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5 Video Game Movies That Actually Worked



On paper, meshing movies with popular video games looks like a match made in heaven. That is, until you begin to iron out the kinks, and eventually realize that with two worlds, of course, comes two audiences, each with different needs and wants. Get one thing wrong, and it's as good as dead to one of two factions. Or both, depending on a number of things the movie takes into account when tracing over the source.

Granted, we've seen more box office bombs than anything else when it comes to video game movies. Of course, that isn't to say it's an impossible feat to overcome, and many have achieved such a thing and still managed to keep a lid on both parties' mutual connection with the franchise on hand. Take these five, for example.


5. Pokémon Detective Pikachu

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu - Official Trailer #1

Pokémon Detective Pikachu knew full well what it was doing when it first took over the reins for the beloved franchise—and it wanted to toy with it. Without taking itself for a run-of-the-mill video game port, the Ryan Reynolds-led flick explored new boundaries in both mediums, resulting in an unpredictable and oddly heartwarming tale between two species.

What made Pokémon Detective Pikachu a commercial success wasn't down to the fact that Deadpool himself fronted the roster, but the fact the film was built for moviegoers and gamers alike. Although simple in concept, the flick still managed to provide a hearty amount of lore, plenty of laughs, and a well-rounded lesson to cap it off. Just what the doctor ordered, for sure.


4. Assassin's Creed

Assassin’s Creed | Official Trailer 2 [HD] | 20th Century FOX

On paper, Assassin's Creed is far too big a story to shrink and cram into a 90-minute movie. The only way around that, of course, is to deviate from the plot ever so slightly and, well — change a few bits and pieces. And that's exactly what Assassin's Creed worked out, complete with two separate timelines, similar to the video games.

The Animus opened up a new path for Ubisoft to explore, which made the movie more of a distant cousin of the video game series than a dire movie adaptation. It wasn't Assassin's Creed 2 in any case, but it was, however, a perfect homage to all the great games that the developer had poured heart and soul into creating. It just, you know, didn't have Ezio in it.


3. Tomb Raider

TOMB RAIDER - Official Trailer #1

Long before Angelina Jolie and Alicia Vikander stepped up to fill Lara Croft's weighty boots, Tomb Raider was already regarded as one of the best video game series of its kind. With a long and fruitful career of developing next-level adventures for multiple generations of consoles, the beloved crypt-crawling heroine marked her place in the hall of fame — even without the movies to bolster her image.

Granted, Angelina Jolie performed the part incredibly well, though nobody quite captured the survivor spirit like Vikander in the 2018 movie reboot. Taking material from the Square Enix trilogy, the movie knew exactly which tools to use and how to use them. Tomb Raider enveloped everything the video game series had spent decades polishing, and simply added a Hollywood wax on, wax off treatment for the side. Well played.


2. Silent Hill


To think, die-hard moviegoers used to believe that Silent Hill was an original horror, rather than an adaptation of a hit video game. That's a strange thought, considering the video game series was once the most recognisable in the known world. But being seven years apart, the two mediums crossed wires, and it therefore caused a great deal of confusion.

Anyway, there's no denying the fact that Silent Hill absolutely smashed it out of the park, right through the town itself and back again. True to its video game source, the movie produced new levels of terror and bone-shattering chills, all while keeping a firm hold of all the core features that made the brand universally acclaimed to begin with. Pyramid Head, basically. That what made it.


1. Resident Evil

Constantin Film

Although the thread of movies straight up abandoned a great deal of the original video game material, the heart of the franchise was still alive and kicking, and it gracefully kept some of the key features to halt long-term fans from kicking up a fuss. Those, of course, being zombies, as well as Raccoon City and the notorious Umbrella corporation. But other than that, the movie chose to flow down a different street. And it paid off, surprisingly.

The stone-hearted Alice of the Raccoon City outbreak developed into one of the greatest female protagonists in horror over the series' lengthy run. Her legendary prowess only brought new waves of success to the franchise, and it continued for a good decade before inspiring a complete reboot in 2021.


So, what's your take? Do you agree with our list? Which movies have done their game justice in your eyes? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.

Looking for more content? You could always take a look at one of these lists:

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Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.