Most video games based on movies are bad. There's just no way around it. However, not every single video game based on a movie isn't worth playing. There have been plenty of games over the years that were based on movies that did well. In fact, these games aren't just great for a game based on a movie. These are games that end up creating an entirely separate experience despite being set in the same universe as the film.
If you're curious to find out what those games are, we've got you covered. Below, we've rounded up the 9 best video games based on movies.
Alien: Isolation isn't a movie tie-in, although it could very well have been. The game is set 15 years following the events of the first Alien film. In Alien: Isolation, you play as Ellen Ripley's daughter who is sent on a mission to find a flight recorder on a Seegson Corporation ship in an attempt to find out more about what happened to Ripley.
Unlike the colossal failure that was Aliens: Colonial Marines, Isolation doesn't give you a gun. Instead, you're armed with nothing but your wits and courage as you try to sneak your way through the ship's tight corridors.
What makes the video game stand out is how it captures the spirit of the source material. Each encounter with the Xenomorph might be brief, but all are memorable.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
The Lords of the Rings franchise is the perfect subject for a video game. That's why there've been more than a few released based on the film series. However, while most aren't good, the Middle-Earth games, Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War, serve as an exception.
In both Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War, you'll take on the role of Talion, a ranger who was murdered by Sauron's forces only to be revived by the elf lord Celebrimbor to serve as his vessel/ally to take revenge against the Dark Lord.
Both games serve as a prequel of sorts to both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies, which sets up some pretty interesting connections for the lore buffs out there. Although the story of both games isn't half-bad, it's the mechanics that really set them apart. This is especially true for the latter, which lets you raise your own army across multiple fortresses.
With two more expansions that bring their own unique spin to the base game's gameplay, Shadow of War is a great game that deserves a sequel.
Movie tie-ins are a finicky topic, even more so than games based on movies. It's a lot more difficult to say if a movie tie-in game is good because most are bad or if it's simply a good game. This is why you'll see very few movie tie-ins on our list. GoldenEye 007 serves as one of those few because it was a great game that made an impact in the gaming industry.
GoldenEye 007 was originally released for the Nintendo 64 back in 1997 at a time when split-screen shooting games, or just split-screen games, in general, were not the norm.
Fast forward to at least a year after GoldenEye 007 was released and you could see just how influential it was.
After gamers spent countless nights trying to bounce bullets off each other in a shooter that supported up to 4-player split-screen gameplay in local co-op, a lot of games that were released after GoldenEye 007 had split-screen as well.
It's a shame that we never got to see the remake release.
Mad Max had one thing going against it: it was released on the same day as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
We're firm believers that, had Mad Max just released at least a month prior, it would've sold much better than it did.
Not that Mad Max didn't sell well. In fact, Mad Max was one of the best-selling games during the month of its release. However, not enough people give Mad Max credit for being a good game. Avalanche Studios Group's take on Mad Max was an open-world vehicular game with gameplay and combat reminiscent of the Arkham games.
Mad Max was also somewhat of an originator. It was the first game to experiment with humongous electrical storms covering entire screens and destroying everything in its path, including the environment.
While not every aspect of Mad Max was great, it was and still is a much better game than most people have been led to believe.
Bloober Team is in the spotlight right now after its work on The Medium and because it's rumored to be working on a new Silent Hill game. Before this, Bloober Team was known for Layers of Fear and Layers of Fear 2, which were released in 2016 and 2019, respectively. What most people don't know is that Bloober Team released another psychological horror title in 2019.
The Blair Witch, which ties into the horror movies of the same name, released with little fanfare back in 2019. The game stars Ellis Lynch and his dog, Bullet, who are heading out to the Black Hills Forest of Burkittsville, Maryland, in search of a missing child.
Blair Witch's gameplay revolves around exploration and puzzle-solving. Bullet, in particular, plays a key role as he is the one who will help you secure items by sniffing them out for you. He'll even affect your mental state, which, without spoiling anything, can affect the outcome of the game.
While Blair Witch wasn't good enough to make it on our list of the best horror games, it's still worth playing.
The Chronicles of Riddick
It doesn't matter if it's Escape From Butcher Bay or Assault on Dark Athena that we're talking about here. Both of these first-person stealth-action games capture the rich and atmospheric sci-fi environments that fans of The Chronicles of Riddick movies have come to love. But, if we were to recommend just one of the two, we'd recommend the former.
Escape From Butcher Bay doesn't just feature a lot of killing, it also has a memorable and incredibly detailed maximum-security prison setting that comes complete with a unique mix of inmates.
The Mummy Demastered
You don't always have to have a AAA title to match a blockbuster film. The video game tie-in for Space Jam: A New Legacy is a good example of this.
An earlier and lesser-known example is The Mummy Demastered.
If not for the cancellation of Universal's entire Dark Universe, more people might have decided to pick the game up, which is a shame. The Mummy Demastered is an excellent Metroidvania game with solid shooting mechanics, well-executed platforming gameplay, and clever way-pointing that helps maintain the flow of the game.
The Mummy Demastered even has a similar twist from Hollow Knight to dying, where you have to fight a version of yourself in the same spot where you died if you want to get your gear back.
Here's to hoping that more companies decide to take the same route as The Mummy Demastered.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic could very well be the best Star Wars game. Period.
Before BioWare became known for the likes of Dragon Age and Mass Effect, it made a name for itself with titles like Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate, and the aforementioned, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
Set in the same universe as the movies but thousands of years before its events, KOTOR, as it's most commonly referred to, was one of the first games to prove that video games based on movies could offer the same complexity and depth as the games that they were based on if not more.
In the game, you take on the role of a Jedi whose mission is to overthrow Darth Malak. The first game's story has since been expanded on in a sequel, with a reboot rumored to be in the works.
John Wick Hex
Similar to The Mummy Demastered, John Wick Hex does its much-larger source material right without matching it in scale.
While the John Wick movies would make for the perfect action-adventure title, what John Wick Hex did was different, to say the last. It didn't match the movie's pacing, violence, action, and production value. Instead, the game "settled" for letting players delve into the mind of John Wick in what is basically a turn-based strategy game.
In John Wick Hex, you take control of the action by planning everything from how to take out a group of guards in such a way that Wick succeeds and survives.
With both Lance Reddick and Ian McShane reprising their roles from the John Wick films, John Wick Hex is a hidden and polished gem of a game that is a great example of how to do a game based on a movie right.