[Top 10] Best Overwatch 2 Cinematics

best films, best animated shorts, best Overwatch 2
An up-close of D.Va from Shooting Stars

Why Do Cinematics Matter?

With a new cinematic on the way, it’s time to review the old ones and see which ones are the best today. The Overwatch cinematics are animated shorts that delve into the world of the Overwatch universe. These cinematics range from plot-driven to character-driven, but a common theme is that they always add a new layer to the lore.


10. Hero

Hero follows Soldier 76 as he rescues a young girl, and it’s a fun cinematic with lots of action and incredible visuals. If you want to watch a cinematic that’s colorful, this is the one for you. There are glowing masks and explosions, different weapons, and blaster fire. There’s no shortage of colors and visuals here, making it one of the most visually impressive cinematics of the bunch.

When it comes to the story, the plotline is simple but not boring. The action and intriguing design of Soldier 76 keep the viewer hooked. Although the kid is a bit annoying, at least the focus is on Soldier 76 instead of her.

My one critique of this cinematic is that there was an opportunity to take Soldier’s character a bit further by exploring more of Dorado. Instead, they stick to a contained area and don’t explore too much. Of course, there’s only so much they can do in a limited amount of time, but an extra minute would have greatly benefited the story.

Either way, that’s just my opinion. Hero is still an incredible short film with well-made action, aesthetic visuals, and interesting characters.


9. Shooting Star

Shooting Star is another cinematic that impresses with its visuals. Although it doesn’t do much to extend the lore of the Overwatch world, it does much-needed character building for D.Va, or Hana Song. The visuals alone make this piece an amazing experience. The gorgeous design of Busan with the flickering lights and bright pink mech is jaw-dropping. Every scene pulls you in, and the plot is simple but teaches a valuable lesson.

D.Va is one of my favorite characters to play in Overwatch, and seeing her get a cinematic was refreshing. D.Va desperately needed more character. In-game, most of the heroes get their backstories alluded to, such as Widowmaker, Sigma, Mercy, Reaper, Soldier, and the list goes on. With D.Va, her voice lines tend to be more fun and arrogant.

With Shooting Star, we see a new side of D.Va we haven’t seen before. A common critique of this cinematic is that it doesn't add much to the world, but I have to disagree. The MEKA program is alluded to many times in Overwatch media, but we haven’t seen it fleshed out like this before. Shooting Star shows us a behind-the-scenes look at what’s happening in Busan, sets up the new map, shows us D.Va’s role in the conflict, and shows a new type of omnic variant.

Shooting Star is a great cinematic that stands on its own two feet. It has aesthetic visuals, a strong leading character, an important message, and a unique antagonist.


8. Rise And Shine

This one’s straight-up sad. I know we all hate Mei and find her to be an unbearable character in-game, but her backstory is incredibly tragic, yet throughout it all, she never gives up. If that’s not teaching a valuable lesson, I don’t know what will. Although it’s one of the more contained Overwatch cinematics, it doesn’t lack the storytelling needed to make it compelling. It doesn’t need to be a big battle like the others to make it interesting.

Mei can be annoying to listen to, but in this animated short, she becomes a lot more bearable. She has a more contained personality; she’s a hard worker determined to help others. It’s a noble cause that’s refreshing in a world where there is a lot of death and destruction. Even the heroes can be morally gray, so having Mei be a representation of the light is a great idea.

Not only that, but having her struggle and fail shows she isn’t overpowered or a Mary Sue. She works hard for her accomplishments and makes the best of bad situations. All of this is on display during her cinematic, which gives a great insight into her character.

Still, it doesn’t change that I hate her in-game.


7. Reunion

Reunion is a fun short full of action that fleshes out the backstory between Cassidy and Ashe. It’s a very simple but fun cinematic that does its job. It provides fun, smooth animation. The pie at the beginning of the cinematic is so well animated that it generated a meme within the Overwatch community. Beyond that, it introduces Echo and allows us to see a new character in animated form.

In all seriousness, that pie looks delicious. I’d argue that pie is the best part of the entire short, and it’s right at the beginning. Out of all the animated feats we’ve accomplished over the years, nothing beats the realistic pie Cassidy left behind to go stop some crime.

Overall, Reunion is another fun entry into the Overwatch universe. It sets up Ashe and gives her and Cassidy a unique bond that builds on the characters in the game. The added context gives us an insight into what we can expect in the future from their interactions. Oh, and BOB is in it. You can’t get any better than that.


6. Alive

Alive is an incredible piece that is one of my top three favorites. However, it’s a little lower because I believe the top five have better worldbuilding and character work. But when it comes to fun and interesting concepts, Alive takes the cake. It has an engaging plot that ends in a unique way that I wasn’t expecting when I first watched it.

Widowmaker is in it, which immediately makes it a 10/10. Her animation is smooth and elegant, making her a force to be reckoned with and fitting her character well. Tracer is there as well, and although I find Tracer annoying, she was solid in this cinematic. She does her job and poses a threat to Widowmaker, who is the villain in this scenario.

Without spoiling anything, the ending is unexpected and clever. Widowmaker is an intriguing antagonist, and seeing Widow and Tracer fight adds a layer to the world we haven’t seen before. There is a lot of worldbuilding here, which makes it one of the most engaging cinematics so far.


5. Recall

Recall is another classic that gives you nostalgia for the first game. When it comes to lore, Recall does an incredible job establishing the different parts of the world Overwatch exists in. It shows Winston and Athena after Overwatch is gone while also going into flashbacks of Winston’s childhood.

This cinematic features subtle details to show Winston’s character. For example, a whole pile of peanut butter jar lids. This small detail shows how long Winston has been stuck in this life and how it feels like a cycle for him. It’s the same thing over and over again, which gives Winston solid motivation to initiate an Overwatch recall.

Oh, and how could I forget? We get to see an adorable baby Winston going around the lunar base. This not only sets up one of the future maps in Overwatch but also one of the future characters, Wrecking Ball (or Hammond).

Overall, Recall is one of the best cinematics with deep worldbuilding, subtle character work, and amazing voice acting.


4. The Last Bastion

It’s difficult to put this at four instead of in the top three, but I’d say it’s tied for third place. The Last Bastion uncovers Bastion’s backstory in a way that’s subtle and refreshing. It’s one of the calmest Overwatch cinematics, yet so much happens. It’s a character study that shows so many of the finer details of what it means to be an omnic in the Overwatch universe.

The most impressive part of this cinematic is that, without a line of dialogue, there is more emotion than there is in most modern movies. Blizzard covers a deep, sensitive topic: PTSD. Without getting into spoilers, they handle this subject matter maturely and with more nuance than most scripts these days.

If you are looking for a cinematic that has amazing animation, unique but few action scenes, and strong character work, then The Last Bastion is the perfect cinematic for you. It also has worldbuilding that adds to the rich lore Overwatch’s world has. I never thought Blizzard could pull off a robot with moral dilemmas in a seven-minute video, but here I am.


3. Honor And Glory

Honor and Glory is probably my personal favorite on this list. Reinhardt’s character is so interesting to me, and seeing him fleshed out in this heartfelt cinematic is refreshing. In the games, Reinhardt is a force to be reckoned with. Here, we see a different side of Reinhardt and embark on a journey with him as he relives his past.

Honor and Glory has everything you’d want in a cinematic: action, worldbuilding, and character work. It has a perfect balance that makes it one of the best cinematics to this day. Not only that, but it sets up a new map and a new set of skins for Reinhardt.

The message at the end is heartfelt and emotional. Even though I’ve seen the short before, I find myself tearing up at the thought of the ending. The powerful delivery of the lines makes it one of the best cinematics in the game’s history.

If you’re looking for a cinematic that will make a grown man cry, then Honor and Glory is perfect for you.


2. Infiltration

For Overwatch players, there was no greater time to be alive than when Sombra was being hyped up. All her teasers brought more codes to unlock. Even locals who didn’t play Overwatch were participating, and it was everywhere, trending all day every day. Sombra was, in my opinion, a huge part of gaming culture back when she was first announced. This cinematic adds to that.

Sombra is one of the most annoying heroes to play against in Overwatch; however, she’s also one of my favorite characters in terms of personality. Playing her is a blast based on the way she reacts to getting eliminations and hacks. She’s fun to play without being annoying like some other heroes can be (cough, Kiriko). That personality translates to the cinematic.

In the cinematic, we see Sombra, Widowmaker, and Reaper on a mission in Russia. Only Sombra gets in, and it’s revealed just how cunning Sombra is. We get a perfect look at her new abilities and her clever ways of getting what she wants. The hype, worldbuilding, and character work are why this short deserves the number two spot.

Oh, and Widowmaker’s in it. That’s always a plus.


1. Dragons

I’m sure this is no surprise to anyone. Dragons is so iconic that it has 42 million views on YouTube. The music, animation, action, world, and characters are beyond breathtaking. The gorgeous cherry blossoms and deep colors make this the most visually impressive. It’s an elegant cinematic with a tale of two brothers at the center, giving it emotional value while also expanding on Overwatch lore.

One thing I’ve always liked about the Overwatch cinematics is how they're never in one place. They travel all around the world. We get to see how different parts of the world are doing during the events of Overwatch. Every country has different things going on, and Dragons shows us what’s happening in Japan.

Dragons has high emotional stakes that set up one of the ongoing conflicts in Overwatch: Hanzo and Genji. The two brothers are the core of Overwatch, with Genji being an extremely popular character and Hanzo being up there too. Dragons is the most popular of the cinematics for a reason: it’s beautiful. Beautifully written, beautifully acted, and beautifully designed.

Overall, Dragons is the best cinematic for Overwatch as of May 2023.


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After battling monsters, Twitter, and toxic teammates, Raven now has to face her greatest opponent: the Sun.
Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Overwatch
Top 3 Favorite Games:Portal 2, Battlefield 4, The Walking Dead

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