Now that World of Warcraft is on the brink of its Sweet 16, it's time to look back and celebrate some of the best minigames past and present. Minigames have always provided a welcome break from the truly strategic side of the game. They allow us to faff around for a while, have a bit of fun and not really worry about the consequences. These are some of the minigames that have provided the best gaming experience in 16 glorious years of WoW.

Pet Battles

Is there a game more beloved than the pet battles? One of the greatest things about this minigame is that it is totally optional. If you never play a pet battle, you won't be penalized. Of course, if you do decide to be a pet battler, then you're guaranteed a few minutes of totally harmless fun. They've stood the test of time far better than some of the minigames that were introduced early and they continue to work just as well as they ever did.

For those who haven't ever played a pet battle, the rules are very simple. Players take turns to battle each other's companions. As pets gain more experience battling, their level will rise. At level 25 your pet is considered fully trained. Not only do pet battles raise the level of your companion, they also allow you to catch new pets out in the wild. This fun little aside from the standard gameplay is enjoyed by so many players that it definitely deserves a spot on the list.

The Human Casino

It seems there's no end to the creativity of World of Warcraft players and the rise and rise of the human casino is proof of this. Although this isn't actually allowed on EU servers, it's A-OK on the US servers. Players can usually find casino players because of their dress style. Tuxedos, hats and decorations involving the card suits are generally popular. If you approach a casino player they'll ask you if you'd be interested in playing, tell them that you are and they'll explain the rules of the game.

The player that you choose to place your bets with will have already decided and explained the odds that are available to you. Many casino players offer odds on the same basis as a roulette wheel, with odd and even numbers available to bet on, giving you a 50% chance, or the same odds on a high numbers and low numbers bet. If you want to start playing with the player casinos then it's a good idea to brush up on your knowledge of roulette odds, so that you can tell whether you're getting a good deal or not. Fans of online casino games should already have more than enough knowledge to decide, but if you're new to it then it never hurts to do a little learning first.

Becoming a Musician

There are hundreds of great add-ons for World of Warcraft, but the Musician one might just be the best. This simple add-on allows your character to become a musician. You can play songs which nearby players can hear on any of twenty different instruments, including the traditional lute, or war horn, or the more modern drumkit and electric guitar. Better still, you can play any music you want as long as it's in the MIDI format. If you genuinely are something of a musician then you can even use your computer keyboard to play music as you would on a piano.

Whilst this add-on would have the power to seriously annoy many of us, the joy of it is that you can only hear the music if you have the add-on installed. This makes it a great way to find likeminded players who you can genuinely jam with. If another musician player has decided to have a break from playing then you can still recognize them by the musical note next to their name. Just make sure you have the nameplates option turned on.

Whatever you enjoy about World of Warcraft, there's a whole load of players who feel just like you. The community on this game are really what makes it special. If you want to find your friends quickly, or get to know new players, then minigames can be a great way to put yourself out there. The best thing about them is that if you meet someone through a minigame, you already have one thing in common. Whether it's a love of pets, a love of music, or even a love of casinos, that could be the perfect start to a WoW friendship.

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