15 God-Awful Video Game Commercials (LIST)

Sure, many of us know how fun video games are today. But for some people, virtual entertainment is frightening and confusing. How does it work? How susceptible is my brain to being liquefied from constant play? Will pixelated blood trigger my own, instinctual, unquenchable blood-lust?

Game companies have had to battle this stigma by establishing that video games are fun. And not just regular life fun. Like exploding from the TV, destroying your living room, melting your face fun. And that means actors have had to portray just how mind-blowing the experience of controlling a picture of something projected on a screen using a variety of button combinations could be.

Behold 15 of the most terrible, non-funny, awkward and insulting game commercials ever to grace your television.

15. Michael Jackson: The Experience. Most fun ever. EVER.

Michael Jackson: The Experience Trailer – Watch more Game Trailers

Look, I know the job of a commercial is to make a game look fun. And it’s hard to resist classic Michael Jackson tracks. Makes sense.

But these actors are really earning their paychecks. They’re beyond having fun – they’re having an orgasmic good time with that Wii remote. Ignore the fact that the game’s hardware is incapable of picking up any dancing that doesn’t directly involve the remote itself – you will be so good people will mistake you for Michael Jackson. Clearly you should kill yourself if you can’t afford a Wii, as you will never experience joy like this any other way.

14. Wii Sports totally brings families together

This commercial isn’t bad, per se – except for being a total distortion of reality. Yeah, maybe in Beaver Cleaver Walton-ville, whole families get together for super-happy and fun sessions of Wii Sports.

In the real world, these spots are totally unrealistic. Reshoot this commercial with the mom stumbling through Wii Tennis with a scotch in her other hand and the dad screaming at the kids for letting down the team. Plus it needs no fewer than two controllers exploding against the wall after being flung in frustration-fueled rage. Then it will resemble an actual family Wii experience.

13. A nightmarish living baby doll! Oh, and a PS3.

PS3 Commercial – Watch more Funny Videos

Let’s see. We’re one of the biggest console sellers in the world, the Playstation has an enormous fanbase, and we’re about to drop a machine that is more powerful than anything our competitors are making. How should we market it?

For Sony, apparently this is how. By creating a spot that’s equal parts WTF and horror movie introduction.

I half-expected M. Night Shyamalan’s name to appear somewhere in there before the end.

12. Kids think rap is cool, so they’ll buy Link’s Awakening…right?

What is it with the early 1990s and terrible, terrible rap songs?

There are so many fails involved in this spot, it’s hard to count them all. Someone thought this idea up. Someone filmed it. Someone picked that location. Someone equated all these urban, industrial visual ideas with a Gameboy game in which you play some kind of fairy boy fighting monsters. Someone wrote that rap about Zelda.

But they all got off easy, because there’s only one guy who’s face is attached to it all – the poor schmo who took the acting gig. That paycheck was not worth it, guy.

11. Bad special effects to go with bad 3DO graphics

Guess how real the Panasonic REAL 3DO is? So real, in order to really drive the point home, some marketing genius ripped off a bunch of cliches from cartoons that had been around for decades by this point. Brilliant.

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12 Comments on 15 God-Awful Video Game Commercials (LIST)

Daryl G.

On September 19, 2010 at 12:50 am

I distinctly remember both the Dr. Mario witchdoctor song and the Link’s Awakening song both being very popular amongst kids in the intended demographic.

God-awful should be a term used to describe really terrible and ineffective things, like this website for instance.


On September 19, 2010 at 4:37 am

That ad for Super Mario World 2 was nicked from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, not Se7en. Besides, Se7en is terrible. But not as terrible as that Legend of Zelda ad! ARGH!

Phil Hornshaw

On September 19, 2010 at 8:35 am

Didn’t mean to imply the Yoshi’s Island commercial is a rip off of Se7en. Only that in Se7en, a similar situation is a gory and horrible murder scene. Here it’s a video game ad.

worst name ever

On September 19, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Actually, the Yoshi commercial is more of a direct rip off from one of the skits in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. Like, it’s so ripped off it’s embarrassing.


On September 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I actually liked that Zelda dance commercial it was fun to watch! :)

johnny sack

On September 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm

How could you forget this zelda commercial… i think its the real #1 awful commercial

Phil Hornshaw

On September 19, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Have to agree, Johnny, it’s pretty terrible. Frankly, there were just so many awesomely terrible Zelda commercials, I didn’t want to overload the list with them. I’d say, that one’s an Honorable Mention to be sure – but the No. 1 commercial has terrible rapping AND insulting gamer stereotypes built in.


On September 19, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Actually at that point in time Nintendo was still the biggest console seller in the world.


On September 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm

the ps3 doll one of the best

James S

On September 19, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Most awesome list ever.


On September 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm

If you think that the Zelda commerical was bad then you clearly don’t know anything at all!


On September 20, 2010 at 8:28 am

the ps3 advert wasnt terrible, its terrifying.
sums up the initial launch of ps3 nicely. took months to repair the flaws that caused.
I did like the ad though, thought it was a brave stance to take.