25 Awesomely Bad Gaming Magazine Covers From the ’90s

Who is responsible for the '90s? Seriously, I want to know so I can corner them in a room and give them a stern talking-to. There is an undeniable amount of nostalgia contained within those years, but also quite a lot of shame – bright neon clothing, fonts that make graphic designers cringe, and the inherent need to cram visual over-stimulation into our ad campaigns. This setup made for interesting magazine covers as gaming publications strived to be the most notable piece of print on the newsstand.

The list you are about to see doesn't reflect how we at GameRanx feel about any specific publication or video game. We were all victims of the times and as a collective community we did make it out alive. Now is the time to glance over our shoulder as we speed away from that era and remember what used to pass as acceptable.

Click on each magazine cover for a higher resolution version, but remember that long-term exposure to anything from the '90s will cause blindness.

Electronic Gaming Monthly – January 1994

If I had seen this ad for Mortal Kombat II, I would not have purchased the game. These characters look like they've fashioned Halloween costumes out of things they found lying around the house. Except for Baraka (thanks, Jerry!), looming over everyone in the background. That mask is so terrible, I can actually see the person's eye peeking out in horror, hoping no one can perform a retinal scan and determine who he actually is.