Embarrassing game magazine covers - REDEEMED!

I feel awful right now. Earlier this week I posted a feature called The Most Embarrassing Game Magazine Covers that did very well for GR. However, I was incredibly disheartened by the negativity of certain comments, with some of you dicks calling these old print institutions “horrible,” “shitty,” and deserving of death. That’s missing the point entirely

Above: These are the EXCEPTIONS, people!

Those were the EMBARRASSING COVERS to mags within the context of gaming today, what we know now, and most importantly, the otherwise fantastic legacy of the magazines. I know this to be true because I read, subscribed, and even still own many of the publications on the list. Being humiliatingly outdated is just the nature of the business. (If you don't believe me, feel free to go back and look at our Too Human coverage and early Wii game reviews.) I figured it was only fair to showcase some beautiful covers from the very mags we ridiculed, because after all, this is how they truly deserve to be remembered...

Above: If this were a poster, I’d hang it on the inside of my coffin lid

Above: Nintendo Power takes a lot of crap for their early custom covers, but I can’t imagine any magazine making something so abstractly beautiful today. And for Tetris, no less!

Above: Say what you will about the rather dismal showing of the console, Turbo Play got at least one gorgeous cover out before it died

Above: If you don’t think this FFVII cover is badass, then you don’t deserve eyeballs

Above: I gave the Gamefan mascot a lot of shit, but hey, it’s not like people who chastised me could even remember his name! That said, my love for this cover has nothing to do with his transparency, nor his clock getting cleaned. This is the only Super Punch-Out!! Cover I can recollect and Super Macho Man’s iconic pose still makes the heart melt

Above: The very first issue of Sega Visions is one of the most beautiful time capsules a Sega fan could ever hope to see

Above: Everything on display here is simultaneously outdated and timeless. (With the possible exception of Crash Team Racing)

Above: The Official Dreamcast Magazine kicked off with all the promise of the console

Above: While most mags today rely on Nintendo to provide cover art for them, Game Informer went ahead and captured the essence of a specific stage from one of the greatest games ever made. There really isn’t enough lava on magazines

Above: Out of EGM’s many, many, MANY Street Fighter covers this’ll always be my favorite



  • Romination - July 5, 2010 7:29 p.m.

    Oh my God! These are all TERRIBLE! I can think of better ones off the top of my head! Ok some are good. But really. Especially that FFVII one, that one is gross.
  • Xtapolapopotamus - July 5, 2010 2:30 a.m.

    Those hand drawn covers, like the Atari one and the Tomb Raider one are incredible. It reminds me of the downfall of the movie poster, particularly the awesome work of Drew Struzan, who did the posters for Star Wars, Indiana Jones and more. Sure, it's personal taste with a lot of those covers and there are some that I don't care for, but it does bug me how many people concentrate solely on the bad and say things like print deserved to die because of this. Basically, younglings suck.
  • apatheticmocha - July 4, 2010 10:58 p.m.

    PSM often had comic book artists do the cover for their mags. They would show the rough drafts of the cover inside the mag. Also, I'm pretty sure that Earthworm Jim issue had a mini-poster of the cover inside it.
  • GameManiac - July 4, 2010 9:48 p.m.

    DO judge a book by its cover.
  • LaffPiranha - July 4, 2010 5:27 p.m.

    Mr. Antista, you've done it again. Well done. My only gripe isn't even a gripe at all, more of a question: Mace the Bounty Hunter deserved to reach iconic status? Really? Maybe if he still looked like an intergalactic Kung Lao in the final version, but even then...really?
  • Sabtos - July 4, 2010 4:03 p.m.

    I thought ALL of the old PSM covers were awesome. The FFVII was my first official gaming magazine subscription, and I've been subscribed to them ever since (through their name changes), and a few other publications now. It's too bad they lost the custom artwork because it was always excellent, and the PTOM covers aren't very inspirational to say the least (there are often advertisments pasted on top of the cover as well). Is there a website dedicated to all of the covers for particular [gaming] publications? Anybody knows, PM me please.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - July 4, 2010 12:47 p.m.

    Game Informer had a pretty badass Batman: AA cover, or rather, two of them.
  • philipshaw - July 4, 2010 11:58 a.m.

    Good to see you show both sides of it, I had that PSM cover
  • Clovin64 - July 4, 2010 11:17 a.m.

    The Street Fighter one looks the best. That NBA Jam cover is awful. Theres too much clutter all over it and it hurts my young delicate eyes.
  • iluvmyDS - July 4, 2010 4:49 a.m.

    I remember that Gamepro with DK64. Too bad it was thrown out.
  • Randomwordcombination - July 4, 2010 3:35 a.m.

    Nice!! a lot of good memories.
  • StickyLungs - July 4, 2010 3:34 a.m.

  • crumbdunky - July 4, 2010 2:58 a.m.

    Seriously, as someone who's had to do front page layouts themselves(and tons of bloody backpage ones where I had to make teams like Barrow or Altrincham signing a journeyman 35 hyr old hoofer somehow the biggest thing EVER)I have to say that, yes, some of these are actually pretty good. However, the GamePro NBA Jam cover is the single worst front cover of anything that I''ve had the misfortune to look at in my entire life. Honestly, it looks like someone cut up a load of basketball magazines of the day, ate them, puked them back up and settled on the end result as awesome cover art-which it simply isn't. Not in ANY way whatsoever. On a different note-just what is that effin' mascot anyway? Gamefan should be properly ashamed(sackcloth and ashes, scarlet letter ashamed)of that malformed effort and you were right to ridicule it to within an inch of it's cyborg(?), monitor kited life the other day. I don't think we ever had to suffer anything quite so naff in the UK, not even the days of the Speccy and C64 mags which always seemed to contain those pages of game code for you to input as a "playable" version of bloody Pitfall(was it ALWAYS Pitfall or variations on Pitfall or am I barmy?)-which NEVER, EVER worked. For anyone at all. Ever. You could get better games that actually ran(after a fashion) on those 99P cassettes sold in local, ma and pa game stores in the late 80s. So why did we always try and put the pages of code in for a game that was way obselete even then? Just how cheap were WE? Whatever, that mascot is STILL worse. Seriously, what the hell is it meant to be and why are we meant to like it? Why would a magazine want a mascot anyway? There are only questions there for me with little hope of a satisfactory answer.
  • YoshiAteMyBaby - July 4, 2010 12:52 a.m.

    Nostalgia'ing like hell over here. But that DK64 Gamepro pissed me off when I bought it because it had like 1 page on DK64 that contained no new info and no new screenshots. Gamepro is pretty useless.
  • bar1scorpio - July 3, 2010 10:45 p.m.

    There should have really been a few Adam Warren PSM covers in there.
  • Lando81 - July 3, 2010 10:12 p.m.

    I'm probably the only person who thinks so but I thought Batman Begins was pretty good as far as Movie Games go!
  • Tenfey - July 3, 2010 10:03 p.m.

    I miss being able to care about video game magazines.
  • BoondockSaint54 - July 3, 2010 9:17 p.m.

    I forgot how many of the old magazines I used to have. I actually saved them for years thinking one day they'd be collector's items. I threw them away a couple years ago after I got more smarter.
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - July 3, 2010 7:57 p.m.

    I read that Phantasy Star II issue over and over and over. There was a "design a game" contest inside, and the winner made this game about bug warriors that I want to this day.
  • lovinmyps3 - July 3, 2010 7:22 p.m.

    I love the Super Street Fighter II and Tomb Raider covers!! Sooooo cool!!!

Showing 1-20 of 36 comments

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