Before we get into this, please read the title a few times. Let it sink in. This is MY list. Not my partner and I, nor anyone else. This list is not meant to be definitive in any way, and I know before I list the first trailer that something you readers feel should be included won’t be. This is simply me sharing some dope game trailers with you that you may remember, or may not. Please feel free to discuss how you feel about them in the comments. If you want to tell us some you feel were worthy, great! That’s what we want, discussion.
Let me tell you how I came up with this list. I’m concentrating on a few things here. Mood, impact, music, editing, that sort of stuff. But most of all, this list is comprised of the trailers that were MOMENTS. Do you remember the first time you saw it? Where you were? How you felt? How badly it made you want the game? As a matter of fact, check this out.
Fast forward to 1:35. Remember how you felt when that screen lifted up and we all saw Super Mario 3 for the first time? Yeah, that’s how you make my list.
With that said, the list may be light on older titles. Game trailers simply weren’t as important years ago. But that doesn’t mean the list will be completely recent. Oh no my friends. It won’t be. Let’s talk about some notable games that aren’t on the list though. God of War didn’t make it. Heavy Rain didn’t make it. Halo didn’t make it. NBA2K didn’t make it. Actually, no sports game did. Only one RPG made it, which seems weird considering it’s my favorite genre. 1 series did make it twice. If you don’t know what it is, you’re gonna learn today. Anyway, I have talked enough. Let’s get to the list. These aren’t in ranked order, I found it too difficult to do. But these are my top 10. Enjoy!
Bioshock X06 Trailer
Here’s a confession. I hated the XBox 360 when it was released. HATED IT. There were 3 specific games that warmed me up to the system, and this was the first. I knew the first time I saw it I was looking at a game that would be remembered for years to come. Sometimes you just know. Everything about it is perfect. The opening scene looking out over the beautiful water. The buildup to the showdown between Big Daddy and his latest victim. The drama. The action. The fact that they framed it as a typical shooter, only to introduce the plasmids halfway through the fight. And the best part? It didn’t give away ANYTHING about the plot of the game. Not a single thing. When you can grab everyone’s attention without telling them anything? You won. This gen is winding down and I’m still not sure there has been a better game than Bioshock.
Metal Gear Solid 4 2006 E3 Trailer
Hideo Kojima. The man, the myth, the legend. Few games were more anticipated this generation than Metal Gear Solid 4. Kojima raised the anticipation to a fever pitch with this trailer from E3 06. From the opening when we see a war weary Solid Snake smoking a cig, this trailer was a cinematic tour de force. A brand new camo suit that can blend in anywhere. New Metal Gears that can climb walls and manuever with ease. New graphics that were pretty much unmatched at the time. What more could you want? How about a new and improved kick ass cyborg Raiden as the cherry on top! I still remember being flabbergasted at how they managed to make the series most maligned character such a badass.
The Last Guardian 2009 E3 Trailer
Every so often, a game comes along that reminds me of what games used to be. In today’s hyper realistic gaming climate, it’s nice to be reminded of that sense of wonderment games once provided. Sometimes I just want to be pulled into another world that doesn’t look or feel anything like this one. This trailer for Ico’s spiritual successor did just that. I still think it’s one of the most beautiful games I have ever seen, and now that it’s been pushed to the PS4 I’m even more excited.
Mass Effect 2 2009 E3 Reveal Trailer
Shepard! But…you’re dead! I’ll admit that of the more recent trailers I chose, this one is the weakest in production values. But when fans found out Shepard was indeed back? The internet was on fire. Mass Effect was actually the game that forced me to buy the Xbox 360. Game 2 of the holy trinity. And although I hated the first one for some reason, this trailer made me give the series a second chance. Lucky me. It ended up being one of the best series of the generation.
Ocarina of Time 1998 Trailer
Blast from the past! OoT is universally recognized as one of the greatest games of all time. When I went to find this trailer, I didn’t think I would be able to. But I did, and despite the dated graphics it’s held up quite well. I think this ended up being the official commercial for the game. Watching it 15 years later is kind of surreal. The pacing is great and the music is a perfect match. The best part? At the end, peep the “Get N or Get Out” slogan. Ah, when Nintendo was cool.
Final Fantasy VII 1997 E3 Trailer
I’m not entirely sure if this is actually the E3 trailer or not. What I am sure of is the jaw dropping reaction most of us had when we first laid eyes on FF7. It looks horribly dated now. Even worse than OoT with the exception of the cutscenes. But at the time it was a sight unseen. It was the official snatching of the RPG crown from Nintendo, and the beginning of Sony’s 2 generation run of dominance.
Dead Island Reveal Trailer
This really might be one of the best and worst trailers of all time. First of all, showing it in reverse was brilliant. Second, using slow motion was equally brilliant. Third, the score was perfect. So why does it suck while simultaneously being awesome? Because it’s one big lie. I was lied to man. How could a game with that trailer suck so badly? Dead Island was a snooze fest. Most egregious was the exclusion of local co-op. Who do you voodoo bitch? (<— Click it, you won’t regret it.) Not you Dead Island. Not you.
Left 4 Dead Cinematic Trailer
Bioshock made me want the Xbox 360. Mass Effect made me buy it. But this game is my most enjoyable experience on the system. This trailer encapsulates everything that makes L4D special. The tension. The teamwork. The zombies of course. It’s pretty much the game in cutscene form. I saw this trailer and pretty much obsessed over the game until I finally got it. And it lived up to the standard set during these four minutes. Best co-op experience of this gen hands down.
Metal Gear Solid 2 2001 E3 Trailer
I can’t remember any trailer that was talked about more than this one. I tried for the purposes of this post. And I can’t. It simply froze the gaming world during the 2001 E3 conference. There was a trailer during the 2000 E3 as well, but this one was the one that stands out in my mind. One thing I noticed, Raiden wasn’t shown in either one. I don’t remember that being the case but it explains the backlash concerning the actual game. Oh, I should mention this HD version of the trailer looks WAY better than the original. But in either case its an incredible trailer.
Gears Of War Mad World Trailer
This is probably the most likely entry to be on any list of this sort. This trailer single handedly ruined the PS3 launch. Well it had plenty of help from Sony, but still. Gears of War seemingly went from unheard of, to impossible to ignore. And this trailer is the reason why. I can’t think of a better marriage between cinematics and audio in a game trailer. The song is really the star of the show if we’re being honest. Nevertheless, it’s an unforgettable trailer that served as the 360’s coming out party.
So there you go. My top 10 game trailers ever. I would be shocked if anyone else’s matched mine. So don’t be shy. Let me know what your list looks like. Remember to like the Facebook on the right of the page, subscribe to the blog, and follow us on twitter @Ourcadegames. Happy gaming!