5 – Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within: While this movie technically had no ties to the video games except for the title, and even though it isn’t live-action, it still holds up incredibly well 10 years later. The only real complaint from movie goers was that it featured nothing from the game’s franchise. The problem with doing a Final Fantasy movie based off of the games is that each game tells a new story in a new world with completely new characters, with no real continuing story to follow, so this movie get’s a pass on that front. Produced entirely in CG, there are times where the film fools you into thinking there are actual actors on the screen. It looks that good. Featuring a decent story with stunning visuals, this movie makes the top five.
4 – Mortal Kombat: You can argue that the greatest thing to come from this movie was that incredibly catchy techno song. And you’d be right. But this movie stayed true to its original story, no matter how crazy and ridiculous it was, and for that it gets a lot of credit. For a video game franchise that takes itself a little too seriously, they stuck to their guns and made a movie worthy of the games. This movie is accidentally entertaining, much like the DOA movie listed earlier – the only difference being that this movie was made in an era where some of the cheesiness was accepted and when the game was at its highest popularity. Here’s my theory: When Top Gun was released it was an action/drama, but watch it now and it’s (unintentionally) a comedy. The same goes for Mortal Kombat. It has stood the test of time for all the wrong reasons. Now, FINISH HIM!
3 – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: It doesn’t help that every time I passed a billboard for this movie showing off Jake Gylenhaal and his thick, long flowing hair I laughed, but to its credit I enjoyed this movie and it did fairly well in the box-office. I’ve never played any of the games, but from what I’m told it stuck fairly close to the source material, and that’s the most important thing when adapting a video game into a full-length film. Prince of Persia was fun, full of action, and ultimately kept me entertained the entire time. The only real problem for me was that it ended about four times, much like the last Lord of the Rings movie. The movie’s success gives a little hope for future video game adaptations.
2 – Lara Croft: Tomb Raider/The Cradle of Life: Brad Pitt is a lucky man. Was there really anyone else who was going to play Lara Croft? Angelina Jolie was born for this role. It’s one of those character to actor pairings that doesn’t come along too often, like George Clooney in Up in the Air or Patrick Stewart as Professor X. Much like Prince of Persia above, these movies were very enjoyable, and due to the game’s overall premise of a female treasure hunter it had many directions it could go without having to stick to the game’s story scene by scene. Unlike other games on this list, the sole star of this franchise is Lara Croft herself and not the story – as far as the original few games go. This is nothing more than a good popcorn movie but that’s all it needed to be. Who wouldn’t want to see Angelina Jolie jump around in sexy outfits and shoot guns for two hours?
1 – Silent Hill: Silent Hill 1 and 2 are widely regarded as two top 10 horror games. This movie did a fantastic job of bringing the most frightening moments from those first two games to film. Pyramid Head anyone? Said to be a mixture of the first two games, this film shows what good direction can do to a video game adaptation. If only these guys got to work on the Resident Evil movie we would probably have a different #1 on our list. The misty town of Silent Hill was portrayed exceptionally well and the movie did a fantastic job of keeping that creepy and eerie feel that made the games so scary to begin with. The second that Pyramid Head ripped the skin off of that lady on the stairs the movie stopped being another video game movie and started being a legitimate horror movie.
Now that we have covered the best its time to look at Future of Video Game movies…