10 Best Movie Tie-In Games


Movie tie-in games are an assurance in life — like death and taxes, they’re just always going to exist. At least, when compared to death and taxes, some movie games can be pretty great! Since the release of the Death Race arcade cabinet in 1976, gamers have been consistently either blessed or cursed with adaptations of the largest films to this interactive medium.

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A good variety of different details must line up for a film adaptation to see success; firstly, the movie being adapted has to actually make sense as a video game, which certainly isn’t always the case. Then, the game has to be made by competent developers who have respect for the source material. Again, this isn’t always a given, and perhaps it is easy to see why so many movie tie-ins end up underwhelming. With that being said, there are many games that do hit all the right details, and this run-down feature is the greatest of them all.


10 Peter Jackson’s King Kong

There are a number of interesting elements in this 2005 title that stands out within the FPS genre even decades later, such as its lack of HUD elements and extreme environments. These elements work together in harmony to create what certainly has to be one of the most immersive and unique first-person experiences that you will ever get to play.

Skull Island is a particularly interesting area to explore, with horrific oddities popping out from the jungle depths to both startle and challenge you. Whether you’ve seen the film this game is adapting or not, this is one title that is sure to please.

9 Goldeneye 007

Goldeneye 007 Gameplay Screenshot

James Bond as a character is nothing less than a cultural icon, with his franchise amassing an incredible collection of 25 films and an equally incredible 29 games. None of his movie tie-in video games are quite so legendary as the prodigal N64 classic Goldeneye 007, which is undoubtedly one of the best games on that console.

For quite a long time after the release of this quintessential title, the James Bond video games modeled themselves in its image, with each of the ensuing titles attempting to replicate that addictive first-person fun. None could quite match up to the original’s brilliance, though, and as such, it holds up as the best James Bond game of all time and one of the greatest film adaptations ever made.

8 Blade Runner

Blade Runner Gameplay Screenshot

Fans of the point-and-click adventure have been quite starved as of late—- though the genre is far from dead, it has seen a major stagnation in terms of featured AAA releases. Blade Runner is easily one of the greatest titles ever released in this genre, and those of you looking for a truly deep mystery to solve should look no further.

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Based on the 1982 film of the same name, this title sees you playing as Rick Deckard, being made to track down and eliminate rogue replicants, which have been wreaking havoc across the city. In order to capture these living robots, you utilize many different tools, which were prominently featured in the film, such as the ability to zoom in on footage and pick apart the little details. This title is sure to be a detective’s delight and easily proves to be one of the best movie tie-ins.

7 The Matrix: Path Of Neo

The Matrix Path Of Neo Gameplay Screenshot

The Matrix is a series that can prove to be quite mind-bending at times, and this is one adaptation that definitely captures that impression. Bouncing rapidly between different action scenes from that trilogy of films, which were hand-picked by the directors of said films, Path of Neo is a beat-em-up genius, featuring one of the most varied combat systems in the genre.

Quickly learn kung fu in a training simulation, then use that knowledge to absolutely demolish the enemies before you. The game also features the best bullet time mechanics since Max Payne, and it can be quite addictive to attempt clearing out entire rooms with one slow jump. Those looking to relive these classic films or just to play an excellent beat-em-up should look no further than this fantastic reimagining.

6 Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay

Chronicles Of Riddick Escape From Butcher Bay Gameplay Screenshot

Vin Diesel is a veritable film icon at this point, appearing in quite a few wildly successful franchises, such as The Fast and Furious or Guardians of the Galaxy. He reprises what is perhaps his most fascinating role, Richard Riddick, being the protagonist in this widely beloved prequel to the film Pitch Black.

You must explore the eponymous desert prison, interacting with different prisoners and completing quests, so you can gain the materials required to, hopefully, escape. There are a number of obstacles in your way toward this goal, though, so do be careful on your way out!

5 The Thing

The Thing 2002 Gameplay Screenshot

Fans of horror are likely to already know John Carpenter’s exemplary, unsettling 1982 film The Thing. What those fans likely don’t know, though, is that there was a sequel released for that film in the form of this 2002 video game, which largely went unnoticed by the public upon release.

It stands comfortably as a wonderfully dreadful horror game, which offers up genuine scares even after so much time. The environment is impossibly suppressive, feeling claustrophobic to transverse, with you being forced to constantly look over your shoulder. The enemy could even be someone you thought to be a companion, and this can lead to some truly shocking moments on a first play-through.

4 Spider-Man 2

Spider Man 2 Photo Mode Mod Gameplay Screenshot

Tobey Maguire’s iteration of Spider-Man has seen a Renaissance of sorts, with Sam Raimi’s work on the franchise being widely recognized as a wonderful set of films in recent years and with the resurgence of his portrayal in the 2021 film Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Spider-Man 2, in particular, has garnered wide acclaim and is often stated to be one of the greatest Spider-Man films ever made. Its video game adaptation is equally beloved, ushering in many unique elements to the franchise, which are still in place within the franchise to this day, such as its incredible momentum-based swinging mechanics. One of the greatest film adaptations of all time, this is one title that fans of the iconic wall-crawler surely won’t want to miss, despite its aging appearance.

3 Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009)

Ghostbusters The Video Game 2009 Gameplay Screenshot

This game was conceptualized as a sort of officially unofficial Ghostbusters 3, with every member of the main cast reprising their roles for another round of hilariously haunted fun. You step into the boots of a new, untested ghostbuster, first getting their feet wet in the field with a potential global apocalypse as the stakes. How fun!

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It truly is a blast to experience those iconic moments made anew, with many fan-favorite locations being visited along your adventure, such as the Sedgewick Hotel or the Public Library. Do be careful at the hotel level, though, because Slimer is as rambunctious as ever!

2 Scarface: The World Is Yours

Scarface The World Is Yours Gameplay Screenshot

Say hello to my little friend! Have you ever imagined what life would be like for Tony Montana if he survived that legendary shootout that bookends Brian De Palma’s epic masterpiece? Well, imagine no longer because The World Is Yours features a fan’s fantasy as Tony blasts his way out of the mansion and to relative safety.

This game gives you quite a large-scale open-world recreation of Miami to explore, especially given the time period it was released in. There is a great variety of missions, as well, and the story has a tight pace that doesn’t let up, seeing Tony recreate his empire from the ashes. Though he is quite the villainous protagonist to follow, he is also very intriguing to watch, and fans of the film surely won’t want to miss out on this often-overlooked title.

1 Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Lord Of The Rings The Return Of The King Gameplay Screenshot

J.R.R Tolkien’s epic fantasy series The Lord of the Rings has seen a grand number of different adaptations over the years, whether they be filmed, animated, or interactive. Peter Jackson’s trilogy of films is undoubtedly the most iconic adaptation of those classic novels, and of course, each of those films saw its own video game adaptation.

The third entry into this trilogy is often stated to be one of the best LOTR video games to ever be made, and it is hard to disagree with this assessment. Being the final entry in a line, it learned from its predecessors and improved upon its overall gameplay loop to create something that remains immensely enjoyable, which assuredly does justice to its source material.

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