How’s it going, dawg! It’s your boy, Derrick, coming at you with another list that’s close to my ticker. Well, after much talking with my editor (of about 2,5 minutes) I was able to convince him to let me put together a list of my favorite video games with gambling in them.
You may not know this, but your boy Derrick is a huge video game nerd. While at Casino Bros we usually talk about slots, poker, roulette and other casino games, video games can invent entirely new gambling games to waste even more of your precious time in style. I’ve come up with a list of some of my favorite video games with gambling in them. Please note that gambling isn’t the main focus in most of these games. In fact, most of the time, it’s just a side quest that’ll earn some extra coins or rep. With that said, let’s get cracking, dawg!
1. Grand Theft Auto Online
I tried not to include this one on the list but who could I not? Gambling has always played a huge part in any GTA game and their online service takes it to the next level. This online service literally had a content expansion titled “The Diamond Casino & Resort”. Your in-game avatar can visit this casino where you can gamble your troubles away before hitting up another heist with your homies. The in-game casino is filled with all types of casino games you could possibly want. Not to mention, you can buy some extra in-game cash with real money.
I mean, it doesn’t get much better than successfully finishing an online mission only to hit the roulette table and doubling your entire heist cut. Sure, once you do, you’ll realize that you aren’t even close to owning that house you always wanted but that’s just how Grand Theft Auto rolls. While it’s certainly not my favorite game, it’s hard to deny that this is one of the best gambling experiences you can have while playing a video game.
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
There’s nothing quite like sitting in a Saloon, playing a nice game of Texas Hold ’em, only to suddenly get bored and kill your opponents with a pistol. That’s Red Dead Redemption for you. While nothing about Red Dead Redemption gambling is inherently unique, it’s always the wild west setting that hits close to heart. There’s just something so special when you get dealt your beat-up cards and watch the in-game opponents twitch as they’re trying to bluff.
Of course, if playing against the AI isn’t cutting it for you, you can always go online and duke it out against other players. The multiplayer online may not be as good as some other titles by Rockstar Games but at least it takes the Wild West Poker game to a whole new level.
3. Final Fantasy XIV and Phantasy Star Online 2
I’m putting these two games here together because they are both MMORPGs that have a dedicated casino. Phantasy Star Online 2 has all players start their mission from a large cruise ship. Just like any good cruise ship, it has a huge casino filled with slots, table games and such. Not only is this a great time-waster between missions, but you even get daily quests to take a few spins at the slot game
Final Fantasy XIV has the Gold Saucer. Originally from Final Fantasy VII, this giant entertainment center is home to lots of slot games, table games and, everyone’s favorite, Chocobo Racing.
What makes gambling in these games even more special is that, because they are online-only, you get to compete against other players and even have your name appear in the leaderboards.
4. Dragon Quest XI
While playing this kid-friendly game, I was surprised when I saw how many gambling games there were. I mean, these guys aren’t kidding around. Not only do they have traditional games like Roulette and Blackjack but they have some of the best slot games I’ve ever seen, period. So, when you get to a certain point in this game, you’ll unlock the casino. Inside the casino, you buy tokens and get to play games. While there are normal slots with symbols from the game, one, in particular, stood out to me: Slime Quest.
In Slime Quest, as you spin the reels, you watch your little slime hero go on an adventure. Depending on what kind of combinations you get, the little slime her will cover more ground, defeat enemies faster and maybe even find equipment. When you fight bosses, the game enters fever mode and if you manage to get enough matches, not only do you get to keep playing, but you also get lots of prizes and rewards. Why aren’t software providers taking notes from “Slime Quest”?
5. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
Seeing how the remake is going to come out sometime in the future, it’s only fair to mention how good the original two games were. Now, while gambling in a Galaxy far far away is very much present and unique, they have a game that’s very similar to our blackjack. Enter Pazzak. Two players get dealt cards, one at a time. The point is to get as close as you can to the number… 20 (not 21), but there’s a twist. Each player can bring their own set of modifier cards that they can play after each delt card. These cards can add a number in value, deduct numbers or even change odds into evens and vice-versa. I remember people not liking this that much back in the day, but for me, this was my introduction to blackjack, I just called it Pazzak at the time.
6. Fallout: New Vegas
IMO, this is the best Fallout game (yes, even better than the first two Fallout games). It also has a lot of gambling in it. With a name like New Vegas, you can expect the game to have all the usual suspects such as poker, blackjack and roulette. However, Fallout also has its own host of original gambling games. My favorite of the bunch is Caravan, an interesting card game. While Fallout is mostly an excellent RPG shooter, it’s always nice to visit an in-game casino and gamble those bottle caps away.
7. The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt
Gotta admit, I’m kind of putting the Witcher here just because I like talking about the series. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realize how much gambling there is in this game. The very first two Witcher video games had Dwarven Dice Poker but the third game added Gwent. Gwent is a card game where players build card decks of various factions. The point of the game is to place cards in a specific order so you can have a higher number than your opponent. Sure, you can end up building extremely powerful decks and absolutely dominating your opponents but it’s still a game of chance and luck. Not to mention, you get to wager in-game money on each game, which always adds to the excitement.
Gwent became so popular that CDProjectRed (the company that made Witcher among other games) made a stand-alone version of the card game that you get to play online with other players. So, if you want a new type of gambling game, give Gwent a chance. Everyone likes playing Gwent, especially after finishing a long quest.
Honorable mention: Casino Empire
I couldn’t really include this game in the list because the game is considered abandonware, but MAN, Casino Empire was a dream come true. If you can build farms, villages, cities, hospitals, police stations in video games then why not casinos? Well, that’s exactly what you do in Casino Empire. Build a Casino of your dreams and watch as people come in and spend all their money. Don’t forget to hire some serious muscle as a lot of people get salty when they keep losing. If you are curious about this old relic from 2002, try to find a copy and give it a go. A truly underrated management game.
Dishonorable mention: FIFA22 and NBA2K
Before I actually begin listing the game, I have to give a shout out to FIFA22 and NBA2K. “But wait a minute, Derrick”, I hear you saying “Isn’t FIFA a football game and NBA2K a basketball game?” And to you, I say, barely. While they want you to think you are just buying a nice sports game, what EA and 2Kgames really want you to do is play their “Ultimate team mode”.
In this mode, you create your own dream team of all available players. You will start with an incredibly bad team but as you keep playing, you get to unlock these loot boxes that contain new players. What sucks is that, while you can earn these boxes through normal play at a snail’s pace, they actually want you to buy them with real money.
So let’s just sum this up: in these video games that you already buy for $60-$70, you end up buying boxes with real money (normally $5 a box) where you get random rewards, usually not good ones. Kinda sounds like slots, doesn’t it?
A lot of people end up spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars trying to get their favorite sportsman in their ultimate team. The chances of getting some of these rare players are lower than 0.001%. What really grinds my gears is that, while this is clearly gambling, nobody wants to properly regulate it. Sure, regulate the crap out of online casinos but leave poor defenseless Fifas and NBA2Ks out of it. It’s also hilarious watching these companies try to defend these practices by calling them “Surprise mechanics” or “Fun presents”.