The common wisdom about video games based on movies is that they’re not very good, often because developers have to rush to get the games out the door in time for the movie’s release date. But common wisdom isn’t always right, so we’ve compiled a list of games based on movies that are every bit as good as any other worthy game.
5. Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay is a rare instance where the game is actually better than the movie — not that that’s a major feat for a movie this average. In the game for the original Xbox, you play as the title character as he does just what the title says: escapes from a locked-down prison in a sci-fi setting. To do so, the game has you do a little bit of everything, from shooting and melee fights to stealth sequences and platforming. Better yet, it meshes all of these gameplay mechanics together with style.
4. Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Ghostbusters: The Video Game is an interesting game for several reasons. First off, it was made by many of the same people who made the movies, including voice acting from the original cast. Second, the story it tells is actually a continuation of the story of the movies, so it effectively is Ghostbusters 3, a movie that was never made. And lastly, it’s a good game, with loads of humor and enjoyable ghost busting from the familiar gang. So if you’ve been waiting decades for a third Ghostbusters movie, grab this game and strap yourself in. It’s a heck of a ride.
3. Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2, which came out in 2004, was one of the better open-world games to come along, thanks in no small part to its swinging mechanic. It was great fun to web-sling through the skyscrapers of Manhattan, taking in the vistas and stopping to thwart the occasional crime. Beyond that, though, the game sported voice acting from the cast of the movie, narration by the cult hero Bruce Campbell, and plenty of fun side missions. Other Spider-Man games have come out before and since, but this one stands alone as one of the best movie-based games ever.
2. GoldenEye 007
When GoldenEye 007 came out for the Nintendo 64 in 1997, it quickly became a centerpiece for many groups of friends. It has a superb single-player campaign, but it was the multiplayer mode that made it a mainstay for years to come. Thanks to its four-way split-screen multiplayer, this game inspired buddies worldwide to gather around a CRT television and squint at their corner of the screen to run through terrifically designed levels and riddle their friends with digital bullets. The gameplay may not have aged all that well (seriously, it’s best if you don’t play this game now and just relish your memories), but in its time, GoldenEye 007 was a cream-of-the-crop shooter.
1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
While not based on a specific movie, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is one of the best action-RPGs of all time. Taking full advantage of the powerful (for the time) hardware of the original Xbox, this game told an epic story of Jedi and dark lords, using full voice acting and top-of-the-line graphics. Nowadays, you can buy the game for cheap on PC, Mac, and iOS. If you’re a Star Wars fan who’s in the market for a new story based on your favorite franchise, KOTOR is as good as it gets.