There was a scintillating time in the not-so-distant past when a trip to the theater often resulted in one inevitable thing: a short stop at your local game retailer and a rushed purchase of the tie-in game that was coming out to coincide with the blockbuster you just made. to concern.
These games have often been criticized for their overall quality. Many have claimed that they are quick wins for the Hollywood giant that gave them their name, mainly due to their short development cycles and an apparent lack of creative thinking when it comes to gameplay. Nonetheless, from the dawn of the 1990s until the power of LEGO games monopolized the concept, there was a bit of a golden age for movie-related games. During this time, a slew of brilliant and sadly forgotten classics have been released. These titles have appeared in many formats in addition to the ones listed, but perhaps these versions are the highlights.
The Grinch (PS1): spoil the holidays with your bad breath
Based purely on the concept, this game is a masterpiece. Who wouldn’t want to rampage through the various quarters of the Whoniverse, destroying children’s Christmas presents with Projectile Halitosis as their primary weapon? Move over Kratos’ ax, the Grinch’s bad breath makes it the most satisfying gaming weapon in modern history.
Still witty but uncredited storytelling from veteran voice actor George Lowe makes this forgotten action-adventure gem a truly enjoyable, kitschy game. If you love garlic and hate the holiday season, you’ll be in your element here.
King Kong by Peter Jackson (PS2): conflicts of prehistoric proportions
PeterJackson challenged the genre trope of creative detachment by personally collaborating with French video game designer Michael Ansel on the creation of this cinematic game. The result is an immersive, authentic and undeniably fun experience, only heightened by the presence of the entire main cast in voiceover roles.
Playing through the first-person cinematic environments as gun-wielding screenwriter Jack Driscoll is a blast, but the game really comes to life when you take control of the King of the Jungle himself. Throwing defeated pterodactyls at other dinosaurs to eliminate them and continue your rampage is certainly a unique experience.
Ratchet & Clank (PS4): Brilliant, Bold, and Platform Perfection
The game based on a game-inspired film. Aside from the start of Insomniac, Ratchet & Clank provided a much needed reboot to a beloved franchise and launched everyone’s favorite intergalactic duo in its place: The Depths of space and top of the charts.
The environments in this futuristic platformer are nothing short of spectacular (with animations often reaching Pixar’s vibrant levels of perfection), and there’s no better way to experience them than by rushing out with your trusty OmniWrench and a seemingly endless arsenal of tongue-in-cheek cocking.
Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (XBox, PS2): Authentic Lightsaber Action
Interspersed with cutscenes from the film itself (although thankfully no massacre of young people), Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith offers fans of George Lucas’ space saga an immersive and breathtaking dive into the daily life of a Jedi. It might not be the best Star Wars game, but it’s definitely the most faithful adaptation of any movie.
Lightsaber combat is tense, while Force cheats add a level of melee smoothness. Bonus levels, multiplayer modes, and heaps of unlockables also make Episode 3 a surprisingly rewarding Lost Time.
Disney’s Hercules (PS1): an underrated Disney classic
When most people remember 2D side-scrolling Disney games, their thoughts instantly fall on SNES smash Aladdin. Despite that, it’s the 1997 PlayStation platformer Hercules that deserves its place on this list. There is such joy to hack-and-slash through vividly rendered ancient Greece, as the soundtrack burns firmly into your subconscious and Philoctetes repeatedly shouts “USE YOUR SWORD, KID”, though you are already using it very clearly.
Multi-plane exploration is a skillful touch, and the rush levels make Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back’s Un-Bearable level worth the money in terms of your seat edge gameplay.
GoldenEye 007 (N64): Perhaps the most beloved FPS ever
GoldenEye 007 is often considered one of the best FPS titles of all time, transcending even the genre itself. For good reason too. The shooter resisted the trend and actually came out two years after the movie, sticking around long after the Nintendo 64 became obsolete.
It features an addicting multiplayer deathmatch mode, a ridiculous “big head” mode and legendary single player first-person gameplay, all played to the tune of the iconic Bond soundtrack. All of this means that GoldenEye 007 deserves its place as one of the defining titles of the time and a benchmark for ties to the movies.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (PS2): a captivating hack and slash with surprising depth
Many players have fond memories of an older friend or sibling carrying them through one of the awesome and challenging co-op levels in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Return of the King has improved over its predecessor, with the inclusion of more playable characters (see: Gandalf) and truly epic combat levels that allowed over 40 enemies onscreen at a time.
Sending off Orcs, Uruk-hai, and all the struggling enemies, using unusually rewarding combos for hack and slash fights, seemed fresh long after the closing credits. The story of Frodo and Sam is very concentrated, but the journey to Mordor and the eventual ascent of Mount Doom is surprisingly thrilling. Several Lord of the Rings video games have been released (and series-referencing Easter eggs have appeared in many more), but this one is some of the best.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (PS2): an almost open-world Harry Potter experience
With the second Harry Potter adaptation, EA had a tall order: to make you forget (at least temporarily) the face of Hagrid PS1. Fortunately, they succeeded. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the PlayStation 2 provided everything a film adaptation of the series should: a sprawling Hogwarts to explore, the free flight of Nimbus 2000, and a litany of spells to learn.
Was there anything more satisfying than discovering one of the oversized pentagonal chocolate frog cards hidden in a secret passage? Of course not. Flipendo!
Toy Story 3 (PS3): a real Toy Story sandbox
Toy Story 2 made its mark by joining the pantheon of fantastic Toy Story games in 1999, but it’s the oft-forgotten sequel that deserves its blossoms for imaginative and meticulous toy box mode. Appointed by Mayor Hamm as the Sheriff of Woody’s Roundup, you’re tasked with beautifying the Old West with collectibles you earn by playing the main story mode or completing missions for the mayor himself.
With endless possibilities for creativity, it’s this mode that echoes the best attributes of the game’s parent franchise and sets Toy Story 3 apart from other films.
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We would love to see these movies turned into a video game – think how awesome they would be.
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