Find the top ten movies that should be video games? A daunting task, to say the least. From the birth of movies a few generations before I was even conceived, thousands upon thousands have graced (or tarnished) the big screen. Taking those great movies and turning them into great games is an intimidating mission.
I urge all you who read this and say, "why didn't (enter movie title) make the list?" or "this is how I would make it a game" to please share your ideas in the comments section. With any luck, some developer might read it and start to work on making these classics into gaming goodness.
Martial arts movies can easily be turned into video games, with an assortment of moves and combos to keep all you button mashers happy. Drunken Master features Jackie Chan in possibly his greatest action series ever. The first movie (from 1978) has a snide, young Wong Fei-hung (Chan) searching for a teacher to aid in his training... a nice tutorial. But the meat of the game would be from Drunken Master II (1994), when Fei-hung battles hundreds of master martial artists working for evil generals and a British consul trying to smuggle artifacts, using death-defying stunts and even sparring on hot coals. He uses a drunken boxing style, where his powers improve the more alcohol he consumes. Yeah, I can stop right there, as you're all picturing the potential.
Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway star in the neo-noir film from 1974. In the iconic detective story, J.J. "Jake" Gittes (Nicholson), is hired to perform simple surveillance, but when a multiple murder takes place, he is accused of being an accessory. Getting involved with Evelyn Mulwray (Dunaway), wife of the murdered Hollis Mulwray, whom Gittes was initially investigating, traps him in a web of lies, deceit, and even incest. Picture this as a standard point-and-click adventure game, but with so many plot twists (like in the movie), that decisions can easily alter the ending of the story. Throw in a bunch of investigative puzzles, get Nicholson to do the voice acting, and die-hard adventure gamers are sure to line up for this one.
Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert DeNiro, this would take a backseat to Rocky if you were asked to name a boxing movie. Although you may have played Punch-Out or Fight Night to death, some extras could be added to separate Raging Bull from the rest. The movie is as much about Jake LaMotta's (DeNiro) fights outside the ring as within. He's a jealous, animalistic character with a sadomasochistic rage, taking on everyone from his brother (played by Joe Pesci) to the Mafia. The physical and mental instability from playing through his personal life could affect his stamina in the ring and his capacity to win the middleweight championship. You could even have him snap, and let loose on anyone he sees. Obviously this would be a game with no borders and many out of the ring possibilities.
Yeah, yeah, I know. How could any western game top Red Dead Redemption? Honestly, it can't. So instead of a game, how about making a mod that turns John Marston into Blondie (and by that I mean a full character replacement, not just an unlockable poncho outfit). Now, replace the voice acting of Rob Wiethoff with the cooler vocals of Clint Eastwood, add a DLC expansion with the story of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and Bam! You've got awesome written all over it.
Another DeNiro film?! No, I'm not a DeNirophiliac, or a Scorsese buff (although they do produce good movies). To tell the truth, The Godfather was my first choice here, but it's already been made into a game, and pretty well done at that. And while Mafia and Mafia II are both great games in their own right, they aren't without some shortcomings. Goodfellas started with a great backstory about Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) wanting to get into the gangster biz. With associates like Jimmy "The Gent" Conway (played by DeNiro) and Tommy DeVito (played by Joe Pesci), you've got great characters to keep the pacing fun. I assume the GTA model of past mobster games would remain, but developers could add different locations from the movie, like New York, Florida, the prisons Henry Hill serves time (and deals drugs) in. Throw in some great side quests (which Mafia II sadly lacked), and you may end up with the perfect gangster game.