GammaSquad’s 50 Best-Looking Games Of All Time (#50 – 41)

By: 06.04.14  •  46 Comments
gammasquadbestlookinggames1

2K Games/Square-Enix

Hey guys, let’s talk graphics. Some oh so enlightened gamers insist they don’t matter, but come on now, they really do. Sure, gameplay is always king, but beautiful visuals can make worlds more immersive, stories more engaging and action more visceral. It’s said you eat first with your eyes, and more often than not it’s impressive graphics that get us to pick up that controller and give a new game a try. So, with E3 (a show that’s pretty much all about showing off the newest, prettiest visuals) looming, we here at GammaSquad have decided to count down the 50 best-looking video games of all time.

But how do you define “best looking”? The games on this list had to meet two criteria.

a) They need to have been technically impressive at the time they were released, and…

b) They have to have held up aesthetically (or at least have the potential to hold up aesthetically).

Basically, the goal was to avoid a list based entirely on polygon count and texture resolution or one overpopulated with recent style-over-substance indie games. Hopefully we hit that sweet spot between technology and art. So, without further ado, the first 10 entries in GammaSquad’s 50 Best-Looking Games of All Time…

Page 2
gammasquadbestlookinggames2

Nintendo

50) EarthBound

EarthBound was already retro when it released back in 1994. The game’s squat characters and flat colors were meant emulate the look of classic NES RPGs, but EarthBound is actually a fairly technically advanced SNES game, packing tons of detail and subtly impressive effects into every screen. EarthBound was one of the earliest cases of a game ensuring it’s longevity by looking to the past — EarthBound’s “retro” graphics hold up better today than many of the SNES’ more opulent offerings.

gammasquadbestlookinggames3

Sega

49) Phantasy Star IV

Most Genesis RPGs couldn’t compete with SNES RPGs in the visual department, but for the final traditional Phantasy Star, Sega went all out. Phantasy Star IV is bright, colorful and varied, taking players from dust blown deserts, to icy tundras to grotesque towers made of living flesh. The game’s story was told through dynamic comic book-esque cutscenes that put most RPGs of the era to shame in terms of style. Just one of many examples of Sega busting ass to make art with the less powerful Genesis.

Around The Web

Featured

From Showman To Shaman: How An Assassination Attempt Changed Bob Marley’s Life And Music

From Zero To Guitar Hero, Meet The Small-Town Musician Who’s Well On His Way

Hannibal Buress On ‘Comedy Camisado,’ Animation, And Doing Stand-Up In Japan

Phil Matarese And Mike Luciano Talk ‘Animals.’ And Creating Television In Their Apartment

‘Black Sheep’ Revisited: The Farley-Spade Classic That Could’ve Been, 20 Years Later

EAT THIS CITY: Chef Callie Speer Shares Her ‘Can’t Miss’ Food Experiences In Austin, Texas

Kimbo Slice Is Down To Fight Kurt Angle And Roy Jones, Jr. As Soon As He Settles His Business At Bellator 149

By:  •  2 Comments

A Top Recruit Michigan Landed On Signing Day Isn’t Who You Think He Is At All

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. On How His Personal Ancestry Obsessions Led To ‘Finding Your Roots’

Love Books? Plan A Trip To The Most Literary City In The Country

What The Shot-For-Shot Remake Of The ‘Magnum P.I.’ Intro Tells Us About ‘Archer’ Season 7

By:  •  2 Comments

‘The Most Badass Event’: Experiencing A Truck Race On A Ski Mountain, Which Is As Crazy As It Sounds