Many video games fail, often badly, but that’s exactly what makes some of the best video game movies so much more memorable.
Below is a list of all the video game movies who managed to show everyone that you can make a decent movie without veering too far from the resource material.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Whenever there’s an announcement of a video game movie, people will be quick to speculate as to which Hollywood actors would be cast to play the role as the lead character. Often, they’ll bash and question why exactly that particular actor or actress was chosen for a role.
When it was announced that Angelina Jolie would be taking up the role of Lara Croft, however, nobody complained.
Lara Croft was an iconic video game character; the quintessential female video game heroine, some would say. And, Jolie absolutely nailed the role.
The film wasn’t perfect. Save for Jolie, many had issues with the cast. There were quite a few questionable choices in terms of the plot either. However, when it comes to faithfully adapting the resource material, protagonist included, the film was a success.
Perhaps, that’s also why moviegoers loved it, as it the film surpassed Aliens to become the highest grossing action film with a female lead.
Warcraft was a weird release in that while it had the fan base to be successful, many of its fans didn’t really want to experience a World of Warcraft cinema experience. Why would they? After all, they already had a much more immersive experience online, one that they actually had full control over.
Alas, Warcraft still released and we ended up getting a final product with awesome visual effects, but lacked the star power nor plot to actually be a commercial success. At least, in most parts of the world. China seems to have liked the movie.
International success or not, Warcraft still manages to be one of the best video game movies owing to it staying true to its original material.
Silent Hill (2006)
To fans of the franchise, we apologise for mentioning the word Silent Hill. We know you’re not exactly in the best spirits after Konami pulled the plug on both the franchise and Hideo Kojima.
Cheer up, though. It’s no small consolation that Hideo is actually working on a game that should serve as the spiritual successor of the vaunted horror video game franchise.
With that said, let’s talk about the Silent Hill film.
Released way back in 2006, Silent Hill remains one of the most faithful and best video game movies up to date. Yes, it wasn’t perfect; often giving off the feeling that it was dragging things longer than it should. However, that should not discount the fact that the film actually did a great job of making the absolutely horrifying story of the first game of the series more palatable to a wider audience.
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010)
Pause for a second and try to forget about the film’s whitewashing of the cast and instead look at the final product.
While it’s not exactly the greatest of films, 2010’s Prince of Persia: Sands of Time deserves to be mentioned as one of the best video game movies ever made.
The movie is fun and light-hearted. The best part? It manages to stay true to the essence of the Prince of Persia franchise without really blatantly copying everything from it.
Mortal Kombat (1995)
Speaking of staying true to the essence of its video game roots, could anyone old enough to have watched the film ever forget 1995’s Mortal Kombat?
Hate it or love it, Mortal Kombat was just what the video game movie “industry” needed after it looked like people had given up on it thanks to abominations that are the Super Mario Bros. and Double Dragon movies of the early 90s.
It won’t be a stretch to say that the movie helped keep the idea that video game movie adaptations alive and that there was big money in them.
As for the film itself, it lacks the over-the-top blood and gore that made the franchise famous. But it more than made up for it by staying faithful to the source material.
The movie has earned a cult-classic status, and deservedly so.
The Best Video Game Movies Ever Released
You know that the standards are low when people look at Mortal Kombat as the gold-standard. That’s not to say that the movies on our list are bad; they’re widely entertaining and stay true to their resource material. Rather, it’s just that they fail to stack up compared to other movies, especially movie adaptions of novels and other media.
If recent releases are a sign of things to come, however, it’s clear that the industry is not willing to give up on the idea yet.
Hopefully, that will lead to a video game movie that’s actually more than just middling at best in the coming years.