It’s hard to find a good video game based on a movie and it’s even more rare that game is superior to the source material.
Games based on a movie are often a crap shoot depending on who is developing it and what is the purpose of making such a title. Most are just marketing gimmicks that try to build momentum for the film while some are just trying to continue the story through a different medium.
Too often, the game is going to be mediocre at best with a few notable exceptions. Then there is the rare moment were the game is actually superior to the movie it was based on. Yes there have been moments were developers made game that was better than the source material.
5. Jurassic Park III (Arcade)
Jurassic Park III was the third film in the original trilogy that features Dr. Alan Grant being duped into going back to the island in search of a missing kid. What follows is a by the books story with everyone being hunted by a Spinosaurus. In the end they all get saved and yawn, worst sequel ever.
The video game adaptation was an arcade shooter developed by Konami while using the same game engine and motion sensor technology as Police 911. Players take on the role of two InGen mercenaries who are deployed to Isla Sorna on a mission to rescue the survivors of the plane crash from the film.
Jurassic Park III may not be as memorable as Police 911 or well remembered like other arcade shooters of the time. However it was a better experience than the film and the story made a lot more sense. Hence it was far better than its source material.
4. 007 The World is Not Enough (N64)
The World Is Not Enough is the nineteenth film in the 007 series and follows James Bond trying to protect Elektra King following the assassination of her father by Renard. However, Bond discovers that Elektra is romantically involved with Renard and they are plotting to increase petroleum prices by triggering a nuclear meltdown in Istanbul.
With the exception of 007 GoldenEye, the Pierce Brosnan era of the series was notorious for having some of the worst films and The World is Not Enough was no exception. The film was panned for its poor story and mediocre action sequences.
The video game version had a much bigger issue, they needed to escape the shadow of 007 GoldenEye success. EA tapped Eurocom for the N64 version while Black Ops Entertainment was tasked with developing the PlayStation version. Both games follow the plot of the movie with some liberties but both offered a different experience.
While the PS1 version was met with mixed reviews, the N64 version was highly praised for being a solid shooter. Many critics praised its level design along with its solid multiplayer gameplay while compering it to 007 GoldenEye and Perfect Dark.
3. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Who will ever forget the movie that thought it was a good idea to sew Deadpool mouth shut! Intended as the first of a series of spin-off films, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was one of the worst X-Men films and almost destroyed the film franchise. Thankfully First Class saved it, The Wolverine redeem the idea of spin-off’s, Days of Future Past erased this abomination from the canon and Deadpool dumped all over it.
With a movie this notoriously bad, its hard to believe that the video game adaptation was universally praised. Yes, there is a video game adaption of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and it has been highly praised (unlike the movie).
X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a hack and slash released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 that loosely follows the plot of the movie. Long before Logan and Deadpool took advantage of an R rating, this game fully embraced its M for Mature rating. The gamplay was heavily inspired by God of War while the action is focused between light and heavy attacks. Best of all, Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber both reprise their respected roles for the game.
2. Almost any Game Based on The Phantom Menace
Back in the late 90’s, everyone was excited for the highly anticipated Star Wars prequel trilogy. Fans will finally have the chance to see the story of how Ankin Skywalker went from being a slave to become a powerful Jedi only to be seduced by the dark side. Then The Phantom Menace was released and everyone panned it as the worst film in the franchise. Many panned it for its dependence on CGI, Jake Loyd’s poor acting and of course Jar Jar Binks.
Thankful out of the darkness came a silver underlining, the abundance of video games based on The Phantom Menace. Because there were so many unforgettable games, one title alone could not be listed. Hence here are the few that stood out.
Star Wars: Battle for Naboo was the spiritual follow up to Rogue Squadron and had players take on the role of Lieutenant Gavyn Sykes as he leads a resistance against the Trade Federation. Star Wars: Starfighter has players take on the role of three starfighter pilots during the Battle of Naboo. Finally who could forget Star Wars: Racer, a racing titled based on the pod racing moment from the film.
1. Ecks vs. Sever
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever was a 2002 action thriller that has two rival government agents having to work together to uncover a sinister conspiracy. The film has been panned as one of the worst films ever made while holding a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and commonly appearing on any Top 10 lists of worst movies ever made. The most common critique has been its dumb plot and over dependence on cliche moments.
Hence; it always comes as a huge surprise to many that the video game adaption of the film has been praised for perfecting the FPS genre for hand held consoles.
Ecks vs. Sever was a 2001 shooter released for the Game Boy Advance that was based on an early draft of the film. The story still involves the two rival government agents needing to work together to stop a sinister conspiracy. The game was released a few months after the launch of the Game Boy Advance and was universally praised by gamers and critics.
The reason I have to give Ecks vs. Sever the top spot was even though the movie was total crap, the video game pioneered the FPS genre for portable consoles. This game paved the way for shooters like Dead Trigger along with the mobile port of games like House of the Dead and Silent Scope.
Have you played any of these games or was there a title you felt should have been on the list? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.