Whenever the time comes for a new PlayStation exclusive’s cover to get revealed, it’s always an exciting moment for fans. The cover art of a game can’t help but grab your attention and ultimately sway you into making the final decision between one game over another, none the more true for a coveted PlayStation title.
Box art will often portray a significant story beat or reference to the content you’ll experience, but mostly it’s just beautiful to take in. With so many new generations of IPs coming from the development studios under Sony Interactive, there’s been a wide array of impressive box art to enjoy over the years.
10/10 Haunting Ground
As gorgeous as some of the new cover art for PS4 and PS5 games is, let’s not ignore some of the classics that came before them. First up is the art for a 2005 PS2 exclusive called Haunting Ground, a survival horror developed by Capcom. Interestingly enough, for a horrifying game delving into some dark themes, its art seemingly conveys the opposite.
The intricate dark gray and white color tones give off a unique pencil shading effect, as though the characters are drawn on a sketchpad. And the characters themselves featured are the main protagonist, a distraught Fiona Belli, and her adorable smiling white shepherd companion Hewie. The title font evokes a Gothic style, and the symbol behind it pertains to the alchemy central to the plot.
9/10 Resistance: Fall Of Man
Long before Marvel’s Spider-Man and their long-running Ratchet and Clank series, Insomniac Games developed a trilogy called Resistance. Resistance: Fall of Man was the first of the three releases in 2006 and one of the first games to launch on the PS3, and its cover art looks the most compelling.
Fall of Man envisions an alternate history of 1950s Europe where the entire continent has become infected by an alien species of Chimera. The art implies battles will occur and feels like a product of other war games from the period, like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor. However, the Chimera skull on the battlefield with its fangs and multiple eye sockets points to the science-fiction element.
Infamous was a new superhero-inspired IP for Sucker Punch in 2009, whose previous projects included mainly the Sly Cooper games. The storytelling is heavily influenced by comics, as there’s a graphic novel style utilized for the cutscenes, and focuses on meta-humans known as Conduits who can manipulate electrical currents.
On the front cover is the main protagonist Cole MacGrath, an unassuming victim of the Ray Sphere explosion that granted him his powers. He’s a bike courier, so he wears a yellow leather suit and has his bag strapped across his chest, and white lightning forms around him. A subtle detail is his dubious expressionless face since the game includes a karma system of either using your powers for good or evil.
7/10 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Naughty Dog began the Uncharted franchise on the PS3 with Drake’s Fortune in 2007 and ended with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy an exact decade later. Each title exhibits masterful artwork that relates in some way to a riveting aspect of the game, but the second in the series displays one of the best.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves features the main character Nathan Drake suspended off the edge of an ice-capped mountain, barely clinging on with one hand to a train car. You can see the rest of the derailed train falling below, along with his gun. This image reveals the opening sequence of the game, where you must scale a train that’s gone over the edge of a cliff.
Created for the PS2 back in 2002 by the rebranded company Red Entertainment, Gungrave is a Japanese third-person shooter with its mechanics centering on over-the-top gunplay action. It’s a revenge tale, much like The Crow or Spawn, where the main character returns from the grave and enacts vengeance against those who wronged him.
Art plays a huge role in the game because the concept for the character, bluntly named Beyond the Grave, and the overall design aesthetic came out of the collaboration with manga artists Yasuhiro Nightow and Kosuke Fujishima. Grave’s unique and richly detailed outlaw-type features are shown amid flames, as well as the coffin he carries chained around his back.
5/10 Ratchet And Clank: Rift Apart
Over the decades, developer Insomniac Games shipped upwards of a dozen Ratchet and Clank games. Each one follows the various rag-tag intergalactic adventures of the titular Lombax mechanic Ratchet and his robot companion Clank, who take it upon themselves to act as the unofficial saviors of the universe.
The covers across the generations of the Ratchet and Clank games have always been fun to view, but by far, the best and most gorgeous goes to 2021’s Rift Apart. Through the colors and landscapes, it wondrously expresses the theme of alternate dimensions, juxtaposing Ratchet and his alternate form of Rivet as they engage enemies.
4/10 Horizon Forbidden West
The sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn expands on the established world and takes you to the vibrant environments of the West Coast of the United States. And this translates into the cover art of the game, where a combat-ready Aloy stands looking up at a new Sunwing machine amidst a stunning tropical background with a ruinous moss-covered Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.
Buried within the remarkable artwork are some story references to the game. The waves crashing on the shore represent the underwater sections that you’ll now have the ability to experience, and the string of red flora crawling up the palm tree is a mysterious pathogen called the Red Blight Aloy has to investigate.
3/10 The Last Of Us Part 1
The cover art for The Last of Us has undergone a sort of evolution every generation. There was the original iteration for the PS3 version, the dramatic black and gray for the PS4 remaster, and the current one for the PS5 remake, The Last of Us Part 1. Joel and Ellie are always side-by-side across each, but the PS5 version cleverly gives Ellie the greater spotlight.
Ellie becomes a towering figure front and center as an almost unnoticeable Joel walks down the road holding a revolver, but it’s done in a way that looks as though Joel is a part of her shoulder, as though etched like a tattoo. The colors and lighting of the background environment also appear to be a close match to the original PS3 art.
2/10 Ghost Of Tsushima
Sucker Punch developed the Infamous games throughout the console generations, even making a sequel, Second Son, and a follow-up game, First Light, for the PS4. However, their next PlayStation exclusive took a refreshing turn and was a graphically impressive story-driven samurai game called Ghost of Tsushima.
Ghost of Tsushima tells the tale of a fallen samurai warrior named Jin Sakai, whose island was infiltrated and seized by Mongol invaders. The art beautifully captures the reflective moment of Jin Sakai needing to part ways with his samurai past to defeat the Mongol threat. The stunning image of the red leaves being carried by the wind against the white field is symbolic of turning a new leaf.
1/10 God Of War
In 2018, Santa Monica Studio delivered a new God of War game for the PlayStation 4 that went an entirely different direction from the Greek mythology storyline into the Norse. It takes place several years later from the previous entries and sees Kratos embarking on a journey across the Norse realms with his young son Atreus.
The box art for the game reflects that spirit of adventure and has a picturesque backdrop of serene water from the Lake of Nine and mountains surrounded by mist, reminiscent of a watercolor painting. The father and son duo are standing tall on a boat looking onward, with a bearded Kratos gripping his Leviathan axe and Atreus holding a bow.