The worst box art of 2013

The box art rebellion

It pains me to say it, but it seems like we might've reached the end of an era. For years, we've heartily mocked box art; now, the companies making these atrocities of graphic design have found a way to elude our judgmental eyes. With the rise of digital distribution, video game publishers have fewer reasons to box their product and compete for retail shelf space. Gamers prefer the instant gratification of a downloadable copy--and as a result, the delicate art of packaging is falling by the wayside.

But as long as there are retail stores, there will be physical copies of games. And like a caped vigilante, GamesRadar will be there to poke fun at all the hilariously dreadful pieces of box art that find their way into the wild. As always, these aren't appraisals of the games as products--just the butt-ugly covers that adorn them. Don't forget, you can click the expand icon in the top right of each image to see them in all their ingloriousness. Now hold your nose, shield your eyes, and let's trudge through the swamp of 2013's worst box art together

50. Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness

What, pray tell, is that cheeky demon Laharl actually standing on? Oh--nothing. He's just been hastily slapped over other pieces of character art, because he's the main character so why not.

49. Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge 2

Mr. Lomu runs so fast that he leaves utter annihilation in his wake, causing bodies to fly haphazardly with each step. But he also has a sensitive introspective side, judging from the candid shot of him developing photos in his homemade darkroom.

48. Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures

If you're not a fan of the Pinocchio-nosed Pac-Man, you best turn away from this box art before his phallic-looking schnoz pokes you in the eye. And just what am I supposed to be looking at, anyway? The classic ghosts reflected in Pac-Man's left eye? The skull-thing in his right? The unfamiliar colored blobs in the background? Pac-Man's gritted, perfectly square teeth? Do I even care anymore?

47. Tram Simulator: Dusseldorf

Thank goodness--the inclusion of a Modding-Editor is what swayed my purchase decision. Apparently the developers were so unsure about their tram simulation that user-made content was a gigantic selling point. All aboard for Hauptbahnhof! Next stop, Grypinthorphenoe!

46. Dracula 4: The Shadow of the Dragon

So, I'm confused--is the primary antagonist Dracula, or a dragon? Because I was led to believe that those two things are mutually exclusive. Also, what caused that woman to grow as tall as a mansion? Is she holding a flashlight, or is that a Mega Buster arm cannon?

45. Castle

"Solving murder has never been so much fun." That's what I imagine a corrupt police officer will say in the interrogation room, right before he viciously beats me to within an inch of my life, even though I swear I don't know anything about a murder. But if said cop looks anything like the ruggedly handsome Nathan Fillion, I won't hold it against him.

44. Game & Wario

GAH. Its called personal space, Wario, and I suggest you learn to not get so uncomfortably close to me. That's cool that your business card has a moustache on it, but the way you're staring at me is making me feel very anxious. Also, you should probably see a doctor about those fingernails. I don't think it's normal for them to be made of skin.

43. Lords of Football

Jesus, guys. It's a spreadsheet-centric sports management game, not Mortal Kombat. And that face in the background really needs to do something about that stomach-churning unibrow.

42. Dark

What we've got here is a failure to communicate. This is a stealth game about vampires, and a pretty bad one at that. But judging by the box art, this is a game(?) about some douchebag in a hoodie and cargo pants who's dumbfounded that the moon is about to crush his beloved city, Majora's Mask-style. The look in his eyes begs for one last passionate kiss, before we're all engulfed in the incomprehensible destruction that results when two planetary bodies collide.

Lucas Sullivan

Lucas Sullivan is the former US Managing Editor of GamesRadar+. Lucas spent seven years working for GR, starting as an Associate Editor in 2012 before climbing the ranks. He left us in 2019 to pursue a career path on the other side of the fence, joining 2K Games as a Global Content Manager. Lucas doesn't get to write about games like Borderlands and Mafia anymore, but he does get to help make and market them.