Button mashing is largely a thing of the past, as developers find more creative ways to implement mini-games and challenge players. However, many classic games still ask you to press a button as fast as possible to win against a computer or a friend.
Most of these are optional, but a few must-haves made it here and make their respective games unbeatable for some. It’s problematic for two big reasons. For one, it’s just not fun to do. Second, some people just can not button mash. This is why most modern games often allow you to bypass the button combination via accessibility options.
6 Shenmue Series: Arm Wrestling and Turtle Racing
Shenmue broke many new ground in gaming for its realism. Some of his mechanics, once considered groundbreaking, are now obsolete and ironically age the game, even if he made them long before they were common. Quick time events and button mashing are important parts of all three Shenmue games.
Shenmue 2 has a wrestling minigame where you beat your opponent by repeatedly pressing a button, and Shenmue 3 came out in 2019, making turtle racing fun inexcusable. To make the turtle cross the finish line, you need to press the button that appears on the screen.
5 Mario Party – A handful of minigames
Opinions are divided on Mario Party. Some consider the series to be a light-hearted way to spend time with friends that never tries to be more than it is. Others call him the greatest destroyer of friendships. Regardless of your position, most can agree that the worst minigames are the ones that rely on button mashing.
Depending on the series entry, various minigames boil down to just this. When one of these shows up in the rotation during a game, everyone already knows who won and who lost. Players should simply decline to participate in these out of principle.
4 Pokemon Stadium – Run Rattata Run
Younger gamers take Pokémon in 3D for granted on the Nintendo Switch. During the first decade of the franchise, it was rare to see them in anything except anime and on a Game Boy screen. This is what made Pokémon Stadium so special.
Even if fans weren’t wowed by it, the novelty of seeing their favorite Pokémon rendered in 3D on the N64 was enough to justify a purchase. Aside from the main gameplay, various mini-games added some diversity to the experience. Most of these involved repetitive button presses in one way or another, but Run Rattata Run was the least inspired. Simply run along a track by pressing A and occasionally jump over obstacles. Innovative.
3 Mortal Kombat – Test your might
Some Mortal Kombat entries contain a minigame called Test Your Might. Just press the buttons as fast as possible to fill up a meter and then activate the attack to break the object. It’s simple and starts out easy, but progressively increases the challenge until it’s almost impossible. It’s been a part of the franchise since the beginning, but that doesn’t make it fun.
Other Mortal Kombat games, particularly the PS2 and original Xbox entries, have more entertaining minigames, such as Puzzle Kombat, a kart racing game, and even a unique take on chess. Modern games have cut down on mini-games in favor of extremely balanced fighting gameplay.
two Resident Evil 5 – Hit a Rock
Resident Evil 4 introduced quick time events to the franchise. Some of these involved mashing buttons to flee dangers. They are annoying and cause unexpected deaths, but remain mostly harmless. Resident Evil 5 continued this trend and continues to be unobtrusive. The last boss, however, pits the two protagonists against Albert Wesker.
During the fight, Sheva and Chris get separated, and Chris must move a rock out of the way to rejoin his partner. If you’re bad at mashing buttons, whoever plays as Sheva will have a hard time trying to hit the rock. In the name of accessibility, future releases of Resident Evil 4 and 5 should make button mashing optional.
Both Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2 feature mini-games where you resist electrical shocks by pressing buttons. At least in the 1998 PlayStation title, you can give up and get one of two endings where Ocelot kills Meryl and you escape Shadow Moses with Otacon. In Metal Gear Solid 2, Solidus Snake tortures Raiden on top of Arsenal Gear.
There is no way to give up in this sequence, and you just have to survive. It gets harder as you increase the difficulty modes, and many have never beaten the title on Extreme due to how long and how quickly you have to spam the button. Metal Gear Solid 4 also includes a sequence where Snake crawls through a microwave tunnel, and you also need to press buttons here to pull it off. At least this segment is full of tension and drama.
NEXT: Minigames That Deserve Their Own Spin-Off Titles