It is pretty easy to understand why people get tattoos based on video games. They say that tattoos should be meaningful to the individual and many out there have had their lives impacted in some way or another by gaming. This makes video games and tattoos seemingly a match made in heaven.
Alternatively, you could get a tattoo that ends up looking like one of these, and you are stuck in tattoo/video game hell for the rest of your life.
Bad tattoos come in many different forms. There are some that are good ideas, they just have poor execution. There are others that are just bad ideas from the start, and the whole concept should have been shot down by any serious tattoo artist within minutes of a conversation starting.
These tattoos are a mixture of both of those tropes. They are tattoos that you will not believe anyone with their head in the real world would have realistically considered etching on their skin forever. There is no going back from these tattoos.
There is no coming back from these tattoos. Keep this list as a reminder of how terrible some tattoos turn out. You know, for that morning when you wake up and decide that a chest piece of Spyro lighting up Crash Bandicoot while Kirby watches on sounds like a good idea.
They also say that you should wait for a year after coming up with a tattoo concept to make sure it is something you really want. It is hard to imagine most of these designs being considered for more than 15 minutes before they were inked on FOR LIFE.
15 Game Over
Having the words 'Game Over' on any part of the body is a little depressing and plenty morbid, but having those words written across the neck takes that symbolism to the next level.
Alternatively, does the tat mean that my game is over?
If this is the case, then the tattoo becomes offensive and a little bit violent. If so then the hope is that the inked individual only knows attack moves based on the Mario franchise. Keep your eyes open for fire flowers and raccoon tails in the vicinity.
Sidenote: Why Mario & Luigi (alive) next to "Game Over" — there is very little here that makes a whole lot of sense.
14 Atari Burn
In simple terms, this looks like the most painful tattoo in the history of the art. It is like this guy walked into the tattoo parlor and asked for an Atari symbol to be etched into his skin. Ink, though, is not enough to profess the amount of love that he has for the once great manufacturer. Instead, he wants his Atari piece to be branded into his epidermis using acid. Strong freaking acid. The goal: to make it look like his skin has been peeled back to reveal the flesh that is underneath and then that has been left as the tattoo. Or maybe so he could say he had tattoo work done by the Hulk.
None of this is good.
Then you have to consider the subject matter. This person does not look old enough to have an undying love for Atari. Yet here it is for the world to see. The only Atari acid tattoo on the planet.
13 Creepy Sonic
There was a time when Sonic the Hedgehog was considered Mario's equal. This was, of course, way back in the day when 8 and 16-bit consoles were all the rage. Ever since then it has been a downward spiral for everyone's favorite blue critter. Game after game in the venerable series has failed to recapture the magic of the early season's entries.
Nothing though could prepare Sonic for this.
In what might be the worst tattoo in the history of chest pieces, we have this bizarre Sonic outline that looks like it was drawn be a six-year-old who is heavily into anime. Nothing about this tattoo looks cool or edgy, while the choice of photo to display the piece is equally mystifying.
Also, the angle of the tattoo and the guys head in the picture are too similar. If you compare them for too long, it will start to creep you out.
12 Zombie Yoshi
I get what the owner of this tattoo is going for. The problem is that there just seems to be no need for it.
Yoshi is a cool enough character in his own right. He is a freaking dinosaur, and that automatically makes him one of the best characters in the Mario universe. With that being said there is just no need to make him a zombie. It doesn't fit the personality, it doesn't make sense in canon, and the whole concept of this is just off. Can dinosaurs even become zombies anyway? Is this a thing? If so, then it is mildly terrifying.
Now a Peach zombie, on the other hand, that is something I could get behind given some of the creepy castles she is imprisoned in on a seemingly routine basis.
11 Duck Hunt Chest
This is another entry that you wouldn't believe existed until you saw it. Who even likes Duck Hunt this much?
If you were asked to name a video game that no one had a tattoo of, you very well might guess Duck Hunt. It would certainly be high on your list of guesses, anyway. I suppose any crossover video game/hunting fans might consider it, but surely no one would go through with getting a pixelated light gun game ink on their body.
This tattoo also has issues of its own. These two ducks are quite obviously about to collide. Symmetry is obviously good when it comes to tats, but the concept of motion and an explosion duck feathers should have made this look a little different.
Also, where is the dog. We need the dog. His laughing would actually make this just about perfect. I never really understood why the dog felt the need to laugh at the duck genocide, but when it comes to two mallards cracking skulls at full speed, it would finally make sense.
10 XBOX Live
Prison tattoos on the fingers are super cool, right?
If you want proof of this, look no further than this prison style XBOX Live tattoo right here. Nothing that can be classed as "prison style" should ever be anything someone wants to proclaim. So why go ahead and get the knuckles inked with this bad boy?
The best part of this though may be the actual subject matter. Not content with just getting an Xbox tattoo, this is an ode to the company's online platform itself. Being an Xbox fanboy is one thing, but being a fanboy of what is essentially a collection of servers in a warehouse somewhere is something else entirely.
A simple solution to this would have been to go with Xbox Life instead of Xbox Live. That at least suggests that it is the company you are all about instead of a service with more bugs than your average Florida swamp.
9 Video Game Sleeve
Unlike the other tattoos on this list, the artwork here is not the problem. It is pretty obvious that most of the design choices on this sleeve have been well researched and the quality of the work is (generally) very good. The issue is just that there is too damn much going on to make this tattoo work.
The art is also just too varied. As an ode to video gaming, it is actually pretty good. The contrasting aesthetics doesn't work at all. They simply shouldn't belong on the same body, let alone be next to each other as part of a sleeve.
The biggest single offender here though is the Space Invader. The coloring of it, the amount of space it takes up (the scale is all wrong) and just the way that your eyes are drawn to it despite it being by far the least impressive part of the whole sleeve. This just accentuates that this is a tattoo with great intentions that fails because of the amount of visual information it is trying to convey.
8 Excite Bike
This is another nonsensical tattoo. Excitebike isn't even a good game! It certainly isn't memorable enough to make part of your life forever by inking it on your back.
The sheer scale of this tattoo is frightening. Maybe if it were on a forearm or a calf, this would be ok. This is crucial since there are ways to hide those places on the body when you wake up and realize that you don't even like Excitebike anymore. This tattoo though takes up almost half of the perpetrators back!
If you like motocross, then go and get a sweet tattoo that relates to that. If you like video games then find a game that has a story, a meaning, something that you will hold dear forever.
Never combine the two and decide that an Excitebike tat seems like it's a good idea. Also never pull a muscle pose like this one if your upper body looks like that of the Excite Bike rider. It's never going to be a good look.
The moral of this tattoo is that if you are going to get something put on your arm you should probably double and triple check to make sure it is correct before proceeding.
The tattoo here claims that down, forward, down-forward + punch = Shoryuken.
The reality is that forward, down, down-forward + punch = Shoryuken.
In layman's terms, if you repeat the button commands on the tattoo absolutely nothing will happen when playing Street Fighter.
This is the equivalent of performing the Konami code backward or inking the infamous 'No Ragrets" tattoo on your body. Some have said this image is fake, but it certainly looks like the blood vessels are healing in this photo suggesting that it is the real deal.
I think I speak for us all when I say that I really hope that its out there somewhere.
6 God Of War
It seems like it would be hard to mess up a God of War tattoo.
Kratos is a killer character. The God of War series is known for being visually stunning, while simultaneously tapping into history and mythology in a way that few others have managed. It is the definition of a no-brainer.
Unless your tattoo artist has no brain.
That is the only way to fathom what has happened here as the mighty Kratos looks like the version of Kratos that you would find in the toy aisle of your local Dollar Store. He would be attached to a piece of cardboard, surrounded by thin plastic, and be labeled as Craytos Diety of Conflict. Because, licensing.
This version of Kratos has no abs. he has no scars. He has no power. He does, however, have the face of a complete Gomer and look about him that suggests he would die on the first level of every God of War game within 10 seconds.
5 Child Killer
So this one is a little awkward.
It turns out that this crazy (and disgusting) tattoo is actually based on real life concept art from Fallout 2. One of the statuses in that game was "Childkiller" a status that was given even if you killed the child accidentally. Moreover, it was sometimes hard to tell what characters the game classed as children, muddying the water even further. The whole status was scraped for Fallout 3, and the ability to kill children was simply removed from the game.
With all that being said it is pretty hard to understand why anyone would want this art on their body. It is not even like the image is subtle, right down to the classy maternity gown being worn by the expectant mother in question. As violent and random as Vault Boy can be, this seems like a stretch even for him.
This is not a guy that a girl will ever want to introduce to her parents.
This has to be a home tattoo job. There is no way any self-respecting tattoo artist would ever draw something so flat and cheap looking on someone's body. Also, there is no way that this dude could possibly pay more than $5 for one of the worst video game related tattoos you will ever see.
Yes, it's a Gameboy. The question is, why?
Sure, the Gameboy was a neat piece of kit back in the 1990s, but this tattoo looks to be way more recent than that. Were there that many great games for the handheld console that someone was crying out to get a tattoo to pay homage to Extreme Sports with the Berenstain Bears or The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 2?
The counter argument is that there were classic games like Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon (to name a few) on the console. This true and understandable, so go and get a killer tattoo featuring those characters! You can get it done quite easily (there are plenty of such tattoos out there.)
Getting a tattoo of the Gameboy itself is the equivalent of loving The Lord of the Rings movies so much that you ink an HDTV onto your arm.
3 Mario Feet
It feels like the base of one's feet might not be the smartest place in the world to get a tattoo. It would have to hurt like hell, you would somehow have to avoid walking for the next few days, and then no one would realistically ever get to see the tattoo anyway. The whole this is a waste of time, effort, and money.
Clearly, no one informed the owner of this tattoo of any of those facts as Mario and Luigi are proudly displayed on the soles of their feet. Well, Luigi is at least. He looks as normal as Luigi could ever be expected to look. Mario, on the other hand, seems to be suffering from being drawn way too short. It is because the tattoo gives the lead plumber no torso for some reason, he is all legs and head.
Another side effect of this is that though the brothers are in the same pose, they portray different impressions. Luigi has his fists up and looks ready for a fight, while Mario has his stubby arms outstretched and looks like a zombie.
Hey, maybe he needs to head back up this list and hang with Zombie Yoshi...
2 Finish Him
Go big or go home. Or do both, especially when you have this giant back piece that is an ode to everyone's favorite psycho brawler Mortal Kombat.
It feels like the 'Finish Him' is too big here and the characters are too small. Also, it kinda looks like Scorpion and Sub-Zero are actually dancing rather than fighting, something I am sure the tattoo's owner did not request when he paid for the piece. Just look at those intertwined legs!
This is another of those tattoos where the idea of permanency is just terrifying. This humongous back piece is going to be there forever. That blood red is going to show through any shirt, so even job choices will be affected by Midway's classic.
It would look awesome on the back of an MMA fighter though.
1 Nintendo Before Hoes
Here we have the very definition of a life choice. What girl wouldn't want to date a guy proudly declaring his love for all things Nintendo in her face at all times?
The concept of bros before hoes is fine (if a little without tact). Guys sticking together and hanging out can be important in life, building friendships and bonding. Part of that bonding can (and should!) include video games. They add to the experience. When you are cutting out the fairer sex to declare your love for Nintendo, however, things become a little over the top.
The other problem here is that the tattoo doesn't really even work with the bros before hoes rhyming pattern. It is that pattern that makes the whole thing work. "Nintendo before hoes" doesn't even rhyme and that is a fail.
It is hard to tell exactly where this tattoo is located. With any luck it is somewhere utterly obnoxious that adds to the feeling of sadness that the tattoo evokes. This dude better really love his Nintendo, because they are going to be in a monogamous relationship for a while.