Best Box Art of the Last Generation

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VincentVendetta

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Hello. I want to do an experiment here. I still buy my games on disc whenever I get the chance, and I still have some respect for this aspect of video games (maybe because I still like good movie posters). I am wondering, now that the next generation is coming near, what would be considered the best video game box art from the 8th generation of consoles would be, according to the Giant Bomb community.

A few guidelines:

  • Only boxed games released between November 15, 2013, and November 10, 2020, may count. This includes any release on Nintendo consoles, or any portable game.
  • Any release from small niche publishers like Limited Run Games may count.
  • Game re-releases may count, but only if the box art is drastically different from the original. Same goes for special editions; please specify in that case.
  • Box art from different, specific regions (like Japan or PAL regions) may count; please specify in that case.
  • Only final box art may count. (Sorry Destiny)
  • Please remember that the quality of the game has no bearing on the quality of the box art.

Would anybody be up to it?

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DonutFever

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VincentVendetta

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Nodima

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#5  Edited By Nodima

No Man's Sky is porbably my pick. I'm rarely in an electronics store and never in a game store so to be honest seeing physical games in the wild is kind of a startling experience anymore.

...So I figure I'll just throw in a bit of a wild card and nominate some of my favorite squares on PS4 since they tend to be slightly if not wholly different from the boxes themselves.

Bloodborne

Dead Cells

Destiny (notDestiny 2)

Final Fantasy VII Remake

God of War

Hitman

Horizon Zero Dawn

Inside

Mafia III

Mortal Kombat 11

Outer Wilds

Outlast 2

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Pyre

Red Dead Redemption 2

Rise of the Romb Raider

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Shadow of the Colossus Remastered

Spiritfarer

Sportsfriends

The Outer Worlds

The Swapper

The Witness

Until Dawn

Virginia

Wattam

Wolfenstein: The New Order

What Remains of Edith Finch

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deagle1226

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Onemanarmyy

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Justin258

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#8  Edited By Justin258

Someone post five examples of video game box art that do not prominently feature the main character, or any characters.

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Sweep

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#9 Sweep  Moderator

I like minimalism.

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liquiddragon

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#11  Edited By liquiddragon

These ones are pretty good.

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Ry_Ry

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I don't know how you quantify best, but if it's "what box art do I want to look at over and over again" that award goes to

- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

- Splatoon 2

- Bloodborne The Old Hunters

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VekeWo

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I think these are all excellent. No Man's Sky is my personal favourite from this generation.

It will be harder to evaluate box art in the future because there will be more and more games that only release on a digital storefront without any box. Does the game's ever changing steam logo or xbox digital box count?

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Ry_Ry

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@vekewo: I'd say the rotating box art for digital items count. They're from the publisher.

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hermes

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I entered to see some examples. A few google searches later and have to say, it wasn't very impressive.

It looks like the art of box art has taken a nosedive. 99% of them follow one or several of 2 or 3 themes: they are either: a) collage of characters and items centered in the middle (Shovel Knight, Star Wars Squadron, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order), b) character looking front, head tilted down or slightly off center (Control, Red Dead Redemption, Borderlands 3, Wolfenstein), or c) character giving its back to the player, looking at something ominous/awe inspiring in the background (Bloodborne, Zelda, Prey, No Man's Sky, Star Wars Battlefront, Destiny)

Sometimes the composition is beautiful and the elements are well picked and are thematically relevant to the content of the game (No Man Sky and Zelda pop to mind), but it is disappointing to see they rarely take more than a couple hours in this. It is not like it is the very last thing they do either, since it has to be used on promotional material and internet marketplaces, it has to be done long before the game gets golden.

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cikame

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Oh my god there's been an entire generation since the games i'm thinking of.

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beard_of_zeus

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#17  Edited By beard_of_zeus

@hermes said:

I entered to see some examples. A few google searches later and have to say, it wasn't very impressive.

It looks like the art of box art has taken a nosedive. 99% of them follow one or several of 2 or 3 themes: they are either: a) collage of characters and items centered in the middle (Shovel Knight, Star Wars Squadron, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order), b) character looking front, head tilted down or slightly off center (Control, Red Dead Redemption, Borderlands 3, Wolfenstein), or c) character giving its back to the player, looking at something ominous/awe inspiring in the background (Bloodborne, Zelda, Prey, No Man's Sky, Star Wars Battlefront, Destiny)

Sometimes the composition is beautiful and the elements are well picked and are thematically relevant to the content of the game (No Man Sky and Zelda pop to mind), but it is disappointing to see they rarely take more than a couple hours in this. It is not like it is the very last thing they do either, since it has to be used on promotional material and internet marketplaces, it has to be done long before the game gets golden.

I ABSOLUTELY agree with you. I dunno if folks are having trouble separating box art from the games they like (multiple people saying Bloodborne is wild to me, it's just "character with back to the player", and uh, that's it?), or maybe my standards are high/picky, but 90% of the stuff folks posted is not that interesting to me. Examples B & C that you mentioned I find especially boring.

I don't mind a collage of characters, but in those examples, I probably just like the artist's work in general rather than the box art design itself (like Akihiko Yoshida for the FF12 steelbook box art that was posted, or Yoji Shinkawa for the Left Alive art).

@justin258 said:

Someone post five examples of video game box art that do not prominently feature the main character, or any characters.

I have been wracking my brain, and checking the shelves of my recent games, and this challenge is embarrassingly hard to do.

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snaketelegraph

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To avoid redundancy, I'd say some great ones already listed listed are: Godzilla, Tetris Effect, No Man's Sky, Last Guardian, Control, Untitled Goose Game, Firewatch, Gravity Rush 2, dreams, Hyper Light Drifter, and Evil Within 2.

I guess there's no single game that stands out completely but I think that's because actually a lot of the box art these days is really successful. It might be similar compositionally, but the back of Link on BotW looking forward to his beautiful mountain adventure isn't the same exact thing as the No Man's Sky cover which is also beautiful looking forward but is also from a lower viewpoint to show more of the sky, and avoids being "it's in space" by showing a bunch of stars or whatever. I'd like to see some really unique stuff in the future but y'know. Art's hard!

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beard_of_zeus

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After my previous complaining post, these are the best examples I could think of that meet the given criteria:

  • Oxenfree: This is a very minimalist one that gets across the right amount of creepiness and "the unknown", reflecting the game pretty well.
    No Caption Provided
  • Firewatch: This one I will agree with folks on, it's a cool minimalist and pleasant vibe.
    No Caption Provided
  • Children of Morta: This falls under the "collage of characters" cliche, but I REALLY like the art, and it is pretty different from the game's actual art style, to be fair. And plus the game really is about this tight knit family, so it seems appropriate.
    No Caption Provided
  • Fight Crab: I don't have to explain this one, it's just GOOD. (This is from the Asian physical release, which I do own)
No Caption Provided

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beard_of_zeus

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Also, this is not the original question, but my favorite piece of box art ever is probably for the Super Famicom release of Shin Megami Tensei 1 (thank you to whoever already uploaded a very high-res version of it to the site already!!!)

The art in general is killer, and I love the tiny human characters in front of the imposing as hell demons (who to be fair, are the star of any SMT game). I feel like I don't have the skills/vocabulary of art to express why I find this so evocative, but I truly love it. (A lot of Super Famicom box art in general rules pretty hard, so this is not surprising.)

I feel like maybe I'm being a little hypocritical, since this is "collage of characters" yet again, so sue me, I guess :P

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hermes

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#21  Edited By hermes

@beard_of_zeus: Yeah, that is why I mentioned google, even discounting my library and the ones people already posted, the list of original box art is rather depressing.

But I don't want to be "that guy", so here are my contributions:

No Caption Provided
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isomeri

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@vincentvendetta: I didn't see much box art in the last few years since I bough almost all of my games digitally. That Godzilla one looks good though.

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MobiusFun

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#24  Edited By MobiusFun

@cliffzorz:lol, I was going to post this. Unfortunately, this is the reverse cover art and the actual cover art is generic and boring AF.

I don't buy too many physical games anymore. From last gen, the only interesting cover I have is the Persona 5 Steelbook:

No Caption Provided