Video game developers love including Easter Eggs in games for fans to find. From small inside-jokes to rare power-ups and weird objects, modern games are full of hidden extras to keep gamers going back. One of the most enduring secrets many games contain is the ability to unlock hidden characters you can then play as. Not only does it allow gamers to experience playing through the story as a different character but adds longevity to the title.
While most hidden characters can be found in fighting games there are numerous other secret and unusual unlockable characters in a host of games from varying genres. It's nice to see game developers taking the time to add these extra features to their games because it adds a layer of completion. Not only have these creators spent grueling hours to bring us completed games, but they also had the consideration to provide us with the excitement of hidden content. For this, we are forever grateful.
From John Wick in Payday 2 through to Darth Maul and Wolverine in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, here are 25 unlockable characters in our favorite games.
25 Reptile: Mortal Kombat
Probably the most well-known hidden character in video game history and usually identified as the first, Reptile is the ideal way to kick off this list. One of Shao Khan's most loyal servants, Reptile wears identical clothing to Sub-Zero and Scorpion except he has a reptilian face.
Gaining access to Reptile isn't easy either, with players having to perform a Double Flawless victory without blocking and finish the match with a fatality. All this must be done in single player mode while fighting in the Pit stage as a silhouette flies past the moon. Easy right?
Since his first appearance Reptile has gone on to become a regular in the series and a fan favorite.
24 Luigi: Super Mario Galaxy
Forever playing second fiddle to his older brother, Luigi once again has to be saved by Mario in this action-filled romp. But unlike many other solo Mario games, you can actually play as the underappreciated Luigi, as long as you collect 120 stars and defeat Bowser at the game's end.
Luigi is surprisingly faster than Mario and can jump further. Not only that, his Cosmic Form is much smarter than Mario's, making him a great addition. You can even play through the entire game again as Luigi and rescue yourself!
23 Young Harman: Killer7
As far as weird video games go it doesn't get much stranger than Killer7. This first-person shooter puts you in control of life-taker Harman Smith who manifests several personalities who he uses to perform hits. There's a convoluted plot and an unconventional control system but one of the perks is the ability to play as a young Harman before he became wheelchair bound.
Completing the game unlocks Killer8 mode and allows you to play as young Harman, who not only can now walk but also comes with a massive tommy gun and super-health.
22 Spider-Man: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Even today the early versions of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater still hold up. The sequel to the inventive original improved on everything that made it great and added a couple of hidden characters, with Marvel superhero Spider-Man one of my favorites.
You can access Spidey by completing the game 100% with a custom skater, but if that sounds like a chore you can also use cheat codes. Not only does Spider-Man look cool but his stats are higher than almost every other character, meaning you can perform some rad tricks in the iconic costume.
21 Devil Jin: Tekken 5
Of all video games, it's the fighting genre that contains the most unlockable hidden characters. Tekken is one such fighter with a raft of secret characters, with Tekken 5 finally allowing fans to play as Jin Kazama's violent alter-ego Devil Jin. After previously featuring in Tekken 2 and 3 as a non-playable character, Devil Jin can be all yours by completing an extremely difficult mini-game or playing 200 matches.
Once unlocked you have access to one of the most powerful competitors in the game and a pretty cool looking avatar as well.
20 Mog: Final Fantasy VI
The Moogle's are a reoccurring race throughout the Final Fantasy series and in Final Fantasy VI, you can actually play as Mog, one of the most recognized Moogles. Mog appears a couple of times throughout the game before he can finally be recruited as a playable character.
He's a rather cute looking creature who is a dancer armed with a spear and can do more damage than you might expect. This is one hidden character longtime Final Fantasy fans were happy to have the chance to play.
19 Hideo Kojima: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
The developers behind the Metal Gear Solid series are known for including themselves in the game in inventive ways and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is no different. Along with a number of other Easter Eggs, you can play as creator Hideo Kojima by selecting the truck with the license plate inscribed "Centro America 63824 Peace Sentinel".
This is a pretty cool addition to the game and great recognition of Kojima's legacy in the video game world.
18 Sentinel: Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds
Pitting Marvel characters against Capcom favorites was a brilliant idea and the third game in the series is also a fantastic fighting game.
Amongst all the big names in the roster, the strongest is actually a hidden character.
The Sentinels are robots created to hunt down the X-Men and other mutants and by earning 4,000 Player Points you have the opportunity to play as one of the mechanical giants. Possessed with super strength the Sentinel is one of the strongest characters in the game.
17 The Tofu Survivor: Resident Evil 2
If you're sick of playing as Leon S Kennedy or Claire Redfield than there's the chance to play as one of the weirdest characters on this list, The Tofu Survivor. First, you have to play through the game and get A ranking. Once complete you will be able to play a mini-game as a piece of Tofu general referred to as The Tofu Survivor.
It makes absolutely no sense but does add a new challenge to the game as The Tofu Survivor can only use a knife to combat enemies. A strange but worthy addition to this list.
16 Akuma: Street Fighter 2 Turbo
At first, an unnamed secret character found in Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Akuma is now a regular in the series. The younger brother of Gouken as well as Ren and Ken's master, Akuma quickly became a fan favorite.
Unlocking Akuma requires a variety of button combinations depending on what system you're playing on, but once accessed, he will become one of your favorites. Although he uses a similar fighting style to Ryu and Ken he is a lot more powerful and can take a ton of damage.
15 Mewtwo: Super Smash Bros. Melee
Although not a great fighter in the game Mewtwo is loved by players thanks to the fact he's the only Pokémon to appear in the series.
Initially, he wasn't included in the original Super Smash Bros., much to the frustration of gamers. To make up for this oversight, he was a hidden unlockable character in Melee for the GameCube. The only downside is he's super hard to get, with players having to win hundreds of matches to find him. To please fans he was eventually released as a DLC for the Wii U and 3DS versions.
14 Colonel Sanders: Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinite
Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinite on the PSP is more like a marketing tool than a video game, with Naura Confectionary, Pizza Hut, and KFC all appearing in this average RPG. It's really not worth your time unless you are a big fan of KFC as you are able to unlock the one and only Colonel Sanders.
Although you can't play as him, once discovered, you can call on him throughout the game to help you. Once summoned he will run, jump, and destroy targets alongside you while dressed in his classic white outfit and sporting his famous white facial hair. It's rather bizarre and certainly one of the craziest hidden characters in gaming history.
13 John Wick: Payday 2
John Wick revolutionized the modern action flick and gave Keanu Reeves a career renaissance. The suit-wearing life-taker is a fantastic character who would make a perfect video game character. Enter Payday 2.
Developers Overkill thought the same and combined with Hollywood studio Lionsgate to create a playable John Wick in Payday 2 to help promote the film. Even though this occurred three years after Payday 2 was released, the addition of John Wick was a massive hit with fans and boosted the game's online numbers.
12 Grim Reaper: Guitar Hero
It's apt the Grim Reaper is a fan of heavy metal so it makes sense for him to appear in the Guitar Hero series. Although he's in almost every title he's always a locked character and is usually only accessible by purchasing him from the Guitar Hero shop.
The collector of souls plays a scythe with six strings and his introductory text reads "Don't fear the Reaper." He also won't play any other instrument and only cheat codes will enable him to switch things up.
11 Darth Maul: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
One of the unsung heroes of the prequel trilogy, Darth Maul is a fan favorite whose become even more popular as the years go by. So when he popped up in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, Star Wars fanboys went crazy!
All you have to do to acquire the Sith Lord is play the game as Tony Hawk and collect all the gold medals and complete all 54 goals in Career Mode. Simple right? If that sounds like too much of a challenge for the chance to play as the lightsaber wielding Maul you can enter the cheat code YOHOMIES and have automatic access.
10 Vergil: Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition
As the main antagonist in Devil May Cry 3, Vergil is a super powerful being who's mighty hard to defeat, but once you do you have the option to play as him. Finishing the game unlocks his own story mode and if you can crack that one, then you'll have access to a special version of the character with unlimited Devil Trigger abilities.
Basically, Vergil is more powerful than Dante and a superior swordsman, making him a must-have character to experience. He's also pretty cool looking.
9 Mokap: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
The Mortal Kombat series contains a number of hidden characters but none are quite as strange-looking as Mokap.
Added late to the series, the creators didn't have time to give him any unique characteristics, hence why he looks like a guy in a motion capture suit.
He's actually based on the actor Carlos Pessina who coincidently played Raiden in Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, and the Mortal Kombat Trilogy. He can be unlocked by completing Konquest mode with every character and then selecting Cyrax while holding the start button.
8 Tony Montana: Payday 2
Scarface remains an all-time fan favorite, and although there's a game based upon the 80s classic, the chance to play as Tony Montana in Payday 2 is too good an offer to pass up. Unfortunately, the character himself doesn't look much like Al Pacino and you're better off keeping the Scarface-inspired mask on.
Tony Montana and the aforementioned John Wick weren't the only added characters, with Bodhi from 2015's Point Break, Jimmy from Hardcore Henry, and Jacket from the Hotline Miami games all available as updates.
7 Fred Durst: Smackdown! Just Bring It
The last person you'd imagine who'd appear in a wrestling game is Fred Durst but he's in not one, but two WWF (now WWE) video games. While there is no clear explanation why he features in the game, Durst's band Limp Bizkit provided the entrance music for The Undertaker ("Rollin (Air Raid Vehicle)") during his weird American BA gimmick.
He first appears in 2001s Smackdown! Just Bring It after you win Slobberknocker mode 15 with the Undertaker, and then in 2002s WWF Raw after you win all the championship belts. Durst is one of the first non-wrestlers to appear in a WWE game and is certainly an interesting choice.
6 Wolverine: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
After comic book hero Spider-Man showed up in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, fans were curious to see what costumed mutant would make an appearance in the series third installment.
Much to fans delight, it was the Wolverine.
You unlock Wolverine the same way you do to get Darth Maul (complete career mode with 54 goals and 3 gold medals), but using Maul instead of Tony Hawk. Wolverine comes complete with his classic yellow costume and adamantium claws.
5 A Toilet: Saints Row: The Third
Saints Row gets weirder and weirder with every release and Saints Row: The Third is clear evidence developer Volition were happy to push the boundaries. Along with introducing aliens and virtual worlds, after completing the game you have the ability to play as a toilet. You read correctly, a toilet.
You can do everything a normal human can — such as shooting and running — with the toilet just another sign of Volition's wacky humor that helps make this game so great.
4 Lu Bu: Dynasty Warriors
When the first couple of Dynasty Warriors hit the shelves there wasn't much known about Lu Bu, apart from the fact he's a highly skilled and dangerous warrior you could unlock. With every successive game he's become more and more revered and is less a hidden playable character and more of an Easter Egg that's increasingly difficult to unlock.
He's appeared on the cover of numerous titles and is overly powerful, making him such a unique character to the series.
3 Shaquille O'Neal: UFC Undisputed 2010
One of basketballs greats, Shaquille O'Neal makes a surprise appearance in UFC Undisputed 2010. But you don't have to win 100 matches by knockout to get him. Just enter the code Right, Up, Left, Right, Down, Left, Up, Right, Down, Left, X, Y, Y, X, and Start on the main menu and Shaq-Fu will be a playable character.
Shaq has some impressive stats (83 strength) and is a decent fighter. Win a match with the former LA Laker and you'll hear Mike Goldberg yell, "Shaq Diesel with the victory!"
2 Meat: Mortal Kombat 4
Meat is another strange hidden character from the Mortal Kombat universe. A gross experiment gone wrong, Meat escaped from Shang Tsung's flesh pits before he was completely formed, hence looking like a skinless humanoid figure.
To play as Meat you had to defeat all challengers in Group Mode, including every single character. After that, any selected character becomes Meat who mimics the move set of the previous highlighted character.
1 T-Rex: Need For Speed 2
Ever wanted to play as T-Rex? Well, Need For Speed 2 makes all your dreams come true as you can navigate the many courses as a Tyrannosaurus rex. Why you have this option is beyond me but it's pretty hilarious to watch.
Enter the code "TREXME" on the Playstation version and you can race as a towering T-Rex. It doesn't add anything to the game or make it more playable, but it's good for a laugh.