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video games that should be moviesMany modern video games play out like movies, with strong storylines, fleshed-out characters, and action sequences that surely give even Michael Bay pause for thought. And yet when it comes to actually making movies from video games, Hollywood and its film-making sister cities around the world have failed spectacularly.

There are some video game movie adaptations worth watching The Top 10 Video Game Movies Of All Time The Top 10 Video Game Movies Of All Time Media crossovers can often be highly successful. Books such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Forrest Gump, and It's A Wonderful Life have found new audiences after being translated into movies. But video games... Read More , but most end up pleasing neither film buffs or gamers. Some directors seem to hate the idea of being influenced by the source material, while others stick too rigidly to the confines of the genre. Neither approach really works.

I’m convinced there are some great movie adaptations of popular video games out there just waiting to be made. We just need a visionary to make one or more of them happen. Having already pinpointed five video games that would make great TV shows 5 Video Games That Would Make Great TV Shows 5 Video Games That Would Make Great TV Shows When Halo 4 gets released on Nov. 6, 2012, it will bring with it episodic content almost televisual in nature. In order to build shared experiences that players will talk about around the water cooler,... Read More , I’d like to suggest five that should be given the big-screen treatment they clearly deserve.

Red Dead Redemption

video games that should be movies

The Game: Red Dead Redemption is an open-world Western developed and published by Rockstar Games. Released in 2011 it is the spiritual successor to a 2004 game titled Red Dead Revolver. For most of the game you play John Marston, who sees action all across the Wild West while hunting down his old gang in order to be reunited with his family.

The Movie: The storyline could remain pretty much intact in the jump from game to movie. Marston is a strong protagonist, and the themes of hope, betrayal, and redemption would make for an intoxicating film. With a big budget to bring the American Old West to life, this could be a Western appealing to both old and new generations of cinema-goers.

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Mirror’s Edge

games that should be movies

The Game: Mirror’s Edge is a unique game in several ways. It conveys a true first-person perspective at all times, and the futuristic, minimalist look of the dystopian future it’s set in takes a little getting used to. You play Faith, a runner who defies the authoritarian regime in charge in order to deliver messages and packages around the city she knows like the back of her hand.

The Movie: I found the game highly frustrating thanks to the odd controls and level of accuracy required to actually get anywhere. This got in the way of the story somewhat, which would actually appeal to a diverse cross-section of society. There could be parts of the movie where the camera takes on a first-person perspective, with parkour specialists providing some thrilling visuals to go with the twisting plotline.

Infamous

games that should be movies

The Game: Infamous was released in 2009 and has since spawned a sequel. You play Cole McGrath, an ordinary guy gifted with extraordinary powers after an explosion occurs in his city. The region is quarantined by the government as McGrath brings a semblance of order while attempting to find the cause of, and people responsible for, the chaos.

The Movie: Like a cross between X-Men and Escape From New York, a movie based on Infamous could work extremely well. The Good vs. Evil aspect could be used in a variety of different ways; we could view both sides of Cole’s personality as he makes the choices, with the audience being kept on the edge of their seats to the very end in regards to which direction his morals ultimately take him.

Mass Effect

games that should be movies

The Game: There have been three Mass Effect games to date, with the ending to the final installment in the trilogy causing some resentment amongst gamers. But this shouldn’t take anything away from the universe, characters, and storyline BioWare created for these games. You play Commander Shephard as he faces off against an alien race of mechanical beings known as the Reapers.

The Movie: The Mass Effect games represent a high point in story-telling in this medium, so any writer would have an easy task translating the series into movies. Whether a trilogy would follow the games like-for-like or not isn’t important, but getting the look and feel absolutely spot-on would be a mammoth task and of the utmost importance for it to succeed.

Modern Warfare

video games that should be movies

The Game: There have been three Modern Warfare games to date, the last having been released in 2011. As part of the Call Of Duty franchise these titles are all first-person shooters, but the storylines and characterization are strong enough to warrant at least one movie, if not more. You play various characters through the series as they battle an ever-changing foe in the near-present day.

The Movie: This would be a modern war film in the mold of Black Hawk Down or Jarhead. Maintain the overarching themes of the games while fleshing out the characters and a Modern Warfare movie could be truly awesome. A huge final battle in which all the main characters participate would leave cinema-goers wanting more. With these games selling millions each year there’s a huge built-in audience just waiting to be sated.

Conclusions

These are merely my suggestions based on games I’ve played that have struck me as being filmic in nature. Do you agree with my choices or do you have other suggestions for video games that deserve the movie treatment? Alternatively do you think games should stay as games and there should be none of these cross-genre hybrids? Whatever your thoughts feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

Image Credits: Derek Purdy, Red Dead Redemption Official, Mirror’s Edge Official, Infamous Official, Mass Effect Official, Modern Warfare Official

  1. Anonymous
    December 13, 2012 at 1:29 am

    I would like to see warcraft, bioshock, half life and alan wake.

  2. SusieJ
    September 7, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Gears of War!!

  3. Sultan A.
    August 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    InFamous film for sure!!!!!
    i will be more than happy to see this made

  4. Lambvolution
    August 1, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Elder Scrolls series, world of warcraft and titan quest

  5. Ozzt
    July 28, 2012 at 8:40 am

    You forgot the MGS series

  6. Steve
    July 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    The metal gear solid saga would have been a best seller as a movie...

  7. J. Random
    July 23, 2012 at 12:28 am

    "Pong" would be good as a '70s drug-dealer movie, starring Charlie Sheen of course.

    Thin white lines and bloodshot, bug-eyed all nighters can only lead to the ultimate goal of...

    "Winning."

    Oh, and Tetris would actually be an awesome Cold War spy version of "Tron." Soviets vs. Americans compete in a surrealistic geometric obstacle course. Kind of like that old '90s Nickelodeon show "Global GUTS."

    How about "Pac-Man Fever: A Love Story"? It's Pac vs. the Ghosties for the affections of Ms. Independent...! ;) Music by Buckner & Garcia and Tupac Shakur. :D

  8. Charlie Player
    July 20, 2012 at 10:32 am

    well battlefield is nt bad for movie

  9. Charlie Player
    July 20, 2012 at 5:42 am

    how abt..uncharted..its pretty good

  10. ecd4a4d35dce1b96560e85a8ce64f578
    July 20, 2012 at 1:35 am

    A Deus Ex movie is what I would like to see.

    Include some "The Bourne Ultimatum" fights (hand to hand), and put it in the DX: HR timeframe. The mechanical augments would make for some good subplots. Not to mention the Icarus Landing System is a must. Also a conflict between lethal and nonlethal force would be nice.

  11. Tim Brookes
    July 20, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Red Dead Redemption was actually released as a mini-film which basically comprised of most of the cutscenes and some stylistic glue to gel it all together. Rockstar called it "The Man From Blackwater" in reference to the core story because obviously doing a RDR film with all the random encounters, side missions and hours and hours you spend hunting virtual animals and being torn apart by bears would just be silly.

    I mentioned it in my animated films based on games post (that's not a shameless plug, honest) though you can watch it here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HMxvpiSgNU

    • Dave Parrack
      July 20, 2012 at 11:51 am

      That is great, thanks for the link, Tim :)

  12. Seppe
    July 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    what about: Tetris the Movie?

    • Harjifangki
      July 20, 2012 at 1:39 am

      Directed by Michael Bay.

      • luke
        July 20, 2012 at 8:47 am

        Great idea! the tetris pieces could originate from aliens

    • Dave Parrack
      July 20, 2012 at 11:50 am

      I really hope you're joking. Next you'll be suggesting a movie based on Battleship... oh wait :S

      • J. Random
        July 23, 2012 at 12:30 am

        How about a medical drama based on "Operation"? ;) I can just hear Hugh Laurie barking at some poor novice med student, "Don't touch the sides!" :D

  13. JC Espinoa
    July 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Mirror's Edge as anime would be awesome.
    I personally think it's strange that Shin Megami Tensei or Digital Devil don't have a movie, considering it has grown into so many amazing games and even the spin-offs have become amazingly popular(especially Persona, which did get an anime series).

    With the various views and themes, it could be an epic movie, it could be about Satan vs Lucifer vs YHVH(God) preparing for war, while the protagonist, having to shape the next world, is trapped in deciding what could be the 'perfect world'. The SMT series is open to so many ideas, that this movie can be an amazing success(it can also be a huge failure, though).

    Also, what do you think is the strongest element for a game to be turned into a movie, besides success? I mean, I mostly have RPGs for my Xbox360(I need Dragon's Dogma and Eternal Sonata, and I'll have all the most popular Xbox360-RPG games) and usually RPGs are very story-based, rather than gameplay. Is it the fact that these games sometimes leave little to interpretation, what makes them bad for turning into movies?

    • Dave Parrack
      July 20, 2012 at 11:50 am

      I think you hit the nail on the head re RPGs. When the storyline is already strong it leaves little room for a movie or television show. That's why games with some plot but some scope to explore the characters work better.

      A Mirror's Edge anime would be awesome :)

  14. Vanja Gorgiev
    July 19, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Noone said skyrim movie? I would kill for it

    • Dave Parrack
      July 20, 2012 at 11:48 am

      I have to confess I haven't played Skyrim, so I wouldn't know!

  15. Allan
    July 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I think Half life would make an amazing movie, with the right director and actors of course.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      Good shout! I missed that one :S

  16. Matt
    July 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    I think Halo should bump one of these from the list *cough* COD *cough*. I'm not a huge fanboy either way, but Halo just felt like it has much more of a story behind it.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      You may have a point there. Halo is good but I've never bought into it myself.

    • Todd Troutt
      July 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      Another vote for Halo here!

  17. Andrew Nemec
    July 19, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I could see an Assassins Creed movie.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 19, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      I felt Assassin's Creed would make for a better TV show! - http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-video-games-great-tv-shows/

      • Tim Brookes
        July 20, 2012 at 12:23 am

        Yeah I'd watch that if it was a period TV show without all the animus stuff. HBO would do a good job, Deadwood-style.

        • Dave Parrack
          July 20, 2012 at 11:47 am

          That would be amazing :)

    • Alex Shen
      July 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      YES!!!

  18. Alan Craig
    July 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    This sucks because now you've got me wishing for an Infamous movie that will never happen. :( Which reminds me if anyone knows the name of the TV movie along the lines of Infamous from like 30 years ago, please post it because I've been looking for it for years now. Thanks :)

    • Dave Parrack
      July 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      Ha, sorry man. Ooh, that's a tough question, nothing immediately springs to mind :(

  19. kevin gnanaraj
    July 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I think C&C3: Tiberium Wars and Kane's Wrath would make a fantastic movie if done properly. The plot is elaborate, the cutscenes delivered professionally, great CGI as well a diabolical villain with a hidden agenda and the not-so-good GDI director. Three different points of view. The game storyline itself was amazing right up until the point the aliens invaded as that was cliche, but in my opinion, they almost salvaged if not actually pulled it off with a bang at the end.

  20. Vipul Jain
    July 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I'd see Mirror's Edge for sure.
    That game has the most refreshing gameplay with insane graphics i've played in a long time.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 19, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      I hated the game, but the movie would be brilliant :)

      • Tim Brookes
        July 20, 2012 at 12:16 am

        Psht! That game was awesome. Different, stylistic and with a great soundtrack. Granted, it was pretty tough in places but it was great.

        • Vipul Jain
          July 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

          hated it?
          you cant be serious, it was one of a kind gaming experience that needed reflexes instead of the usual shooting and racing agenda.
          It sure was tough but that itself was the fun part!

        • Dave Parrack
          July 20, 2012 at 11:47 am

          Hey, each to their own :)

        • Vipul Jain
          July 20, 2012 at 11:06 am

          pressed the wrong reply, lol :p

        • Dave Parrack
          July 20, 2012 at 11:47 am

          I just plain sucked at it. I found it too frustrating to be fun. I found myself repeating certain parts over and over, and that's never good.

  21. Anonymous
    July 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    No Shadow of the Colossus? That would be an amazing movie!

    Heavy Rain is a must have as well as Deux Ex!

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