by Simon Gugeler, posted on February 18th 2019

Artworks for games are stunning. Thing is, they don’t have anything to do with the games that they were made for.

I have been playing videogames for over two decades now but it hasn’t been until the last few years that I really got into that medium (The fresh enthusiasm in a kid’s youth aside of course). There have been some great experiences since the late 80s but overall games become true work of art just now. Settings are getting interesting (in contrast to a sterile desert like pretty much every game in the 90s), stories more mature, characters fleshed out, voice acting actually good, mechanics not just being “for fun” and graphics beyond beautiful. And by graphics I’m not talking about the current pathetic “1080p/60fps” hype, I’m talking about what makes a game beautiful. Great art style, combined with a love to detail and great animations.

As you can see in this gallery, finally true artists (and not just programmers) are making interactive experiences. Experiences that are not just about shooting, end bosses, game overs or repetitive mechanics. These games show that resolution of textures are the least important thing to look at. It seems the future is pretty bright since we get more and more projects like those listed. Projects that transcend the medium – that create actual work of art.

If you know a game which isn’t listed, let me know and if I think it belongs there I will add it!

Two great recent examples show how two “realistic” looking games could look beyond breathtaking, when actually lowering the “technical quality” (Skyrim Toon Mod or GTA without textures).

So mind you, all the games listed here actually look and feel like the screenshots. Those are not some concept arts previously released where the final product looks completely different. Plus in today’s day and age we are at the point where we can chose how something should look like, in contrast to years ago where something was the way it was because of technical limitations.

As much as games with incredible art styles are more impressive than pure “high resolution texture” games, there obviously is room for both – when the animations are right. And on the other side of the spectrum we have had some pretty amazing technical achievements in gaming as well, mainly with The Order: 1886being the first game out there where the eyes literally can’t see any difference to a pre-rendered cgi movie (In the darker scenes only of course).

Last but not least there is the “old school” pixel art. There isn’t anything “old” about it though, since all those beautiful pixels shown here are only possible today.

All those videogames will look great and beautiful forever, no matter how many years pass by.