11 Animated Films Based On Video Games [Stuff to Watch]

Tim Brookes 16-07-2012

animated films based gamesLive action adaptations of video games are usually pretty dire. The original Street Fighter film is a fine example of a the motion picture industry getting it wrong and even recent, modern adaptations like Doom and Max Payne are lacking in both style and substance.


I’ve always felt that this type of animated film 8 Of The Best Animated CGI Short Films [Stuff to Watch] Continuing last week’s theme of short film, today’s Stuff to Watch focuses entirely on rendered productions in this collection of excellent computer generated shorts. As movie studios pump millions of dollars into feature-length 3D productions;... Read More is aimed at the enthusiast rather than the average movie goer. Widespread theatrical releases are rare, and as such releases are easy to miss. Often these versions take their respective franchises in new directions, some impacting the story and others offering an entirely different take on events so far.

Today we’ll be looking at some of the biggest animated releases so far. Don’t forget to add your own favourites and opinions in the comments, at the end of the article.

Dead Space: Downfall & Aftermath

The Dead Space games are blood-soaked interactive nightmares chock-full of gore, frights and an eerie, nerve-wracking atmosphere 10 Strange, Dark & Creepy Animated Films & Cartoons [Stuff to Watch] The following films are not your average animated adventures, but tales of greed, morality and obscure production that take the audience out of their comfort zone. Feel free to laugh awkwardly, raise your eyebrows or... Read More . A total of two animated movies have been produced, with 2008’s Downfall somewhat succeeding in capturing some of the dread and terror the franchise is known for.

Aftermath is definitely the weaker of the two films, utilising a technique seen in films such as Batman: Gotham Knight whereby different studios contribute to the same production. Unlike Gotham Knight where each film was a separate short story, Aftermath keeps the narrative going despite the radically changing styles that sometimes don’t quite gel.

Resident Evil: Degeneration & Damnation

Degeneration is probably the best Resident Evil film to date, and while that’s not really saying much, the film feels like the enjoyable zombie romp the other productions should have been. The art style is true to the Japanese 5 Great YouTube Videos To Learn About Real Japanese Culture Japan has always been considered a bit weird when it comes to culture. On the one hand, Western TV would have you believe Ultimate Warrior and Human Tetris are like the Japanese Olympics, up there... Read More feel of the original games, though don’t expect the dialogue to be anything other than cheesy fluff.


Aiming for a Japanese release in October 2012 is the upcoming Resident Evil: Damnation (also known as Biohazard: Damnation). With a particularly promising looking trailer and the same set of voice actors from the previous film, this one is probably worth watching if you’re obsessed with brains or Japanese survival horror games!

Halo Legends

An experimental series of animated shorts, Halo Legends calls on seven of Japan’s finest anime directors and studios to expand the Halo universe with their own take on Master Chief, Cortana and the UNSC.

The studios involved have worked on some of the best regarded anime feature length films ever made, with big names like Production I.G and Studio 4C in the mix. It’s different, but worth a watch if you’re a fan of the series. Because the official trailer is remarkably vague, I’ve included a fan made trailer here which shows off the varying styles far more effectively.

Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic

Utilising the same technique seen in Dead Space: Aftermath, this animated follow up to 2010’s console action adventure lets six different directors have their way with the same story. The film is a veritable bloodbath with a flagrant disregard for clothed females, so if this kind of thing does it for you then you’ll probably enjoy it.


Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie

Easily the best Street Fighter film adaptation out there, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie reared its head before the live action atrocity and was based entirely on the game of the same name. If you’re a Street Fighter fan then there’s one movie you should watch above all of the others, and it’s this one.

Street Fighter: Alpha & Alpha Generations

Unfortunately neither of these are particularly special films, though they do remain true to the (Zero/Alpha) series of games and thus might interest fans of the series. It shouldn’t need to be said that it stands head and shoulders above the live action Street Fighter films, though probably won’t appeal unless you’re fond of either the games or anime in general.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits WithinVII: Advent Children

It would be a crime to finish this list without mentioning the Final Fantasy films, even the first one which cost Square $137 million and according to IMDB only recovered $85 million worldwide. It remains a good film, however and is unmissable if you’re one of those obsessive Final Fantasy types.

Advent Children is often heralded as the Final Fantasy film that fans wanted all along, and according to the enthusiasts it’s must-see stuff. The story takes place shortly after FF: VII, and it really helps if you’ve played (and obsessed over) the game before watching it.


Bonus: Films Made From Video Games

The following are cutscenes taken from video games and arranged into a narrative. Be sure to play the games first if you don’t want anything spoiled!

Red Dead Redemption: The Man From Blackwater

Red Dead Redemption is in my mind the best open world game Rockstar have ever come up with, and here’s the main story arranged into a half-hour long short film for your enjoyment.

Shenmue: The Movie

Possibly the most underrated game ever released, Shenmue II on the Xbox came with this movie to fill players in on the saga so far. Keep your eyes peeled over the next few months as the franchise is supposedly heading for Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network in HD (though there’s still, as yet, no sign of Shenmue III).

Metroid: Other M

Metroid: Other M saw Samus Aran return to a side-scrolling gameplay style that worked well for the Nintendo Wii. It also contained some beautiful cutscenes and tons of story. Here’s two hours worth of Metroid goodness in case you can’t be bothered playing through it.



Live action films based on games are often watered down for the larger audience and lacking in what made the game so special in the first place, but these animated efforts at least offer something extra to fans of the genre. If you have any favourite animated (or otherwise) films based on games, then don’t forget to add them in the comments below!

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  1. max
    January 4, 2018 at 7:17 am

    what about resident evil vendetta and starship troopers traitor of mars

  2. Charlie Player
    July 27, 2012 at 10:46 am

    final fantasy and resident evil izz totally cool

  3. druv vb
    July 18, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I am going to watch all of the above once I get home.
    I didn't even know Dead Space was adapted to films.

    Damn I've been living under a rock.....

  4. Gian Singh
    July 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Halo was good.

  5. Shawn Ashree Baba
    July 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Great stuff!

  6. Dee Volpe
    July 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Seen half of these…great recommendations. Will hopefully see the others soon.

  7. Ben
    July 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Video game to movie - never quite works for me.

  8. Andrei Anikin
    July 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    damnation and redemption are really cool!

  9. Cody Wicks
    July 17, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    What about the Tekken animated film?

  10. Shakirah Faleh Lai
    July 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Advent Children is the best.

  11. Juan Carlos Espinosa Agudelo
    July 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    How about:
    Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike and Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva?
    Also, Digimon has tons of movies and series, but started from a Tamagotchi-like game.

    Which makes me wonder, will you also make a post about some series/shows that came from video games? Like for example Digimon, Tales of Vesperia, Devil May Cry, Persona, etc.?

    Nice list, though :)

  12. LordDai
    July 17, 2012 at 10:29 am

    How about assassins creed legacy, not animated but pretty close to the games?

  13. ferdinan Sitohang
    July 17, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I like street fighter, and final fantasy. Nice article. Thanks

  14. Alex Downs
    July 17, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Honorable mention Red Vs. Blue. I loved Advent Children

  15. Vanja Gorgiev
    July 16, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    i gotta watch some of this !!

  16. Hunter Watts
    July 16, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Street Fighter and Halo were both way cool but totally not bothered about the others. Thanks.