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Author: VANAS

Top Movies that Started as Video Games

Movies and video games have become increasingly intertwined over the years, with many video games making the leap to the big screen. This phenomenon not only reflects the growing influence of video games in popular culture but also showcases the potential for storytelling across different media. Let's talk about some of the most notable video games that have been turned into movies, why they were adapted, how indie developers can aspire for their games to become movies, and whether all video games should become movies.

VANAS Online Animation School offers Animation, Visual Effects, and Video Games programs at VANAS to launch your career.

List of Video Games that Became Movies

Here is a list of popular video games that were adapted into movies, showcasing how these interactive experiences translated into cinematic adventures:

  1. "Super Mario Bros." (1993): Based on the iconic Nintendo game, this film was one of the first major video game adaptations.
  2. "Mortal Kombat" (1995 & 2021): This fighting game franchise has inspired multiple movies, known for their intense action and fantasy elements.
  3. "Resident Evil" Series (2002-2016): Adapted from the survival horror games, this series became a long-running film franchise.
  4. "Tomb Raider" (2001 & 2018): The adventures of Lara Croft, initially a game character, transitioned into two movie franchises.
  5. "Assassin's Creed" (2016): This historical action-adventure game was turned into a film featuring high-stakes drama and parkour.
  6. "Warcraft" (2016): Based on the popular MMORPG, this movie explored the rich lore and epic battles of the Warcraft universe.
  7. "Detective Pikachu" (2019): A unique adaptation that combined the Pokémon franchise with a detective story, appealing to both fans and newcomers.
  8. "Sonic the Hedgehog" (2020 & 2022): Sonic’s speedy adventures made a successful transition to the big screen, capturing the essence of the beloved character.

These adaptations vary in their success and reception, but they highlight the potential for video games to become mainstream entertainment.

Why Did They Become Movies?

Several factors contribute to the decision to adapt video games into movies:

  1. Established Fan Base: Video games with a large and dedicated following are attractive to movie studios because they come with a built-in audience.
  2. Rich Storylines: Many modern video games feature complex narratives and character development, making them suitable for film adaptations.
  3. Visual Appeal: Video games often have striking visuals and imaginative worlds that can be brought to life in movies.
  4. Marketability: The popularity of video games can translate into successful merchandising and marketing opportunities.
  5. Cultural Impact: Iconic video games often have a significant cultural impact, making them ideal candidates for films that resonate with a wide audience.

Video games are a natural fit for movies because they offer rich storytelling and compelling visuals that can be expanded into cinematic experiences.

How Can an Indie Video Game Developer Aspire for Their Game to Become a Movie?

For indie game developers dreaming of seeing their creations on the big screen, the path can be challenging but not impossible. Here are some steps to increase the chances of an indie game becoming a movie:

Build a Strong Narrative

Creating a compelling and unique story within the game is crucial. A well-developed narrative with memorable characters and engaging plot twists can catch the attention of filmmakers.

Gain Popularity and Recognition

Focus on building a loyal fan base and gaining recognition within the gaming community. Participating in game festivals, winning awards, and receiving positive reviews can help an indie game stand out.


Networking with industry professionals is essential. Attend industry events, film festivals, and gaming conventions to connect with filmmakers, producers, and other creatives who might be interested in adapting a game.

Pitching the Idea

Develop a solid pitch that outlines why the game would make a great movie. Highlight the game's unique elements, its storyline, and its appeal to audiences.


Consider collaborating with writers or filmmakers early in the game's development. This can help ensure that the game’s story is adaptable and attractive to the film industry.

Indie developers should focus on storytelling and building a strong community around their game. A passionate fan base and a compelling narrative are key to catching the eye of movie producers.

Should All Video Games Become Movies?

While many video games have successfully transitioned to movies, it doesn't mean that all games should become films. Here are some points to consider:


  • Expanded Universe: Movies can expand the game's universe, exploring new stories and characters.
  • Increased Popularity: A successful movie adaptation can increase the game's popularity and attract new fans.
  • Cross-Media Appeal: Movies can reach a broader audience who might not be gamers, thereby increasing the franchise's overall appeal.


  • Loss of Interactivity: Video games offer an interactive experience that movies cannot replicate. This can result in a loss of engagement for fans.
  • Risk of Poor Adaptation: Not all games translate well to movies. A poorly executed film can damage the game's reputation.
  • Creative Differences: Adapting a game into a movie often involves significant changes, which might not sit well with fans of the original game.

Not every game should become a movie. The unique interactive experience of gaming is something that can't always be captured on film.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do video games get turned into movies?

Video games are adapted into movies because of their established fan bases, rich storylines, and visual appeal. These factors make them attractive to filmmakers looking to create engaging and marketable films.

Can indie games become movies?

Yes, indie games can become movies. By building a strong narrative, gaining popularity, networking, and pitching their ideas effectively, indie developers can increase their chances of a movie adaptation.

Are all video game movies successful?

Not all video game movies are successful. The success of an adaptation depends on various factors, including the game's popularity, the quality of the adaptation, and how well the movie captures the essence of the game.

What are some examples of successful video game movies?

Some successful video game movies include "Detective Pikachu," "Sonic the Hedgehog," and the "Resident Evil" series. These movies managed to capture the essence of their respective games while appealing to a broad audience.

Should every video game be turned into a movie?

Not necessarily. While some games are well-suited for film adaptations, others might not translate as effectively due to the loss of interactivity or other challenges.

Key Takeaways

  • Popular Video Games Turned Movies: Titles like "Super Mario Bros.," "Mortal Kombat," and "Resident Evil" have successfully made the jump from video games to movies.
  • Reasons for Adaptation: Games with strong narratives, visual appeal, and established fan bases are prime candidates for movie adaptations.
  • Indie Developer Aspirations: Indie developers should focus on storytelling, gaining popularity, networking, and effective pitching to increase the chances of their games becoming movies.
  • Not All Games Should Be Movies: While some games adapt well to films, others may lose their unique interactive elements and may not translate effectively to the big screen.

The transition from video games to movies is a fascinating journey that reflects the growing importance of interactive media in our culture. While not all video games should become movies, those that do successfully bridge the gap between gaming and cinema offer unique storytelling experiences. For indie developers, the dream of seeing their game on the big screen is achievable with the right approach and dedication.

VANAS Online Animation School offers Animation, Visual Effects, and Video Games programs at VANAS to launch your career.