It’s the year of Classic. It’s the 15th anniversay of World of Warcraft, and the 25th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise. It’s a lot to celebrate if you are one of those people who can still find enjoyment in the game(s). But it’s also expansion revelation year. And this makes Blizz Con 2019 for me better than Christmas. Because let’s be honest here. You can hate the game all you like. You can spew your deconstructive criticism all over the board. But the quality of the expansion trailer (and the ingame cinematics, since Terran Gregory’s team is rising the bar quite high recently) is and never was in question. They are amazing and watching them for the first time is like actually catching Santa sliding down the chimney, ruining the living room, the mild, cookies, tree and everything else with all the ashes. Okay, maybe it’s not quite the same, but you get my meaning.
So let’s look at how I rate the cinematics. But a little disclaimer first: I do not claim that my rating is the only one that matters. You probably like other ones for other reasons and that is perfectly fine. This list is also NOT a rating of the expansions. That list would look quite different. It’s really just the cinematics. So don’t read something into it that’s not there.
The Cata cinematic just didn’t do it for me.
This may be rated higher by a lot of you depending on when and from where you came to World of Warcraft. Me? I arrived in early BC with no knowledge of the Warcraft universe whatsoever.
6. Warlords of Draenor
If it weren’t for Guldan’s performance and the overall badassnes of the WoD trailer, it would have landed on the last spot only because of “Garrosh? Seriously? Again?” I’m not sure how often I defeated him on several alts and I was just so sick of him.
5. Burning Crusade
That this trailer starts with Liam O’Brien’s voice should’ve gotten it a higher spot, but… sorting the World of Warcraft cinematics isn’t easy, okay. I’m sorry.
4. Mists of Pandaria
Yes, Pandas. I love pandas. I love their culture, their philosophies, and have you seen the male sleeping emote? I’ve heard people talk about how those slapstick moments ruined the trailer. For me, they really made it special.
3. Battle for Azeroth
Now we’re getting emotional. Okay, I am getting emotional. My heart belongs to the blood elves. This trailer ruined a hope. A hope I’m getting to in a bit. And BfA might have many problems (or not so many, depending on who you ask), but the trailer and all the cinematics that we saw since release ain’t one of them.
This trailer gave me hope. Hope that peace could be possible among the races of Azeroth. If Varian and Sylvanas could work together, we could as well. And we did. For two years we defeated the Legion, side by side. As shield brothers and sisters, not as enemies. At this point we all know what happened then. The War of Thorns.
1. Wrath of the Lich King
Do I really have to say something? The synergy of the words, spoken by Terenas Menethil to his son, Arthas. The hopes he had for his son. The son who killed him. The son who became what he hated the most. It is as tragic as it is beautiful.
“Father! Is it… over?”
“At long last. No king rules forever, my son.”
“I see… only darkness… before… me.”
Honorary mention: Wrathgate
It is not a trailer, but I think it is to this date, even with all the amazing things we’ve seen during the last year, still one of the best, if not the best ingame cinematic.
“Did you think we had forgotten? Did you think we had forgiven?”