Movies based on video games may be God's punishment for an evil world, but there were plenty of excellent films that (surprisingly) gave us hours of gaming gold.
Today, we're bringing them all back in a list of The 25 Greatest Movie-Based Games EVER! Grab a bucket of popcorn, have a seat, and let's roll the film!
25. T2: The Arcade Game
"Come with me if you want to live."
There were plenty of games that spawned from the cinematic awesomeness of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but the arcade version blew them all away. Once you put your quarter in the machine and took hold of the T2 gun, all Hell broke loose. Dropping you right in the middle of the post-Judgment Day war, hundreds of T-101s and Skynet machines stormed the screen, eager to terminate you. It was pure chaos. Without a pocketful of quarters, you'd survive for mere minutes, but it was still a fun ride.
24. Judge Dredd (SNES, Genesis)
"Throw down your weapons and prepare to be judged!"
I AM THE LAW!!
The SNES/Genesis Judge Dredd release was surprisingly faithful to the film. Not only were you gunning down every perp in the game, but you could also judge criminals "guilty" and teleport them to Mega City Jail. Plus, it was at least a thousand times better than the PlayStation version.
23. Discs of Tron (Arcade)
"In the future, video game battles will be a matter of life and death."
Discs of Tron was a fan-favorite back in the day, especially among the disc warriors of the early 80s. The levels got ridiculously complex as you went on, but perseverance would pay off in Sark's defeat. The game was so good that Disney eventually brought it back with Xbox Live Arcade.
22. Scarface: The World is Yours (PS2, XB, PC)
"I'm Tony Montana! You mess with me, you messin' with the best!
Don't write this off as a GTA clone -- Scarface stood out from the crowd on style alone. Being able to relive the classic moments of this iconic film as Tony Montana was more than most gamers were ready to handle. Besides, how many games were ballsy enough to try and "out-violent" Grand Theft Auto?
21. Star Wars (Atari, Arcade)
"You're all clear, kid! Now let's blow this thing and go home!"
For the technology available, this 1983 game was as close as anyone could get to flying a real X-Wing. It even had decent voice-over tracks, from Luke's "Red 5, standing by!" to Han Solo's "You're all clear, kid!" At the time, these graphics were considered to be the most advanced thing on the entire planet.
20. The Empire Strikes Back (NES)
"The Force is with you, young Skywalker. But you are not a Jedi yet."
Another Star Wars game? You bet your sweet bibby.
Taking down AT-ATs in Hoth, training with Yoda, dueling with Vader -- this game had it all. Empire Strikes Back on NES did its movie counterpart proud with a deep, immersive adventure. If you could get through all 10 levels with your eight Jedi powers, you were even better than Yoda himself.
19. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie (Genesis)
"It's Morphin' time!"
One of the few MMPR games that didn't suck, The Power Rangers movie actually yielded a pretty good Genesis title. Each Power Ranger had a distinct character model instead of a cheesy palette swap, the sound wasn't bad, and even the beat-'em-up fighting system kicked some ass. (Well, until you were forced to get in a MegaZord.)
18. The Lion King (SNES, Genesis, Game Gear, PC)
"You must take your place in the Circle of Life."
Back when Disney films were the hottest shit since sliced bread, The Lion King's game was all over the place. The platform levels were wickedly creative, with sequences that often required pinpoint timing. The film's great musical numbers also translated over to the games pretty well, as if to soothe gamers when Simba careened off a cliff for the umpteenth time.
17. Aladdin (SNES, Genesis)
"A diamond in the rough."
Another great Disney film with a good platformer, Aladdin pretty much followed the same formula as the Lion King. Inventive levels? Check. Respectable difficulty? Check. The only downside in this game is Aladdin's weird inability to handle a sword. Lame!
(A/N: We were recently reminded that you could wield a sword in the Genesis version of Aladdin. Not only that, but the smooth animation was top-notch for such an active game. Thanks for the save, teh2Dgamer!)
16. Dick Tracy (Genesis)
"Hello, Big Boy. I've brought your garbage here."
There are two kinds of Dick Tracy fans: people old enough to remember the great comics, and people who saw the awesome film. It was Sin City before Sin City existed. Not every game was a winner, but the Genesis version served up a good plate of rail shooting and destructible levels.
15. Star Wars Episode I: Racer (N64, Dreamcast, PC)
"You refer to the prophecy of the one who will bring balance to the Force. You believe it's this boy?"
Hate it or love it, the unmercifully long Podracing sequence in Episode I made for a damn good racing game. One of the best parts was Racer's RPG elements: repairing your engines, buying repair droids, and upgrading your Pod felt just right. We didn't believe it, but the Force was strong with this one.
14. Jurassic Park (NES) / Jurassic Park (SNES)
"God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs."
Turok's got nothing on Dr. Grant.
This game perfectly illustrates what would have made the Jurassic Park movie even better. Give everyone a f--king gun, and have them hunt down the dinosaurs. The NES version took plenty of good plot points from the movie, but the SNES game actually had you hunting down raptor eggs. There aren't very many things as satisfying as gunning down a T-Rex with a bazooka.
13. Willow (NES)
"Magic is the bloodstream of the universe. Forget all you know, or think you know. All that you require is your intuition."
Willow's NES game not only followed the film better than its arcade counterpart, but it also retained the spirit of the genre. (Magic, swords, and monsters make more sense in an RPG anyway.) It may have borrowed more than a few elements from The Legend of Zelda, but Willow was still solid.
12. Tron (Arcade)
"Your User can't help you now, my little program!"
Playing this game is worth it just for the sound effects alone. With multiple games and password-protected difficulty levels, only real fans were able to play the toughest rounds. Plus, the upright arcade cabinet could glow in the dark. Spiffy.
11. Spider-Man (GC, XB, PS2, PC)
"'With great power, comes great responsibility.' This is my gift. My curse. Who am I? I'm Spider-Man."
The aerial battles were sooooooooo fun.
For the longest time, gamers wanted only one thing from a Spider-Man game -- being able to freely swing from the New York skyscrapers. Spider-Man not only delivered on web-slinging, but the combat was worthy of the arachnid avenger. Crappy voice-acting was a potential problem, but dedicated webheads were happy anyway.
10. The Warriors (PS2, XB, PSP)
"WARRIORS... COME OUT AND PLAY!"
While most brawlers give you piss-poor A.I. companions, this game made sure that the Warriors could really dish out the pain. The missions were varied, the voice acting was done by a lot of the original cast, and the combat was downright brutal. The Warriors game even got a bit of controversy to go with it, since Roger Hill (a.k.a. Cyrus) actually sued Rockstar for using his image. F--king crybaby.
9. Super Star Wars Trilogy (SNES)
"The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."
It's hard to improve on a classic, but the Super Star Wars games for the SNES did just that. With huge levels and screens filled with all sorts of shit trying to kill you -- boulders, Wampas, crazy droids -- getting through the game was half the fun. Throw in a few lightsaber somersaults, and you've got a best-seller.
8. The Thing (PS2, XB, PC)
"Nobody... nobody trusts anybody now, and we're all very tired... there's nothing more I can do, just wait... R. J. MacReady, helicopter pilot, US outpost #31."
In John Carpenter's movie, Kurt Russell didn't know who to trust. In this game, you didn't know who to trust either. Half of the tension came from just trying to keep your squad sane, which is pretty hard when you've got blobs of clawed pink goo hunting you in the freaking Antarctic.
7. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (XB, PC)
"It ain't the fall that get you. It's the sudden stop at the bottom."
Considered one of the best first-person shooters of its time, Escape from Butcher Bay was a must-have title. Mixing stealth with FPS combat is hard enough, but having a good story was more than we had hoped for. Riddick rules.
6. Spider-Man 2 (GC, XB, PS2, PC)
"You've stuck your webs into my business for the last time!"
In 2004, one of life's greatest pleasures was simply swinging through New York in Spider-Man 2. Ahhh... Sweet bliss.
5. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Arcade)
"Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that's how it always starts. Then, there's the running and the screaming..."
The arcade version of The Lost World gave new meaning to the words "itchy trigger finger". Raptors would assault you at every turn, and God help you if you were confronted by the angry T-Rex. This cinematic movie-game was often housed in an enclosed cabinet with speakers -- just to make you jump when the dinosaurs roared.
4. The Lord of the Rings Series (GC, XB, PS2, PC)
There's no way to separate the games for The Lord of the Rings -- they were a collective body of nerdgasm for bibliophiles and gamers alike. The entire series goes into our top 5, since we can't single out any one title. The games had everything that made the movies great: the frantic action, dramatic orchestral music, and memorable dialogue was there to make this series into a legacy.
3. Batman Returns (SNES)
"The Bat, the Cat, the Penguin."
Just like Michael Keaton was the best Batman, the SNES variation of Batman Returns was the best of the Bat-games. Beating up armies of clowns rarely got tiresome, especially since the Dark Knight was so versatile. Head butting, cape-gliding, batarang-throwing, tossing thugs into store windows, Danny Elfman's adapted music -- what more could a fan want?
2. Star Wars Trilogy Arcade
"Indeed, you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen."
There was no other game in the world in which you could experience a first-person lightsaber duel with Darth Vader and Boba Fett. Dodging laser fire on Yavin, speeding through the Endor moon, or fighting your way out of Hoth Base -- it's your choice. Best Star Wars game EVER.
1. GoldenEye 007 (N64)
"You know the name. You know the number."
There's no need to justify it. If you owned a Nintendo 64, you owned this game. Bond's greatest adventure came equipped with multiplayer, tons of solo missions, and even hidden Easter eggs, garnering TONS of awards. Children wept in joy at the mere sight of the game. Even bitter enemies couldn't resist challenging each other to matches of You Only Live Twice.
Loved by all and hated by none, GoldenEye 007 is still the greatest for many gamers.
And just in case we missed a few of your favorites (or made a rare mistake), let us know in our comments section. Thanks for watching. Credit Roll!
+ Ghostbusters the Video Game (PC, PS2, PS3, X360, Wii)
We know, we know, it's not out yet. We can still pray that it'll be good...
+ RoboCop versus The Terminator (Sega Master System)
Playing as RoboCop was great on the Master System, but the plot premise smells of bad fanfiction.
+ Alien vs. Predator (Arcade) / Aliens versus Predator (PC, Mac)
Hey, these games are technically based on the two originally separate movies. Just ignore the fact that the horrid AVP flick even exists. We do.
+ Indiana Jones & The Fate of Atlantis (PC, Mac)
Most Indy platformers suck, and Fate of Atlantis broke the curve as a point-and-click adventure. Besides, it was the only Indiana Jones game that included actual archaeology.
+ Kingdom Hearts (PS2) / Kingdom Hearts II (PS2)
Correction: This game is a fanfiction nightmare gone out of control. It's good, but the overreaching story is waaaaay out in left field. (Don't fret, we still like it.)
Video below is of The Warriors, and videos for each game can be see at the link at the top of this story!