You can’t judge a game by its cover. You can, however, judge a game cover by its cover.
With the growing importance of digital sales and preorders, what’s actually on the front of a game box is in many ways becoming less important than it once was, since it’s not the main thing driving sales, even for casual buyers.
They’re still useful though, and for some still an important part of the experience of owning a game. Some collectors even go so far as to make their own box art, so intent are they on making sure everything about their favourite game is just right.
With the current generation of consoles drawing to a close, then, now’s as good a time as any to look back on what were some of the best examples of box art to grace the 360, PS3 and Wii.
The list I’ve made below is just to get us started. If you see something I’ve missed, drop it in the comments below and I’ll see about including it!
Oh, and before we get started, a note: you’ll notice some of these are from regional variants of games, like the Japanese versions of Uncharted 2 and Crackdown (known as Riot Act there). You’ll also notice that Japanese publishers are generally way better at box art.
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.