THE TOP TEN BEST CHEAT CODES EVER!: PART 1

You've gotta love the cheats! Cheat codes, easter eggs, passwords, secrets, extras - whatever you call them, gamers have loved getting a little bit more out of their games for almost 30 years now. Since this IS Cheat Code Central - the best place in the world for the aforementioned videogame goodies - we thought it would be cool (and pertinent) to finally label the Top Ten Best Cheats EVER!

There have been thousands of games released over the last three decades, so how does one go about deciding on the best 10 cheats or secrets of all time? If you're me, you start with weeks of heavy drinking, followed immediately by panic due to the sobering realization that you only have ten minutes to write an article you were given six weeks to research. Such is life on the interweb.

Critieria

The cheats found on our list had to have meaning. They couldn't just be cheats we thought were cool. They had to be influential to the further advancement of cheats or the culture of cheating as we now know them. Certainly you'll have your own list in your mind and may question our choices (I'm pretending there is more than one loser writing this article - just go with me on that) - If this is the case, may I suggest getting a job with a website and writing your own article instead of e-mailing me to argue about something as meaningless as the Top 10 Best Cheats Ever? Thanks in advance.

Without further ado, let's dive right in.

#10

Grand Theft Auto (Series)

Some of you may not know that the Grand Theft Auto series actually began on the PSone. If you didn't, can I ask why you never questioned why the PS2 game was called Grand Theft Auto 3? Hmmm?

Anyway, the GTA series has been known for it's plethora of game altering cheat codes since the first codes appeared for the PSone version. If you can believe it, the passwords to activate the cheat codes for the first GTA were almost X-Rated, due in part to the adult nature of the gameplay. If you don't believe me, click here. The expansion pack GTA: London 1969 featured UK porno mag titles as cheat codes. Ummm....I think someone I know told me that. Yeah. I've never even seen those mags before and if I did, they were someone elses.

Of course we wouldn't give out an award just for having naughty words and phrases as codes. Anyone could do that. The GTA series earns our tenth spot for consistently expanding on the cheat codes found within the franchise. Rockstar North (originally DMA) gets our recognition for going above and beyond the call of duty for jamming their GTA games full of cool cheats that allow hours of experimentation and replay value and we hope that other developers take notice. Gamers just want to have fun and the ability to spawn a plethora of vehicles, change into another character, jump high into the air, fly a car and drive on water (to name a fraction of the codes found in the latest GTA game San Andreas) is appreciated by code hungry fans everywhere.

#9

Twisted Metal - PlayStation

When the PlayStation system launched in the Fall of 1995, there were only two games available for it in North America: Battle Arena Toshinden and Ridge Racer. Both games featured codes - BAT had push button codes while the clever Namco developers rewarded players who destroyed all of the space ships (during the loading screen version of Galaga) with 8 additional vehicles.

By 1995, cheat codes in videogames weren't exactly unexpected, but thanks to the Internet which was already getting into fullswing, word travelled quickly. This created a buzz for the PlayStation among gamers and Sony was quick to capitalize on the fever. Sony soon launched a clever advertising campaign centered around their upcoming titles such as Warhawk and Twisted Metal which featured hidden codes within the ads.

It was the first time that a company had acknowledged the existence of codes within their games and used them to whet the appetites of consumers through advertising. Twisted Metal takes the 9th spot over Battle Arena Toshinden, Ridge Racer and Warhawk for the simple fact that this was the game that created the most buzz in regards to the cheats. Observant Twisted Metal players would eventually discover cheats hidden within the levels.

While it wasn't one single action or game that propelled the PlayStation into videogame superstardom, the existence of hidden codes taunting excited gamers certainly played an instrumental role in it's success while the growing need for an archive of these exciting codes led the way for sites such as Cheat Code Central.

#8

Tomb Raider - PlayStation

In terms of legendary videogame characters, you can't get more iconic or pop cultured than Core Design and Eidos' tomb raiding aventuress, Lara Croft. From the moment adolescent gamers got a glimpse of her polygonal assets, it was love at first byte. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Unfortunately for Lara, her controlling masters on the other side of the TV screen weren't content with seeing her parade around in that tight aqua t-shirt or those "nothing left to the imagination" khaki shorts. They wanted more. They wanted Lara to "take it ALL off". And they were pretty damn sure that Core Design had left a code within the game to allow them that one simple pleasure known as The Lara Croft Nude Code. In fact they knew it was true: they had read about it on the internet.

Back in 1996, the internet wasn't really used for evil. There weren't a billion popups, SPAM wasn't a major problem and unrequested emails didn't arrive in your inbox pre-loaded with hardcore photos. But rumors could certainly take on a life of their own and the Lara Croft Nude Code was a living breathing entity by mid-1997.

It certainly didn't help matters that two genuine push button cheat codes actually existed for Tomb Raider; these just gave credence to the notion that the Nude Code was real.

All sorts of ridiculous instructions created by giggling pranksters were tried and tested - some taking hours to complete. Every so often, just when the furor would die down, someone would appear on a message board announcing that they had found it and the millions of gamers would be off wasting their time, chasing down Lara's naughty bits.

Even when the ability to hex PlayStation games came into existence and hackers explained that they had been through every inch of game code and found no such evidence of the Lara Croft Nude Code, conspiracy theorists assumed they were just keeping the code to themselves. You can't win on the internet.

So why would we give the 8th position to a cheat code that never existed? Simple. The Lara Croft Nude Code was a phenomenon. Seemingly normal people (on the outside) who were never interested in cheats prior to Tomb Raider, became obsessed with seeing a videogame character drop her pants. Considering this rabid curiousity took place on the Internet, where nude pictures of real women are only a click away, the LCNC is a sociological mystery that will forever shroud our society in shame - simply because it makes absolutely no sense, sexually or psychologically. But it did manage to get the average everyday gamer interested in cheat codes for other games, and therefore, it's influence on the culture of cheating cannot be ignored.

Click Here For The Top 10 Best Cheats Ever: Part II

By Vaughn