Okay, yes, video games based on movies don’t exactly have a good reputation for quality. Often this is due to the developer wanting to cash in on the time sensitive nature of the movie, for instance E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial — was made in five weeks so it was ready for release for the Christmas season. This tends to result in poor quality games that are banking on their title and, though less often, the voice talents behind the characters.
However, there are some really, really good video games based on movies out there. Here are my top ten:
- 1. GoldenEye 007 – Nintendo – Nintendo 64
This list would be completely remiss without the revolutionary entry of GoldenEye 007, the James Bond game based on the 1995 movie of the same name. GoldenEye is credited as being the starting point for the first person shooter genre. Originally planned as an on-rails shooter, GoldenEye quickly evolved into the shooter game that no ‘best video game’ list can be without. Given the era, when games were developed by the console manufacturers themselves rather than third parties, GoldenEye 007 was released exclusively for the Nintendo 64.
- 2. Spiderman 2 – Activision – Various Platforms
With a great franchise, comes great responsibility. This was taken to heart in Activision’s game Spiderman 2, based on the 2004 movie of the same name; players get immersed in the world of Peter Parker and his web-slinging alter-ego. An open world game, a good many gamers from this generation would have a hard time telling you how many dozens of hours they spent slinging webs around the wonderfully realized New York City.
While riddled with a few notable bugs, the gameplay of this game and its attention to detail far outweigh those bugs in my opinion. Available for nearly every possible platform of the generation, this game is a must play for some mid 2000-era nostalgia.
- 3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Electronic Arts – Various Platforms
This 2007 game based on the book and movie of the same name did something that no other Harry Potter game has ever managed to do properly. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, you are able to express a 3D realized Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Including both the main story arc from the film, the game also pits you against numerous subplots, and even chapters written by author J.K. Rowling that didn’t make it into either the book or the movie.
Much like Spiderman 2, this title is available for nearly all consoles of its era: Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, Sony’s Playstation 2, 3, and Portable, Microsoft XBOX 360, as well as Mac OS X. This game is worth checking out for any true Harry Potter fan for sure.
- 4. The Godfather(Series) – Electronic Arts – Various Platforms
No fan of 1940’s mobster culture should pass on The Godfather series of games. Set in a time appropriate, open world New York City, with other settings including Sicily, Cuba, and Florida, this series introduced quite a few unique gameplay features, such as targeted hand-to-hand combat.
- 5. Hitman: Blood Money – Eidos Interactive – Various Platforms
One of my all-time favorite games, Hitman: Blood Money puts you in the shoes of notorious Agent 47, an assassin employed by the mysterious Agency, as he goes about his normal routine of infiltration, violence, and execution. Visiting famous locales such as New Orleans and the White House, Hitman: Blood Money excels in the genre of stealth shooters. It’s available for Microsoft Windows, Microsoft XBOX, Microsoft XBOX 360, Sony Playstation 2, and Sony Playstation 3.
- 6. Star Wars: TIE Fighter – LucasArts – DOS, Macintosh, Windows 9x
Easily the oldest game on this list, Star Wars: TIE Fighter is a sci-fi space combat simulator featuring, as the name suggests, TIE Fighters. It’s included in this list not just because it’s an entertaining game, but also because it’s one of the few games in existence that allows you, even encourages you, to play as the antagonist. The game can be had to find, and even harder to find a system that it’ll play on, but those lucky enough to find both will be enjoying it on floppy disk.
- 7. Star Trek: Bridge Commander – Activision – Microsoft Windows
This tactical game puts you in the command chair of Star Trek franchise Federation starships on a mission to save the galaxy. Unique to this game, rather than being the one actually doing the action you are instead the one giving out orders to your virtual crew to carry out said orders. For instance, instead of destroying an enemy ship by pointing your lasers at it and shooting, you instead order your helmsman to bring you within range of the ship, and then have your tactical officer attack the ship. It’s really quite an entertaining and challenging game, available exclusively to Microsoft Windows.
- 8. 007: The World is Not Enough – Electronic Arts – Nintendo 64
Often lauded as the sequel to GoldenEye 007, The World is Not Enough revisits our charisma and deadly James Bond in a story based on the 1999 movie of the same name. Expanding on the gameplay introduced in GoldenEye, The World is Not Enough adds better graphics, exotic locations, and a variety of different weapons. It was released exclusively for the Nintendo 64.
- 9. 9. Ghostbusters: The Video Game – Atari – Various Platforms
Who you gonna call for a great ghost hunting video game? Ghostbusters: The Video Game arrived on the market in 2009 on all consoles, putting you in the shoes of the hilarious quartet of spectral seeking (para) psychologists. Based on the Ghostbusters series of movies, this game is mandatory for any Bill Murray fans. Though, a video game can’t quite do Murray the justice he deserves.
- 10. The Simpsons: Hit & Run – Sierra Entertainment – Various Platforms
D’oh! Rounding out this list of great games is The Simpsons: Hit & Run, an open world game based on the popular movie and TV show of the same name. Released on the Sony Playstation 2, Nintendo Gamecube, Microsoft XBOX, and Microsoft Windows, this game puts you in the world of many of the franchises most lovable characters.