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.
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 Legend of Zelda Hyrule Historia, an art book showcasing the development of Link and Zelda from 1986 till 2011. Check out the video review and Learn more.
Zelda is known for there consistent game design while it still changes art styles a lot during the years. THe book showcases all the different art from 80's, till cartoonish till realistic. Another important factor is the information on the chronocol display of the games, which one was the first? well its till 2011 so it doesnt contain the newest entries. Like always the book is HQ and has outstanding display of art. ONly downside is, should have more of it, and the dispersion is not equally divided. It is 273 pages with 60 pages in the legend begins section showcasing all games, 50 pages on the chronology of Hyrule, 100 pages of creative footprint showcasing all the art of the zelda games at the end there is a bonus comic with cool manga art in it.
5. The Art of Bravely Default and Bravely Second End layer, 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 both art books contains 256 pages. In BD 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.
6. 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.
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.
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 dialogue.
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.
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.
11. 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.
12. 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 pages.
13. The art of Eorzea A Realm Reimagined, based on the populair MMO RPG Final Fantasy 14 A realm Rebor. Its a small book but does contain a lot of high quality art and thus worth it. Check out the video review and Learn more.
14. 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.
15. Shadow 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.