Some video game trailers stick in your mind for a long time after you’ve watched them, either because they’re beautiful and tragic, or because they’re more mind-blowing than anything you’ve ever seen before, or because you’re desperate to play that upcoming game and this is all you can get for the time being.
1. Dead Island
Heartbreaking and mind-blowing at the same time, this trailer cuts between two sequences of events at the same time, all in reverse. A girl is bitten by a zombie, and bites her father in turn after he tries to rescue her, but there’s so much more to it than that. If you haven’t seen it already, watch it now. Just keep a box of tissues to hand.
2. Gears of War
Sometimes, trailer music just couldn’t be any more perfect, and the haunting piano riff of Gary Jules’ version of Mad World ticks every box in that department. Gears of War’s launch trailer managed to capture both the atmosphere of Sera and the futility of war in one perfect sweep.
3. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
As if you needed reminding of just how awesome Ezio is, this is the trailer in which he goes up against an entire army by himself. And while he does get captured (it is an entire army, after all), with Woodkid’s haunting track accompanying Ezio’s apparent walk to his doom, interspersed with ghostly glimpses of Altaïr, it’s impossible not to get chills.
4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
They’re already here. Shadows of dragons swoop across the landscape, the ominous chanting grows louder and louder, and then the very best bit of one of the greatest game soundtracks in the world fills your ears as we’re treated to a whistle-stop tour of Skyrim’s glorious world in less than three minutes.
And who doesn’t shout Fus Ro Dah! in sync with the Dragonborn every time? Don’t lie. You know you do it too.
5. Metal Gear Solid 2
This trailer was met with rapturous applause by its E3 audience in 2000, and frankly we still want to clap at the end of it even now. With its groundbreaking graphics (we’re still not convinced that rain isn’t actually real), and adrenaline-fuelled action, you can’t help but want to start playing immediately.
But if you are yet to play this iconic game, there’s a very big secret hidden in plain sight. In the form of main character Snake, to be precise. That’s all we’ll say.
6. Halo 3
A battlefield, frozen in time. Soldiers trapped in the middle of in a life-or-death war, with delicate piano in the background. Nothing moves except the camera. While you’d normally blitz through a Halo battle without really thinking too hard about it, seeing one represented in such stark detail, complete with all the horrors of war and hopelessness in the face of such a terrifying enemy, was a jaw-dropping moment.
7. Final Fantasy VII Remake
The screams of sheer delight that accompanied this trailer’s reveal at E3 2015 say it all. Whether you’re an old hand at the original 1997 game or a total newcomer to the series, who could fail to be thrilled by that first glimpse of Midgar, or the brief shot of the Buster Sword, or the dawning realisation that one of the most iconic Final Fantasy games is actually making a comeback?