Video Game Movies – Past, Present and Future

Video game movies have become a popular trend in Hollywood, with both animated and live-action adaptations of some of the world’s most popular video games hitting the big screen. Today, fans can catch exciting adaptations of their favorite video games, such as “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Mortal Kombat.” These movies bring beloved characters and storylines from the gaming world to life, offering fans a chance to experience their favorite games in a new and immersive way. And the excitement doesn’t stop there – upcoming video game movies like Borderlands and …Minecraft? are also generating a lot of buzz, promising to bring even more of the action and adventure that fans crave. Though not all are successful, they are worth talking about in the long path of failed and successful adaptations. With the growing popularity of video game movies, it’s clear that this trend is here to stay, and fans can look forward to even more exciting adaptations of their favorite video games in the future. 

Live Action Game Adaptations:

Five Nights at Freddy’s

The Five Nights at Freddy’s movie adaptation has finally hit the box office, and it is proving to be a hit among fans of the popular video game franchise. Directed by Chris Columbus, the film effectively captures the eerie atmosphere and jump scares that made the game series so beloved by horror enthusiasts. However, what sets this movie apart is its rare combination of horror and comedy, creating a unique viewing experience that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats while also providing some much-needed comic relief. Many fans seasoned with the FNAF lore lined up to theaters dressed as characters from the movie. The film’s success at the box office can be attributed to its faithful fanbase, as well as its ability to appeal to a wider audience with its well-balanced blend of scares and humor. With its strong performance in theaters, it’s safe to say that the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie has successfully brought the terror of the game to the big screen, while also delivering an enjoyable and rare horror comedy experience. It’s likely to get a sequel!


The highly anticipated Uncharted movie, starring Tom Holland, finally hit theaters in 2022. Based on the popular video game franchise of the same name, the film follows the adventures of treasure hunter Nathan Drake. While Holland’s charismatic performance and the stunning visual effects stayed true to the source material, the movie fell short in terms of pacing and plot development. Clocking in at over two hours, the film seemed too long, leaving some audience members feeling restless by the end. Despite this, the action sequences and set designs were captivating, and Holland’s chemistry with co-star Mark Wahlberg added a lighthearted and comedic touch to the film. Overall, the Uncharted movie is a fun and visually impressive adaptation that may leave die-hard fans satisfied, but its lengthy runtime and lack of depth in character development may leave some viewers wishing for more game substance. 

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 movie is a highly anticipated sequel to the successful first film, bringing back the beloved characters from the iconic video game series. The movie introduces fan-favorite characters such as Tails and Knuckles, who join Sonic and his friends in their adventure to stop the evil Dr. Eggman. The dynamic between the characters is engaging and entertaining, with their witty banter and funny interactions keeping the audience entertained throughout the film. The addition of Tails and Knuckles adds depth to the storyline and expands the universe of the Sonic franchise. Jim Carrey returns as the villainous Dr. Eggman, delivering a hilarious and over-the-top performance that adds a comedic element to the movie. Overall, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 succeeds in capturing the spirit of the beloved video game series and offers an enjoyable and action-packed experience for both fans and newcomers to the franchise. 

Mortal Kombat

The 2021 Mortal Kombat movie is a highly-anticipated video game adaptation that brings the classic video game franchise to the big screen. Long-time fans of the Mortal Kombat series were both excited and a little nervous going into the movie. However, many were also pleasantly surprised by how well the movie made the transition from video game to film. The action sequences were beautifully choreographed and stayed true to the over-the-top style of the game. The characters were well-cast and brought to life with a mix of martial arts skills and special effects. While the plot may not have been the strongest, it still held true to the spirit of the games, and the movie’s pacing kept me engaged throughout. Overall, the Mortal Kombat movie was a fun and thrilling experience for fans of the video game franchise and action movie enthusiasts alike. It’s highly recommended for anyone looking for an entertaining and action-packed film. 

Silent Hill

The 2006 film adaptation of the original game, Silent Hill, was met with mixed reviews. As with many video game films, there was a level of skepticism as to whether the transition from the gaming world to the big screen would be successful. The movie based on the popular survival horror game managed to capture the eerie and unsettling atmosphere of the game, but fell short in terms of character development and plot coherence. The visual effects and make-up were praised for their ability to bring the haunting world of Silent Hill to life, but the pacing and storytelling left much to be desired. Fans of the game appreciated the attention to detail and the faithful adaptation of the game’s iconic creatures and settings, but ultimately felt that the film failed to do justice to the rich narrative and psychological terror of the original game. Overall, the Silent Hill movie was a visually stunning but ultimately flawed adaptation of a beloved video game. 

Detective Pikachu

 Detective Pikachu is a film based on the popular video game of the same name, and it has been highly anticipated by fans of the franchise. Starring Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu, the film brings the beloved Pokémon universe to life in a thrilling sci-fi adventure. The movie is set in a fantastical game world where humans and Pokémon coexist, and the CGI animation brings the Pokémon creatures to life in stunning detail. The storyline follows a young man, played by Justice Smith, as he teams up with a wise-cracking, coffee addicted Pikachu to solve the mystery of his missing father. The film has been praised for its visually stunning recreation of the Pokémon world, and the chemistry between Reynolds and Smith’s characters. For fans of the video game series, Detective Pikachu offers a nostalgic and exciting journey into a world that has captivated audiences for decades.

Resident Evil

The Resident Evil movie, an adaptation of the horror video game franchise, had mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike. While some praised the film for its faithful portrayal of game characters like Alice and the Umbrella Corporation, others felt that it fell short in capturing the true essence of the game. However, the movie still managed to perform well at the box office, with its action-packed sequences and visually stunning special effects drawing in audiences. Despite the criticism, the film’s success at the box office proved that there was a strong fan base for the franchise, and the inclusion of familiar game characters helped to attract both fans of the video game series and newcomers to the Resident Evil universe. Overall, the Resident Evil movie may not have pleased everyone, but its box office results demonstrated its ability to tap into the popularity of the horror video game franchise. 

Street Fighter

The Street Fighter movie, based on the popular video game franchise, has received mixed reviews from both fans and critics. As an adaptation of the iconic fighting game, the movie has attempted to bring the beloved characters and intense martial arts action to the big screen. However, some critics have argued that the film failed to capture the spirit of the video game and the characters lacked depth and development. On the other hand, fans of the franchise have appreciated the movie for its nostalgic value and the faithful representation of their favorite characters. The history of the Street Fighter video game franchise adds an extra layer of significance to the movie, as it has been a beloved part of many gamers’ lives for decades. Overall, the Street Fighter movie can be seen as a nostalgic trip for fans of the video game series, but it may not stand out as a critically acclaimed adaptation.

Gran Turismo

The Gran Turismo movie, based on a true story, has been highly anticipated among fans of the popular video game series. As with many movies based on video games, there was a degree of skepticism surrounding whether it could accurately capture the essence of the gaming experience. However, the Gran Turismo movie exceeded expectations and was able to do just that. The film’s stunning visuals and intense racing scenes were praised by both fans and critics alike. The plot was engaging and kept audiences on the edge of their seats throughout the film. With the success of the Gran Turismo movie, it is clear that video games found its way into the world of cinema and have proven that they can be just as captivating as the games would. The movie serves as a testament to the power of storytelling through the medium of gaming and how it can translate to the big screen. 

Sonic The Hedgehog

The release of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie was highly anticipated by fans of the iconic game series. However, the initial design of the character in the movie trailer sparked controversy among fans, leading to a complete redesign of Sonic. Despite this setback, when the movie was finally released, it quickly became a hit and garnered positive reviews from both fans and critics. The movie successfully brought the beloved video game character to life on the big screen, and it quickly became one of the highest-grossing movies of all time based on a video game. The history of video game adaptations into movies has been a mixed bag, with many failing to live up to the expectations of fans. However, Sonic the Hedgehog managed to break through this trend and deliver a fun and enjoyable experience for both fans and newcomers to the franchise. Overall, the Sonic the Hedgehog movie has been a successful and iconic addition to the world of video game adaptations. 

Tomb Raider

The 2018 Tomb Raider movie ranks somewhere in the middle. The film follows a new iteration of the iconic video game character Lara Croft, portrayed by Alicia Vikander, as she embarks on a dangerous adventure to uncover the truth about her father’s disappearance. While the movie stays true to the action-packed and adventurous nature of the video games, some viewers felt that it lacked depth in character development and storytelling. Despite this, Vikander’s performance was praised for bringing a fresh and compelling portrayal of the iconic character, once famously played by Angelina Jolie in the first movie adaptations. The film pays homage to the original vision of game designer Toby Gard, incorporating elements of puzzle-solving and exploration. Overall, the Tomb Raider movie offers an entertaining escape for fans of the franchise, but may fall short for those seeking a more immersive and impactful storyline. 

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

Based on a popular game called Dungeon Siege, “In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale” is a fantasy action film directed by Uwe Boll. The movie follows the journey of Farmer, played by Jason Statham, as he sets out to rescue his kidnapped wife and avenge the death of his son. While the film has garnered a cult following among fans of the video game, critics have not been so kind. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a dismal 4% approval rating, with many citing poor acting and a weak script as major flaws. In fact, on a list of video game movies ranked by the website, “In the Name of the King” was listed as one of the worst ever made. Despite its lackluster reception, the film has its moments and offers some entertaining fantasy action sequences. However, for those unfamiliar with the source material, it may be best to approach it with caution.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

The movie follows the story of Chun-Li, a martial artist who embarks on a quest for justice after her father is kidnapped by a crime lord. While the Street Fighter franchise has been one of the most popular video games found in arcades and home consoles for decades, the movie received mixed reviews from both critics and fans. Some praised actress Kristin Kreuk’s portrayal of Chun-Li and the well-choreographed fight scenes, while others criticized the plot and character development. There were references to the original source material, but ultimately it felt that the movie fell short of capturing the essence of what has made Street Fighter one of the most iconic and beloved games of all time. Overall, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li may appeal to die-hard fans of the franchise, but for others, it may not live up to expectations.


Warcraft is a fantasy film by director Duncan Jones, based on the video game series of the same name. The Warcraft franchise actually began as a video game developed by Blizzard Entertainment in 1994, and has since expanded into novels, comics, and a film. Duncan Jones, known for his work on Moon and Source Code, took on the challenge of bringing the beloved game to the big screen, and the result was a visually stunning and action-packed epic. The game development that went into the Warcraft series was groundbreaking and influential, creating a rich and immersive universe for players to explore. The film adaptation sought to capture the same sense of adventure and mythology that made the game so popular, and it achieved that with its stunning visuals and faithful portrayal of the game’s characters and lore. Warcraft has become a beloved symbol of the power of video games to inspire and entertain audiences in new and exciting ways. 

Prince of Persia: The sands of time

The movie is based on the popular video game franchise and follows the adventurous journey of Dastan, a young prince who teams up with a mysterious princess to stop a villain from unleashing the power of a mythical dagger that can rewind time. The film is packed with thrilling action sequences and dazzling special effects, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats throughout the entire movie. The main character, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, brings charm and charisma to the role, and the chemistry between the lead characters brings an extra layer of enjoyment to the film. While some critics argue that the plot is a bit predictable, the overall entertainment value of the movie makes it a must-watch for fans of action-packed adventures. Whether you’re a fan of the game series or just love a good, high-stakes action movie, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a thrilling ride that will keep you engaged from start to finish. 

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life

The Cradle of Life is a thrilling action-adventure film starring Angelina Jolie as the iconic Tomb Raider, Lara Croft. The movie successfully captures the essence of the beloved game, offering breathtaking action scenes, stunning visuals, and an engaging storyline. Jolie’s portrayal of the fearless and resourceful Lara Croft is both charismatic and captivating, making her the perfect fit for the role. The film is widely regarded as one of the best video game movies of all time, thanks to its seamless blend of adrenaline-pumping action and a compelling plot. The movie would undoubtedly appeal to fans of the Tomb Raider series, as well as anyone looking for an exciting and entertaining action film. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life is a must-watch for those who appreciate a strong and dynamic female lead, and it solidifies Jolie’s status as one of the leading action stars in Hollywood. 

Animated Game Adaptations 

 Animated game adaptations have become a popular trend in the film industry, with many classic video games being turned into animated movies. The Super Mario Bros. Movie, released in 2023, is one of the most well-known examples of this trend. Based on the iconic arcade game Donkey Kong, the Super Mario Bros. Movie brought beloved characters like Mario and Luigi to the big screen in a new and exciting way. Another successful animated game adaptation is Pokémon the Movie, which captured the hearts of fans worldwide with its colorful and action-packed portrayal of the popular video game series. The Angry Birds Movie and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within are also notable examples of animated game adaptations, bringing new life to their respective video game franchises. With the potential for a new video game adaptation around every corner, it’s clear that the trend of turning beloved games into animated films is here to stay.