Top 10 Video Game Trailers of All-Time

Posted on Jul 31 2015 - 2:52pm by Johnny Jackson

Creating hype for games is a rather difficult task. While some titles can cause mass hysteria on name value alone, some games need more to create buzz. Though seeing images of an upcoming project is great, there is nothing like a good ol’ fashion trailer to create insane levels of anticipation and excitement. Trailers can give you a peek at the plot of the game, a brief look at important characters, or they can just show tons of s#$t being blown up. Some trailers were more successful at creating an all-around astonishing display, and we here at A Gaming are proud to bring to you what we feel to be the best of the best when it comes to video game trailers. Let us begin!

10.) Mirror’s Edge

This trailer from 2008 gave gamers only a brief glimspe into the world of main character Faith, as we watch her expertly move across rooftops in this beatiful trailer, but it certainly was enough to grab everyone’s attention. We were being introduced to the unique brand of parkour gameplay that Mirror’s Edge is most known for now. Between the superbly designed skyline, extraodinary visual design, and beautiful theme song that plays in the background, gamers were being treated to a new experience.

9.) Valiant Hearts: The Great War

Trailers that are the most impactful tend to be the ones that are deep, meaningful, and well designed. Valiant Hearts hit these three points with flying colors in their E3 2014 trailer. Following a medic dog looking for his companions upon the remains of war-torn terrain during World War 1, you see a different side of war. Unlike other popular games centered around war and the need to mow down as many enemies as possible, Valiant Hearts placed the focus on the characters and their harrowing tales of life during war. Hearing the narration from the dog’s perspective on his wartime pals showcases the unique and strong bond formed by the numerous characters. What really strikes home is hearing that only the dog knows of the efforts put forth by his owners during the war, and he is unable to publish these events for the world to know. Whilst their efforts may never be known, their “Valiant Hearts will remain”. Have tissues ready as tears will likely be shed.

8.) Gears of War

The launch trailer for Gears of War was a stark contrast to previous trailers for the highly-anticipated title released in 2006. Set to Gary Jules’ cover of Tears for Fears “Mad World”, this trailer was a peek into the dark and desolate world the game’s main protagonist, Marcus Fenix, would find himself in. While the final product was much louder and more action-packed than this trailer would suggest, it gave gamers a taste of the destruction and chaos they would soon encounter.

7.) Bioshock

This 2006 trailer took viewers deep down, as we took a quick trip to the underwater city of Rapture. Even though it was a CG-trailer, it packed in plenty of vicious imagery, as gamers watch through a man’s eyes as he goes head-to-head with one of the most menacing foes in recent gaming memory; Big Daddy. Though over before you know it, the trailer also gave gamers a glimpse of the special Plasmid powers players would be given over the course of the game. We also discovered the extraodinary bond that the Big Daddy has with the Little Sisters who inhabit the bleak world of Rapture.

6.) Grand Theft Auto IV

After a few years of roaming the rough and rugged streets of Los Santos, many were clamoring for the next entry in the blockbuster Grand Theft Auto franchise. Both Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles had been out for quite a bit of time and gamers were looking foward to a next-generation Grand Theft Auto experience. In March 2007, Rockstar released the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV and raised anticipation levels to unmatched proportions. Later trailers for GTA IV managed to delve deeper into the game’s main character and exhibit many gameplay mechanics, but this 1-minute trailer reintroduced fans to the mean streets of Liberty City, which was last seen in Grand Theft Auto 3. While short, the trailer delivered by giving gamers just enough to whet their appetite, but still left wanting more.

5.) Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

While many know that the original Assassin’s Creed trailer was a bit misleading, the game still brought the key premise to the final product. With Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, gamers were given an astonishing action-packed cinematic display involving a refined Enzio taking on an army of Templars. Not only were viewers gifted with a gorgeously choreographed fight scene set to an incredibly calm, yet energetic soundtrack, but hints of the return of a beloved franchise name in Altair. With breath-taking visuals, and enough sword-fighting to satisfy you for weeks, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations teaser is among the upper-echelon of legendary video game trailers.

4.) Deus Ex: Human Revolution

The trailer for Human Revolution is an example of CG-trailers done right, even without a sight of in-game footage to be found. What this 2010 trailer does though is set up the entire Deus Ex world gamers were to expect with the then upcoming title. This sci-fi noir trailer managed to introduce us to protagonist Adam Jensen, give a brief overview of the game’s story, showcase the setting for the title, and demonstrate some of the gameplay elements that would be found in the finished product. All of this was done flawlessly in a roughly 3-minute trailer that was unveiled at E3 2010. Deus Ex: Human Revolution did live up to expectations and safely erased any thought of 2003’s disappointing Deus Ex: Invisible War from our collective thoughts.

3.) Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

With the release of the PS2 at the time, gamers were looking for a major title to fill their next-gen fix. Metal Gear Solid 2 was more than just another next-gen trailer. It quickly transforms into near artistic genius. Set to a serene song as viewers get a brief glimpse of the Big Shell complex at the start, the trailer takes a sudden and much desired action-packed turn. It may have left gamers with questions by the end of it, but seeing Solid Snake stand toe-to-toe against a plethora of enemies, and set to one of the most iconic themes in the history of video gaming, was more than enough to make your mouth water wanting more. This trailer could honestly be considered one of the greatest trailers of all-time, maybe even the gold-standard for how game trailers should be done.

2.) Star Wars: The Old Republic

Many game trailers focus on the wrong aspects of a game; whether it’s FPS games teasing a deep story when it’s known for it’s multiplayer, or an incredibly action-packed title that ends up playing as a slow turn-based strategy title, it’s missing the point. Star Wars: The Old Republic did it right giving gamers the three things they’ve wanted to see most; Jedis, Sith, and a massive lightsaber battle. Being the first cinematic trailer released for the title, going with the non-stop lightsaber action was the route to go. Add in an ending with a massive fleet of ships engaging on the city, and you’ve got gamers everywhere on the edge of their seats for days.

1.) Dead Island

Not the greatest of surprises for our #1 choice, but the trailer for Dead Island was nearly 3-minutes of cinematic brilliance and also a warning to those who form rather high expectations for an unreleased game based on a CG-trailer. Nonetheless, this announcement trailer captivated the gaming community upon its release in 2011 with the gruesome visuals of a family fighting for survival against an oncoming wave of undead. Told in reverse, the entire trailer is an emotionally-driven experience as we watch a family’s vacation getaway turned straight into a nightmare, as they are slowly overrunned by zombies and slaughtered in the process. Controversial? Yes. Horrific? Indeed. While the game itself was nowhere as intense as the teaser suggested it would be, Dead Island’s trailer managed to evoke emotions from gamers around the world and easily made it one of the year’s most talked about titles in the process.