Advertising is part and parcel of the entertainment industry, but video game advertising gives marketers the chance to play with the conventions of advertising when selling a video game.

An ad for a game could be something as simple as showing gameplay footage, a bunch of conventionally attractive 20-somethings playing the game in a social setting, or in a best-case scenario, hire directors like David Lynch and Chris Cunningham to create adverts we're still talking about over 20 years later.

Our website launched in 1997, and since then video gaming has become a billion-euro industry enjoyed worldwide.

With such a big built-in audience, games now have marketing campaigns on a par with the latest superhero film or Oscar-winning drama.

It is not uncommon to see big games advertised during the likes of the Champions League final or for the more memorable ads to become ingrained into the public conscious.

We’re running down our picks for the best gaming ads of the last 25 years.

PlayStation's alien girl (1999)

PlayStation changed the gaming landscape in the 1990's in large part thanks to the fantastic exclusive titles like 'Gran Turismo' and 'Metal Gear Solid', but its advertising helped set it apart from the competition.

Sony tapped Chris Cunningham, best known for his brilliantly demented music video work for Aphex Twin and Bjork to create an ad that is baffling and beautiful all at once.

The above clip was dubbed for the Irish market, with the original voice in the ad that of Scottish actress called Fiona.

GamesRadar tracked her down in 2019, and the actress said "I think if that advert made it to air today it wouldn't have made such a stir because there's so much noise and people aren't glued to the one channel and sitting through advertisements."

In the context of the 1999 media landscape however, the ad was solid gold, and helped establish PlayStation as the cool, hip console for the Y2K generation.

Which brings us nicely onto...

A slice of David Lynch (2000)

The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling console of all time, in large part thanks to its fantastic third-party support and a range of killer first-party titles.

The PlayStation 2 acted as a DVD and CD player for many consumers on top of its fantastic catalogue of games.

Another possible selling factor for the PlayStation 2?

A series of surreal ads by the master of surrealism, David Lynch.

David Lynch and "conventional" cannot exist in the same space, so it was odd that Sony of all corporations gave the 'Twin Peaks' maestro the chance to direct some ads for their new console.

The ad is 60 seconds of uncut Lynch delirium.

Lynch's ad told us nothing about the PlayStation 2, and in a way, it serves as the perfect advertisement.

You're left wondering "wait, what product is this?"

Not that it mattered - the PlayStation 2 sold over 150 million units, and David Lynch was introduced to a new generation of film fans.

'Ratchet and Clank' chickens out (2002)

The 'Ratchet and Clank' games are famous for their irreverent and cheeky sense of humour, and the marketing campaign for the first game did a great job of introducing the world to the world of the game.

The game boasted some innovative weapons such as a gun that turned enemies into a chicken, and one memorable ad did just that.

Using an almost found-footage or 'Jackass' style, the clip shows some mates experimenting with the weapons and gadgets from the game, and turn their friend Kevin into a chicken.

The ad is wonderfully daft, and helped sell audiences on the world of 'Ratchet and Clank', which is still going strong to this day.

By telling the world you can turn your enemies into a chicken, players had little choice but to pick up the game.

Xbox reminds us that life is short (2002)

The original Xbox launched in 2002 in Europe, and it had to quickly set itself apart from it's rivals.

As any marketer knows, the best way to stand out from the competition is to be drastically different.

This infamous launch ad was banned after receiving complaints from viewers.

136 people filed complaints with Ofcom, the television watchdog in the United Kingdom, with 20 of those complaints coming from those who were recently bereaved.

The ad's slogan "life is short, play more" struck a chord with the public, and the original Xbox ended up claiming a respectable 2nd place in the 6th console generation ahead of Nintendo's Gamecube.

This provocative, cheeky bit of advertising helped set Xbox apart from the competition.

Harvey Eagle, head of marketing for Xbox UK, told in 2019 "We did end up putting the ad on TV. Infamously, the ad was banned after really only a small handful of complaints, but those complaints were upheld, and of course that only served to help its notoriety even further."

No such thing as bad publicity, as they say.

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad, world (2006)

As stated, the original Xbox was a hit for Microsoft, but in terms of shifting public perception, the ad for 'Gears Of War' in 2006 was the moment Xbox truly arrived.

We wrote at length about the ad last year to mark its 15th anniversary, but it bears repeating: this may well be the best ad for a game of all time.

The same haunting cover of 'Mad World' as used in 'Donnie Darko' is used here as the camera follows Marcus Fenix as he faces an uncertain, and violent battle.

The ad does what all good ads do; it makes you want to buy the game.

The ad underpins what the game is about; a normal world torn apart by madness, and the fight to restore normality.

A song can be just as important as the visuals, and in this case, the usage of the famous Tears For Fears cover helped make 'Gears Of War' a sensation.

'Halo 3' makes you Believe (2007)

The 'Halo' franchise appeals to the inner 10-year-old in everyone.

You take control of an armoured hero who is saving the world from evil aliens.

It's the ultimate power fantasy, and the "Believe' ad campaign for 'Halo 3' captures this spirit beautifully.

The finished game is considered the peak of the series, and the marketing campaign is considered a major part of the games' ultimate success.

Director Rupert Sanders went on to direct big-budget Hollywood films such as the 'Ghost In The Shell Remake' and will direct a new version of 'The Crow', but to many, Sanders' ultimate contribution to the arts is this beautiful ad.

'Grand Theft Auto' drafts in LCD Soundsystem (2008)

How can you tell 'Grand Theft Auto 4' was released in 2008?

It had The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem on the soundtrack.

These bands were a major part of the early 2000's New York sound, and when it came time to sell 'Grand Theft Auto 4' to the world in 2008, LCD Soundsystem were picked to sell Rockstar's iteration of New York.

The trailer demonstrated the various elements of Liberty City, from the hustle and bustle, the chaos, and the tranquil.

The cuts are timed to the beat of the music, and like any good ad, it keeps your attention.

'Grand Theft Auto' always had a strong relationship with music, and this ad helped convey that the fourth numbered entry in the franchise was going to capture the cool and hip environment of 2008.

'Modern Warfare 2' teams up with Eminem (2009)

The 'Call Of Duty' series was a hit prior to 'Modern Warfare 2' but this particular entry in the series made it a global phenomenon.

The launch ad deployed an Eminem album track 'Till I Collapse' with the late, great Nate Dogg on the hook, and the ad tells a story in its 90-second runtime.

As discussed, music is a massive part of any successful ad, and by bringing in an Eminem track to rap over footage of explosive military action, it was the perfect launchpad for the game to become a cultural sensation.

The game was the biggest entertainment launch of all time, and the incredible launch advert surely helped 'Modern Warfare 2' rocket to the top of the charts.

Robin Williams shows his gamer bona-fides (2011)

Aside from being a world-famous Oscar-winning actor, the late great Robin Williams was a massive gamer.

Williams named his daughter Zelda after the 'Legend Of Zelda' series, and the pair appeared in an ad to mark the release of 'Ocarina of Time' for the Nintendo 3DS.

Robin instils the ad with his famous dramatic, but caring gravitas, and shares a moment with his daughter, Zelda in what is probably the most heart-warming ad on this list.

The ad gets across the idea that gaming can transcend generations, just like other forms of media like film or music, and to see a star like Robin Williams declare his love for the series in an ad was the best marketing the game could have received.

It also didn't hurt that he was promoting the remake of one of the greatest games of all time.

'Football Manager' bosses it (2017)

The 'Football Manager' games are iconic for the level of nerdiness it generates among its players.

This very writer has skipped out on many social engagements because his team were about to play in a big cup final, and the ad for the 2018 version of the series captures the addictive nature of the game perfectly.

Long-time players of the series will know that you start to get a hankering and craving for the game at the most inapporirate moments, and the ad nails how the game creeps into your normal life.

Any good ad knows its target audience well, and 'Football Manager 18' does it brilliantly.

There we have it, 10 of our favourite gaming ads from the 25 years of the existence of this website!

Did we miss out on any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments section, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content.