Over the weekend we heard that none other than Iron Man himself might be joining old-school Magneto in the big screen version of Assassin’s Creed (full story HERE), which is just another step in showing just how seriously Hollywood is finally taking making movies based on video games.

To date, there hasn’t actually been a properly good one, but we feel that tide might be turning, in the same way there was a slew of terrible comic book movies, and now they’re some of the best blockbusters around. Read more about that opinion HERE.

In the mean-time though, some movies have managed to capture the essence of video-games, while not actually been based on any particular video-game. And we’re not talking about movies that are all too obvious in their video-games-ness (not a word, we know) like Tron or War Games or Wreck It Ralph, but movies that feel like if they had a video game version of them, we would totally want to play that game!

Inspired By: side-scrolling shoot ‘em ups like Contra
Big muscly man gets his daughter kidnapped, goes on a killing rampage through apparently endless hordes of hench men. Arnie wades through the shopping mall level, the car chase level, the boss level in the hotel room, then stops off in the weapon shop for an a few upgrades, then it’s final island level, blows everything and everyone up, before going all Knock Out With Mike Tyson, except with a guy in a chain-mail wife-beater. It’s basically every coin-operated arcade game you’ve ever played.


Inspired By: open world crime epics like Grand Theft Auto
This one actually comes with a health system that you need to keep topped up – find all the drugs to stay alive! – and the rest is Jason Statham stealing cars and bikes and guns and shooting people and the things that people are driving in. There’s even a bonus level where you get to have sex with your girlfriend.


Inspired By: futuristic shooters like Halo.
Aside from the actual plot mechanics which involve you saving the earth from an invading alien army with the use of OTT weaponry, there’s also Cruise’s method of survival: you keep dying, but starting over with the knowledge of how you died the last time, so you know not to do that again. Basically it’s how EVERY SINGLE VIDEO GAME works today.



Inspired By: first person horror games like Condemned.
Probably the least known movie (and game) on this list, Maniac was shot entirely from the first person perspective; not to be confused with found footage movies, which are filmed from cameras. Elijah Wood is a serial killer who likes nothing more than scalping innocent women, and as we’re watching the movie through his eyes, we’re being made complicit with his actions. Much like those video-games where we’re given some nasty decisions to make, and then make them anyway.


Inspired By: beat ‘em ups like Street Fighter.
This movie obviously wears it’s video games references on its sleeve, but we’ll allow it since it’s also so clearly equally in awe of Manga, modern music and comic books. Scott must defeat his beloved’s seven evil ex’s in order to potentially win her heart, and each one must be defeated in a unique way. So while the fighting style will call to mind the likes of Street Fighter and Tekken, there’s also a smack of Shadow Of The Colossus about the whole thing, too.