It’s become increasingly rare that Hollywood will come out something completely original. Almost everything in theaters these days is a sequel, prequel, reboot, remake, or spin-off of an existing franchise, or an adaptation of a novel, comic book, or video game. This article is going to talk about that last thing, the dreaded “video game movie.”
Throughout the entire history of film, video games movies have almost always been poorly received. A more blunt way to say it that video game movies are “utter garbage,” with almost zero exceptions. From old school efforts like Super Mario Bros. (1993) to Mortal Kombat (1995), to more recent fare like Doom (2005) or Assassins Creed (2016), most video game movies are pretty terrible. Maybe guilty pleasures at best.
Hollywood could change that, though. There’s already a list of confirmed or rumored upcoming video game movies right here, ones that could actually turn out good. In addition, we’ve made this list of other video games that we think could be turned into decent movies on their own, given the right script, star, and director. With video games becoming more and more engaged in telling epic stories than simply mashing buttons (we’re looking at you, The Last of Us and Bioshock), the opportunity to tell those stories to non-gamers would be a terrific decision for some bold movie studio.
The original Starcraft was released in 1998 and since then, the game has become famous around the world, with several sequels and expansions released over the past 20 years. The real-time strategy games are in the military sci-fi genre and take place at the start of the 26th century, focusing on the struggle for galactic superiority among four species.
While it would likely cost a lot of money to make a Starcraft film (at least if they want to do it justice), it would likely do very well due to the millions of Starcraft fans out there. Universal Pictures already made a Warcraft movie, based on Starcraft‘s fantasy genre cousin. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good sci-fi movie, with epic space battles and dazzling special effects?
The world created in this video game is simply stunning and environment alone would make for a great film. Dishonored takes place in a steampunk-like city called Dunwall, based on London in the late 1800s. The main character, Corvo Attano, is the father to a young heir that has had her kingdom overthrown. He must use his powers to take back her kingdom and battle a variety of different foes.
Between the character depth they could achieve and the story they could tell, this movie could be a hit, even if people didn’t know about the video game. It tells a unique story with a number of interesting characters. Whereas many games follow a certain cliché, Dishonored is quite different. The only problem would be which of the multiple endings (based on the players’ choices) would work best for a movie?
8. L.A Noire
L.A Noire is one of the most unique video games in recent memory and was a huge hit among fans with millions of copies sold. This game is a natural choice to be turned into a movie and we are actually surprised no one’s bothered to do it yet. The game was based largely off of the elements of film noir, which was a style of film made in the 40s and 50s, and is the perfect detective story.
An L.A. Noire movie would be a perfect call-back to that type of film and could introduce thousands of today’s youth to a style of film they likely have never ever seen before. If it was released, it would be a very interesting look at law enforcement during the early days of the Los Angeles, including a plot based on corruption, scandal, drugs, and a gorgeous female lounge singer.
Diablo is in a similar vein to Starcraft, as they are both large online role playing games. They also share a similar developer and publisher in Blizzard Entertainment, so it shouldn’t be a shock to see them both on this list. Diablo is an action RPG in which the main character journeys through dungeons, ending in hell to battle Diablo.
The story is very incredible throughout and very overarching. Also, with the large cast of characters and demons, the character development for a movie could be great. There are so many stories to tell (across three different games so far) and they all fold into each other brilliantly. Diablo would be a great film for those who love the game, but also an epic adventure for those who don’t know much about it at all.
6. Horizon Zero Dawn
Of all the games on this list, this is the one that might create the best movie of them all. Horizon Zero Dawn tells the story of a hunter and archer named Aloy, who lives in a world that is seemingly overrun by robots. The game has a giant open world, which is suited incredibly well for the movies. It could be a brilliant coming-of-age story in an environment that movie audiences has never seen before.
This game could make a complete movie, as it has a great story, an awesome female protagonist, and a great mix of sci-fi elements. The game received rave reviews not only for its superb gameplay, but also it’s jaw dropping graphics and original story. Don’t be shocked if news of a Horizon Zero Dawn movie starts to trickle out in the next few years.
The Metroid series has over a dozen games (including handhelds and spin-offs) spanning multiple decades, since the first game was released in 1986 for the NES. We’d say that’s enough backstory for not only one movie, but for a whole franchise. Metroid follows around a galactic bounty hunter named Samus Aran who protects the galaxy from evil. It is one of the darkest series Nintendo has ever put out and that darkness could translate really well to the big screen.
There have been many different rumors about a Metroid film over the past decade-plus, but nothing has ever come to fruition. While it might not be happening anytime soon, a Metroid film would be incredible and would be very nostalgic for everyone who has played the games decades ago. Plus Samus could be the greatest sci-fi heroine since Ellen Ripley!
While there are already a ton of superhero movies out there, this one would be a little bit different. Infamous is a very unique game that follows a man named Cole MacGrath, as he gets electric superpowers following a mysterious explosion. The game is one of the best in recent memory and many of the elements included make it a great choice for the next big superhero film.
It has good character and story development, a unique set of villains, as well as the fact that the player can play either the good guy or a bad guy, which could play out in a very interesting manner in the film. There is also a huge love for comic book and super hero films right now, so why not throw Infamous int
3. Grand Theft Auto
Few video games out there garner as much hype as a new Grand Theft Auto title, so just imagine what kind of attention a movie would get! These GTA games all tell amazing crime stories and introduce many new characters with each iteration, so that now there is a long list of storylines that could be included in the movie.
In fact, you could argue that any of the last three or four Grand Theft Auto games would make a great film, dating back to Vice City (even though that one was already a blatant rip off of Scarface). Fans of the iconic Rockstar franchise would surely line up to watch a big-budget GTA movie, as would people who just love the action-drama genre. There is so much potential for this series to head over the big screen and it could introduce a whole new generation of fans to old versions the game.
If you were to ask many people what the most visually stunning and all-encompassing game of all-time is, many would say Skyrim. Part of the Elder Scroll series, Skyrim is an open world game where you can be whoever you want and go wherever you want to go. Sure, there is a main storyline, but most people love the game for the many different ways it can do and the sheer variety of activities you can do.
While it would be hard to fit all that Skyrim into one single film, we would love to see them try — even if it was over the course of a trilogy. It would be interesting to see how they would represent the hero but one thing is for sure — the expansive world, characters, and (of course) dragons, would all be amazing.
1. Red Dead Redemption
While Skyrim was almost our choice at the top spot, that honor has to go to Red Dead Redemption. The game focuses on the decline of the American Frontier and follows John Marston, a former outlaw who is blackmailed into becoming a hired gun for the government. It is an open world game with one of the best settings ever, an unmatched soundtrack, and character development that is rarely seen in video games.
All of these elements would translate brilliantly to an epic Western film and we hope to one day see a Red Dead Redemption story on the big screen. It is rare that the cut scenes in a game capture your attention the way they do in RDR, and that is a good indication the story in this game would make one hell of a film.