Video game fans have always had a love-hate relationship with filmmakers. The original Super Mario Bros. movie was great. But ever since, Hollywood has made tons of controversial casting and production decisions.
In this article, we’ll focus on the best video game-inspired movies Hollywood has made in the past three decades. We’re listing the films in no particular order. But they’re all worth watching. Let’s go!
#1: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Starring Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, and Jon Voight, Lara Croft is one of the best video games ever made. It came out in 2001, five years after the original Tomb Raider video was released.
The film starts with Lara (Angelina) fighting a robot in an Egyptian tomb. It then shows her father’s tombstone, which says he died in battle. The elder Croft then appears in Lara’s dream. And when she wakes up, she hears a ticking clock.
Later on, Lara receives a pre-arranged letter from her dad. The letter instructs her to use the clock to find missing pieces of the Illuminati triangle before the Illuminati ceases it.
In a twist of events, Lara meets her dead dad—the triangle of light has powers to manipulate time. She finds out she could use the triangle to resurrect him. However, senior Croft chooses to remain dead and instead asks her daughter to destroy the triangle.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is one of IMDB’s best-rated video game movies. It’s so popular that it even inspired a slot machine developed by Microgaming. Use this online casino guide to find sites with games from Microgaming if you would like to try out the game.
#2: Max Payne (2008)
We’ll admit. The Max Payne movie is nowhere near as good as the video game. It’s a nice popcorn movie. But as expressed by its mixed reviews, video game fans expected a lot more from Hollywood.
The film stars Mark Wahlberg as Max Payne, a begrudged NYPD police officer obsessed with revenge. Mila Kunis plays the character of Mona Sax, an assassin who originated from Russia.
Other notable stars in the film include Ludacris, Chris O’Donnell, and James McCaffrey. For clarity, James voiced the Max Payne character to reflect Max’s voice in the 90’s video game.
Max Payne centers on the NYPD officer’s thirst for revenge. But before he even finds out killed his wife and infant child, two murders take place. The police get suspicious of Max and decide to arrest him.
Meanwhile, Max and his friend Mona Sax learn about the meaning of Natasha’s Norse god tattoo. Named Valkyr, the tattoo was code for a drug a large pharmaceutical corporation had been testing on soldiers.
The test went horribly wrong, and Max’s deceased wife learned about it. She was killed by B.B., one of her former bosses who’s now been selling the drug in the streets. Eventually, Max kills B.B. But before he’s taken in by the SWAT, he sees a vision of his wife and child smiling at him.
#3: Super Mario Bros. (2023)
Many video game fans were initially opposed to Chris Pratt’s accent as Mario. They also didn’t like the initial trailer and felt the film would be a letdown. But when the movie finally came out, it was a Box Office hit.
Christ Pratt, Anya Taylor, Charlie Day Jack Black, Seth Rogan, and the rest of the cast all did an amazing job in this film. Pratt and Day play Mario and Luigi respectively.
The film starts with Mario and Luigi working on a plumbing project in Brooklyn. They’re then sucked into a warp that takes them into different worlds. Mario lands in the Mushroom Kingdom where Princess Peach rules (Anya Taylor).
Luigi lands in the Dark Lands, a kingdom under the rule of King Browser (Jack Black). The evil king plans to marry Princess Peach by force and even threatens to kill her.
He also imprisons Luigi to prevent Mario from making a move at the princess. Mario offers to help Princess Peach nonetheless. They also ask for more help from the Kongs (Donkey Kong and friends). In the end, they all succeed and the Mario bros return to a hero’s welcome in Brooklyn.
#4: The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)
The original Angry Birds Movie was a decent film. But the sequel is much better, at least in the eyes of people who watched it. Based on a mobile game with colored, flightless birds, the Angry Birds Movie is a must-watch.
While the characters and trailers make this film look like it was created for kids, it’s a great comedy film for everyone. It stars Jason Sudeikis as Red, Rachel Bloom as Silver and Leslie Jones as Zeta.
It starts three years after the birds destroyed Piggy Island. The Island has already been reconstructed but the pigs are afraid of a similar attack. So, they strike a truce with the birds. Not everyone wants peace, though.
Zeta, who leads Eagle Island, would rather strike giant ice balls on the islands to force everyone to evacuate. Red, the leader of Bird Island, relinquishes her power to Silver, who takes action to prevent Zeta from destroying her island.
In the end, Mighty Eagle saves the islands by helping stop the ice balls. She ends up marrying Zeta and residents of the two islands get back there peacefully.
#5: Werewolves Within (2021)
The folks at Rotten Tomatoes are convinced Werewolves Within is the best video game movie of all time. But not every video game fan is convinced. The Netflix film is a horror comedy that managed to offer a nice blend of comedy and horror.
It has a great cast and an interesting storyline. The residents of Beaverfield can’t agree on whether an investor should build a pipeline in their town. One evening, power goes out amid a blizzard and the residents have to cramp up for safety at a local lodge.
While they’re gathered, they discover a familiar person’s body is buried outside the porch. What’s more, one of their dogs is killed. The mystery continues when a suspected werewolf begins to bite people.
The result is a tension that breaks out into a series of murders. Most of the people die bar Finn (a forest ranger) and Cecily (a mail carrier). Cecily admits she’s the wolf. She attempts to kill the forest ranger, but he kills her instead.