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12 Movies That Would Make Great Video Games

In recent years, we’ve witnessed a surge in successful adaptations of video games into blockbuster movies and TV shows, including the mega-successful The Super Mario Bros. Movie and The Last of Us TV series, with more in development. Likewise, since the inception of video gaming consoles and computers, it’s become commonplace for movies to have accompanying video game tie-ins, allowing fans to immerse themselves further in their favorite cinematic universes. While there have been notable misfires like the terrible E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial video game or the poor Fight Club game, there have also been some incredible video games adapted from movies like the groundbreaking GoldenEye and Spider-Man 2. Most recently, fans got to jump into the world of Pandora with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.



However, there are several notable films that, for reasons unknown, have yet to receive the video game treatment they so deserve. These twelve movies, brimming with captivating narratives, imaginative worlds, and engaging characters, all have the potential to make exceptional video game experiences. From gory horrors to heart-pumping action romps and offbeat comedies, let us explore the untapped potential of these films that would undoubtedly thrive in the realm of interactive gaming, captivating players in immersive adventures yet to be realized.

Updated on January 31, 2024, by Soniya Hinduja: This article has been updated with additional movies that would translate into immersive and addictive video games.


12 Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Adapted from the Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Edge of Tomorrow has ‘video game’ written all over it because of its premise, which sees the world under attack by an alien race known as “Mimics.” In, Europe, officer William Cage is thrown into a suicide mission as he finds himself stuck in a time loop, relating the same battle over and over again and getting killed each time. On one of his loops, he encounters Rita Vrataski, who helps him learn to fight the aliens and survive this apocalypse.

The reason Edge of Tomorrow would perfectly translate into a third-person shooter game is simply because of its premise. The players could wake up as Cage and be stuck in a time-repeating loop where they must figure out a way to defeat the alien race. Just like cage, they can learn how the time loops are caused and win the battle by gaining new skills and experiences and story pushing forward. Rita could either be another player or an AI companion who guides the players to unlock new weapons, strategies, and stuff that would make the overall video game experience more exciting and challenging. Each loop could have random elements added to make the game endlessly replayable. That said, few films provide a tailor-made structure so ready to be turned into an immersive video game as Edge of Tomorrow. Stream on Hulu

11 Kill Bill (2003 – 2004)

Quentin Tarantino has a bunch of stylish action thrillers under his name, but there is something unmistakably badass about both volumes of Kill Bill. Perhaps it is Uma Thurman’s formidable heroine or the sheer carnage of her revenge. Regardless, when The Bride awakens from a coma after four years and learns that it was her own comrades that betrayed her and killed her unborn child, nobody could stop her from lodging bullets and brutally assassinating every member of her former assassination circle, one by one.

With Kill Bill Vol. I & II, Tarantino pays homage to martial arts and Hong Kong cinema. A video game adaptation would likely do the same. Much like The Bride, the players would have to slash their way up in levels and slice their enemy using impressive weapons. While the aesthetic would match Tarantino’s signature, a strong backlight and long POV takes, it is the fighting styles from various bosses that could spice things up a bit.

The other option could be for the Kill Bill game to act as planned but never made Kill Bill 3, which Tarantino spoke about developing for years. The premise can either follow an older Bride or the person hunting her, Nikki, the daughter of Vernita Green, aka Copperhead, who the Bride killed in the first film. This could be a video game that could expand the world of Kill Bill and allow players to act out a version of a movie they will never see. Stream on The Roku Channel

10 Battle Royale (2000)

Battle royale

Battle Royale

Release Date
December 16, 2000

Cast
Tatsuya Fujiwara , Aki Maeda , Tarô Yamamoto , Takeshi Kitano , Chiaki Kuriyama , Sosuke Takaoka

Koushun Takami’s dystopian horror novel came way before The Hunger Games, and while the latter won widespread acclaim for its inventive storyline, the former received a really impressive film treatment under the direction of Kinji Fukasaku. It takes you to a nightmarish Tokyo that has descended into utter chaos. To curb the unrest, the government sends random middle schoolers and high schoolers to a remote island to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor.

Even though it wouldn’t be a massive shock to see Battle Royale play out as a video game, it sure would be a challenge. The government conspiracies and teenage rebellion could turn into a backstory that runs during the initiation period of a game. The concept is clearly a natural fit for any online multiplayer game. Dropping players into an open island where the run to secure weapons and supplies would start intrigue. Then, the levels could be upped by shrinking the borders of the islands and having the players fight in creative and unpredictable settings. Additionally, players could have the option to team up or go solo, which would invest them more into winning. It could be a more violent version of Fortnite. Stream on The Roku Channel

9 The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

In The Cabin in the Woods, five friends head to a remote forest cabin for a fun weekend getaway. What they are strangers to is the fact that they’re being played and manipulated by a bunch of technicians. As strange occurrences plague their cabin and the friends start getting killed off one by one, the teens begin to realize that there is something sinister at play. The film was Drew Goddard’s directorial debut and its revolutionary narrative is what makes it stand out.

Related: The Fallout Series Fixes One Hilarious Problem With the Games

The Cabin in the Woods would translate into the ultimate meta-horror survival game. The claustrophobic setting could provide an element of urgency and dread. As the players progress, more truths are slowly unlocked about a larger conspiracy fueling each level, with the final challenge being taking down those responsible for mysteriously killing the players. Using light RPG mechanics, the players can choose to customize their strength and DIY weapons from what’s available in the cabin, as well as what specific horror monster is hunting them down. This way the experience is different anytime as how one defeats a werewolf would be different from a killer clown or a merman or even a unicorn. Moreover, an element about sacrificing or saving friends to get extra lives could be added. Overall, the ingenious concept of The Cabin in the Woods would ensure the video game wouldn’t be identical to any other out there. Stream on DirecTV

8 I Am Legend (2007)

Set in post-apocalyptic New York, I Am Legend centers around a scientist named Robert Neville who manages to get out alive amidst a breakout of a man-made plague that transforms humans into flesh-eating monsters. As an immune person, he spends years living alone, hoping there’d be a cure. Meanwhile, the infected lurk in the shadows, haunting and hunting the survivors while the city remains in ruins.

To begin with, the film’s backdrop of New York turned into a wasteland is the perfect setting for an open-world survival horror experience where the players would be thrown into the city streets to individually navigate their way. Every now and then, the zombies/vampires would attack them, and they’d have to fight back. Much like Neville, the players would also scavenge the empty city for supplies and assist researchers in making a cure. It would closely resemble The Last Of Us, but the customizations could be made to make the environment more tense and the assaults more brutal and bloody. Rent on Apple TV

7 Inception (2010)

Christopher Nolan’s epic sci-fi hit Inception would certainly make for a unique gaming experience due to its rich and intricate concept of diving into dreams within dreams. The film’s layered narrative and mind-bending environments provide a perfect foundation for an immersive gaming experience. Players could explore stunning dreamscapes with varying levels of surrealism, solve puzzles, and navigate complex dream logic. The game could offer a blend of stealth, action, and puzzle-solving, mirroring the film’s heist-like structure.

Additionally, the ability to manipulate dreams and alter the environment would introduce a unique gameplay mechanic, allowing players to shape their own dream worlds. With its thought-provoking storyline and potential for innovative gameplay mechanics, a high-budget AAA Inception video game, as ambitious as the movie itself, could prove to be just as popular, a sentiment shared by Nolan himself (according to IndieWire). Rent on Apple TV

6 Lightyear (2022)

Lightyear

Lightyear

The story of Buzz Lightyear and his adventures to infinity and beyond. Chris Evans, Taika Waititi and James Brolin star in this Pixar animated film.

Release Date
June 17, 2022

Director
Angus MacLane

While Lightyear might have been a box office bomb, the world that the film creates feels tailor-made for a video game. While there have been plenty of Toy Story-themed games, a sci-fi first-person shooter-style adventure game focused on Buzz Lightyear and his fellow Space Rangers could be a better use of the franchise than a feature film. It’s clear the Toy Story universe has Buzz Lightyear video games, so to continue with the meta-trend, make video games inspired by the movie Lightyear.

The game could be like a kid-friendly version of Mass Effect, allowing the players to take on the role of Buzz Lightyear and interact with fellow Space Rangers across the galaxies, visiting other planets and saving the day from the evil Emperor Zurg. It could act as the sequel that Lightyear set up that it likely never will get. Lightyear‘s nature as a CGI-animated film could make the blending of cut scenes and gameplay seamless. Stream on Disney+.

5 Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

Kung Fu Hustle

Kung Fu Hustle

Release Date
February 10, 2004

Cast
Stephen Chow , Xiaogang Feng , Wah Yuen , Zhi Hua Dong , Kwok-Kwan Chan , Chi Chung Lam

While there have been talks of a game in the past, it’s unfortunately never come to fruition. Stephen Chow’s hilarious 2004 action-comedy Kung Fu Hustle and its unique blend of martial arts action, comedy, and vibrant visuals create a perfect foundation for a truly one-of-a-kind combat-based video game. Players could step into the shoes of the film’s iconic characters, utilizing a wide array of exaggerated kung-fu moves and special abilities to combat hordes of enemies. The game could offer a mix of fast-paced combat, platforming, and puzzle-solving, mirroring the film’s energetic and unpredictable nature.

Additionally, the game could feature a stylized open-world setting inspired by the film’s vibrant Chinese backdrop, allowing players to explore its colorful streets and interact with quirky NPCs. Multiplayer modes could be incorporated, enabling cooperative gameplay or competitive battles between players showcasing their kung fu skills. It would also provide the chance to make a fun comedic video game, a break from some more self serious games on the market. Rent on Apple TV

4 Running Man (1987)

Whilst a video game tie-in for the movie was released back in 1989, with the advancements in technology, the time is ripe for a Running Man video game remake that capitalizes on the thrilling concept of the original film. Inspired by the dystopian sci-fi movie, the new game could leverage the immersive capabilities of modern gaming platforms to create a visually stunning and action-packed experience. Players would find themselves thrust into a high-stakes game show, where they must navigate a deadly maze filled with traps and adversaries.

The game would blend fast-paced parkour, intense combat, and strategic decision-making as players strive to survive and expose the corrupt game’s sinister secrets. The remake could offer a range of game modes, including a compelling single-player campaign and a competitive multiplayer mode where players could either team up or face off against each other. By taking advantage of cutting-edge graphics, responsive controls, and immersive storytelling, a Running Man video game remake would captivate both fans of the original movie and newcomers. Stream on Hoopla

3 28 Days Later (2002)

28 Days Later

28 Days Later

Release Date
October 31, 2002

Cast
Alex Palmer , Bindu De Stoppani , Jukka Hiltunen , David Schneider , Cillian Murphy , Toby Sedgwick

The premise of 28 Days Later’s devastated world overrun by fast and ferocious infected individuals presents a compelling backdrop. Drawing inspiration from the strong storytelling of the immensely popular The Last of Us game series and the heart-pounding gameplay of the underrated Days Gone, the game could offer a gripping single-player campaign centered around survival, exploration, and intense combat against hordes of infected.

Related: 25 Classic NES Games Based on Horror and Sci-Fi Movies

Players would navigate hauntingly atmospheric environments, scavenge for resources, and forge emotional connections with well-developed characters, all while unraveling the mysteries of the outbreak. By blending heart-wrenching storytelling, strategic gameplay mechanics, and a visceral sense of urgency, a video game influenced by 28 Days Later would undoubtedly resonate with fans of the genre. 28 Days Later is not available to stream.

2 9 (2009)

The post-apocalyptic setting, visually stunning animation, and unique ragdoll characters of the Shane Acker-directed, Tim Burton-produced, computer-animated feature 9 would lend themselves perfectly to a video game that highlights platforming and exploration. Players could control different stitch punk characters, navigating through desolate landscapes and treacherous environments filled with puzzles, traps, and hidden secrets. The game could offer a mix of platforming challenges, requiring precise timing and acrobatic maneuvers to overcome obstacles.

Exploration would be key, allowing players to uncover each character’s haunting backstory while unraveling their world’s mysteries. The game could also incorporate cooperative gameplay, allowing friends to join forces and tackle challenges together, utilizing each character’s distinct abilities. Rent on Apple TV

1 Baby Driver (2017)

One for car enthusiasts, Baby Driver‘s stylish and adrenaline-fueled nature makes it a prime candidate for an exciting video game adaptation. The film’s visually stunning aesthetics, combined with its dynamic car chase sequences, lend themselves well to a video game format. The game could offer a captivating single-player campaign where players assume the role of the talented getaway driver, Baby, undertaking high-stakes missions and engaging in thrilling heists. The gameplay mechanics could emphasize precision driving, intense car chases, and strategic planning to capture the essence of the film.

Additionally, multiplayer races could be incorporated, allowing players to compete against each other in heart-pounding street races inspired by the film’s high-speed pursuits. The game could feature an immersive open-world setting, capturing the film’s vibrant cityscape, where players can customize their vehicles, explore side missions, and engage in cinematic moments reminiscent of the film. Stream on Freevee

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