The Best Video Game To Movie Crossovers

Movies and games have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship. The release of Super Mario Bros. in 1993 ushered in a now well-established history of video game to movie crossovers which had been influenced by the 1980s home video game boom when films were getting turned into games. But which ones are the best?

It was only a few weeks ago that Detective Pikachu was in cinemas, a movie taking its cues from the 2016 video game and the Pokemon franchise. That appears to have set in motion a whole host of movies based on video games with Sonic the Hedgehog up next.

Of course, we mustn’t forget the recent commercial success of Rampage. Variety reported that the film took a respectable $34.5 million in the US on its opening but found more love overseas by earning a mammoth $114.1 million across the globe. In the end it made over $400 million. That, you might remember, was based on an arcade game.

The relationship between cinema and gaming may not have always been a fruitful one. As Rodney Twelftree says on Top 10 Films – “Films made on the premise of a successful video game usually turn out to be complete and utter rubbish.” That’s not always the case but look at Vulture’s 33 movies inspired by a video game to see some truly horrid big screen releases pretending to be entertainment.

But looking ahead, there’s perhaps plenty of reason to get excited about Sonic’s outing. Certainly, it slots in neatly in this era of throwbacks. We’re getting sequels to 80s and 90s films left, right and centre: think Coming to America, Bill and Ted, and Top Gun.

There’s even Creed II which was a pseudo sequel to Rocky IV. Sonic the Hedgehog’s movie might have been beset by some criticism towards it animation but given the studio has effectively recalled means we’ll hopefully get the film that ticks all the right boxes.

Resident Evil

Resident Evil, Horror, Action, Best Great Top 10 Video Game Adaptations,

Surely the daddy in the video game to movie world is Resident Evil. Like Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers, Predator and Aliens are evoked in this stylish film which sees a bunch of mean-faced, well-armed soldiers going toe-to-toe with a monstrous, supernatural foe. One of the better works by director Paul W.S. Anderson, brings the world of the game itself stunningly to life. The thudding score by rock artist Marilyn Manson and composer Marco Beltrami perfectly accentuates the dark, claustrophobic terror.

In 2018, Free-to-air UK film channel Movies4Men compiled a list of the deadliest action heroes according to kill counts and Resident Evil’s Milla Jovovich came out top. The zombie-killer was number one thanks to her role in the Resident Evil series of films which includes the underrated Resident Evil: Retribution.


Jumanji has enjoyed plenty of life outside of film. Of course, we’ve had a sequel/reboot with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and the film has inspired an actual board game (which, unfortunately, doesn’t have magical powers. It has also been the basis for a popular slots game by NetEnt which features a five-reel layout set against the curiously inviting path of the Jumanji board game. It’s one of a number of popular movie-inspired casino games that you’ll find at major operators such as such as Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, Alien, Dirty Dancing and Planet of the Apes.

For slots fans, the Jumanji game cleverly integrates elements of the film into the five-reel gaming environment with 10 bonus features on offer, triggered by symbols featuring recognisable characters from the film including the animals such as crocodiles, rhinos and lions. If you’re new to video slots, there’s a handy guide at the 918kiss online slots portal, which dispels some of the myths around the slots machine such as hot and cold slots. Indeed, many operators have found such games to be some of the most popular on their platforms. To play on 918kiss download here to get the software on your system (Android or iOS) where the Mad Max slots game has been one of its most prominent in recent years.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Angelina Jolie, Tomb Raider, Lara Croft

Lara Croft wasn’t going to miss out on this list. The 2001 movie was the film that set Angelina Jolie’s career alight. Rodney Tweltree said on Top 10 Films: “It’s hard to imagine the conversation that would bring an Academy Award winning actress into a film about a hyper-sexualised female Indiana Jones, but one could envisage that several dollar signs might have been incorporated into it.”

The reboot with Alicia Vikander has been met with equal adoration. $275 million at the worldwide box office says one thing: audiences are still eager to see Lara Croft do her thing. With a huge following and popular appeal, Tomb Raider isn’t just a movie; it’s a game, of course, and a t-shirt, a mug, a wristwatch, a cosplay outfit, an action figure, and if you play slots, a 5 reel 15 pay line slots game.

Vikander’s next outing is coming soon as is the film adaptation of Call of Duty. It has been in development for years but progress was made when director Stefano Sollima, the man behind Sicario: Day of the Soldado, was hired this year to helm it. While there are no guarantees of success, the popularity of Call of Duty, and its inherent action movie-like qualities, make it a perfect Hollywood vehicle.

Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time

Prince of Persia, Great Best Top 10 Video Game Adaptations

Jake Gyllenhaal becomes the action hero in this mega-budget adaption of the Persia game franchise. Games Radar commented: “The whole Jake Gyllenhaal playing a Persian dude thing is stupid but, if you ignore the whitewashing, what remains is a movie that – while you may not want to see it time and time again – is certainly one of the more passable video game movie efforts.”

Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, you know what to expect – explosions and grand, super-expensive visual effects. The film is lots of fun, and not to be taken seriously. Alfred Molina plays crazy like nobody else, while Ben Kingsley gives us yet another unforgettable bad villain.

For me, I like how Empire magazine critic Ian Nathan put it: “Its restraint might put off thrill-seekers, but if you can endure the wooden dialogue and sloppy exposition, it musters the entertainment quotient of a middle-order Harry Potter.”

Check out some of our other favourite video game adaptations here. And check out our “4 movies based on video games we’re looking forward to” here.

About the Author
Rory Fish has loved movies since he can remember. If he was to put together an "all time" top 10 of absolute favourites it would have to include North By Northwest, 12 Angry Men and Sunset Boulevard.

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