Top 10 Best Video Game Movies

Tags: #TombRaider ,   #ResidentEvil ,   #MortalKombat ,   #Uncharted

Michael Wendom

Michael Wendom

Last updated:  2023-05-29 08:51:09

Let's be honest: you probably roll your eyes when a new video game-based movie is announced. Even when the creative forces behind the game are involved in the production, the end result is often disappointing. Poor scenarios, changes to the source material, and over-the-top acting are usually united in these productions. Hence, this makes them the perfect torture tool! Nevertheless, we dug deep and found the top ten best video game-based movies. While none of them are works of art, they offer a fun experience. Note that we've included only movies shown in theatres.

10.  Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

"Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" is more about action than exploring
Better than a video game? Beats only "Angel of Darkness" 
Are there sequels or reboots? Yes ("Cradle of Life")
Similarities with video games: Slight
Best quality: Angelina Jolie looks magnificent
Movie info

By the end of the last century, the world was a bit tired of Tomb Raider games. Five of them were published in as many years as the quality worsened. Still, when this movie was announced, the hype was unreal! In theory, Angelina Jolie looked like the perfect Lara Croft. Plus, she beat Jennifer Lopez, Sandra Bullock, Demi Moore, and other high-profile stars who wanted the role.

So, how do you make an exciting movie about the explorer spending most of her time alone in various exotic locales? You turn it into an action spectacle, of course! "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" is mindless fun with a thin plot and often cringy dialogue that earned highly negative reviews. However, the box office success was enough to produce a sequel, "The Cradle of Life." This one is watchable too, but you could instead dedicate your time to some other movies on our list.

9. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Everyone expected more from "The Spirits Within"
Better than a video game? No
Are there sequels or reboots? No
Similarities with video games: Basic
Best quality: Excellent animation and impressive cast
Movie info

Even two decades ago, Final Fantasy was as enormously popular as today. Hence, it's no wonder that "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" was so hyped, not only among the fans. Furthermore, an enormous $140 million budget enabled creating the realistic computer-animated movie and the hiring of the top cast. These include Steve Buscemi, Alec Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, and James Woods.

Even today, "The Spirits Within" is visually stunning, but your enthusiasm will only decrease as you watch it. We did not expect the revolution, but the scenario combines various clichés, offering no emotional involvement. While its running time is just above 100 minutes, you'll get the feeling that it's much longer. Unfortunately, "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" was a huge box office bust. Hence, Square Enix is still trying hard to make us forget it ever existed.

8. Silent Hill

"Silent Hill" successfully captures the atmosphere of the games
Better than a video game? No
Are there sequels or reboots? Yes ("Revelation")
Similarities with video games: Pretty good
Best quality: The atmosphere
Movie info

Video games based movies often struggle with setting the right atmosphere, but "Silent Hill" surprisingly manages to do so. Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell, and the rest of the cast offer inspiring performances. With a $50 million budget, "Silent Hill" was praised for excellent visuals that perfectly mirror the games while not overdoing it. However, the biggest letdown here is the plot.

Even if you're a diehard fan who played every game, it's impossible to figure out what is happening here. Moreover, you'll only get more confused before the ending that won't bring the satisfying conclusion – or any conclusion at all! "Silent Hill" was a moderate box office success, followed by the awful "Silent Hill: Revelation." A new sequel is in the planning stages, and hopefully, it will get things right this time.

7. Resident Evil

First "Resident Evil" is the best, but the others are solid too
Better than a video game? No
Are there sequels or reboots? Yes (Five sequels)
Similarities with video games: Partial
Best quality: Some excellent action scenes
Movie info

Six years after the first game, director Paul W.S. Anderson and his girlfriend (and future wife) Mila Jovovich joined forces for a movie adaptation. While it's clearly based on the elements from the first two games, the story is mostly original. Therefore, it focuses on a new character Alice, played by Jovovich. Although mixing the horror and action elements is done rather well, it won't stick in your mind.

Heck, that's the case with all six "Resident Evil" movies! Really, watch them all (they are decent, honestly!) and try to remember anything in a week or two. At least that gives them a remarkable replay value since you'll quickly forget all the plot holes and cheesy one-liners. Oh, and if you wonder why there are six films – their box office total is over $1,2 billion with a combined budget of only $288 million! That's how you do family business, kids.

6. Warcraft

"Warcraft" movie felt more like a prologue
Better than a video game? No
Are there sequels or reboots? No
Similarities with video games: Pretty good
Best quality: Excellent visuals, some Orc characters
Movie info

After ten years of development, we were surprised when "Warcraft" was finally released. While the deep lore features many terrific characters, that's only partially translated into the big screen. Absurdly, the Orcs show signs of humanity, while humans will probably enrage you with their narrow-mindedness.

While the visuals are tremendous, the plot feels empty. You see, the director Duncan Jones was so confident about the movie's success that he created it as a prologue for sequels. As the box office score in the US was deeply disappointing, it would be a surprise if we ever saw one. Yet, it was massive in China.

5. Uncharted

Don't expect much, and you'll enjoy "Uncharted" movie
Better than a video game? No
Are there sequels or reboots? No
Similarities with video games: Decent
Best quality: Non-stop action
Movie info

The Uncharted games have a brilliant reputation, as they often resemble a Hollywood action spectacle. Therefore, bringing the franchise to a big screen looked logical. As expected, the scenario took some liberties, although nothing will enrage fans. Tom Holland is excellent as Nathan Drake, even though he's younger than in the games. Furthermore, despite lacking a deep voice or a mustache, Mark Wahlberg is an adequate Sullivan.

It's fair to say that you won't be bored for a minute, even though the film doesn't bring anything new. Furthermore, the plot needs more surprises. Finally, the villains all seem shallow, which is often the case with video game-based movies. Nevertheless, "Uncharted" will keep you entertained, although it may quickly get out of your head.

4. Sonic the Hedgehog

No one expected that "Sonic the Hedgehog" will be any good
Better than a video game? Better than at least half of Sonic games
Are there sequels or reboots? Yes ("Sonic the Hedgehog 2")
Similarities with video games: Decent
Best quality: Jim Carrey
Movie info

Honestly, the idea of a live-action movie about a blue hedgehog sounded almost as bat-shit crazy as the big-screen adaptations of Crazy Taxi or Madden NFL curse. Plus, the initial scary-looking Sonic was so awful that it was promptly redesigned! Intentionally or not, this was an example of perfect marketing, as it showed that the creative team listens to the audience.

Luckily, the reshaped, cute Sonic was not the only thing to love about this flick. The plot was surprisingly compelling, and Jim Carrey really enjoyed playing the crazy genius Dr. Robotnik. Are you surprised that we're going to get a sequel or two? Take that, Mario – your games might be better, but your live-action movie sucked! Sega does what Nintendon't.

3. Mortal Kombat (1995)

"Mortal Kombat" gave us the perfect Shang Tsung!
Better than a video game? Better than most Mortal Kombat games
Are there sequels or reboots? Both
Similarities with video games: Pretty big
Best quality: Fighting sequences, Cary Tagawa as Shang Tsung
Movie info

Before the first "Mortal Kombat" movie, we had horrible game adaptations such as Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter, or, God forbid, Double Dragon. As they set the bar so low, "Mortal Kombat" had no trouble looking like an Oscar-winning material. Inspired by the first game, the movie introduces fan-favorite characters, including Sub Zero, Scorpion, Liu Kang, and Sonya. However, Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa steals the show as the mighty sorcerer Shang Tsung. At the same time, Trevor Goddard's performance of Kano reshaped the character in future games.

While the lack of budget is evident (that CGI!), the fights all look excellent and are often combined with techno-pumping tunes that will get stuck in your mind. Thanks to enormous success, the sequel came two years later. Still, it would be wise not to waste your time on it.

2. Tomb Raider (2018)

"Tomb Raider" closely follows the story from the game
Better than a video game? Better than most Tomb Raider games
Are there sequels or reboots? Not yet
Similarities with video games: Pretty similar
Best quality: Similar tone to video games
Movie info

Tomb Raider game (2013) was a terrific franchise reboot that inspired the next movie. Unlike her mass-murdering predecessor, Alicia Vikander is a new, vulnerable Lara. For this version of the character, it's all about survival while she is trying to find her presumed dead father. Although it takes some elements from the game, the script is mostly original.

While the plot doesn't offer much new, it's refreshing to see a realistic portrayal While the plot doesn't offer much new, it's refreshing to see a realistic portrayal of the character that makes you care about her. Too bad that the rest of the cast is just there in all its one-dimensional glory. Since there'll be a sequel, there's a chance for improvement!

1. Detective Pikachu

Looks like crazy idea, but "Detective Pikachu" works somehow!
Better than a video game? Yes
Are there sequels or reboots? No
Similarities with video games: Pretty good
Best quality: Better story than in a video game
Movie info

The idea that a crime-solving yellow Pokemon game would translate well into a movie must have sounded so absurd that everybody wanted to see it! Luckily, you don't have to know anything about Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) and the rest of the gang to enjoy it. Joining forces with former Pokemon trainer Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), the dynamic duo will try to solve the case of a missing father.

By skipping the tropes of video game-based movies, "Detective Pikachu" is an example for all future releases. If you watch the movie with children, the ending would be much different from what they might expect. Hence, you'll have some explaining to do!

Tons of new video game movies are coming, so hopefully, there'll be enough reasons to radically change this top ten list! As only a few are entertaining, that should be easy. Still, don't forget about video game TV shows, as they seem like a better choice.

How many of these movies have you seen, and what are your favorites? Tell us in the comments!

Cover photo: TopTens/Midjourney



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Wayne C Says:

The Uncharted movie needs to be on the list. It's entertaining, although not spectacular.

July 03 at 04:54:44 PM

Lacey89 Says:

These Resident Evil movies are brain dead. A day after I watched them, I can't remember almost anything about them.

June 23 at 01:39:14 PM

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