Cheat codes are rarely just about the “cheat.” Yes, there’s a certain joy to becoming invincible, unlocking new items, or just skipping a few levels, but the thing that separates the best cheat codes from an endless selection of similar cheats is the way they would often go on to define the games they were into such a degree that it almost feels stranger to think of playing those games without cheats enabled.
In this article, we’ll tell you the Most Famous Video Game cheat codes of all time. So, let’s dive in.
Most Famous Video Game Cheat Codes Of All Time
Here is a complete list of all the most famous video game cheats.
1- The Konami Code
In its most famous form, the Konami Code was Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-A — a series of buttons that many kids had burned into their memory. Without the code to give you 30 extra lives in Contra, beating the game was all but impossible – and it still wasn’t a cakewalk with the code.
2- Doom – The “God Mode” Cheat
Doom is famous for pioneering the first-person shooter genre, but it was also known for being brutally difficult when it came out. To make things easier for players, ID Software tucked a handy God Mode cheat into the game that would make you invincible.
The code was IDDQD, which is “ID” (the game development studio) plus “Delta-Q-Delta” (the college fraternity formed by Doom programmer Dave Daylor).
3- GoldenEye 007 – The Facility Invincibility Run
There are a few cheats from GoldenEye 007 that belong on this list (DK Mode and Paintball certainly stand out), but if we’re talking about the best of the best, then we’ve got to talk about unlocking GoldenEye 007’s “Invincible” cheat.
In order to unlock the ability to become invincible in GoldenEye 007, you had to beat the Facility level in 2:05 or less on the 00 Agent setting.
4- Mortal Kombat (Sega Genesis) – The Blood Code
This is one of the best cheats in this game. No one actually wanted to play the official, watered-down, non-gory version of Mortal Kombat.
They wanted blood! And, somehow, kids all over the world figured out that hitting A, B, A, C, A, B, B on Mortal Kombat’s Code of Honor screen would result in Scorpion yelling “Get over here!” and unlocking the famous Blood Mode.
5- Fight Tyson (Mike Tyson’s Punch Out)
Punch Out is an excruciatingly difficult video game, and the fight against Mike Tyson is one of the most intense boss fights in the history of games.
Simply entering the password 0073735963 would get you there—but getting to Tyson was only the beginning of the miserable-yet-ultimately-satisfying journey of Punch-Out.
6- Level Select (Sonic the Hedgehog)
You could play through every level in Sonic the Hedgehog as you were meant to, but who has time for that? Old-school gamers knew to simply hit Up, Down, Left, Right, A + Start to unlock the ability to play any level you want.
7- The Legend of Zelda – The Second Quest Secret
Sure, you can unlock Zelda’s “Second Quest” (a remix of the original adventure) by actually beating the game, but many of us discovered that feature by entering “Zelda” as our character name.
It’s impressive enough that Nintendo managed to pack this much content into an NES cartridge, but the best thing about this cheat is how easy it was to unlock it. More than a few kids accidentally played the Second Quest by assuming that their character was supposed to be named Zelda.
8- Age of Empires 2 – The Shelby Cobra Cheat
Age of Empires 2 features so many memorable cheats that you could honestly argue they helped define the legacy of this classic RTS. However, there is one cheat code that stands above the rest.
By using the cheat command “how do you turn this on,” you can spawn a Shelby Cobra in Age of Empires 2 that happens to function as one of the better siege weapons in the game. Nothing beats turning this strategy game into a Fury Road simulator by assaulting a desert stronghold with a small army of sports cars.
9- The Sims – “Rosebud” Money Cheat
Unlimited money let us build the house of our dreams, engineer truly wild scenarios, or even just focus on elements of The Sims we wouldn’t otherwise get to enjoy. This cheat proved just how robust The Sims’ core mechanics and endgame options really were.
Just hit Ctrl + Shift + C to bring up the console and type Rosebud over and over again until you had millions of Simoleons. With all that cash, you were free to build whatever you wanted!
10- Metroid – The Mysterious Justin Bailey Code
If you have played Metroid on your old Nintendo, you might have typed the JUSTIN BAILEY as a password. It automatically granted Samus a swimsuit with dozens of power-ups. It was God mode for players at that time. When Samus was revealed to be a female Intergalactic bounty hunter it broke the gaming community in 1986.
11- Grand Theft Auto 3 – Spawn a Rhino Tank
The Grand Theft Auto series belongs in the Hall of Fame of video game cheat codes, but if I have to pick one cheat from this series to highlight, it has to be the “tank” code from GTA 3.
By entering CIRCLE, CIRCLE, CIRCLE, CIRCLE, CIRCLE, CIRCLE, R1, L2, L1, TRIANGLE, CIRCLE, TRIANGLE (in the PS2 version of the game), GTA 3 players could spawn an invincible Rhino tank that could destroy any other vehicle with one cannon shot.