Dead Island: Riptide

The original Dead Island grabbed headlines last year with its stunning cinematic trailer. For its sequel, developer Techland is messing with our emotions again. Anyone who has played the first game knows not to expect tear-jerking drama from Dead Island: Riptide (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360), but that doesn’t stop the trailer from being an extraordinary example of its craft.

Mass Effect 3

Perhaps the most anticipated game of 2012, BioWare’s action role-playing game Mass Effect 3 showed early promise with this stunning computer-generated introduction. If anything was going to inspire gamers to Take Earth Back, this was surely it. Unfortunately, Mass Effect 3’s ending left many feeling less than impressed. But hey, the trailer’s still great.

The Unfinished Swan

The Unfinished Swan was one of the most stunningly individual games of the year. This trailer for the PlayStation 3 exclusive has an appropriately unique look and feel that shows off some of its delightful play mechanics. Minimalistic and mesmerizing.

Metro: Last Light

This live-action announcement trailer for upcoming shooter Metro: Last Light (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360) was intended to fire the imagination of first-person shooter fans and reintroduce Metro: Last Light as a must-play title. With Mark Patton (Prometheus) as director of photography, seasoned commercials director Jim Weedon succeeded in creating a gritty, raw narrative that grabbed four million YouTube views during its first four days of release.

Angry Birds Star Wars

Bringing together the world’s biggest mobile gaming franchise and probably the most-loved movie trilogy of all time, Angry Birds Star Wars had no option but to succeed. Which made it that much nicer to see how much care and attention went into crafting this three-minute-long animated short for the release of the iOS and Android game.