A general rule of the gaming world tends to see games based on movies being relatively bad. Rushed development to meet the movie’s release windows, unfinished concepts, and phoned-in performances from the stars of the films (if you’re lucky) are just some of the things that tend to hurt video game movies. But we’ve rounded up the following games that broke the mould and proved that anomalies can happen.
Here are the five best games based on movies:
5. Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (2004) – PC, Xbox
Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay is a rare instance where the game is actually better than the movie — not that that’s a major feat for a movie this average. In the game for the original Xbox, you play as the title character as he does just what the title says: escapes from a locked-down prison in a sci-fi setting. To do so, the game has you do a little bit of everything, from shooting and melee fights to stealth sequences and platforming. Better yet, it meshes all of these gameplay mechanics together with style.
4. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) – PS3, Xbox 360
When an X-Men Origins: Wolverine game was announced, we expected the toned-down PG-13 Wolverine we saw on the big-screen, but the game adaptation turned out to be the goriest, uncensored and most brutally beautiful Wolverine game to date. It featured some of the best dismemberment we ever laid our uncorrupted eyes on – after all, this was from the guys who made Soldier of Fortune. The game showed what super-hero games should be all about – platforming, puzzles and most importantly, combat. Not becoming too attached to its cinematic counterpart and instead incorporating Wolverine’s comic-book brutality and animalistic attributes is what made the game exceed expectations.
3. Aladdin (1993) – Mega Drive, PC
Aladdin was the best of the many high quality Disney video games that came out in the ’90s. This delightfully colourful adaptation of the movie had us throwing apples, leaping across dangerous bazaar stalls, and bouncing off camels to reenact some of the crazy scenes from the Disney classic. The game blended gameplay elements of Prince of Persia with a slick and vivid art-style reminiscent of the movie to create something enjoyable and true to its source material.
2. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) – PS2, Gamecube, Xbox
When some action adventure games based on the Lord of the Rings film sequels were announced, it’s safe to say that even fans were sceptical, but we were pleasantly surprised when EA’s ambitious title was released. The Two Towers allowed players to take on the role of Aragorn, Gilmi or Legolas, and featured great hack-’n-slash combat, interactive environments, and mechanics reminiscent of Gauntlet. Upgradable skills also made the game customisable in order to suit each person’s individual play style. The Helm’s Deep level made us throw controllers in frustration, but it was also the best part of the game.
1. Spider-Man 2 (2004) – Xbox, PS2, Gamecube, PC
The first Spider-Man game based on the Sam Raimi movie didn’t give us much hope. It had a bad plot, terrible controls, poor web-slinging, and you couldn’t even land on the ground. When Activision released the second game, players were wowed by the ability with which the developers were able to not only recreate New York, but Spider-Man’s New-York. This time around, we could go web slinging to our heart’s content, and truly connect with the game’s wall-crawling protagonist. Controls were fresh and never a burden, combat worked perfectly with aerial and ground maneuvering, and for the first time, fans could feel like they were in Spider-Man’s shoes.
What’s your favourite video game based on a movie? Let us know in the comments below…