The 10 Best Video Game Movies Of All Time

Best Video Game Movies

Video games movies do not always have the best pedigree. You could argue that there have been far more misses than hits when it comes to bringing favorite video games to the big screen. If anything, the idea of approaching these movies with low expectations has almost become part of the genre, with many video game movies falling firmly into the B-movie category. All that said, they can still be a fun way to spend some time, especially for fans of the particular game being made into a movie. If you approach them in the right direction, you can have a lot of fun watching some video game movies with your friends.

The best ones usually embrace the inherent silliness of their subject matter, and for those us that tend to love cheesy action flicks, the genre has given us some absolute classics over the years.

10 Best Video Game Movies

In this list, I will be giving my own top ten video game movies. It will be a blend of my subjective tastes, some fond childhood memories, and a bit of sneaky research on the internet to decide if a movie is genuinely worthy of being in my Top Ten. As such, I expect you may have a very different list of movies that you prefer, so please be sure to join in the conversation and let me know what they are in the comments section!

#10 - Lara Croft - Tomb Raider (2001)

There were plenty of reasons to be excited about Lara Croft - Tomb Raider when it was first announced. Directed by Simon West, who had directed Con Air and produced Black Hawk Down, and starring Angelina Jolie, it seemed to be trying to create a quality action film based on the highly successful video games. Jolie ticked all the boxes for Lara Croft as we knew her then, and was capable of bringing both Lara's physicality and recognizing charm to the big screen. The movie still ranks as one of the highest grossing video game movies of all time and would spawn a sequel because of that financial success. In my opinion, this movie is a bit more fun, and a bit less dour, than the more recent Tomb Raider film.

Where To Watch It

The film does not appear to be on any of the primary streaming services at the moment, but it is available for digital rental on Amazon, Youtube, iTunes, and Google Play

#9 - Double Dragon (1994)

This is potentially the most contentious entry on this list, and is the one that might cause some people to roll their eyes. It is important to remember that Double Dragon is one of the earliest video game movies, and it indeed shows. The story is suitably crazy, centering around two brothers who happen across a part of a magical medallion. It is filled with suspect special effects, terrible rubber monster suits, and some sub-par acting. This is all true, but the movie is still a classic in the genre, even if it was savaged by critics at the time, and also if those critics were mostly correct in how they viewed the movie. Time heals all wounds though, and it can now be accused of having a degree of earnest charm in how it tried to bring a video game world to the big screen. A fantastic flick to sit down with some friends who are in the mood for a good laugh, I will defend it until the end of time. 

Where To Watch It

People who have Amazon Prime are the chosen ones, as you can currently watch the movie there

#8 - Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Prince of Persia is another video game movie that did seem to try and genuinely make a solid action flick for fans of the game. Produced by action movie maestro Jerry Bruckheimer, and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton, the movie also had the backing of Walt Disney Pictures. That all seemed to indicate that the film was taking a good swing at being a fun time for the people who would go and see it. Sadly, the potentially miscast Gyllenhall and Aerton seemed uninspired by the material, but the movie leaning fully into the realm of swords and sorcery did manage to save everything. Overall the film provides decent, if shallow, entertainment. It is a shame though, as so much more could have been done with the franchise that a simple "one and done" movie. 

Where To Watch It

You can digitally rent the movie on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and Youtube

#7 - Mortal Kombat (1995)

Another video game movie from the dark days of the mid-'90s, Mortal Kombat is a classic based on the video game brawler. In many ways, fighting games make excellent martial arts movies. Guaranteed action will draw in the audience, but the movies will live or die based on their fight scenes. Bruce Lee conditioned us all to get invested in the idea of a cinematic martial arts tournament, and fighting games often involve all kinds of crazy abilities that can be used to add some serious heat to the fight choreography. 

At the time of its release, critics praised the movies visuals, fight scenes and atmosphere, but seemed to dislike just about everything else. Still, the film had succeeded in appealing to fans of the game, mainly due to the involvement of director Paul W.S. Anderson, who was an avid fan of the game. It also helped to have talented martial artists like Robin Shou on the screen, as he improved to add a lot of weight to the fight scenes. 

Where To Watch It

Mortal Kombat is currently available on iTunes to rent and is regularly on Netflix for streaming. 

#6 - Ratchet and Clank (2016)

Possibly the only real knock on the Ratchet and Clank film is that it is, unashamedly, a kids movie. While many animated films out there, even those aimed at kids, have found a way to appeal to adults as well, Ratchet and Clank is very clearly for the younger members of the audience. That is not a bad thing, just a shame from a game series with a lot of cheeky titles and humor. As a massive fan of the games though, I can't say it put me off the movie. The people behind the movie did the right thing by sticking with James Taylor and David Kaye to voice the titular characters, bringing in some big-name talent to back up the series veterans and flesh out the cast around them. Sadly, the film just never seemed to take off, but it is pretty much a guaranteed good time if you need something for your young children to watch.

Where To Watch It

You can rent Ratchet and Clank on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and Youtube. Sadly, the movie has just gone off of Netflix. 

#5 - Silent Hill (2006)

Silent Hill managed to be both a labor of love and a surprise success, proving that those two things don't need to be mutually exclusive. By the end of its theater run, it had pulled in almost one hundred million dollars, more than double its budget. With compelling visuals, a fantastic soundtrack mined from the original video games, and some actual nuanced horror, the movie offered people want they wanted from a horror film. It is another case of a director who was an avid fan of the games, as Christopher Gans tried for many years to obtain the movie rights from Konami. It is also one of the infrequent occasions where a horror video game was adapted to the big screen, and for that, it holds its important place in the genre. 

Where To Watch It

You can rent Silent Hill on Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.

#4 - Street Fighter (1994)

Released in 1994, Street Fighter is one of the greatest video game movies ever made. Drawing from the enormously popular games of the same name, Hollywood big hitter Jean-Claude Van Damme was brought in to bring his signature kinetic style to the action scenes. The film also cast Raul Julia in one of his final performances, portraying the evil Bison. The movie strays somewhat from the fighting tournament format, instead of centering around the efforts of Col. Guile as he tries to stop Bison and his band of evil terrorists. Many major characters from the game are worked in, including Cammy, played by Kylie Minogue. It is as bombastic and manic as you would expect, with fun fight scenes and dialogue so chewy the cast almost choke on it — still, an absolute classic, and always worth a watch. 

Where To Watch It

You can rent the movie on Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.

#3 - Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)

At the time of its release, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within set a new standard for what you could achieve with computer-generated visuals. Unfortunately, the film never earned back its budget in the cinemas, failing the recoup the $137 million it cost to create leading to the collapse of Square Pictures. Unfortunately, any potential for success was dragged down by what was considered a dull and emotionally removed story. It also didn't do much to make itself accessible to a general audience, costing it much of its potential casual audience. Famed movie critic Roger Ebert would champion the film's technical achievements, but once again was not won over by the story itself. Almost 20 years later the film still holds up as a visual treat that is worth a watch to this day.

Where To Watch It

Unfortunately, the movie is tough to track down on streaming or digital services, but it does show up on Netflix across various regions from time to time. 

#2 - Rampage (2018)

Rampage was one of my favorite games as a kid! Climbing up buildings and smashing in the windows as a giant monster was just some of the best fun you could have with your friends. In this screen adaptation,  Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson playing Davis Okoye, a primatologist who works with a rare albino gorilla named George, is the star of the show. George, along with a couple of other suitably impressive animals, is exposed to a dangerous mutagen. All the animals grow to enormous size and proceed to cause havoc on the world around them. Thankfully, The Rock is not playing a book worm in this movie, as he is also a former Special Forces soldier. CGI fights between giant creatures, plenty of destruction, and The Rock doing his best to give it all an earnest heart make this a great video game movie for all the family. 

Where To Watch It

You can rent Rampage on Youtube or watch it on HBO.

#1 - Resident Evil Series (2002-2016)

The Resident Evil series of films takes the top spot for one simple reason, and that is because it is, by far, the most successful video game adaptation of all time. With six films in the series, all starring Milla Jovovich, it is impossible to deny that the movies found an audience in a way that no other video game movies managed to do. With a total gross of $1.2 billion dollars over the run of the series, from a combined budget of $288 million, the series is a massive success for all involved. The series starts out with Umbrella Corp, an evil multinational company, having a lab breach that exposes the world to the deadly T-virus. As most of the population is reduced to the level of mindless zombies, series hero Alice comes along to save the day, over and over again. The movies get more and more ridiculous over time, forging their own strange world from the foundations of the horror/action series. A classic series, it is well worth getting acquainted with these films.

Where To Watch It

Quite a few of the films in the series are available on Netflix, depending on your region. They can also be watched on Amazon

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