Just as movies based on video games tend to fail, so do video games based on movies. Almost every movie these days has its own licensed game tie-in, and most such titles are so bad that many gamers write off all movie-related releases. It gets even worse when games are based on movies that are based on games, like Street Fighter: The Movie (The Game).
However, not every game based on a movie is cringe-inducing. Every now and then, a studio releases a movie game that isn't just a cash grab. We've put together a list of five such games, including those spawned from solo titles and franchises. These games measure up in many ways to their film counterparts, and some were even more memorable than their parent films.
5. Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie Released: 2005
This Xbox 360 launch title exceeded expectations for movie tie-ins. It's just as good as the movie and captures its unique atmosphere perfectly. The game expands on events of the film in order to increase its length, but the added material doesn't feel like filler; it's welcome, especially because it allows players to explore Kong's island more extensively.
A limited HUD makes for an immersive experience while fending off jungle monsters. Perhaps the best part of the game is playing as Kong himself. A game that lets you beat up a T.rex as a giant monkey? Sign me up.
4. Ghostbusters: The Video Game Released: 2009
The next best thing to a new Ghostbusters film is this 2009 release featuring much of the original cast. Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray and more all return for what Aykroyd referred to as "essentially the third movie." It's a unique take on the shooter genre with fresh mechanics, but more importantly, it just feels like Ghostbusters.
The game re-creates everything that made the franchise famous, but in a new format. While the game is a bit on the short side, its multiplayer gives it some added replay value. Just remember not to cross the streams.
3. Goldeneye 007 Released: 1997
This game opened the floodgates for first-person shooters on consoles. In many ways, it was the forerunner to titles like Call of Duty and Halo. It was also a great game on its own, and the point could be made that it's even more memorable than the Pierce Brosnan film.
Nearly every male born between 1980 and 1990 has fond memories of playing this game with their friends. Some controls were a bit clunky, and the character Oddjob was impossible to kill (damn midget!), but this is still a great party game if you're feeling nostalgic. It's the Sean Connery of James Bond games.
2. Blade Runner Released: 1997
This sleeper hit released in 1997 is a point-and-click adventure game, a genre that recently saw a resurgence with Telltale's The Walking Dead. Blade Runner included an original story set in Ridley Scott's universe that followed detective Ray McCoy as he tracked a group of replicants suspected of murdering animals.
With 13 different endings, this game was one of the first to give players significant influence on the plot -- even more so than many games released today. While it's a bit dated today, the graphics were top notch for the time. This game will have you questioning what it means to be human, and wondering whether androids really do dream of electric sheep.
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1. (Most) Star Wars games Released: 1977- present
It would be unfair to the many great Star Wars games to put one at the top of this list without acknowledging the many successes. Sure, there have been a few duds (Jango Fett: Bounty Hunter comes to mind), but it's overall the most successful video game franchise based on film. The best of the bunch are probably Knights of the Old Republic and Battlefront II, but the Rogue Squadron, Jedi Knight and LEGO Star Wars games also deserve high praise. While no great Star Wars games have come out in a few years, Star Wars 1313 shows promise and could join the ranks of these other games. May the Force be with it.