Over the years, Video Games have increasingly been taking up the commercial time on TV channels and what not, and while they haven’t all been hits, some of them are incredibly memorable. Of course, there is a catch here, and that this list isn’t solely populated by what some people would consider ‘traditional’ commercials.
Honestly, nowadays, with the increasingly online world, even trailers have become part of market, and therefore can also be considered a form of commercial, even if they aren’t necessarily paid spots on a channel. For this list, we consider anything that is released by a developer to create interest in their game, a commercial.
So it’s a little bit of a cheat, but don’t worry, the content is still great!
Greatest Video Game Commercials and Trailers
15. Dead Island: Official Announcement Trailer
One of the more interesting entries in this list, the Dead Island announcement trailer is really interesting. Simultaneously playing forwards and backwards, with some touching music laid over it, the trailer definitely piques the interest. You don’t often see this kind of storytelling general, let alone in a trailer, so it’s definitely worth the watch, even if you aren’t a fan of the Dead Island series.
14. Team Fortress 2 – ‘Meet the Sniper’
You don’t often get individualized clips for each class, but hey, in this case, it really works out great. Both witty and funny, this trailer is really making me want to be sniper, if only I can pretend to be an outback explorer with heavy equipment.
13. Hawken – Series Trailer
One of the great things about a mech suit is that it really makes you feel powerful and in control. This trailer definitely gets that point across, with some really cool live-action elements. While it may not be the best when it comes to live-action trailers, it’s still some really cool stuff to see, even if it may be short.
12. Star Wars: The Old Republic E3 2009 Jedi vs. Sith Trailer
When a Star Wars MMO was announced, you could actually feel the ripple in the fabric of the Force. This trailer only amplified it, giving us some awesome Jedi vs Sith combat, and really bringing the story of the time period to the forefront. SWOTR is actually featured in one of our articles discussing MMORPGs for different budgets, so head over and check it out here if you’re interested.
11. Metro: Last Light – Enter the Metro
When I was growing up, I was incredibly fascinated by the Cold War. This live-action ‘short film’ really brings out the horror, fear and panic that the times word held in. Showing what would happen if the Cold War ended differently, this trailer sets the back-story for the game, as well as offering a chilling look at what will happen to us if we don’t get our stuff together as a civilization and species.
10. Call of Duty Black Ops – “There’s a Soldier in all of us”
While I was originally a bit hesitant to include this trailer, I ultimately decided to include because it perfectly showcases how people from different walks of life and with different ages, can come together and enjoy each others company. There usually aren’t many trailers that show gaming as a community thing, and even though most of the trailer is based on FPSing each other to death, it’s still pretty awesome.
9. Xbox 360 ad – “Standoff”
This trailer is almost exactly like the previous in that (1) Microsoft didn’t actually run it because they felt it would be too controversial and (2) Because it shows a bunch of people getting involved together as a community around games. Personally, I don’t consider it that controversial from the standpoint of a gamer, but I can see how this might not be received well by the general, non-gaming public.
8. Star Wars: Battlefront Live Action Trailer – Become More Powerful
Ok, let’s just get this out of the way: This trailer is freakin’ awesome. Calling in one of the tropes of the Star Wars universe to symbolize entering the game and having fun is incredibly smart. This really is an engaging trailer and even if you aren’t necessarily a Star Wars fan, it still deserves a watch.
7. Ghost Recon Future Soldier: Future War [Europe]
As far as live-action trailers go, this one is awesome. While it may not go into deep issues or philosophical concepts, it’s still solid in that it gives you some really awesome action, and a little taste of what’s to come.
6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfrare 3 – The Vet & The N00b
We’ve all been there. We start of as the noob, not knowing anything and generally just mumbling about, and then slowly turn into a veteran, able to take whole squads down without even pressing the shift button. This trailer takes that concept, adds some comedy and action, and just makes the whole concept seem awesome. Definitely makes me want to go out and play a it.
5. Mass Effect 3: Take Earth Back
It may not be a secret that Mass Effect is probably one of my favorite franchises, so you shouldn’t be surprised that this little baby is on the list. Probably one of the better cinematic trailers out there, it really engages you in the story and makes you feel for the characters. In a way Mass Effect 3 really brought home the idea that we are vulnerable as a civilization, and this trailer really captures that, with an attack on a human-like city. Oh, and it has some awesome action.
4. Official Destiny live Action Trailer – Become Legend
I have to be honest, this trailer really makes me jealous of all the people who actually own and play this game. Probably one of the best live-action trailers, it definitely makes me want to become a legend in the world of Destiny.
3. Xbox Advert: Life is too Short
This commercial is the best reason why you should play video games. That’s it, nothing else left to be said.
2. Playstation 3 – ‘Michael’
I have to say, I truly love this commercial. Bringing all the characters from different PS franchises to life, putting them in a bar, having them tell a story and then ultimately holding the player up as the ‘savior’ is really awesome. Wherever you are Michael, we hope our characters feel the same way about us, as they do you.
1. Tom Clancy’s The Division E3 2014 Cinematic Trailer
What really makes this trailer touching is how close it hits to home. With the recent acts of terrorism and other tragedies and catastrophes, this trailer really brings the whole issue to the ground level and shows us the terrible cost and danger. Thankfully, the whole message is uplifted by showing us the importance of personal sacrifice, community spirit and human understand.
As a trailer, this stands at the top of the list for good reason, it’s great both as a trailer for a game, a gaming trailer, and a commentary on humanities current state of affairs.
So what do you think of our little list here? Do you think there are other commercials and trailers that deserve a spot? Let us know in the comments!