1. Contra Code (NES)
Did you expect anything else? Without a doubt, the most widely revered cheat in gaming history is the NES Contra code that loads you up with 30 lives and a fighting chance at beating the game - a pop-culture phenomenon that transcends time and space. The Code: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, (select), Start
2. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out (NES)
Very few gamers can say that they've organically crawled up the ranks with Little Mac to go toe-to-toe with Tyson himself in Mike Tyson's Punch Out for NES. Although we all dreamed of reaching that mystical Title Bout, the road was nearly impassable. However, with a little help from our friend The Cheat, dreams became short-lived realities as we humbly realized that Tyson could take you out with one punch. The Code: 007 373 5963
3. Mortal Combat (Sega)
Simply known as the Blood Code, an already brutal game such as Mortal Combat becomes that much more gruesome with a few taps of the buttons. While the original game lets you punch and kick at the expense of some sweat droplets, the Blood Code sends blood flying and allows you rip people's hearts out of their chest, tear off their heads and more. The Code: A, B, A, C, A, B, B during the story screen
4. NBA Jam (Sega)
The precursor to the bobble head doll, NBA Jam (and many other EA Sports video games in the 90s) had a cheat that didn't necessarily give you an advantage but simply made the game a bit more light-hearted. The name explains it all; Big Head Mode pretty much puts huge heads on little bodies and made even the most stone-faced gamers give a chuckle. The Code: Hold Up, the Turbo button and the Steal button until the tipoff
5. Grand Theft Auto (PS3)
It's one of the most blatant anti-establishment games on the market and the many cheat codes available only bolster its rogue reputation. During the game itself, the character runs around town steeling cars, beating people, engaging with prostitutes and blowing things up but with codes like "BSTARD" you get all the lives and amo you could want. Entering "SATANLIVES" will get you 9,999,990 points and "EXCREMENT" will raise your wanted level to the maximum level. All of that said, the ultimate cheat is the legendary Tank Code - a code that allows you access a tank and wreak more havoc than ever before. The Code: Circle, Circle, Circle, Circle, Circle, Circle, R1, L2, L1, Triangle, Circle, Triangle
6. Metroid (NES)
Even though Metroid had the famous cheat code "Justin Bailey" (which gave gamers some basic weapon upgrades), it was not the only cheat available for the futuristic adventure. While most people assumed the person inside the spacesuit was a man, those that beat the difficult game were surprised to find the warrior was a woman named Samus. The code below allowed you to play the entire game as Samus, without the suit or powerups and starting at Brinstar. The Code: 000000 000020 000000 000020
7. Super Mario Brothers (NES)
The beauty of Super Mario Brothers for NES was that the game was chalk full of cult secrets; warping tubes, shortcuts and glitches that allowed you to score infinite lives. While the game was full of these covert nuggets, there was one known cheat code that allowed you to start at the beginning of the level you had just reached, even after you die. Very few average users knew about it; however, everyone wished they had when they returned to the beginning of the game after coming so far. The Code: Hold A and B while pressing Start at the starting screen.
8. Guitar Hero (Wii, PS3, XBox)
It might not be as classic as the other games on the list but it's nice to know that newer games haven't abandoned the traditions of their elders. The latest craze known as Guitar Hero allows you to shred along to some stellar songs; however, at first, the selection is pretty minimal - until the larger list is unlocked, that is. That said, by playing this sequence on the guitar, you can unlock the full library of tunes from the beginning and start playing your favorite songs right from the get-go. The Code: Go to the Game Mode selection screen and enter Yellow, Orange, Blue, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Yellow
9. Sonic 2 (Sega)
While the original Sonic the Hedgehog didn't have any fancy cheats, Sonic 2 stepped up its game to feature a debug mode that shook things up a bit. When activated, it allowed Sonic to morph into different objects within the game such as bumpers, rings, TVs, etc and if gamers could collect all of the seven "chaos emeralds" then Sonic took on a new and improved appearance of an invincible Super Sonic that could run full speed without stopping and could even run up the walls. The Code: Use the Sound Test located within the Level Select and play 1, 9, 9, 2, 1, 1, 2, 4
10. Game Genie (NES)
k... we'll admit this isn't necessarily a particular cheat code for a particular game but who could forget the Game Genie for NES – the most robust cheating apparatus known to gaming history. By simply hooking this middle-man-console up to your system, you could instantly access cheats to all of your favorite NES games and finally give yourself the opportunity to explore never-before-seen levels and beat games you never even dreamed possible.
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