Top 7 Movies made on Video Games

Making a list of the best video games movies used to be a tough task. With studios opting for cheap spin-offs or loose adaptations rather than respecting what made those games so special to players in the first place. Happily, those days are behind us. With a new generation of directors who grew up gaming, and understand just how much potential lies in their fictional worlds and stories. Some studios, like Ubisoft, are even investing in making their own movies, and gems like the recent Werewolves Within are the result.

7. Mortal Kombat (2021)

Mortal Kombat

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The 2021 adaptation of Mortal Kombat scores a place on the list for the fight scenes alone, and has enough gore splashing around that fake blood supplies must have plummeted during production. Protagonist Cole Young (Lewis Tan) is a new addition to the Mortal Kombat universe.  But his fate to fight in Mortal Kombat competition means we get to see fan favorites like Sub Zero and Sonya Blade in action. Sure the dialogue is a little clunky.  But these characters get hit in the head a lot, so it’s perhaps understandable they’re not spouting Shakespeare.

6. Warcraft

best video game movies

(Image credit: Universal)
World of Warcraft was just ripe for being picked up by Hollywood. Being brushed aside as Lord of the Rings-lite, Blizzard’s jewel in the crown is packed with lore in abundance and it’s all guided under the steady hand of indie darling Duncan Jones. It’s not only the best-performing video game adaptation of all-time (as of writing) grossing $433m, it chooses to give the world of Warcraft (heh) a pedestal to stand on – and it is beautiful.
The film does fall down by over-egging the pudding under the creaking weight of its ensemble but it’s still an outlier in the video games movie world: a movie that isn’t scared to take a chance, chuck a massive budget at an acclaimed director and just letting him run riot with the world. More of that, please.

5. Sonic the Hedgehog

best video game movies

(Image credit: Paramount)

The early signs for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie didn’t look good. Fans reacted badly to initial designs for the blue blur.  So much so that the filmmakers went back to the digital drawing board. When the movie was finally released this year, it won over audiences with Ben Schwartz’s enthusiastic voice-over work and Jim Carrey hamming it up as Dr. Robotnik. The movie follows Sonic and a Montana sheriff as they try to evade Robotnik and track down Sonic’s iconic rings. Sequels are already planned for the later video games.

4. Resident Evil

best video game movies

(Image credit: Screen Gems)

Resident Evil has so many movies (six by our count) that it’s hard to pin a single one down to present a dead cert for this list. They range from the shambling effort that is Afterlife to, this, the original and (probably) the best. It’s streamlined and only pokes around at the edges of Resi’s sprawling lore, and with good reason.  The emphasis is on the action.

That may grate with some but, back in 2002.  A slow-burn experience through a mansion just wouldn’t have turned out as kinetic and overly entertaining as this first effort. And it still holds up well today. Milla Jovovich is exceptional in her role as Alice (and, honestly, doesn’t get enough credit) and the set-pieces come thick and fast. It’s also notable in that it looks to set-up sequels and sprawling universes long because Iron Man heard about the Avengers Initiative. Well worth a re-watch.

3. Assassin’s Creed

best video game movies

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Assassin’s Creed felt like the moment video game movies stepped into the spotlight for the very first time. Where others were dismissed as oddities or only for a certain audience.  Assassin’s Creed attempted to put that all to bed with a compelling take on the eternal struggle between the Creed and the Templar Order.

Starring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, and Michael K. Williams, Assassin’s Creed is a movie that doesn’t lack for stars. It gives the movie a real legitimacy and it is flanked by an impressive-looking Animus adventure in 15th Century Spain. And a parkour-heavy style that pays homage to the series without – as some movies do – going too far on the fan-service. Technically it  may have disappointed some fans and filmgoers but give it another go. It soars higher than you might think.

2. Tomb Raider (2018)

best video game movies

(Image credit: Warner Bros)
While the movie riffs on rather than directly pulls from the games, Alicia Vikander gives us a Lara that is bursting with life and, interestingly, a character who appears more at home in London. Than raiding the tombs of a lost kingdom. Tomb Raider certainly marks a watershed moment for video game movies.  No longer content with being kept to the shadows.  This is a forceful entry filled with star talent that might open up the door for even more video game treasures down the line, particularly in the forthcoming Ben Wheatley-directed sequel.

1. Detective Pikachu

best video game movies

(Image credit: Warner Bros. )

Here it is: the best video game movie: The minute we found out Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool himself – would be voicing the fuzzy little yellow guy.  We knew Detective Pikachu would do justice to the Pokemon brand. The movie focuses on 21-year-old Tim Goodman. Who just wants to find his missing private investigator dad Henry and teams up with Pikachu in the process.

Cue lots of CGI, lots of sentimental stuff about family, and – most importantly – enough jokes to tickle a Snorlax.

Goosebumps director Rob Letterman is in charge of an eclectic cast. That includes pop singer Rita Ora, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe, and the DJ Diplo.  But it’s the love and care given to the Pokemon world-at-large that stands out most.

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