Rockstar Made The Best Trailers Of The Last Gaming Era

Rockstar Made The Best Trailers Of The Last Gaming Era

The video game trailer is an interesting phenomenon. It is, at its core, a marketing device — a series of sounds and images, carefully arranged to make you want to buy something.

But even the most cynical of gamers would have to admit that trailers can be works of art in their own right. Even after the video game has come and gone, the best trailers are still entertaining and kind of meaningful, in a way, if you look past the logos and pre-order bonuses and embrace the sizzle.

Throughout all of last generation, one developer has really mastered the art of the trailer: Rockstar Games, the company behind Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption. Their games are usually great, but their trailers might be even better.

Take "My Name Is John Marston," for example.

"I'm here to capture or kill Bill Williamson." "Heh heh. OK." The best trailers, like this one, tell their own little stories. They look great. They sound great. They tease and pull and get you leaving thinking about what you just saw.

The GTA V launch trailer is another of my favourites:

And of course there's the second GTA V trailer, enhanced by Stevie Wonder, because everything is better with Stevie Wonder.

Hell, all of the GTA V trailers are pretty damn well done:

GTA IV's Episodes from Liberty City has another stand-out trailer:

And here's a special throwback from the PS2 era, just to remind you that Rockstar's always been good at this stuff:

Last-Gen Heroes is Kotaku's look back at the seventh generation of console gaming. In the weeks leading up to the launch of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, we'll be celebrating the Heroes — and the Zeroes — of the last eight years of console video gaming. More details can be found here; follow along with the series here.


    They're good, but Blizzard is still the king of awesome trailers and cutscenes.

      Indeed. This has to be my favourite trailer of the past few years:

        You mean this one?

      I agree, I love me some Blizzard, however in terms of trailers, i think their sort doesn't fall into the same "genre" for lack of a better word, as Rockstar's. Blizzard is king for CGI cutscene/animated trailers, but for trailers showing in game footage, using Game Engine only, Rockstar is king there. And that's what makes them so great, because everything you see in their trailers happens/can be done in game. It's an actual representation of the game. Unlike CGI trailers where they show the protag doing awesome moves, or a cool fight scene, and then the actual game comes along and you do nothing of the sort. Which has always irked me about CGI trailers/Live action trailers. A little misleading.

    Two words: Dead Island.

      If you want me to buy the game, show me the game I'm buying not a movie :)

    If next gen is still next gen and this gen is last gen then which gen are we in as of October 2013? Or is current gen next gen which in fact now makes next gen PS5 Xboxtwo/720/whatever

    Interestingly this is also the generation of the outsourced/dedicated trailer team. So of course we're seeing many innovations in trailers - even beyond what you get from Movie trailers.

    Be interesting to see if the nextgen see them become stale - like many movie trailers these days - or even more innovative given the creative freedom many (read: some) developers have.

    My vote goes out to the Paradox trailer team.

    They are consistently hilarious.

    Kojima is the king of the cutscene though.

    Last edited 25/10/13 4:42 pm

      Corny ones with cliche characters and badly written plots, fo SHO. Actually, he would have to fight squeenix for that award.

      Last edited 25/10/13 6:12 pm

    You may not like the AC series, but their trailers were amazing. Check out the Brotherhood E3 one -

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