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Classic Games (Games)

Favorite All-Time Videogame Box Art Rated 61

Thanks to GameSpy for its feature discussing and rating the best videogame box art of all-time. The author cheekily argues: "Video games have indeed been graced with some wonderful covers over the years, art that you'd be proud to put in a frame and hang on your wall for all to enjoy... Except when girls come over, when it must be hidden in the closet", before highlighting game covers including Pinball Construction Set ("Rather than showcase a typical pinball scene like most pinball games have done, this cover is mostly symbolic"), the non-U.S. cover for ICO ("Impressionistic and surreal, as if it's capturing a moment in fantasy or memory rather than reality"), and DOOM ("Bottom line, this is a classic.") What's your favorite game cover art of all time?
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Favorite All-Time Videogame Box Art Rated

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  • what art ? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:06AM (#9830100)
    most games I had were just floppy disks with a name written on them..
    • Re:what art ? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by anim8 ( 109631 )
      most games I had were just floppy disks with a name written on them.

      Same here. And when I actually bought games the box, manual and marketing filler would get tossed after a week.

      So what "best of/worst of" topics are left for these game sites? "Best Bar Code Number"?
  • Altered Beast (Score:2, Interesting)

    by B00yah ( 213676 )
    Altered Beast for the Sega Genesis had a bad ass cover imho... seen ast-USA.jpg [] there.
  • Minimalist (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Flyboy Connor ( 741764 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:41AM (#9830323)
    I just loved the minimalist cover of Ultima VII: The Black Gate [].

    Of course, the cover of Spellcasting 301: Spring Break [] is not to be missed either.

  • ...featuring a passed out princess with big, round tits.
  • Is this a joke? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by senocular ( 519317 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:56AM (#9830429)
    I could have pulled better cover art out of my ass. A lot of the "art" is only impressionable due to reminiscence.
  • No Atari boxes. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sammaffei ( 565627 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:09AM (#9830526)

    Atari had great artwork on their boxes. Actually, they set the standard for others that followed.

    Check out Defender [], Berzerk [] and Missle Command []

    Even Mattel Intellivision (boo, hiss) had some cool artwork.

    Article seemed kinda biased to late 80s / early 90s if you ask me.

    • Re:No Atari boxes. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Craig Maloney ( 1104 ) * on Thursday July 29, 2004 @10:13AM (#9831154) Homepage
      The Atari artwork for the early 2600/5200 cartridges and 8 bit computer software was some of the best artwork to grace videogames, bar none. The paintings were almost a trademark of the early Atari software. These were most definitely works of art, and anyone from the era would be proud to have thse hanging in their living room.
    • The author can justify the biased towards late 80s / early 90s covers. They were a little more artistic(most were drawn by hand not by computer). A lot of cover art in the early days was fairly over the top. The graphics wern't exactly works of art, so they had to sell the game on a (very) touched up image. Also 80's extravagance came into it a lot. The game was a 320X240, blocky looking mess. Suspension of disbelief was in order just to appriciate that the characters on screen really were heros, monsters,
    • The article seemed to be biased toward art with the hero/heros acting heroic with an optional female damsel in distress. The great covers are the one's that transcend the stereotypes and put the covers more into the art realm. I would agree with the choices of Pinball Construction Set, Zelda, and ICO covers on this merit.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      OMG the women on those Atari boxes have NORMAL sized breasts!
  • My favorite game art is from Slashdot The Game (C)(TM) []. It comes with many different gameplay modes. For those who like camping in hidden places, theres snipe mode, where you constantly hit refresh, and then paste in a carefully prepared post as soon as a new story shows up. For those who are into party games, there's the mode where you say something slightly incendiary, or misguided, and try to see how many people you can get involved in the conversation. And, of course, there's always my favorite, try

  • Infocom (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dave-tx ( 684169 ) <> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:15AM (#9830569)
    Repeating a recent theme of mine, I'll nominate Infocom's "Suspended" - an early release shipped in a box that had a contoured white plastic face, right in line with the theme of suspended animation. It was way cool looking. k/suspended-mask.html []

  • that the original Mega-Man cover didn't make the list. I remember being at my Dad's house and staring at my step-brother's cartridge, trying to figure out how such a fun game could have such a terrible, graphic art on the outside of the game. Oh wait. There it is. There's a link to the worst game covers top 10 list and it tops it. That's a good call.

    On the other hand, I'm happy that Double Dragon graphic was mentioned. I remember seeing both the "second cheek" version and then the "one cheek" version on th
    • Re:Shocked I am... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Scorchio ( 177053 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @10:13AM (#9831157)
      There was a pretty good rule of thumb in the early 80s, and to some extents it still holds today: how exciting, fantastic and wonderful the game cover is, is inversely proportional to how good the game actually is. I was lured several times by drawings of vast space battles, with sleek fighter craft attacking horribly beweaponed starcruisers, through a haze of laser fire and explosions... only to find the game has a triangle firing squares at a couple of advancing, um, rectangles with legs.

      Of course, in those days, you had to use your imagination, which I think lent to more immersive gameplay. Sometimes, though, the gulf between the expectations raised by the game cover, and the actual game was just that bit too wide...
    • The Megaman 2 artwork was pretty bad too.
  • An Infocom classic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stardeep ( 66237 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:26AM (#9830691) Homepage
    I have always been fond of the atmospheric cover art for Wasteland and the naive-yet-groovy picture on the Tass Times in Tone Town box as well as the "artist's rendition" of an LCP on the little cassette case for Little Computer People.

    (I'm too lazy to google for links. Be my guest and explore the Internet yourself!)

    I will give you a link to my absolute favourite [], tough. I love the way it all looks completely different from what I'd pictured in my head, especially the house. I guess Infocom's motto still holds true...
  • Simple and smooth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MMaestro ( 585010 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @10:23AM (#9831269)
    Call me lame but I as much as I like pretty videogame box art, I always thought having a smoother more crisp box art was always better (at least for the front). Case in point : the box art for Final Fantasy 2/4 and 3/6. Take a look. [] []

    Call me a marketing moron but I think this sort of smooth, simple box art is the best way to gather attention against rows and rows (or stacks and stacks) of other video game box art.

    • In Europe Square obviously agree, as all the Final Fantasy games (apart from compilations) have plain white covers with just the logo on them, which does look distinctive and classy. I think Japan might use the same style as well, but it obviously isn't brash enough for US consumers (or what marketing people thing US consumers want).

      I do agree simplicity is nice - one of my favourite covers is the European version of Sonic The Hedgehog, which is just sonic on a cream background which has some feint[1] dra
      • "I do agree simplicity is nice"

        Depends on how it is done : I really liked the old NES gamecovers over the Sega Master system ones : Somehow the simple 'white with a grey grid' did not look right ;)

      • It's faint. Faint means light, as you used it, and to pass out. Feint means a maneuver designed to trick an opponent in combat.

        These are my definitions and you can probably find better ones just about anywhere.
    • Seen the Japanese and European box art for Final Fantasy games? Just a plain white label with the logo in the centre. That's all. Utterly minimalist, and very classy looking compared with the US versions.

      The UK release of Ocarina of Time had a beautiful box as well, along similar lines: a plain matt black label with the Zelda logo in gold.

  • Once again Gamespy makes a Top X list, and sucks at it. Nowhere did they mention Top Secret - Hitler's Revival [], known as Bionic Commando in the states.
  • I've always loved the cover of the first Gran Turismo. I still remember buying it at FuncoLand and being absolutely amazed, especially with how good the high res replays looked. The cover is minimilistic and mysterious. You have never seen a racing game like this... And...the only good picture I can find is on EB's website and it won't let me link to the game. *sigh* ps - What kind of car do you think is under the cover?
    • "What kind of car do you think is under the cover?"

      1993-1997 Chevrolet Camaro. I owned a 95 Z28, and found it interesting that they chose that car to be on the cover. Sure, 0-60 is fast, and it's alright in the turns, but it's no "real" racecar... stock anyways.
      • Having said that, I can see why they'd choose that car for the cover. The Camaro has a normal "sports car" profile that anyone who thinks of a fast car can identify with. If it were a Porsche or a Impreza rally car, the mystery car could be taken for a common Voltzwagen or some other boring sedan.

        Another you know if that's the same cover they used in Japan? It seems the Camaro would resonate more with American audiences...
  • This article I do not agree with. To me, the most beautiful video game 'art' was in the flyers for early 1980s arcade games and their marquees. Sure, there were "cliches" such as glowing text, grids with a perspective deformation, and red-orange-yellow combos, but I love it.

    Check out for a gallery of some of the most(IMO) beautiful artwork to have graced the decade. Sure, some are cheesy, but that's where it's at for me.
  • From a more modern point of view..

    Viewtiful Joe. Love the box art. More than likely because I love the art style. Same with Disgaea.

    Final Fantasy, at least in Japan. I love the logos. The name of the game in that crystallized text, with a picture representation of a game element in the background. (X had Yuna's sending dance, VII had a comet, VI had a Magitec armor. etc)

    That's pretty much the best in my book. Everything else kind of blends together.
  • I can't believe nobody's mentioned Cock'in, the classic rooster simulator for the Commodore 64 home computer system!

    Check out this box art []! Yes, this is a real game [].


  • by May Kasahara ( 606310 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @12:37PM (#9832823) Journal
    Parappa 2 was a good choice, as it's a really good showcase for Rodney Greenblat's character designs... but the runner-up was kind of lame. Instead of Um Jammer Lammy, I would've gone with Sam & Max Hit the Road [], which features a great illustration by Sam & Max's creator, Steve Purcell.
  • They also have the 10 WORST video game box-arts

    Gamespy 10 worst boxes []
  • Anyone else feel this article is aimed more at Penny arcade fans then Slashdotters?

    The way it was written made me feel the guy was trying to hard to "be hip with the kids", he ended up just bugging me to the point where I decided not to read beyond page one (why do I need 10 pages for an article!?).
  • by bluemeep ( 669505 ) <bluemeep @ g m a i> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:43PM (#9834804) Homepage
    The shiny pseudo-holographic box made it look like the lich was reaching right for you. Plus it was made from heavy stock cardboard and about a half-foot thick. You just don't get boxes like that anymore...
    • I agree 100%. The creature (Lysandus? Underking? Lich?) on front was mildly creepy and the shininess was cool.

      Morrowind has a cool box too, IMO. I've never seen the Arena box. While I didn't like the game, Battlespire had very cool box art too.
  • My favorite video game box is also one of the earliest I recall purchasing. I had seen the commercials Nintendo bombarded us with (also classics in their own right), but the box was a nice clincher for making me part with my money.

    It was a simple, dignified silver coat-of-arms on a gold background, with a tastefully-rendered title. No other box cover has ever communitcated so little, and so much at the same time.
  • Burn: Cycle (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @04:43PM (#9836512) Homepage Journal
    Hell, I bought the game for $2 JUST FOR THE BOX. It looked black, but it has the heat sensitive color changing gell stuff. A wonderful time indeed.
  • What, no Myth [] covers? []

    Also, not even 1 leisure suit larry cover.

  • Don't forget this older /. post [] concerning Loguidice's "Game Packaging Treasures" article in Armchair Arcade. It goes into more detail about PC game boxes; in my opinion, that's where the real innovation was occuring.
  • I always hated that the cover art was always much cooler than the games I played. I think game companies should do what other product do and show you right on the front how much people are enjoying the product.

    Hmmm...what to buy?? The one with the guy that looks like he hasn't slept in 3 days or the one with they guy with the half broken controller reaching for the reset button?

    Ok, now that I've written it out, maybe the artwork thing is a better idea.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie