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Sometimes we all enjoy rattling through the main storyline of a new video game and not stopping for anyone along the way. For a first quick run-through, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you’ve got to revisit the side quests afterward. So many of the games that really make a mark on us do so because of the extra content. Developers spend weeks coming up with fascinating characters that might not be central to the plot, but provide context, comedy, and sometimes just a welcome break from a main storyline that is traveling at break-neck speed. If you don’t need telling twice to complete every side quest out there, then you’ll enjoy reminiscing about some of the best side quests of all time.

Fable III – The Game

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Fable III has a plethora of side quests to choose from, but one that really embodies the series’ kooky sense of humor is The Game. This side quest sees you talking to three Magi. It transpires that they need your help to rescue a princess, which is basically your modus operandi. So, naturally, you oblige. The thing you probably weren’t bargaining on is that instead of being sent out on a mission with some fairly indecipherable instructions you’re shrunken down to the size of a small action figure and used in a game of what appears to be Dungeons and Dragons. It turns out that the Magi were playing a game called Hollows and Hobbes (definitely no relation there…) and that they thought it would be pretty hilarious to shrink you right down and watch you fight a bunch of maniacal chickens. In order to succeed, and return to your normal size, you’ll fight those chickens, rescue the princess, and never trust the Magi again.

Red Dead Redemption II – Gambler Quests

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For anyone who loves a casino game, it’s hard to beat the side quests in the Red Dead Redemption series. The side quests in this game are incredibly realistic, so if you’re hoping to tick off all of the achievements in the gambler missions, then it’s a good idea to squeeze in some practice first. PokerNews offers loads of guides on all kinds of casino-based games, whether its keno, poker or roulette, so you can feel confident when it’s saloon time. Once you’ve swatted up a little, it’s time to play. RockStar Games are famous for their dedication to side quests and there are loads to choose from. However, getting back to the simple joys of dominoes, blackjack, poker, and perhaps less-so five-finger fillet, is a great way of connecting with the cowboy lifestyle.

Throughout the Gambler Series, you’ll be asked to complete progressively harder and harder challenges for all the aforementioned games. Whilst the games themselves are simple, in order to play, you’ll need to find your way into at least a couple of saloons. The saloons each have a distinct character of their own, complete with interesting characters from all walks of life. Sitting down to a game of poker might be the beginning of the side quest, but in order to get to the sitting down point, you might first have to wrestle a giant off the unsuspecting bartender. Unexpected events like these are exactly what makes Red Dead Redemption II so engrossing.

The Witcher III – Carnal Sins

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The Witcher III is one of the most popular games of today, but is also known as having one of the longest play times out there. As well as having a twisting and turning plotline, it also makes plenty of time for fascinatingly in-depth side quests. These missions are called Witcher Contracts and tend to revolve around you being sent after progressively more terrifying monsters, in order to slay them. The methods of hunting and tracking the beasts get gradually more and more difficult, with perhaps a handful of them leaving you wondering if they are deliberately convoluted. Either way, one of the quests that particularly stands out involves a beloved poet known as Dandelion the Bard.

You’ll already have saved him once earlier on in the game, where you must help him during part of the main quest ‘A Poet Under Pressure’. Following this, you’ll undertake a side quest set in a cabaret, which will lead you to the final element, a murder mystery. Considering this makes up the third part of a side mission, it’s incredibly elaborate. What follows is an entire murder investigation which will reveal clues, and red herrings, as to who was responsible for the killing. How you deal with the information is up to you, but be warned, try not to attack the wrong suspect whilst the killer is still on the loose.

Grand Theft Auto V – Peyote Plants

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Another entry from Rockstar Games, Grand Theft Auto V is known as the ultimate game for those who really just want to mess around rather than take on the actual object of the game. The side quests are well-known and equally well-loved, but two of the lesser-known ones are a real treat for those who can be bothered to find them. The first is the magical peyote plants. Appearing like little daisies, you can pick and eat them and prepare for a wild ride. After ingesting the plants you’ll embark on a magical adventure in which you’re turned into an animal. The animal you get seems to be location-dependent, but dogs and birds are the most frequent choices.

If you find all of the plants then you can embark on the next secret side quest, a journey to track down Sasquatch. There’d been a rumor amongst fans for a long time that a Sasquatch lived in the woods surrounding San Andreas and it turns out that after a few of those peyote plants, there might be some truth in it. If you get to this point in the game then you’ll be given the opportunity to have a very close encounter with this mysterious beast.

Resonance of Fate – The Broken Sewing Machine

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If there’s one thing that really helps to divide the lovers and haters of side quests, it’s the danger versus pay-off element. The broken sewing machine quest from Resonance of Fate falls firmly on the side of being insanely dangerous for very little reward. So, lovers of side quests, strap yourselves in! You’ll be asked to locate a part to fix a broken sewing machine, it’s a small piece, and many people will imagine a hunt through a haystack, or maybe a trip to the haberdashery ensuing. What actually happens is that you need to gun down and destroy a tank. It’s certainly an unusual place to gather your sewing machine parts from, but the mission is hilarious fun if you enjoy taking on a fully armed, cannoned-to-the-hilt military vehicle all on your own.