Gaming magazines aren’t just about the games. Sure, the reviews, previews, and opinions are a critical part of it, but you can’t ignore the role of how art plays in our subconscious mind. Originally, the cover of a magazine or book was used to protect the outside, but it soon evolved into a space for artistic expression becoming just as important as the content inside.
We dusted a box of old PSM (Official Playstation) magazines we had neatly stored away and picked the 10 coolest cover designs ever created for this particular magazine.
PSM Issue: #16
Date: December 1998
What’s Cool About It: This is quite simply, an utterly exemplary picture of Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft in all her wonderful glory, butt cheek and all! Another reason I enjoyed this cover was that the artist drew Lara as an actual woman and not so much an anime character as she was depicted to be in many video games.
PSM Issue: #14
Date: October 1998
What’s Cool About It: A very naughty vampire vixen endowed with voluptuous breasts was all we needed to proclaim this cover as our # 9 most favorite. Oh, the fact that these characters are all from the Legacy of Kain series didn’t hurt either.
PSM Issue: #19
Date: April 1998
What’s Cool About It: He had the physique of a Greek God and the hair of Donald Trump. This crazy, yet awesomely cool looking superhero was Sony’s best bet at capturing the 3D platforming title from Zelda and Mario. Unfortunately, the game was somewhat lacking and received too many so-so reviews to justify further development time. Still, any superhero that goes out of his way to rescue enslaved space babes is my kind of guy.
PSM Issue: #4
Date: April 1999
What’s Cool About It: Any girl that can look this good wearing a skintight racing suit while chewing bubble gum at the same time will always get my vote. Psygnosis always pushed the envelope in graphics, speed, and fun and this art cover depict the Wipeout series accurately.
PSM Issue: #3
Date: June 1999
What’s Cool About It: If you want to attract eyes to your magazine, all you need is a scantily clad cutie posing in a minidress. If you want to attract a large male viewership, however, put that cutie on top of a car and watch the horde of testosterone roll in. And that’s what the artist did for this cover design. A hot chick + Ridge Racer equals a WIN every time!
PSM Issue: #2
Date: October 1997
What’s Cool About It: Intense looking hero with big sword saves a beautiful looking damsel in distress. Damsel woman shows her affection to hero by clinging on to him with all her might. Slap a name like Castlevania on the title and you have an iconic franchise worth replaying. Plus, the artwork looks too damn cool to pass up.
PSM Issue: #48
Date: August 2000
What’s Cool About It: Everything about this cover is refreshing to look at. The decision to draw in all these memorable characters made the artwork not just abstract, but a centerpiece of design as well. This is a very subtle but eye-catching piece of gaming history.
PSM Issue: #21
Date: May 1998
What’s Cool About It: Take the coolest green feral savage of all time and stick him with three of the Street Fighter characters and you have one very impressive looking design. The cover perfectly encapsulates what Street Fighter was all about with the idyllic glow from Ryu’s Hadoken energy blast and Chun Li’s menacing, but deadly beauty.
PSM Issue: #3
Date: November 1997
What’s Cool About It: It remains a fact in the gaming universe that nothing is cooler than Mega Man going 3D. This design includes Zero clutching his now famed Z-sword providing the backdrop to our blue superhero. What I like about this cover is that it didn’t have to add anything more than the two iconic characters to achieve this perfect look.
PSM Issue: #8
Date: May 1998
What’s Cool About It: The quintessential image of Tekken’s most iconic character adds the perfect scenery to one of the industries greatest fighting franchises. The cover illustrates a frenzied Jin Kazama laying another beat down to an unsuspecting foe. It’s simple in design but captures Jin’s determination towards winning another King of the Iron Fist Tournament.