft, the studio behind it, tasked its developers with creating a game that would completely redefine the genre and use the full power of the next generation of video game consoles.

The studio originally pitched the game they came up with as Prince of Persia: Assassins.

However, as they got to building the game, they found themselves creating an entirely new beast and soon realized that it would have to be a completely different game!

Snoop Dogg created an exclusive track for Need For Speed: Underground 2.

Stylish car in Need For Speed Underground

But wait, there’s more – Snoop Dogg worked with the surviving members of The Doors to create a new remix of Riders on the Storm.

They also included many parts of the original recording by The Doors, including samples of Jim Morrison’s voice.

Other than fat stacks of cash, we’re not sure how EA Games managed to convince musicians like The Doors or Snoop Dogg to even take part, but we’re certainly not complaining!

The same guy behind Dota created League of Legends.

League of Legends

Steve “Guinsoo” Feak first created Defense of the Ancients (Dota) as a mod for Warcraft III, back before it became a game in and of itself.

Feak was later snapped up by Riot Games, who wanted him to be the brains behind their new operation: League of Legends.

Feak’s influence on the games can be seen in a number of items and characters, such as Guinsoo’s Scythe of Vyse in Dota and Guinsoo’s Rageblade in League of Legends.

If you click the units enough times in Warcraft III, they will get annoyed at you and start talking back.

Warcraft 3 characters

Warcraft III was undoubtedly one of the best strategy games ever to exist, and its features like this that in our opinion, really made it just that little bit more special.

For example, if you click a peasant too many times, it may start sassing you or even shout, “Help! Help! I’m being repressed” – a direct reference to Monty Python’s The Holy Grail.

Donkey Kong 64‘s DK Rap started as a joke between the game designers.

Donkey Kong Rap

And let’s be quite honest here, the DK Rap itself is a little bit of a joke – but not in a good sense.

When it was written and recorded, the DK Rap was just a fun little track where monkeys rapped about grapes and bananas, and it was never really meant to be anything more serious than that!

That said, critics of the game instantly slammed it for such foolhardy attempts to produce anything of gravity – but hey, what do critics know anyway?

Dogmeat, the canine companion in Fallout 3, was modeled off the dog in Mad Max 2.

Dogmeat the dog from Fallout 3

In the second Mad Max film, Mel Gibson’s Max can be seen roaming the empty wasteland in the company of an Australian cattle dog.

The developers of Fallout were obviously fans of the Mad Max films, as the playable character in Fallout 3 resembled Max in many ways.

Fun Fact: Dogmeat is named after the dog in the not-so-smash-hit 1975 post-apocalyptic film A Boy and His Dog.

Nintendo’s American branch was forced to offer gloves to everyone who bought a copy of Mario Party.

Mario Party characters

There’s just one game in mind when it comes to the destruction of Nintendo 64 controllers and messed-up palms, and that’s Mario Party.

While no severe injuries ever occurred, more than 90 official complaints were lodged to the New York State Attorney’s office against Nintendo of America for wounds to the hands.

Nintendo of America eventually caved and settled the lawsuit, offering four sets of fingerless gloves to each household that owned the game.

Mass Effect was initially called Science Fiction X.

Mass Effect characters

Science Fiction X, often shortened by the developers as SFX, was the code name given for Mass Effect while it was going through development.

When it came time to give the game a name, many pushed for either Science Fiction X or SFX, not realizing they were too close to the game, and that would have been a truly awful name.

Fortunately for everyone, the game ended up being named after one of the most powerful things in the game universe – the energy used to power much of the game’s technology.

Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek Fame voiced much of Sid Meier’s Civilization IV.

A bustling city in Civilizations IV

Back in 2005, when players first booted up Civilization IV and researched their first technology, they couldn’t believe the voice they were hearing.

It was, of course, none other than the voice of Spock from Star Trek, calmly yet firmly narrating the purposes of all available technologies!

At its release, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was the largest crossover game in history.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters

It’s pretty likely that no game will ever dare to attempt what Nintendo did, considering it took them some 20 years to get there.

Players of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are not just able to take control of every single character that’s ever graced the previous Super Smash games, but a whole host more from other game franchises.

There are more than 80 playable characters in total, including Banjo and Kazooie, and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy, from rival platforms!

Japan was rumored to have run out of 100 Yen coins when Space Invaders was first released in 1978.

The original Space Invaders

While this was never proven, it wouldn’t surprise us at all, considering that in its first year, it grossed more than $600 million in Japan alone!

By 1981, the instant classic had raked in $1 billion from players at arcades around the world!

Fun Fact: Space Invaders was the first video game to have a high score record!

The Pinkerton Detective Agency tried to sue Rockstar Games after the release of Red Dead Redemption 2.

Red Dead Redemption

First of all, yes, they actually were a real detective agency back in the US’ Wild West days.

We cannot say whether they were as villainous as they were made out to be in Red Dead Redemption 2, but the detective agency’s parent company seems not to think so.

They sued Rockstar Games over the insidious way they were portrayed but eventually dropped the lawsuit and settled the issue privately.

The handbook for Super Mario Kart actually recommended players cheat and look at each other’s screens to get an advantage!

Mario Kart characters

This was, of course, back in the day of big chunky CRT televisions, so it was pretty much impossible not to see what the other player was doing.

That said, the concept of “screen cheating” has been outlawed by gamers ever since multiplayer games were first created!

We suppose Nintendo must have just accepted the fact that players would see what their friends were doing and devilishly decided to encourage such heinous acts.

There are more than 17 million different usable weapons in Borderlands 2.

Borderlands 2

Frankly, it’s rather disappointing to see that they only managed to fit in 17,750,000 weapons into the game, considering Borderlands 2 was said to have a remarkable 87 bazillion guns!

Jokes aside, this is an absolutely insane number and its features like this that draw people back to the Borderlands series time and time again.

The Sims was originally meant to be an architecture simulator.

Game play on The Sims

Maybe if it was, I wouldn’t have lost all those years of my life.

The Sims was first placed into the game so that players could see how the houses they created would actually function.

After that, however, the developers realized that the Sims themselves were far more interesting than a simple architecture simulator.

For better or worse, the game’s focus was ultimately pointed entirely towards the funny-sounding people who manage to burn their houses down more often than not.

When Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was released in the US, the English translation of the manual oversimplified the game’s story.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

We’re not exactly sure why, but the English manual simply claimed that the events of Sonic 2 happened on the same island as the previous game when he really just flew his plane to a new island and continued running around.

The story of the second playable character, Tails, was also altered to claim that he had always looked up to Sonic since he was a cub, while in the game, he only just meets him for the first time when Sonic lands on his island (where the game takes place).

Whatever the reasons, the discrepancies in the game universe’s lore were cleared up in 1999 with the release of Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast.

Pac-Man was nearly sold in the US as Puck-Man.

Pac-Man

At the last minute, it was changed to Pac-Man, as there were fears that teenagers would scratch off a part of the “P,” turning a relatively innocent name into something ludicrously lewd.

Some claim that the name “Puck-man” was initially chosen for international audiences due to his similar shape to a hockey puck.

However, the reality is that it is similar in sound to “paku paku,” which means “chomp chomp” in Japanese.

The first Battlefield game was created by fourteen people.

Cover for Battlefield 1942

These days video games have teams of thousands of people working on them, but back in 2002, when Battlefield 1942 was released, that was far from the case!

Despite having such a small team behind the game, Battlefield 1942 is remembered by many fans of the series to be the best, even if it was a much simpler game than the modern iterations.

Fun Fact: The developers of Battlefield 1942 originally pitched the game to Nintendo as a GameCube exclusive, but Nintendo turned them down as they had no plans at the time to have online play!

Carrie Fisher, as in the one and only Princess Leia, voiced parts of Dishonored.

Dishonored game play

In a surprising move considering Fisher’s fame, Bethesda Softworks decided to hide her voice away as a sort of Easter egg.

The main city in Dishonored, Dunwall, has speakers all around the city blaring out constant warnings, propaganda, and so on.

If you happen to kill the person who normally makes these announcements, a character voiced by Carrie Fisher steps in and makes the announcements instead!

There was a movie adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, but it’s so awful that you really should just forget it ever existed.

Prince of Persia Sands of Time movie

No, seriously, just don’t even bother with it, which is a massive shame considering they somehow managed to get Jake Gyllenhaal to star in it!

Adaptations of video games rarely live up to the hype surrounding them, which is, unfortunately, the case with this terribly white-washed (not a single Middle-Eastern actor) film vaguely set in an alternate-reality medieval Iran.

What’s even more unfortunate is that it tarnished the name of one of the best games of the early 2000s.

Hideo Kojima used Lego bricks to help his team build Metal Gear Solid.

Game play in Metal Gear Solid

When Metal Gear Solid was released in 1998, it changed the world of video games forever.

At the time, developing games in 3D was a relatively new concept, and the team behind the game found it difficult to imagine how the camera angles would work.

A unique solution they came up with was to first create the various game levels out of Lego bricks and then film them, which allowed the developers to create more realistic perspectives!

Age of Empires II was also released for PlayStation 2.

A bustling empire in the game Empires 2

Console ports of real-time strategy (RTS) games often leave much to be desired, as the controls are rarely mapped out well for joysticks.

Unfortunately, this was the case for Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings, with the game only being released in European and Japanese markets.

In fact, many classed the PlayStation 2 version of the game as completely unplayable, as moving the cursor around the screen was utterly counterintuitive, and everything was zoomed in too much.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 was the first in the series to have a playable Marvel character.

Skateboarding in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

While many players obviously chose to skate around as the game’s titular character, Tony Hawk, there were, of course, 21 other playable characters across the different versions that were released worldwide.

Some of these characters were only unlocked after meeting certain conditions, though.

Once you completed 100% of the career mode with a created skater, for example, players would be able to skate around as Spider-Man!

Deus Ex may have predicted the destruction of the Twin Towers.

Game play of Deus Ex

Deus Ex was released in the year 2000, during a time when video game graphics were still quite limited.

Because of this, the Twin Towers were too difficult to place into views of the New York skyline, so the game developers decided to remove them and claim that a terrorist attack had destroyed them.

Less than one year after the game’s release, the Twin Towers were, of course, destroyed – coincidence? We’ll leave that one to you!

The 250th two-player game played in the Mortal Kombat II arcade version launched a much older arcade classic instead.

Mortal Kombat battle

Mortal Kombat II was a much darker game than its predecessor, but the developers also knew to throw in plenty of fun Easter eggs to lighten the mood.

One such feature was unlocked upon playing 250 two-player games, with players able to play a game of Pong instead!

Pong was one of the first arcade games ever created, where players hit a ball back and forth across the screen in an attempt to be the first to score eleven points.

Metroid‘s Samus Aran was originally meant to be a man.

Three characters from Metroid

About halfway through the first Metroid game’s development, the game designers stopped and realized it would be really cool if, inside their power suit, Samus was actually a girl!

Everyone was instantly on board with the idea, and Samus’ character’s design was slightly adjusted to reflect her femininity without going over the top.

Sure, there were cheat codes in some of the games that allowed you to see Samus in her underwear, but overall they did a great job!

Doom’s working title was “Attack of the Attackers.”

Game play from Doom

Fortunately, Doom‘s creators quickly realized that this name was a little too tongue in cheek and dropped the idea.

In the end, the inspiration for Doom’s name came from a surprising source – Tom Cruise!

In the 1986 movie, The Color of Money, the character played by Tom Cruise referred to the contents of his pool cue case as Doom, foreshadowing the utter destruction of his opposition.

This was something that seemed incredibly fitting for a game about obliterating aliens!

Dota 2‘s lead developer is only known by the pseudonym “IceFrog.”

The Dotas 2 game cover

IceFrog didn’t enter the scene until Defense of the Ancients (Dota) was a reasonably well-developed Warcraft 3 mod, but soon took control of the game’s development after the original creators left to work on League of Legends.

He stayed on as the lead developer of Dota 2 but has remained almost completely anonymous during the entire period.

Some claim that his real name is Abdul Ismael, which is apparently proven by some legal documents connected to the game, but very little is known other than that!

Super Mario World is Shigeru Miyamoto’s favorite Mario game.

Mario on Luigi's back on Super Mario World

If you’ve ever played any games from the Mario or Legend of Zelda series, you have Shigeru Miyamoto to thank for creating them.

Out of the hundreds of titles birthed from Miyamoto’s brain, Super Mario World is his absolute favorite – a sentiment shared by nearly all Mario fans worldwide!

That’s a rather impressive feat for Super Mario World, considering it was released back in 1990.

Many of the characters in Undertale are named after fonts.

Stunning game play from the game Undertale

One of the most popular of these characters is the jovial skeleton, Sans.

All of Sans’ dialogue is written in Comic Sans because the game’s creators are well aware that Comic Sans as a font is a bit of a joke itself.

When Sans becomes angry in the game, his dialogue changes to uppercase Comic Sans.

Among Us was originally called SpaceMafia.

Among Us game cover

The working title for Among Us was at first SpaceMafia, an incredibly unimaginative name considering it is literally a video game version of the popular party game Mafia but in space.

This name can still be seen in the name of the application’s package name on the Android Play Store application.

Bloodborne is so hard that Sony’s head of worldwide game development constantly emailed the developers for tips.

Game play from Bloodborne

It’s safe to say that Shuehi Yoshida absolutely adores Bloodborne, given the fact that he managed to achieve a prestigious platinum trophy for 100% completion of the game.

Many gamers these days turn to the internet to gain insights into how to get past tricky boss fights, but Yoshida went one step further.

Whenever he found himself in a tough bind, he emailed Bloodborne‘s developers directly for hints – even in the gaming world, it certainly helps to be well connected!

If you play Rise of the Tomb Raider on February 14, a special message pops up.

Lara Croft in the video game Rise of the Tomb Raider

No, it’s got absolutely nothing to do with St. Valentines Day. Instead, in the Tomb Raider universe, February 14 is Lara Croft’s birthday!

A special message exclaiming “Happy Birthday Lara Croft” will pop up in the loading screen’s hint section when you play on this day.

Despite ranking as one of the greatest NES games of all time, Mega Man 3 was a complete rush-job.

Characters from Mega Man 4

When reflecting on the development of Mega Man 3, Keiji Inafune, one of the game’s artists, said that it was one of his least favorite of the Mega Man series to work on.

The development team experienced setback after setback and felt they needed much more time to polish and release the game they thought it should have been.

Unfortunately for the team, Capcom demanded they rush to finish it off and release it, ready or not.

While Heroes of Might and Magic III got an HD remake, its expansions didn’t because the source code was lost.

Heroes of Might and Magic II cover

Heroes of Might and Magic III was undoubtedly the best of the Heroes series, with countless fans worldwide still playing it today.

Despite its clunky interface, there’s just something so nostalgic about opening up the game and hearing the iconic theme tune.

It’s something that sounds better when Ubisoft released an HD remake in 2014!

Unfortunately, the source code for the expansions was nowhere to be found when the HD remake was made. It was, however, rediscovered on an ex-developer’s hard drive three years later.

A remaster of GoldenEye 007 was meant to be released in 2008.

GoldenEye 007 game play

A few years after Microsoft acquired Rare (the studio behind the Nintendo 64 classic) in 2002, Rare started looking into developing a remastered edition.

By 2008, they had nearly finished the job and had just a few months more to go when they discovered that Microsoft hadn’t actually managed to get the rights from Nintendo to develop it, and the project was ultimately canned.

It’s a great shame, as not only would the remaster have allowed Xbox 360 players to jump back into one of their favorite childhood games  – they would have been able to play online games of it too!

World of Warcraft racked up 5.5 million lines of code within its first five years.

The World of Warcraft cover

World of Warcraft is without a doubt one of the largest and most popular MMORPGs in history, and it’s likely to keep on growing for decades to come!

Back in 2009, Blizzard announced that they had written some 5.5 million lines of code for the behemoth-like game, which adds up to about 90,000 pages.

What’s most impressive is that at the time, they had just 51 dedicated programmers who wrote all of that!

Scientists found that playing Portal 2 can improve your problem-solving skills.

Game play from Portal 2

The 2014 study also found that playing Portal 2 dramatically improves your ability to stick to a designated task and spatial awareness.

Later studies found that playing games such as Portal enhances your communication skills, which is a little bit questionable.

Yelling at the other player to put the portal “over there on the wall, no not that wall, over on the other wall for God’s sake!” doesn’t seem like it would do much for your communication skills, but who are we to say otherwise?

The Dark Souls developers completely trolled the game’s players.

Character from Dark Souls

When creating your character, you can choose to start with several items, one of them being a pendant.

This pendant had no seeming effect on the game, which led players down the rabbit hole, searching for some possible use for it.

In the end, the developers came clean and admitted they added the pendant as a bit of a prank, knowing it would drive players a little bit crazy!

Conker’s Bad Fur Day was originally meant to be another boring PG-rated 3D platformer.

Grumpy looking Conker from Conker's Bad Fur Day

Originally titled Conker’s Quest, players would have run around the map collecting acorns and fighting giant bad guys – yeesh, no wonder that idea got nowhere!

It was then re-branded as Twelve Tales: Conker 64, which was equally childish and described to have “infuriatingly happy music.”

Finally, after three years of development, the lewd themes of Conker’s Bad Fur Day were birthed, and Nintendo’s most adult-themed cult classic was finally released in 2001.

The idea for The Secret Cow Level in Diablo II came from a hoax in the first Diablo game.

The cover for Diablo 2

Back in the days of Diablo 1, players with a little too much time on their hands started spreading the rumor that there was a secret level that could only be accessed by interacting with one of the cows in the game.

It was claimed that if one clicked on this cow enough times, a portal would open up, leading players to a secret level.

While this wasn’t even remotely true, the game developers thought it was hilarious and integrated it into Diablo II.

LittleBigPlanet was originally called Craftworld, and its main character was Mr. Yellowhead.

LittleBigPlanet cover

In 2005 the developers of LittleBigPlanet created a working prototype for their game, which featured an overly simple character with a distinctive square yellow head.

They used this prototype to pitch their game to Sony.

Despite its simplicity, Sony was on board, but it took a long time of development for LittleBigPlanet to become the game we know today.

You can actually unlock a Mr. Yellowhead costume by completing the last level of story mode without losing any lives.

The first Worms game was created as an entry into a game development competition.

Game play from the original Worms

In the early ’90s, Andy Davidson had the idea for an artillery-based game, which he quite unoriginally titled Artillery.

It wasn’t until Davidson heard of a competition by a software development magazine that he packaged his ideas into a new game, Total Wormage, and submitted it.

While Davidson’s entry was unsuccessful, he later pitched his ideas to Team17, who loved it and offered to help develop and publish his game!

There’s a secret Star Wars reference hidden in Final Fantasy VI.

Final Fantasy VI

Many people claim that Final Fantasy VI was the best out of the series, as we’re certainly not going to disagree with them.

There were so many genuinely incredible story-telling moments throughout the entire game, and there are also the moments where you stumble upon a Star Wars reference.

In this case, if Locke is wearing an Imperial Soldier disguise when he rescues Celes, she’ll ask, “Aren’t you a little short for an Imperial Soldier,” a clear reference to Princess Leia’s quip in Star Wars: Episode IV.

The developers of Fallout: New Vegas missed out on a huge bonus from Bethesda because the game’s ratings were high enough.

The cover for the video game Fallout New Vegas

After purchasing the rights to the Fallout series, Bethesda got cracking on Fallout 3 – and created one of the best RPGs of all time.

An arguably equal or possibly greater RPG, Fallout: New Vegas, was pitched by Obsidian Entertainment, who proposed to develop it and for Bethesda to merely publish it.

In an unwise move, Obsidian agreed to a straight-up payment instead of taking royalties, in addition to a bonus if the game got a Metascore rating of 85 or higher – which they missed out on by just one point!

Monster Hunter: World is Capcom’s single best-selling game.

Game play from Monster Hunter World

That’s by no means a small feat, considering Capcom have been behind some world-class titles ranging from Mega Man to the Resident Evil games.

In just two years of sales, more than 12 million copies of Monster Hunter World were sold for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

The next best-selling title released by Capcom was Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, which has over 9 million sales.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory was banned in South Korea.

Game play from Splinter Cell Chaos Theory

To say that tensions between North and South Korea have been tense for decades would be a gross understatement, and things were looking no better in 2005 when Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory was released.

As the focus of the game is on a fictional war between North and South Korea, South Korea banned it in fear of it escalating tensions with North Korea any further.

The ban was ironically lifted in 2007, the same year which the game is set.

A special edition of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was never sold in stores.

Game play from Uncharted 2

The Fortune Hunter edition was truly special, as it included a copy of the game, along with a replica dagger from the game, an art book, and a collector’s case signed by Naughty Dog themselves.

Players who wished to get their hands on this edition weren’t able to buy it at a store.

Instead, they had to earn it across a variety of competitions held on the PlayStation blog, within the demo itself, as well as through a few other unpublished places.

Plants Vs. Zombies was meant to be called Lawn of the Dead.

Plants Vs Zombies

George Fan, a game developer from PopCap Games, was the brains behind Plants Vs. Zombies, coming up with the original concept and developing it throughout the entire process.

Fan’s earliest concepts for the game had aliens instead of zombies, from which point the game was temporarily titled Plants Vs. Zombies.

Really though, Fan wanted the game to be called Lawn of the Dead, an ode to the classic zombie film Dawn of the Dead – something the filmmakers unfortunately rejected.

The Last of Us began development as a reboot of Naughty Dog’s Jak and Daxter series.

Girl from The Last of Us playing guitar in the woods

While it may seem hard to imagine a grizzled survival horror game like The Last of Us could ever have started as a reboot of an action platformer, if you start looking for connections, you’d be surprised.

First, both games focus on the characters searching high and low for a cure for some horrible condition.

Then there’s the style of play, which focuses on a dynamic duo of characters rather than one main character, who make their way through the game, working towards a common goal.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has been the highest-ranking game since its release in 1998.

Zelda in Ocarina of Time

In 1998 the game reviewers at IGN sat down and played through the entirety of Ocarina of Time in about 17 hours, no mean feat considering they had no guides to work off.

When they finished tallying up their reviews, they found themselves giving it a perfect score, making it the first game they gave 10/10 to.

Every other reviewer found themselves in a similar boat, and it’s for this reason that review aggregate website Metacritic has ranked Ocarina of Time as the best game ever and probably will for a long time to come!

Multiple gamers have been sued for cheating in Fortnite: Battle Royale.

Characters from Fortnight: Battle Royale

No one likes a cheater, especially in a highly competitive online game such as Fortnite.

Epic Games decided to crack down on users who both cheated and publicized cheating and issued a lawsuit against a 14-year-old YouTuber who actively did both in 2017.

The case was eventually settled out of court, as has been the case for the numerous other players caught red-handed by Epic Games.

CyberPunk 2077‘s developers were made to work brutally long shifts at least six days a week in the final months before its release.

The Cyberpunk 2077 cover

The concept of the “crunch” is all too familiar for workers in most game development studios.

The development team moves heaven and earth to make a game playable and picture-perfect for the release date.

Despite promising, they were a “no crunch studio,” CD Projekt Red went down the same path as other dirty developers and made their staffs’ lives miserable in the last days of Cyberpunk 2077‘s creation.

And all that for what, an incredibly bugged out and almost unplayable game that failed to even remotely meet the hype.

The Tetris theme song is actually a popular 1900s folk song.

Tetris blocks

Fire up a game of Tetris, and you’ll find yourself humming along to the iconic tune titled “Type-A” by Tetris’ developers.

It turns out that people have been humming this catchy tune since the late 19th century in Russia, where it remained a popular folk song for much of the 20th Century.

Titled Korobeiniki, it was originally a poem by Nikolay Nekrasov, which he published in 1861.

More than a million people downloaded Angry Birds within its first 24 hours on the Android Market.

Angry Birds cover

When Angry Birds was first released on the iOS App Store in 2009, it was a runaway success, exceeding the developer’s expectations by leaps and bounds.

At the time, the Android market was still getting off its feet, so almost a year had passed by the time Rovio Entertainment got around to releasing Angry Birds for Android.

By this point, the hype around Angry Birds was reaching tipping point, so when it was released for Android, it got so much interest that it crashed the site that hosted the downloads!

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was the first Call of Duty to feature killstreaks.

The Call of Duty 4 cover

Killstreaks and Call of Duty are synonymous these days, but that wasn’t always the case.

Call of Duty was popular enough to make it through three iterations, but it wasn’t until Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that it became wildly successful.

Today, many still believe that it will remain the best Call of Duty game of all time, and killstreaks were just one of the many new features released with the game that made it just that bit more special!

You may also like these facts about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is full of David Bowie references.

Metal Gear Solid 3

It seems that Hideo Kojima is a massive fan of David Bowie, particularly during his Major Tom days.

Major Zero, for example, once goes by the alias Major Tom, and at one point, Snake directly quotes Bowie’s Space Oddity when he asks the Major over the radio, “Can you hear me, Major Tom.”

Kojima initially wanted to have a few of David Bowie’s songs play out during the end-game credits but changed his mind as the theme of the game shifted track.

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is banned in Australia.

Disco Elysium game play

When Disco Elysium was first released in 2019, it was able to make its way into Australia as it was only released on PC and thus was held to less strict standards.

The game itself was wildly popular, so our friends down under were fortunate that they were able to play it at all, considering how tight Australia is on games that aren’t quite PG.

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut, released in 2021, not only introduced some new features but is also finally playable on consoles – and it’s because of this difference, the Australian Classification Board had to be involved, who refused to classify it.

Dragon Age: Origins has more than 900,000 words of dialogue.

Dragon Age Origins

Bioware’s role-playing games are certainly not shy of words, that’s for sure, considering it’s also the studio behind the Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights series – both games are known for their sheer wordiness.

Now, your average novel only has around 100,000 words, which means that playing Dragon Age: Origins is the equivalent of reading nine books!

Who said playing video games was bad for your brain?

There’s a piece of cheese hidden in every single level of Perfect Dark.

Perfect Dark

When Perfect Dark was released, it was common to hide Easter eggs throughout games, that if found, would unlock certain cheats.

Being no stranger to the concept themselves, the developers hid small pieces of yellow cheese throughout the game with the idea that it would unlock cheats but changed their minds at the last minute.

Instead, cheats were unlocked by completing missions within certain times – something that would be hard to do while getting distracted looking for small pieces of cheese!

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the best-selling PlayStation 2 game of all time.

Grand Theft auto San Andreas cover

The world didn’t know what they were in for when GTA: San Andreas the shelves in 2004.

Despite the fact that it was already the seventh game in the GTA series, San Andreas was in a class of its own, quickly becoming a benchmark off which all other games of its kind would be compared to.

In 2009 the Guinness Book of World records listed GTA: San Andreas as the most successful PlayStation 2 game, with 17 million copies sold for the PS2 alone.

The first edition of Minecraft was made in just six days.

The original Minecraft

Markus Persson began work on a game he quite imaginatively titled Cave Game on May 10, 2009, taking inspiration from Dwarf Fortress and Infiniminer.

Four days into development, Persson renamed the game Minecraft: Order of the Stone, and things really started to pick up the pace.

On May 16, Persson had a finished copy of the game’s Alpha version, with its title reduced to Minecraft, ready to release to private testers – and the game was released publicly the very next day!

The creators of Journey decided to remove voice communication to make players more cooperative.

Game play from Journey

When developing Journey, Thatgamecompany tested out a variety of ways for players to communicate with each other.

With just a thumbs up or thumbs down available, players would more often use the thumbs down button, and voice chat was avoided entirely for fear of players being cursed at by teenagers.

In the end, they reduced your ability to communicate with other players down to a ping, adding a whole new level to the game by challenging you to interpret what the other player means when they ping you.

The first American Pokémon Go player to catch all 142 in the US was given round-the-world plane tickets.

Pokemon GO!

When Pokémon Go was released on July 6, 2016, Nick Johnson was absolutely hyped and proceeded to catch 135 Pokémon in the first week and a half.

On July 21, he became the US’ first Pokémon Master, having caught all Pokémon available in the US.

Marriott Rewards and Expedia reached out to Johnson and offered free round the world tickets to catch the remaining nine Pokémon – which he finally achieved on August 6, 2016!

Fun Fact: When Nick Johnson caught his last Pokémon, he also became the first person in the world to have captured all 151 Pokémon.

Every accessible building in Fable 2 can be bought.

Gameplay of Fable 2

If you happen to tire of wandering the land and slaying monsters, you can try your hand at developing your own property empire instead.

Frankly, you’d be a fool not to, as, for each property you purchase, you receive a return in gold for every five minutes of the game you play.

Buy enough properties, and you unlock new titles – buy all the properties, and you become king of Albion!

Some of the characters in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic were based on characters the developers played in tabletop RPG games.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

They were core characters, too, such as Zaalbar, Bastila, and Carth, that were primarily inspired by characters that the lead designer and his friends created to play a tabletop Star Wars-themed role-playing game in their spare time.

The lead designer, James Ohlen, had previously worked on the Baldur’s Gate series and used the same tactic to come up with a few of the series’ characters.

There’s an Overwatch league where players are paid a minimum salary of $50,000.

Overwatch characters

In 2016 Blizzard came up with the idea for a professional Overwatch e-sports league with a twist.

Instead of following e-sports formats, professional players are picked to play on city-based teams like many North American sports leagues and are paid permanent salaries.

In their first year in a team, players receive a minimum salary of fifty thousand dollars and health and retirement benefits.

They’re also able to negotiate for higher wages as they improve!

The original Soulcalibur was the only game in the entire series that wasn’t released on PlayStation.

A battle in Soulcalibur

Namco’s weapon-based fighting series, Soulcalibur, is of a caliber that many games could only dream of.

For example, the first Soulcalibur was ranked with a score of 98 on Metacritic, ranking it just one point behind Ocarina of Time as the best game of all time.

The developers attempted to port the game to PlayStation, but ultimately the console’s processing power wasn’t quite up to scratch for some of the game’s animations.

The woman who voices Resident Evil 4‘s Ashley Graham also did voice work for SpongeBob SquarePants.

Two characters from Resident Evil 4

Yes, we know, Ashley Graham goes down in the history books as one of the most annoying companions in video game history.

Here’s a little redemption for her, or at least for Carolyn Lawrence, who voiced her.

Lawrence doesn’t just voice any old character in SpongeBob SquarePants, but one of the main ones – Sandy Cheeks!

The number 16 is everywhere in No Man’s Sky.

No Man's Sky

Many game developers like to hide Easter eggs in their games to reward players for leaving no stone unturned, and Hello Games are no different.

The number sixteen can be found across the universe and is, in fact, connected to it – as there are 1616 planets in each galaxy.

There are also 16 portal glyphs, and the game was released in 2016.

Does it mean anything, or is it possibly referencing Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

The world record score in Doodle Jump is over 20 million.

Doodle Jump

Aaron W. Prince is a persistent man, to say the least, and persistence is dearly needed to play one of the first smartphone games ever released – Doodle Jump.

Aaron was introduced to Doodle Jump back in 2010, a year after the game was released.

At the time, the world record was already in the millions, but that didn’t stop him from getting into the game.

After more than a year of playing, he defeated the world record with a score of 11.3 million – and then went on to best his score again and reach a mind-blowing score of 24.2 million!

 

If you’ve managed to read through this entire list and are not itching all over to jump back into at least ten of these games, then you should probably seek some kind of help.

Many of these games were the absolute bee’s knees back in the day and have consistently ranked as some of the best games ever since!

All I can tell you is that I, for one, am ready to play some games!

,
95 Sources

Leave A Comment