Art is very important in video games. So when the art totally sucks, we all kind of perk up and notice – usually so we can gather our moldy tomato collection and start unleashing righteous fury upon those responsible for such creations.
Fortunately for you, this article is not about games with art from the underarms of humanity. Instead, I thought it was about time that we stopped to consider five bar-raising games with fantastic art. Please note that I do not say these are the “best” or the “greatest.” It’s just my opinion on five games (older and modern) that have art well above what could have been expected from them. Let’s begin!
NES classic Faxanadu definitely falls under the definition of an older game, but it’s art is still pretty darn amazing even today! Considering that these artists were limited to a mere 54 colors they did an amazing job in painting some realistic and capturing scenery. Truly a classic, if you haven’t played Faxanadu you need to get a copy and enjoy a beautifully presented game.
The Myst series has become more obscure with the passing of time, but the entire canon is well worth playing (though IV saw a distinct drop in quality). While Myst wowed audiences in its day, Riven still manages to look incredibly realistic even today. The game often leaves the player believing the world is real – and incredibly confusing!
Limbo was not only a great achievement for the indie game industry, it was an unparalleled artistic work. Despite the many copycats since, Limbo was the first game to really get the idea of minimalism and darkness set against a bright background. Beautiful and haunting to look at, the game carries a hidden message which is debated to this day.
2. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Love it or hate it, it’s hard to know anything about games and not at least have an opinion on Hideo Kojima’s beloved (and by some, despised) Metal Gear franchise. The game has always set new standards in regard to art, audio, music, and cinematic production (despite being plagued for years by clumsy controls). Ground Zeroes, however, pushed its hardware to new limits and captured a type of photorealism that leaves us just wanting to see more – and we will when The Phantom Pain releases.
1. Donkey Kong Country
I remember vividly when I opened my SNES for Christmas and first dove into DKC. I was totally blown away! For a young generation who had only seen games in limited palettes or thought that awesome CG art was just reserved for movies, DKC set a new standard and still looks amazing today. Sometimes you just can’t beat the Kong!