Gaming

The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever

Posted by
David Cornish
Published

There's a knack to video game box art. 

With a few inches of canvas, a designer has to encapsulate the main thrust of the game and its themes in a manner that makes it look even better than the box sitting next to it. Too minimalist, and no one will know what it's about. Too much, and it risks looking like the love-child of a colouring book and an infomercial.

While the dawn of the internet may have eroded the importance of video game box art in the modern era, Twitter account @boxartscrewup does an admirable job of reminding us just how wrong some designers got it.

From bad thinking to just awful art, here are some of the worst offenders. 

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever

    Black Belt

    Mega.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 1

    Street Sports: Baseball

    ERMAHGERD, BERSEBERL

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 2

    Eric and the Floaters

    Floaters? 

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 3

    Gummy Bears Minigolf

    Another important lesson never to accept sweets from strangers. Because they're probably laced with LSD.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 4

    Dynamite Duke

    ACTION.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 5

    Rollerblade Racer

    Guys! On WHEELS guys! WHEELS!

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 6

    OMG 26

    Books! Choice! Dangerous Jewel! A spider with red eyes! OMG!

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 7

    Street Racer

    Nope, we've got no idea what 'Bugs Bunny on meth' is doing in the corner either.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 8

    Super Street Fighter II Turbo

    Certified by nine out of 10 dentists!

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 9

    Freestyle Metal X

    The most needless infinity mirror effect ever seen in video game art.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 10

    Graffiti Man

    Bowie? Is that you?

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 11

    Jill of the Jungle: Jill Goes Underground

    Not even Jill knows what's going on here...

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 12

    Amnesia

    Amnesia was a great piece of horror gaming. The artwork was a great piece of horrible gaming art.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 13

    Mole Hunter

    "Oh no!" said the mole. "A transparent snake!"

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 14

    Santa Claus saves the Earth

    Sure.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 15

    Mobile Light Force 2

    One vowel away from being a VERY different video game.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 16

    Druid: Daemons of the Mind

    We can only assume the artist was copying his own face from the back of a spoon.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 17

    WWF In Your House

    Did they pinch the font from that "You wouldn't steal a car" thing on rental DVDs?

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 18

    Chuckie Egg II

    We need an adult.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 19

    Tongue of the Fatman

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 20

    Heartlight

    If you go down to the woods today, you're in for a big surprise...

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 21

    PlayAround

    A favourite of dodgy uncles across the world.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 22

    Paccie

    Like Pac-Man, but not. For legal reasons. Which also makes it sound incredibly offensive. 

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 23

    Yakuza Fury

    Yakuza Fury - a game in which the criminals only deal in small change.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 24

    Metro Cross

    We can only assume a dangerous amount of drugs were taken in the creation of this cover.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 25

    Pet Vet

    "Do we want the perspective and scaling to make sense?"

    "Meh, nobody will notice."

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 26

    Karnaaj Rally

    You have to say the name out loud before you realise what they mean.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 27

    Night Trap

    Where the trap is paying for a designer.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 28

    Pinocchio

    "Kill... me..."

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 29

    Columns III

    The sexy alternative to Tetris.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 30

    Fatal Frame

    "Based on a true story."

    And lies. Lots of lies.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 31

    Street Sports: Basketball

    ERMAHGERD, BERSKETEBERL

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 32

    Anticipation

    And, on the basis of this cover, also their last video board game.

    Why have they written the alphabet out in full? Why?

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 33

    Super Bust-A-Move

    This game doesn't actually feature a baby...

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 34

    I did it Mum 2

    They made two of these games.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 35

    Cinderella

    Seriously strong eyebrow game. Seriously strong.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 36

    Batman: Arkham City Game of the Year edition

    "Just buy the fucking game already."

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 37

    Imagine party babyz

    We'd rather not.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 38

    Night Trap (again)

    No idea.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 39

    Baky Baky

    Scary scary.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 40

    The Ballet Studio

    Is this the girl Elton John wrote a song about?

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 41

    Snood 2: On Vacation

    The video game equivalent of "Could do better" on a teacher's report.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 42

    Hansel & Gretel

    From an artist who once overheard a description of a gingerbread house and went with it...

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 43

    Family Farm

    First rule of Family Farm. Nobody talks about what happened on Family Farm.

    Second rule of Family Farm. NOBODY talks about what happened on Family Farm.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 44

    Marine Rescue

    Some harsh words have been exchanged between that seal pup and polar bear cub. Words like "My dad ate your dad".

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 45

    Street Warrior

    "We need it to look as masculine and aggressive as possible, without actually suggesting violence."

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 46

    Cheggers Party Quiz

    They couldn't stretch the budget to buy any actual images of Cheggers.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 47

    Yakuza 3

    Features dragons. And faces.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 48

    The Adventures of Gilligan's Island

    That 'Seal of Quality' isn't fooling us.

  • The 50 worst pieces of video game box art ever 49

    The Terminator

    "Quick! The game is going to print in five minutes and we forgot about the cover design! Just use the film art, but do something a bit... different?"

Topics

Share this article

Author

David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

Related Posts