Right, right, down, up, up, down, triangle, square, left, up, down.
Unless you happen to be Neo from The Matrix, cheat codes aren't all that exciting written down. Entered one into the right console, on the other hand (probably your right), and they can be something rather special indeed.
Bosses no longer haunt our nightmares, levels don’t take so long to wade through and, depending how far developers let you go rogue, you can change the way you play the game completely. Yes, a bit like Neo himself, really.
We've whittled down what we consider to be the top 10 coolest gaming cheats of all time. The first is a mind-blower…
Super Mario Bros – Return from the dead
Some bad news: you've been playing Super Mario Bros incorrectly this whole time. Earlier in the week, one Reddit poster made this post about the NES game, revealing that simply hitting ‘A’ and ‘Start’ at the same time as you return to the start menu will send you back to the last place you were before you perished. Unbelievable. 30 years of needless deaths down the drain – well, they are plumbers after all.
Tomb Raider II - Exploding Lara Croft
For men of a certain age, spending the best part of your adolescence attempting to figure out the cheat to get Lara Croft naked on Tomb Raider II only to realise it never existed in the first place, was a rite of gaming passage. Luckily, the other oft gossiped about cheat, which gave you licence to blow the heroine up in massive explosion whenever you liked - because, hey, why not - was legit.
GTA San Andreas - Flying cars
The list of cheats for GTA games is as long as it is ridiculous. And you’ll be hard pressed to find dafter than this special mode unlockable in San Andreas, allowing you to fly a car a la The Jetsons, making drive-by shootings and bank robberies that much easier to get away with as you jet off into the hazy skies. And to think you thought CJ riding a bicycle was cool.
Disney's Aladdin – Invincibility
If a blue genie with the voice of Robin Williams were ever to grant us three wishes, we’d use the first one to forget we ever saw the face of game developer David Perry – you remember, the creepy looking Virgin Games developer whose head greeted you upon entering the cheat code for invincibility on this classic platformer. Our second wish is easy – a chance to go on the console and use the cheat once more, as, if you’ll excuse the pun, it opened up a whole new world.
Star Wars Jedi Knight II – Lightsaber dismemberment
Ever handled a lightsaber? You can’t just wave one around willy-nilly, they’re lethal killing devices, capable of slicing your limbs off in milliseconds. With this in mind, we imagine there must have been high-fives all around when developers added an advanced debug cheat for Jedi Knight II titled 'Saberrealisticcombat’. The fight scenes were crying out for a touch more realism; if by realism you mean disembodiment and blood-soaked butchery.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 - Unlockable Darth Maul
Which neatly brings us onto the only character ever able to pull off the Force Grab on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skate 3. You guessed it: Darth Maul. Ever the nonchalant acrobat, the muted Sith lord looked as at home on the board as he would be on that strange hover bike from The Phantom Menace, gripping his trademark double lightsaber as he racked up serious trick point after serious trick point. We could have waited to complete the entire game before unlocking him of course, but enterting the cheat code ‘YOHOMIES’ proved far too tempting. Curse our dark side.
Doom – "No Clipping"
“Wait, what about God Mode?” we hear you cry. Watching Doom Man’s face look as if he’s overdosed on heroin while we slay every baddie before us with wanton ease is very nice and all, granted, but it does somewhat take the challenge away. Being able to move through walls like a well-armed ghost, achievable thanks to the code "No Clipping" meant you could strafe like an absolute boss without ever losing the eerie feeling that you were only a second away from running into something nasty.
Goldeneye - Toilet jump
If this were an actual Bond film, watching 007 spinning around a toilet bowl would indicate the super spy had sunk one too many Martinis. Not so on N64’S Goldeneye, where any death match player savvy on the Facility level knew exactly how to fidget with the analog stick and get their character to jump back up to the vents in the bathroom. Trust us, it's not about getting unlimited ammo and health, it's about looking like a pro.
Contra - The Konami Code
From Facebook to Family Guy, the sacred Konami Code – ‘up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start’ in case you've forgotten it – has been immortalised across a bevy of modern mediums. And for good reason: it’s the skeleton key of cheat codes, a universal shortcut to gaming supremacy, ensuring no matter the title there’s always a chance of beating it with ease. Our favourite example of this being in all-action platformer Contra, where you were handed infinite lives along with the ability to keep weapons after death.
Sonic The Hedgehog – Debug Mode
If you cracked the debug code on Sonic back in the day, handing you the power to take the blue speed merchant and morph him into whatever object you like, you might have the blue speed merchant to thank for your deep beliefs in reincarnation. Though it will never quite beat this amazing ‘what if’.