Video gaming is now a mainstream hobby, with people of all ages taking part. As the industry has matured, so has the audience, and so have the commercials that are created to try and sell systems and titles to us. Over the years there have been amazing video game commercials that have stood out above all others. Often because they’re brilliantly conceived and masterfully delivered, but sometimes because they’re so weird to be eye-catching and memorable.
What follows are 10 of the best video game commercials of all time, curated in no particular order and embedded for your viewing pleasure here on MakeUseOf. It may be too late for these ads to influence your purchasing decisions, but they’re now worth watching for sheer entertainment value.
This commercial from Sony isn’t for one game, but for a whole platform. Namely, the PlayStation 3. It features a host of different video game characters coming together and sharing a toast to “Michael.” The Michael in question is Michael Mamaril, a gamer who died of cancer at the tender age of 22. In this instance he is used to represent gamers everywhere.
This commercial is titled Standoff, and it accurately describes what the ad depicts. This is the banned Xbox Live commercial that went viral online after it emerged Microsoft wasn’t going to be showing it on network television. So it wasn’t actually banned, but it was considered too controversial for mainstream audiences. Hardly surprising given the subject matter.
Gears Of War
This commercial is for Gears Of War, and it features the Gary Jules cover of Mad World by Tears For Fears. At the time of release this represented video game commercials growing up. No longer were they being made to appeal to children, with mature themes and subtle messages being introduced instead. This is artistic on a whole new level.
Super Smash Bros.
This commercial is for Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64. Nintendo is primarily known for games and characters that appeal to all ages. Violence isn’t really in the company’s DNA. So what better way to introduce a fighting game which sees all the popular Nintendo characters beating each other up than having Mario trip Yoshi up in order to start a battle royale.
World Of Warcraft
This commercial is for World Of Warcraft, and features Chuck Norris being, well, Chuck Norris. This was just one of a series of ads featuring celebrities and their supposed WoW avatars. Other stars featured include William Shatner, Mr. T, Verne Troyer, and Ozzy Osbourne. This ad once again reminds us not to mess with Chuck Norris. Because he’s nails.
This commercial is for Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation, and it’s memorable because the fake surveillance video footage makes you sit up and take notice. The first half of the ad has you guessing what’s going on, but the game footage reveals all as it mirrors the actions of the arrested man. This commercial still makes me want to play Crash Bandicoot.
This commercial of for Halo 3, considered by many to be one of the best games of this generation. It’s unique for being the only video game ad that features a diorama of an individual scene. It really shouldn’t work, but the attention to detail, the musical score, and the epic nature of it all keeps you engrossed from start to finish. This was a gamble that paid off.
Super Mario 3D Land
This commercial is for Super Mario 3D Land, a recent title on the Nintendo 3DS. What better way to show Mario switching to 3D once again than to have a young gamer enter his world. OK, so it isn’t likely to appeal to mature gamers, but then that’s not the target market. Nintendo knows its audience and plays to it extremely well. As this advert proves.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
This commercial is for Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which was released on all platforms in 2011. Rather than go for kooky or creative, Activision decided to pair a couple of big-name actors with some brilliant visual effects to create The Vet and the n00b. Sam Worthington plays a CoD veteran, while Jonah Hill plays a CoD n00b, a pairing that is rather believable.
The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past
This commercial is for The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To the Past, perhaps the most-celebrated of all the Zelda titles. This isn’t artistic or innovative, it’s sheer madness. It’s a Japanese commercial, naturally, and it shows Link defeating Ganon with the power of dance. And a little rap thrown in for good measure. It’s bizarre but I guarantee you won’t forget it in a hurry.
Do you agree with that selection? Or do you have a particular video game commercial you feel was unfairly left off the list? Did any one of those 10 particularly resonate with you, and perhaps made you buy the game in question when it was released? Of course this list is incomplete, as there have been many more great video game commercials aired over the years, but to me it represents the best of the best video game commercials of all time.
Image Credit: Cory Schmitz