More often than not, movies based on video games end up being panned by critics and gaming fans alike. Yet when the situation is reversed, it can yield some interesting results.
On one hand, there are video games of poorly received or polarizing movies. For instance, the video game adaptations of critical failures like X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Star Wars Episode I have drawn way better reactions than the cinematic source material. In other situations, the movies might be cult classics in their own right, but the video game just takes the movie to another level. Examples include GoldenEye and The Warriors in this case.
No list of great video games based on movies is complete without a mention of this Nintendo 64 classic. While the title alludes to the Pierce Brosnan starring GoldenEye incorporates the best of the James Bond movies, ranging from quotable dialogues to over-the-top gadgets.
The game also provides enough space to engage in amusing side missions instead of just the usual killing and spying missions. Its nostalgic status among gamers establishes GoldenEye 007 as a memorable James Bond adventure, one that has outlasted the popularity of the original movie.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
While Hugh Jackman has always been an outstanding casting option for Wolverine, critics and audiences were divided by the origin story. Elements like a formulaic script and a Deadpool who can’t even speak led to negative reception.
The game, on the other hand, is a whole other deal capturing Wolverine’s feral rage into the most hyper-violent battles that diehard fans of the character can only dream of. The cinematic cutscenes have also aged well, adding more context to Wolverine’s troubled past and the tumultuous bond that he shared with his antagonistic brother Victor Creed.
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
George Lucas’s highly anticipated return to “a galaxy far, far away” failed to create an impact among Star Wars geeks, but it still carried some fantastic lightsaber duels and podrace sequences. Such elements were later fleshed out in the eventual video game adaptations.
The LucasArts title Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was set in the same environments as the movie but with a greater scope of exploration. With the option to play as The Phantom Menace protagonists Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, players can engage in adrenaline-fueled action as they go against Darth Maul,
Peter Jackson’s King Kong
Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake humanized the giant ape while still maintaining the original character’s grandeur. However, the video game elevates the artistic vision of Peter Jackson with an even more increased emphasis on world-building.
Not only Kong, but players also get to interact with the other characters of Skull Island including dinosaurs and sea creatures. The game’s narrative is also pretty epic in its scope and players will be taking their own sweet time to finish playing the entirety of the Ubisoft title.
Considered to be one of the weaker installations of the alien series, alien 3 had a better run in its video game format. The sidescrolling run-and-gun adventure allows players to adopt the role of series protagonist Elen Ripley.
But unlike the movie, Ripley’s armory of handheld weapons is way more vast and advanced, allowing for multiple ways to hunt down the xenomorphs and facehuggers. The fast-paced action makes it a worthy follow-up and improvement over the David Fincher directorial venture.
The Last Airbender
M Night Shyamalan’s infamous live-action adaptation of the Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender is considered to be one of the worst movies of all time.
Thus, a video game could do little to save the movie. But even though the Nintendo Wii title is no GoldenEye, it still seems to be way more enjoyable and engaging given the soulless movie. The game has its fair share of flaws but still the element-bending feels smoother and more in line with the original cartoon.
Terminator 3: The Redemption
Following the immense success of the first two Terminator movies, T3: Rise of the Machines couldn’t stand out on its own. The first two games spawned from the movie also went unrecognized, but it is the third venture, Terminator 3: The Redemptionthat managed to earn more positive reactions.
Despite some finding the levels to be repetitive, the standout feature happens to be the graphics which were pretty good for the time. The level of detail to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-850 Terminator is the best when compared to other Terminator games.
The 1979 action drama The Warriors is a cult classic in its own right but the violent saga of Coney Island’s street gangs might not be that mainstream among new-age audiences.
In this sense, the beat ’em up game by Rockstar Games can be a good introduction to such players as it not only captures the chaotic violence of the movie but also adds some much-needed background behind several members of the protagonist’s gang. The game’s popularity can be seen from the fact that despite being released in 2005, it has since been modified in the 2010s for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
Despite an earnest lead performance by Eric Bana and an author like Ang Lee behind the camera, Hulk failed to match the level of the superhero movies of the time.
The game, however, had a more favorable run with mixed to positive reviews by critics. The graphics might seem dated but are still enough to make one nostalgic of early 2000s games. Further, it offers fan service through the green giant being able to reveal fighting moves like the Hulk Smash and Thunder Clap to destructive levels that could not be achieved in the movie.
Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
Pitch Black continues being one of Vin Diesel’s best movies but he couldn’t follow up the success with the sequel The Chronicles of Riddick, a sequel that resorted to familiar sci-fi tropes and toned-down the atmospheric horror and violence of its predecessor.
Yet the movie is crucial for it led to two iconic games: Escape from Butcher Bay and its sequel Assault on Dark Athena. The former is a stealth game that finds the character Riddick planning an escape from a prison in outer space. Allusions with the movie Escape from Alcatraz and games like Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell are inevitable, but the game still shines on its own. The graphics along with the stealth and action elements made the game surpass the movie it was based on, and it continues to be hailed as one of the best games of 2000s.
Next: 10 Video Games That Haven’t Aged Well