Video game movies: The greatest of all time!

Video game movies have entertained fans and movie-goers alike with early 90s box office releases like Double Dragon and Street Fighter. But today, they’re also the latest way to expand a franchise as video game movies tell stories that bridge the gap between reality and the virtual unknown. The best video game movies transform CGI avatars into charismatic personalities, bringing to life the hero’s gravelly voice or the villain’s manic laugh. 

At Voice123, we understand that video game movies are crucial in helping players and fans create emotional connections to video game stories and characters. So, in this post, we’ll cover the best video game movies, upcoming video game movies, and, sadly, some of the worst-performing video game movies released. 

Are you ready to venture forth, slay the dragon, and save the kingdom? 

What are good video game movies

Good video game movies tell the game’s story on a deeper level, with background stories, character growth, and development, and draw from the game’s setting to create new locations and worlds that embody the true spirit of the game. They focus on creating a narrative that is synonymous with the gaming experience with visual effects, set design, and cinematography that often mirrorrs the game’s atmosphere and design, but with the potential to go to infinity and beyond! Good video game movies also excel at bringing to life complex concepts like time travel and dystopian worlds. A strong cast, including talented directors, screenwriters, actors, and voice actors, is also a must to make the film more authentic and nostalgic. 

Let’s look at a few examples of good video game movies. 

Good video game movies: Top 3

  1. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
  3. Detective Pikachu (2019)

1. The Super Mario Bros. (2023)

As a modern take on one of Nintendo’s best video games, The Super Mario Bros. movie is the highest-grossing film of 2023 and the highest-grossing video game movie adaptation, earning $1,361,900,383 worldwide. Following the film’s success, Nintendo saw a massive increase in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sales. Mario is the highest-selling game on Nintendo’s best-selling system, with almost 31 million copies sold

2. Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

Since its release, Sonic has set the record for the biggest opening weekend for a video game film in the U.S. and Canada. It grossed $319.7 million worldwide, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2020. As Sega’s flagship franchise and one of the bestselling video game franchises, Sonic’s free-to-play mobile game downloads totaled $1.6 billion in 2023. A chapter novel based on the film was also released alongside the movie. 

3. Detective Pikachu (2019)

Pokémon is one of the highest-grossing video game franchises, and the 2019 Detective Pikachu film earned $449,762,638 million at the box office. After Warner Bros. released the Detective Pikachu trailer, it became the top trending video on YouTube, gaining over 10 million views in 24 hours across multiple online and social media platforms. The film was also released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Box Office simultaneously, becoming the second top-selling home video title in August 2019 and earning over $30 million in the U.S. 

What are the best video game TV shows

The best video game TV shows incorporate specific gameplay mechanics and feature game action sequences like combat styles, character signature moves, and unique personality traits. Combined with talented voice actors, these add authenticity to performances by highlighting the character’s motivations, relationships, struggles, triumphs, and even moral dilemmas. 

Here are a few examples of the best video game TV shows. 

The best video game TV shows: Top 3

  1. The Last of Us (2023)
  2. Halo (2022) 
  3. The Witcher (2019)

1. The Last of Us (2023)

video game movies: image of a publicity poster for the Last of Us

With a score of 96%, The Last of Us is the third-highest-rated video game show on Rotten Tomatoes. It received nominations for several awards, including 24 Primetime Emmy Awards, with several critics calling it the best video game TV show adaptation. After almost 4.7 million people watched the premiere, the company reported a significant increase in video game sales, becoming North America’s eighth-most-downloaded PlayStation 5 game.  

2. Halo (2022)

As a military science fiction show, the first episode of Halo set a record as Paramount+’s most-watched series premiere globally in its first 24 hours. The first season was the channel’s second-most-watched original series. With over $6 billion in franchise grosses, Halo is among the highest-grossing media franchises ever. It inspired novels, comic books, short, animated, and feature films, and even a packaging tie-in with Mountain Dew

3. The Witcher (2019)  

Based on the book series Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher is a global fantasy action role-playing game and TV series with a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The game series sold over 75 million units, becoming one of the best-selling video game franchises ever. Although the video game started as a book, critics praised it as one of the greatest games ever. 

What are the worst video game movies

  1. Doom (2005)
  2. Double Dragon (1994)
  3. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

1. Doom (2005)

video game movies: image of a poster for Doom 2005

Doom was considered a box office bomb since it grossed $58.7 million worldwide with a budget of $70 million. With an 18% score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film lacked a compelling storyline and originality that disappointed critics, video game fans, and other movie enthusiasts. In 2009, the Times listed the film as one of the top 10 worst video game movies of all time. 

2. Double Dragon (1994)

With a 12% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Time also listed Double Dragon as one of the top ten worst video game movies. Critic reviews were generally unfavorable because of the film’s simplistic storyline and cheesy dialogue. The Washington Post called it “clumsily paced,” making it one of the all-time lowest-rated video game movie adaptations. It grossed $4.2 million at the box office on a budget of $7.8 million.

3. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

Although this was the sequel to a successful first video game movie, it was considered a box office bomb. It received negative reviews for the story, characters, and special effects, grossing $51.3 million with a $30 million budget. As a result, producers canceled the third film, taking twenty years to reboot the series in 2021. On Metacritic, the film received an average score of 11 out of 100, which reflects “overwhelming dislike” by viewers. 

Upcoming video game movies 

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog 3: The film will be released in December 2024, with Ben Schwartz returning as the voice of Sonic, Idris Elba as Knuckles, and James Marsden as Tom Wachowski. 
  2. Borderlands: This is a science fiction action comedy scheduled to release on August 9, 2024. It features Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Jamie Lee Curtis. 
  3. Untitled Minecraft film: Although unnamed, the film should be released in April 2025, with Steve Carell and Jason Momoa in talks for undisclosed roles. 
  4. BioShock: In 2022, Netflix announced that a film adaptation was in the works, with Francis Lawrence and Michael Green set to direct and write the film.
  5. Mortal Kombat 2: A sequel to the 2021 live-action video game movie is currently in development. It features Tati Gabrielle, Adeline Rudolph,  Martyn Ford, Ana Thu Nguyen, Damon Herriman, and Desmond Chiam.
  6. Fallout: Prime Video is developing a series based on the Fallout video game and will star Walton Goggins, Ella Purnell, and Kyle MacLachlan.
  7. God of War: Prime Video has also planned to release a new series based on the God of Ware video game. The cast and release date is still awaiting confirmation.
  8. Ghost of Tsushima: Sony Pictures has confirmed that a video game movie adaption is in the works and will be overseen by the John Wick director – Chad Stahelski. He has confirmed that he wants the movie language and cast to be Japanese.

Video game movies and the power of voice 

Choosing the right video game movie voices makes all the difference between happy and very unhappy fans. Avid gamers know the nuances of their game and avatar voices, so when casting for movies, they either have to be the same or way better. For example, in The Last of Us live-action TV show, Pedro Pascal was cast to play Joel Miller. Showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann felt Troy Baker was too physically different from Joel and didn’t match the character’s profile – and fans approved! While casting may take longer, securing the best voice actors and actors is crucial to bringing each character’s personality to life. So, if you’re looking for the best voice talent – check out the pros on Voice123.

Final thoughts on video game movies 

From best to worst, video game movies and TV shows have come a long way since adaptations started. But, with the right voice actors, you can make your characters come to life in the hearts and minds of global audiences. So, when you’re ready to produce your next video game, choose voice actors who understand the character’s essence and personality.

Now that you’re ready to create your own Warcraft or Fallout-style masterpiece, you can write a compelling video game script, hire vocal professionals from Voice123, and work with our Managed Services team to complete your project.

Since gaming’s the name and storytelling’s the game, start creating your own gaming wonder today!

FAQs on video game movies

What is the most popular video game movie?

The Super Mario Bros. movie (2023) is the most popular video game movie, with a worldwide gross of $1,361,900,383.  

Are there any good movies based on video games?

Yes, there are. Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Sonic The Hedgehog, The Angry Birds Movie, and The Super Mario Bros. Movie are some of the highest-rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes.

What video game became a movie?

Numerous video games have become movies, including Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Assassin’s Creed, Warcraft, Sonic the Hedgehog, Detective Pikachu, Mortal Kombat, Prince of Persia, Street Fighter, and Rampage.

What is the best video game movie in 2023?

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is the best movie in 2023, making $1,362,659,200 at the worldwide box office.


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