The Coolest Live Action Video Game Commercials Ever

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! 
Photo: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License

  • 1
    79 VOTES
    Halo 3
    Video: YouTube

    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.
    79 votes
  • 2
    49 VOTES
    Video: YouTube

    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. 
    49 votes
  • 3
    50 VOTES
    Halo: Reach
    Video: YouTube

    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.
    50 votes
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
    Video: YouTube

    It's Skyrim. They really didn't need to do anything for the fifth installment of The Elder Scrolls series. Bethesda just needed to say, "hey, it's coming out Christmas," and the pre-orders would've sold out in an hour. 

    But no, our benevolent gods decided to bestow upon us a live action trailer, where we get to see the Dragonborn do his thing. Even after you're done playing the game, the trailer is just so much fun to watch
    23 votes
  • 5
    19 VOTES

    Metro: Last Light

    Metro: Last Light
    Video: YouTube

    When you're talking the end of the world, trailers have to sell the human cost and impact to get any sort of response these days. Enter the Metro: Last Light trailer. In attempting to reintroduce Metro as a title people had to get, it got 4 million views on YouTube the day it dropped. 

    Really, the apocalypse is supposed to look frightening, and this trailer nails it while also making it look like it should be a game that you should play. 
    19 votes
  • 6
    26 VOTES
    Video: YouTube

    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. 
    26 votes