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Best Video Game Trailers?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the high-wow-factor dept.

Graphics 63

An anonymous reader asks: "I was doing my usual site browsing, and I stumbled onto this thread about the best game trailers at It made me really think about how important it is for a company to make a good, early impression on potential videogame buyers, and give people something to anticipate. What do you say your favorite non-interactive game trailers of all time are?"

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Warcraft III (2, Funny)

heldlikesound (132717) | more than 11 years ago | (#6866458)

My dad saw it and asked when the movie was coming out...

well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6866469)

i like any game trailer that has some kind of tech demo so that you can play at and feel how the gmae will play, y'know? like acctaully take the carachter on a mini-quest and hook you on the game? what? oh...

halo 2 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6866480)

halo 2. the music is perfect. master cheif is the man. halo 2. ml

Metal Gear Solid 2 (1)

alphaseven (540122) | more than 11 years ago | (#6866496)

I remember downloading shakey cam footage of the "Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty" trailer for the PS2 years ago, looked amazing, better than any PC games at the time. It was as good a trailer as some action movies.

I also remember the semi-famous "Into the Shadows" demo from a long time ago. The game was never finished but the demo was sweet, showed skeletons moving around casting multiple shadows on the floor, on a Pentium 90 with no 3d card.

Re:Metal Gear Solid 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6866711)


Kojima can certainly cut a good trailer (at least after some rough cuts which can be seen on the Document of MGS2 disc). That trailer had people's jaws on the floor for a variety of reasons, and there's no denying that it may be the most important or influential gaming trailer of our time. Too bad that can't exactly be said about the game itself...

Perhaps that has to do with the fact that he cuts them like a film's trailer (only muuuuuuch longer) instead of "let's just throw some quick shots in and set it to the game's theme" approach?

Re:Metal Gear Solid 2 (2, Interesting)

jesse.k (102314) | more than 11 years ago | (#6866730)

The trailer for the remixed game "Metal Gear Substance" was awesome. It had all these words that kept morphing together: Subliminal, Subvert, Subordinate, Subsist... until finaly morphing into "Substance".

Nevermind the incredible "WTF" scenes like Snake on a skateboard, Meryll alive and the giant soldiers.

And the tagline: The fall, Metal Gear sheds its skin and reveals its SUBSTANCE.

Re:Metal Gear Solid 2 (1)

cbirdsong64 (410584) | more than 11 years ago | (#6870470)

The trailer for Twin Snakes is the best Metal Gear trailer.

Are we talking in general or all time? (1)

CheeseEatingBulldog (703915) | more than 11 years ago | (#6866498)

I gather we are talking about intro's to games? or the actual tv commercial / promotion?

Re:Are we talking in general or all time? (1)

clockpenalty (629473) | more than 11 years ago | (#6867052)

If we are talking about intros, surely someone should mention the INCREDIBLE Soul Edge Intro!!!!

Re:Are we talking in general or all time? (1)

CheeseEatingBulldog (703915) | more than 11 years ago | (#6867198)

As far as intros' go I would go for Final Fantasy VIII...but for classic it has to be Dune ][ (the original command and conquer)

Re:Are we talking in general or all time? (1)

clockpenalty (629473) | more than 11 years ago | (#6867281)

Hmmmm.... classic intros? One that I definitely will not forget is the Ninja Gaiden intro. But then there's always Zero Wing :-)

Re:Are we talking in general or all time? (0)

Smellz (454680) | more than 11 years ago | (#6869949)

Dune II and Ninja Gaiden are definetely classic intros, but my vote goes to Descent II for best intro ever.

Sound, music, dialogue, cinematography...all outstanding.

Re:Are we talking in general or all time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6872344)

Descent II? Try Descent:Freespace. That intro rocked the kasbah.

MGS2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6866511)

metalgear solid 2 the theme still haunts me, gets me pumped oh yes!

Tied between Starcraft and Diablo (3, Insightful)

the Man in Black (102634) | more than 11 years ago | (#6866530)

I remember distinctly saying "Holy shit!" on both of these. All hail Blizzard.

Wing Commander III and IV (3, Insightful)

PeteyG (203921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6866537)

The non-interactive movie-style trailers to the best interactive movie / flying games ever. Wing Commander III and IV.

Mark Hamill. John Rhys Davies. Malcolm Mcdowell. Space fighters. Great special effects. Cheesy writing made cool and memorable by quality actors. These trailers are the best things ever.

Oh, did I mention that you can download them [] ?!

If you don't download them, just look at the pretty pictures on the page there. Quality stuff.

Re:Wing Commander III and IV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6866593)

QUALITY actors ? I hope you are kidding ... They are just as cheesy as the writing. The plot seems ok, but that's about all.

Re:Wing Commander III and IV (1)

PeteyG (203921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6869690)

You have it backwards, you cockgrabber.

I dunno about trailers... (3, Informative)

fuzzdawg (671742) | more than 11 years ago | (#6866680)

but being the UT junkie that I am I prefer the Unreal Tournament movies made by some of the best clans and players on the face of the planet. Good Stuff Here []

Re:I dunno about trailers... (1)

clockpenalty (629473) | more than 11 years ago | (#6867044)

Pshaw. UT? Gimme a break. Go back in time to the time of Quake 1. Dag and Def Rule []

5 post thread? (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 11 years ago | (#6866739)

Its a somewhat interesting question.....but come on....this isn't news....this is posting to slashdot a brief thread from some messageboard. I'm not trying to troll here, but I'm just saying, there's FIVE FRIGGIN POSTS IN THE THREAD. Is that news? Gaw...o well, got karma to burn if the mods are feeling vindictive tonight.

Re:5 post thread? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6866937)

Yes, and half the space was taken up by the young gentleman named "Jimmy" and his system specification signature.

Out of curiosity, that's if you're reading Jimmy, what makes you think that anybody gives a shit, and when are you going to refund my bandwidth?

r&c (1)

noselasd (594905) | more than 11 years ago | (#6866754)

A Ratchet and Clank video made me instantly buy it(Playstation 2) And it's probably the best game I've played so far.

A comprehensive such list... :) (4, Informative)

Shaheen (313) | more than 11 years ago | (#6866767)

3DNark 2001 non-interactive demo
Bloodrayne Trailers
Brute Force
DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball
Devil May Cry 1/2
Doom III
Final Fantasy Series
F-Zero GX
Halo 1/2
Jet Set Radio Future
Kakuto Chojin
Killer 7
Kingdom Hearts
Max Payne
Metal Gear Solid 1/2/3
Metroid Prime
Ninja Gaiden
Odd World: Munch's Oddysee
Phantom Crash
PN 03
Resident Evil (various)
Silent Hill 2/3
Soul Calibur II
*SOME* Star Wars trailers (not enough time to list 'em here)
StarCraft - Ghost
Tekken 3/4
Unreal 2
WarCraft III
World of WarCraft

That's all that pops out at me for now. There have been others that I've liked, but you will get a kick if you watch the above :)

And yes, they are all non-interactive downloadable movies somewhere...

Company Promoting is good .... (0, Offtopic)

DJ_Art (669538) | more than 11 years ago | (#6866797)

... but I always prefer demos. A demo is the best way to judge a game before you actually buy it.

And perhaps trailers/movies and screenshots are a good way to choose which demos not to download ;)

Apple Me Happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6866878)

I wish they made more Mac [] games.

a good trailer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6866943) a dead trailer ! :)

What makes a BAD game trailer/ad IMHO (1)

wackybrit (321117) | more than 11 years ago | (#6867060)

What I really really hate is when you see 'screenshots' or sequences on TV which are advertising a game, and they're things you'd NEVER see during actual gameplay.

When I see a game ad, I want to see what it's like from the perspective of playing it. Not some dumb raycasted promotional graphic that looks NOTHING like the game. Gran Turismo's screenshots are guilty of this. Nearly all of them are 'external' views. Who uses the external views while driving? I want to see what the graphics quality is like from 'inside the cab', not what the action replays are like.

Re:What makes a BAD game trailer/ad IMHO (1)

CheeseEatingBulldog (703915) | more than 11 years ago | (#6867554)

Gran Turismo 3 had excellent out..who cares, that game rocks..and the intro is awesome...GT4 is said to be even better...

Re:What makes a BAD game trailer/ad IMHO (1) troll (593289) | more than 11 years ago | (#6867933)

I agree. You see this constantly in first person shooters. I don't care how beautifuly you can get 3dsmax to render your models, if the game engine(halflife) cant compete whats the point?

Re:What makes a BAD game trailer/ad IMHO (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6868348)

What's the difference if it's still rendered in the game engine, though? The replay scenes in GT3 are still rendered by the game engine.

The only difference is the HUD and, in the case of GT, the interior of the cars. On racing games I have a tendency to turn off the interior view. In FPS games how much modification I do to the HUD is dependant on how it looks, but if something really bugs me I'll change it, rather than suffering with it, and seeing it beforehand isn't really going to change that.

Re:What makes a BAD game trailer/ad IMHO (1) troll (593289) | more than 11 years ago | (#6868748)

The difference is the engine cant always keep up. I've seen some absolutely stunning renders of counterstrike and natural selection models that look nothing like they do ingame, even with all the detail settings cranked up.

Re:What makes a BAD game trailer/ad IMHO (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6869109)

Then that's a different situation: using content (or renders of content) that are not used in the game itself. All of the GT3 stuff I've seen is either the intro footage (which obviously is not the game engine) or shots of in-game rendering, which uses the same content (or older content in some cases, which usually looks worse) as the game itself.

Showing off models as they were rendered before putting them into the game and finding out that the game couldn't handle it, and trying to pass them off as in-game renders, is just not right.

Operation Flashpoint Trailer (1)

datalife (17290) | more than 11 years ago | (#6867197)

It's a bit old, but when you saw the trailer ...
you wanted to play it!

Re:Operation Flashpoint Trailer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6869357)

Yeah, I wanted to play with Jenna Jameson.

Anticipation (0)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 11 years ago | (#6867726)

I liked:

"You are in a"

Man, I was on the edge of my seat.

not exactly a trailer but... (2, Interesting)

Skier4Life (655714) | more than 11 years ago | (#6867750)

The Half-Life 2 preview movies. They may not be actual trailers but they sure are cool and make me want to buy the game.

Re:not exactly a trailer but... (1)

Jad LaFields (607990) | more than 11 years ago | (#6876683)

I hear ya. I think I started drooling while watching that.

Oni (1)

carou (88501) | more than 11 years ago | (#6867901)

Oni, a much underrated game developed by Bungie (who, of course, went on to write Halo) had a great trailer. All the scenes were from actual gameplay (or at least the engine) with hints at the plot, fight scenes, gunplay...

A Dark Future ... An Uncertain Past ... No one left to trust

Unfortunately I can't find a download link which still works in general, but FilePlanet subscribers may have luck via ml

Re:Oni (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6876754)

Oni had a completely kickass trailer that really got me psyched for the game. Unfortunately the game itself was much delayed, and underwhelming when it finally arrived (I did enjoy it, but it should have been a hell of a lot better - it was obvious the development process had been derailed and left to languish).

Since the question is only about trailers, the original one for Oni would certainly get my vote. In many ways the widespread disappointmnt people felt about the released game stemmed from the coolness of the trailer! When half the cool things you saw there don't even appear in the too-short game, disappointment is entirely reasonable.

Side note: Since playing that game I've often noticed in well-choreographed fight scenes (some on Buffy, for instance) that a lot of the moves are similar to the ones used in Oni. Specifically Konoko's moves are appropriate to someone of small stature, as are most of the ones the opponents use. That's something a lot of poorer fight choreography misses (even if it looks more spectacular to have big guys doing lithe flying kicks and stuff, it just doesn't work so well in real life). I've even seen the leg-scissor neck throw done in live-action - don't know if it was Oni-inspired, but you have to imagine it might be. ;)

Mortal Kombat 3 (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 11 years ago | (#6868295)

Mortal Kombat 3 having TV commercials hyping it's Arcade release still stands out in my mind. Not because it was that great, just because no one else ever did it.

Halo 2 (1)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 11 years ago | (#6868304)

I just got Brute Force and I was so impressed with the HALO 2 demo in it that even though I was drunk I remember saying. Shit FU** numerous times throught the video, it was the damn cool.

Alice, of course. (1)

2Flower (216318) | more than 11 years ago | (#6868397)

American McGee's Alice. The trailer was all CG rendered FMV which didn't actually match scenes from the game -- but it was very cinematic, stylishly done and pretty exciting.

And it alone was enough to land a potential movie deal with Wes Craven, which just goes to show...

The nice thing is that even if the trailer didn't show game footage, the game maintained the atmosphere of the trailer -- you can't accuse them of lying about the experience, you just got a different experience in the same exact vein. Good stuff.

Fallout (1)

Quinn (4474) | more than 11 years ago | (#6868488)

Maybe it was the years of heavy anticipation of an unofficial Wasteland sequel, but the original Fallout trailer left me near tears.

It begins with the vinyl crooning of a melancholy oldie from the Ink Spots over a scratchy black and white retro-future newsreel. An ad for an atomic-powered car, then a shot of a soldier in power armor kicking a man on the street, filling him full of lead, then waving to the camera.

The perspective pulls back to reveal a boxy old console television, and as the music starts to skip on "Maybe...Maybe...Maybe", a burnt out apartment's missing walls reveal the post-apocalyptic urban wasteland outside.


Re:Fallout (1)

Azerphale (137733) | more than 11 years ago | (#6868774)

Agreed, Best FMV ... Ever.

But don't leave out fallout 2. With a wonderfully educational VaulTek newsreel and some Louis Armstrong (Kiss to Build a Dream On) crooning out from the P.A. speaker deserves note.

Too bad it defies description. Just go buy a copy of the fallout 1&2 combo even if it's just for the opening FMV's. It's like 15$ USD max.

You won't regret it.

Re:Fallout (1)

PeteyG (203921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6869721)

amen. 2 of the greatest RPGs ever.

I mean, forget that final fantasy crap. You actually get to ROLEPLAY in these!!

Re:Fallout (1)

OrderOfSemprini (688132) | more than 11 years ago | (#6871507)

Wasteland! Thats a game I havent heard about in a looooong time. I lost track of how many hours I played that game.

Oh, and I completely agree with you about Fallout.

Oni (1)

Crayon Kid (700279) | more than 11 years ago | (#6868499)

The trailer I always thought was best wasn't actually an "official" trailer, but a short movie [] put together by a fan of the Oni [] game (from Bungie [] ). It's made entirely of movie captures from the game and has a very fitting soundtrack. Being made by a fan, it captures the spirit of the game like few trailers our there ever did for their rspective games.

Duke Nukem Forever (1)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 11 years ago | (#6868654)

Probally forgotten, but the E3 trailer of Duke Nukem Forever from 2001 was great! At the time it was amazing what they did using the UT engine, looked more like how UT2003 looks now.

Final Fantasy VII (1)

microTodd (240390) | more than 11 years ago | (#6869286)

This is when Square really began to show the unelightened masses that videogames could be emotional, storytelling experiences, not just button mashing.

This is the trailer that changed the mainstream perception of RPGs forever.

It is also the first trailer I saw that looked like a cinematic movie presentation, focusing on the story/characters, instead of the gameplay.

The original Halo E3 Movie (1)

skyknytnowhere (469520) | more than 11 years ago | (#6869490)

With the marines descending into an alien artifact, then get ambushed, then the Master Chief shows up and kicks ass. It had an interesting little storyline, showed off some cool effects, and got me interested in playing the game.

It was great! And they were like "yeah, its running on a P2 400..."

Oh man, 2000 was a great year.


Grim Fandango (1)

twifkak (177173) | more than 11 years ago | (#6869601)

The Grim Fandango trailer [] , no questions. What a real trailer should be.

Re:Grim Fandango (1)

BinLadenMyHero (688544) | more than 11 years ago | (#6871921)

That was the last good adventure I played, and a very good one indeed. I even played the localised (Brazilian) version, and it was surprisingly good (I usually prefer the original versinos). The jazz soundtrack was very good also. I still have some /musicas/jazz/Grim\ Fandango/*.mp3

Starcraft Brood War E3 Trailer (1)

crisco (4669) | more than 11 years ago | (#6870526)

My all-time favorite was from back when Blizzard was still a cool company. Not long after Starcraft came out, at the 1998 E3 they released a trailer for the Brood War expansion for Starcraft.

The eerie operatic music combined with the glimpses of ultraviolent combat between zerg and human left a lasting impression on me.

I also remember that as one of the last big files I downloaded over the 28.8 modem before I got my cable-modem. You can still download it [] from Blizzard's site.

Trailers are misleading (1)

wgnorm (163220) | more than 11 years ago | (#6870772)

The problem I have with trailers for so many PC and console games is that they often don't show any actual gameplay. Usually it's just animation rendered outside of the game engine that relates to the storyline, which for me is not why I buy games.

A good storyline is great, but for any game I'm gonna buy, I've gotta be interested in the gameplay. Often you can't determine whether that's any good without a demo or a rental.

I think it should be (1)

sparkie (60749) | more than 11 years ago | (#6870983)

Into The Shadows ....
At least I think that was the name of the game. Back when the 486DX266 was king. And 800x600 ruled the gaming world. mmmm I remember those days.

Fav. Trailers (1)

YomikoReadman (678084) | more than 11 years ago | (#6871209)

While these are not a trailer per say, the Red vs. Blue Pseudo-Parody Screening of the Halo2 trailer as an intelligence release about the upcoming war as well as the new style of armor that Master Chief wears was probably the best trailer ever, IMO.


BinLadenMyHero (688544) | more than 11 years ago | (#6871888)

Sure there are many others, but X-COM UFO intro came to my mind.. (but don't remember if it was the I or the II) simple but nice done.
Alice was nice too..

SimMars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6872743)

There was a teaser for Sim Mars on the SimCity3000 disc. I thought it was very cool, even though it was extremely short and didn't show much of anything. By the way, what ever happened to that game? I never saw it again, ever.

Disgaea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6872898)

Worth mentioning since it hasn't come up yet - the trailer for Disgaea [] .

Fable (1)

Xerxes of Zealot (637155) | more than 11 years ago | (#6875324)

I cant believe no one has mentioned the trailer for Fable yet, XBox or no the game looks amazing and I, for one, and eagerly awaiting its release.

Trailer which raised interest of a game? (1)

fatboyslack (634391) | more than 11 years ago | (#6877157)

How about Command & Conquer 2: Tiberian Sun? There was a trailer that played at the end of the 1995 version of Command & Conquer (Tiberian Dawn, the original) that raised hopes so high (Westwood didn't help by hyping the game like a frenzied dog) that the game was an abject failure by the (impossible, I say) standards everyone in the community had. As a footnote, the *seen* (it was a commercial success) of C&C2 killed the C&C community, I think.

Myst Online (1)

Allaran (557295) | more than 11 years ago | (#6882762)

Not that this would qualify as a classic trailer, but I just downloaded the trailer for URU: Ages of Myst [] and found it very impressive, especially considering the text at the beginning, which informs you that the entire trailer was made using the game pre-rendered images.
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