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Best Movie-Based Games 2016: Top 5 Must-Have Movie-Based Games


Best Movie-Based Games

Since the ancient days of the infamously awful E.T. on the Atari 2600, movie-based games have been plagued with an awful reputation. While most games based on films tend to be rush jobs meant to cash in on fleeting box office success, a few gems have emerged recently to buck the trend and stand proudly as worthwhile endeavors. In some cases, the games have even surpassed the source material, telling interactive stories movies in such an engaging way that movies could never hope to touch.

Here’s a look at the best movie-based games available right now:

5. Godzilla

Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developers: Natsume
Platforms: PS4, PS3

The enormous lizard mutant has starred in his share of stinkers, and many dismissed this 2015 effort as being more of the same. But those who gave it a chance discovered that this combat-based brawler did an excellent job of making you feel the raw power of the creature. Developers paid intense attention to detail, encompassing just about every beast and iteration of the protagonist in its decades-long movie history.

ORDER: Godzilla

4. Mad Max

Publishers: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Just as director George Miller revitalized the long-dormant franchise with his Oscar-nominated 2015 reboot, this game brought post-apocalyptic nightmares of devoted fans to gritty life. Struggling to scrap together resources in a ruined wasteland, you soup up your death-dealing ride and make a name for yourself by rampaging through settlements and engaging in intense road wars.

ORDER: Mad Max

3. Alien: Isolation

Publisher: Sega
Developer: Creative Assembly
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

A devastated, emotionally broken widower walks around an island, noticing things that spark narration of memories of his dead wife. While most walking simulators have a few puzzles and some interaction, this lacks those and is one of the more passive games on the market. As is the case in all these games, the writing carries the otherwise bland material.

ORDER: Dear Esther

2. Lego Harry Potter Collection

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: TT Games
Platforms: PS4

Lego games are particularly effective at synthesizing the magic of their movie counterparts. While it’s tough to pick the best of the lot, Harry Potter earns the nod because of the way it bridges gaps left by the movies by making in-depth explorations of scenes mentioned only in the books. There are also deep spell-casting and potion-conjuring aspects that drive home the feeling of being a Hogwarts student.

ORDER: Lego Harry Potter Collection

1. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Monolith Productions
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Monolith captures the spirit of Peter Jackson’s superb movie adaptations, using them as a launching point to explore deeper aspects of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fiction. The action-RPG hybrid casts you as a ranger seeking revenge against Sauron, hacking and slashing your way through hordes of orcs. What makes the game stand out is its innovative Nemesis system, which causes enemies to remember your actions and plot their vengeance against you.

ORDER: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Order Phil Villarreal’s novel, Zeta Male, here.

  • COED Writer
    Watches movies and games for work, then watches more movies and plays more games on his downtime. A movie and video game critic since 2001, Phil is the author of Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, Stormin' Mormon and Zeta Male. Twitter: @philvillarreal