Best Video game art books, concept art and illustrations by amazing artists
10 Best video game art books for fans and inspirational artists!
Most of these video game art books contain concept art, full blown (non)used development illustrations, information on the story and characters.
Books like the art of metal gear solid, final fantasy ultimania archive series, zelda breath of the wild and many more come to mind.
1. The art of Metal Gear Solid, Studio works and Gallery works. These are two awesome books form Yoji Shinkawa with his concept art and illustrations from GS 1-4. Check out the video review and Learn more.
There are two books in this collection, Studio works and
Gallery Works. Both contain awesome illustrations of Yoji Shinkawa,
known for drawing dark shadows with his black ink pen, to create whole
characters. Both Books are extreme high quality, hardcover and thick
paper. Next to that, both books are quite heavy (Publisher Dark Horse)
Studio Works: Mainly
the concept art, thus black and white illustrations. The content is
divided over metal gear solid 1 till four. Where MGS 1 has 72 pages,
MGS 2 has 80 pages, MGS 3 has 62, MGS 4 has 112 pages and as bonus MGS
peace walker 53 pages.
Gallery Works: Shows
the Colour illustrations, and non concept art. The content is divided
over metal gear solid 1 till four. Where MGS 1 has 88 pages, MGS 2 has
76 pages, MGS 3 has 84, MGS 4 has 76 pages and as bonus MGS peace
walker 95 pages.
2. Art of Mana, a stunning display of all mana games produced, from Secret of Mana, Trials of Mana (Seiken Densetsu 3) and Legend of Mana. Check out the video review and Learn more.
A high quality hard cover book that
contains art of all known Mana games, So from Secret of Mana till Dawn
of Mana (+ mobile games). The book contains 208 pages, which is quite
low for an art book and game pages are not equally divided. But this is
not a problem because SoM and SD3 are well represented as of LoM! The
three key games of the series anyways. The publisher is Dark horse
(English version) and the author Square Enix. It is important to note
this book is not a guide but does contain some developers comments.Games:
Mystic quest, Seiken Densetsu Final Fantasy Gaiden, Adventures of
Mana, secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3, Dawn of Mana, Legend of Mana,
Sword of Mana, Children of Mana, and the rest of Mana.
3. Final fantasy Ultimania Archive volume 2, an art book for made for the classical RPG fans. This book represents Final fantasy 7, FF8 and FF9 with awesome illustrations from Tetsuya Nomura and Yoshitaka Amano. Check out the video review and Learn more.
The book has 320 pages, where its split up between the final fantasys, 7
is up till page 119, FF8 has the lower end of the three, till page
till 189... typical square move, anyways 9 has the most till 315.
4. The Art of Bravely Default, containing high quality images and paper. Eventhough this book only focusses on the first game it is packed with illustrations of the classical job system. Check out the video review and Learn more.
The cover art is excellent and the illustrations are developed
chibi/serious style of the well known final fantasy tactics character
designer Akihiko Yoshida. It focuses a lot on the characters with their
in game jobs. I personally enjoy the large illustrations of the
characters, it gives an great artistic vibe. Naturally colourful
environmental art is displayed as well. Furthermore the art book
contains 256 pages, the first 30 is mainly focused on character
illustrations, pages till 130 on job system the rest divided on scenery,
monster and other development artwork. This book doesn't function as an
in game guide though, but does contain artist comments here and there
which are fun to read.
5. Ys the Artbook, based on a large part of Adol Christan his adventures. This art book cover YS 1 up till Ys seven and even includes Origyns. This book is heavy so be warned by the overflowing imagery! Check out the video review and Learn more.
The colourful cover shows various Ys characters throughout the series and
gives an immediate impression on the content of the book: A lot of Ys
Games. This book is thick and heavy, however it is paperback (which is a
shame tbh). That said, the book itself has 280 pages and displays all
Ys games you can think of up till Ys seven, yes so including Origin and
Ys vs Sora no Kiseki. The ratio is roughly 15-20 pages per game, but for
example Ys 1&2 had multiple re-releases so they contain the
majority of roughly 60 pages. Indeed, Ys 8 is not represented as this
book was published for its release. Most of the art are shown as full
blown illustrations containing many characters i a lot of different
environments with some funny out of their world scenes as well.
6. Tactics Ogre Art Works, an art book filled with the classical Job system. Even though this is not Final fantasy tactics, this book really comes close as the artist Akihiko Yoshida is doing a tremendous job. Check out the video review and Learn more.
This book shows the art of Akihiko Yoshida, well known for his character
design of Final Fantasy Tactics (and Bravely Default). One cool aspect
is, many of the classical jobs from the FF franchise are displayed
through full colored illustrations. However, the book does focus purely
on the art of the game. The art book is Hardcover style, published by
Dark Horse and is 231 pages. Content: Main visuals 18 pages, Character
illustrations 40 pages, Class images 40 pages, Character design 80
pages, World setting and scenery art 16 pages, let us cling together
archive and creator interview 25 pages.
7. The Art of Fire Emblem Awakening, an informative art book which focuses purely on the game, however its greatly executed with some cool unique tweaks in it. Check out the video review and Learn more.
A great quality Hardcover art book showing a huge amount of
illustrations. It gives details on character information and has a small
portion of pages dedicated to the developers thought. The book covers
fan based opinions as well and is published by Dark Horse. It focuses
on FE:A but it has a couple of pages dedicated to our other heroes, such
as Roy and Marth. It has 320 pages, that said the official
illustrations is roughly 72 pages of pure art,62 pages of concept art
of characters, weapons and costume design. Almost 40 pages of story
events and 8 and 32 pages of players voice and character profiles,
respectively. The last part, rough 100 pages are support conversations,
for if you wanted to read on some of your favourite characters
8. Zelda Breath of the Wild, creating a champion art book. This piece contains A lot of content and certainly delivers on its presentation. However please note this piece has only a low amount of illustrations on its predecessors. Check out the video review and Learn more.
This book only focuses on Zelda BotW, so almost to no imagery of the
previous entries. It contains a lot of illustrations, concept art,
development artwork of scenery/environment. Interestingly the history of
the in game lore is also shown at the end. Moreover, the book is
hardcover and has great quality and published via Dark Horse comics. The
contents (424 pages) are roughly divided in illustrations, taking up 50
pages, development artwork, 290 pages, History of the in game lore 55
pages and the creator comments on the game taking up 6 pages.
9. Final Fantantasy Ultimania Volume 3, Final Fantasy Ultimania archive volume 3, an art book focused on the playstation 2/3 generation of Final Fantasy games; 10 up till 14. Check out the video review and Learn more.
This one has 5 main title covered with each their own coverage ratio,
to elaborate the book is 336 pages, where final fantasy 10 has roughly
100 pages, FF11 50, FF12 75, FF13 80 and FF14 a mere 20, which has the
short end of the stick.
10. The Sky Final fantasy, The beautiful work of Yoshitaka Amano. This art book collection displays all his works on the final fantasy divided over three books. Check out the video review and Learn more.
Basically This book shows the art of Yoshitaka Amano, the main final
fantasy character designer. It displays FF1-FF10, with high quality
imagery with most of them full coloured. The first book shows a lot of
monster art, where the second and third focuses more on the character
art. A lot of the concept art really shows the original thoughts of the
developers, as cloud was biggest friends with red 13, Squall had blonde
hair and the warrior of light displaying as a mystic knight (instead
of a red haired weirdo on the NES which we all love). This book is published by Dark
horse and is able to be bought separate or in one slipcase.
11. Final Fantasy Ultimania archive volume 1, an art book focused on the original nintendo and super nintendo generation of Final Fantasy games; 1 up till 6. Check out the video review and Learn more.
This one has 6 main titles covered with each their own sections. To
elaborate the book is 336 pages, where final fantasy 1 has roughly 30
pages, FF2 50, FF3 45, FF4 60, FF5 55 and FF6 the most with almost 75
12. The art of metal gear solid V, another art book review representing Yoji Shinkawa's craftsmanship to a certain degree. Check out the video review and Learn more.
of the colossus the art official book, one of the best games on the Playstation 2. In my
opinion a game that really translates video games as an art form. Check out the video review and Learn more.
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