Devil May Cry 3 — Die, ‘Now Loading’

PlayStation 2

Capcom must know how we feel when we see the words “Now loading” appear because its action-adventure title Devil May Cry 3 lets gamers shoot and slash at those very words. Between levels, you can vent your loading screen frustration using the square and circle buttons on your DualShock 2 controller.

It’s only a very small touch, but it makes a real impact. The feature only appears on the original PlayStation 2 version of the game, not the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 remaster.


Bayonetta — Perfecting your combos

PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Bayonetta is a game that demands exemplary move execution if you really want to do well. So practicing your combos between levels is a perfect way to kill that level-loading time. It’s testament to the power of the practice area that pops up between Bayonetta’s levels that I’d often choose to stay in there, testing out new moves, even when the game was ready for me to move on.


Tekken 5 — StarBlade mini-game

PlayStation 2

Namco used its mini-game patent to good effect in fighting game Tekken 5. The initial loading screen features a short blast of 3D space-shooter StarBlade, originally released in arcades in 1991. If you enjoy the taster, you can unlock the full version of StarBlade within the “Arcade History” section of Tekken 5.


FIFA 15 — Practice arena

PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Electronic Arts’ FIFA soccer games have been using interactive loading screens for years, and they make waiting for a match to start an absolute pleasure. Putting you in a one-on-one situation of striker versus keeper, it’s a great opportunity to practice your shooting, try out some dribbling skills, or just goof around. When the match is ready, you can click to start it. Such a simple idea, but it makes so much sense.


Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 — Growing Saibamen

PlayStation 2

The Dragon Ball Z fighting games always throw in some goofy loading screen secrets and mini-games. In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, players can rotate the left analog stick to make green Saibamen creatures grow up out of the ground. Go nuts and you can fill the whole screen.

Dragon Ball Z: Raging Blast 2 even has an unlockable achievement, Ball Master, on Xbox 360 (and a matching trophy on PlayStation 3) when you “shoot off as many as balls as possible” in the loading screen mini-game.

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