Top 5 Video Game Commercials of All Time

Published 3 years ago by

Best Video Game Commercials Ever

Way before you were a gamer and video game consoles became the multi-billion dollar industry it is today, we relied on television ads to see which games looked fun enough to warrant investing our hard-earned money in. Sometimes the games were as awesome as the commercials told you they were, and sometimes the games were absolutely awful. Whatever memory you have of the game though, you still remember the commercial that convinced you to part with your birthday money from Grandma.

This epiphany got us thinking, what are the five best video game commercials of all time? Deciding which game advertisements to include on the list was incredibly difficult, because each has its own nostalgia factor to certain groups of gamers. We did leave out commercials from the Atari era (mainly because commercials that old suck anyway), but SEGA Genesis and onwards is represented quite accurately.

So, which five commercials made our list for the best video game commercials ever created? Check out the infamous video game commercials that captured our interest, got us talking, made us laugh, and even a couple that made a select few of us tear up. Without further ado, I present the Top 5 Video Game Commercials of All Time.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 “Infomercial”

Back in the days when SEGA and Nintendo had an intense blood feud, the SEGA Genesis really started to heat up with the help of Sonic the Hedgehog. While the blue blur’s original game set new standards in the platforming genre, the second one was home to several big improvements. The gameplay was enjoyable and helped envision Sonic the Hedgehog as a household name, but a commercial that was released a little while after Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s release is easily one of the funniest commercials ever to air on television.

Mocking the traditional informercial format, SEGA listed all of the things that Sonic the Hedgehog did aside from just being a game. It didn’t really do any of the things it mentioned, but it got me thinking that someone really should patent a video game cartridge that is capable of chopping up food and tidying up those tough to clean messes.

Nintendo characters get violent…

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TAGS: Bungie, Epic Games, Gears of War, Halo, Halo 3, Microsoft, Nintendo, PS3, Sega, Sonic, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sony, Super Smash Bros.

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  1. I am saddened that no one wanted to celebrate ‘Mortal Monday’!

  2. Not fair….you put Mad World over anything and it makes it moving and great. Haha

    That’s the first time I’ve seen that playstation trailer, really well done, almost makes me want to drop the cash on a PS3…maybe next year.

    This is one of my favorites, just reminds me of being a kid so much
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZcNXe20dXI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    • This is awesome.

    • That is a great commercial. It’s a shame that it actually got banned!

      • wait, what? why?

  3. The PS3 one was awesome, never seen it before and I loved it

  4. Is it just me or is the first line of this article quite offensive to true gamers? I have been an avid gamer for almost 30 years and will be doing so for many years to come. I find it highly inaccurate to state “way before you were a gamer”!!

    • So what your saying is that there wasn’t a point when you weren’t a gamer? Atari is almost 40 years old, so I’m not discriminating against your age if that’s what you find “offensive”.
      There was a point when you were a casual gamer — you didn’t just pop out of the womb with joystick in hand. ;)

      • Riley, there’s no way you couldn’t have seen where Matt was coming from. Some people were born before video games began. My mother played the original Atari when it came out (I know it wasn’t the first console by six years, but it was the first popular one), and was going to the arcades before that.

        I’m sure Game Rant still has that pretentious “Way before you were a gamer”, which I imagine them saying with a posh British accent, looking down their noses. It does come off as extremely arrogant. But then again, a lot of the articles on here are unfortunately worded in places, so I can’t be surprised.

        Still, I did enjoy the rest of the article, including the ads I actually got to see.

        • You seem to be dwelling on the “way before you were a gamer” comment, and not taking the rest of the sentence into context at all. There was a point when EVERYONE wasn’t a gamer — whether or not video games existed during the time of their birth.

          Maybe I’m referencing my generation more so than Atari-goers with my “birthday money from Grandma” comment, but it’s certainly not out of arrogance. I’m simply referring to the fact that television commercials heavily influenced many, of the then, unaware consumers. If a commercial has ever influenced your decision to get a game or even had you mildly interested at any age then my point is proven.
          Nowadays you have an understanding of which titles will be good, and there are games you’re aware of sometimes years before they’re even released. You know you’re stuff now, you are a gamer, but there was obviously a time when you didn’t — usually when you were younger. Hence, why television ads played a significant role.

          We may be posh, but none of us are British. ;)

          I am glad you enjoyed the article though. A lot of work went into it, and for the most part people seem to agree with the list. The Smash Bros. 64 one is easily my favorite; that commercial made me fall in love with the game. :)

    • So if you weren’t born 30 years ago, you aren’t a “true” gamer? Not my fault my parents weren’t freaky when they were 13… don’t insult ME for it, insult them.

      • What are you even talking about?

  5. Hey that original GOW commercial was great, but what about the new one for GOW3? That one pretty much sums up the series and makes me sad it is now done.

    • That commercial was exceptional! The original Gears ad was revolutionary though, and it grabbed the attention of gamers everywhere.
      It’s also so popular that it’s a hidden easter egg in Gears 3 on the Gridlock map! They also used it in THE scene in Gears 3 where *you know who* does *you know what*.
      …. Giggidy

    • The one for gears 2 was solid as well come to think of it.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FL_ZjJgbDmc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  6. The live action Halo ODST commercials were dope.

    • Agreed. The Halo: Reach ones were awesome too.

  7. Way before I was a gamer? Dude, I’ve been a gamer since I got SNES on release date when I was 4 for my birthday. Yeah, that’s right, same day.

    • Nice! Me too. I remember tearing through Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario World.
      I wouldn’t really consider myself a gamer at that point in time though — same way we wouldn’t consider a four year old with an Xbox 360 a gamer.

  8. I liked that XBox one that someone posted a lot.

  9. That Gears of War vid takes me back its awesome and the one for Gears 3 is as well, I hope the series continues even though the Marcus story has concluded.

    • There will absolutely be more Gears of War titles. The franchise is far too successful for either Epic Games or Microsoft to give up on now.

  10. Those were all sweet. And i do agree next time Game Rant should do a “best of Kevin Butler” commercials, I’d watch it.

    • It may happen :P

  11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCQRcinZYH8 I agree with Vivas Kaul, where’s MK? The only one I agree with is Smash Bros. The PS one was OK, but there are SOOO many other great gaming commercials out there. The only thing “good” about the Gears commercial is Micheal Andrews rendition of Mad World. The “best video game commercial ever crafted by man”? Hardly.

  12. um, what about the mario 3 commercial where everyone on the planet gets together in colored t shirts to make a big mario face

  13. Does nobody remember the mecenaries 2 commercial? That was amazing!!!

  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRMUYpH7bQk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6A0s6d7F2k

    Gorgeous and moving. A very Band of Brothers feel. A friend of mine teared up the first time we saw the ODST trailer at the movies as hes a serviceman.

    • @lordaxx

      Yea man that is the one. The ODST commercial was the best trailer ever made IMO. Honestly I feel as if that could be a trailer for a 2 hour movie.

      I only wished the game could have been better. Bungie really dropped the ball IMO. They had an oppurtunity to something different and I still felt like a spartan for the most part. You could run&shoot and melee pretty much the same even on legendary. I would had preferred if they never had the lone wolf scenario and kept it truly squad base. Almost to the point when u saw an Elite or Brute you would be scared sh**less because it takes 2-3 people to kill one but to kill one by your self is a feat worthy of a pat on the back by Dos Equis himself.

      I would have the main character play as a grunt 1/3 before gaining command. Giving orders like covering fire, shoot my target, move there and regroup. 6-8 team and even have a Alpha and Beta squad as to split up abd attack the same target onbdifferent fronts. I would insert a mission(s) where you hook up with regular infantry and you get control of some of their assets i.e. tanks & aircraft support. Sorta like Ghost Recon: Advance Warrior. I just think Bungie had the oppurtunity to really show the difference between being an unstippable lone spartan and a regular squad base soldier.

      • The game really wasn’t that great, but it was only ever intended to be a downloadable add-on for Halo 3. Microsoft saw a way to make some money out of the game though, so they made it a full retail release — they only charged full price for it because it also included the entire Halo 3 multiplayer with all expansions.

  15. Don’t agree with number one at all.
    I think it should be in a top twenty maybe, but not number one by any means.

  16. Nice choices Riley!
    Gears as number one… I can’t agree more. This commercial had non-gamers eyes glued to the set-as they watched.

    Gears 2 also had a great commercial and the Gears 3 announcement trailer was Epic too.

    Also thanks for posting the PS3 one, I havent seen it yet and is worthy of this list for sure.

  17. This trailer should be here too…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csTf2Z7xlQ0

  18. Atari Dig Dug theatrical commercial, circa 1982. It blew theater audiences away. I still remember seeing it the first time. No commercial has made that kind of impact since.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmFZnpnur4U

  19. Cliffhanger for the Sega Genesis gets my vote by a long shot.

  20. No Halo: ODST live-action or Halo: Reach live-action trailer on this list? Both of those were much, much better than the Gears of War commercial, which is only boosted by the song. Michael is my favorite on this list. Very well done.

    • The GoW commercial literally sold the franchise. Halo was already well known before annnnnnny of the terrible ODST (game, not commercial) or even worse Reach (same as above) commercials.

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