Video game boxes have never enjoyed a particularly prestigious reputation. That’s because most of them suck. From Marcus Fenix’s gun to Lara Croft’s ‘guns’, they tend to appeal to the lowest common denominator (also known as 15-year-old boys). Consequently, the majority of game box ‘art’ resembles a bad cover for a straight-to-DVD action flick — no matter how critically acclaimed the game inside may be. Compared to music albums, with their fancy refracting prisms and American-flagged tongues, the majority of boxes are a complete embarrassment.
Occasionally, however, a games publisher will dare to think outside the box (sorry), and come up with something truly avant-garde. In these rare instances, a game will leap off the shelf and attack your giddy eyeballs like the best movie posters from Saul Bass or Drew Struzan. They are — essentially — art (or as close to art as a bullet-spewing alien can get).
In the following slideshow we take a look at some of the best and worst examples of video game box art, including a few dusty relics from our own private collection. And yes, Metro-Cross is naturally included. It wouldn’t be a game box gallery without it.