Top 10 Best Live Action Video Game Trailers

Script written by Fred Humphries

What are the very best, coolest and most visually impressive live action trailers for video games? Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Live Action Video Game Trailers!

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Top 10 Live Action Video Game Trailers

Video game greatness can occasionally come outside of the game itself. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Live Action Video Game Trailers.

For this list, we take a look at promotional material that uses real life actors or celebrities to advertise the game in question. They may feature excellent performances, unexpected celebrity cameos or a production value rivaling the title they’re attached to. It’s not the be all and end all, but if it’s closely related to the universe you’ll shortly be going into then it may receive extra credit.

#10: “Titanfall” (2014)

It may have been just a minute long but the work that went into this TV spot for the mecha-style FPS is astounding. Each loyal Titan is created with minute attention to detail while the carnage they create throughout this metropolitan area is produced with almost entirely practical effects. Frank Sinatra sings Me and My Shadow as the camera tracks a regular bearded chap about his daily business, gleefully reveling in the same invincibility you’d soon be enjoying at home. Inevitably, our smiling hero soon finds his path blocked by another player and his faithful Titan. As they gear up for an epic battle, the scene seamlessly transitions into gameplay, adding a little more juice to the hype train.

#9: “Far Cry 3” (2012)

Starring Christopher Mintz-Plasse as himself and Michael Mando as the live action version of the sociopath he voices in game, this five-webisode series sees McLovin’s reality show go fatally awry, perfectly establishing the brutal island paradise you’ll soon be inhabiting. Mando, as Vaas Montenegro, takes us through his full repertoire of torture techniques, each carried out with a dark, unhinged humor more ludicrous than you ever see in the game. As Mintz-Plasse finally succumbs to being electrocuted and urinated on, it seems that Vaas’ fun is at an end but, much to his relief, some unwitting fodder has just skydived onto the island, thus beginning the events of the game.

#8: "Star Wars Battlefront” (2015)

By evoking the memories of one of the most iconic movie scenes in history, this large-scale shooter attempts to align itself with the original trilogy of space epics, the only Star Wars films worth watching at the time. Just as Obi Wan was transported to another realm when struck down by his former Padawan, the ad says that any average Joe around the world will do just the same when entering DICE’s gorgeously recreated battlegrounds. Anna Kendrick, adding some celebrity gravitas while wielding a butter knife lightsaber, repeats Kenobi’s legendary words as John Williams’ score swells, leaving us with new hope that the Star Wars empire will strike back and return to its rightful place as the galaxy’s premium franchise.

#7: “Need for Speed: Most Wanted” (2012)

Beginning as an automobile-based take on a Sergio Leone spaghetti Western, sports cars and the police’s very best vehicles engage in a Mexican stand off with a deserted Fairhaven City as the backdrop. As one of the most played out film tropes, you know the tension will soon break but you perhaps didn’t expect that to happen by the driver of a drifting Ford Focus brandishing his middle finger to law enforcement while Jump On It blasts out. Directed by Jon Favreau, whose previous work includes Iron Man 2 and Chef, the ensuing chase shows what these brutes are capable of before almost unnoticeably swapping into street-racing gameplay. Big cars plus a great soundtrack equal an easy sell for us.

#6: “Call of Duty: Black Ops” (2010)

This FPS series has quite the pedigree when it comes to live action promotion, but this one for the first Black Ops game just beats Modern Warfare 3’s The Vet & The Noob to our list. Kobe Bryant and a useless Jimmy Kimmel provide the star power alongside a collection of unexpectedly lethal every day folk as nurses, chefs and concierges alike distribute lead with consummate ease. Activision spare no expense marketing their franchise and this “dramatization of what it’s like to play the game” goes hard with blockbuster effects and Mick Jagger’s moody, end-of-times lyrics. With so much going on, it couldn’t be more different to Modern Warfare 2’s banned ad.

#5: “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” (2011)

In a cinematic sequence that wouldn’t look out of place in season seven of Game of Thrones, frenzied townspeople flee from an unseen threat, even soldiers abandoning their posts in the desolate settlement. Our hero in a horned helm does no such thing however, striding calmly to face the beast causing so much panic. The hairs on your neck prickle as the revealed dragon roars in our unflinching hero’s face, ramping up player excitement at the time to a solid 11 after five long years since Oblivion’s initial release. Now the game is out there, we know it’s epic enough to not need support from movie-quality scenes like this, but are we complaining we got it anyway? Absolutely not.

#4: “Sleeping Dogs” (2012)

There aren’t many words in this unrelenting three and a half minute short – lead character Wei Shen is mute throughout – yet it still manages to communicate plenty about what to expect from this gritty open-world game. The improvised hand-to-hand choreography is excellent and, while not on the same technical level as the Oldboy corridor scene, it similarly makes you feel the weight of every single blow. It doesn’t give too much away about the undercover cop plot, instead only giving a hint of its duality through contrasts between Hong Kong’s seediest areas and its neon façade. Looking back, it’s actually pretty representative of the brutal combat you see in game, just with fewer heads in air-con systems that is.

#3: “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” (2016)

Continuing themes established in Human Revolution’s live action trailer with a notable improvement in quality, this trailer features imagery and commentary that eerily reflects current political and social issues. Although a little too real for some –it succinctly shows how the human race is tearing itself apart in 2027, even observing that the media is inflating and exploiting differences between humans and the augmented for their own interests. These broad issues are kept grounded by following the faltering relationship between a normal man and an augmented woman, giving us a reference point for how global governmental decree affects the individual. And people still say video games aren’t art…

#2: “Metro: Last Light” (2013)

You don’t need to speak Russian to understand the horror of this situation, the sheer cluelessness and desperation on the face of each helpless soul giving you all the necessary detail of the impending nuclear attack. Although most are nameless, the stories of three who managed to make it down into the metro show how life below Moscow has been flipped on its head: the model and commander see their past lives crumbling away along with the society that made them, while the previously laughed at preacher gains a cult following. Post apocalyptic games are pretty played out these days but this FPS managed a terrifyingly visceral method of immersing you in what humanity has done to itself.

Before we reveal our top pick, let’s take a look at some honorable mentions.

“Fallout 4” (2015)

“The Last of Us” (2013)

“Destiny” (2014)

#1: “Halo 3: ODST” (2009)

In a universe where we usually skip through life playing as the invincible Master Chief, it’s easy to forget that regular marines are laying down their lives to make it all happen. Tarkov is just one of those bog-standard soldiers and in the space of two minutes we follow his military career from initial motivation to facing Brutes on the battlefield. Bungie tried a darker, narrower plot for this spinoff and that’s mirrored in the selection of grey, sterile settings and realistic training scenes, a stark contrast to Noble Team’s heroics in the Deliver Hope trailer. If this is what can be crammed into two short minutes, who knows what might be possible in a Hollywood adaptation.

Do you agree with our list? Which live action trailer got you hyped for what was coming up? For more top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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