Top Ten: Video Game Box Arts

Who says games aren’t art? Not Bradly.

By Bradly Halestorm. Posted 05/09/2012 14:30 8 Comments     ShareThis

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Box art is something that I have always adored. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t made a tough purchasing decision, or an impulse buy for that matter, based solely off an alluring cover. Call me easily enticed, or simply daft, but I firmly believe in the notion that a well put-together case illustration can go a long way, and even sell a game outright. On a fundamental level, case art encapsulates a game’s meaning, story and even purpose for existence.  If it’s crafted effectively, a cover will provide us with an accurate representation of the journey we will take, should we choose to embark on that game’s adventure. While art in video games is often debated, it may be contemptibly unwise to discredit the power of jacket design, at the very least due to the sheer marketing value behind it.

If we can agree then that box art has a function, and that function is to grab your attention in order to solidify your gaming purchase, then we can begin to holistically understand that there are, and have been, some truly spectacular cover arts over the generations. Conversely, there have been inexcusably horrendous ones. Leaving the latter for another time, though, the former presents an opportunity to better understand the most significant and aesthetically pleasing covers to ever grace a Nintendo console. Today, we’ll explore the top ten pieces of box art available on any Nintendo system dating back to the NES. So without any further ado, let’s jump into the lion’s den.

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8 Responses to “Top Ten: Video Game Box Arts”

  • 1244 points
    lukas85 says...

    Great, great article, what a tastefull selection. The japanesse box arts are always better. Just look at the metroid, and perfect dark box arts, just wow. I think the American Sin and Punishment box art is pretty damn cool too, and actually i think is on the same level of the japanese one. The first game hybryd ..something, has a good manga quality. The ffvi is just breathtaking , and the secret of mana just ..beautiful.

    I would include in this list a couple of favorites of mine.

    The japanese skyward sword box art
    Monster hunter 3 tri
    Mario galaxy 2
    And.. ( this is not a nindo one but what da hell)
    The japanesse ICO box art, inspired in De Chirico’s paintings.

    • 156 points
      Bradly Halestorm says...

      Thanks for the compliment, Luka! Had I included an “Honorable Mentions” category, Xenoblade surely would’ve been listed.

      As for ICO’s boxart, it’s one of my all-time favorites; only rivaled by Another World, which is also breathtakingly beautiful.

  • 7 points
    Katharine Byrne says...

    Nice article, Bradly! Loved all the different box art – definitely shows how great it can be compared to this kind of monstrosity! XD

  • 285 points
    Kyle England says...

    Cool selection! Secret of Mana has always had such captivating box art. But this list needs more Phalanx

  • 360 points
    M. Noah Ward says...

    Great choices! I was really surprised to see Hybrid Heaven on here… I actually own that game too! And I’m really happy Secret of Mana is on here because it really is one of the best of all-time. Now I need to go home and look at my games and see if there are any other honorable mentions I want to throw in…

  • 156 points
    Bradly Halestorm says...

    @Katharine Ugh, that IS a monstrosity.

    @Kyle Phalanx may or may not be featured in the Top 10 Worst Box Arts piece I plan on writing. ;]

    @Noah Finally, someone who knows Hybrid Heaven! Such an underrated RPG. That said, I’m interested in hearing which games you think should’ve made the list; be sure to write back and let me know!

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