Video: Top 5 Video Game Movies

Video games don't seem to make good films, but these five are the best

With Assassin’s Creed becoming the latest video game franchise to be adapted into a movie, people are already speculating whether it will be the first to equal it’s source material. In the past gamers have been disappointed and downright insulted by the way in which their favourite pixelated and polygonal characters have been portrayed on the silver screen, mentioning no names…Uwe Boll. As bad as they are, some are better than others, so we’ve put together this countdown of the top five. Based on fans and critics reviews we focused on enjoyment factor and how faithful they were to their counterpart. Selections were restricted to live action and must have had a theatrical release. So here are the top 5 video game movies…

5. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Gamers have been following the adventures of the acrobatic archaeologist since 1996. One of the first female video game protagonists she has no doubt influenced many others over the years. In 2001 Angelina Jolie strapped on the dual pistols and platted her hair to take on the role of the Tomb raiding Brit. Lara must track down an ancient artefact that can manipulate time before the evil illuminati can get their greasy mitts on it. With an original story, it was criticised for it’s senseless plot, but included everything a fan of the games could want. Jolie’s performance was praised, embodying Lara’s intelligence, strength and initiative along with her acrobatics.

4. Silent Hill (2006)
Still considered as one of the scariest video games every made, it re-invented the survival horror genre with it’s emphasis on atmosphere and tension, and made its transition to cinema in 2006. Following mother Rose (Radha Mitchell) and her adopted daughter Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) as they head to the mysterious town of Silent Hill, things take a dark turn when Sharon goes missing and Rose must explore the town learning of a local cult and Sharon’s connection to it’s past. Critics praised the films atmosphere and tone which managed to stay faithful to the game, however the films script was deemed too confusing.

3. Resident Evil (2002)
The first video game to be coined with the term ‘survival horror’ it has gone on to become one of the most famous games to have you wetting your pants. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, we follow a crack team of commandos as they attempt to contain the outbreak of a virus in an underground facility, along with the assistance of amnesiac Alice (Milla Jovovich). The film itself has very little to do with the games plot lacking any of the protagonists, however the action and horror scenes were met with praise along with the effects helping to create a similar tone gamers were familiar with.

2. Mortal Kombat (1995)
With it’s gruesome fatalities using realistic digitised sprites, it became notorious for being one of the first graphically violent video games, in part leading to the creation of the video game ratings system. We join a group of martial artists as they are taken to an alternate universe to take part in a tournament held only “once each generation”. However this time the stakes are higher, as the outcome of the tournament will determine the fate of earth. Upon release it received mixed reviews, with praise mostly toward it’s martial arts sequences, atmosphere and production values, though it’s performances and script were not looked upon so fondly.

1. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
Created in 1989, the first game stood out for it’s use of rotoscoping to obtain fluid and realistic animation. The film’s story, influenced by it’s reboot ‘The Sands of Time’ follows Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal), as he teams up with a princess to prevent a time-bending dagger from getting into the hands of a nefarious lord who wishes to use it to enslave all of humanity. Creator Jordan Mechner was involved with penning the story though many felt it was cliched with uninteresting characters, but enjoyed the parkour chases and sword fights harking back to classic sword and sandal films.

Discussion feed
  • Silent Hill is my favourite and does capture the essence, feel and adult themes of the games...even the second film is pretty good! I must admit, I do have a soft spot for the Resident Evil films although I do wish they would do a proper hard-core film version of the first game.
  • Love your videos Tom! I really enjoyed the first Mortal Kombat but then the second film was an absolute mess - hopefully Assassin's Creed and WOW won't be let downs!

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