Pre-rendered graphics weren't only used in complex cinematic cutscenes back in the day when a game's own 3D engine couldn't do the job. Developers also used them as in-game backgrounds to bypass graphical limitations. And some of the games had really well-made, atmospheric pre-rendered backgrounds.

Squaresoft and Capcom preferred these a lot in their PS1 games in the late 90s, but it wasn't just them. With minor differences—some games had a combat screen in full 3D, for instance—other developers also took advantage of this method.


And it had a good run, until video game engines started to become much more powerful and were able to handle camera angle changes and real-time rendering.

Blade Runner

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VIII

Final Fantasy IX

Resident Evil

Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

Parasite Eve

Onimusha: Warlords

Odium / Gorky 17

Dino Crisis 2

Grim Fandango


The Legend of Dragoon

Chrono Cross

Project Eternity

What is your favorite background from these games or one that's missing from our list? Make sure to submit them in the comments below!


sources: The Lost Art of FFIX, imgur via Reddit, Resident Evil Database, NeoGAF, The Department of Death, Chrono Wiki, FantasyAnime, Gorky

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