Mini-games can either be sections of optional concentrated Hell, or a great way to break up the action and a fun opportunity to get items or just take a break. Sometimes their moreish nature can be a little too effective. Here are 6 addictive mini-games that will see you abandoning the main story for just one more round, you promise.
Blitzball – Final Fantasy X
Blitzball is a very divisive mini-game, and the initial difficulty of the match against the Luca Goers can be enough to make you never want to play it again. If you do go back, though, it’s likely a huge chunk of your Final Fantasy X play time will be because of Blitzball. It doesn’t get everyone, but if you get the Blitzball bug, you get it bad.
Final Fantasy X-2’s Blitzball management, on the other hand, seems to be almost unanimously hated. Overall, not only is Blitzball a fun mini-game where it’s easy to lose more than a few hours, but it’s a key part of FFX’s world. It may even be the highlight.
Billiards – Steambot Chronicles
Going to the Blitzball stadium and not leaving for hours on end might be pretty bad, but you don’t even have to go into the main game for billiards, which is available as its own option from the main menu. As much as I love Steambot Chronicles, there comes a point where I’m tempted to just entirely forgo the plot and start a new life of nothing but playing billiards and busking on street corners to fund my expensive lobster habit. I generally resist that temptation of walking away from the plot – I just succumb to Billiards Mode altogether.
Cabaret Club Czar – Yakuza 0
A truly multi-faceted mini-game, Cabaret Club Czar in Yakuza 0 is also a great way to earn extra money. While a hostess club mini-game may appear elsewhere in the series, Yakuza 0’s take is particularly detailed and enjoyable, with 6 Platinum Hostesses to collect by beating other clubs and a lot of aspects to managing your own venue, the Sunshine Club.
If you prefer actually talking to the girls yourself, well, Cabaret Club Czar has that too in the form of customer service training sessions for your hostesses. Throw in outfit customisation to improve your girls’ stats too and it’s super easy to get sucked into Cabaret Club Czar. But, hey, even if you do get sidetracked, you’ll be rich when you’re done with it!
Chocobo Racing – Final Fantasy VII
Another entry for Final Fantasy! Square Enix has really got the addiction of a good mini-game down! Chocobo Racing is one of the many fun mini-games to be found in the Gold Saucer, suspender of plots. Not only are the Chocobo races themselves fun, but catching and breeding the best Chocobo so you can get that S rank can easily become almost as important as saving the planet.
When you’re not in the mood for trying to control a Chocobo manually or trekking across the world to catch one, you can still bet on Chocobo races. It’s not like you could be spending that gil on something more useful, right? A Chocobo-fuelled gambling addiction seems like a perfectly valid response to the imminent end of the world. Chocobo racing and other mini-games from Final Fantasy VII’s Gold Saucer are available in Final Fantasy XIV — as if players needed a reason to sink even more hours into FFXIV!
School Mode – Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Not one that will put your questing on halt for an indeterminate but definitely too long period, but Danganronpa’s School Mode (and Island Mode in DR2, which, bizarrely, came first) is a fairly solid game by itself. Primarily taking the form of a stat-building resource-gathering game, School Mode charges you with constructing various strange Monokumas using bits and pieces you find around the school. You don’t play directly as Naegi this time, but instead control the whole class by deciding who should go where and do what.
It’s pretty challenging at first, but your levels carry over, encouraging you to keep going back for more as you’ll be more successful. In between the building challenges, you’ll have an opportunity to further progress the Report Cards for various characters, letting you catch up on some quality time with anyone who rudely went and died in the middle of your budding friendship. In DR2’s Island Mode, maxing a character’s Report Card gets you their underwear (not sure why), but in School Mode you’ll have to complete all the tasks set by Monokuma and also max out the affection metre with that character for the prize, adding an extra layer of difficulty and therefore driving up those replays. Hanging around forever in School Mode isn’t so bad though – at least no one dies!
Triple Triad – Final Fantasy VIII
You knew this would be on here! In competition with Blitzball for favourite Final Fantasy mini-game is Final Fantasy VIII’s card game Triple Triad. The addictive nature of Triple Triad has pretty much been acknowledged with it its inclusion in the Final Fantasy Portal mobile app. So, if you found yourself playing Triple Triad more than the rest of FFVIII, well, you can officially play Triple Triad without the rest of FFVIII… And just to really fuel the fire, as with Chocobo racing, Triple Triad is also available in Final Fantasy XIV, which has designs on your entire life.
So those are 6 addictive mini-games we find the easiest and most enjoyable to get sidetracked by, but what are yours? Let us know in the comments!
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