Best of Video Game Covers: Top 20 Artworks to Admire in 2024

Most video game covers are designed with much effort and are often almost works of art. Just like movie covers or posters often are.

That’s why we’ve picked out the 20 best covers. Of course, we couldn’t include every game here Please let us know what you think of these covers.

Our Top 20 Video Game Covers

In this section, we’re showcasing our top 20 favorite video game covers of all time. From classic retro designs to modern masterpieces, these covers have left a significant impact on gamers.

20. Doom

video game cover Doom
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Doom’s cover art captures the game’s intense action and chaotic setting with its protagonist surrounded by hordes of demons.

19. Diablo 2

video game cover Diablo 2
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The Diablo 2 cover showcases the Lord of Destruction, Baal, creating an eerie and menacing atmosphere that attracts players to immerse themselves in the game’s dark world.

18. Super Mario Bros 3

video game cover Super Mario Bros 3
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Super Mario Bros 3’s box art, displaying Mario flying with his raccoon tail, became an iconic image, perfectly illustrating the game’s fun and innovative power-ups.

17. The Legend of Zelda

video game cover The Legend of Zelda
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The original Legend of Zelda cover art features a timeless golden cartridge design, which immediately sets it apart from other games.

16. The Secret of Monkey Island

video game cover The Secret of Monkey Island
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This cover art uses a painted style that transports players into the classic pirate adventure game, evoking a sense of excitement and wonder.

15. Final Fantasy VII

video game cover Final Fantasy VII
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Final Fantasy VII’s cover showcases the protagonist Cloud and his enormous sword, creating an intriguing introduction to this beloved RPG in a minimalist design.

14. Ico

video game cover Ico
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Ico’s cover boasts a beautiful, artistic representation of the game’s protagonist leading a mysterious girl using a striking design, hinting at the emotional journey within.

13. F.E.A.R First Encounter Assault Recon

video game cover FEAR
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The F.E.A.R. cover emits a genuinely unsettling vibe, with its creepy little girl image and dark tones, reflecting the game’s horror elements.

12. The Elder Scrolls Skyrim

video game cover Skyrim
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Skyrim’s dragon symbol emphasizes the game’s epic scale and rich lore, inviting players to explore its vast open world and dragon-infused storyline.

11. Alone in the Dark

video game cover Alone in the Dark
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The creepy atmosphere and eerie figure on Alone in the Dark cover impeccably showcase this survival horror game’s intense and fear-provoking nature.

10. Until Dawn

video game cover Until Dawn
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Until Dawn’s cover combines the elements of horror and decision-making, as it shows a hand choosing one of three pathways, each leading to a potentially gruesome fate.

9. World of Warcraft

video game cover World of Warcraft
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The World of Warcraft cover art, with its vibrant colors and fantastical characters, beautifully captures the game’s larger-than-life scope, setting the stage for an immersive MMORPG experience.

8. Far Cry 3

video game cover Far Cry 3
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Far Cry 3’s cover illustrates the game’s tropical setting with a chaotic twist: the menacing antagonist Vaas and his captive victims, hinting at the dangers lurking within the beautiful Rook Islands.

7. Pokemon Yellow Version

video game cover Pokemon Yellow Version
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Featuring a lovable Pikachu on the cover, the Pokemon Yellow Version immediately captures the hearts of fans, setting the tone for an unforgettable adventure of catching, training, and battling Pokémon.

6. Super Mario Bros. NES

video game cover Super Mario Bros. NES
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The original Super Mario Bros. cover art showcases Mario leaping toward a mystery box, leaving no doubt that an exciting adventure awaits inside the cartridge.

5. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

video game cover The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
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The cover art for A Link to the Past, featuring Link, his sword, and the iconic Triforce, stirs anticipation and adventure, making it a fan favorite.

4. Resistance 3

video game cover Resistance 3
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Resistance 3’s cover, with its gritty and unique watercolor-like design, showcases the game’s post-apocalyptic setting and struggle against the menacing Chimera invaders.

3. Sleeping Dogs

video game cover Sleeping Dogs
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The Sleeping Dogs cover art combines elements of Hong Kong’s neon lights and the protagonist’s central role as an undercover cop in the city’s criminal underworld, creating a visually striking and captivating representation of the game.

2. Limbo

video game cover Limbo
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Limbo’s minimalist black and white cover design reflects the game’s atmospheric, mysterious, and eerie adventure perfectly, luring players in with its simple yet powerful imagery.

1. Grand Theft Auto V

video game cover Grand Theft Auto V
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Grand Theft Auto V’s collage-style cover highlights various in-game characters and activities, effortlessly capturing the essence of the game’s sprawling open-world and diverse gameplay options.

Design Elements

When examining the art of video game covers, there are several important design aspects to consider. This section will discuss four key elements: typography, imagery, color schemes, and layout and composition.

Typography

Typography is a crucial component in creating an attention-grabbing video game cover. The font choice and size convey the game’s overall tone and style. It’s important to select a typeface that complements the game’s theme and is easily readable across various mediums. A font can be bold and italic to emphasize the game’s title or other important text elements, such as the developer’s name or any accolades the game has received.

Imagery

The imagery used in a video game cover is often the first thing potential players see and sets the tone for the gaming experience. It should be visually appealing and represent the game’s world and story, giving gamers a glimpse into the characters, the environment, and the game mechanics. A highly detailed illustration or an intriguing snapshot from the game can both work well to generate interest. Utilizing original artwork enhances the game’s identity and can contribute to its memorability.

Color Schemes

Color schemes play a significant role in setting the mood and atmosphere of a video game cover. It is not a coincidence that many successful games employ specific color schemes. For instance, cool and dark colors might evoke a sense of mystery or tension, while warmer and brighter colors can communicate happiness and excitement. The Psychology Behind Video Game Cover Art explains that certain color schemes are more natural and pleasing to the eye, helping to make the cover more appealing to potential players.

Layout and Composition

Lastly, layout and composition are essential in organizing the various elements, such as images, text, and logos, into a harmonious design. A balanced and well-structured composition can create a visually engaging and cohesive cover, guiding the viewer’s eye across the different details while maintaining focus on the game’s title. Modern design trends often dictate minimalistic layouts, avoiding clutter, and giving importance to visual hierarchy.

Industry Practices

video game cover influencers
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Marketing Strategies

In the video game industry, marketing plays a crucial role in ensuring a game’s success. Some common marketing techniques include social media promotion, which involves sharing updates and teasers about the game on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Another popular method is content marketing through creating blogs, videos, and podcasts that highlight upcoming features or provide behind-the-scenes insights.

Many companies also leverage influencer marketing, where famous gamers or content creators are asked to play and review the game in front of their audiences, increasing exposure. Moreover, attending and sponsoring gaming events like eSports tournaments or conventions also helps in promoting games. Some developers even organize beta testing phases where interested gamers can try an early version of the game, allowing them to provide feedback and generate buzz.

Legal Considerations

The video game industry operates under specific legal guidelines to protect developers, publishers, and players. One significant aspect is Intellectual Property (IP) rights, which include copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Developers need to ensure they own or have the necessary permissions to use various aspects of their games, such as characters, music, and storyline.

Moreover, the industry is subject to content rating systems, like ESRB in North America and PEGI in Europe, aiming to inform consumers about the nature of the game and its age-appropriateness. Compliance with these systems is necessary for developers and publishers.

Another essential consideration is the privacy and security of players’ personal information. Developers must adhere to data protection regulations like the GDPR in Europe, which dictate how companies collect, store, and process users’ data. Failure to comply with such laws can result in hefty fines and loss of credibility.

Lastly, there are also legal implications surrounding employee relations in the gaming industry, such as fair labor practices. For example, the gaming industry has been criticized for “crunch” culture, which involves long working hours during the development phase. Addressing workers’ rights issues and maintaining a healthy work environment are vital for companies in the industry to retain talent and avoid backlash from the public. A recent discussion highlights power, profits, and labor practices in the video game industry.

My favorite Cover?

video game cover pokemon yellow gameboy color
My first console and video game

I don’t have a favorite cover, because there are so many covers and I can’t decide between them. But there are some covers I like very much. Why? I think this is because I have an emotional connection to these games and therefore have a very subjective opinion on the covers.

My favorite: Pokemon Yellow Edition. This game was the first video game I have played on my first console. My first Gameboy Color was turquoise.

Also World of Warcraft: I have spent much time in this game and I love it always. So the video game cover of this game awakens emotions in me.

But now let me know in the comments, which video game covers are your favorite.

FAQ

What is the purpose of a video game cover?

The purpose of a video game cover is to attract potential buyers by visually conveying the genre and experience of the game in a compelling way (source).

What is the cover of a video game called?

The cover of a video game is commonly referred to as the “box art” (source).

Why video games should be considered art?

Video games should be considered an art form because at their best, they tell compelling stories through interactive experiences requiring significant creative work, and can provide thoughtful commentary through new interactive means of player expression.

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Max Barnsteiner
Articles: 179

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