This article came to be, because of fellow GameGravy comrade Chris King posting the Uncharted Collection trailer a couple months ago. I’ve watched it probably 50 times in the last 6 weeks due to how well it came together, the music, the nostalgia and how pumped it got me to play those games again. I started thinking about how other video game trailers have affected me over the years and influenced my decision to purchase them. What follows is a list of my 10 favorite trailers ever in no particular order.
A couple rules I had to adhere to: only 1 entry per series (sorry Halo 2), the game has to be out already (sorry Last Guardian), the game cannot have been canceled (sorry Prey 2), the game itself didn’t have to be good (looking at you Dead Island), lastly the trailer had to illicit excitement from me disproportionate to that of most game trailers.
Let’s start with the reason I decided to put this together, The Uncharted Collection coming out this week. The music, story beats, action and set pieces used made me want to play the series all over again. Yes, even part 1.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
I’m certainly not the biggest MMO fan, though you’ll find another MMO trailer below, but many of them do have some fantastic trailers. KOTOR’s may be the best of them especially for a Star Wars nerd. Using John William’s brilliant score along with the stunning animation and choreography brought it over the top for me.
Team Fortress 2: Meet The Pyro
This was almost Meet The Spy, which I love, but I just couldn’t bypass this absolutely ridiculous trailer showing the inner workings of The Pyro’s mind. The happy go lucky music and candy coated imagination juxtaposed next to the carnage that is actually going on around him cracks me up. Purple Unicorns win the day!
Sweet baby Jesus that music! Using Yasunori Mitsuda’s amazing song, Time’s Scar, in the trailer along with, at the time, brilliant visuals gave us a glimpse at the world of Chrono Cross, and it’s crazy town story. For me personally I don’t think I’ve watched any other trailer more than this one. Probably for the song. Definitely for the song.
Mass Effect 2
In 3 minutes the cinematic trailer for Mass Effect 2 does an amazing job highlighting the new cast of characters, personalities, stakes, and locations that would go on to be one of my favorite games ever. Martin Sheen’s Illusive Man pulling the strings even before the game came out hooked me instantly. Why is there no movie?
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
This is an obvious statement, but there will never, ever be another trailer that explodes the industry the way the first trailer for Twilight Princess did. After years of waiting for the more realistic Zelda game that Nintendo promised way back in 2000 with it’s Space World tech demo, they dropped a megaton bomb on E3 2004. Literally bringing grown men to tears, but not this grown man. I was cutting down trees, fixing my motorcycle, and bench pressing a tractor. WHO’S CUTTING ONIONS?! Miyamoto repping the master sword and shield afterward is one of my favorite E3 memories. Also, nice job for using music from Conan The Barbarian.
Gears Of War
The Gears of War series is primarily a meat head game, about meat head dudes, shooting big guns at meat bags from under the surface of the planet. That doesn’t stop it from having a narrative and world you want to stay in. Part of that is the art house lite trailer skipping the god awful metal that so many shooters were using in their trailers at the time. The trailer alone sold many a X-Box 360 during the wait for Halo 3. Mad World indeed.
World Of Warcraft
Blizzard’s incredible production values aside this trailer made me play an MMO for the first time in my life. Sure I only played that MMO for 2 months because it took over my free time and had to quit cold turkey or I would have turned into Cartman from the WOW episode of South Park, but I digress. The visuals, story, and music presented in the trailer created a new standard in the industry.
Prince Of Persia (2008)
Beautiful. Though it was an extreme departure away from the previous POP series on PS2/GC/XBOX, Prince of Persia was met with positive review scores but low sales numbers. The trailer sets up the world and shows how integral of a character Elika would become in the gameplay and story. The story leaves you on a cliffhanger with no plans for a sequel. That’s not important to the trailer, just wanted to throw that in there, because I’m not bitter or anything. Please continue to make Assassin’s Creed every year but not this or Beyond Good and Evil 2. ::kicks rocks::
Not many video game trailers get main stream coverage, but Dead Island did. Mostly due to the gripping nature of the editing and the music going along with the admittedly disturbing visuals. I vividly remember thinking that this game was going to be incredible. I was wrong, but cheers on your damn fine trailer.
Halo 3: ODST
I spent a hour deciding between this and Halo 2. “Don’t miss.” vs the drums. This trailer took me from being luke warm to the game to instant purchase so ODST won. Blending live action with CGI, ODST did a phenomenal job getting players excited for a Halo game that would NOT star the Master Chief. For the life of me I do not understand how this didn’t instantly green light a movie. The drums at the end get me every time.
So there you have it, my 10 favorite video game trailers ever. I left a ton off the list and it took me way too long to decide on a few of them. I’m sure I left off a trailer that you love and it’s going to make me look like a jackass but them’s the breaks. Feel free to call me names, tell me how wrong I am, and suggest other trailers that should have made the cut.