A minigame (also spelled mini-game or mini game and sometimes called a subgame) is a short video game often contained within another video game. A minigame is always smaller or more simplistic than the game in which it is contained. Minigames are sometimes also offered separately for free to promote the main game. For instance, the Pokémon Stadium minigames involve merely pressing a few buttons at specific intervals, with little complexity.
Minigames occur variously as gameplay features, or as time fillers while levels are loading, or as Easter eggs. In the latter case, they are often called "secret games". In the former case, the successful completion of such minigames may or may not be required to finish the encompassing game. They are often included as extra content to use once the main storyline is completed.
Minigame compilations 
Some games, such as the WarioWare series (which are called microgames in the game), Universal Research Laboratories's Video Action, some Cinemaware titles like Defender of the Crown, David Whittaker's Lazy Jones or the smartphone satire Phone Story are made up of many minigames strung together into one video game. Some similar games, such as Nintendo's Mario Party series, are considered party games, specifically developed for multiplayer. In party games, minigames usually involve performing an activity faster or collecting more of a specified item than other players to win.
Notable examples 
The Final Fantasy series is notable for featuring minigames in every entry of the series, ever since the first Final Fantasy (1987), in which a sliding puzzle in the form of an Easter egg can be unlocked while boarding the ship. In Final Fantasy II (1988), a matching game can be unlocked while boarding the ice sled and meeting a certain requirement. Later in the series, Final Fantasy VII (1997) was the first video game to include within it at least thirty minigames, which remains the largest number of minigames for a role-playing game. The PC game Chronomaster featured similar puzzle minigames which were crucial to the plot.
Some minigames become so popular that they are eventually published as individual titles by themselves. Notable examples are Geometry Wars, which was originally a minigame in Project Gotham Racing 2, and Arcomage, a relatively complex minigame, reminiscent of Magic: The Gathering, first introduced in Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor.
The PocketStation (for Sony PlayStation) and VMU (for Dreamcast) accessories allowed the user to download minigames from the main console onto the pocket device, and often then sync progress in the minigame back on to the console. Two examples of this include the Chocobo World minigame inside Final Fantasy VIII (which is also playable on PC), and 'Chao Adventure', a minigame in Sonic Adventure.
The entirely non-electronic tabletop game Mansions of Madness also features minigames in the form of simple puzzles.
Capcom's Street Fighter series features two minigames as bonus stages, most notably in Street Fighter II, Street Fighter III, and Street Fighter IV, after winning matches with a character you play with.
List of minigames 
5th Generation (Nintendo 64/ PlayStation) 
- Ape Escape: Galaxy Monkey (a shoot 'em up), Ski Kidz Racing & Specter Boxing.
- Crash Bash: Compilation of minigames.
- Digimon World: Collecting cards, as well as some minigames in shops.
- Mario Party: Compilation of minigames.
- Metal Gear Solid: Some Virtual Reality missions can be played.
- Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions: This compilation features over 300 missions
- Syphon Filter 3: Assasinate, Eliminate, Demolition, Thief, Biathlon
- Tekken 1: Galaga
- Tekken 3: Tekken Force, Tekken Ball
6th Generation (Dreamcast/ GameCube/ PlayStation 2/ Xbox) 
- Animal Crossing:Around twenty Nintendo Entertainment System games are available.
- Ape Escape 2: Dance Monkey, Dance!, Monkey Climber & Monkey Soccer
- Ape Escape 3: Mesal Gear (Mesaru Gear) Solid, Monkey Throw Stadium (Ape Olympic) and Utlim-ape Fighter (Sarutimate Fighting)
- Ape Escape: Pumped & Primed: A compilation of minigames.
- Death By Degrees: Honeycomb Lock
- EyeToy: Monkey Mania: A compilation of 50 minigames.
- Fable: The Lost Chapter: Chicken Kicking Competition.
- Final Fantasy X: Blitzball
- Final Fantasy X-2: Sphere Break
- Final Fantasy XII: the Fishing minigame can be played in the South Bank Village of the Dalmasca Estersand.
- Grand Theft Auto 3: RC Toyz missions (a Van that can unlock a rampage mini-game involving an RC car with a bomb attached to it)
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: Numerous minigames are available, including basketball, pool, rhythm-based challenges (dancing and 'bouncing' lowriders with hydraulics), and video game machines that pay homage to classic arcade games. In addition, there are the aforementioned casino games and methods of gambling, such as betting on virtual horse races
- Kingdom Hearts: Dueling Riku, Racing Riku, Phil's Training, Jungle Slider and Vine Swinging.
- Kingdom Hearts 2: Skateboard, Phil's Training, Magic Carpet, Chasm of Challenges, Gift Wrapping, Light Cycle, etc.
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance: Skateboarding mode.
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: Snake's Nightmare (through the story), Snake Vs. Monkey mode (based on the Ape Escape serie).
- Persona 4: Fishing.
- Shenmue: Many minigames are available, including Forklift, motorcycle races, bar fights, chases down crowded alleys, full versions of Sega arcade games Space Harrier and Hang-On, dart games, and fighting sequences.
- Silent Hill 2: Director's Cut: The Born from a Wish minigame consist of taking control of Maria shortly before she and James meet at Silent Hill.
- Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves: Biplane Duel, Cops and Robbers, Galleon Duel and Hackathon.
- Tekken Tag Tournament: Tekken Bowl mode.
- Tekken 4: Tekken Force mode.
- Tekken 5: StarBlade (intro), the Devil Within mode and the arcade version of Tekken 1, Tekken 2 & Tekken 3.
- Time Crisis 2: clay pigeon shooting mode (including a port of Namco's Shoot Away II light gun clay shooting arcade game) and Quick & Crash
7th Generation (PlayStation 3/ Wii/ Xbox 360) 
- Final Fantasy XIII: Pulse Armament
- Final Fantasy XIII-2: Brain Blast, Chocobo Racing, Serendipity's Slot Machine.
- LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars: contains a mini game in one level which involves Indiana Jones.
- Metal Gear Solid 4: On the Act 4 (Twin Suns), Metal Gear Solid 1's Heliport Level can be played.
- Sly Collection: Bentley RC Race, Guru Dart Shooter, Interpol Target Practice and Treasure Snagging.
- Tekken 6: Scenario Campaign mode.
- Wii Play: Compilation of minigames.
- Yakuza 3: Boxcelios Arcade Game, UFO Catcher
- Yakuza 4: 23 minigames, including billiards, karaoke, and bowling.
- Yakuza 5: Bowling, etc.
- Yakuza: Dead Souls: Pachislot, etc.
8th Generation (Wii U) 
- Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition: Tekken Ball
Handheld 6th Generation (Game Boy Advance) 
Handheld 7th Generation (Nintendo DS/ PlayStation Portable) 
- Ape Escape: on the Loose: Ape Ping Pong, Jake Attacks, Specter Boxing and Ski Kidz Racing.
- Ape Escape Academy: A compilation of minigames.
- Ape Academy 2: A compilation of minigames.
- Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days: Beginner's Training, Practical Application, Champ's Challenge, Games, Grandstander.
- Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep: Rumble Racing, Command Board, Ice Cream Beat, Fruitfall, etc.
- Mario Party DS: Compilation of minigames.
- Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection: Tekken Bowl.
Handheld 8th Generation (Nintendo 3DS/ PlayStation Vita) 
- FFVIII PocketStation Opens Up Chocobo World, IGN, July 15, 1999
See also