Top 5 video game movies

From goofy, cheesy 90s flicks to yellow CGI mice, James Troughton gives a rundown of his favourite video game films.

James Troughton
26th May 2019
Image Credit: IGDB

Video game movies often get a bad wrap, and seeing as most of them are absolute crap, maybe that is deserved. Nevertheless, there are a few gems in the sea of mud that are worth giving a watch. Whilst there are better made movies out there than some of these, this list of my top five favourite video game movies contain endlessly enjoyable entries ripe for a rewatch.


Doom is a corny, cheesy and downright dumb movie that leaves many asking ‘Why was this even made?’ Yet, whilst it’s not even a remotely good movie, at its core, it is a terrifyingly fun blend of Alien, classic ‘The Rock’ Johnson persona, and Jason X.

...poor acting, laughable visual effects, mediocre designs...

The poor acting, laughable visual effects, mediocre designs and overly simplistic story make Doom a hilarious and infectiously fun movie. It may not be nearly as enjoyable as the mindless shoot-em-up FPS classic that inspired it but, ultimately, it is a movie that finds itself in the category of so-bad-it’s-good.

4. Mortal Kombat

Ahh, the 90s. Video game movies are on the rise, and parents worry about what the gory brawler Mortal Kombat could do to their kids. What an ideal opportunity to release a campy adaptation rich with martial arts action and fuelled by techno music.

It’s not nearly as bad as Doom but I’m still not comfortable calling it legitimately ‘good’. It’s fun, has decent visuals and well-choreographed fights but the characters are robotic and poorly written. Still, nothing beats seeing Scorpion yell “get over here!” as he shoots a weird snake looking hook from the palm of his hand.

3. Resident Evil

Resident Evil is a joyride of relentless violence, intense action sequences and goofy horror tropes. It may not be inherently scary but, unlike a lot of other video game movies, it does not hinge on fan service and the brand name to tell a captivating and enjoyable story. It’s got great world-building, a likeable and strong protagonist and plenty of wonderfully fun moments that will keep you coming back to this first entry in the long running series of spin-offs.

2. Papers, Please

Although Papers, Please is a short movie based on an indie game, spanning only ten minutes, it is somehow one of the best video game adaptations of all time. Comprising of a wonderful story, fantastic cinematography and incredible acting, it remains true to the source material. I never thought that a film about a man stamping passports at border control could be made as interesting and exciting as the original game managed to be.

1. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

Pokémon is one of the most beloved franchises ever created, and while it has an anime adaptation with several animated movies under its belt, it had never delved into the realm of live action. That changed this year. Detective Pikachu captures the charm, infectious fun and energy of both the original games and the anime spin-off. The main characters are wonderful, likeable and have fantastic chemistry with one another.

...innocent and light-hearted fun for children, unrelenting fanservice for fans, and some subtle adult humour...

The CGI Pokémon are visually stunning and never feel out of place. However, the thing that really impressed me is how this movie succeeds at being something for an audience of all ages. It has innocent and light-hearted fun for children, unrelenting fanservice for fans, and some subtle adult humour for good measure. No matter who you are, this movie delivers.

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