Gaming's greatest, most absurdly interesting inventories

Carry on

Have you ever seen the ordinary becomeextraordinary? WAIT, DON'T GO! We have a history of celebrating what some might think of as the most boring, mundane elements of games, be they boxes, trees, or--most importantly--doors. But when you look at our picks, you know it to be true--some of the most seemingly ordinary design elements still offer a chance to innovate. Where some developers see an unexciting necessity, others take the little things as a chance to get more creative than your standard fare.

In this case, we're talking about inventories. Heroes always need a place to store their stuff, and pockets are so pass. That led to the creation of inventory menus--screens that let you sort out your belongings and admire your treasure trove of collectibles. Today, we'll show you the most thought-provoking inventories to ever grace a game. It's not what items you're carrying, but how you carry them that sets an inventory apart--at least, that's the criteria for our choices (so don't say we didn't tell you so when you leave a comment). With that, let's check out these sweet stashes!

The Secret of Monkey Island

Do not question how Guybrush Threepwood's ordinary outfit seemingly contains a portal to an infinite item-storing dimension. Instead, simply appreciate the comical sight of Guybrush cramming a shovel, cannonball, heavy stone idol, or a myriad of other zany items into his lace-up pirate shirt and lugging them around with ease.

Resident Evil 4

The ultimate in inventory-based Tetris simulations. Because a clean, neatly ordered attach case meant more room for Green Herbs and a longer, healthier lifestyle for Leon Kennedy. And we're always willing to set aside space for whatever the Merchant has in stock.

Diablo II

Or is this the best tile-based, space management puzzle meta-game? We spent so many hours staring at our Diablo inventories and rearranging tomes, trinkets, potions, and precious Unique items that we could probably recreate it all from memory. Also, utilizing the Horadric Cube as a physics-defying storage device was the best.

The Legend of Zelda

Not only did Link's sack of assorted loot set a precedent for hundreds of action RPGs to come--it also gave you a constant reminder of what you were fighting for. With a silhouetted Triforce greeting you every time you opened your inventory, the objective of your heroic quest was always crystal clear.

Halo: Combat Evolved

Just two weapons at a time? What a concept! Master Chief's carrying capacity actually made sense, unlike the FPS commandos before him who lugged an entire artillery on their backs like it was nothing. Many shooters that followed would copy this concept wholesale. Plus, Halo's limited inventory led to such inventive practices as weapon juggling to take a third gun with you.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Whether you loved or hated all the inventory micromanagement in Resident Evil 4 or Diablo, it could take up quite a bit of time. Deus Ex: HR (violation?) said to heck with that, and would automatically rearrange your inventory slots to accommodate a new item, if possible. Of course, that completely defeats the purpose of representing your inventory in a visual way, but whatever.

Alone in the Dark

Sure, the 2008 reboot of this once-proud survival horror series might've been underwhelming in almost every way. But it did have quite the nifty idea for an inventory: the need to rife through your actual jacket holsters in first-person, with monsters still able to attack you all the while.

Doom

Where, exactly, does the colloquially named space marine Doomguy stash all those iconic guns? Who knows? But it's nice being able to see which six weapons you've got and how much ammo you're packing at any given time--your entire inventory is smack dab in the middle of the HUD, after all.

Ratchet & Clank

The base inventory kept by this dynamic duo is pretty standard stuff. But the introduction of a radial Quick Select menu was revolutionary, letting you swap weapons or gadgets in the blink of an eye to keep the action going at a constant clip.