Note: These commercials are all from the States. Feel free to share commercials from outside the U.S.
Note 2: To save everyone from lots of loading, the actual videos are linked to as opposed to embedded on this site. Click the name of the ad to get to the video. I apologize ahead of time for YouTube comment sections.
World of Warcraft (PC)
Several years ago there was an advertising campaign for World of Warcraft featuring such celebrities as Ozzy Osbourne, Chuck Norris, William Shatner, and the subject of this particular commercial, Mr. T. I could definitely believe that Mr. T can code and create his own mohawk character class, Mr. Condescending Director. While I have no experience with MMORPGs at all, much less World of Warcraft, I pity the foo' who doesn't at least crack a smile through watching this humorous ad.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)
The legend is reborn. My favorite game of all time in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time gets even better with all-new features and a heavy visual upgrade. This commercial for the game renders several memorable events from Link's seven year quest such as Princess Zelda's tossing of the Ocarina of Time as she and her humble protector Impa make their escape from Hyrule Castle; and the battle between Link and Ganondorf within the villain's castle. The glasses-free 3D is just gravy to the delectable mashed potatoes that is Ocarina of Time 3D.
Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
As I said in my September 2012 Nintendo 3DS Playtime Results feature, I recently got back into Super Mario 3D Land. Perhaps it was the hunger for more Mario after New Super Mario Bros. 2, but certainly this commercial did the trick as well. It shows off what I perceive to be a teenager jumping and running through a real world Mushroom Kingdom. Pipes and blocks stand within his neighborhood, spiked balls chase after him down a road, and floating platforms rest high above the busy intersections of the city as this young lad leaps across them. It really gives a good sense of what Super Mario 3D Land would be liked if placed in the real world.
New Super Mario Bros. (DS)
When I see someone say that Mario only sells because of nostalgia and that all of his games are the same, I laugh at their willful ignorance. That's like saying Call of Duty, Halo, Medal of Honor, Battlefield, and whatever else you can think of are all the same because they all have guns and shoot people. It's just a lazy and thoughtless argument. However, New Super Mario Bros. does want to hit that nostalgic nerve as this advertisement clearly shows. What else would it be doing as it displays the original Super Mario Bros. and transforms it into the DS game after Mario nabs a mushroom? It is cleverly done and I appreciate it.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
The final commercial of Nintendo of America's wildly successful "Wii would like to play" ad campaign, Super Smash Bros. Brawl's ad depicts the two Japanese Wii guys infiltrating an electronics store and offering up some Wii goodness in the form of the brawl to end them all. A group surrounds the four players battling one another for supremacy. They should have chosen Meta Knight as I here that dude is top tier! Regardless, I prefer the fan service of Brawl over the competitive spirit of Melee.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2, XBX, PC)
Rockstar Games certainly has a mastery of how to create an effective an uber-cool commercial/trailer. This GTA: Vice City ad just permeates coolness and gives those who lived through the 80s a sharp sense of nostalgia. A Flock of Seagulls' "I Ran (So Far Away)" being played over the ad certainly helps matters. The whole commercial reinforces the idea that gaming can be a truthful way to tell a good story. We just haven't seen that in many games in the past. I think Vice City is one of those games that does it remarkably well.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
This game is now also available via the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection which is available on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PlayStation Vita; and also on a botched Nintendo 3DS port called Snake Eater 3D. Regardless, this ad is for the PlayStation 2 original. While it doesn't show much in the way of gameplay, it does show off the types of cutscenes that the Metal Gear Solid series is well-known for, for better or for worse. It is edited well, and the voice over actor does a splendid job giving the already dramatic commercial even more drama.
God of War (PS2)
Clips of the action of God of War set across ancient ruins make for a commercial that titillates PlayStation gamers. The commercial features the female narrator throughout the myriad of God of War mainline games and spinoffs. We are left with the beginning of a clash between Kratos and the current God of War, Ares.
God of War II (PS2)
A storm is brewing, and it is about to make its presence felt throughout Athens. After usurping Ares as the God of War, Kratos has taken his crown. But Zeus isn't happy with this turn of events and looks to absolutely eviscerate Kratos. This ad displays a heap of action from this excellent sequel, with shots of Kratos digging into the eye of a cyclops and clawing alongside the face of the Colossus of Rhodes. If this doesn't get you interested in God of War II, nothing will.
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3)
This commercial came right before the Kevin Butler series of ads that outwore their welcome long after Sony's marketing team pulled the plug on them (still waiting on saying good riddance to Flo from Progressive). It is the ad for Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. It showcases the type of action-adventure hijinks that Nathan Drake is always somehow finding himself involved in. The funny part obviously comes when Drake's walkie-talkie goes off, prompting him to say "It's for you," and then throwing it at the nearest thug. Then, something that more commercials need to have - actual gameplay footage - is shown in all of its gorgeous glory.
Darksiders II (Wii U, PS3, 360, PC)
From an ad with plenty of gameplay footage to one with zero, this fully CG ad gives a taste of what players can expect when they take control of Death, one of the Four Horsemen, in Darksiders II. From saving a father and her daughter before they are picked off by a demon to entering the depths of Hell, there is plenty of eye candy to view in this ad. It's just a shame that the game sold just over 250,000 units in the States despite reportedly needing two million units to break even. Nah, this industry's current business model isn't broken at all.
Saints Row: The Third (PS3, 360, PC)
I don't know what "In Saints Row Trick" means, much like I don't know what a "Hollaback Girl" is either. Nor do I know how "you don't know you're beautiful. That's what makes you beautiful" is supposed to make any sense at all. I'm just not that hip. Nonetheless, Saints Row: The Third has it all. Sex appeal? Got it. Big explosions? Got it. Humor? Check. Catchy song? Sure thing. Gameplay? You know it. "Out GTAs GTA" comment? You betcha. What all of these pieces of the commercial add up to is an impressive picture in the form of an effective ad.
Resident Evil 5 (PS3, 360, PC)
Though a minority might consider the game to be a severe disappointment, I think most of us can agree that this advertisement for Resident Evil 5 nails the adrenaline-inducing gameplay of the title really well. Yes, it may seem cliche to have an orchestral backing to coincide with the action, but darn it if I said it didn't sell people on the game. The power of advertising at work, people. Live to deal with it, or suffer feeling sore in your nether regions for the rest of time.
Ratchet & Clank series (PS2)
This YouTube video is actually a series of commercials spanning throughout the Ratchet & Clank PS2 titles. They all feature some little punks screwing around with toys that they have no right to be touching. Those are obviously meant for furry lombaxes and not high school dropouts who work at McDonald's. Regardless, this line of ads was incredibly funny and showcased many of the stellar weaponry of the Ratchet & Clank franchise.
Pokemon Snap (N64)
Catching Pokemon on film is a snap in the Nintendo 64 game, but when you're out a safari with a dolt as your expedition guide, things become rather complicated. For instance, these Pokemon in this ad are quite crafty. It's either that or the safari guide is quite stupid. Perhaps it is a combination of the two. I particularly like the pudgy married couple simply looking like they've never seen a camera before. Well, I guess the same can be said for the dopey guide.
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (GBA)
A remake of Kirby's Adventure, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land's U.S. commercial features a take on "Secret Agent Man" but with varying accompaniment and of course lyrics. I think what I like the best about the ad is a two-part affair: 1) The catchy song with clever lyrics, and 2) The cuteness of Kirby being exhibited. It shows off Kirby's numerous abilities like Sword, Ice, Tornado, Spike, among others really well.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land (Wii)
From a nightmare in Dream Land to a return to Dream Land, Kirby's second Wii escapade was a traditional Kirby title, as opposed to Kirby's Epic Yarn. But this time around Kirby didn't have to take the fight against baddies alone as he could be joined by up to three other familiar faces like King Dedede, Meta Knight, and Waddle Dee. Not only does this commercial explain that, but it shows tons of gameplay footage. You'd have to have no heart to not have your heart melt by the adorableness of this game. Hugs for everyone!
Mario Party (N64)
There ain't no party like a Mario Party, and there ain't no party like someone being taken into custody by the cops either - especially when it is Mario. Isn't he too old to be hanging out with a bunch of kids who like they're Hanson (remember them?) rejects anyway? These trivial questions aside, this charming commercial gets Mario taken away by the police as he says "But it's-a me, Mario!" I'm sure he can get a good lawyer with all that Nintendo money coming his way. I know when I saw this commercial in middle school, I believe it was, I wanted the game badly. Then the game's analog stick circling mini-games hurt my thumbs badly.
Mario Party 6 (GCN)
Poor Bowser. All he is trying to do is fit in, and these little rat bastard children keep giving him a hard time. Sure, it's funny and amusing to put hot sauce on his toothbrush and draw on his face, but do you know what that does to a Koopa's self-esteem? In any case, like the original Mario Party commercial, this ad is quite charming, too. It is funny and it shows a good amount of gameplay for Mario Party 6.
Mario Superstar Baseball (GCN)
There were three different U.S. commercials for the GameCube's Mario Superstar Baseball. One features Bowser doing his best to overcome the evil that is the pitching machine. Another shows Mario at the keys of the baseball stadium's organ. And the final one displays a poor unfortunate buttmonkey of the franchise continuing to have his car pelted by baseballs. Alone these commercials are humorous, and together they created an amusing ad campaign for Mario's first trip to the diamond.
Wii Sports Resort (Wii)
I hope you have enjoyed this third glimpse at some of my favorite gaming commercials of years past and present. Join me tomorrow where I will be listing the first batch of the 50 best Nintendo Wii games.