As someone who plays video games, I’ve found that many games based on films are subpar. Developers hurry to get titles out so they coincide with the release date of the film, negatively affecting quality. But once in a while you come across some gems. Here’s 10 of the best Hollywood-inspired video games:
1. GoldenEye 007 (1997, N64). This FPS title – starring Brosnan’s Bond – is a no-brainer for this list. Its gameplay incorporated revolutionary features such as the necessity for stealth, “missions” for your character, and multiplayer death matches. Many consider it far more entertaining than the movie! Unfortunately, it may be difficult to find these days, so you might want to opt for the next best thing – the 2010 update developed for multiple systems.
2. Ghostbusters (2009, cross-platform). “The third movie in the series“ (according to Dan Aykroyd) is a third-person shooter that fully capitalizes on the goofiness of its predecessors, featuring you as a rookie Ghostbuster in a brand-new storyline, with wacky paranormal items/enemies, immersive environments, and the voices of the film cast. Prices range from $10-50 depending on which version you buy.
3. Aladdin (1992, Sega Genesis). Superior to the SNES version, Sega’s Aladdin is an adventure platformer that puts you in the role of Aladdin, battling through multiple levels in lush environments, accompanied by an impressive 16-bit recreation of the movie’s most popular tracks. You can pick it up on the cheap (under $10) on ebay.
4. Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers (2002, cross-platform). Play as Legolas, Aragorn, or Gimli in the beautifully-rendered Middle-World, implementing both beat-’em-up and strategic RPG elements with plenty of unlockable features (such as characters and missions). The game is difficult, however, and the story (fortunately or unfortunately) cuts out the hobbits’ story to focus on the three playable heroes. Available for around $20 on most platforms.
5. X-Men Origins – Wolverine (2009, cross-platform). This title, with its hack-and-slash gameplay and extreme depictions of violence, is considered largely superior to the movie. Great for the 18+ crowd, but not suitable for kids. The special Uncaged Edition is available on Amazon for around $20-30.
6. Cars 2 (2011, Wii/PS3). It’s not just a fun movie for kids – now it’s a game they’ll enjoy just as much, with an exceptional multiplayer cart racer, polished graphics, and true-to-the-film environments. The only major drawback is that it doesn’t offer online multiplayer mode. Costs $15-20 on Amazon.
7. Scott Pilgrim VS the World (2009, PSN/Xbox Live). Based on a movie based on a comic book series (simpler than it sounds), this retro-themed multiplayer side scroller is loads of fun, with its throwback graphics, colorful characters, and frenetic button-mashing fighting style. People of all ages, especially kids, will love this. And because it’s a digital title, it’s very cheap – just $10.
8. Spider-Man 2 (2004, cross-platform). This iteration of the web-crawling hero features an open world environment, physics-based web swinging, and a gripping storyline mode. Fans of Spidey and the GTA games will get a kick out of this title. Prices vary depending on which platform version you choose, from $20-50. (Make sure you pick up one of the console versions, not the greatly stripped-down Windows version!)
9. The Thing (2002, PS2/Xbox/PC). This canonical “sequel” to John Carpenter’s horror movie classic delivers the scares with its survival horror elements, including a suspenseful plot, hideous monster enemies, and paranoia (manifesting in the ability to manage the “trust” levels of your team). Survival horror and The Thing enthusiasts will enjoy this. Grab it for around $30-40.
10. Tron 2.0 (2003, PC/Mac). Also once declared the “official sequel” to a cult classic (Disney’s 1982 movie Tron), this sci-fi adventure features FPS gameplay, impressive graphics, and voice acting from some of the movie actors – making this an excellent choice for Tron movie fans. A game that undersold upon its release, you can still find copies for around $20.