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For as long as video games have been popular, Hollywood has tried to mine them for source material. It makes sense because the best video games can be thrilling, with special effects that can go toe-to-toe with Hollywood blockbusters. But time and time again, these adaptations fall short. Of course there are some notable, well-received exceptions.
Mortal Kombat,” the latest video game adaptation to grace our screens, is a reboot of the classic game and movie franchise from Warner Bros. The film premiered in theaters and on HBO Max on April 23. For only $14.99 a month, HBO Max subscribers get to stream every 2021 Warner Bros. release on the same day they hit theaters, in addition to a huge backlog of movies and shows.
Early reactions to “Mortal Kombat” have been mixed, but the debate over video games being better than movies is unlikely to ever end. The two mediums might just be incompatible, but at the very least, most fans can agree that video games work as standalone pieces of art. Even if recent movies like “Assassin’s Creed” and “Tomb Raider” didn’t stand the test of time but their video game source material has. Below, check out these seven video games that have been adapted into movies, and a couple consoles to play them on. For more gaming content, see our list of the best gaming chairs.
“Assassin’s Creed,” Ubisoft’s historical fiction franchise, has delighted fans for years with its century-spanning storyline and impeccable attention to detail. The epic film adaptation starring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, and Jeremy Irons fell short of its sky-high expectations, but the video games are still going strong. Pick up the latest entry, “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla” before the update drops next month.
Lara Croft is one of the best known video game protagonists to appear in a movie, thanks to Angelina Jolie’s iconic portrayal. She starred in two “Tomb Raider” movies in the early 2000s, both of which have been firmly relegated to guilty pleasure status. A reboot attempt in the form of 2018’s “Tomb Raider” was met with little fanfare, but recent Lara Croft games have been well received. Adventure lovers would be well-advised to check out “Shadow of the Tomb Raider.”
It would be hard to argue with the claim that “Resident Evil” is the most successful film franchise based on a video game. Paul W.S. Anderson’s zombie series has grossed over one billion dollars at the global box office, and a reboot due later this year is sure to add to that total. The latest game takes advantage of the PS5’s technology to keep the scares coming, with photorealistic graphics that have to be seen to be believed.
Another iconic horror game, “Silent Hill” is a Japanese franchise known for slow burn, psychological horror and graphics that were always ahead of their time. The same probably cannot be said about the film adaptations, which received mixed reviews, but gamers looking for a truly interactive horror experience can find a lot to love in the extensive backlog of games.
“Sonic the Hedgehog” seemed destined to be a movie more remembered for the fan backlash it inspired than its content. After fans infamously loathed the initial character design, Paramount delayed the film’s release to make Sonic look a little more lovable. The end result was a fun, well-liked movie anchored by a delightfully campy performance from Jim Carey. A sequel is due to hit theaters next year, but until then, games like “Team Sonic Racing” provide some delightful escapism to tide you over.
The “Ratchet and Clank” video games were telling stories of space traveling, swashbuckling anthropomorphic animals long before Disney made it cool with “Guardians of the Galaxy.” It is also one of the only video games to receive a fully animated adaptation. If you don’t remember the 2016 movie, you’re not alone. Poor reviews and a lack of marketing resulted in the movie being ignored, but the series has rebounded. “Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart” is one of the summer’s most anticipated releases, so sci-fi lovers should pre-order it today!
Before you see the movie this weekend, check out this addictive installment in the iconic series of fighting games. Released in 2019, “Mortal Kombat 11” received positive reviews that left the franchise primed for a new era of relevance.
The most coveted console of last holiday season lives up to the hype in every way. You haven’t experienced true power in a gaming console until you try this. It loads games at incredible speeds, and the graphics are second to none. If you want to enjoy this summer’s biggest releases the way they were meant to be played, the PS5 is the way to go.
Many of the games on this list are also available on Nintendo Switch. The Playstation 5 might be a supercomputer, but the Switch has perfected whimsical fun. You can experience all of your favorite childhood characters in games that feel fresh in 2021. It’s simple enough that you don’t have to think about it, but complicated enough to prevent you from getting bored. The option to play games on your TV, or use it as a handheld console, maximizes your flexibility (and you’re fun!).