It’s hard to believe the first movie based on a video game didn’t emerge until 1993, but when you look back that’s really only a decade or so after they went mainstream. Since then a number of these childhood digital distractions have made the leap from console and computer to the big screen.
Covering a diverse range of genres, characters, and narratives, we’ve assembled a list of 55 movies that have provided game fans with the opportunity to experience their favorite virtual worlds in a new and exciting way.
1990s Movies Adapted from Video Games
- Super Mario Bros. (1993) – A live-action adventure film featuring Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi, who are trying to save Princess Daisy from an alternate dimension ruled by King Koopa (Dennis Hopper).
- Double Dragon (1994) – Martial arts action film starring Mark Dacascos and Scott Wolf as brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee, who must retrieve a stolen magical medallion and save their city.
- Street Fighter (1994) – Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as Colonel Guile, who leads a group of fighters to defeat the villainous M. Bison (Raul Julia) in this action-packed adaptation of the popular fighting game.
- Mortal Kombat (1995) – A martial arts fantasy film directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, featuring Robin Shou as Liu Kang, Linden Ashby as Johnny Cage, and Bridgette Wilson as Sonya Blade, who compete in an interdimensional fighting tournament.
- Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) – Sequel to the 1995 film, with Robin Shou reprising his role as Liu Kang, alongside Talisa Soto as Kitana and James Remar as Raiden, as they try to save Earth from destruction.
- Wing Commander (1999) – A sci-fi film based on the popular game series, starring Freddie Prinze Jr. as Christopher Blair and Matthew Lillard as Todd Marshall, who must defend Earth from an alien threat.
2000s Movies Based on Video Games
- Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) – Angelina Jolie stars as the iconic adventurer Lara Croft, who races against time to retrieve powerful artifacts before they fall into the wrong hands.
- Resident Evil (2002) – The first in a series of horror action films, with Milla Jovovich as Alice, who battles zombies and the sinister Umbrella Corporation in a fight for survival.
- Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life (2003) – Angelina Jolie returns as Lara Croft, teaming up with Gerard Butler as Terry Sheridan, to find the mythical Pandora’s Box before it’s used for evil.
- House of the Dead (2003) – A group of young adults, including Jonathan Cherry as Rudy and Tyron Leitso as Simon, find themselves trapped on an island with ravenous zombies in this horror film based on the arcade game.
- Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) – Milla Jovovich reprises her role as Alice in the second installment of the Resident Evil series, where she must escape a zombie-infested city with the help of Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory).
- Alone in the Dark (2005) – A supernatural action film starring Christian Slater as Edward Carnby, who investigates paranormal phenomena and battles ancient creatures.
- Doom (2005) – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as Sarge, a space marine sent to a research facility on Mars to battle demonic creatures in this sci-fi horror film.
- BloodRayne (2005) – Kristanna Loken stars as Rayne, a half-human, half-vampire who fights against her evil vampire father, Kagan (Ben Kingsley), in this action-horror film.
- The King of Fighters: Another Day (2005) – An anime series consisting of four episodes, following the adventures of various characters from the King of Fighters universe.
- Silent Hill (2006) – A psychological horror film starring Radha Mitchell as Rose, who searches for her missing daughter in the eerie, fog-shrouded town of Silent Hill.
- Dead or Alive (2006) – Based on the fighting game series, this action film stars Devon Aoki as Kasumi, Jaime Pressly as Tina Armstrong, and Holly Valance as Christie Allen. The story follows a group of martial artists who are invited to participate in an exclusive and secretive fighting tournament called “Dead or Alive.”
- Postal (2007) – A dark comedy directed by Uwe Boll, starring Zack Ward as the Postal Dude, who gets caught up in a chaotic series of events involving a cult, terrorists, and a stolen shipment of valuable toys.
- Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) – Milla Jovovich returns as Alice in the third installment of the Resident Evil series, where she joins a group of survivors in the Nevada desert to battle zombies and the Umbrella Corporation.
- Hitman (2007) – Timothy Olyphant stars as Agent 47, a genetically engineered assassin, who becomes embroiled in a political conspiracy in this action thriller.
- In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007) – A fantasy adventure film starring Jason Statham as Farmer, who leads a rebellion against an evil sorcerer (Ray Liotta) to save his kingdom.
- BloodRayne II: Deliverance (2007) – In this sequel, Natassia Malthe takes on the role of Rayne, who must protect a frontier town from a vampire Billy the Kid and his gang.
- Far Cry (2008) – Directed by Uwe Boll, this action film stars Til Schweiger as Jack Carver, a former special forces operative who must save a journalist and stop a mad scientist from creating genetically modified super soldiers.
- Max Payne (2008) – Mark Wahlberg stars as Max Payne, a detective seeking revenge for the murder of his family in this neo-noir action film.
- Alone in the Dark II (2008) – A sequel to the 2005 film, starring Rick Yune as Edward Carnby, who must hunt down dangerous witches with the help of a group of witch hunters.
- Dead Space: Downfall (2008) – An animated prequel to the popular video game, telling the story of the crew of the USG Ishimura as they unwittingly unleash a deadly alien force.
- Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009) – Kristin Kreuk stars as Chun-Li in this action film, which follows her quest for justice against the criminal mastermind Bison (Neal McDonough).
Movies Made in the 2010s Based On Video Games
- Tekken (2010) – An action-packed martial arts film starring Jon Foo as Jin Kazama, who competes in a brutal fighting tournament to avenge his mother’s death.
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) – Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Prince Dastan in this action-adventure film, where he teams up with Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) to prevent a powerful artifact from falling into the wrong hands.
- Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) – The fourth installment in the Resident Evil series, with Milla Jovovich reprising her role as Alice, who continues to fight against the Umbrella Corporation and its deadly creations.
- BloodRayne: The Third Reich (2011) – Natassia Malthe returns as Rayne in this third installment, where she must stop Nazi forces from creating an army of vampire soldiers.
- In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds (2011) – Dolph Lundgren stars as Granger, a former special forces soldier who is transported to a medieval world where he must save a kingdom from an evil sorcerer.
- Dead Space: Aftermath (2011) – Another animated film set in the Dead Space universe, following the efforts of a rescue team sent to investigate the aftermath of the Aegis VII disaster.
- Silent Hill: Revelation (2012) – Adelaide Clemens stars as Heather Mason, who must confront the dark forces in Silent Hill to rescue her missing father in this horror sequel.
- Need for Speed (2014) – Aaron Paul stars as Tobey Marshall, a street racer who seeks revenge against a wealthy rival (Dominic Cooper) in this high-octane action film.
- In the Name of the King 3: The Last Mission (2014) – Dominic Purcell stars as Hazen Kaine, an assassin who is transported to a fantasy world and must rescue a princess to return to his own time.
- Heavenly Sword (2014) – An animated film based on the video game, featuring the voice of Anna Torv as Nariko, who wields the powerful Heavenly Sword to protect her people from an evil king.
- Hitman: Agent 47 (2015) – Rupert Friend stars as the titular assassin, who teams up with a woman (Hannah Ware) to uncover the truth about his origins in this action thriller.
- Warcraft (2016) – Directed by Duncan Jones, this fantasy film stars Travis Fimmel as Anduin Lothar and Toby Kebbell as Durotan, who must work together to save their world from a deadly conflict.
- The Angry Birds Movie (2016) – An animated comedy featuring the voices of Jason Sudeikis as Red, Josh Gad as Chuck, and Danny McBride as Bomb, who must defend their island from invading pigs.
- Ratchet & Clank (2016) – A computer-animated sci-fi comedy featuring the voices of James Arnold Taylor as Ratchet and David Kaye as Clank, who join forces to save the universe from an evil villain.
- Assassin’s Creed (2016) – Michael Fassbender stars as Callum Lynch, who explores the memories of his ancestor, Aguilar, to uncover the secrets of the Assassins and the Templars in this action-adventure film.
- Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) – Milla Jovovich returns as Alice in the final installment of the Resident Evil series, where she must join forces with old allies and new survivors to journey back to the Hive in Raccoon City.
- The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) – In this animated sequel, the voices of Jason Sudeikis as Red, Josh Gad as Chuck, and Danny McBride as Bomb return as they join forces with the pigs to fight a new common enemy.
- Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) – A live-action and CGI film featuring the voice of Ryan Reynolds as Detective Pikachu, who teams up with Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) to solve a mystery in Ryme City.
Growing List of 2020s Movies Based On Video Games
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) – A live-action and CGI film starring Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic, who teams up with Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) to stop the evil Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey).
- Monster Hunter (2020) – An action fantasy film starring Milla Jovovich as Captain Artemis, who finds herself in a world filled with dangerous creatures and must team up with a local hunter (Tony Jaa) to survive.
- Mortal Kombat (2021) – A reboot of the Mortal Kombat film series, featuring Lewis Tan as Cole Young, who discovers his heritage and joins forces with Earthrealm’s warriors in a high-stakes battle for the fate of the universe.
- Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021) – A reboot of the Resident Evil film series, starring Kaya Scodelario as Claire Redfield and Robbie Amell as Chris Redfield, who uncover the sinister secrets of the Umbrella Corporation.
- Werewolves Within (2021) – A horror-comedy film based on the VR game, starring Sam Richardson as a forest ranger and Milana Vayntrub as a postal worker who must uncover the identity of a werewolf terrorizing their small town.
- Ratchet & Clank: Life of Pie (2021) – A short animated film featuring the popular characters Ratchet and Clank as they try to stop Dr. Nefarious from using a dangerous device.
- Dynasty Warriors (2021) – A Chinese-language film based on the video game series, featuring an ensemble cast portraying legendary warriors from the Three Kingdoms era.
- The Uncharted Movie (2022) – Tom Holland stars as young treasure hunter Nathan Drake, alongside Mark Wahlberg as Victor “Sully” Sullivan, in this action-adventure film based on the popular video game series.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022) – A sequel to the 2020 film, with Ben Schwartz returning as the voice of Sonic and James Marsden as Tom Wachowski, as they face new challenges and threats.
- The King of Fighters: Awaken (2022) – An animated film based on the popular fighting game series, which will likely feature iconic characters like Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami.
- The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023) – Mario, voiced by Chris Pratt, embarks on a thrilling journey through the magical Mushroom Kingdom alongside Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) to locate Mario’s missing brother, Luigi (Charlie Day), and save the world from the clutches of the tyrannical King Koopa, Bowser, masterfully brought to life by Jack Black.
Throughout the years, the adaptation of video games into movies has provided fans with a new way to experience the stories and characters they love. As technology continues to evolve along with the promise of AI cinema, we can hope for even more adaptations in the future – perhaps even a few remakes of the lesser quality ones.
Whether you’re a dedicated gamer or a casual moviegoer, these films offer a fascinating glimpse into the creative possibilities that arise when the worlds of gaming and cinema collide.