Ten Unique Videogames That Could Be Awesome Movies

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:44 am,

videogamemovies header Ten Unique Videogames That Could Be Awesome Movies

Despite currently sitting at 21% on Rotten Tomatoes (including a less-than-glowing review from our very own Ben Kendrick), Resident Evil: Afterlife was number one at the box office last weekend and already has sequel on the way. What does this say about us and videogame movies? Are we as a people so desperate to see our treasured videogames translated to the silver screen that we’re willing to ignore awful reviews and years of cinematic abuse for a fourth helping of pain and suffering? The answer, apparently, is yes.

Sure, sometimes videogame movies make money, but there has never been a videogame movie that was at once financially successful, critically successful, and popular amongst the fans. Heck, I can’t even recall a single videogame movie that was either A) critically successful or B) overwhelmingly popular with fans, and Hollywood has been making these things for the past two decades.

One of the many problems, in my opinion, is that movie studios continue to adapt games that are themselves far too heavily influenced by movies. Mortal Kombat was just Enter the Dragon with magic. Resident Evil was just Night of the Living Dead with more guns. Doom was just Aliens without a single moment of tension. And Prince of Persia was just Aladdin with white people.

The following top ten list includes the videogames that should be made into movies precisely because they’re so unique. Not just as videogames or movies, but as stories, as concepts, as fully-developed worlds, and as stylistic expressions. Certain games were left off the list due to the fact that they’re already in-development (Mass Effect and World of Warcraft, for example), while others were left off for their heavy reliance on movie references and/or cinematics (Grand Theft Auto, Uncharted, and Metal Gear Solid, to name a few). That, and there were only ten slots.

Check out our list of ten unique videogames that could be awesome movies:

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10. The Longest Journey

Funcom’s The Longest Journey was a moderately successful point-and-click adventure game that came out immediately in the wake of the so-called “death” of adventure games. In it, you control April Ryan, an art student living in the futuristic, high-tech world of Stark, who has dreams about a fantasy realm called Arcadia filled with dragons and mermaids and monsters and more. Or…are they dreams?

Eventually, April learns that she’s a shifter—a being who can traverse between the two worlds known as Stark and Arcadia. Stark, a world steeped in science and technology. Arcadia, a world steeped in magic and miracles. Whether she likes it or not, it’s April’s job to restore the balance between these two worlds before it’s too late.

The Longest Journey combines the best parts of both science-fiction and high-fantasy, which is why two drastically different filmmakers would be necessary to realize it. First, think James Cameron—king of sci-fi. Second, think Guillermo del Toro—while not exactly “king” of fantasy (yet), he’s really, really good at it. These two renowned filmmakers are already working together on At the Mountains of Madness, so why not tackle The Longest Journey in their spare time?

Now imagine Zooey Deschanel as April Ryan and all that’s necessary to get this film off the ground is to actually convince the filmmakers that it’s worth doing. Shouldn’t be too hard.

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9. Fear Effect

Eidos’ Fear Effect is a survival horror game in the vein of Resident Evil and, to a lesser degree, Silent Hill. In terms of gameplay, it didn’t try to push any boundaries (unless being awesome is a boundary) – don’t fix what isn’t broken, I guess? What it did do, however, was craft a really creepy, atmospheric and interesting tale—a combination of the fantasy, horror, and sci-fi genres—with great characters and an unparalleled visual flair.

In the not-too-distant future, you control three mercenaries—Hana, Glas, and Deke—on the hunt for the runaway daughter of the head of the Chinese Triad (or something). You aren’t out to save her, per se; you just want to find her so you can collect your reward or, if necessary, your ransom. Before you know it, Hana and her mercenary friends find themselves in the middle of an ancient Chinese horror story, with hook-handed demons, monsters made of paper, and green zombies galore.

At one point, the nefarious Uwe Boll wanted to direct the film adaptation of this forgotten gem of a game, much to my intense chagrin. (Which isn’t saying much—at one point, Boll threatened to adapt every videogame in existence.) Thankfully, such an atrocity never came to fruition, leaving the game wide open for a director who actually knows what he or she is doing.

For my money, Sam Raimi would be perfectly suited to take up the reigns. He’s the master of highly-stylized horror movies and I’d love to see his take on Chinese folklore with a cyber punk backdrop. Throw in Maggie Q. as Hana, Bruce Campbell as Glas, and Hugo Weaving as Deke, and Fear Effect the movie is good to go – just so long as the filmmakers don’t slap the dreaded PG-13 rating on it.

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8. Chrono Trigger

Squaresoft’s Chrono Trigger is probably the company’s most famous RPG game after Final Fantasy. In fact, it’s basically a Final Fantasy game…but with time travel! That might sound like I’m being sarcastic and therefore mocking the game, but I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth.

After a crazy experiment goes wrong, Chrono and his friends (a tough-as-nails princess, a neurotic science geek, a sensitive robot, and a sword-wielding frog) find themselves traveling through time to the prehistoric ages, the Middle Ages, the post-apocalyptic future, and else-when. Epic adventures, random battles, and leveling-up ensues.

chronotrigger pixar Ten Unique Videogames That Could Be Awesome Movies

Imagine a Chrono Trigger animated by Pixar—and, more specifically, directed by Brad Byrd (The Incredibles). Since Finding Nemo, Pixar has continually branched out in terms of subject matter. With The Incredibles, they covered superheroes; with Wall-E, they covered the future, robots, obesity, and global warming; with Up, they covered the elderly; currently, they’re helping with Andrew Stanton’s adaptation of the classic John Carter of Mars and they may, in the near future, adapt a Marvel comic book. I’m just saying, can a videogame be too far behind?

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  1. nice list…Fear Effect was an awesome game. as far as FF7..Common would have to beef up considerably lol.

    • Thanks! I don’t know about Common, though–I would say he’s the realistic version of how beefed up Barrett is, no?

      • yeah for sure man

  2. Me being a star-wars fan, SW KotOR springs to my mind. Andd…Golden Sun anybody?

    Oh, I’d just like to say I’m very much enjoying movies from video-games, mainly because I value the movie on itself. I thought Prince of Persia was a great movie…although I can imagine any resemblance to the video-games are remote, to say the least!

    • i dare you to say that after you watch any Uwe Boll film LOL

  3. I always thought Skies of Arcadia for the Dreamcast would make for a great trilogy series. It’s such a lighthearted, kid-friendly adventure about young sky pirates exploring the world in flying galleons fighting monsters and evil empires. It’s one of the few games that I thought has a genuinely charming cast of characters and a heartwarming story.

    • Totally agree. That was on the short-list for runners up.

  4. i think the guy who plays house on the tv show of the same name is the perfect look-alike for Gordon Freeman

  5. Just keep “Dr.”Uwe Boll away from any films and everything will be okay.

  6. I would love to see “Day of the Tentacle” made into a movie as long as hoagie isn’t played by Jack Black (i like him and all but he would be the obvious choice and i would rather want someone new). Yes it is from the same people that made some of the games above mentioned (which i played those games aswell) but this one was my favorite.

    Shoot i’d be happy if they just re-released the game in HD for the PSN.

    • Frankly, I think all of Tim Schafer’s games would make great movies, Day of the Tentacle included. Alas, I didn’t want it to look like I was favoring him too much.

      • I totally agree, Psyconaughts I think would be my personal choice out of his games for the movie treatment, that would make a cracking kids film.

        Great list, brought back some great memories seeing Fear Effect again – I got to the last disc and my game crashed though – grrrr! I can’t belive that was on the PSOne, the graphics still hold up today.

        Glad to see you have Beyond Good and Evil on there too, what an awesome game – check out these teasers for the sequel:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkCXE1l5MVI

  7. I apologize in advance for my complete nerdy-like attitude with the following statement- Windwaker over Ocarina of Time? Really? I think that if there was ever a video game to be made into a so called “epic” film would be the Ocarina of Time. It would even likely warrant sequels due to the popularity of the franchise, especially the particular game, and also the fact taht there is so much story to tell. This is the #1 imo. Maybe it was left off the list because it is the most obvious.

    • Hey, I’m not even saying Wind Waker is a better game than Ocarina, I’m simply saying it would be more interesting to see a film adaptation of it.

    • Gotta agree with you there. In fact, going with Ocarina of time first opens the door for making Wind Waker the sequel

      • If they were adapting the more traditional Zelda games, I would suggest starting with A Link to the Past before moving onto Ocarina.

  8. Awesome read, Ben! Someone in the film world should nab you for casting/production. Spot on.

  9. And I say David Slade to direct F.E.A.R. with:

    Sam Worthington as Point Man
    John Goodman as Rowdy Betters
    Wentworth Miller as Spen Jankowski
    Maggie Q as Jin Sun -Kwon
    Jensen Ackles as David Rayner
    John Cho as Stephen Chen
    Gary Oldman as Harlan Wade
    Lizzy Caplan as Alice Wade

    The villains as

    Isabelle Furhman as Young Alma Wade
    Delphine Chaneac as Older Alma Wade
    Sigourey Weaver as Genevieve Aristide
    Joseph Gordon Levitt as Paxton Fettle
    Joshua Harto as Gavin Morrison

    That would make a good movie if done right.

  10. i think roberts would too young for ff7 if leto was cloud, get blake lively or something. i do like the cast though, roberts to me is a looker.

  11. FF& would make a great movie… FF8 also… hmmm, actually, I think any FF series will make a great movie… they already have a great storyline…

  12. Hot Damn! Such a great call on Full Throttle…awesome idea to have Carpenter helm it too! But your casting for The Monkey Island film is superb…loved the game and think it would play out spectacularly. Well done!!

    I’m holding gout for the Shadows of the Colossus movie myself. Of course no dialog and one character can be pretty boring…let’s just pray it’s not Zach Effron:P

    • Thanks much! FYI, I believe a film adaptation of Shadow’s in development.

  13. Good choices, can’t believe you left out Phsyconauts though.
    Edgar Wright to direct.
    Jay Baruchel as Rasputin, throw in an a-list supporting cast like maybe Gary oldman as Sasha Nein, Sigourney Weaver could play Milla and maybe Bruce Campbell as Coach Oleander.

    Epic

    • I love Psychonauts with all my heart and soul, but I didn’t want this to become a “Top Ten Tim Schafer Videogames That Could Be Awesome Movies” article.

  14. You left out Heavy Rain. It was a fantastic game.

    • Including it would’ve gone against the rules of the article, in that it was too heavily influenced by established movies (Silence of the Lambs, Seven, etc.) and relied too much on cinematics.

      • Yeah, it’s a good thing you put that rule in there. It’d be impossible to make a top 10 lol.

        Metal Gear Solid, Heavy Rain, GTA, Uncharted, etc.

    • I thought they were developing a heavy Rain movie already or at least talking about one?

  15. Love the casting and everything for Final Fantasy VII. But, where’s Final Fantasy X? I think that would be a much better movie. It would be awesome.

    Also, I like the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker also. But, once again Ocarina of Time is where I’d like to see a movie!

    • X was actually the first time I couldn’t play through a Final Fantasy game, due in large part to Tidus. Matter of fact, my favorite Final Fantasy, to this day, is IX. As for Zelda, I’m sure Ocarina would make a fine movie in the right hands, but it just felt like too obvious a choice for this list.

  16. What about Hotel Dusk: Room 215? One of those point and click adventures that you seem to think is on the decline. . .

    • Yeah, that was a pretty good game. I’d place other point-and-click adventure games higher, though, namely Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father and Day of the Tentacle.

      • time crisis would be a fun one i think.

  17. Another one that i would love to see would be “The Suffering” with Vin Diesel as “Torque” and just like Torque in the first game i don’t want Vin to speak either… Just everybody else that interacted with him to do so.

  18. No Metroid? C’mon!

  19. hey Ben, no thoughts on a Fallout movie??

    • I loved the first one and enjoyed but didn’t finish the third one. Rumor was that it was in the process of being adapted into a movie.

      • ohh man..that will be EPIC. i have yet to play all the expansions for the 3rd, im still hunting down all the skill books. ive finished it though, just collecting ammo, building weapons lol.

  20. lol tim burton should direct OKAGE

  21. These are some really good picks! I’d love to see all of these games in movie format! For the most part, I also like the casting and production ideas for the characters but for FF7 I’d honestly prefer a casting of Japanese or Japanese American actors or actresses instead of a mainly Caucasian cast–it just makes more sense to me.

  22. MASS EFFECT!

    • “Certain games were left off the list due to the fact that they’re already in-development (Mass Effect and World of Warcraft, for example)…”

      I am also looking forward to a Mass Effect movie.

  23. FF7 should’ve have a movie that wasn’t a sequel.

  24. SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS!!!!!!!

    It would be beauuutifuuuullllllllllll

  25. damn!! your casting for final fantasy is horrible , cloud is whoo???? and commom has no life whats so ever.

    • Common has no life? I don’t even…I don’t even understand what you’re saying.

      • I don’t understand narren’s comment either, I mean Grammy winning artist who actually has something to say in his music, I smell hater-ade on the breath :D

  26. and advent children was awesome

    • I agree we already had our FFVII movie, no need to ruin it with live action jibberish.

  27. Am I the only guy who interested in a F.E.A.R. film?

  28. Um id rather see Guillermo Del Toro do a live action Zelda than and animated one, I mean Miyazaki could pull it off but I like Del Toro’s special effects and creature creations

    • I love del Toro, don’t get me wrong, but Miyazaki is one of the greatest directors of all time. There’s no comparison.

      • I dunno, I’ve never seen a live action Miyazaki or animated Del Toro film. I dunno I think I would just prefer it to be live action

  29. I know this has been discussed a lot, but a Halo movie franchise would be AWESOME!!!

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