I have written, not at all exhaustively but somewhat extensively about in-game homages before, including one example from Borderlands 2. But I was in Twitter and ran into some Borderlands tweets about their in-game homage, although they referred to them as "Easter eggs" which isn't exactly how I would contextualize it. I like the topic, and the two examples they had, so present them here.
Homage is a great thing, and we love to play with the things we love, so there is cultural play, and being in the know about things also makes us feel special, or clues people in to what they should know if they don't so they can be in-group. In-game homage about other games is fantastic, but interesting given intellectual property laws.
The first, and if you're a gamer you won't need these explained, is homage to Donkey Kong, an early Nintendo game I played in junior high in about 1983 in the back of Sage's Jr around the corner from my school, and where you played as now-famous Mario. "Donkey Mong" is holding a barrel above his head, about to throw it, just like Donkey Kong.
This one refers to a current favorite, Minecraft, both via the blockhead appearance and part of the text refers directly to Minecraft (this could be an approved homage for all I know, it's unusually direct in the text and most homages aren't, they change something small like Donkey Mong for Donkey Kong).