Saturday, February 24, 2007

Top Ten Game Box Arts of All Time

Game cases are like tissue boxes, you want whats inside the tissue box yet it is the box itself that invites you. To that end the box art is very important with games, sure you just want the game, but it is the box art that gives it to you.

So here they are, starting from ten, going to one, my opinion on the best boxes games have been coming in since the time people started putting games in boxes and selling them.

10) System Shock 2

Typical space horror storyline, you wake up out of cryogenic sleep a prototype spaceship theres an alien menace that has killed all your mates and you've forgotten everything. Throw in some unexplained mysterious powers (known to the player as the almighty HUD) and you have your extremely generic typical alien sci-fi horror premise.

What System Shock 2 did really well which is perfectly shown through the box art is make you feel isolated on a spaceship with this constant feeling that an evil entity is looking down on you.

9) Metal Gear Solid

The Metal Gear franchise is the original espionage game. With its emphasis on stealth too fake to be real yet somehow believable storyline and Hollywood movie cinematography it broke new grounds in the innovation department.

Graphically the box art reflects the game, it's dark, muddy, difficult to make out and somewhat transparent, perfectly reflecting the game.

8) Deus Ex

Woo, conspiracies abound, secret government agents all over the streets, a dystopian future someone out there claims to be where were heading too, Deus Ex is the videogame worlds answer to such classics as Blade Runner.

So yeah, the damn box art is cool.

7) Wave Race 64

Jet Ski's, real time water physics (*gasp*) and transparency effects! If one unexpected thing Wave Race 64 proves it is that good gameplay and innovation are what sells games, not boobs (no, really, no joke).

6) Civilization

The Civilization Series has always had the same rough concept for its box art. The best however would have to be for Civilization 2, the hand drawn look gives it a golden era sort of look and the typical throughout the ages imagery is perfectly blended together to reflect the game perfectly well.

5) Super Mario Bros.

Revolutionizing not only gaming but also proving that box artcan also not have to look so damn cheesy and can actually look slick if done right. This is not only a gaming revolution, it's a revolution of box art.

4) Final Fantasy X

Probably the most colorful of all Final Fantasy box covers, the box art designer decided to only feature the games protagonist in one of the more beautiful locales to ever be featured in a Final Fantasy game.

3) Grim Fandango

Back when Lucas Arts continually pulled out games everyone loved and the adventure genre was thriving Grim Fandango pulled out to be one of the quirkiest and most engaging games of the era.

Featuring the surreal art style and sporting on the cover 'an epic tale of crime and corruption in the land of the dead' anyone with half a brain would know this is the game to get, if for anything, for the box.

2) Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past

Nintendo really created quite the following with the original Legend of Zelda and saw no need to put too much effort into the sequel, just the sword and shield and Zelda was enough for the rabbid fanboys.

1) Secret of Mana

So this might seem like an odd choice, why 'Secret of Mana'? Sure it was an exceptional game for its time but it was no Chrono Trigger of Final Fantasy 3. Truth is this is not about the game, it's about the box art. Secret of Mana had an epic box art, just look at it, it is well ahead of its time, even today you don't get box art like that, covering such scope and detail of what the game was all about.

Honorable Mention: Terranigma

This game never enjoyed a North American Release, as such I have left it out of the list though I do believe it is deserving a spot (even possibly number 1).


justin said...

interesting list. didn't see #1 coming at all.. if you'd like, check out you may want to post your list there to get a bit more publicity! you could put a link to your blog in the preface to your list. check it out!


Ahmed said...

It was actually #1 that inspired me to do the post to begin with which is why you probably didn't see it coming.

Thanks for the link, I'll be sure to check it out :-)