Video games based on pre-existing films are supposed to have a rocky history. Whenever one tries to adapt the other, the results are usually not as good as our expectation and do not get critical acclaims. Yet sometimes, there are still exception that proves the rule. The following list will take a look at the best video games based on movies, in which both the original movies and the adapted games were excellent.
1. The Thing (2002)
- Based Movie: John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox
- Genre: Shooting survival-horror
The Thing is reviewed as the worthy sequel to the 80s classic monster movie “John Carpenter“. The game fully respect the ideas of original work that allows players to experience engaging adventures. It happens to be one of the best horror titles released in early 2000s.
It takes place after the events in Carpenter film when two Special Forces teams reach Antarctica to inspect what happened to both the American and Norwegian outposts. Players take the role of Captain Black, who is responsible for the operation on the ground.
The most impressive featuring in the game is its Fear-Trust system, which is able to measure trustworthiness within your team in order to detect human-faked aliens.
2. Star Wars: Knights of Old Republic (2003)
- Based Movie: Star Wars
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox
- Genre: Role-playing action
Star Wars: Knights of Old Republic (KOR) is actually inspired by both Star Wars movies and a Dark Horse comic book called Tales of Jedi (TOJ). Published in 2003 on PC and Xbox platforms, KOR used to be recognized as the most excellent WRPG title for consoles and at the same time, operated a revolution in design for WRPG titles on consoles.
KOR happens after a series of events of the comic, but the characters are from the film series. It’s not a big deal if you haven’t read OTJ or watched Star Wars before, KOR is a must-play for all Star Wars fans and RPG loves. Its meaningful riveting plot, memorable characters and unique turn-based combat makes it one of the best Star Wars games.
According to BioWare representative, the number of KOR’s in-game conversations is larger than all Star Wars games’ ever made before. The game has received critical acclaim and various awards.
3. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
- Based Movie: Spider-Man (2000)
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo DS,…
- Genre: Action-adventure
Since his first appearance in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy, Spider Man has always been one of the most beloved heroes in history for his “friendly next-door guy” vibe. Following his popularity, numerous of entertainment products were produced including films and video games.
Based on its 2002 film, Spider-Man 2 is an action-adventure open-world video game with one-of-a-kind swing technique. Despite of having 3 plots for different platforms, you still can have fun web-slinging freely around Manhattan, Roosevelt, Ellis, and Liberty Islands. Main mission players must complete is to protect the residents from thugs and supervillians who are equipped with a lot of advanced weapons.
The game had voice acting from the cast of the based movie and was narrated by the hero Bruce Campbell and contained lots of pleasant side missions.
4. Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009)
- Based Movie: Ghostbusters
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2-3-4, Xbox ONE-360,…
- Genre: Action-adventure
Ghostbusters: The Video Game is a video game based on the Ghostbusters media franchise. It’s a third-person shooting game, which places players in the role of a new recruit in a team of parapsychologists who pursue and capture ghosts, called as Ghostbusters team. Instead of using a traditional gun, players are equipped with a “Proton Pack”, a laser beam-like weapon, and a ghost trap to hunt the ghosts. Its plot is a continuation of the Ghostbusters 2 movie, so it can be considered as a Ghostbusters 3.
The game was made by many of principal casts members from the films. They mostly lent their voices and likenesses to the game’s characters. Ghostbusters: The Video Game received tons of favorable reviews from critics, and sold more than 3 million copies.
5. Alien: Isolation (2014)
- Based Movie: Alien (1982)
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2-3, Xbox ONE-360,…
- Genre: Survival horror
Based on the Alien science fiction horror film series, Alien: Isolation takes place 15 years after series of events of the original 1979 film. Players will take the role of Amanda Ripley, who is in charge of investigating the missing of her mother – protagonist Ellen Ripley.
Right from the very first moment when entering the Sevastopol space station, players are overwhelmed with horror and insecurity. Then, throughout the adventure, you must try your best to find out a safe haven, calculate the exact time to move and pray that you won’t be detected by the monster Alien.
Alien: Isolation gives you the experience of high-level anxiety for you cannot leave your motion sensor throughout the game. Just a beep sound and flash light on the screen which indicate the appearance of Alien in the ventilation system also makes you panic. The game received generally critical reviews that praised the game’s retro-futuristic art direction, sound design, and the usage of AI.
6. Dragon Ball FighterZ (2018)
- Based Movie: Dragon Balls
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox ONE, Nintendo Switch
- Genre: Fighting
Dragon Ball FighterZ (DBF) is reviewed to own the graphic platform as its biggest plus point. Like many others manga-adapted game titles, Cel-shading style is still applied, but Arc System Works took the full advantage of the most advanced graphics technology from Unreal Engine, which drives the game’s performance to a higher level.
Although DBF has the 3-3 mechanics, but it’s actually an 1-1 as the rest 2 characters play the role of performing “assist” move. Furthermore, players can change their role character any time so as to defeat the opponents effectively or get the eye-catchy fighting combos.
DBF control mechanism is said to be uncomplicated with only 4 basic buttons: light, medium, strong and special attacks. Besides, the game also abolishes cumbersome moving buttons.
7. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014)
- Based Movie: The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3-4, Xbox ONE-360
- Genre: Action-adventure
As a big fan of both Lord Of The Ring (LOTR) movie and an action game titles’ lover, you cannot miss Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (MSM) – a masterpiece with the background of Rings Lord and dramatic impressive action. MSM is said to be the Rings Lord world’s best game ever.
MSM takes place in LOTR world with familiar characters and some creativeness due to the appearance of newly added characters, who have never been mentioned before. However, the game still follows strictly with the events of the original film. Additionally, MSM introduces its unique Nemesis system – when you defeat an Uruk leader but can’t kill him, he will be upgraded to be stronger.
Shadow of Mordor was praised for its combat, open-world design and the Nemesis System. The game also won several awards from video gaming publications, including Game of the Year in 2015.
8. South Park: The Stick of Truth (2014)
- Based Movie: South Park
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3-4, Xbox 360-ONE,…
- Genre: Role-playing
South Park is a famous-yet-notorious America comedy sitcom animated series.
The film is about four main characters, who are playful kids: Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick. South Park: The Stick of Truth still gives players chance to meet familiar characters, however, for the newbies to the series, developer has boldly created a new storyline as well as allowed you to design your own character.
What makes The Stick of Truth extremely appealing is its intentionally offensive humor situations, which resembles exactly what happens on TV series. It becomes even more hilarious when you choose a meaningful name for your character, but you’re still called a Douchebag!
Although its design looks like an animation, the game is actually for adults because of its language and controversial contents. The game received positive comments for its faithfulness to the source material.
9. Mad Max (2015)
- Based Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox ONE, Linus, MacOS
- Genre: Action-adventure
Despite the fact that Mad Max is an adaption to Mad Max: Fury Road franchise, however, the game title owns the plot that differs from the original. Being set in the post-apocalyptic world where water is the most precious thing in the vast desert, but in the game, our protagonist – Max doesn’t need to rob five of his wives, just trying to help the Allies fight back threats from the Scrotus empire instead.
During the game, Max’s main task is to explore the four great strongholds of the allies and enemies, then in turn and finally head to Gastown to destroy the evil Scabrous Scrotus and regain independence for areas. In addition, the priority is also to upgrade your car.
Opinions about Mad Max are mixed. The game’s environment, direction, vehicular combat and graphics were praised, whereas its quest design and plot were criticized.
10. Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (2004)
- Based Movie: The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, MacOS X
- Genre: adventure-shooting and stealth
Escape from Butcher Bay (EFBB) is set in the futuristic science world of The Chronicles of Riddick franchise. The game is about the adventures of Riddick – an anti-hero, who attempts to escape from Butcher Bay – a high-security prison. EFBB combines several video game genres’ elements including first-person shooter, adventure and stealth. The game is mainly played from first-person perspective, but camera will switch to third-person perspective during certain scenes.
The Chronicles of Riddick’s protagonist Vin Diesel is also involved in the game’s development. Not only did he lend his voice, but also consulted on the development and make key suggestions to the developers. The game was awarded Best Game Based on a Movie in the Spike Video Game Award.
11. GoldenEye 007 (1997)
- Based Movie: Jame Bones
- Platforms: Nintendo 64
- Genre: Shooting
Published 2 years after its based James Bond movie GoldenEye, GoldenEye 007 does an excellent job of recreating the film’s array of events. Without doubt, GoldenEye 007 made its mark on the multiplayer first-person shooting game forever.
GoldenEye features both single and multiplayer modes, in which players will take the role of James Bonds in order to prevent a criminal syndicate by using a satellite weapon. The game also owns a split-screen mode in which allows up to 4 players to compete together.
At its time, people did not expect much about gaming media, but it still received good reviews and sold over 8 millions copies that made it the third best selling Nintendo 64 game. It also recieved BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Games Award and four awards from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.
12. Toy Story 3 (2010)
- Based Movie: Toy Story 3 (2010)
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2-3, Xbox 360, Wii…
- Genre: Platform Adventure
Although being based on Toy Story 3 the movie, Toy Story 3: The Video Game loosely follows its film’s narrative, it’s a virtual tour of set pieces found in the movie instead. There’s opinion arguing this approach may disappoint audience who expect a breathtaking adventure, but look at the other side, it offers us varied experience that deftly introduces each stage gameplay.
The game includes a story mode and the Toy Box mode, which was featured in Toy Story 2. In some particular platforms there is multiplayer feature in both mode. Woody, Buzz and Jessie are playable characters throughout the game.
Toy Box mode is the most unique feature, and it did help the game received lots of positive reviews. It consists of a western town that can be freely discovered and customized by the players. It may be not too excellent but the adaption of Toy Story 1 & 2 is worth a mention as they were decent platformers for their time. It’s possible for both youngsters and adults.
Summary: Top 12 Best Movie-based Video Games You Should Try
- The Thing (2002)
- Star Wars: Knights of Old Republic (2003)
- Spider-Man 2 (2004)
- Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009)
- Alien: Isolation (2014)
- Dragon Ball FighterZ (2018)
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014)
- South Park: The Stick of Truth (2014)
- Mad Max (2015)
- Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (2004)
- GoldenEye 007 (1997)
- Toy Story 3 (2010)