With the recent release of films such as Warcraft and (if you can believe it) Angry Birds, and with both Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed to make their silver screen debuts soon, we can’t think of a better way to spend the weekend than watching some of the best films based on our favourite video games.
Unfortunately, there’s a problem. Most films based on games aren’t very good although, if you are prepared to laugh instead of sigh not get too angry about ruined franchises, they can still be fun! So, without further ado, here is our list of top six game based movies that you have to see!
6. Doom (2005)
What could make for a better weekend? You can play the fantastic new Doom throughout the day, and when your partner wishes to watch a film in the evening, what better film is there than Doom? Well, plenty of films actually. It isn’t that good, and fails in more ways than one to recapture the brilliance of the games.
You may be wondering why this box office bomb has made it to number 6 on our list; the reasons are two-fold. First: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He might not be the greatest actor of our time but here he doesn’t need to be. He just needs to be himself – big and bad, although throughout we hoped he would throw in a ‘Do you smell what the Rock is cooking’.
Secondly, and this is probably more important, it has a pretty cool first person scene. This is the closest the film gets to bringing the excitement and fun from the games to the big screen. It’s just a shame that the scene only last 4 and a half minutes.
Another positive is that many of monsters and special effects are done by prosthetic with only slight enhancement with CGI! There are a few moments where there is heavy CGI but it’s not too often – the in-camera effects give Doom the look of Alien, or The Thing. Sadly, though, Doom just isn’t in the same league.
If you are looking for a film that is fun and easy to watch, go no further! As long as you don’t expect a masterpiece or a true representation of the game, you won’t be too disappointed. All in all, a fun film to have on a Saturday night with a curry!
Rotten Tomatoes: 19% John’s Fun Factor: 5.5/10
5. DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)
First things first, is it any good? Err… it’s okay. It isn’t terrible if you are into the martial art sort of thing, although there are hundreds of better martial arts films to watch. But alas, we aren’t talking about generic films, we are talking about films based on games. Part of the appeal of watching these type of films, for us anyway, is you get to laugh while the franchise you love is butchered on the silver screen.
DOA does not disappoint, and provides laughs from start to finish. The acting and script might not be brilliant (Excuse me, Holly Valance is BRILLIANT – Ed.), but in the kind of way that makes you shout ‘WHY?’ while snorting through your nose. Also the fight scenes are pretty cool! There are some good ones with Princess Kasumi and Ayane.
The film also does the unspeakable and actually somewhat follows the same plot line as the games; however in this case, it was a mistake. Who plays DOA for the riveting story line? What, no one? What a surprise! Maybe it would have been better off creating its own unique story.
DOA is the perfect film to watch on a weekend night with a group of friends and a couple of drinks. You will find your self laughing more than you thought you would and there is a good chance you will enjoy the fight scenes.
Rotten Tomatoes: 34% John’s Fun Factor: 7/10
4. Resident Evil (2002)
In at number four is Resident Evil – we all knew it would make an appearance. One of the most successful game based movie, spawning five sequels (number five due next year). It is also the first film on this list to have been a commercial success at the Box Office.
For the purposes of this article, we have selected the first in the franchise; however you could watch any of them – they’re all watchable. If you enjoy the games, or just enjoy horror films and games in general, you will probably enjoy these films. Sadly, the first one does look dated – it is 14 years old.
The film borrows elements from Resi 1 and 2, so you will recognise the games, but doesn’t follow either plot exactly. There are memorable scenes throughout, and really: what’s better than zombies? And any one of these movies could tide you over until Resi 5 is remastered for Xbox One!
Rotten Tomatoes: 33% John’s Fun Factor: 7.5 (Starting to realise the fun factor doesn’t necessarily work for all these films.)
3. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005)
If you know your video-game-to-movie history, will probably know Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. It’s actually really good, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It takes place two years after the end of Final Fantasy VII and features all the characters we love from the game we love.
The film is beautifully made, and there are moments when you just look at the screen in awe. Final Fantasy tends to lend itself better to the silver screen than other games, probably because playing a Final Fantasy game is like watching a long, long film.
This might be the best – technically – movie on the list. It doesn’t destroy a beloved franchise, and doesn’t have terrible acting or a terrible script. Instead it offers incredible artwork and even better fight scenes. It’s an animated movie, so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, though.
If you haven’t seen the film,we recommend that you give it a shot. It’s one of the few movies that captures the essence of the game on which it’s based. A good film to get you in the mood for Final Fantasy XV!
Rotten Tomatoes: 33% John’s Fun Factor: 8/10
2. Silent Hill (2006)
Silent Hill is in at number 2! We love this film, although we’re not 100% sure why we do. Unlike Resident Evil, parts of this film are genuinely creepy and as fans of the horror genre that makes us very happy indeed.
The movie doesn’t quite manage to create the feeling of the games, but it does try hard. The dense fog, the wailing siren, the transforming surroundings and the scary religious folk combine to make a decent film. The plot is interesting and isn’t overly complicated. The special effects aren’t too bad and the acting isn’t ridiculous either. Also Sean Bean is in it, so there’s that.
It’s all worth pointing out that is does have a sequel – in our opinion not quite as good, but still worth a look. The sequel features a young Kit Harrington (“You know nothing, John Snow!”) and the incredibly creepy nurses (and pyramid head). So watch both; we did and we don’t regret it!
“Silent Hill brings back terrifying memories of me as a young boy watching my older brother play the game. Yeah, it gave me nightmares for a long time!”
~ John M, Xbox One UK
Rotten Tomatoes: 29% John’s
Fun Scare Factor: 9/10 (It really gets me for some reason)
1. Pokemon: The First Movie (1998)
So, the top spot goes to Pokemon: The First Movie. And let’s be honest, what else could be in this position? Nothing.
Some say it may not count, as it is an attachment to the television series, but one quick Wikipedia session later proves that the video game came first. Even if it didn’t this is John’s list, and we play by John’s rules.
There isn’t much to say about this film; if you have watched it, watch it again, and if you haven’t, well then, watch it. It really is a magical film, and every time we watch it, we’re taken back to our childhoods.
“This film was my first memory of crying, so I guess it has that going for it. Actually talking about crying, it never fails to bring a tear to my eye, yeah you know the bit I am talking about. Honestly, it is a lovely film, it captures the brilliance and innocence of children and the games that many grew up playing and still hold very close to their heart.”
~ John M, Xbox One UK
Rotten Tomatoes: 14% (HOW?) John’s Fun Factor: 10/10
Other films that deserve an honorable mention include Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). It probably deserves a spot on this list, but John claims the only archaeologist who matters is Indiana Jones.
Indie Game: The Movie (2012), is a brilliant documentary that’s well worth a watch, especially as the film focuses on Indie classics like Super Meat Boy (Which happens to be a game with Gold this month) and Fez.
So there we have it! Our very personal list of the six best movies based on video games.
Is there a film that you think is better than any in our selection? Or perhaps you just hate all of these types of films? Please start a fight with us in the comments! 🙂