Gamers have a ton of material to choose from when it comes to book recommendations. There’s a great selection of novels and hardcover coffee table art books that delve into the history of interactive entertainment. Video games have been around for a long while now and several iconic games, developers and publishers have been a part of its history. We’ve chosen to select 10 great pieces of reading material that cover a wide gamut of sub-genres within the video games spectrum. These are the top 10 best books for gamers!
1. The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect
This hardcover book features pages full of the finest video games to ever grace any gamers existence. What makes this book stand out is how it gives each featured game a wonderful page spread and a through explanation of its importance and impact. This book details the earliest game works up until the 1st collection of great games that became available on the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii during its starting lifecycle.
2. 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die
This massive book is a great introduction to the world of gaming. There’s 1,001 iconic video games out in the wild that curious gamers looking to start out their newfound hobby should look into. Along with those classic titles that most hardcore gamers have already spent hours playing, there’s a great selection of underrated games that should be given ample attention just like its peers.
3. Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation
“Sega does what Ninten-Don’t.” If you were on either side of the early to mid-90’s console wars, then you most certainly remember that tagline. This novel/non-fiction-esque take on Sega vs. Nintendo is a great tale that offers an inside look on the business dealing of both major game companies. It’s an interesting tale that’s full of the type of surprising behind-the-scenes stories that you never though really occurred. This book is going to make a fine move once it’s released.
4. Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia
Capcom has a vault worth of memorable and lovable characters in their arsenal. Their history can be marked by the appearances of the most iconic faces from games such as Street Fighter, Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, Darkstalkers and more. A ton of Capcom’s longtime history as a developer/publisher gets explained here through the use of character profiles and fun facts about the games they each starred in.
5. The History of Sonic the Hedgehog
Sega’s well-known Blue Blur has experienced some epic highs and some shocking lows. Sonic the Hedgehog has had a great run over his lifetime and this book takes a look at this platforming hero’s origins. There’s a ton of rare photos and trivia behind Sonic within this awesome book. It’s interesting to note how this book tackles the more disappointing parts of Sonic’s history. The tale of Sonic’s beginnings and current run are covered in great detail here.
6. The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia
Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda history has been pretty hard to nail down, even by the most ardent fans of the series. This huge book makes that confusing timeline just a wee bit easier to delve through. The incredible art displayed on each page makes this one of the more engrossing books for fans of Nintendo’s adventure series. The never-before-seen concept art illustrations and exclusive comic book included with this book make Hyrule Historia a must buy.
7. Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture
John Carmack and John Romero impacted the world of gaming in a major way. Their names are associated with two of the most important PC shooters of all time – Doom and Quake. But behind the smashing success that both games granted both men, tales of betrayal were present that broke up the powerful union between them. This book gives everyone a closer look into everything that went into and results from id Software’s shooters.
8. Replay: The History of Video Games
Replay is a wonderful look back at the early stages of gaming and how it impacted the very medium we enjoy today. Over 140 exclusive interviews with gaming’s movers and shakers were specifically conducted for this history piece. This book covers gaming’s earliest origins and gives today’s younger gamers a look at how their favorite hobby became a super profitable business.
9. Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life
Japanese video games have shaped the very fabric of the game we play in the States and beyond. Huge video game publishers such as Nintendo, Sega, Square Enix, Capcom and more have a complete stronghold over the video game market over in Japan. This book peeks into the history of the entertainment medium in Japan, the overall uniqueness of Japanese video games and the work that goes into brining those games over to farther shores.
10. The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon–The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
This timeline-centric book offers up a look into gaming’s earliest start and most important moments. Some of the craziest moments in gaming that this book covers is the very game that saved Nintendo from extinction, Atari’s epic fall from grace, the rise and fall of Sega, the tales behind Pac-Man’s art design and so much more. This entry is a strong book recommendation that is great for those wanting some more backstory behind their favorite games.