My top 5 favourite video game interfaces

Here is a quick roundup of the gaming interfaces which have influenced me the most. These are just a few of the interfaces I love, but they sadly can’t all make the cut.

1. Assassin’s Creed 1


This is the game that made me want to be an interface designer. It took the graphic design sensibilities of movie interfaces and channeled them straight into a game. A richly animated interface which combines diegetic in world interface with traditional on screen elements, it blew me away with its sleek and mature design sensibilities. Since then Ubisoft Montreal have been trailblazers of innovative and “cool” interface design.

2. The Sims 4 Build Mode


What I admire the most about all of the Sims interfaces is their ability to let the user see masses of information and build with hundreds of objects, without it seeming overwhelming. While the interfaces of the earlier Sims games have dated pretty badly in terms of style, The Sims 4 takes those years of experience and has perfected the building interface, pairing it with a sleek modern look. The clickable interface of an illustrated house is possibly my favourite interface ever.

3. Little Big Planet Popit


The Media Molecule team pulled off what often seems impossible – they managed to make a fun interface. The Popit which comes from your character and lets you customise it (and more) is always well placed and interesting to look at. Yes you are essentially going through a lot of menus, but good categorisation and presentation make this a joy to use. It’s an extremely elegant solution to presenting the interfaces relating to more than one user, which might be triggered at different times.

4. Destiny


Destiny changed video game interaction forever by succeeding in creating a cursor which feels good on a gamepad. It’s a relatively new interface which is already massively influential. I was lucky enough to see David Candland talking about this interface at GDC earlier this year, and it was obvious that a massive amount of care and investment had been taken to get the cursor mechanism working properly.

5. Fallout 3 Pip Boy


For me, this is just one of the most iconic interfaces ever. Taking the heritage of the previous Fallout games and perfectly capturing it in the chunky, retro Pip Boy. This might not be the most usable interface here, with a lot of tapping up and down through various axis of menus, but it gives you all the info you need and fits perfectly with the game. This interface is just so memorable I had to include it.

Which interfaces are important to you? Tweet me @lemclennan!

2 thoughts on “My top 5 favourite video game interfaces

    1. JRPG’s have a very distinct style, so it’s a bit harder to analyse FF15. I will say that they have made some great steps forward since something like FF13-2 which was an excess of gradients and angles in a confusing layout. For me the FF15 UI looks alright, but it’s not blowing me away. I haven’t played it so can’t comment on the functionality I’m afraid!


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