Ah, case mods. They've been around for yonks: ever since a schoolboy doodled crude anatomical representations onto his ZX Spectrum with a biro, and they've (thankfully) only got more sophisticated since. People tend to see their consoles as an extension of themselves, taking pride in keeping them fairly well-maintained, but these guys and girls take it to a whole other level. So we don't get overtaken by the number of consoles on display, we're going to focus on the PlayStation in this article. Ever since it battered two long-standing gaming behemoths back in the 90s, it's been many people's first choice when it comes to systems.
There is, of course, a dark side to case modding. This could arise from any number of issues: poor aesthetic judgement, a lack of skills, or a myriad of other factors. The problem with these mods is that, by and large, they leave the console working, but in an undignified state. While researching this list, I came across some carefully applied console skins that would blow the socks off any website that doesn't exclusively cater to adults.
In any case, in this article, we're going to look at the very best and very worst case mods going. If you want to see beauty as well as embarrassing ugliness, then keep reading, and let us know what you think of them!
30 Dope: This Awesome Crash Bandicoot PlayStation
Modders don't come much more skilled than the Belgian genius behind this PSX mod, Vadu Amka. Based upon the 'Jungle Rollers' level from the original Crash Bandicoot, this mod is a loving homage to a franchise that was once a keystone in the PlayStation's catalog. In addition to the huge, unmissable face of Crash himself on the disc tray, the mod also features countless other references to the level. These include carvings, bright and beautiful colors, and a TNT crate, this mod took serious work, but it was all worth it.
29 Lame: A Wood-Effect Monstrosity
I've never quite understood the urge that some modders have to make their consoles look like a part from a Jaguar dashboard. Back when faceplates were still a thing on the 360, I remember being frankly baffled by one that was woodgrain, but if you thought that was bad, then, oh boy. This wrap gives your PS4 (and, for bonus ugliness, your controller), a finish that more resembles the deck of a yacht. I really am confused as to who this is for -- surely it doesn't sell well, right?
28 Dope: If Umbrella Made PS4s
Have you ever wanted to experience the horror of Resident Evil 7 in the most authentic way possible? Ever wanted to glance lovingly at the Umbrella logo while trying to hide from your unkillable foe? No? Well, me neither, until I saw this console. Made by console modder eXtreme, this is a true work of art. Not only does it feature the Umbrella logo and a zombie looming at you, but a vial of what I can only assume is the T-virus along one side. Fabulous work!
27 Lame: When Steampunk Goes Bad
I've never been a massive fan of the steampunk aesthetic, but I will admit that it can be pulled off well. Sometimes you end up with these great brass machines and whatnot that really are stunning. This is not one of those. If you want your PS4 to resemble less something from BioShock and more something made by Wallace and Gromit, then please, by all means, purchase yourself this skin. The controllers and consoles feature flat-looking dials, buttons, and a spool of copper wire, executed with no artistry whatsoever.
26 Dope: A PS4 By Vault-Tec
I think that if you were attempting to make a Fallout-themed PS4, it would be very easy to follow the lazy, well-worn path. There'd be a man in power armor on the top of it, a half-hearted radiation symbol on it, and that would be it. This mod takes no such half-measures. Finished in blue and yellow, the colors of Vault-Tec, this PS4 apparently came from Vault 101 according to its numbering, and features Vault-Tec branding above and below the console's PS4 logo. Even the vents at the back are finished in yellow!
25 For When You Want To Promote An Energy Drink On A PS4
This one actually really makes me angry. Are people really that much of a follower to branding about energy drinks? Do people buy this one, hoping to display their dominance over their Monster/Red Bull/Relentless drinking friends? Is there really somebody out there who is so proud to drink Rockstar Energy that they are going to desecrate a perfectly good-looking console like the PS4 with this garish skin? It gives you wraps for two controllers, as part of the package. I'm not sure why, you won't have any friends after this.
24 Dope: The Best Joker PS4
Few comics come close to Alan Moore's "The Killing Joke" for pure gravitas. It gave The Joker a tragic backstory, and also produced a few deeply memorable panels, thanks to Moore's writing and Brian Bolland's incredible illustrations. I'm very surprised that there aren't more of these mods knocking about. This is the only one I've seen, and it's a cracker. The main focus of this mod is the panel where The Joker laughs maniacally after dealing with the industrial accident that finally turned him insane, along with the comic's cover. It all fits superbly on the PS4's body, and looks stunning.
23 Lame: A Marble-Effect PS4
If you thought I was done with this pretentious faffery with the wood-effect PS4, you were wrong! I think this one may actually have it beat in the ugliness stakes. It looks as though it's been roughly hewn from a kitchen counter. This is not the marble that was used in the statues of the Renaissance, this is the faux-marble that bedecks every home under the sun. It works fine there, but on a games console? Really? It looks so bad, and nobody can tell me otherwise. If anyone has ever bought one of these, I feel sorry for them.
22 Dope: A PS3 Fit For Raiden
I think that we can all agree that Raiden is an incredible hero in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. He makes Big Boss look like a weakling, and that's a heck of an achievement. This PS3 is inspired by Rising's aesthetics, and it came out beautifully. Not only does this mod feature some incredible bodywork laid over the PS3's center, but it also boasts not one, but two, light mods. Towards the back of the console, there's a faint red glow, while at the front, there is the Metal Gear Rising logo illuminated in electric blue.
21 Lame: The Console Equivalent Of A Goth's Necklace
I don't know if you grew up reading the same sorts of magazines as me, but occasionally in the back of them, you'd find adverts for Gothic jewelry. Those ugly designs are what this PS4 reminds me of. Either that or the World War I level from the (very gothic) The Darkness. There are red slash marks all over the place, but the centerpiece is a truly ugly skull with crossed M16s behind it and rocking a Vietnam-era helmet. I don't know what this case is meant to represent, in all honesty, but I do know it looks terrible.
20 Dope: This Awesome Red Dead Redemption 2 PS4
Been enjoying Red Dead Redemption 2? I bet you have, but I'm also willing to bet that your commitment to the game isn't quite as high as Drumblanket's. Don't worry, mine isn't either, but look at the beautiful memorial he's made to RDR2. It's an incredibly intricate case mod, boasting a transparent window allowing the player a glimpse of the PS4's innards. On the reverse side, there's a fantastic printing of the RDR2 cover art. To complete the look, the whole thing has been finished in red. It's stunning, quite frankly.
19 Lame: The Ugly Side Of The Crash Bandicoot PS1 Family
Earlier, we showed you an amazing Crash Bandicoot-inspired PS1. Now, we've got one that is on the entire other end of the spectrum. It's clearly inspired by the same level as the other, but good lord is it uglier. Sure, it's got the same TNT crate, but that is about where the similarity ends. It's annoying too, because the person who made it obviously has talent, with various elements of the mod being very nicely drawn, but then the bizarre style of Crash himself lets it down. Where are his eyes? What's wrong with his hair? Why's he covered in spots?
18 Dope: Wanna Make Your PS4 Pro Look Like An Old Book?
Based on the premise alone, I feel like I should hate this skin, but it actually works really well. In the middle of this old, forgotten tome, there's a Mayan-esque skull that looks gorgeous, and can also be found on the controllers. The color palette is nice, a muted brown that's complemented by the brass and blue of the key, as well as the soft reds of the key's ribbon. It looks anything but flat, which I think is one of the reasons it works.
17 Lame: Leopard Print, Meet PS4
I thought we'd seen the last of leopard print, I really did. It came back as kitsch a few years back, then fell out of fashion again. Surely, this skin must be knowingly gaudy. No one can be looking at this and thinking that it represents a beautiful style for their games console, can they? That would be as absurd as choosing an elephant as your commuter vehicle of choice. It's hilariously ugly: if you look at it for too long, I'm pretty sure it will take your eyeballs out, so be careful.
16 Dope: A PS4 Pro With Classic Looks
No bones can be made about it, the PS1 was a classic design in gaming history. Sure, it may not be spellbindingly colorful, but its simple design and pleasingly neat edges secured it a place in our collective consciousness for years to come. If you want the latest tech, but with the same looks as your first PlayStation, feast your eyes on this. Made to order by Colorware, these cost $899, but still manage to sell out every so often. If you want to have an extra-special PS4, get yourself one of these.
15 Lame: This FFVII-Inspired PS1
What's lame about this? It's true that it isn't as egregious as the other entries on this list. The decal is applied nicely enough, but as far as I can tell, that's all that has really been done to it. Yes, it's an iconic picture of Cloud, and the console and controllers look shiny, but so what? Like, I'm not getting up in the creator's grill, because that would be mean, but it feels very half-baked to me. They may as well have just applied a sticker to their PS1 and left it at that.
14 Dope: This Incredible Star Wars: Battlefront PS4
I will freely admit that I'm biased here. I love Battlefront, or rather, I love the old Battlefronts, making this wrap, utilizing the iconic cover art, a brilliant love letter to an oft-forgotten classic. I think what I like most about this skin is that it's been designed and applied so neatly, it looks, frankly, as if it could have been an OEM option by Sony. The colors of the lightsabers, and the contrasting colors of the costumes make this PS4 stand out from the pack.
13 Lame: Feel The Edge On This Gory PS1
This might be an amateur effort and all, but holy lord, is this an ugly PlayStation. According to the person behind it, they were going for a Russian/horror/military vibe, by which, I guess, they mean a STALKER-ish vibe. It's not got that going for it though, has it? It's got a horrific paintjob only in the sense of how poorly it's been applied. The red has been applied too neatly for what I assume is meant to be blood, while the dirt all over it just makes it look like it's been sat in a basement for years.
12 Dope: A Crystal PS1
What happened to that trend of making electronics see-through? My original Xbox was a crystal model, and a bunch of my childhood friends had transparent Game Boy Advances. Then that whole idea just disappeared. It's a shame, because those consoles looked incredible. This PS1 has gone back to this trend with an almost mad vigor. The old plastic panels have been replaced with clear ones, with the only things blocking the transparency being the PlayStation logo and two words: "Power" and "Open."
11 Lame: A Terminator PS4 That Should Be Terminated
Apparently, that is not a Terminator on this wrap, presumably because they couldn't get the license. Let's be real though, it definitely is one, and oh my lord does that design not work in any way. Blood and sparks bedeck it like a black metal music video, and, as if the cringy design on the console wasn't enough, the controllers get utterly short-changed. One controller gets the Terminator, sorry, robot's head, while player 2 gets an anonymous bit of sky and some scrap metal. Who designed this damn thing?
10 Dope: A PS1 Modded To Midgar And Back
If you like Final Fantasy VII but want a PS1 that's been modded in more ways than simply having a sticker applied, cast your eyes over this one. A one-of-a-kind PlayStation mod that's been given a stone texture and then fitted with a 3D model of Midgar, capital of the Shinra Electric Power Company. It's a legendary city, with the shot of it from above being one of the most famous in gaming history. Fully-working, drop-dead gorgeous, and meticulously modded, this is truly amazing.
9 Lame: A Pandering And Ugly Mod
Okay, so this entry is more about a systemic problem than a specific design, but this one illustrates it perfectly. There are countless case mods and wraps that feature women in languid poses that take a perfectly good console and make it embarrassing. Moreover, just look at how badly designed this wrap is. There's a big black spot in the middle of her forehead. The image is badly stretched, and when it's rendered on the controllers, it's even worse.
8 Dope: A Ps1 For The True Spyro Fans
Cast your minds back to the beginning of this article, where we featured an embarrassingly drawn Crash PS1. If you were more of a Spyro fan, then take a look at this beautifully rendered PS1. Spyro is front and center, with a host of other characters around him. The system's buttons have been painted purple and then finished in yellow, while the controller features a small portrait of Spyro in its center. Gorgeous work by a talented artist, and a great tribute to Spyro.
7 Lame: This Dragon Ball-Z PS1
Sure, it may not be a sticker, but this hand-drawn Dragon Ball PlayStation just seems a bit boring. It obviously took inspiration from the pictured game case, but I quite firmly believe this console sits on the line separating inspiration and plagiarism. If you are deranged enough to love any of the Dragon Ball-Z PS1 games to that extent, one should not be surprised that you aren't smart enough to come up with a custom design. Just derivative, badly rendered rubbish.
6 Dope: Dark Souls III: Custom PS4 Edition
Another incredible bit of work by Vadu Amka, so much work went into this beautiful console. The disc cover is made from waxed rosewood, while the lettering has been made from copper, then hammered to create a worn effect. The lower part of the console is made from hammered, brushed aluminum. If you want to see what a truly beautiful console is, then drink this in. It's truly stunning, requiring a great deal of different skills to bring to completion.
5 Lame: This Early 1TB PS4
Back in the day, the only 1TB PS4 you could get was this monstrosity. Themed around Call of Duty: Black Ops III, drink this lame thing in. It looks like it was made by Fisher-Price. The bright orange piping and stencils, the orange thumbsticks against a gray background, and then the big old bit of Black Ops branding at the front. It looks really, really terrible. I'm so pleased that you can just buy any old PS4 Pro off the shelf these days and get a terabyte of storage.
4 Dope: This Borderlands PS3
Built by the same guy behind the awesome Metal Gear Rising console earlier, this is the absolute best way to play Borderlands. If you want to gaze lovingly at the game's awesome cover art while playing, this PS3 is what you need. It's rendered fantastically, not just looking like a flat sticker, but more like a sculpted addition to the PS3's body. The lettering stands out boldly, and it's just fantastic to look at. It almost makes up for all the dreck we've had to look at.
3 Lame: Superman PS4
Right, please tell me the last time that Superman was relevant. Sure, we've had a few films with him in recent years, but Batman is the DC hero de jour, and even then, he can't compete with Marvel's domination. If, for some reason, you are a huge fan of the Man of Steel, may I suggest that you look elsewhere for your Superman fix? The logo is there, of course, but the background is made of comic panels, that are barely visible due to its somewhat lurid cyan color. Just poorly planned out.
2 Dope: Like Games? Like Game Of Thrones? Then You'll Love This
If you love Game of Thrones, which you should, if you have a functioning mind, then you're going to love this skin for the PS4. The console's skin is tastefully done, featuring the continent of Westeros, overlaid with the sigil of House Stark. On the wolf, you'll see the Stark motto, and then there's a bit of branding under the disc tray. The controllers are nicely done too, featuring just the Game of Thrones logo on one, and the wolf/Westeros combo on the other.
1 Lame: Corporate Fashion, The Nike PS4
I've got nothing against Nikes. They're perfectly good sneakers, but really? Do you really love Nike enough that you want to decorate your PS4 with their logo? I will grant you, it may look very slightly better than the Rockstar one we showed earlier, but it's not exactly a looker, is it? It bothers me because you're basically turning your PlayStation into an advert. Not only are you bombarded with adverts everywhere you go, but these people then go and install them in their lounges too. Baffling.