The Best Video Game Concept Art Of 2016

Fine ArtFine ArtFine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios. If you’re in the business and have some art you’d like to share, get in touch!

Here, after much deliberation, is a collection of the best concept art from video games released in 2016.

This piece was originally published on December 22, 2016.

Pretty much every day I run a post for our Fine Art feature, which is about highlighting pieces from artists working in the video game business. That means I’ve shown off thousands of images over the course of 2016, and this time of year—when I’m asked to pick the best of it—is always difficult.

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First, because there are so many amazing pieces of video game art being produced by talented professionals that sometimes it feels impossible staying on top of it all. And secondly, because video games are weird, it can sometimes be tough to determine exactly when a particular image was produced.

The sketches and paintings being drawn today, for games coming out in 2017 (or beyond), may not be seen for years. The images released this year at shows like Into The Pixel may have been done in 2014, or 2013, or even earlier.

So I’ve settled for the same compromise that I did last year: below you’ll find the best art for games that were released in 2016. The art wasn’t drawn in 2016, but hey, we’ve gotta draw the line somewhere.

Oh, and before we begin: note that I’m using the term “concept art” as a catch-all here for just “2D art in a video game”. Some of this is indeed concept art, while other pieces are in-game assets that just happen to be painted, while others are promotional pieces.

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Anyway, here they are in no particular order. Enjoy!

THE BANNER SAGA 2 | By Arnie Jorgensen
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TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER | By Rinehart Appiah
XCOM 2 | By Dongmin Shin
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DEAD CENTURY | By Ray Bruwelheide
MIRRORS EDGE CATALYST | By Per Haagensen
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DISHONORED 2 | By Piotr Jablonski
HOMEWORLD: DESERTS OF KHARAK
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TITANFALL 2 | By Tu Bui
UNCHARTED 4 | By Nick Gindraux
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BATTLEFIELD 1 | By Robert Sammelin
THE WITNESS | Luis Antonio
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DESTINY | By Sung Choi
CALL OF DUTY: INFINITE WARFARE | By Aaron Beck
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NO MAN’S SKY | By Kuldar Leement

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About the author

Luke Plunkett

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.