12 Video Games that Should Become Movies Pronto

We all remember the campy tragedy that was the Super Mario Brothers movie. As much as we may love to… ironically enjoy the classic anti-masterpiece today, it’s generally true that we want video game movies to get better as time goes on — not worse. Sadly that’s not quite how it’s worked out over the last couple of decades, and the game-based movies getting pumped out today are little more than a constant stream of box office flops. We’d like that to change, and while there are some extremely notable projects currently in the early stages of production or pre-production (Warcraft, Halo, and rumors of Gears of War), these are 12 major video games that ought to be made into big-budget live-action films — sooner rather than later.

Starcraft

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Blizzard’s epic space saga has developed a massive following over the years, and not just for the fast-paced gameplay. Set in a bleak dystopian future, halfway across the galaxy in the 26th century, Starcraft delves into an impressive storyline, which with its mix of space battles, aliens, ancients and intrigue, is ideal for the big screen. Aside from bucketloads of money, the only way to make this movie any better would be if it were possible to go back in time and bring back the James Cameron of 1986 to film this movie with the rest of the crew from Aliens.

Pokémon

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We’re going to go out on a bit of a limb here and say that Pokémon has the potential to make obscene amounts of money if produced as a live-action film. The only bad part about this is that with the amount of CGI necessary to conjure up hundreds of unique creatures is bound to turn this into something that will make the recent Scooby-Doo films look halfway tolerable. That being said, if the right people were hired (and paid a lot of money), this could actually be made into something worth watching.

Fallout

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Few games use such a unique mashup of themes as those in Fallout, and the storyline is so perfect for a movie that it feels like it may have come directly from a screenplay. Set in post-apocalyptic Southern California, the game mixes 1950’s kitsch with a futuristic post-war dreariness that could easily translate to the big screen — all it would need is a set of good actors and a decent production team with the funding to back their work.

Portal

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This could be an odd one, but it would definitely be fun. Portal takes place entirely within a research facility that has been abandoned for an indeterminate amount of time. Its protagonist is a woman who doesn’t even know her own name, as she’s awoken from stasis in a state of near-total amnesia — opening circumstances quite a bit like those in the Resident Evil movie. A live-action film based on this game would make for a great psychological thriller, since it relies heavily on time-sensitive problem-solving and advanced theoretical technology. The Portal storyline takes place in the Half-Life universe, which could be good for tie-ins, and the fact that the facility is run by a murderous artificial intelligence doesn’t exactly hurt, either.

Assassin’s Creed

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The plot of Assassin’s Creed is nothing short of ingenious. It begins with an everyday bartender who is kidnapped by modern-day Knights Templar only to be subjected to experimental technology designed to glean genetic memory from his DNA. Their purpose is to learn the whereabouts of a relic that one of his ancestors, an assassin who lived during the Third Crusade, last saw. With the historical and mythical backgrounds mixing with the present-day technological, this storyline could make for a great movie — and with it all revolving around an average joe bartender it already feels like Hollywood got their hands on it.

Half-Life

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Half-Life could quite possibly have the greatest potential for a truly fantastic movie out of any of the games on this list. The story is a perfect blend of action, mystery, science-fiction dystopia and classical good-versus-evil morality. The storyline covers a span of two decades and several dimensions. The protagonist, a now iconic scientist turned hero, is placed in stasis by a mystery figure for a span of 20 years after initial victory in one of the other dimensions — only to be woken up back on earth to find that it’s been occupied by an alien race from an entirely different dimension and has fallen into an extreme police-state. Along with the help of other scientists, freedom fighters, and aliens who have also been enslaved by the same ruling race, he fights to free Earth and close the portal once and for all. Along with the twists and turns in the plot, the severe dystopia presented along with aliens, technology and revolution all make for big screen success.

Metal Gear

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The Metal Gear series of games has some serious potential in the time-honored traditions of pure and somewhat ridiculous action-movies, and not this new-wave GI Joe nonsense either. We’re talking 80’s Stallone and Schwarzeneggar mixed with a bit of Bruce Willis and early Steven Seagal — the good stuff. In the game universe, particularly the newer Metal Gear Solid series of installments, the world has fallen into a constant and pervasive state of war. Private armies outgun and overpower traditional national military powers and technology’s purpose has become little more than producing better tools of warfare. While it may be a bit linear, it could make for some seriously good action on the big screen, and recent games have included so many cut-scenes that a film-adaptation may not be as difficult as once thought.

Xenosaga

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Xenosaga, though cut short (the six games planned were shortened to three), is a space-based RPG set so far in the future that Earth is actually long-since abandoned and lost. The game was originally based on several Nietzschean concepts, and each installment was even named after one of his (or his sister’s) books. The storyline had epic potential, with a lost earth, ancient artifacts of unspeakable power, a seemingly unstoppable alien race, a vast universe colonized by extremely advanced humans, and tale of intrigue surrounding one lowly researcher and her project — a top secret android built to fight what conventional weapons can’t harm.

Diablo

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Diablo tells a story about the greatest evil in the world escaping imprisonment to wreak havoc in a quest for revenge and dominance over the forces of good. Basically, it follows the tried and true hero versus evil format of mythological fiction, but it does it in a way so dark, bloody and prolific that it’s all but rewritten the standard for the genre. The game is set in an entirely fictional universe and uses a mashup of various mythologies, tying them all in successfully to create a world more fantastic and full of mysticism than any other before it and even rivaling its sibling, World of Warcraft in scope. Basically, when talking about big-screen adaptations, this could be something along the lines of Conan the Barbarian meets Beowulf mixed with a bit of Gladiator and Troy — so it’s got some serious potential.

Zelda

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Before we go on to say that The Legend of Zelda deserves its own movie more than any other game ever made, we have to be clear on something. The likelihood of Hollywood casting some douchebag like Zac Efron for the role of Link is astronomically high. This is something that cannot happen if this game is to be made into a serious movie. At least, not unless they want millions of fans pelting movie theaters across the country with thousands of eggs — or worse. That being said, if a proper cast is found to fill the roles, and a massive budget is sought out to fund the film, Zelda could easily become a long-awaited reality.

BioShock

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BioShock presents an alternate universe in which a group of brilliant scientists and political dissidents fled the war-torn surface of World War II and created a city of their own deep under the ocean. Along with being an underwater city, the people that live there make startling advancements in science and technology, including genetic manipulation. Though their intentions were good to begin with, the city’s leaders were unable to maintain their purity and the city soon fell into revolution and general disarray. By the time the protagonist enters the story by crashing into the ocean onboard a small plane, the city is already in ruins, with genetic mutants roaming the city and violently attacking normal humans on sight. While he is tasked with various missions that will help one side or the other of those humans that are left in the city, the amnesiac hero learns of his own secret beginnings in the city that he finds himself struggling to escape. This would make another psychological thriller/horror film, somewhat like Silent Hill.

Shadowrun

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Last on our list is a game that had its beginnings in pen and paper on tabletops, much like other early RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons before it. The game is set in the late 21st century, and blends cyberpunk dystopia with magic and mythology — a mix that is rare to say the least. The Shadowrun universe is extremely expansive, covering the entire world as we know it today but changed in various and pervasive ways; for instance, magic returned to the world in 2011, and megacorporations hold more sway (and military power) than most nations. Cybernetic implants are common, elves and trolls walk the land, and the Internet as we know it is more like The Matrix and is even called the Matrix — which probably gave them the idea in the first place. This movie would be like blending the best elements of Johnny Mnemonic, Harry Potter, and Hackers into one streamlined and heavily back-storied amalgam. With enough funding and some writers worth their weight in gold, this could be something quite original for Hollywood to undertake.