15 Video Games With Incredible Art Styles

15 Video Games With Incredible Art Styles

Video games have never looked better than they do now. While AAA studios push graphical fidelity ever further, other developers realise their imaginative worlds with expressive art styles like pixel art, cel-shading, and hand-drawn animation that are impressive in their own unique way.

To celebrate video gaming’s visual variety, we rounded up a list of games with amazing art styles. This list could’ve easily featured hundreds of great-looking games, but we kept it to just 15 entries you can play on modern platforms. Whether you play on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, or Xbox, this list will help you find a new great-looking game to enjoy.

While we focused on games with unique art direction for this list, we also have a list of the most graphically-impressive games if you’re chasing photorealistic experiences rather than stylised ones.

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

Vanillaworks’ games are renowned for their amazing 2D art styles that look like moving paintings. Each of the studio’s releases deserves a spot on this list, but we’re giving the nod to their latest title, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. This story-focused adventure features amazing characters, backgrounds, and giant mechs realised in Vanillaworks’ iconic style.

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PS4.

Rayman Origins & Rayman Legends

Rayman Origins and its sequel, Rayman Legends, are built on Ubisoft’s powerful 2D game engine, the Ubiart Framework. This art-focused engine allowed the development team to easily create and edit visual elements while building levels, giving these 2D platformers a hand-crafted visual style.

Rayman Legends available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One.

Rayman Origins available on: PC, Xbox 360. (Backwards compatible on Xbox One/Series X.)

Okami HD

Okami is an action-adventure game with a cel-shaded art style inspired by Japanese sumi-e painting. While the game first debuted on the PlayStation 2 back in 2006, it’s just as gorgeous decades later. Sure, the HD port refreshed the game for modern consoles, but outside of a crisper resolution and small tweaks, the game’s timeless visual style was untouched.

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One.


Prodeus is a fast-paced sci-fi shooter with a faux-retro visual style: The 3D models look like 2D sprites, and textures are pixelated and blocky, while the dynamic lighting, HD resolution, and smooth performance are on par with contemporary expectations. This art direction gives the game a unique vibe that feels simultaneously nostalgic and modern.

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One.


Plenty of games go for hand-drawn art styles, but Cuphead is one of the few that actually looks and animates like a cartoon. This game is notorious for its challenging levels and unforgiving bosses, but it’s hard to get too frustrated when everything on screen is so damn charming to look at.

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One.

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight is a beautiful 2D metroidvania that proves the power of cohesive art direction. At a glance, Hollow Knight is drawn with a relatively simple style; everything is rendered with bold shapes and just one of two colours. However, this simplicity is important. Every character is easily recognisable at a glance, thanks to their unique silhouettes, while lighting and other effects add depth to the background and foreground elements. The result is an expressive and beautiful game that balances detail and readability.

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One.


Returnal takes obvious inspiration from the Alien film franchise. The game’s strange extraterrestrial ruins and grotesque monsters borrow from H.R. Geiger, and even Selene’s space suit looks like something designed by Weyland-Yuanti engineers. However, Returnal complements these design inspirations with unique flourishes like bursts of neon from enemy projectiles and digitised effects of the ancient technology Selene discovers that elevate it beyond derivative sci-fi horror and into one of the best-looking games on PS5.

Available on: PC, PS5.

No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky features a massive galaxy filled with billions of planets players can discover and explore. But rather than a vast void filled with distant stars and barren spheres of rock, No Man’s Sky imagines space as a vibrant place filled with lush alien worlds. Each planet you explore pops with colour, and many hide imaginative wildlife to document or eye-catching alien structures to explore.

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One.


Every title from Super Giant Games exudes style, but the studio’s latest title, Hades, is their best-looking release yet. As a fast-paced, combat-focused action RPG, attack animations and monster movements are slick, while the graphic novel-inspired character designs and environments feature bright colours and sharp black shadows.

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One.

Ori and the Blind Forest & Ori and the Will of the Wisps

There’s a (misguided) assumption among some video game fans that 2D games are “outdated” and unable to create the sense of immersion you get from fully 3D titles. The Ori series proves that sentiment is false. These 2D action-platformers are deeply engaging, in large part thanks to their hand-painted visuals that vivify the lush, side-scrolling forest you spend these games exploring.

Ori and the Blind Forest available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox One.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox One.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild & The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The size and scope of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and its recent sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, are staggering accomplishments. The fact both games run on a weaker console like the Nintendo Switch is all the more impressive. The Nintendo EPD team crafted stylised characters, landscapes, and set pieces with eye-catching colour schemes and a simple cel-shaded art style that work well on the Switch’s limited hardware specs.

Tears of the Kingdom available on: Nintendo Switch.

Breath of the Wild available on: Nintendo Switch, Wii U.

Metroid Prime Remastered

The original Metroid Prime was one of the best-looking games on GameCube, and Metroid Prime Remastered is one of the best-looking games on Nintendo Switch. While some video game remasters can lose the spirit of the original game in the transition, Metroid Prime Remastered is the rare exception that not only maintains the GameCube game’s amazing art direction but enhances it. It’s a testament to how strong art direction and immersive atmosphere can make up for technical limitations.

Available on: Nintendo Switch.

Persona 5 Royal

Persona 5 Royal is in the running for most stylish RPG ever made. The character designs, battle animations, and menus pop with personality befitting a game about a band of supernaturally-powered thieves that performs heists against criminals and corrupt leaders by entering their subconscious realms.

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One.

Guilty Gear Strive

At first glance, Guilty Gear Strive looks like a 2D anime fighter, until the camera shifts for a special move, and you realise it’s actually a 3D game. Arc System Works has experimented with this faux-2D presentation in previous games — most notably Dragon Ball FighterZ — but Guilty Gear Strive is the best execution of the style yet. Even if you’re not a fighting game fan, check out a few matches just to appreciate how great Guilty Gear Strive looks in motion.

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One.

Elden Ring

FromSoftware’s games are well known for their excellent art direction, but Elden Ring is on another level. Every inch of this enormous open world is packed with breathtaking landmarks and tiny, imaginative details. Cliffsides are walls of giant headstones and skulls; cities are built into the roots of mountain-sized trees; spiders are disembodied ten-fingered hands. While other games impress you with their photorealistic graphics, Elden Ring impresses with imaginative designs hidden around every corner.

Available on: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One.

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