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Top 5 Video Game Boxarts of 2015



legend-zelda-majoras-mask box art

Video game box art can go a long way in convincing people to purchase a game. After all, not everyone surfs the net and reads blogs looking for feedback on whether or not a game is any good. Designers and artists face the challenge of balancing a game’s content with a slick design that will draw the eye of a consumer who will pass over 100 different games when walking into a GameStop. Publishers are hoping their art will convince the customer that their game is worthy of purchasing. Below are the five best examples of box art for games released on a Nintendo platform in 2015.

5. Splatoon

Nintendo’s online multiplayer shooter Splatoon is perhaps the biggest surprise hit of 2015. Nintendo, is a purveyor of largely family friendly games, and with Splatoon the company was working in a genre mostly known for its ultra-violence — and yet they somehow created a kids shooter that beat out Halo, Destiny and Gears of War at the 2015 Video Game Awards. While the box cover will surely displease many gamers, the brightly colored art )which resembles the brightly colored ink splattered over the environments you occupy in the game), no doubt does a great job in grabbing the attention of kids under the age of 14 — which of course, is Splatoon’s target audience. Nintendo did such a great job in branding and marketing the game, it’s no surprise they sold a million copies in the first month alone.

4. Shovel Knight 

This sweeping classic action adventure game takes an amalgamation of elements from the who’s who of Nintendo’s expansive roster and combines them to make a unique and fun action and platform side scroller. Shovel Knight doesn’t just imitate classic NES games from the past, it understands what made them work and … right down to the box art. The game was and is a huge hit and the developers over at Yacht Club Games haven’t stopped creating additional content for it. A year after its debut they released a physical copy of their indie hit, and boy did they do a great job with the box cover, sticking with an illustration similar to the original artwork released a year earlier, and keeping the titular character front and center.

3. Super Mario Maker

With the 30th Anniversary of the Super Mario series, Nintendo tried something new and gave us a game that celebrates three decades of Mario in one accessible, powerful creation suite. Super Mario Maker is not perfect, but it’s pretty darn close and a great way to celebrate the plumber’s 30th birthday. Let’s face it, not everyone is big on level creators but Super Mario Maker strives on the power of nostalgia and regardless if you haven’t played a game in the Super Mario franchise in decades, anyone who’s ever enjoyed any of the original NES and Super NES titles will likely take notice of this cover and think hard about buying it. Mixing bright reds, bright yellows and bright greens into the box art for a game is a recipe for disaster, but somehow the marketing geniuses over at Nintendo make it work. Everything about this cover works perfectly — from the easy-to-read font to the toolbelt around Mario’s waste to the question block in his hand.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

Much like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D before it, Majora’s Mask 3D is a remake of the original Majora’s Mask, featuring enhanced stereoscopic 3D graphics, touchscreen controls, and gyroscopic features. Like the original, evidence of master craftsmanship is everywhere in this game including in the marketing. Any Zelda game is easy to sell, especially when you release a special edition featuring a pin badge, double-sided poster, a steel book and a Skull Kid figurine, but the box art itself is a true work of art. I love how Link is frozen in action just before putting on the mask and I love how just about every essential character appears behind him with the grinning moon hovering above. And of course, standing on top of the temple is none other than the Skull Kid himself. Simply stunning!

1. Xenoblade Chronicles X

X Marks the Spot! The next massive sci-fi role-playing game from Monolith Soft, the creators of Baten Kaitos and Xenoblade Chronicles, comes exclusively to Wii U and with it comes the best box art of any game released in 2015. Seriously, this is nothing short of genius. Xenoblade Chronicles X will make you feel like you’re exploring an uncharted world through an adventure like no other and the cover does a great job of illustrating just that. It’s unique, beautiful, and to the point. I love the color palette and more importantly, I love the font!

Some people take my heart, others take my shoes, and some take me home. I write, I blog, I podcast, I edit, and I design websites. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Goomba Stomp and Tilt Magazine. Host of the NXpress Nintendo Podcast and the Sordid Cinema Podcast. Former Editor-In-Chief of Sound on Sight. Former host of several other podcasts including the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead shows, as well as Sound On Sight. There is nothing I like more than basketball, travelling, and animals. You can find me online writing about anime, TV, movies, games and so much more.