Games in Games - What are the Best AAA Video Games for Gambling?

15 June 2018, 2:12 pm EDT
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Video games let us do so many things which we never could in real life. We can fight aliens, fly jets, make 30-foot vertical leaps and roll around at the speed of sound, and that's just a start. What we've really been thinking about recently is the concept of mini-games, or games within games. While these can take the forms of entries based almost entirely around these mini-games, like the Mario Party games, our real interest lies in the idea of in-game casinos. A great way to practice, and sometimes even play with friends, these games are so popular and fun in real life that it's only natural that they would keep this quality in embedded digital form. So which are the best for this, and what makes them special?

Fallout New Vegas

Widely regarded as one of the best in the series, it makes sense that a game set in Vegas would include a lot of gambling, even if that Vegas is a little more mutant infested and murdery than usual. There are a few major casinos to choose from here, most of which act as support for one of the major factions. What we especially love here is the choice on offer, as many games only focus on a single casino game, whereas New Vegas offers many.

Slots are the most popular casino games, for example, with their paylines, payouts and multipliers - yet, playable slots in video games are often left by the wayside. Combine this with poker, and the ability to use your luck stats to increase your chances and your character will soon be rolling in caps. You can also just use a Stealth Boy to steal everything which isn't nailed down if kleptomania is more of your thing.

Red Dead Redemption

With the delayed Red Dead Redemption 2 on the horizon, we can't help but hope for more of the gambling from number one. While the dice game was fun, it's really the Texas hold'em game that we crave. Just as engrossing as the game itself is the setting, as playing as a grizzled badass against similarly grizzled cowboys is a real treat, and an event many of us would have loved to be able to experience in real life.

Even better is that this game knows it's in the Old West, where the real law can come down to how fast you can draw your gun. Play legit, or cheat and risk setting off a gunfight; this is probably the best example of in-game gambling that we have ever seen, and we can't help but hope for more.

While we wait around for more games to adopt gambling mini-games, we are a little bit disappointed in how difficult it can be for these systems to legally appear. At least we have online casinos to play anyway, but better integration would also suit us just fine.

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