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I recently wrote an article about if some of my favourite games would translate to make good films. Just as video game movies have a poor reputation, there have been some awful video games based on movies. However, this is a list of movie-based games that I thought were great.
While one of the best Spider-Man films sees Spider-Man battle Doctor Octopus, one of the best games sees Spider-Man fight Doc Ock as well as Shocker, Mysterio, and Rhino. Between main missions you can also combat gangs and explore New York to earn experience to spend on upgrades for Spider-Man. Aside from that, this game might be most well known for the little things it does right. Specifically. the web slinging, the web travel in this game was incredibly well received, so much so that it spawned an indie game where similar swinging is virtually the only mechanic.
'Peter Jackson’s King Kong'
Based on the 2004 film, this King Kong game had a great balance between two play styles. The parts where you played as Jack were like a survival shooter and when you played as Kong it was a worthy action game. As Jack you would have limited weaponry and would resort to using torches, spears, and bones to survive against giant insects, bats, and dinosaurs. Kong on the other hand could easily beat down enemies who were terrifying to see as Jack, so the game sometimes relied on much larger boss versions of enemies in order to give Kong a challenge. There was even a bonus mission to unlock to earn an alternate ending. This game does not hold up as well by today’s standards but at the time its biggest flaw was making the film disappointing for me in comparison.
'Lord of the Rings: Return of the King'
Also based on a Peter Jackson film, the third Lord of the Rings game was another great licensed game. Despite a parry system that could be overly relied on at times, this game covered the events of the third Lord of the Rings movie very successfully. The missions were split into Aragon, Gandalf, and Frodo’s paths but you could play as a total of nine characters with semi-unique skills and upgrades. Additionally, bonus missions expanded beyond what was shown in the film and made great boss battles out of smaller moments from the film. To this day, this is my favourite Lord of the Rings game.
'Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith'
Star Wars Episode 3 let players play through the culmination of the prequel trilogy. Throughout the game, players switch between Anakin and Obi-Wan upgrading health, lightsaber skills, and force powers along the way. The story mode covers the entire story of the film as well as an alternate ending. On top of that, there are a few extra missions with additional characters and a pretty solid multiplayer mode where you can duel with nine different characters.
Sometimes movie-based games are rushed out in order to make it out alongside the film they are based on, resulting in an underwhelming final product. The Warriors game developed by Rockstar Games is the exact opposite of that. It is based on a cult classic film from the late 70s following The Warriors, a middle tier gang trying to get back home to Coney Island. Framed for the murder of the leader of the most powerful gang in the city they must brawl, steal, and run to avoid being killed by every other gang in a fictional version of New York. Eccentric gangs such as the Highhats, Riffs, Turnbull A.C.’s, and Baseball Furries are featured in the film but the game gives even further characterization to these gangs leading to some truly great gang fights. On top of that the game can be played cooperatively and is full of cheat codes to mess around with.