The relationship between video games and film is a tumultuous one. Most films based on video games either miss why the source material was engaging, or they're outright awful. On the other side of the coin, most video game tie-ins to movies are soulless cash grabs cobbled together by already stressed development teams.
While the video game-movie curse hasn’t quite been lifted, there are a few shining movie tie-in games in the sea of mediocrity. Now, it’s rare for a video game based on a film to be good, but it’s even rarer for them to surpass their source material. Here are five video game movie tie-ins that actually might.
5. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)has the dubious honor of being the worst X-Men film featuring Hugh Jackman. This is not hyperbole. The film, directed by Academy Award-winner Gavin Hood, was a huge swing and a miss. With lousy CGI, a terrible script, not even a stellar performance from Liev Schreiber could save the film.
However, the video game tie-in, released the same day as the film, was awesome. It gave longtime fans of Wolverine the kind of visceral combat so many X-Men games had been lacking. The game was by no means revolutionary, but it was a solid hack-and-slash game with great animation and killer combat.
4. The Mummy: Demastered (2017)
Why is this game so good? It honestly makes zero sense. It’s a side-scrolling action game in the style of Metroidvania. And it’s a perfect one, too. The game claims to be based upon the 2017 Tom Cruise trash fire The Mummy, and if you squint hard enough…sure. Why not?
WayForward Technologies’ The Mummy Demastered follows a soldier working for Prodigium. While opening up a large map, players must fight against monsters unreleased by Princess Ahmanet. And that’s about where the comparisons end. The game is just simply solid and almost makes up for the two hours the film robbed from everyone.
3. Goldeneye 007 (1997)
The 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye was a solid entry in the series. It also introduced one of our better Bonds, with Pierce Brosnan taking up the mantle of 007. The film was a critical and financial hit that spun out three more Brosnan Bond films…all of which were bad. But as good as GoldenEye the movie was, the 1997 N64 video game of the same name was legendary.
Developed by Rare, GoldenEye was a first-person action game that mostly followed the film's events. However, what made the game the stuff of legend was its intense multiplayer mode, which would later be replicated in games such as Perfect Dark. GoldenEye was the go-to activity of a generation of kids looking to chase each other with silenced pistols on a console. It also made that generation hate Oddjob. Look, if ya know, ya know.
2. Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009)
Alright, alright, before anyone breaks out the pitchforks and torches, the answer is “no!” Ghostbusters: The Video Game was not better than Ivan Reitman’s 1984 comedy classic. However, it was (and still is) the best piece of media the franchise has released since the original film.
The game featured the voices of Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and Dan Aykroyd, all of whom reprised their roles from the films. Ghostbusters: The Video Game even allowed Aykroyd and Ramis to explore their ideas for what would have been Ghostbusters 3. In fact, it would be fair to consider Ghostbusters: The Video Game the end of a trilogy. While the gameplay was simple, the story and writing make it a must-play for franchise fans.
1. World War Z (2019)
Max Brooks’ 2003 horror novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War was one the best pieces of literary zombie fiction. The book’s 2013 film adaptation was not exactly a masterpiece. It shirked most of the novel’s ideas and stories (and its framing device), much to the film’s detriment. But Brad Pitt looked good running from zombies, so we mostly forgave it.
However, against all odds, the 2019 video game adaptation of the film was gangbusters. World War Z was a squad-based third-person shooter game in the vein of Left 4 Dead. Developer Saber Interactive brought the film's intensity while keeping the original novel's “boots on the ground” narrative.