With 2020 seeing some major game releases being delayed due to COVID-19 it might be worth looking at some of the best video game movies while we wait for some more quality gaming (and more movies)!
It’s worth noting, this list isn’t in any particular order of my fondness to them, it’s just a little brain dump of a selection of the best video game movies.
Don’t worry about watching the included clips with each movie, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite parts of each movie, but none of them contain spoilers unless you consider seeing how Jim Carey dances a spoiler?
1. Sonic the hedgehog (2020)
When I went to see this one at the cinema with my kids, I expected to be bored to tears by it, how wrong I was!
Sonic was not only a great watch, with both action and humor in equal doses across the board, but Jim Carey was finally back on form and his dance scene perfectly captured the feeling of watching him as a child in the 90’s.
2. Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)
Again, another one makes it onto the list that I assumed would be “meh” at best yet somehow became a video game movie favorite of mine.
Seeing some of my favorite Pokémon come to life was an unexpectedly amazing treat, and of course, the kids loved it too. Actually, so did the wife!
3. The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)
If you haven’t seen the first movie yet, I highly recommend it, both titles are actually really good, especially when you consider how simple the basic concept of the game it’s based on is.
When I watched Angry Birds for the first time, I had stuck it on in the background, but found myself getting drawn in and really enjoying it.
4. Silent Hill (2006)
One does not simply star in a horror movie and expect to pull it off, yet somehow Sean Bean starring in the movie adaptation of Silent Hill was much better than most other attempts.
The movie is visually very impressive with the audio, especially the creepy sirens, really adding to the movie’s tense atmosphere.
Watching the movie feels very true to the original games and brings the same creepy vibes I used to get from playing it my original Playstation.
5. Tomb Raider (2018)
Lara Croft is no stranger to the big screen, although this movie is based on the 2013 game series reboot and follows the more vulnerable Lara origins story.
Whilst I wasn’t blown away by this movie, I was still somewhat impressed by it, but with the reboots having such great stories how could you go wrong?
My main issue with Tomb Raider was the deviations from the game’s story, whilst it stayed on track most of the way, there were a few major changes which frankly annoyed me.
Rhianna Pratchett, daughter of Terry Pratchett helped to create a reboot story her father would be proud of and should have been stuck to in the movie.
6. Rampage (2018)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and a gigantic monkey, that can’t be a great story I thought? Well, I was right, but that doesn’t stop it from actually being an entertaining movie.
When a movie is based on a button-bashing game, you shouldn’t really expect much in the way of a story. Ignoring that, Rampage is simply just a mindless, yet fun and easy movie to watch.
Sometimes we need to just shut down and watch something a bit silly, well Rampage is perfect for those moments.
7. The Resident Evil Series (2002 – 2016)
It’s only fair to include the whole series on this one, although they can be hit or miss, I personally found once I had watched one, I really wanted to see the story through, I just wish it didn’t take 14 years!
The movies were never going to be winning Oscars, but are another one of those series where they are easy watching and strangely enjoyable, even the cheese somehow becomes enjoyable cheese.
At the time of release, the first of the Resident Evil movies back in 2002 was considered a great success and while the graphics in some scenes may feel a bit dated now, it’s still a great movie.
Retribution was the worst-ranked out of the franchise with an IMDB rating of just 5.4 at the time of writing.
8. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Based in the same world as Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was released in 2005 in Japan and 2006 in the UK and North America.
The film sees children infected with some kind of disease that can’t be explained, with a band of criminals who get off on the thrill of kidnapping children. Final Fantasy VII’s hero, Cloud Strife, also suffers from the disease and makes it his mission to rescue the kids.
He quickly learns that one of my personal choices for all-time best video game villain, Sephiroth, is planned to be resurrected by the trio. How you might ask. Well, they intend to use the remains of Jenova to do this, and, the rest is history (you’ll have to watch the film to find out more, as I won’t spoil it for you here).
9. The Witcher (2019 – TV Series)
Okay, The Witcher isn’t a movie, but it’s brilliant and therefore simply needs to be watched.
When I heard that Henry Cavill would be playing Geralt I wasn’t really sure how he would perform as the legendary Witcher, it only took a few minutes into the show to realize he was actually absolutely perfect for the role.
Henry has been a lifelong fan of the game series and actually approached Netflix about the TV series as soon as he heard it was being made as he was determined he was going to be Geralt.
Henry was the first to show an interest, yet 200+ other actors were auditioned and Henry still prevailed. Fair play to Henry for his persistence and giving us an amazing show.
The fight scenes in The Witcher, right from the start are of the quality of a Hollywood movie with the scene below leaving a lasting impression on me.
The great thing about The Witcher is, it’s not all mindless action, the story is amazing, the soundtrack is brilliant and the acting is amazing.
Toss a coin to your Witcher has to be one of the only songs from a TV show that I find myself listening to all the time and it has some pretty amazing covers out there too, the one from Dan Vasc being my favorite of them all.
10. Pixels (2015)
Again, you could argue this isn’t a video game movie, I would personally argue that it’s the video game movie! Every single game from my youth comes to life.
Pixels only has a 5.5-star rating on IMDB and an even worse Rotten Tomatoes score, yet personally I find it so under-rated.
I’m not saying it’s the best video game based movie ever by any stretch and, considering the 80’s to early 90’s generation that will appreciate the games and references, there is a lot more that could have been done with it, but that being said, it was cheesy and fun, and let’s face it, we all need a bit of cheese in our lives every now and then.
There were so many moments in Pixel where I would suddenly see a retro game character, ‘Duck Hunt’ is a great example, then suddenly felt the nostalgia of playing it at my grandmothers on a NES she bought me.
Had none of the characters been based on real retro games, or had I been too young to have known them, I very likely would not have enjoyed the movie.
There have been tons of video game movies released over the years and as a genre, they generally seem to be very hit or miss as a whole.
Every person is different and therefore will form different opinions, it would be very interesting to see your thoughts on the best video game movies, do you agree with any of my list, do you hate them all?
Let me know what your top ten would be by listing them in the comments below.