Embarrassing game magazine covers - REDEEMED!

We devoted an entire section to laughable licensed game covers, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Sometimes a good cover can make even the worst game downright memorable:

Above: Bad Game, Awesome Cover #1

Above: Bad Game, Awesome Cover #2

Above: Okay, Great Game with one of the best covers in the history of paper

Above: You’ll never see a Tomb Raider cover this breathtaking for as long as you live

Above: Atari Age covers had a tough road to hoe, but I’d play anything that looked this awesome… even if it was an outright lie

Above: I joked about some of the poor screen capture technology, but I love how it looks like EGM did little more than snap a shot of TV, yet it helps the otherwise generic Sonic art stand out

Above: NBA Jam was one of the hottest games of the day, yet fairly difficult to adapt into an visually exciting cover. Unless you’re Gamepro

Above: Next Generation took a lot of grief in my article, but one of the things I loved about their covers was the chances it took with new IP on the cover. Nowadays, everything is a sequel or established in some form or another. Although these characters never reached iconic status everyone, except the chick from Malice, certainly deserved to

Above: PC Gamer has a long, phenomenal legacy of great covers, but I stopped looking immediately upon finding this slice of elegance

Above:  While admittedly a wildly inaccurate representation of Phantasy Star II, Gamepro holds this cover up as the finest its ever produced, and I’m inclined to agree

That's all! Hope I've enlightened a couple of you cruel younglings out there. I know only a fraction of the people will who looked at The Bad will bother to look at The Good, but I wouldn't have been able to sleep this weekend if I didn't give these mags their fair shake. After all, we've got history together...

Above: From our tearful EGM: Gone but not forgotten article... which wasn't necessary as it turns out!

Jun 3, 2010

Game Ads of Yesteryear
60 bits of olde tyme game propaganda we dug out of our closets

The worst box art of 2009
25 of the year's ugliest attempts at game packaging


The most ridiculous game box quotes ever
Ever wish you could take back something you said? Imagine it printed on millions of game boxes



  • 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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