Video game movies are renowned to be absolute trash. Countless imaginings of some of gaming’s greatest heroes have failed to hit the mark with critics or fans. Some iterations have been ok, but ok isn’t going to do so many deep and intriguing characters justice as they transition from one medium to the next. Below is ten video game movies that could be considered the ‘Citizen Kane’ of video game movies if they were actually made.
- Fallout – Bethesda’s rich post apocalyptic role-playing game is one of gaming’s behemoths. It stands proudly atop a mountain of sub-par competitors, as a nuclear blast goes off in the background. The Fallout series has offered us some of the best adventures that the Mad Max franchise could only have dreamt of. In the game we meet weird characters, scary creatures lurking around every corner, thousands of crazy guns, gadgets and gizmos and of course, gaming’s most accurate depiction of lonely wandering the Americas in the post-apocalypse. A Fallout movie would be a rich and intriguing adventure to see on the big screen. You wouldn’t make the film about any of the games main characters. Telling their stories takes you away from the games and their stories are intricately woven and take hours to tell – something a movie simply cannot do. In that case, you make a movie set in the Fallout universe and ether expand an existing minor character, someone like Preston Garvey or Paladin Danse, then build a story around them, or alternatively, create a film that’s about an entirely new character but still set in the same universe with accurate nods and call-backs to the other instalments in the franchise. A perfect example of this is the fan film Fallout Red Star which is a master piece of a fan movie set in the Fallout universe. Perhaps a new story could feature Codsworth’s adventures as he waits for his master to return? Or the story of a vault dweller as they unwittingly succumb to VaultTec ‘s horrific experiments and descend into madness?
2) Dishonoured – The Dishonored franchise is set in a dystopian universe as the monarch is killed and the nations are thrust into totalitarian rule and anarchy. The player’s actions determine the game’s overall outcome but also in-game choices like killing all the guards or taking a more stealthy option actually affects how the city looks itself. Again, like Fallout, You don’t make a game centred on the main characters so you wouldn’t necessarily make the game about Corvo or Emily. Instead make it about a different assassin either in one of the established cities like Dunwall or take us to a new city, far off in the distance that is in as bad a shape as Karnaca or Dunwall. The Dishonored franchise is renowned for its stealth gameplay, its morality choices and its branching narrative. It would make an amazing movie as it would allow audiences to see a thrilling sleuth film with gory deaths and amazing action set pieces.
3) Just Cause – Yes, I know, this movie is already happening. Just Cause will be directed by Brad Peyton (San Andreas) and will star Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa. But the only way this movie should appear on the big screen is if it is directed by Michael Bay. Yes you read that correctly. Michael Bay and Just Cause have 2 things in common – they both write crappy dialogue, and they both love explosions. Michael Bay is the king of explosions. And what better way to portray the video game renowned for everything blowing up than by having the king of explosions at the helm. Just Cause is a franchise that doesn’t take itself seriously. It knows it’s a silly, physics defying romp – and Bay’s movies never take themselves seriously ether. Take his Transformer movies – silly lines that only sound funny in his head, random explosions and over the top characters that Just Cause would be proud of. The adventures of Rico Rodriguez needs to be portrayed by Mr. Bay. Oh, and Bolo Santosi needs to be in this film. Please?
4) Destroy All Humans – a somewhat forgotten franchise, the Destroy all Humans series sees a race of superior alien beings attempt to destroy humanity in some of the most convoluted ways possible. Weird guns and even weirder characters feature as the main characters battle human forces from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Any DaH movie would have similar humour to Deadpool which was a massive hit with audiences. A way to set a movie based on this franchise could be setting this movie in an era not yet visited, the forties. By setting the movie in the 1940s you could have the Furons become entangled in World War II. Think about it for a second. Rumours of flying saucers were told throughout the war, massive amounts of destruction and death, general suspicions of ‘aliens’ – meaning foreign spies. It’s the perfect setting for a movie based on this old but gold franchise,
5) Super Mario Bros – This one has been done before. But if you are familiar with the embarrassment that was the 1993 adaptation starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo, then you’ll know how stupidly far away from the source material it was. In fact, it was so far off the original material it shouldn’t even be called Super Mario Bros. Luigi was the main character, Mario refused to jump, the movie was set in Dinohatten rather than the Mushroom Kingdom, King Koopa had mysophobia, Toad was a guitar playing hobo and nothing was like the actual game. The Super Mario franchise is arguably the most beloved out of any franchise in the history of gaming and deserves a good movie adaptation. Be it live action or animated. And yet, it deserves something. The Red wearing Italian Plumber captured our imaginations as kids and it’s time we pay him respect with a far better movie depiction than we’ve previously given him.
6) The Last of US – Another post apocalyptic game to feature on this list and, arguably, one of the best games ever made. Developer Naughty Dog created one of the biggest tear jerking, most exciting and powerful video games to ever grace our screens. The adventures of Joel and Ellie have only just begun, considering they’ve only featured in one outing unlike most of the other games on this list. But seeing a big screen adaptation of these wonderful characters would really do the game justice. The game plays like a movie. Every line of clever dialogue expands these characters ten fold. We see them grow into almost father and daughter. Having such a beautiful relationship pressed against the backdrop of a post apocalyptic nightmare makes their story all the more magical. Hugh Jackman should definitely have the role as Joel – he looks like the character more so than ever in the gritty superhero passion piece Logan. Chloe Grace Moretz, despite her age, is the obvious perfect choice for Ellie, considering she voiced the character in the actual game.
7) Grand Theft Auto – Fans have been dying for a film adaptation set in the open world gangster game of GTA for years. Being one of the most popular game franchises of all time, GTA would be any movie makers dream to create as it would easily make a tonne of money. However, there is only one man who can truly create a masterpiece for this franchise – Martin Scorsese. Scorsese is one of the fathers of modern cinema, creating classic after classic after classic. The Wolf of Wall Street is veered as a movie that should have won Di Caprio the Oscar for best actor. The director would bring the gritty realism that the games portray and bring them to life for all to see. His character development skills and attention to detail is second to none and having him direct a game about everyone’s favourite dark and gritty game franchise simply makes sense.
8) Bioshock – A game franchise that almost became a movie a few years back. The dystopian reality of the Bioshock multiverse having underwater cities and utopias above the clouds being utterly desolate places, devoid of free-thought or morals. Brainwashed societies, sick individuals, drug addicts, religious ambiguity and so much more prop up the intelligent and intricately designed game which is all about questioning personal freedoms. Although what stalled this film previously was the argument over its rating, it must be a hard R. This movie is as much about its gritty, horrific violence as well as its clever satire. This movie would be difficult to make, but a joy to behold for any fan of one of the cleverest shooters the world has ever known.
9) L.A. Noire – Sadly the now defunct L.A. Noire is no more. Rockstar opted to focus on other projects and left this game at the bottom of most stores bargain bins. But it does has a massive cult following and is arguably, one of the best games of the last decade. Being a homicide detective and having to work out whether an NPC is lying or not. This game was an amazing take on the murder-mystery genre. Rather than running around shooting people, you actually had to find the evidence to and support your case against a character. L.A. Noire was an interesting and moreover a difficult game to play. Getting something wrong would still allow the game to progress, but could also mean a ruthless serial killer could still be on the loose. A detective film in this universe would be amazing to see on the big screen and would really do the now defunct franchise justice.
10) Uncharted – Nathan Drake’s adventures in the Uncharted series are like cinematic epics in their own rights. They are action packed and feature stunning set pieces that wow audiences with their flare and grit. They are one of the perfect movies to be adapted to film and I believe that developer Naughty Dog, who already have one game on this list, are in talks to make this happen. Watch this space Uncharted fans.