“Video games based on films suck.” Although this may sound like a hyperbolic statement, it’s hard to argue with it. After all, the idea behind most games based on films is to capitalize on the success of a given movie. This article focuses on those games that succeed, those games that are good in their own right and those games that remind us why we like the movie they are based on so much. Note that a lot of games didn’t make the cut, so if you feel like I forgot (or completely overlooked) a game in particular, feel free to share your own list in the comments down below. Here are some of the best games best games based on films:
5. Ghostbusters: The Video Game (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, you assume the role of a new recruit in the Ghostbusters team. The game has a third-person perspective, but instead of using a traditional gun to shoot at something, you wield a proton pack to capture ghosts. So what makes this game so good? All the main actors lent their voices and likenesses to the game, the CGI sequences are absorbing and the game succeeds at making you feel like you’re a Ghostbuster. Sold.
4. Spider-Man 2 (PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, PC)
Back in the PS2 era, a friend lent me a copy of Spider-Man 2 and to be completely honest, I wasn’t expecting a good title. Spider-Man 2 taught me the you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Part of what makes Spider-Man such an interesting superhero is his ability of soaring New York using spiderwebs and interestingly, this was one of the first games to make the web swinging mechanics extremely compelling. Some might think that Spider-Man 2 is yet another Grand Theft Auto clone. Dig a little deeper though, and you’ll find out that this is one of the most memorable titles based on a movie. By the way, stay away from the PC version.
3. Disney’s Aladdin (Sega Genesis)
Aladdin is a series of platformers based on the movie of the same name. Each game is drastically different to the next, but the best one is the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version. To a certain extent, the game follows the story of the film, but every aspect of the game is extremely engrossing. Aladdin also happens to be one of the most meticulously crafted titles on the Genesis: the animations are gorgeous, the soundtrack is catchy, the difficulty is challenging-yet-fair and the gameplay is outstanding.
2. GoldenEye 007 (Nintendo 64)
If you had a Nintendo 64 back in the day, you probably had a copy of this game. Nowadays, some casual players see the Xbox 360 and the PS3 as the “boxes that allow you to play Call of Duty on them.” We could say that the N64 was that console, but for GoldenEye 007 instead of Call of Duty.
GoldenEye 007 is one of the most influential games ever made, because it proved that first-person shooters could be played in consoles using a controller instead of mouse and keyboard (a feature that titles such as Perfect Dark and Halo were going to improve upon a few years later.) GoldenEye had it all: an innovative single-player campaign, a strong multiplayer and appealing weapons. It may not hold up very well, but GoldenEye 007 still deserves to be in this list.
1. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (PC, Xbox)
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay is an exception to multiple rules. Not only is Escape from Butcher Bay a great movie-based game, but it’s also better than the film it’s based on. So that makes it a special game right from the get go. In the game, you assume the role of Riddick (played by Vin Diesel) as he tries to break out of a futuristic prison. The game combines hand-to-hand combat, NPC-interaction, tight controls and stealth mechanics.
If you can’t find a copy of Escape from Butcher Bay, you can always play its remake: Assault on Dark Athena, which includes a new single-player campaign and multiplayer segment. Note that Assault on Dark Athena isn’t as good as the original, but if you can’t find a copy of the original, the remake is worth playing.
These are some of the games that didn’t make the cut: Power Rangers: The Movie: The Videogame, The Matrix: The Path Of Neo, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World The Video Game, The Warriors, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, X-men Origins: Wolverine, Batman (NES version,) Blade Runner, The Thing, Tron 2.0, Dune and Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie.