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Best Video Game Movie Adaptations, Ranked

Once video games began to catch on around the world, and with technology allowing for more immersive stories, video game film adaptations were expected. In the 21st century, video games have become embedded in popular culture and have been a competitive force for storytelling. Many have attempted adaptations of various video game titles, and some video game companies have extended their titles to the big screen to bring together a wider audience. Here is a list of adaptations that are notable and have left an impact in the film industry.

ten Super Mario Bros.

Everyone knows the adorable characters from the Mario universe. First released as an arcade game by Ninentdo in 1983, the series quickly became a global phenomenon, eventually getting its feature debut in 1993, Super Mario Bros. Based on the general events of video games, the film put its own creative spin on the series for American audiences. Unfortunately, the film was a box office flop and didn’t sit well with critics due to its differences from the source material. Years later, however, the film has earned a cult following, now lauded for what it technologically achieved for its time.

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9 silent HillSilent Hill IMDb

silent Hill is a Japanese psychological horror game released in 1999. Considered one of the greatest video games ever made for its innovation towards the horror genre in video games, it naturally received a movie in 2006 directed by Christophe Gans. Gans was eager to get his hands on the rights to the series due to his passion for games. Although there was an attempt to stay close to the source material with its monsters and locations, silent Hill was not well received by critics for its convoluted plot, however, the film was praised for its visual appeal and good scares.


8 Resident Evil (2002)Resident Evil game spot

James Cameron’s guilty pleasure movie, according to his Reddit page. resident Evil is important to be able to produce six live-action movies based on a video game. The films spanned almost two decades, with the first entry being released in 2002 and the most recent in 2016. Loosely based on popular horror and survival games, resident Evil borrows ideas from the first two games. The film was directed by Paul WS Anderson who previously worked on mortal combat, another video game with a film adaptation. resident Evil was nominated for Most Underrated Film of the Year at the 2002 Golden Schmoes Awards.

seven Ratchet and ClankRatchet and ClankLos Angeles Times

Released in 2016 and directed by Kevin Monroe, Ratchet & Clank tells an original story of the titular characters. Overshadowed by competitive family films upon release such as The jungle Book and Zootopia, and not offering as grand an adventure as the games, the film flopped in theaters. Insomniac Games, the video games’ original producer, helped with the animation of the film, helping it stay true to the source material. The games’ original voice actors also reprized their roles alongside the newcomers in the film, making it one of the most faithful video game adaptations ever made.


6 monster hunterIMDb Monster Hunter

Another video game adaptation directed by Paul WS Anderson, monster hunter was released in 2020 after years of development and then delays due to COVID-19. The film received help from Capcom, the game’s producer, and was praised for its visual effects. monster hunter is a Japanese role-playing game first released in 2004 on Playstation 2, and is currently Capcom’s best-selling franchise next to Resident Evil. The film tells the story of a hunter who separates from his team where he must fend for himself in a world cohabited by monsters. As of 2020, a script for a sequel is in development.

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5 Final Fantasy VII: Children of AdventFinal Fantasy VII Advent Children The Verge

In 2005, one of the most beloved video games of all time, Final Fantasy VII, received a straight-to-DVD movie. The film was directed by the game’s character designer, Tetsuya Nomura, best known for his work on Kingdom Hearts and in the Final Fantasy Games. Set two years after the events of the video game, the film serves as a proper sequel to the video game. The film was praised for its CGI and animation done by Visual Works and Square Enix, but criticized for alienating people who hadn’t played the game. Advent children received the Maria Award at the Sitges Film Festival and won “Best Animated Feature” at the 2007 American Anime Awards.


4 Tomb Raider (2018)Tomb Raider IMDb

Directed by Roar Uthaug, grave robber stars Alicia Vikander as the iconic Lara Croft. Based on the famous action-adventure games developed by Square Enix, this film is based on the 2013 reboot of the series which explains the origin of Lara Croft. The film was praised for the nature of its adaptation, in particular for being more realistic, unlike previous films starring Angelina Jolie. Some fans, however, were unsure of Vikander’s performance due to the praise Jolie had garnered in previous films. Overall, the adaptation and cast were generally well received by critics, and a sequel is currently in the works.

3 Mortal Kombat (2021)Mortal Kombat IMDb

Acting as an adaptation of the video games and also as a reboot of previous films, mortal combat is HBO’s most successful movie launch to date. Based on the fighting games of the same name, the film centers on a fighter who learns of his lineage. The film was directed by Simon McQuoid in his feature directorial debut and received mixed reviews from critics. Praised for its fidelity to the material but criticized for its characterizations and plot, there is still talk of new mortal combat upcoming movies.


2 sonic the hedgehog


Sonic the Hedgehog review: Jim Carrey returns to form in a fantasy adventure

The first entry in a planned series of films based on the video game series sonic the hedgehog, this film was released in 2020 and starred James Marsden and Jim Carrey. Currently the highest-grossing video game adaptation in North America, the film has received generally positive reviews from critics. The movie started off on the wrong foot after its first trailer when Sonic’s original design turned out to be more realistic. Fans strongly objected to the design which led the animators to redesign Sonic to more closely resemble the video game. The movie did well in theaters and the sequel is already underway. A trailer for the sequel was recently released reflecting the release of The Matrix.

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1 Detective PikachuDetective Pikachu Entertainment Weekly

Based on the famous Pokemon franchise, Detective Pikachu was released in 2019. Loosely based on the plot of the video game of the same title (Detective Pikachu), the film centers on Tim Goodman, played by Judge Smith, who sets out with Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, to search for Tim’s missing father. Although there have been several Pokemon feature films over the years, it was the first live-action adaptation and the first to be developed overseas. Considered one of the best video game movies ever made, the film did exceptionally well at the box office and many are hoping for a sequel despite a recent comment from Smith letting them down.


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