Game mockery and game referencing is often a form of humor in a game. These references may be related to another game, or to something in common culture. Generally these references are satirical, and take some time to discover, though this is not always the case as some are very obvious.
This is an incomplete list of game references that have been made:
3D Dot Game Heroes
- The Legend of Zelda: The entire game is filled with references to the original NES title. Including the music, dialogue and landmarks. But the biggest reference is that the game is designed very similarly to The Legend of Zelda, to the point where it could be called a Zelda "clone."
- Final Fantasy: In the game's first town, you meet an inventor, Dr. Dic, a nod to incarnations of Cid.
- Mega Man: Dr. Dic helps you GET EQUIPPED WITH some Dash Boots.
- Spelunker: The name of a difficulty setting that makes you die with one hit, referencing this title's unforgiving approach to the slightest mistake.
- Demon's Souls: Various NPCs , and an entire cave allude to the difficulty and notable mechanics of this game.
- Street Fighter II: A loading screen in the game shows the Street Fighter II Box Art with Ryu, Blanka and Chun-Li.
- Armored Core: There is an item in the game named "Armored Core," which is a reference to the Armored Core series. Oddly enough, that series was also developed by FromSoftware.
- Commander Keen: On the second floor of the book store, a poster of Dopefish can be seen.
- Death Rally: In the room with the Xbox in Dr. Hartman's Clinic, a poster of Death Rally hangs on the wall.
- Max Payne: In Alan's New York apartment, a statuette of two golden Berettas stands on a shelf. Furthermore, the manuscript pages from "The Sudden Stop" is read by the voice-actor of Max Payne. Additionally, at the end of the fake talkshow, Sam Lake, the writer and face of Max Payne, is asked to "do the face" again - imitating the gnarly look of Max Payne's face.
- Legend of Zelda: There is a wide variety of references to other Nintendo games in the Animal Crossing franchise. In the first GameCube game, there are numerous Legend of Zelda references: there are two shirts in the game (Anju's Shirt and Kaffe's Shirt) which are worn by characters from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, catching a "Loach" triggers the text, "I wonder if it's Hylian?," examining some villager's furniture will trigger the message, "You found 100 Rupees! But you can't use them here...," both Gracie and Kapp'n reference Hyrule in their dialogue, and Katrina's tent has a Triforce design on the back wall.
- Mario: Additionally, there are a variety of Mario references: three articles of clothing (Big Bro's Shirt, Li'l Bro's Shirt, and Toad Shirt) are the clothing that Mario, Luigi, and Toad wear, respectively, Gulliver, Kapp'n, and Bob reference Mario in their dialogue, there is a complete collectible furniture set based on the original Super Mario Bros., and some randomly generated golden rocks trigger the classic Mario 1-Up sound effect.
- Pokémon: The villagers in Animal Crossing randomly dole out errands for the player. One of these happens to be delivering a yellow Game Boy with a Pokémon game in it.
- Classic NES Games: There are 18 collectible NES games which appear as furniture in the player's house, and are fully playable (some are only accessible with the e-Reader). These games include Balloon Fight, Donkey Kong, Excitebik, Clu Clu Land, Clu Clu Land D (a Japan-only Famicom Disk version of Clu Clu Land), Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Pinball, Tennis, Golf, Wario's Woods, Baseball, Soccer, Donkey Kong Jr., Donkey Kong 3, Ice Climber, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and Punch-Out!!. Additionally, the mayor of the town, Tortimer, gives out the game Super Tortimer as an April Fool's Day joke (as the game is not actually playable).
Animal Crossing: Wild World
- Mario: Like the previous game, there are a variety of references to numerous games. The Mario franchise gets references such as character likenesses on a pinball machine and an arcade machine, the "Li'l Bro's Hat" and "Big Bro's Hat," a download-only Mario themed furniture set, and Mushroom Kingdom themed wallpaper and carpet.
- Legend of Zelda: Animal Crossing: Wild World introduces a few new items from the Legend of Zelda franchise, such as the Master Sword and the Triforce.
- Star Fox: The Arwing appears as a piece of furniture.
- F-Zero: The Blue Falcon appears as a piece of furniture.
- Pikmin: A small tray containing three Pikmin of three different colors appears as a piece of furniture
- Metroid: A Metroid in a containment tank appears as a collectible item from Gulliver.
- Nintendogs: Collecting Goldie's Pic from Goldie has the following quote on the back, "I'm really into that Lab on the cover of Nintendogs. He's pretty dreamy."
Assassin's Creed II
- Super Mario 64: When you first meet your uncle, he greets you with "It's a me! Mario!" similar to the opening of Super Mario 64.
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
- Conker's Bad Fur Day: In the intro video, where fat versions of Banjo and Kazooie are seen listening to the radio, the song from the "Barn Boys" chapter can be heard.
- Killer Instinct: One of the weapons are called "Fulgore's Fist" which belongs to the fighter, Fulgore, from Killer Instinct. It is also possible to ask Bottles about what he knows about "ki3" which he sadly can't answer.
- Mario: At the very beginning of the game, when Banjo and Kazooie first encounter LOG, he calls them second-rate game characters, since they haven't been in as many games as "that Italian gentleman", which is a clear reference to Mario.
- Viva Pinãta: A Lickatoad can be seen lying in the tray module, itself as a accessory module (Papery Pal), Banjo is turned into one briefly at the start of the game, and as a part amongst the others inside Mumbo's Motors.
- Grabbed by the Ghoulies: At the beginning of the game when L.O.G. is introducing himself as the creator of all video games, Kazooie asks if he is responsible for all games, even those that don't sell well like "Ghoulies."
- Mr. Pants: The part "Spirit of Pants" references Rare's unofficial mascot.
Battlefield: Bad Company
- Modern Warfare 2: When Sgt. Redford says that he wants to report a major incident to the superiors, Terrence Sweetwater responds with:
"No, no no, he'll just send some special-ops douchebags, with pussy-ass heartbeat monitors on their guns, instead of us."
During one of the game's later missions, the team happens to find four quad bikes sitting, ripe for the taking. The group proceed to steal them, and Haggard decides to turn the drive into a race. Below is the quotation from the dialogue with the two characters.
Sweetwater: If this was a snowmobile race, I'd take you down! Haggard: This is not a snowmobile... Snowmobiles are for sissies!"
The dialogue between the two characters references Sgt. Sanderson and Soap MacTavish's escape from the Russian base in the Tian Shan mountains of Kazakhstan during the Modern Warfare 2 mission 'Cliffhanger'.
- Resident Evil 4: Rodin mocks the merchant from RE4 by saying "Whad'ya buying ?"
- Devil May Cry: Bayonetta starts a boss fight by saying "Flock Off, featherface" in the exact same way Dante starts his fight in the first DMC.
- MadWorld: If Bayonetta goes to Rodin's shop with a chainsaw weapon equipped, Rodin says, "I don't care how much you beg me. I'm not putting a chainsaw on your arm." This is a reference to MadWorld, another game made by PlatinumGames.
- Duke Nukem 3D: In a secret place on the level "Carnival of Souls", Duke Nukem can be found dead hanging from the ceiling. Caleb, the game's protagonist, says "I ain't got time to play... with you." which is a clear reference to the Duke Nukem one-liner "Don't have time to play with myself."
- Mario: The achievement "My Brother Is an Italian Plumber!", which is awarded by killing an enemy by jumping on it, is a clear reference to Mario.
- Ratchet and Clank: The most powerful series of rocket launchers in the game are the Maliwan Rhino launchers. In the Ratchet and Clank games, the R.Y.N.O is always the most powerful weapon, and is a rocket launcher featuring multiple barrels.
- Bioshock: In Claptrap's New Robot Revolution, the player will hear messages from the Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap. In one of his speeches he borrows heavily from Andrew Ryan:
"Is a claptrap not entitled to the oil of his brow? 'No!' says the man in Hyperion, 'It belongs to his owner'. 'No!' says the treasure hunter, 'it belongs splattered on the floor.'"
- Blaster Master: When customizing the Outrider car, you can select a color called Blaster Master. This color scheme makes the car red, and it bears a vague resemblance to the car featured on the cover of the NES game that the scheme shares its name with. It is more likely a reference to Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, which shares the desert world theme of Borderlands and featured a character(s) named Blaster Master. This theory is supported by the various other references to Beyond Thunderdome in the game, and its DLC.
- Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30: When reaching the armory close to Roads End, you may notice a sign reading "Road to Hill 30", which is a reference to both the game in the Brothers in Arms series, and one of the decisive battles of World War II.
- Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway: Similarly to the location of the Hill 30 sign, there is another sign reading "Hell's Highway". This is also a reference to the Gearbox Software game in the Brothers in Arms franchise, though it may also be a reference to the AC/DC song "Highway to Hell."
Breath of Death VII
The game has several references of RPG's and other video games. Some of these are as followed:
- Breath Of Fire : The title, Breath of Death VII, is a play off of this game.
- Paladin's Quest: The game's first town, Palad-Lennus, is a reference to this game.
- Lennus: Just like above but the second part of the title of the town
- EarthBound: The town Motherbound is a reference to this series.
- Lufia: The town Lufestopolis is a reference to this game.
- Langrisser: The town Langsong is a reference to this game
- Warsong: Same as above except its the second part of the title of the town.
- Zelda II: When you beat the Junk Robot boss he says "I Am Error". This is a famous line from Zelda II.
- Fallout: The opening sequence states "War never changes". This is a reference to the Fallout series.
- Resident Evil 4: The shop owners are a reference to the game's merchant .
- Mega Man X: The game's opening sequence states "In the year 20XX". This is a reference to the Mega Man X games which take place in the year 20XX. Also a character named Dr. Dark is a reference to Dr. Light.
- Adventure: The game's hidden optional boss, Dragonduck, is a parody of the Dragons from Adventure which look like ducks.
- Phantasy Star IV : The scene where Dem and Sara first leave Palad-Lennus together is directly ripped out of Phantasy Star IV.
- Final Fantasy VII : There is a move in the game called Cross Slash. One of Cloud Strife's Limit Breaks is called Cross Slash.
- Super Mario Bros: When you are looking for Prince Eric one of the characters from the castle states "Perhaps the prince is in another castle."
- Atelier Iris: Sara goes up to one of the soldiers in the castle, she says "SOLDIER". The soldier replies back "BARREL".
- Castlevania Symphony of the Night: When Dem speaks to the troll chief at the beginning of the game the chief says, "What is an undead man? A miserable little pile of secrets!" The narrator replies, "Enough talk! Have At You!" This references the famous opening conversation between Dracula and Richter Belmont.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Achievement called "Arrow To The Knee!" It requires you to end Cell operatives career by shooting an arrow in his knee, he must also survive the shot.
Dead Space Ignition
- Portal : A randomly generated(?) reference in game. While solving a puzzle you may hear an off-screen female voice say "If you continue I won't let you have your cake." An obvious reference to the cake in Portal.
- Resident Evil: One of the shops the player can find is called ''Jill's Sandwiches''. A reference to the notorious piece of dialogue between Barry Burton and Jill Valentine as he exclaims Jill was almost a ''Jill Sandwich'' right after she was almost crushed by a descending ceiling.
- Mega Man: The player can acquire multiple pieces of clothing that will all eventually dress Frank West up as Mega Man.
Dead Rising 2
- Mega Man: Chuck Greene's daughter will at one time express her joy at, ''unlocking a new power in Mega Man''.
- Street Fighter: The player can find a 'Goblin Mask' which has a strong resemblance to SF character Blanka.
- Ghosts 'n Goblins: The player can acquire multiple pieces of clothing that will all eventually dress Chuck Greene up as Sir Arthur.
Dead Rising 2: Off The Record
- Mega Man: The player can acquire multiple pieces of clothing that will all eventually dress Frank West up as Proto Man.
- Missile Command: While driving, Agent York will talk to Zach about various movies including Fast Times at Ridgemont High and he mentions the movie ends with a shot from the arcade game "Missile Command".
- Spy Fiction: One of the sheriff department squad cars has the license place SPYFCTN, a previous game made by the developers. Several characters in Deadly Premonition share names with characters in Spy Fiction (namely Forrest Kaysen and Lysander), but in both cases they are different characters in the games.
Doom II: Hell on Earth
- Wolfenstein 3D: There is a secret level using the map layout of the final boss of Wolfenstein's first episode, complete with textures and SS officers from the game.
- Commander Keen: In the same secret level, after the boss battle you get to a room with four Commander Keen figures hanging from the ceiling, playing PC speaker sound effects from the original games and getting graphically dismembered when shot.
- Tommy Vercetti: During Free Play mode in Driver 3, you can find hidden characters. There are ten in each of the cities, and they are parodies of Grand Theft Auto:Vice City's protagonist, Tommy Vercetti. The characters all wield rifles, they all wear blue Hawaiian shirts, and they wear armbands (a reference to the fact you cannot swim in Vice City, although you could in Driver 3.
Dust: An Elysian Tail
- Resident Evil 4: Upon first meeting the game's mysterious merchant, the merchant describes how he will pay extra when the player sells new crafting materials. The character Fidget responds by saying, "Ah, he'll buy it at a high price!" Which, of course, is a reference to The Merchant in RE4.
- Castlevania: When the player destroys walls in the game, an item called "Mysterious Wall Chicken" appears, similar to how chickens and other food items would appear in walls in some of the Castlevania games.
Duty Calls: The Calm Before The Storm
- Call of Duty: The game's name, story and gameplay are all parody of this popular franchise.
- Fallout 3 & Metal Gear Solid 4: Duty Call's opening monologue satirizes the opening to both these games, discussing their contradictory position on the change in war.
Duke Nukem 3D
- Doom: On the level "Death Row", Duke Nukem encounters a dead space marine from Doom followed by the witty remark "That's one doomed space marine."
- Quake: On the level "L.A. Rumble", Duke Nukem encounters an earthquake and states "I ain't afraid of no Quake!", referencing the then-upcoming Quake game from id Software.
Duke Nukem Forever
- Dead Space: In the Hive level, a corpse resembling Isaac Clarke from the Dead Space franchise can be found to which Duke Nukem remarks that "That's a dead space marine". Like much of the rest of the game, this lazy reference isn't done right; great emphasis is placed on the fact that Isaac is an engineer, not a soldier, and that his "weapons" are actually deliberately misused pieces of mining equipment.
- Donkey Kong: When the player escalates a circular stairwell while avoiding rolling barrels, Duke Nukem will say that he "expected a monkey" when he reaches the top.
- Gears of War 2: When the player first encounters the bandana-wearing character Dylan, he will explain how he just helped his friend save his wife.
- Half-Life: Before entering the mine in the Desert levels, Duke Nukem finds out the entrance is blocked by break-able wooden planks and says that he wished he had a crowbar.
- Halo: In the level "Vegas is in Ruins" Duke will encounter an EDF soldier who offers him green power armor. Duke quickly declines and states that, "Power Armor is for pussies."
- Portal: One of the later levels in the game contains a secret "companion barrel" which is a barrel with a red heart painted on. Several goodies can even be unlocked for the player if he carries and places the barrel to a certain spot.
Duke Nukem: Nuclear Winter
- Doom: On the level "Land of Forgotten Toys", Duke Nukem enters a replica of the first level of Doom through a teleport.
- Mario Kart 64: On one of the later levels, a figure who looks a lot like Mario from Nintendo 64 era, can be seen sitting down in front of a TV and playing a racing game.
Duke Nukem: Zero Hour
Dungeon of Dredmore
- Rogue - The highest difficulty is named 'Going Rogue', a reference to that game's unforgiving gameplay.
- Slaves to Armok II: Dwarf Fortress - The highest difficulty has as its tagline Dwarf Fortress's motto: Losing is Fun! All the locations, and most of the loot and NPCs have randomly generated names in the style of those of Dwarf Fortress. Also, in the tooltip text for the 'Conflagratory Resistence' stat on the character screen, reference is made to the Dwarven Mountainhomes (the hubs of dwarf activity in Dwarf Fortress) and 'strange moods' (a gameplay mechanic).
- Zork franchise - The in-game currency is 'zorkmids', as in the Zork franchise of adventure games.
- Doom franchise - The character portrait in the lower toolbar shows the character getting progressively more injured as he suffers damage, this is similar to Doom I & II.
- Mario franchise - The side-quests are doled out by statues that are modelled on Princess Peach. When at full health, the tooltip for the character portrait reads, 'It's-a me, <character's name>!", a reference to one of Mario's catchphrases since Super Mario 64.
Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard
- Duke Nukem Forever: On the game's final level, where Matt Hazard fights a fake game developer studio, a cardboard cutout looking a lot like Duke Nukem 3D's box art can be found. It has the title "Nuke Winter: Coming Soon-ish" printed underneath, and when Matt Hazard first encounters it, QA (his assistant) tells him not to worry about him, since they have been working on him forever.
- Final Fantasy VII: One of the boss battles in the game features a typical JRPG villain called Altos Tratus. He looks a lot like Sephiroth, and his name "Altostratus" is also the name of a cloud formation, which hints to Final Fantasy VII's main character Cloud Strife. Matt Hazard even mentions he is from the "Penultimate Illusion" series, which is a direct reference to Final Fantasy.
- Halo: Combat Evolved: A character called "Master Chef" can be met in the ship level, where he helps the player by placing Halo-like shields on the ground. Matt Hazard's assistant, QA, also kinda looks like Cortana from the Halo franchise.
- Mario: A carpenter who looks a lot like Mario can be encountered on one of the later levels. He exits the scene by activating a "?" brick, which summon a green pipe from the ground.
- Doom: A quest, which was later removed from the game, found in the Scars of Velious expansion resulted in the reward of an item called Breezeboot's Frigid Gnasher. In the item's lore it is listed as Model #9000. These are deliberate references to the the handheld superweapon from Doom, the BFG 9000. The weapon had the magical effect of a 100ft knockback.
- Metroid: Before each track, a character appears. Samus Aran is one of these characters.
- Mario: Princess Peach, Toad, Mario, Luigi, and Donkey Kong can also be seen introducing different races.
- Kid Icarus: Pit is another character who introduces a race.
- Legend of Zelda: Link is another character who introduces a race.
- The Secret of Monkey Island: The third stone in the graveyard reads "No man kan hold his breath for ten minutes." which refers to Guybrush Threepwood; the man who can hold his breath for ten minutes.
- Halo: When listening to the monks at the temple in Oakfield, they will occasionally start chanting the beginning of the Halo theme and say: "oh wait, that's not it!" and return to their ordinary chanting. Through DLC, it is possible to obtain "Hal's Armour", "Hal's Sword" and "Hal's Rifle" which deliberately look like Halo's MJOLNIR armor, energy sword, and assault rifle.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: At the absolute center of the Fallout 3 world, a utility pole with the tag "TES-04" can be seen, referring to the game whose engine was used to create Fallout 3.
Foosball For Two
- Tennis For Two: Title is a reference to the first video game ever made. The cover art also resembles a screen shot of the game.
- Metroid: One of the lockers in a women's locker room contains Samus Aran's helmet.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta
- Devil May Cry: There is a trophy titled ''Zeus May Cry'' that is awarded should the player beat the game on God (Hard) mode, referencing the staple ''Dante Must Die'' difficulty setting for the Devil May Cry series.
Grand Theft Auto III
- Driver: In the mission “Two Face Tanner” you’ll have to chase a man in a car and kill him, which is a reference to Tanner, the protagonist in Driver. The mission-giver even describes him as a “strangely animated character” and Tanner was known to have a strange walking animation in Driver.
- Manhunt: On the radio station “Flashback 95.6”, you’ll at a point hear the DJ mention that Gary Schaeffer, a corrupt police chief in Carcer City, has been arrested for corruption and homicide. However, this "reference" is odd because GTA III came out several years before Manhunt.
Grand Theft Auto IV
- Assassin's Creed: By completing the 9 assassination missions, the player is awarded an achievement called "Assassin's Greed". 9 was also the amount of missions in Assassin's Creed.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- Driver: In the mission "Madd Dogg's Rhymes", you are told to sneak through Madd Dogg's mansion. When you reach the bar area, there is a man playing a videogame on the TV. He will say "You suck ass Tanner! How could Refractions mess up so bad?". This is a clear shot at the Driver franchise, as the protagonist of Driver is named Tanner, and the company that produced the game was called Reflections.
- True Crime: On the billboard outside Unity Station in Los Santos, there is an advertisement for the game "True Grime: Streetcleaners". This is a pop at True Crime: Streets of L.A,.
- Manhunt: In Zero's RC shop, there are different boxes of toys for sale. Among the toys available are Piggsy models. Piggsy was one of the characters in Manhunt, and he wields a chainsaw. There is coincidentally a chainsaw placed nearby, in the Doherty construction site.
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: Again, in Zero's RC shop, there are models for sale. As well as Piggsy models, there are also Tommy Vercettis, Lance Vances, and Ricardo Diaz models as well.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
One mission in Vice City titled "Autocide" has you assassinating a European gang with interesting names:
Guild Wars 2
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: In the beta, a bow's skill named Crippling Shot description: "Shatter your foe's dreams of becoming an adventurer with a single arrow to the knee..."
Guitar Hero II
- Game & Watch Gallery: On the “select difficulty” screen in quick-play mode, look in the bottom-left corner and you’ll see Mr. Game & Watch playing a bass guitar.
Guitar Hero 5
- Zero Wing: The achievement "All Four Bass Are Belong to Us" is a reference to the infamously badly translated intro of the game.
Guitar Hero: World Tour
- Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater: One of the neon-signs at Times Square says "From the skateboard... ...to the guitar” which is a reference to Neversoft’s transition from making Tony Hawk games to Guitar Hero games.
- God of War: In the area where General Flying Fox is tormenting Kai, after the cable car section, there are various pieces of armor and weaponry on display, including Kratos's God of War II armor and his Blades of Chaos.
- Sly Cooper: Cole's backpack has the Sly Cooper emblem on it. At the movie theatre, one of the "upcoming movies" was Sly 4, now known as Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. One of the other movies playing is called "Band of Thieves", the subtitle to the second game in the franchise.
InFamous: Festival of Blood
- In the Red Light District of New Marais, there are several theaters advertising adult films including Uncharted Love, Assassin's Need (Love Too), Hey, Low Reach, Little Big Unit, No Need for Speed, Latch It and Skank, Epic Hickey, Solid Serpent, and Sly!
- Sly Cooper: On Cole's backpack, there is the Sly Cooper emblem again. Additionally, players can use a skin to replace Cole's Amp weapon with the cane used by Sly Cooper for melee attacks in his game.
- Metroid: Not only is the game running in the same engine as the original Metroid, Kid Icarus also contains an enemy known as a Komayto, which is nigh-identical to the titular species of Metroids.
Kid Icarus: Uprising
- The fourth-wall breaking dialogue of Kid Icarus: Uprising makes references to a number of different Nintendo titles as various points. Among those mentioned include Nintendogs, Metroid, and Brain Age.
- The Metroid-like Komaytos found in the previous Kid Icarus titles appear again in Uprising.
Left 4 Dead 2
- Dead Rising: Frank West leaves his mark on the wall of a pool hall in "The Passing" DLC.
- Plants vs. Zombies: Crazy Dave also leaves a message on the wall of the same pool hall.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Mario: Normally when you see at the ranch, her hands are covering up her necklace. But after she teaches you her song, she lowers her arms and you can see a pendant shaped as Bowser’s face. Also, pictures of Mario, Luigi, Bowser and Yoshi can be seen through the windows at the castle courtyard. In addition, her father Talon is designed to resemble Mario, and Ingo the ranch hand is supposed to resemble Luigi.
Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
- Starfy: In Yoshi Theater, there are several posters referencing other game franchises. In the theater, there is a poster for Legend of Starfy, a reference to the (then Japanese-exclusive) The Legendary Starfy franchise.
- Kirby: Another poster in the theater is referencing the Kirby franchise. The poster is advertising a film titled Kirby Story.
Mars: War Logs
- Diablo: Rare mob The Butcher in Lieber's Brewhouse, has a catchphrase "Fresh Meat" just like The Butcher in Diablo 1
- Diablo 2: A stage called "Classified Bovine Sector" hints to Diablo's "Secret Cow Level".
Mass Effect 2
- Grand Theft Auto: The game salesman at the Citadel talks about the new controversy about Grand Terminus Alliance, or GTA for short, where you can capture and beat slaves. "So what?! It's just a game!" he states.
- World of Warcraft: The game salesman also talks about a game called "Galaxy of Fantasy" which has reached 11 billion players. It is not a direct reference to World of Warcraft, but it most likely is a reference nevertheless.
Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond
- BioShock: The game contains a level textured to look like Rapture from Bioshock, with men wearing diving suits as faux-Big Daddies.
- Mirror's Edge: The game contains a level textured to look like a level from Mirror's Edge.
- Mario: Elements from the classical Super Mario games, such as blocks and pipes, can be found in all levels.
- Team Fortress 2: The game contains a level textured to look like a typical Team Fortress 2 map.
- Duke Nukem 3D: On the "Cold Steel" levels, a computer with a Duke Nukem 3D mouse pad can be found.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
- Assassin's Creed: Another April Fool's, Snake is told my Miller to use the straw boxes he finds to hide from the enemy. According to Miller, these straw boxes were used during renaissance days for Assassins to hide from enemies. Snake also eagle dives into them similarly to Altair, or Ezio.
- Pooyan: There are a few missions that are titled "Pooyan Missions," and they share the same music, and sound effects as the early Konami games. These missions involve shooting the balloons that are elevating soldiers, similar to shooting balloon using wolves in Pooyan.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
- Splinter Cell, Syphon Filter, Ape Escape: In the Snake Vs. Monkey game intro cinema, Snake asks the Colonel why " Sam" or " Gabe" can't take care of the Monkeys. Colonel Cambell responds by saying, "this is the genre we turned over every leaf in."
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: In one of the early promotional trailers Snake hijacks a guard. The guard tells Snake:
"What is this? A Grand Theft Auto? We're not in a Vice City...this is a jungle!"
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
- Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand: There is an unlockable solar gun that can be recharged when Snake is standing in direct sunlight. This is a direct reference to a weapon found in both Boktai GBA titles and the special solar panels built into the cartridges.
- Assassin's Creed: Originally as an April Fool's joke, after doing "something special" (gaining the Assassin's Emblem), Snake is able to wear Altair's rags as a special camouflage. The outfit has no benefits, but during cut-scenes Snake is seen holding one of his fingers in, mimicking how Altair had one of his fingers removed to become an assassin.
- Zone of the Enders 1&2: There are various references to these games throughout MGS4. In some scenes the wallpaper on Otacon's computer is from Zone of the Enders, and there are Zone of the Enders posters in a few spots.
- Policenauts: There are also posters for Policenauts in the game.
Modern Warfare 2
- Mario: On the level Estate in the building next to the greenhouse, a stack of games lying on a table can be found. On top of the stack, is a game called "Italian Plumber Princess Rescue". In multiplayer you can to unlock the 8-bit Price emblem that resembles Mario from Super Mario Bros. It's just a matter of getting a 10 kills in a row with no killstreaks equipped.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: An injured guard rests under a tree with an arrow in his knee. References Skyrim's quote "I used to be an adventurer like you. Then I took an Arrow in the knee..."
- : After helping save the Prince of Facade and allowing him to retrieve his mask, he lifts it over his head in the manner of Link retrieving an item from a chest. A jingle meant to parody the Zelda treasure chime accompanies the scene.
- : A section of the game occurs in a spooky mansion complete with fixed camera positions that jump around as you move through the halls and a secret underground lab accessed by opening up a courtyard fountain.
No More Heroes
- Duke Nukem Forever: Near the end of the game, a character breaks the fourth wall in describing a theoretical development delay scenario that might have caused the game's name to become No More Heroes Forever.
Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams
- GoldenEye 007: The "Classic" set of weapons from Perfect Dark consists of the weapons from GoldenEye. The name of each weapon is changed, but alludes to the original weapon name. Also, these weapons activate the red crosshair from GoldenEye.
Red Dead Redemption
- GTA: San Andreas: Rockstar themselves poked fun at San Andreas during the Undead Nightmare addon pack for their 2010 Western. One of the achievements is for killing a sasquatch, and is amusingly called 'Six Years in the Making'. This references the gap between San Andreas and Red Dead Redemption, as well as the rumors players began to circulate that Bigfoot appeared in the game.
- Battlecruiser 3000AD: At the time of Ripper's release in 1996, Derek Smart's Battlecruiser 3000AD had been in development for more than 7 years and was widely considered to be vaporware. A news bulletin that can be found in the game states that Battlecruiser finally is about to get released - in 2040.
- Diablo: There is a town built exactly like Tristram in Diablo franchise in Sacred, with similarly named npcs, who turn into zombies when you enter town center.
Saints Row 2
- Grand Theft Auto IV: A promo trailer took potshots at GTA IV by mentioning in-game activities like "taking bored friends to go bowling" or "watching TV in the game."
Saints Row: The Third
- Assassin' Creed: Completing the all of the assassination contracts in the game grants you the "Everything is Permitted" achievement which is the Creed's maxim in the Assassin's order.
Secret of Evermore
Secret of Monkey Island
- Loom: In the SCUMM bar Gybrush meets Cobb, a character from Loom wearing a badge reading "Ask Me About Loom". The player has the option to ask the character about Loom, which will cause him to describe the game to Guybrush.
- Grim Fandango: In Secret of Monkey Island Special edition, the head of Manny Calavera can be seen in the cave on Monkey Island.
- Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle: In the Special Edition there is an idol statue of The Purple Tentacle at the Giant Monkey Head.
Serious Sam 2
- Duke Nukem Forever: When Sam kills Kwongo, Jebediah is talking about how he thinks that Sam is "the one". Rajiev replies "You also thought that blondie guy was the one…" to which Jebediah replies "Yeah, but he was taking forever!"
- Tomb Raider: A captured Lara Croft can be found in the level “Dark Woods of the Snake”.
Silent Scope 2: Dark Silhouette
- Metal Gear: On the second level, your partner says right before a shootout in a warehouse, "It's time to play Metal Gear. Only for real this time!"
SiN Episodes: Emergence
- Mario: Towards the middle of the game there is a hidden entrance to a warehouse shaped like a giant green pipe a la Super Mario Brothers.
Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix
- Doom: On the Seaward Star mission, a computer displaying the Doom title screen.
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
- Half-Life: On the mission "Battery", Sam will mention that he "forgot his crowbar" to which Grimsdottir responds that crowbars are for "geeky video game characters."
- Splinter Cell: On the mission "Freighter" Lambert says there's an active alarm system to which Sam replies "Let me guess - three alarms and it's over?" Lambert responds "Of course not! This is no video game, Fisher," poking fun at the stealth mechanics of the first two Splinter Cell games.
- Metal Gear Solid: On the last mission, when interrogating one of the Japanese soldiers carrying LTL rounds, Sam asks where he can acquire his ammo. The man replies, "it's not like you can just shake me, and all my ammo fall out on the floor."
- Portal: The game features an achievement called “Not a Portal Reference”
- The Maw: On level 3-17 you can explode open a containment chamber in which The Maw is locked up. Upon release, you get a cut-scene and an achievement.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
- Legend of Zelda: After defeating Bowser, Link is sleeping in the Rose Town Inn. Talking to him will trigger the well-known Zelda "secret" noise, which is typically triggered when finding a secret.
- Metroid: Two references to the Metroid franchise can be found in Super Mario RPG. The first can be found after defeating Yaridovich; Samus Aran will be sleeping in a bed in Toadstool's Castle. A Samus Aran doll can later be found in Booster Tower.
- Star Fox: In Hinopio's shop in Barrel Volcano, there is a model of an Arwing.
- F-Zero: In Hinopio's shop in Barrel Volcano, there is a model of Captain Falcon's ship and Samurai Goroh's ship.
- Final Fantasy: There is an optional boss fight in Monstro Town. Culex is arguably the most difficult boss in the game, and contains a variety of references to the Final Fantasy franchise (due to the fact that Square developed Super Mario RPG). Not only is the graphical style reminiscent of Final Fantasy, but the traditional Final Fantasy battle theme also plays during the fight.
The Evil Within
The Wonderful End of the World
- Pac-Man: The level "Arcadia" contains the classic level layout from Pac-Man.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
- Assassin's Creed: During the prologue if the player does some exploring Geralt will stumble across a familiar figure and states, "Guess they'll never learn."
Tomb Raider (2013)
- Mortal Kombat: Rope pulling 5 enemies off edges, gives an achievement "Get Over Here!"
- Skyrim: Incapacitating 25 enemies with dodge counter, gives an achievement "Former Adventurer" that has an icon of a knee shot through with an arrow.
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
- Mortal Kombat: When the dwarven Mortar Team is deployed, they will often shout "Mooortaaar cooombaaat!"'
- Pac-Man: One of the secret levels resemble the classic Pac-Man layout and even have ghosts roaming the map.
World of Warcraft
- Donkey Kong: In Un'Goro Crater, a cave with gorillas can be found. When killing one of the gorillas, they will most likely drop an "Empty Barrel" for the player to loot.
- Diablo II: An item called "Wirt's Third Leg" can be found.
- Monster Hunter: An elite turtle named "Gha-moo-ra" can be found in Blackfathom Depths. The name is a reference to Gamera from Monster Hunter.
- StarCraft: Brood War: The game's cover art can be seen in the cockpits of some of the gnomish robots.
- Street Fighter: A quest giver named Hadoken Swiftstrider can be found in Feralas.
- Mario: In Un'Goro Crater, two NPC's called "Larion" and "Muigin" wants you to go kill plants. Larion, who is equipped with a big hammer, even states that he wished he could find a pipe to escape the crater.
- The Legend of Zelda: Players can do a quest in Un'Goro Crater called "It's Dangerous to Go Alone," which is started by talking to Linken, a Gnome who wears a green tunic and wields a sword and shield. Upon completing the quest, the character can select an item called "Linken's Boomerang" which can be thrown at enemies to stun or disarm them. Also in Un'Goro Crater, a Kodo named "Dadanga" can be found. Its owner claims she dislikes smoke.
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
- Final Fantasy VIII: There's an item called "The Gunblade", which is the signature weapon of Squall Leonhart in Final Fantasy VIII.
- Zero Wing: In Shadowmoon Valley, there's a quest called "Setting Up The Bomb" which is a reference to the mistranslated quote "Somebody set up us the bomb!"
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
- Donkey Kong: Gorillas in Sholazar Basin drops "Hefty Barrels"
- Final Fantasy VII: There's a flower merchant NPC in Dalaran named Aerith Primrose, which is a reference to Aeris Gainsborough from Final Fantasy VII who is also a flower seller. The NPC is wearing a pink and red outfit, just like Final Fantasy's Aerith.
- Pokémon: The three achievements "I Choose You, Runemaster Molgeim", "I Choose You, Steelbreaker" and "I Choose You, Stormcaller Brundir" are all references to the classic "I choose you X!" when throwing a pokéball.
- Portal: The game features a cooking achievement called "The Cake Is Not A Lie", and a book called "Thinking With Portals - A Memorandum on Proper Portal Usage" can be randomly found in Dalaran.
- Sewer Shark: There's a shark in the Dalaran sewers named "Segacedi", which is a reference to the Sewer Shark game released on Sega CD.
- Zero Wing: The achievement "Set Us Up the Bomb" is a direct quote from the badly translated game.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
- Bioshock: During a minor quest line in Stonetalon Mountains, you will help repair and eventually use a Large Daddy. The Large Daddy looks very similar to a Big Daddy, and there are many smaller references during the quest line such as the quest giver, Clarissa, who's a reference to the Little Sisters and says a few referencing quotes, and some of the Large Daddy's combat abilities resembles those of the Big Daddy.
- Team Fortress 2: When protecting a Labgoblin pushing a cart, during the quest Segmentation Fault: Core Dumped in Azhara, the Labgoblin will say "We must push little cart!", which is a direct reference to the Heavy.
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King: On the snowy level with the trucks, a secret cave can be entered. In the cave, a swords very similar to Frostmourne can be found sticking in the ground. Next to it, a skeleton with an exclamation mark above it lies. Removing any subtlety from the equation, the description of the achievement you get for finding this secret straight out says that the sword has "Arthas" carved into the handle.
- Portal: There is a level in the game where, via the use of portals, Wolverine can find a room with a cake in it, much like the fabled cake room in Portal.