The Top 7... Best demos of all time

5: Ready 2 Rumble Boxing

The demo version of Midway's comic scrapper had three fighters (including the awesome Afro Thunder, pictured)... oh, and Michael Buffer. Butthat was about it. However, in a twist that Midway couldn't possibly have foreseen, all of the full game's additions like weight training and a career mode actually diluted the near-perfect experience that the demo offered.

All you need are comedy boxers, toothless grins and two-player pick-up-and-play fun and you've got yourself a classic. Especially for the moments when you get smacked in the face while taunting.


4: Gran Turismo HD

still isn't here

So it was essentially a demo of vapourware, but taken as a demonstration of PlayStation 3 it was a very welcome freebie. It had plenty of content, sublime HD car models and loads of tuning options to keep us tinkering with our suspensions into the early hours. Y'know, while we waited for the real games to come along.

Above: One track? Sure, but as an HD time trial sim it was superb

Did you unlock the tuned cars? Or watch the fastest guy in the world via the downloadable replay system? People bemoan the inclusion of only one obscure track, but as with all great racers, this one track could keep a dedicated gamer happy for weeks. For free. Well, if £425 can be called 'free', of course...

3: God of War 3

The focus on action isn't diminished at all in the trial. In fact, rather than give one small section, the demo takes in events from several different points in the game, such as a Cyclops fight, the Icarus winged ascent section and cyclops riding, making the action here even more condensed than the full game.

Above: This winged ascent concludes the demo and looks like a CG movie

You also get to shoot Helios and his chariot out of the sky and then use his head as a lantern, complete with some of the best dynamic lighting effects we've ever seen. In short, it's better and more varied than a whole bunch of full-price software on its own. GamesRadar's Meiks reckons he played through it five or six times - and only stopped then because he got his hands on the finished game.

Above: Two heads are better than one... so Kratos rips off Helios' to keep

Next page: A flying finish?