The Coolest Live Action Video Game Commercials Ever

by  537 votes 131 voters 198k views 37 items tags f p @
Throughout the course of gaming, advertisers have always wanted to give gamers a sense of how the game feels -- and they have to do it without using the actual game. Many of these commercials are produced long before the game's gone gold. So what to do? Live action video game commercials -- they're as tricky as they sound, and they can go very, very wrong. But when they go right, they can make the game's sales skyrocket. So of course, we've put together some of the best live action video game commercials we could find!

Whether looking at the Destiny live action game trailer, or the trailer for Sleeping Dogs, you always get a sense that you know exactly what this world is about, which is what the best video game trailers should do. Others, particularly those in the early days of gaming, don't quite know what they had, but they have a campiness to it that you just can't help but love, putting them down as some of the best live action game trailers just for history's sake. 

So take a look at our list of the greatest live action game trailers ever, and vote for your favorites! Then, check out some of our other video game lists to see what you should be playing next! 
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed
  1. 1
    + 60
    - 15
    Ranker Video v
    Neill Blomkamp, director of District 9, was originally slated to be the director of a Halo movie with Peter Jackson producing. This is actually a commercial, and two Internet shorts cut together to make an absolutely amazing short film that takes place in the Halo universe.

    Saving Private Ryan was a little bit (and sorry for using this term) of a game-changer as far as war-reality went in film. I mention that because this compiled series of shorts is the Saving Private Ryan of video game commercials.

    Nothing got fans more pumped to buy Halo 3 than this awesome freaking commercial. Sure, the new ones are great, but they're a little THX-1138... this is the Halo universe in realistic, raw form, like we'd never seen before. As a collection, this is the best live-action commercial for a video game ever made.
  2. 2
    + 32
    - 10
    Ranker Video v
    HALO: ODST tried to do something a little different, putting you in for the first time among characters who weren't Master Chief. But the shock troops of the UNSC aren't weaklings - they're considered the best of the best (that humanity knows about), dropping behind enemy lines to attack the enemy from behind. 

    So the trailer certainly tries to, in live action form, give you the feeling that these characters are a dangerous position. Were they effective? Probably not - with you holding onto the controls, anyone that isn't you immediately gets owned. 
  3. 3
    + 31
    - 14
    Ranker Video v
    Absolutely awesome.

    Taking the whole "realistic recreation of what being an actual character in the game would be like" angle to a whole new level, the Halo franchise has added a lot of personal flavor to their ongoing series of unbelievably well-made, thoughtful, and inspiring trailers.

    Continuing to be the Saving Private Ryan of the game trailers genre, the Halo: Reach commercial brings you through a Captain America-esque process of super solider creation. It flashes to a Spartan's family and humanizes the characters who we all spend countless hours sticking, laughing at, and teabagging, adding a depth to the characters in the game that's hard to find in even the Master Chief character himself.

    Wonderful, thought-provoking and clean, this is a great commercial for a video game, but kind of a great example of an EXTREMELY inefficient super-solider creation program. They could EASILY fit like 30 of those guys in that room.
  4. 4
    + 24
    - 15
    Ranker Video v
    The Ratchet and Clank franchise did a great service to us all in keeping with the style of bringing the ridiculousness of the weapons in the game into real life.

    Every commercial would end with "One of ___ weapons not meant for this world," displaying how absolutely awesome every one of these gadgets and weapons would be if they actually existed.

    Very few things got us more excited to play this game than these weapons. In a lot of games, you're looking for the end of a story or a different way to play with your friends, but for THIS game, you look forward to one thing above all: the weapons. The muthaluvin' weapons.
  5. 5
    + 16
    - 9
    Ranker Video v
    Do you want to be a future soldier? Of course you do. Who doesn't want to be a future soldier? With the unwieldy title of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, one would think that it would be difficult to become a future soldier, what with the suggestion that you'll be time traveling. 

    But alas, no time travel. You're just a soldier in the near-future of 2024. That seems... disappointing, albeit much more reasonable to consider. 
  6. 6
    + 8
    - 2
    Ranker Video v
    While many live action game trailers try to put a human in the role of a lead character, in Destiny, you and your friends are those lead characters. So they did something interesting - they simply simulated gameplay between two friends playing quests together. 

    This live action trailer really gets to the heart of what it is about Destiny that gamers are flocking to. It's the feeling that even when you're not in the same room, you're still hanging out and doing cool things in the game. 
  7. 7
    + 6
    - 2

    Star Wars: Battlefront

    Ranker Video v
    Remember in Star Wars: A New Hope, when Obi-Wan Kenobi goes all blissful right in the middle of a fight, but when Darth Vader runs his lightsaber through his mentor, old Obi-Wan doesn't end up hacked in two? Instead, he becomes one with the Force and his Jedi roles just fall in a little pile on the floor?

    That, EA promises, is just what playing Star Wars: Battlefront is like. As part of the game's massive hype campaign, Battlefront received not one but two big live-action commercials. This one features folks all over the world making like Kenobi, exiting the material realm and entering a world of gaming oneness. Even a movie star gets in on the action.
  8. 8
    + 14
    - 12
    Ranker Video v
    Not only is this one of the most iconic (and difficult) fighting games around, but the commercial that launched the entire product started out with one of the most hilarious reversals in live-action video game commercial history.

    It starts out with Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Mario, and Pikachu holding hands and skipping to "So Happy Together," right out of a dream-sequence from The Wonder Years...

    ... and then all of a sudden, someone gets punched, someone else gets kicked, and all hell breaks loose.

    Welcome to the world of Super Smash Bros., where nobody gets along and almost any pairing of characters are more than willing to kick the other's ass. The friendly beginning of this commercial segueing into the violence is almost exactly what the perception of Nintendo was before this game.

    This game changed a lot in terms of the Nintendo universe and made Nintendo crossovers a mainstay in every household.

    This commercial captured that paradigm shift PERFECTLY.
L List Options B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >