8 of the decade’s best game trailers

Best game trailers of the decade - Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
Best game trailers of the decade - Assassin's Creed: Odyssey

Nothing gets gamers on board the hype train quite like a stunning trailer. Over the past decade, we’ve been spoiled for amazing game trailers that use music, cinematography, and stunning visual effects to thrill us, scare us, or even stir our emotions. Here are eight incredible trailers that will no doubt stick with us for decades to come.

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Nothing gets gamers on board the hype train quite like a stunning trailer. Over the past decade, we’ve been spoiled for amazing game trailers that use music, cinematography, and stunning visual effects to thrill us, scare us, or even stir our emotions. Here are eight incredible trailers that will no doubt stick with us for decades to come.

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Sacrifice

Bioware’s The Old Republic could easily occupy three or four spots on this list since every one of the online roleplaying game’s cinematic trailers are lavishly produced mini Star Wars features. Choosing just one was a challenge, but this short story of sibling rivalry and the cruelty of the dark side is especially compelling.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins – You Want it Darker

The Assassin’s Creed series is famous for its breathtaking trailers, but this one gets a spot on this list for its excellent use of Leonard Cohen’s exquisitely moody song You Want It Darker. While the trailer was steeped in the beauty of Ancient Egypt, it also depicts the corruption and violence that runs through the game’s plot, making Cohen’s melancholy crooning the perfect fit.

Battlefield 1 – Reveal Trailer

After several years of modern warfare, Battlefield 1 took players back to one of the most brutal conflicts in human history – World War I. This trailer did an excellent job of hurling players straight into the trenches, accompanied by the thumping sounds of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army.

Prey 2 – Bounty

Before Arkane Studios – the makers of Dishonored – started work on 2017’s critically acclaimed reboot of the Prey series, another developer entirely was working on Prey 2. This version of the game cast you as a US Marshall stranded on an alien world and making a living as a bounty hunter. While the game was sadly cancelled in 2014, this superb trailer offers a glimpse of what might have been (though be warned: it features some NSFW language).

Dead Island – Reveal Trailer

Long before The Last of Us, Dead Island was packing all of its zombie-induced heartbreak into a three-minute trailer. Despite the familiar subject, this creative trailer managed to stick with us due to its inventive use of non-linear storytelling.

Portal 2 – Cooperative Testing Initiative

Valve are really good at trailers – just take a look at the recent reveal of Half-Life: Alyx if you don’t believe us – but this introduction to Portal 2’s co-op mode is a particular highlight. Whereas other studios might have simply listed co-op as a feature, Valve painted a picture of robotic besties trying their darnedest to overcome Glados’ devious test chambers.

Super Mario Odyssey – The T-Rex Trailer

This trailer has so much going for it. First of all, there’s the soundtrack – Jump Up Superstar is, to use millennial terminology, an absolute bop. Then you have the gorgeous visual style, which combined with the power of the Switch, made Odyssey look like all our childhood dreams come true. Finally, you have the reveal of the game’s key mechanic. Possessing all manner of creatures and objects using Cappy was a delight and this first glimpse at it was a magical moment.

Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – First Look

The best game trailers don’t necessarily fill their runtime with gameplay footage and a comprehensive list of features – instead, they serve as mood pieces that communicate the tone and atmosphere of a game that’s still in development. This first glimpse of the sequel to Breath of the Wild is a masterful example of the form, showcasing a darker vision of Hyrule with sound and art design that’s both reassuringly familiar and unnervingly twisted.

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