ByMarlon McDonald, writer at
Umm... are you going to drink that Skooma?
Marlon McDonald

Video game commercials are pretty damn strange and have been for decades now, what with early marketing teams trying to palm the medium off as the other handful of bedroom fun for boys to enjoy, only to then become veritable competition for Hollywood's crown as Lord of Entertainment.

There have been good ads, there have been bad ads, and, of course, there have also been fantastic adverts that range from the avant garde to self-reverential madness that isn't afraid to mock itself whilst parading its glories.

So that's what I bring to you now, gamer, the 10 best video game adverts ever to grace our screens. What say you? Are you in agreement?

1. PlayStation 3 & Michael

Naturally sat atop the list would be this absolute majesty that pulls together the cream of PlayStation's revolving door of mascots. This is all about celebraing the achievements of their gaming God: Michael, who isn't too dissimilar from you and I.

2. Super Smash Bros.

At first glance this commercial could come across as your run of the mill Ninty ad, where the grass is a luscious green, and the sun shares smiles with you as you parade through the day. That is until Donkey Kong starts pummelling Mario upside his head, and it breaks out into absolute chaos. What did Pikachu do, guys!?

3. Halo 3

Man, the Halo franchise has had some of the greatest video game commercials in the history of the marketing medium, but, in my honest opinion, none are as powerful as this stop motion, diorama of an epic war story. It was one of the many box ticks that coerced me into getting an Xbox 360, because I wanted to take part in this battle! Despite the abject terror that's stretched across the faces of the UNSC troops...

4. PlayStation 1

I remember seeing this on TV as a kid, and not really understanding the double faceted nature of 'Double Life'. The tongue in cheek double entendres, the misjudged prejudice. Yeah, die-hard gamers may still not have the best of reps in this day and age, but in the late 90s when SEGA were still using dick jokes to sell their Saturns, Sony bust out the message that games aren't just for the pantomime stereotype the media likes to perceive gamers as; they're a voice and respite for the invisible, the silenced and the marginalised.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

A pulling together of my favorite gaming franchise and one of my favorite actors, what's not to love about OoT remastered's Robin Williams centric ad. The legendary performer was such a fan of the franchise, he even named his daughter after the the titular princess. Now that's awesome. And how about that for a beard!?

6. Sega Genesis/Mega Drive

My days, the shade! The sheer amount of shade on display here is ridiculous. A straight up middle finger to their direct competitors, at the time, SEGA showed they were more than willing to throw a couple of crotch punches in the golden days of the Battle for the Living Room.

7. Resident Evil 2

Not many commercials can claim to be directed by horror master George A. Romero, and star Brad Renfro in his prime. Damn shame this was never aired outside of Japan.

8. Xbox

No way that this gem can be left out. Banned, presumably, for it being too real and having *gasp* nudey flesh on display, its message is simple: "life is short, so have a laugh!" Okay, Xbox commercial! I will!

9. Dead Island

This advert was like a slap in the face from the future of games. "We can make good, cinematic trailers now, you guys!" The sombre atmosphere, and the backwards retelling of events was shocking and thoroughly brilliant. Then, we played the middle of the road, kinda action packed yet pretty boring game and wondered "did they spend more on their marketing team than on writers?"

10. Kevin Butler & PlayStation 3

Rounding off the list now is another great PS3 campaign, but this time featuring the incredible Kevin Butler. The PS3 is where Sony really honed their console marketing prowess, and with these hilarious commercials (not too removed from Terry Crews' explosive Old Spice ads) under their belts, it didn't hurt to go along with their self-reverential madness when they churned out awesomeness like this.

What is your favorite video game commercial?


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