I am, at least, an avid video-gamer and, at best, a video-game philosopher. Video games are works of art and deserve to be analyzed as such. As the gaming industry continues to grow video games have been getting trailers. Have you ever purchased a game based on the trailer alone? I sure have, and it didn’t always work out of me, but even though I was pissed of for being swindled out of $60 (I am looking at you Dante’s Inferno) I must give credit were credit is due. You did a fine job guys. Good game or bad game, that is one mighty fine trailer you created. Here is my list of the best video game trailers of all time.
16. SC2 Marine
StarCraft Broodwar was released in 1998. A full ten years later this teaser was released; it was electric. Finally the marines are getting geared up for a second coming of Blizzard’s masterpiece. After the suit is assembled, Tychus expresses the sentiments felt by every fan for many years … another ten years later, StarCraft 2 actually came out in the classic Blizzard style.
15. Halo 2
Most of the this trailer’s power comes from the success of the original Halo. If this was a trailer for some no-name game I think it probably wouldn’t have had as much impact. It’s the audience’s reaction and attachment to Master Chief that make this trailer so awesome. Getting back into the action with him is what everyone wanted, and exactly what this teaser promises.
It plays more like a movie trailer than a video game trailer. If you closed your eyes and just listened to the high-budget voice acting you wouldn’t know any better. I have been a huge fan of the Mass Effect franchise and I eagerly waited for this trailer, I wonder what its effect would be on someone not familiar to with the series. Seems like it would sell the story pretty well even to the uninitiated.
13. StarWars Old Republic
Star Wars has a strange effect on people. No one can look away from a light saber battle. it is the single coolest thing in the whole world. Anytime anything Star Wars is produced everyone wants to see the light sabers and BioWare understood that well. Here we see maximum patented Star Wars style action, and it looks glorious.
12. Dante’s Inferno
It is unfortunate that I hated this game so badly because I thought this trailer was spot on. It explains the plot and conveys a mood in only thirty seconds. The Dante’s Inferno marketing machine probably had more money than the developers had on the actual game. Did you know this 30-second spot was first played during the Super Bowl?
Everyone knows about Portal now, but back when it was just a “offshoot” in a bundle called the Orange Box many people had no idea what it was. When I first saw this I had to watch it three times to fully understand what I was looking at. Not only does it reveal a totally original gameplay concept, but also curiously dark-comedy undertone.
10. DOA Beach Volleyball
This is the weirdest game that I have ever played. It’s easy to say this game is 100% fan service and is totally devoid of real content or gameplay. However, the more you play the game, the more you realize that it isn’t true. As much time, care and thought was spent on this game’s creation as any other Team Ninja production. As a young man, I can’t image watching this and not immediately buying the game. Totally shameless!
9. Witcher 2
Everything about this is just cool. The way the characters are established and the scene is set, the calm before the storm, the epic slow motion action. The whole thing is just badass, not a second is wasted.
8. Team Fortress 2
It’s very hard to do funny in a video game trailer. Team Fortress is a team-based shooter game with a light-hearted atmosphere. Each different class got it’s own little docudrama, each one more hilarious than the last. I consider the entire campaign as sort of one giant trailer, and I recommend you watch them all.
7. Dead Island
Zombie games have kinda become a joke. We have Plants vs Zombies, we have random zombie expansion packs to non-zombie games, we have left for dead which is pretty much a zombie drinking game. It’s about time zombies got back to being scary and serious. This trailer does a great job of bringing a serious touch to a cliche. Oh it also plays backwards, which is pretty cool.
6. Dear Esther
I have never played the game, and have no idea what genre of game it even is. For all I know this is a remake of Myst. Am I curious? Fuck yes.
By this time everyone knows what Grand Theft Auto is, you expect to see violence, car crashes, hookers, swearing, and more violence. Even if you didn’t know what the game was about, the title alone should spoil MOST of it for you. This “hopeful” trailer leaves everything to the imagination at the same time making a hilarious irony out of itself.
4. Bionic Commando
Many readers might not even know anymore but Bionic Commando is a Nintendo game. I am talking 1988 Nintendo. Those of us old enough to know this game can’t help but get super jazzed by this modernization. To everyone else it just looks like pure arcade action. I just want to play it.
3. Mirror’s Edge
This trailer showed me a game which, at the time, I couldn’t imagine. The style of gameplay was totally original and this trailer stopped me in my tracks. I had to watch it several times trying to figure out how a game like this can be possible. I was mesmerized.
2. Assassin’s Creed 1 and 2
I lumped these trailers together because I didn’t feel like it was fair to have this series take up two spots especially since the trailers are so similar, but I have watched both of them over a dozen times. The style of both is the same. They show the Assassin climing, jumping, fighting and killing in beautiful, lively cities. As amazing as that looks the music manages to steal the show. Classically-inspired techno music ties together elements the audiance isn’t even aware of yet. Like a subtle form of foreshadowing.
1. Gears of War 1, 2 and 3
The Gears of War Mad World trailer is the single reason I purchased an Xbox360. That trailer ALONE energized me to spend around $400 on an entire console and, of course, the game itself. Since then Gears 2 and Gears 3 launched similarly striking trailers. Always the meaningful, somber soundtrack over the gritty, depressing and utterly hopeless visuals. Each time I watch them they connect with me and even though I will probably never purchase a GOW game again, I eagerly await the trailer for Gears of War 4.