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Top Ten Tuesday: Video Game Cheat Codes

With the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, one of the lone remaining video game series that still has “cheat codes,” it’s a good time to take a look at the top video-game cheat codes of all-time. The rankings are based on the quality and quantity of the codes in the series.


10. NBA Ballers

A bit of an attempted successor to EA BIG’s classic NBA Street series, NBA Ballers also offered cheat codes to unlock moves, gear, and abilities. The game wasn’t on the same level as NBA Street, but its codes were good enough to make the list.


9. Need for Speed

This mostly applies to the Need for Speed: Underground series of games released nearly 15 years ago. You could get cash, cars, and racetracks in what was a huge selection of customizable features in the game.


8. Donkey Kong

Specifically, Donkey Kong Country had solid cheat codes, including the “Bad Buddy Code” which allowed you to switch between characters with a friend. Another code gave extra lives.


7. NBA Jam

We’re now getting to the really good cheat codes, as NBA Jam had a variety of fun things to do if you input via your controller—from increased abilities on the court to unlocked characters like President Bush.


6. Mortal Kombat

Through the years, there have been plenty of Mortal Kombat cheat codes. The “Blood Code,” which made the game gorier when many parents didn’t want it to be, is probably the best of the bunch—and it’s pretty funny (or messed up) the Mortal Kombat team put it in there for teens to override their parents’ wishes.


5. Red Dead Redemption

The second installment of Red Dead Redemption is what sparked this look into the best cheat codes of all-time, and it lands in the top five. From infinite ammo to infinite health, there are plenty of codes that make you a mini god in the game.


4. Grand Theft Auto

Grant Theft Auto has basically the same cheats as RDR, as they are both made by Rockstar, but having been around longer, there are more classic codes from past games. GTA: San Andreas probably had the best codes to cause a bunch of chaos, including the flying cars code. If you need help evading the authorities, cheat codes provide a great boost.


3. The Konami Code

Being titled “The Konami Code” is pretty awesome, and it has a good argument for the best individual cheat code of all-time because it’s used in most of Konami’s video games—and some non-Konami games because it’s that much of a classic. Giving 30 free lives in Contra was the height of The Konami Code.


2. NFL Street

The last two on the list are sleepers, which is what it took to top The Konami Code. NFL Street cheat codes could get you every stadium, every team, and bonus teams, including the “NFL Legends”—which was basically an unstoppable squad. You could also just beat the game to unlock most of the stuff, but cheat codes are for short cuts.


1. NBA Street

The NBA version—starting with the original NBA Street—of the Street video game series is rightfully in the No. 1 spot for best cheat codes of all-time. It’s the second edition of the game, NBA Street Vol. 2, which makes its case hard to argue against. The ability to unlock basically anything—including an ABA ball and the epic ’85 rookie Michael Jordan was simply great.


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