Try as we might, we judge books by their covers. In this case, video games by the artwork on the box. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s tragic, and sometimes it’s just phenomenal. It’s that window to the world within the disc or cartridge, and it’s often the selling point for most gamers. Some of us here at Twinfinite have thought about the box arts that have made quite an impression on us in the past and decided to compile them to show you some of the best cover artworks video games have had to offer over the past few decades of this relatively new medium. There’s no telling what artworks will grace us in the future, but we hope they’re as memorable as the ones below:
Video games these days have it so easy. Because graphics are so close to being photorealistic, making a cool cover requires pretty much zero creativity. Look at The Last of Us for example. Oh sure, it’s a great game, but the cover image is just a screen capture of the main characters. Old school games had to use their box covers to evoke a sense of adventure, and to suggest the kind of experience you were having to compensate for rudimentary graphics.
That’s why the cover for Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar is so memorable. It evokes a grand adventure, but one more involving and complex than killing a bunch of enemies. Indeed, the object of this game is to essentially become a better person. It was a radical concept in 1985…hell, it’s a radical concept now…and its iconic box cover in no small part contributed to that.