Reading is fundamental.
I have a lot of books in my life, and many of those books are art books about video game series I’m fond of. There’s something magical about seeing the concept art of one of your favorite games, and how a simple sketch turned into an iconic character or landscape. I also like looking at the promotional art. It reminds me of the days when games had pack-in manuals. When graphics were low-fi, the art in the manuals gave you a glimpse at the artist’s vision, and was like fuel to the fire of a young imagination.
If any of these books spark joy for you, I recommend getting them while they’re on sale.
The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia: Deluxe Edition for $43.45
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I own this, and paid full price like an idiot, but I don’t even care, because it’s that good. This is an incredible tome of Zelda knowledge and goes nicely with Hyrule Historia and Art and Artifacts. The Deluxe Edition comes in an NES-style dust sleeve and even includes an instruction booklet, which is loaded with charm. The book itself is amazing, and I love mine and recommend it to everyone. Including you. Especially you!
The other books in the series are also reduced in price:
The Art of Metal Gear Solid I-IV for $49.37
I am a big fan of Metal Gear Solid. The original game on PS1 ranks up there with one of my favorite gaming experiences of all-time. I went back and revisited part 2 and found it isn’t nearly as bad as I remember it being, and once I learned to stop worrying and love the weirdness, it “clicked.” This book set covers the first 4 games in the series. I’ve been putting off getting this one for a while and I don’t know how much longer I can wait. This might be the day I finally make my dreams of owning it come true.
The art book for the fifth game is also on sale right now:
Super Mario Encyclopedia: The Official Guide to the First 30 Years Limited Edition for $25.46
This is another incredibly informative tome, covering 30 years of everything Super Mario. It even has explanations of glitches in the games, so you can now gaze into the endless abyss of the minus world and have it gaze back.
The limited edition, with the random cover, is also on sale:
The Art of the Last of Us for $33.61
It’s going to be a little while before we get a chance to play The Last of Us 2. I don’t have any secret insight into its release schedule or anything, I just know in my heart. It’s rumored it might be coming out sometime this year, but that’s just a rumor. In the meantime, appreciate the art of the first game with this hardcover book.
Mega Man: Official Complete Works for $23.19
If you missed out on the 25th anniversary release of the Mega Man and Mega Man X Complete Works, the good news is you don’t need to spend over $100 to get the exact same content. The original books have been re-released and are much more affordable. You just have to buy them separately, but then you have two books, and you know what they say: two books are better than one.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Creating a Champion for $27.99
Breath of the Wild will long be remembered as one of the best and most important entries in the series. In fact, it’s one of the best games ever made, period, and this book takes you even deeper into the already deep and encompassing world of Hyrule.
Super Mario Odyssey Kingdom Adventures Box Set for $37.42
Have you noticed a pattern here? These books are collections of works about and around some of the greatest games, ever. This boxed set isn’t quite the same as the others, as it’s a complete collection of the 6 Kingdom Adventures books. It’s almost like a high-quality travel book for the world of Super Mario Odyssey.
Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography-Beyond the Fantasy for $37.91
Yoshitako Amano is responsible for the illustrations of the Final Fantasy series. His Final Fantasy work is arguably his most recognizable, but his career started way back in 1967 when he worked on Speed Racer for Tatsunoko Production. His style is instantly recognizable, almost dream-like, and if you have any interest in video game art, this is a fantastic choice.
The Art of Overwatch for $27.99
There’s a reason Overwatch has been such an enormous success. Outside of its excellent gameplay, its character design and world building is outstanding. This thick, meaty book is loaded with behind the scenes art and looks at your favorite Overwatch characters. Definitely worth picking up, even if you don’t play Overwatch.
The World of The Witcher for $29.99
The Witcher series is fantastically rich and deep, thanks to its enormous games and series of books from which its based. There’s even a live-action series in development, so you can be a Witcher know-it-all before its premiere with this gorgeous book.
Seth Macy is IGN’s tech and commerce editor and lover of video game art books. Follow him on Twitter @sethmacy.