Check out the video games that did their movie franchises proud – delivering a hugely strong experience that only adds to the lore.
With the surprise announcement of The Mummy: Demastered – gamers look set to get a better experience on the video game front than the awful Mummy movie delivered. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence though. Throughout the years, gamers have been treated to some excellent tie-in experiences that not only matched what movies were offering – arguably surpassing them in some cases.
We decided to take a look at the video games that we felt not only captured the spirit of the franchises they were based on – delivered entries worthy of praise in their own right.
9. Spider-Man 2
What better way to start this list than with a game many fell in love with back in the mid-2000’s – Spider-Man 2.
In an age where video game tie-in’s offered low expectations, Spider-Man 2’s impressive arsenal of abilities and missions kept gamers genuinely excited. The open world New York was a treat to explore, offering up an incredibly versatile playground for gamers to romp around in. While not on the same scope as Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto – it certainly was a close second.
The game is still mentioned as one of the best video game/movie tie-in’s and with good reason. It’s an excellent game and more than worthy of being revisited.
8. Aladdin (Genesis)
Virgin Interactive might not be a developer in the industry anymore, but they found great success in the mid-1990’s bringing to life some of Disney’s most beloved properties. While Lion King is also a very strong adaptation, it’s arguably Aladdin on the Genesis that really stole the show.
The game is a loving rendition of Disney’s popular Aladdin, even the graphics were designed by artists behind the movie. The gameplay sticks to simple 2D sidescrolling but manages to overcome the limitations of this by focusing on action. Encounters are fun and the mix of enemies, collectibles, and hidden secrets will keep even the most determined gamer engaged.
It also helps that the game has an amazing soundtrack – awesomely brought over from the movie. It’s the perfect compliment to the movie and easily one of the best Disney games form the 1990’s.
7. Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Arriving many years after Ghostbusters 2, the video game outing not only continued the story of those original adventures – they offered up the definitive Ghostbusters gaming experience in the process. Quite the surprise, given that the game had very little hype prior to release.
The game brings back the original characters and offers up a full-blooded Ghostbusters adventure. It’s a lovingly crafted outing that appeals directly to fans, making the experience feel like a true successor to the original movies. Levels are well designed, the voice acting is strong while the games core mechanics are brilliantly realized.
It’s as close as fans will probably get to a proper third film (I refuse to acknowledge the cash grab that was 2016’s “reboot”) and still very playable to this day on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
6. The Warriors
Rockstar’s love letter to Walter Hill’s 1979 cult classic is a hugely ambitious outing that desperately wants gamers to experience the excellence of its source material.
The game blends a heavy soundtrack with some of the best combat mechanics on PlayStation 2 (Arguably better than anything the Grand Theft Auto series managed). What the game does, it does well and it doesn’t strive to move outside of this, delivering a well-crafted experience that not only captures the gang warfare themes – it’s a right hoot to play.
It’s a shame Rockstar hasn’t considered re-releasing this one over the years. It’s very worthy of revisiting.
5. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
Not so much an adaptation, more a continuation to Pitch Black. Escape from Butcher Bay had no right being half as good as it ended up being – putting in a solid shout for 2004’s best console game.
The game is an exciting mix of prison break action, NPC talking, item-hunting mayhem that gelled so well. Impressively the gameplay not only exceeds expectations, you’ll almost forget that you’re playing a game designed entirely designed to shill a movie to you.
Honestly, if you fancy checking out one of the sixth generations more underrated classics – you really need to check out Vin Diesel’s delightful turn in this game.
4. Goldeneye 007
Very few video games make the kind of cultural impact that 1997’s Goldeneye managed – a game that arrived two years after the movie it was based. Yet, where many developers would have seen strife and issues – Rare managed to craft one of the most enduring video game properties of all time.
Arguably the first truly great FPS for consoles – Goldeneye heralded in an era of local multiplayer mayhem. No one was safe as you ran around levels shooting your friends in the face. With its exciting single player backing things up – gamers were genuinely spoiled for choice in the excellent adaptation. The f
With its exciting single player backing things up – gamers were genuinely spoiled for choice in the excellent adaptation, that arguably outdid it’s impressive movie companion. It’s a big pile of pants these days but in 1997, this was a game of champions.
3. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Where many Star Wars games fall down is in the execution. Instead of trying to be solid experiences, the games try to replicate the big screen experience. Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic not only gets the Star Wars franchise – it arguably delivers one of the best stories in the entire franchise.
Set well before the main films, The Old Republic has enough confidence in itself to explore the franchises more fringe aspects. Gamers are afforded genuine choice as they can choose to either play to the light side or dark side of the force. With an interesting cast of characters, impressive (for the time) visuals and arguably one of the best twists in video game history – Knights of the Old Republic genuinely has a strong shout for being one of the best movie franchise tie-ins.
It’s just a shame EA didn’t understand this – leaving the franchise to rot before bringing it back in an ill-fated MMO outing.
2. Shadow of Mordor
I don’t think we were the only ones surprised by just how impressive this Lord of the Rings spinoff ended up being. For all intents and purposes, Middle-Earth hasn’t been a good stomping ground for video games. Shadow of Mordor proves otherwise.
Combining a passable story with the Nemesis system – a tool which turns the grind of Shadow of Mordor in an excellently personal journey – Shadow of Mordor somehow comes off as insanely fun. Beating down endless waves of Orcs only gets more fun when those Orcs gain personality and a sense of purpose. If one of the enemies downs you, they rise in the Orc ranks and become a foe you’ll face again down the line. This offers huge replayability, excitement, and genuine fun. It also helps that the game lifts all the best bits from the Batman Arkham combat system – lending itself to some incredibly smooth gameplay.
We suspect that JRR would spin in his grave if he ever saw what game developers had done to his world. But for gamers, it’s arguably one of the best action games in recent times.
1. Alien: Isolation
Alien Isolation not only shocked gamers by the genuine level of quality when it arrived. The game also proved that in the hands of a competent studio, the Alien license was a top end AAA experience.
The claustrophobic survival-horror outing sees you exploring an abandoned outpost while running from a far superior alien enemy. The fact that the game doesn’t hand you weapons all that often means you’re forced to run and hide whenever the Alien pops up – leading to some incredibly tense moments of genuine terror.
Creative Assembly not only nailed the execution but created arguably the best tie-in experience for the entire franchise. It’s dark, it’s moody and it has an air of genuine terror – something all Alien games should come packing. It’s no wonder gamers are still clamoring for a sequel to this day.