The 10 Best Video Game Movies Ever Made

    February 27, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Okay, so the video game world has been the laughing stock of movie buffs for quite some time. Many gamers would argue that cinematic video games like Ico and Uncharted are interactive films, but alas Hollywood is still looking for the perfect “Video Game Movie”, even though most of them aren’t worth the fifteen dollar ticket. Whether they are based on existing video game franchises, revolve around video games, or just embody the spirit of the gamer-verse, here are the best video game movies ever made.

    The Last Starfighter

    The Last Starfighter is about a teen who becomes the highest scoring player of the video game of the same name, only to discover that the game is a test to find the best interstellar warrior pilot. Coming of the heels of Tron, it came out in 1984 in the middle of the arcade boom and was met with favorable but not amazing reviews. Regardless, it has that classic “rags to riches” feel that makes gamers think that there’s more to the arcade cabinet than just lights and boards.

    Mortal Kombat

    MOOOORTAAAAAL KOOOOOMBAAAAAT!!!!!! When this movie came out everyone I knew went nuts. “Oh my god! They’re making a Mortal Kombat movie! I’m going to see Kano rip someone’s heart out!” How could we know what a pile of crap it was going to be? Despite being a lousy film, Mortal Kombat proved that you can build a hype machine around a video game movie, so it gets a spot on this list.

    Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

    Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’s story line doesn’t really resemble the popular game franchise it’s based on, nor was it an exceptionally great movie by any stretch of the imagination. Prince of Persia is on this list because it has made the most at the box office out of any video game movie at $335,154,643 internationally. Yikes.

    Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

    Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is a beautiful, completely CGI animated movie based somewhat in the world of the Final Fantasy video game franchise. The story line has nothing to do with anything, but it has the highest rating out of any movie “based” on a video game franchise at 43% on Despite the reviews, the ground-breaking visual technologies used to create the film and a cast including Donald Sutherland, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames and Alec Baldwin make it one of the “technically” best video game movies ever.


    Wargames is a great movie that depicts a cold-war era nuclear scare via a human on computer strategy game throw-down! Well, not exactly, but it did take video games and give them a little more of a spot light by showing how they can be used in another application other than mindlessly popping quarters into a machine at a bar or arcade to kill time. It also gave nerds the catch phrase, “the only winning move is not to play.”

    Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

    Though not based on a video game (actually it was based on a graphic novel), Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is a video game movie at heart. With constant on-screen graphics declaring Level-Ups and Attributes gained, you could make a case that its more of a video game movie than a comic book movie. Not sure yet? The movie’s main character, Scott Pilgrim, uses an extra life to rise out of limbo and gain the “Power of Self-Respect Sword”. Sounds like a video game movie to me.

    Grandma’s Boy

    Grandma’s Boy epitomizes the “Slacker/Stoner” gamer more than any other movie. The movie follows a 35-year old video game tester has to move in with his grandma and her two old lady roommates. Full of video game references, sex and drug related humor, and a climax with an old lady playing a gory video game, Grandma’s Boy became a cult classic in the gaming community because of its rabid fan base.


    tron movieMany people consider Tron the first video game movie ever made, and it still holds up. For those of you who aren’t as old as me, it starred the Dad from Tron: Legacy and a plot that I don’t give a crap about. It had awesome visuals, an awesome arcade game that went along with it, and it was all in cool neon blue and orange. It even received Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design and Best Sound, but it was denied the nomination for Best Special Effects because the Academy thought “they cheated by using computers”. Oh, how times have changed since 1982…

    The Wizard

    Everyone remembers The Wizard because it has so many gaming firsts. It was the first time we saw Super Mario Bros. 3. It was the first time we saw the Power Glove (even though it ended up sucking, it looked really bad ass). I probably wouldn’t have known about the warp whistle if it wasn’t for The Wizard. Combine all this with a cast including Fred Savage, Beau Bridges and Christian Slater and you have a classic video game movie.

    The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

    King of Kong is BY FAR the best video game movie of all time. Critics loved the movie, giving it a 97% rating on and garnering Oscar-buzz by landing on many End-of-the-Year  top ten lists and festival award nomination ballots. Any gamer can identify with Steve Wiebe’s pursuit of perfection, as well as Billy Mitchell’s want to stay on top. Plus, it single-handedly popularized the phrase “Kill screen coming up!”


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