Credits and loading screens within video games generally aren't particularly interesting for players. Credits sequences are a great way to take note of the amazing developers that make our favourite games, but they're more often than not devoid of any interactive element. Loading screens, meanwhile, are just that: loading screens. They're mostly static images or looping animations that do nothing but test your patience while you wait to dive into the game. A tool tip or some lore nuggets might help pass the time, but otherwise you're just twiddling your thumbs.
Sometimes, though, minigames and interactive elements are peppered into loading screens and rolling credits that elevate what might otherwise be a drag to a whole other level. It took a while to come to full fruition, too; while credits sequences have played around with interactive elements for years at this point, developers were somewhat limited to what they could do with loading screens thanks to a patent filed in 1998 by Namco for "auxiliary games", effectively giving the company exclusive rights to create minigames within loading screens.
The patent thankfully expired in November 2015, giving developers total freedom to play around with loading screens to their hearts' content. Granted, stumbling across a worthwhile minigame during loading screens or credits sequences even to this day is still a frustrating rarity, so we've gone ahead and compiled some of our favourites from across the years.
SPOILER ALERT: Please note that the videos featured here may contain the end cutscenes prior to the credits sequence. Keep this in mind If you're concerned about avoiding spoilers.
With that said, on with the show! Let's start off with some ending credits that tried things a little bit differently...
New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)
Breaking blocks has been a staple in Mario games since the very beginning, but New Super Mario Bros. Wii took the idea to the extreme with its credits sequence.
The entire line up of developers is displayed in block form and you're tasked with breaking as much of it as you can before it scrolls up and out of sight. Even better, you can enlist your friends if playing in co-op mode for some truly chaotic fun. Breaking multiple blocks in a row bags you with some bonus coins, so it's definitely worth taking part in.
Please note that some external links on this page are affiliate links, which means if you click them and make a purchase we may receive a small percentage of the sale. Please read our FTC Disclosure for more information.
Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition (Switch)
Much like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, both Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends see you smashing up the credits as it scrolls up the screen.
It's arguably more intuitive than Nintendo's effort too, with Rayman boasting a more diverse move set; it feels like you're effortlessly breaking through glass, it's so satisfying. If we absolutely had to complain though, we reckon the credits go on a touch too long. It's good, but it's not that good.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)
Most of the Super Smash Bros. games feature some sort of interactive credits sequence; in fact, almost all of them involve shooting at the names as they fly by the screen. The sequence from Super Smash Bros. Melee holds a special place in our hearts, but the one from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is arguably the most fun of the bunch.
Styled like a classic shmup, you'll be flying vertically, horizontally, and diagonally as you blast away at the various names passing by. You'll even come across bombs that take out multiple names in one go.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Wii U)
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U went in a different direction to the rest of the series, with the credits sequence tasking you with smashing up a load of names with your chosen character as they scroll across the screen. Doing so slowly reveals a special picture of your character, so there's plenty of incentive to complete this sequence with the entire fighting roster.
You can go through this sequence co-operatively, too, as demonstrated in the embedded video above (sorry for all the "pikas").
Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition (Switch eShop)
Devil May Cry 3 is all about excess and having fun. Capcom knew this all too well — particularly after the poor reception to Devil May Cry 2 — so saw fit to extend the third outing's gameplay well into the end credits sequence.
Rather than simply fade to black and have a bunch of names scroll up the screen, Dante and Lady engage in one final battle accompanied by a badass metal soundtrack. It's the perfect end to one of the greatest hack 'n' slash games in recent memory.
It's pretty clear that PlatinumGames took a look at what Devil May Cry 3 did with its credits sequence and thought "hey, let's just do that!". It's a fair decision, and to give the dev some credit [Badoom-tish - Ed], it mixed things up a bit in Bayonetta by introducing short playable sequences involving a diverse set of enemies, from standard enemies right up to huge, hulking beasts.
Eventually, the credits eases into a more traditional approach, but the gameplay segments are incredibly fun while they last.
Punch Out!! for the Wii took its central premise and ran with it when the credits rolled, tasking players with "punching" any names that looked a bit odd during the end sequence. See a name that's spelt wrong, or a letter that's upside down? Give the name a good whack and it'll turn green, rewarding you with points in the process.
It's a fun twist on the gameplay featured in games like New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Rayman Legends in that it requires you to think a bit more about what you're hitting.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
What a glorious game this is, eh? Super Mario Galaxy 2 displayed a bunch of dioramas during its credits sequence, giving players an opportunity to grab as many stars as possible during short periods before the next diorama pops up.
Interestingly, if you're able to turn into Bee Mario during this sequence, it's actually possible to die by flying off the screen. Doing so will result in the usual game over screen, but the credits will continue rolling against a pitch black screen until the end. Was this intentional? Possibly not!
Undertale (Switch eShop)
The majority of Undertale's credits sequence is pretty standard: scrolling names with the odd animated scene here and there. When you get to the 'Special Thanks' section, however, it's an entirely different matter. Here, you'll take control of the heart and will need to avoid groups of names as they come hurtling toward you in various different patterns.
You have infinite health during this section, so it's not possible to "lose", as such, but it's still an incredibly fun sequence that will really test your gameplay skills.
Nintendo Switch Sports (Switch)
We've already spoken about this one, but Nintendo Switch Sports includes a great little minigame within its credits that requires you to hit a tennis ball back and forth against the names while they're scrolling up to the left.
Doing so 50 times in a row will bag you with the unique 'Staffer' title, so it's worth doing. You know, if you like titles.
On the next page we move away from credits to the loading screens that tried their very best to make you forget you're looking at a loading screen...
I completely forgot about the NSMBWii credits game! I beat that one at least 10 times as a kid and I loved this sequence every single time.
The SMG2 one is really fun, too. Also, Squid Jump needs to return for Splatoon 3.
You could've literally just put all 6 Smash games there and the list is done
Not a Nintendo game but I love the credits from Nier Automata Ending E
One of the best moments in gaming ever imo
I think Splatoon 2 should deserve a mention. On its ending credits, you need to shoot the screen with ink in order to reveal the names of the developers written in grafitti art
@TioRogerio I forgot about that one, too! That one absolutely deserves to be on this list. It's super unique and yet fits in perfectly with Splatoon
I remember the days of waiting for a commodore 64 or spectrum game to load. I think the earliest example I can remember was a game called Barbarian from the midish 80s where you could play space invaders whilst it loaded.
For those too young to remember, we had to wait 5-8 minutes for a game to load provided it didn't crash and you had to start again.
No mention of the entertaining end credits sequence in WarioWare: Smooth Moves? Tsk tsk.
Hehe I imagine some older brother in FULL RAGE while watching the Smash Bros Ultimate credits, shouting "CAN YOU JUST HOLD IT FOR A SECOND I'M TRYING TO READ THIS!!!!!!"
Not a Nintendo game, but the end credits sequence in Splosion Man on Xbox 360 is still one of the greatest things ever.
This has got to be the most specific list on this site lol.
But to add Warframe lets you fly your ship around when loading into your mission.
I always find Super Monkey Ball 2 credits pretty enjoyable to play, to dodge letters and get bananas.
@Duncanballs The dreaded "R: Tape Loading Error"! It's the main reason I loved the NES. Carts! They were the Rolls Royce of gaming at the time. Never been bettered.
In Super Monkey Ball 1 or 2, you could still roll around and smash into the credits whilst picking up as many bananas as you could. (2's credit themetune is just amazing)
My favourite is MARIO 64 where you can pull on Mario's nose and other appendages.......
Another good one is BANJO TOOIE where if you collect everything 100% you get to control the dung beetle and roll the poop around the circuit during the credits
There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension has the best in-game credits sequence.
@USWITCH64 yes love it, completely forgot about the dung beetle in Banjo
@Tyranexx Literally came here to say that the complete lack of WarioWare titles is shocking
If we go a bit broader on loading screens, I still think the GameCube is the best start up screen of all of the consoles. IGN have even pinched it for NVC.
@Markiemania95 Most of the WarioWare titles I've played have a very entertaining credits roll. Smooth Moves sticks out the most in my memory since I played that one recently.
Playing mini Gradius between periods during Blades of Steel is the grandfather of this.
Squid jump is the actual game and Splatoon is the time filler. How do you not know this?
NieR Automata, and it's not even close.
Splatoon had the best waiting game. These things should be in more games
I forget if it's Splatoon 1, 2, or both, but spraying ink all over the credits is pretty satisfying. And not sure if it counts, but I remember Pokemon X/Y's end credits having no vocals in the music, but lyrics written out in a bunch of different languages for you to sing along with, which I thought was a really nice touch.
@iLikeUrAttitude You must have missed the one ranking every version of Great Fairy Fountain from Zelda, which by the way is STILL missing Light Spirit's Elegy from Twilight Princess.
@Duncanballs "Just when you thought it was safe to make a cup of tea, it's....INVADE-A-LOAD!"
Yes, remember doing that on the C64!
One thing that still confuses me somewhat with the Switch is, given that it uses cartridges, why does it take so long to load something? I'm convinced my disc spinning PS4 Pro (with internal SSD, admittedly) is faster to load stuff?
For me I really liked fire emblem three houses loading screens, tilting the switch back and forth was fun.
Yeah, that was nice about Rayman Legends. Thank you for including that game.
TVC (Wii) had to collect all the letters on a bike ride during end the end credits. Can’t remember what the reward was though.
Also ridge racer
Rayman Origins let you run around during the loading screen. I always tried to see how far on the loading map I could get before the actual level started.
Lost Words lets you platform on the actual words of the scrolling credits.
Not quite the same, but Super Mario Maker 2 sticks you in a random level as part of the intro loading screen before you start.
The WarioWare Get It Together one even awards with a trophy for getting a perfect score on the credits.
I really miss shooting the credits 64/Melee style. It just isn't the same in the newer games.
Squid jump was great, I also enjoyed squid volleyball
No super monkey ball???
@GrailUK Yep, this was what I was going to say. My favorite part was that the "ending credits game" actually tracked how many bananas you collected and then you would earn a nickname, usually simian based, depending on how many you collected.
Yeah, as someone else commented. Super Mario maker let you play a random level before the game even began. I still play these despite myself. "I'll just play it for a second." Proceeds to beat entire level.
Oh wait! How could we leave out Mario 64! Which let's you pull and stretch on Mario's face before you start the game.
In Human Fall Flat you fall through the credits. You can use the letters as platforms or grab them to drag them down with you.
Pretty sure Splatoon is my favorite - both the inking gimmick in the end credits for 1 and 2, and the Squid Jump mini-game mentioned in the article
I must have finished Okami on all its platforms and I never knew about that mini game!
I'd also like to nominate the sparkle screen from PSO that you could move around the screen and the Teleporter loading animation which you could change direction with the left stick but alter the speed with the right.
@RadioHedgeFund I was just going to say PSO.
PSO2 has it too, but it doesn't look like the Switch version is coming to the States.
@Asaki I think Sega have an exclusivity agreement with Microsoft on PSO2.
TBH I found PSO2 to be a lot more bewildering than FFXIV and a hard game to get into.
One great thing about PSO1 was its simplicity. It wasn't full of F2P mechanics and finding people to just dungeon with was easy.
@RadioHedgeFund Switch version would be cool, I actually modded the game to use the Switch button graphics on the UI, since I use my WiiU Pro pad to play. But I think the Switch version is some kind of cloud thing, so performance probably isn't that great.
I think a lot of it's fun, especially the player customization, "photo" opportunities, concerts in the lobby, etc. The first time I played it, I was like "Wow, this is just like a virtual anime convention." Just needs a room where you can actually browse player merchant booths.
But yeah, the F2P stuff is just not for me at all, and there's a LOT of it in there. And a lot of grinding for drops, so you can grind for more drops, so you can craft an item, that you can collect 100 of, to use to craft a weapon that's 1% better than the one you currently have...
I never had trouble finding other players. I usually played with friends (they all lost interest when New Genesis game out), or just ran solo...but even when you run solo, if you don't explicitly set a password to lock everyone out, random people will come and go.
I still need to finish story mode. It is looooooooooooong.
@Asaki I imagine if you come in fresh its a bit easier to swallow. My problem will forever be comparing it to the original which is wonderfully streamlined.
Which is strange because I enjoy my time dipping in-and-out of FFXIV which is arguably just as complicated, but I find strangely familiar because the battle mechanics aren't too dissimilar to Xenoblade 1.
I'd take PSOBB but with an endless list of sega-themed cosmetics to purchase. They'd rake it in with something like that.
Tap here to load 46 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...