Aren’t These The Greatest Videogame Films Ever?

Did you know that many of the greatest Hollywood box office hits are actually based on video games? From Tomb Raider to Resident Evil, here are the 22 best action and adventure films which were actually inspired by your favorite video games. Are you up for some fun? They’re definitely worth a watch!

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#22. Prince Of Persia: The Stands Of Time

Extremely popular during the 90s, Prince of Persia is possibly the most retro game ever, although many more modern versions of the game were released during the 21st century. In 2010, Mike Newell took things one step further and directed the videogame’s film adaptation, titled Prince of Persia: The Stands of Time.

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The movie is about a fugitive prince and princess who must save the world and prevent it from being destroyed by a mysterious villain. The film earned $336.3 million, and the fact that stars like Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton took on the lead roles probably had something to do with it.

#21. Resident Evil

If you’re a fan of the Japanese horror video game Resident Evil, then I guarantee you’ll love this article, cause all of the films were absolutely great and they all made it to our list! The first installment of this film franchise was released in 2002 and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, but can you guess what it’s about?

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True to the plot of the game, the film is about a special military unit who must fight a supercomputer and a bunch of scientists who have transformed into cannibals after a laboratory accident. The movie earned $102.4 million from a $33-million budget, so… you do the maths!

#20. Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li

Since the 1994 videogame action film Street Fighter was such a whopping success (slide to #7!), the producers decided to release a sequel, named Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Even though it tanked the box office (grossing less than $15 million), the plot is quite thrilling, and that’s why we thought it deserved to make it to our top 20.

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Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak, the film follows the steps of Chun-Li, a young teen who witnesses the kidnapping of her father by the dictator lord Bison and thus embarks on her quest for vengeance. Ready for some action? You better be!

#19. Wing Commander

Wing Commander may not be the best film ever, but its plot is definitely thrilling! Based on the sci-fi space combat simulation video game of the same name, the film is about an interstellar war between human beings and an alien race led by Kilrathi.

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In order to fight Kilrathi, the fighter pilot Blair teams up with Tod and Rosie, all of whom develop strong chemistry on-camera. While the movie was praised by the fans, it tanked the box office, earning a third of its budget.

#18. Hitman

In 2006, director Xavier Gens announced that the all-time favorite action-adventure videogame Hitman would have its own film. Starred by Timothy Olyphant and Dougray Scott, the film earned over $100 million and did not disappoint its fans.

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The movie revolves around Agent 47, a highly-skilled assassin who is hired by a secret group known as “The Organization”. He suddenly finds himself involved in a major political conspiracy and must escape from both the Russian military and Interpol.

#17. Super Mario Bros

Did anyone know that the all-time favorite video game Mario Bros has its own film? Released in 1993, Super Mario Bros was directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel and stars Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi.

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Don’t get too excited, though, cause the plotline isn’t really based on any of the games of the franchise, and that’s probably the reason why it didn’t do too well on the box office. However, it’s still worth a watch and it has earned a major cult following.

#16. Assassin’s Creed

In 2016, director Justin Kurzel decided to adapt the legendary action-adventure videogame Assassin’s Creed to film. Even though the results did not meet the expectations, fans loved it and the movie grossed $203 million.

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The film features a talented cast, including Michael Fassbender in the role of Cal Lynch and Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard as Sofia. As to the plotline, it follows the steps of Lynch as he explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha and thus acquiring the skills of a Master Assassin.

#15. Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Released in 2004, Resident Evil: Apocalypse is the second installment of the famous film franchise. The movie picks up the story of its prequel, but this time, Alice steals the spotlight and plays a more relevant role.

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One of the reasons why fans went crazy with this movie is that it incorporated more elements of the videogame’s universe, including many new characters. Wondering how much money it earned? A whopping $130 million fortune!

#14. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life

Two years after the release of the box office hit Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (check #1!), Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life hit the theaters. Directed by Jan DeBont, the film earned a whopping $156.5 million.

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While Angelina Jolie once again starred as Lara Croft, actor Gerard Butler replaced Daniel Craig in the role of Alex West. The scene in which Jolie wields that barreled pistol in that science lab was pretty damn cool!

#13. Postal

The 2007 film Postal is based on the action-comedy videogame, Postal 2. The film centers on an unemployed loser who teams up with his uncle to steal a hidden treasure from a local amusement park, only to find out that Osama Bin Laden and his Taliban followers had a similar yet more sinister plan.

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If dark comedies and black humor are your cups of tea, then this movie is for you! One of the fans’ favorite scenes was when the director Uwe Boll suddenly appears and gets shot in the balls and screams “I hate video games!!” right before dropping dead.

#12. DOA: Dead Or Alive

Dead or Alive is a 1996 fighting game, first released in arcades and then adapted to Play Station. In 2006, Corey Yuen directed the game’s film version, called DOA: Dead or Alive, and let me tell you it’s guaranteed fun!

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The film is obviously filled with fighting scenes, which are at the same time fun yet hilariously ridiculous. The film centers on the lives of four female fighters who are invited to a martial arts tournament but end up trying to unveil the secret that the organizer of the contest is trying to hide.

#11. Resident Evil: Extinction

And we’re back to our favorite game ever! Unlike the case of most video game-based film franchises, the Resident Evil movies just get better and better. The third installment of the franchise, Resident Evil: Extinction, was released in 2007 and earned nearly $150 million.

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The storyline is quite enthralling and includes many revelations that refer to the videogame’s mythology, such as the revelation that the Umbrella Corporation had been making countless clones of Alice. Oh, and Alice’s fight with Tyrant was pretty badass.

#10. Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat is perhaps the most successful fighting video game of all time, and guess what? It even has its own movie! Premiered in 1995 and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, Mortal Kombat was a whopping success, earning over $122 million.

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Anderson managed a perfect balance between all the fighting and action scenes, on the one hand, and enthralling story beats, on the other. I really don’t wanna spoil, but the fight between Johnny Cage and Goro is as epic as you’d expect!

#9. Doom

The first-person shooter videogame Doom is one of the most successful action games of all time, and that’s why director Andrzej Bartkowiak thought it would be a good idea to turn it into a film. Released in 2005, Doom did not meet expectations, as it only earned $55.9 million out of a $60-million budget.

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The film follows the steps of Karl Urban and The Rock, who are in charge of investigating the truth behind the eerie events taking place in a research facility on Mars. On their quest for truth, they’ll be left with no choice but to confront a horde of genetically manipulated killing machines. Will they survive? Watch it and find out!

#8. The Angry Birds Movie

Can you believe that The Angry Birds Movie became the second highest-grossing American video-game film of all time, only after Lara Croft: Tomb Raider? Based on the silly mobile game The Angry Birds, this animated family comedy grossed $350 million worldwide.

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Starring Josh Gad, Jason Sudeikis, and Danny McBride, the film narrates the feud between a flock of flightless outraged birds and a drift of green pigs. All the characters are hilarious, but my personal favorite was the Mighty Eagle (voiced by Peter Dinklage), the intimidating stalwart that watched over the furious birds’ island.

#7. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Final Fantasy is a 1987 Japanese sci-fi video-game, and one of the first role-playing games to ever be created. In 2001, Hironobu Sakaguchi directed the animated film adaptation of the game franchise, called Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

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The film is only loosely based on the games, but what you’ll love the most is its state-of-the-art computer animation. Also, the movie counts with an enviable cast, including Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, and Donald Sutherland.

#6. House Of The Dead

Even though it didn’t do too well in the box office (grossing $13.8 million with a $12-million budget), House of the Dead is still worth a watch. Based on the gun shooter horror game of the same name, this slasher, zombie-themed film will definitely send a few shivers down your spine!

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Dawn of the Dead is one of the first videogame films to ever incorporate footage from the video games to the film. This was quite a risky choice, as the videogame graphics are usually poor. The fight between the armed survivors and the zombies is definitely the most thrilling scene of the film.

#5. Resident Evil: Afterlife

Released in 2010, Resident Evil: Afterlife is the fourth installment of the franchise and also the highest-grossing one. Believe it or not, it earned $296.2 million out of a mere $60-million budget. Beat that!

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We should also mention that it’s a 3D movie and its innovative visuals were praised by fans and critics alike. The fight between Alice and her dozens of clones at the beginning of the film is definitely one of the greatest and tensest action scenes of the whole franchise!

#4. Street Fighter

Starred by Hollywood legend Jean-Claude Van Damme, the 1994 film Street Fighter is based on the iconic fighting game Street Fighter 2. A round of applause for the costume designers, cause the real-life characters are identical to their animated versions!

Photo: Courtesy of Microsoft

The plot revolves around Col. Guile’s struggle against the tyrannic rule of M. Bison, and it will surely keep you on the edge of your seat! It was also a major box office hit, as it earned $99.4 million from a $35-million budget.

#3. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

The first film version of Mortal Kombat was such a massive success, that the producers decided to release a sequel. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation didn’t sell as many tickets as the first installment, but it still pulled in nearly $55 million.

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As to the storyline, the writers borrowed a couple of elements from the game Mortal Kombat 3. While the film picks up the story of the previous film, many of the characters were written off. But you needn’t worry because the action continues to shine in the sequel!

#2. Resident Evil: Retribution

It was given that the Resident Evil franchise had to make it to our top 3! Premiered in 2012, Resident Evil: Retribution is the fifth and last installment, and just like in the first film, it counted with the brilliant directorial work of Paul W.S. Anderson.

Photo: Courtesy of Hollywood Reporter

Interestingly, this is the only sequel that picks up many elements and moments after the end of the first movie. To begin with, the Red Queen finally comes back, while many other characters also return. All in all, the film grossed $240.1 million from a $65-million budget.

#1. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Released in 2001, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is not only the greatest video game movie ever made but also one of the major blockbusters of all time. Starring Angelina Jolie and directed by Simon West, it earned a whopping $247 million worldwide.

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Without a doubt, the movie captures the essence of the famous 1996 puzzle-solving game of the same name. The action sequences will keep you at the edge of your seat at all times, not to mention the amazing fight that takes place inside Lara Croft’s mansion!

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    Hernán Tamargo

    Teacher. Political Scientist. Writer. Feminist... and much more!

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