Best Video Game Trailers Of The 2020s (So Far)

The recent string of video game presentations from Xbox + Bethesda, PlayStation, Nintendo, and more made June an exciting month for video game announcements and trailers. They come at welcome times considering delays and video games seem to be more synonymous with each other than ever.

With the latest generation of gaming starting in 2020 with the Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and the latest line of high-end PC graphics cards, fans have seen some thrilling game trailers early on in this new decade. Elden Ring‘s gameplay reveal was met with high praise, as well as the return of fan favorites like God of War: Ragnarok.


8 Elden Ring Gameplay Reveal Trailer

The Tarnished lunging with his sword at Godrick the Grafted with the Erdtree in the background.

Despite the relatively normal turnaround from its reveal to release, the wait for Elden Ring was a painful one for many fans due to the near-radio silence in between. So when the first gameplay trailer was revealed at Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest in 2021, it was met with rapturous acclaim that turned out to match the reception it received upon launch.

There have been several great open-world games in the past, but Elden Ring evolved open-world game design to its next stage. The gameplay trailer was a brilliant showcase of stunning vistas, art direction, and lighting, as well as how fluid and satisfying combat would be. Complemented by tantalizingly cryptic fantasy dialogue and a score that’s foreboding, thunderous, and somehow triumphant all at once, it was the big reveal Elden Ring needed less than a year out from release.

7 Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic Remake Teaser Trailer

Split image of Darth Revan wielding his lightsaber in the KotOR Remake trailer.

The original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games were regarded as some of the greatest CRPGs ever made, and arguably the best the franchise had to offer the gaming medium. Countless fans have been pleading for remakes of the games because as beloved as they are, they’ve certainly shown their age.

Likewise, it’s been a shame that a universe as rich as the sci-fi fantasy of Star Wars hasn’t taken enough advantage of the RPG genre. After swirling speculation online, the September 2021 PlayStation showcase started with a bang with the teaser for Aspyr’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake. Hearing voice actor Jennifer Hale’s dialogue returning as Bastila Shan was thrilling as is, and the ominous and dramatic reveal of Darth Revan served as the pitch-perfect mic drop.

6 God Of War: Ragnarok Reveal Trailer

Kratos sheltering in a cave with Atreus entering behind him with a deer carcass.

Sony Santa Monica Studio’s god of war series was a tentpole of the PS2 era, and the 2018 soft reboot for PS4 reinvented the titular character in acclaimed fashion. It introduced a new, yet equally-cathartic combat approach for the series and a more resonating and cinematic story that successfully turns Kratos into a compellingly multifaceted character.

The first proper reveal of God of War: Ragnarok was a long time coming, and the trailer was packed with substantive plot points that the story will explore, the ghosts that will come back to haunt Kratos, and the pulse-pounding combat gameplay without giving away too much.

5 Starfield Teaser Trailer

An astronaut prepping to take off in their ship in Starfield's teaser.

Longtime Bethesda fans know that their triple-A games are a massive exercise in patience to release akin to Rockstar, but they never fail to drum up boiling hype. The trailer for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was arguably one of the best trailers of the 2010s, and while the highly-anticipated teaser for Starfield wasn’t the same, it brought the thrills it set out to incite.

The trailer used dramatic narration and a swelling orchestral musical score that fittingly seemed in line with the scope of the golden age of StarTrek. It brought forth a sense of awe-inspiring wonder over all the possibilities players will be able to discover in this sci-fi RPG come release. The only downside, of course, was the stinger ending on a now-outdated release date reveal.

4 Final Fantasy XVI Dominance Trailer

Clive with a fire raging behind him in the latest Final Fantasy XVI gameplay trailer.

The original surprise reveal trailer from Sony’s PS5 presentation in the fall of 2020 was admittedly exciting, but the recent Dominance trailer delved even deeper into the fantasy world of the forthcoming Final Fantasy XVI. It was one of the best reveals from PlayStation’s recent State of Play, and the Devil May Cry-like action was expectedly high-octane.

Even more so, though, was the focus on how summons (Eikons) would play such a big role in this story along with the rest of the fantastical drama set to come. Final Fantasy XVI looks to be leaning harder into dark fantasy, and the euphoric and operatic score was more than enough to set the tone and raise goosebumps.

3 Spider-Man 2 Reveal Trailer

A shot of both Spider-Men in Insomniac's Spider-Man 2 trailer.

Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham franchise showed the gaming world how richly ambitious the superhero genre can be in this medium, and Insomniac has taken the next step by giving Spider-Man an equivalent makeover. The first game launched to expected praise in 2018 (as well as Miles Morales in 2020), so it was only a matter of time before Spider Man 2 was formally revealed.

Sony’s fall 2021 PlayStation showcase gave fans that anticipated trailer with a jaw-dropping look at the PS5-level visuals, both Spider-Men fighting together, and another mic-drop moment in the form of the long-awaited Venom reveal. To top it all off, it sounds as if Kraven the Hunter was doing the narration.

2 Mass Effect Legendary Edition Reveal Trailer

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Key Art

It might be odd to think of a trailer for remasters of old games to be impactful, but that’s something that was done impressively with the Mass Effect Legendary Edition reveal trailer. The original Mass Effect trilogy made itself a sci-fi and RPG pillar of the gaming industry thanks to its compelling third-person action, superb storytelling, character writing, and rewarding role-playing elements.

That’s why it holds such an understandably special place in many fans’ hearts, and the trailer for the remaster struck the perfect balance of showing off the visual enhancements to the trilogy as well nostalgia. As always, the sweeping score and Garrus’ encouraging words at the end served as an emphatic celebration of one of the greatest video game trilogies of all time.

1 The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Sequel Teaser Trailer

Link falling through the skies of Hyrule in the Breath of the Wild sequel trailer.

Nintendo’s sequel to the massive hit The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is undoubtedly one of the most highly-anticipated games (hopefully) coming in the next year, and the wait has been agonizing for longtime fans of the series. Though, it’s baffling to think that there’s still no official title for the game — and there isn’t much gameplay footage of it either.

Nevertheless, the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct trailer was excitedly received by fans. The trailer showed the vibrant spectacle of the upcoming game, suggesting that its scope and sense of verticality would be highly emphasized after seeing Link’s freefall through the skies of Hyrule.

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