In an industry that can all too often feel like it wants to wring us of every last drop of money, there’s a special pleasure in noting those most entertaining of freebies: the games hidden inside other games. For instance, did you know the original Animal Crossing was crammed with classic NES games? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite examples of this Matryoshka-game trend.
To be more specific, we’re talking about previously released games, rather than bespoke mini-games or alternative activities that might take place in a larger world. Clearly there should be a whole other slideshow to celebrate the best of those, but here the focus is commercially released games being tucked inside a newer one.
Apart from when we cheat, that is. There’s no way I’m leaving out Geometry Wars, no matter how much that technically breaks the rule. Same for Crash Bandicoot in…well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but that one’s also real special.
Anyway, read on, and you may well discover a game in your collection has been secretly containing another you’ve never played.