The Best Movie-Based Video Games

The Best Movie-Based Video Games

Most gamers consider movie tie-in games or video games based on movies inherently bad. You can’t really blame them though, there was a solid decade where studios were pumping out these uninspired movie-based video games that were downright terrible. Looking at you, Shark Tale. Bad games aside, like any medium, there are a lot of gems if you know where to look. Luckily, we have you covered with some of the best movie-based games of all time.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition

  • Release Date — May 1, 2009
  • Platforms — PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, Windows Mobile
  • Publisher/Developer — Raven Software (PS3, X360, Windows), Amaze Entertainment (PS2, Wii), Griptonite Games (PSP, NDS), EA Mobile (mobile phone) / Activision, Electronic Arts (mobile phone)
  • Genre — Hack and slash, action-adventure, platform, fighting
  • Metacritic Score — 75 (Generally Favorable)

Kicking off the list is one of the best God of War-likes of all time. This title is a product of its time and a pretty good action game that still holds up. With its gory combat, light puzzles, and platforming, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is one of the better superhero games of the past. We’re very excited about the modern Wolverine game that was teased by Insomniac Games a few years ago.

Any of the LEGO games

Characters in Lego DC Super Villains
  • Release Date — 1995 – Current Day
  • Platforms — N/A
  • Publisher/Developer — Various
  • Genre — N/A
  • Metacritic Score — N/A

Since 1995, many great video games have been released based on Lego. When Lego Star Wars: The Video Game was released it completely cemented them as one of the best movie tie-in studios of all time. No matter what your favorite game was out of their massive catalog, you could not deny that they just understood how to bring the whimsical nature of Lego while keeping the source IP’s vibe intact.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

  • Release Date — November 3, 2003
  • Platforms — Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, macOS, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Xbox, Mac operating systems, Java
  • Publisher/Developer — Electronic Arts, Hypnos Entertainment, Visceral Games, Griptonite Games, Glu Mobile, Beenox, ImaginEngine
  • Genre — Role-playing video game, Hack and slash, Action-adventure game, Beat ’em up
  • Metacritic Score — 85 (Generally Favorable)

Is it perfect? Not at all, but when you bring up the best movie-based video games this title just might be top 3. One of the greatest things about this game is that most if not all of its versions are high quality. With great controls and great graphics for the time, this is truly a gem of the PS2 era.

Spider-Man 2

  • Release Date — June 29, 2004
  • Platforms — PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Windows, Mac OS X, N-Gage, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable
  • Publisher/Developer — Treyarch (PS2, GC, Xbox). The Fizz Factor (Windows), Vicarious Visions (DS, PSP), Digital Eclipse (GBA, N-Gage)
  • Genre — Action-adventure game
  • Metacritic Score — 83 (Generally Favorable)

My hottest take is that this game clears Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, but that’s just my nostalgia speaking. When Insomniac Games were developing the original Marvel’s Spider-Man they were very vocal about trying to achieve the fluidity that this title had. For this game to have been released in 2004, it might just be one of the best superhero games of all time. It even beats out some of the titles released 20 years later.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

  • Release Date — April 2, 2005
  • Platforms — PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Xbox, Symbian, Nintendo DS, Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless
  • Publisher/Developer — The Collective, Ubisoft Montreal, Finite Monkeys / LucasArts, Ubisoft (handheld versions)
  • Genre — Action-adventure game, Beat ’em up
  • Metacritic Score — 61 (Mixed or Average)

Star Wars Episode III is by no means the best Star Wars title to be released, but you cannot deny the greatness of its multiplayer mode. Being able to pick Star Wars characters and 1v1 your friends in lightsaber duels is greatness trapped on older consoles. For that alone, I still recommend this game. The single-player campaign is rough around the edges, but there is still a lot of fun. It is a solid movie-based game.

GoldenEye 007

  • Release Date — August 23, 1997
  • Platforms — Nintendo 64, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox Cloud Gaming
  • Publisher/Developer — Rare, Ultimate Play the Game
  • Genre — First-person shooter, Stealth game
  • Metacritic Score — 96 (Universal Acclaim)

This entry is probably the most critically acclaimed game on this list. The funny thing is that it’s not even associated with its source material anymore. When one thinks of Golden Eye, they are probably thinking of this instead of the less-than-stellar movie from 1995. One of the best first-person shooters of all time is a movie tie-in game. This validates my thesis that there are truly phenomenal, monumental games attached to movies.


Aladdin box art and gameplay
  • Release Date — November 11, 1993
  • Platforms — Sega Genesis, DOS, Amiga, NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Microsoft Windows
  • Publisher/Developer — Virgin Games USA, Jaguar Software (Amiga, DOS), Crawfish Interactive (GBC) / Sega, Virgin Interactive Entertainment, Ubisoft
  • Genre — Platformer
  • Metacritic Score — N/A

A lot of the best movie-based games are Disney titles. It almost feels like a cheat code since Disney movies tend to already exude this fun vibe and atmosphere. Translating that over to a colorful platformer feels like a no-brainer and it makes sense this game was received so well on release. Fans argue about their favorite version of this classic but it doesn’t matter because they’re all great.

Pete Jackson’s King Kong

  • Release Date — November 14, 2005
  • Platforms — Mobile phone, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable
  • Publisher/Developer — Ubisoft Montpellier
  • Genre — Action-adventure game
  • Metacritic Score — 80 (Generally Favorable)

When this game was released it felt like it was everywhere. I remember as a kid seeing everyone talk about how great this game was. It was plastered all over stores, GameSpot, and G4. Everyone seemed to love the solid experience the Xbox 360 version of this game was. I have more memories of this game than the actual movie which is saying something. No one denies that the movie is phenomenal but when I think of King Kong, I think of this game specifically.

Scarface: The World Is Yours

  • Release Date — July 25, 2006
  • Platforms — PlayStation 2, Wii, Microsoft Windows, Xbox
  • Publisher/Developer — Radical Entertainment / Vivendi Games
  • Genre — Action-adventure game
  • Metacritic Score — 75 (Generally Favorable)

This is probably the most interesting movie-based game on this list. This game is more than just a movie tie-in, it’s a non-canon sequel to the original 1983 film. An odd and bold game this was but it was received extremely well by critics and gamers. Some even compared it to the very popular Grand Theft Auto titles of the time. There are better GTA clones out there but there’s something undeniably charming about playing as Tony Montana. If only The Sopranos game was just as good.

Toy Story 2

  • Release Date — November 16, 1999
  • Platforms — PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, Dreamcast
  • Publisher/Developer — Traveller’s Tales / Activision, Disney Interactive (PC)
  • Genre — Platform, action-adventure
  • Metacritic Score — 75 (Generally Favorable)

The quality of this title varies depending on which platform you’re playing it on but many fans of the PlayStation port see it as one of the best movie-based games ever. Toy Story has always had decent movie tie-ins but nothing compares to controlling as Buzz Lightyear in this game. If you’re a fan of these movies, you have to give this game a try. Toy Story 2 is phenomenally executed.

Kingdom Hearts 3

An official promotional image for Kingdom Hearts III.
  • Release Date — January 29, 2019
  • Platforms — PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
  • Publisher/Developer — Square Enix Business Division 3
  • Genre — Action role-playing game, Fighting game, Adventure game, Shooter game
  • Metacritic Score — 83 (Generally Favorable)

This title isn’t quite a movie tie-in game but the fact it ties into many Disney films earned it a spot on this list. Funnily enough, this fact is one of the main points of criticism of this game. The game’s story is all over the place which is on brand for a Kingdom Hearts title but when it just inserts Sora, Donald, and Goofy into Frozen and Tangled cutscenes you have to stop and wonder what went wrong. These criticisms aside, the game’s still pretty fun and fun is king when it comes to video games.

The Warriors

  • Release Date — October 17, 2005
  • Platforms — PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox
  • Publisher/Developer — Rockstar Toronto, Rockstar Leeds
  • Genre — Beat ’em up, Action-adventure game
  • Metacritic Score — 85 (Generally Favorable)

A certified classic, The Warriors is one of the Rockstar’s crown jewels. An almost perfect action-adventure game that can be enjoyed solo or with a friend. What the game lacks in visuals, it makes up for with its amazing content and classic feel. Rockstar took a classic 80s film and turned it into one of the best brawlers of the 2000s. A Controversial, yet monumental movie-based game.

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