Ten Unique Videogames That Could Be Awesome Movies

Published 3 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. @ Ben Moore

    Um no Madden Movie? BLASPHEMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! J/k :P

    • thinking about it more, it could be a cross between Gamer and Any Given Sunday…… I smell potential

  2. A pixar kingdom hearts movie Ben!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that would be awesome lol.

    i would say put mass effect on the list but theyre already making it into a movie eventually. oh and there was news that valve may make their own half life movie.

    great article, may i suggest a “top ten anime movie adaptations next”?

    • I’d be down with that.

    • That is exactly the movie i was waiting to see but was sad i didn’t lol kingdom hearts has such a unique story that just sucks you in mixed with its action, humor, and seriousness i think it could really sell!

    • yeah kh is awesome but its influenced by movies which doesnt make it emtirely unique.

      • it is influenced by movies but just the story of uniting worlds and us all being connected by the stars was so unique and new to me when the first came around. It would be amazing to see them bring it to life with cgi while at the same time bringing back my personal child hood favorites from disney lol

    • Kingdom Hearts = SURE WIN. I will definitely be one of the first to watch this movie, and seeing as KH has a whole bunch of Disney characters in it, this is pretty feasible. :D

  3. o ya or a deus ex movie would be sick!

  4. STARCRAFT

  5. Final Fantasy 7 cast is all wrong, here it is:
    Cloud – Barry Pepper
    Barrett Wallace – Rampage Jackson
    Tifa Lockheart – Lucy Lawless
    Vincent Valentine – Viggo Mortenson
    Yuffie Kisaragi – Jamie Chung
    Cid Highwind – Sean Patrick Flanery
    Red XIII – (voice) Kiefer Sutherland
    Aeris Gainsborough – Emma Roberts
    Sephiroth – Jason Isaacs
    I agree with yalls choice for the last two.

    • nah chris hemsworth is the spitting image of cloud so…..

      • What? Barry Pepper is, especially in Advent Children.

        • I think a Final Fantasy VII movie would be a bad idea. It’s just far to epic in its own right to be trusted by Hollywood not to blatantly destroy it. That’s why I’m always skeptical about bringing a great game that could be turned into a great movie, but that has yet to happen. Finding a serious director to take on a project like that is hard to do. Half-Life is another one I’m extremely skeptical of as well, just because to make the movie you would then have to give it’s protagonist Gordon Freeman a voice, and an actual character, I couldn’t trust just anybody to do that. I guess without ranting anymore, I believe certain games, as much as we love them should remain as GAMES. There is a definitive line between movies and games for a giant reason. I mean Kane and Lynch is being adapted to a movie, and if your familiar with the game at all, don’t be upset to learn that the movie will probably not follow through. I mean does anybody remember Max Payne? I rest my case… (PS. Jamie Foxx is being casted as Lynch the madman.. Really? Who was the genius that decided that? Did they actually RESEARCH the damn game?)

    • so seth let me get this right lol. you want this list of mostly old actors and actresses to play these characters to the most influential RPG of our time? sorry man, gotta laugh and disagree there

      • I know a few are old but some of who i originally wanted i cant remember lol but i think thats a good cast. plus in advent children they aint teenagers

    • They’re all too old (except for Jackson, Flanery, and Isaacs, I guess), and besides, this movie would be too hard to pull off. I mean, FF is kinda like an anime series, and just look at all the previous anime based live-action movies: Dragonball, Tekken, Airbender… :| So, do you see my point?

      • um…airbender isnt anime its from north america lol

        • knitpicking Ben…he meant Animated.

  6. I thought leto as cloud was an amazing spot on choice, that dude is good in all his movies (american psycho, requiem for a dream)

  7. id like to see a Final Fantasy X movie. for me its the most amazing story of all time. to do the movies (trilogy) they will need J.J. Abrams, peter jackson and chris nolan directing, and spilberg on the effects. idk the cast, but how amazing movie it will be

  8. Fallout should have made the list. ANY of the games. The best thing about those games is the lore its steeped in. Starcraft would be amazing, and so would a diablo as a medieval fantasy movie.

    • Fallout is fine, but there are a hundred movies like it. The Road Warrior, The Road, The Book of Eli, etc. Plus, it was rumored to be in-development. Starcraft would be fine, but I recall being instantly reminded of Alien and Aliens when playing the originals. Haven’t played #2, but I imagine I’d feel similar about that. I’d rather see a Baldur’s Gate or a Neverwinter Nights or a Planescape: Torment than Diablo, myself.

  9. Common as Barret? Fail! How about a real actor like Ving Rames or Michael Clark Duncan?

    • They’re practically elderly at this point. I was going for a semi-young, attractive, Wachowski-style cast.

  10. As a Half Life clan admin and host of a server since 1999 I like your talent picks. Glad to hear Valve isnt passing it off to Hollywood.

    • I hope Valve doesn’t sell out and give up Half-Life. It would be a bad idea. I almost feel like it was created with a clear intention of being difficult to recreate as a movie, just based on it’s vagueness towards the main character, and the story line throughout. Especially with HL2, the story wasn’t spoon fed to you, you learned what was happening as you progressed, which is rare as far as narratives go, especially in video games.

  11. Other than Halo, Final Fantasy 7, half Life, gears of war and a few others I think Secret Weapons over Normandy and Gun should get made into movies cause those games where fun as hell.

  12. Mario Bros movie.
    A new one. Live action. Think about it…

    • It would work better in animation. It’s been attempted before with not so good results.

  13. i’d love to see an ff8 movie series

  14. Ratchet and Clank ftw!

  15. I want to see a Gauntlet movie!! BOOYAH!!! Oh wait, that was kind of like The Expendables!!

    • More like Lord of the Rings, Andy. Except without the Valkyrie.

  16. If Marvel Studios ever regains the rights to all of the characters, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Marvel: Ultimate Allliance 2 would be awesome as movies!!!

    • Nah, too much explaining/fanfare stuff there. Civil War would work great as an animated feature (like Final Frontier, Batman: Under the Red Hood, and Green Lantern First Flight of DC), but it’ll be too tedious to become a movie. But they should do a Marvel team-up movie… (Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daredevil, anyone?)

  17. Grim Fandango as a CGI movie is such a win in my eyes that I’ve already bought out ten theaters just so I can watch it by myself and freak out without anyone looking down on me.

  18. The Suffering would make for a good movie,unfortunately,there’s something in the game that they directly ripped off of House On Haunted Hill.It was the projected image of a doctor in a white coat talking to people.

    Another lesser known game that could work is Psi-Ops.

  19. for me the obvious choice would have to be
    The Dig, directed by Steven Spielberg.
    It is my favourite game and the only thing that would desqualify from this list, is that The Dig was supposed to be a movie. The script was written by Spielberg but due to reasons unknown to me (budget?) the project was abandoned and the script was “given” to George Lucas, which ended up at Lucas Arts…
    There was no loss, in my view, since the game is as best as could be… but it is a pity that the movie never was made… All for the better, probably, because if it was done today who knows if it would not disrespect the memory of such a game and script?

  20. What about an animated Duke Nuken movie?!?!?!?!?
    Imagine Pixar throwing an adult oriented movie that has guns, aliens and naked chicks. At the very least, a direct to DVD pic should be considered.

    • Duke Nukem is too much of an Ash (Army of Darkness) rip-off for my taste. I mean, he’s fine as a throwaway videogame character, but as a movie character, I would be utterly uninterested.

  21. I would love to see a Legend of the Dragoon movie, I personally thought it was one of the best rpgs ever made

  22. Secret of mana, rollcage, wipeout, and what about some smash T.V. AM I RITE???

  23. as amazing as the rest of your casting is, Owen Wilson as Guybrush Threepwood makes me want to cry. or hurl. can’t decide yet.

    then again, you might as well just cast everyone as their POTC counterparts….

    • While I can see why you’d say that, I think he’d be perfect in the role if (and only if) Wes Anderson were directing. Owen Wilson has never let me down in a movie that Anderson directed. He’s one of the best things about both Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited.

  24. Someone has a soft spot for point-and-click-adventures….
    … and by proxy LucasArts. XD

    I like them too. Not sure how FT, MI or GF would play out live action, I think part of the charm for those games is some of the goofy animations. At least, that’s why I like them.

    • I like them because they’re amazing in every single way.

  25. Final Fantasy 7 is one of the most over rated games in all of history, its good, but frankly its nothing special at all.

  26. Gabriel Knight!! If it had to be one of the existing games, The Beast Within- otherwise, just a Gabriel Knight mystery in film form. DROOL!

    • Never played The Beast Within, but loved the first and enjoyed the third.

  27. Blast from the past, but Advent Rising was one of THE best games NOBODY played. Its epicness would be perfect for the big screen! Sure it had epic programing glitches. But! It had an A list writer. A list action. A list composer. Somebody who’s important tell Majesco to dust this off and throw it at Hollywood, please.

  28. There should be a StarCraft movie with James Cameron directing it with Tom Cruise playing Jum Raynor.

  29. There should be a StarCraft movie with James Cameron directing it with Tom Cruise playing Jim Raynor.

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