While video game cheats are nowhere near as prevalent as they used to be, they used to bring a lot of variety to our favorite games. They could be used to flip the rules of the world on their head and give hours of entertainment or cut down on irritating features of the game. Let’s take a look back at some of the most iconic cheats found in video games.
Extra/Infinite lives (various games)
The most recognizable cheat code of all time is the Konami Code. Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start has done a variety of things in tons of games, but it is best known for giving 30 extra lives in Contra. Extra/infinite life cheat codes make games more accessible for people who might not be the most skilled players. They are perfect for older games that were unfairly tough.
Flying cars (Grand Theft Auto series)
The Grand Theft Auto franchise is well known for having a variety of cheats, but one of the funner ones is activating flying cars. Starting in the PlayStation 2 days, you would activate this cheat, pick up some speed and pull back on the left stick to pull up into the air. Every vehicle became weightless to the point that if you got a tank you could aim the cannon behind you and fly as high into the air as you wanted.
More health, weapons, and more (Grand Theft Auto series)
Grand Theft Auto is best when you go on a killing spree in its expansive world. What better way to do that than gearing yourself up with every weapon in the game? Put all the needed codes in and see how long you can survive the cops and military hunting you down.
Stage select (Sonic the Hedgehog)
Back in the day, no games had stage selection options. Sonic the Hedgehog changed this with use of its cheat code for a level select screen. You could immediately go to any level you wanted, instead of having to start from Green Hill Zone every time you play the game.
Big head mode (various games)
Big head mode is universally praised for how ridiculous it makes the models in-game look. Many games have used this cheat before, but it is probably most popular for its use in NBA Jam and Goldeneye 007. Often the cheat doesn’t necessarily change the gameplay, but big head mode is a classic cheat that will never be forgotten.
God mode (Doom)
God mode gives you invulnerability to any damage the game is dulling out at you and when that game is filled with hell’s demons like Doom, that only makes the game more fun. You can play however you want when there are no consequences and can truly explore the environment for secrets. God mode is a great time no matter what game it is inserted into.
Rosebud (The Sims)
The Sims is a series about simulating life for the characters you create. That being said, getting a job and making a lot of money to build a big house could take a long time. Use the rosebud cheat to instantly give yourself tons of money. It completely bypasses the hours you would normally spend on the game to do what you want.
Exploding Lara Croft (Tomb Raider II)
Following Lara Croft’s introduction in the first Tomb Raider game, there were many rumors about a cheat code to make her play the game nude. When the sequel came out, that rumor continued and this code was given to horny kids on the school ground. When they went to input the code, Lara would instantly explode into pieces. A moment those kids will never forget.
Debug mode (Sonic the Hedgehog 2)
Debug mode allows you to completely change up the levels in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. You had full access to every asset in the game and could play around with it to both create and explore to your heart’s content.
Unlock items (various games)
Like rosebud saves you hours of time by giving you money, other games would use that chance to give you items that weren’t available via normal means or for meeting certain criteria. Resident Evil comes to mind with its infinite rocket launcher cheat. Too many games used this cheat to be mentioned here, but it was truly a fun time whenever you knew you could get a hold of an item you didn’t earn. This code was largely replaced by the introduction of micro-transactions and DLC add-ons.
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