Editorial picks

Best video game inspired movies

During the holiday you might notice that time you spend playing games is a bit shorter. You might want to unwind watching a movie with your family, but wouldn’t it be cooler if it somehow related to video games, am I right? Well, you’re in luck because I love video game movies. Here are some cool recommendations to tickle your gamer feels while eating popcorn.

Disclaimer: not all movies on this list are great, but some are worth watching if you want to know more about a certain game lore-wise.

1. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

This movie is great for many reasons. While it’s based on the graphic novel series rather than a video game (game of the same name was released a bit later), gaming theme plays a pivotal role in it.

This cheerful and crazy story of Scott Pilgrim and his struggle for Ramonas’ love is a real eye-candy for those who are looking for something original. The movie is powered by computer game elements which complement the story really well. Also, this format manages to make fun of some game elements in a really clever way. So, if you haven’t already seen Scott’s fight against The League of Evil Exes, I definitely recommend you to put this on your watchlist.

2. Wreck-it Ralph (2012)

One more no-brainer in our video game movie list. In 2013 Wreck-it Ralph received an Oscar nomination for the best-animated movie and there are plenty of reasons why. First, it has plenty of easter eggs and nods to the video game world. Second, it tells a beautiful story about a video game bad guy Ralph who starts questioning his path of life. Along the way, he meets Penelope – the glitch from the neighbouring racing game and forms a strong bond.

Also, we should mention that Wreck-it Ralph sequel is storming through movie theatres right now. So watching this is essential before you go see the second adventure of Ralph.

3. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

While the original Jumanji movie was built around a board game, 2017 version uses a video game as a platform. Four teenagers are sucked into the magical video game and the only way to escape is to finish the game. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has plenty of easter eggs and allusions to the popular video game tropes which is even funnier considering the cast – Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillian play as the game’s avatars.

4. Ready Player One (2018)

Speaking of easter eggs, Ready Player One is one of a kind. In 2045, people seek to escape from reality into the virtual world of OASIS. Accidentally, world creator James Halliday dies leaving a game for everyone – the first one to find the Golden Easter Egg inherits the ownership of OASIS and a power to rule the virtual world. Based on a novel by Ernest Cline Ready Player One cleverly mixes a variety of pop culture references in a video game themed treasure hunt which will stun you with masterful visual effects and a sheer quantity of easter eggs from various sources. Also, the film was produced by the legendary director Steven Spielberg.

5. Warcraft (2016)

Fans of Warcraft game universe have been waiting far too long for their favourite franchise to hit the big screens. Warcraft movie wasn’t without flaws and critics agree that things could’ve been much better. However, Warcraft did what many video game movies in the past have failed to do – motion picture paid huge respect to the source material, showed a fantastic use of CGI and introduced the game’s universe to people who haven’t played a single Warcraft game. So, if you have ever wondered what the hell is Warcraft, this 2016 movie has you covered.

6. Tomb Raider (2018)

Tomb Raider – probably one of the most popular video game series portrayed in the movies. In the 2000s three big-budget motion pictures with Angelina Jolie were released. Now, as Square Enix is rebooting the franchise, so is the Hollywood. Last year we’ve witnessed the release of a whole new Lara Croft. Alicia Vikander who is well known for her performance in the critically acclaimed Ex Machina rose up to the challenge to portray Lara Croft in her origin story. The movie is heavily based on 2013 Tomb Raider game and will please every fan of the legendary game series.

7. Resident Evil (2002)

While there is a lot of Resident Evil films, ranging from good to unbearable, the original probably is the best. Milla Jovovich is exceptional in her role as Alice and the origin story of a virus breakout is an interesting piece of info about the Resident Evil franchise to know. All of this mixed with a slow-burn tension building makes the original Resident Evil movie unforgettable.

8. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

When it comes to movies based on video games, Jerry Bruckheimer’s Prince of Persia is a worthy mention. Although it suffers from many of the symptoms typical to the movie industry, high-quality special effects and outstanding combat choreography is a sight to behold. Also, Jake Gyllenhaal is in the cast!

9. Mortal Kombat (1995)

You have known that this one is coming even before beginning to read this list. Created in 1995, Mortal Kombat movie essentially gave birth to a movie genre based on video games. Although the film is old, it’s still considered one of the best video game movies of all time. Mortal Kombat does a great job portraying iconic game characters such as Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Jonny Cage, Liu Kang, Raiden and others. Essential watch if haven’t seen it before.

10. Indie Game: The Movie (2012)

To wrap this list up I really wanted to include something completely different. In 2012 Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky released a documentary about the life of independent game developers. The film shows creators of Braid, Super Meat Boy and FEZ hard at work and tells a story about the challenges and thought process behind their creations. Indie Game: The Movie is the perfect watch for those who want to see ‘under the hood’ and learn more about the craftsmanship of games.

I’ve probably missed at least a couple of great video game inspired movies. Please share your favourites in the comments!