Game

The best video game movies to watch at home

It’s been a banner week for video game adaptations in live action. New Resident Evil show, titled Resident Evilskipped Netflix, as well as the adaptation of Not discovered yetstarring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg.

Now there’s a long and long history of video game adaptations, going back to 1993 Super Mario Bros. to this year Not discovered yet and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. There are also plenty of upcoming video game-based film projects, including adaptations of [deep breath] Borderlands, Five nights at Freddy’s, Gears of War, Ghost of Tsushima, Minecraft, Solid metal gears, Space Invadersand Just Dance.

But of the ones that are already available and can be watched at home, which one is worth your time? Polygon is here to help.

We’re including film and TV adaptations here, but many readers will likely notice Netflix’s shortfalls. The Witcher. That’s not a bit against the show, but it doesn’t qualify; while the series probably wouldn’t exist without the video game franchise, it is an adaptation of a book by Andrzej Sapkowski.


Mortal Kombat (1995)

Two warriors ready to fight in Mortal Kombat, surrounded by smoke and several gargoyle statues.

Image: Video Home New Line

Director Paul WS Anderson grew up playing football Mortal Kombat at video games, and his first thing turned out to be pretty much every video game adaptation, naturally, was 1995 Mortal Kombat. Unlike the more recent adaptation of this nature, this movie actually features the typical fighting tournament. Although the effects certainly seem old, Mortal Kombat is a colorful, exciting tournament movie, which includes its original material (the needle drop of the title theme!) and makes a great effort to recreate the atmosphere of the bloody game. –Pete Volk

Mortal Kombat available to watch on HBO Max or free with a library card on Hoopla.

Movie Resident Evil

Colin Salmon's face collapses in Resident Evil.

Image: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Zombies converge in the desert in Resident Evil: Extinction.

Image: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Multiple Millas Jovovich in Resident Evil: Afterlife.

Image: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

A glimpse of the scene where Milla Jovovich fights Wesker in the Resident Evil movie, as seen through Wesker's iconic shades.

Image: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Anderson’s most ambitious and large-scale video game adaptation is the six-part Resident Evil series. Four of those six films were directed by Anderson, while all six were written by him and starring collaborator and wife Milla Jovovich. While fans of the game have long complained that the series diverges from the source material (at the time, Anderson said “Movies involving poor performance are all too common and Resident Evil, of all games, deserves a good representation of celluloid”), the movies themselves completely dominate. In addition to a brilliant display of action star Jovovich’s talents, the Resident Evil movies are a great study of the genre and the filmmaker’s continued refinement of his unique style.

First movie, 2002 Resident Evil, is the closest to the franchise’s live horror and has some truly unforgettable moments (like the laser net trap – if you know, you know). second movie, Resident Evil: Apocalypsedirected by the famous second unit director Alexander Witt (Skyfall, Avengers: Infinity War) but in my opinion the most forgettable of the franchise.

Everything really started with 2007 Extinction evil dwellerDirected by Russell Mulcahy (Highlands) and is best described as the “zombie West”. Anderson is back in the director’s chair for the final three installments, all of which are blasts that see Anderson refine his frantic shooting action style, imbued with a chaotic energy and aided by ugliness. Jovovich’s undeniable. –PV

The first five movies of the Resident Evil series are available to watch on Hulu or on Tubi for free with ads. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter available to watch for free on Tubi with ads.

Silent Hill

Notice board

Image: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Like most great video game adaptations, Silent Hill Find inspiration from games without direct translation. The film follows Rose (Radha Mitchell) as she searches for her daughter in the horrifying and haunted ghost town known as Silent Hill. It is this town that seems to have transported her to another world filled with monsters intent on tracking her down and killing her. Meanwhile, her husband, Christopher (Sean Bean), chases his wife to town but encounters nothing when he arrives. Half an expansive metaphor about the differences in how men and women experience the world, and half a terrifying perception of some of the video game series’ scariest monsters, Silent Hill Not only is it a great video game adaptation, but it’s also one of the best and most underrated horror movies of the 2000s. —Austen Goslin

Silent Hill available to watch on Starz through Prime Video or rent or buy digitally at VOD providers.

DOA: Dead or alive

Jaime Pressly, Sarah Carter, and Holly Valance take on Eric Roberts in DOA: Dead or Alive.

Image: Dimension Extreme

Let’s start with a disclaimer: This is an adaptation of the fighting game franchise that can be described as “hot people in restrictive clothes wearing restrictive clothes outside” . The movie is pretty faithful to this idea, in an interesting way the garbage works for the sake of damned it looks. The colors stand out, the actors shine, and the rules of the fight scenes. You just have to be ready to sit through some properly laid out video game dialogue.

It helps that Dead or alive had the legendary Corey Yuen behind the camera as director. The Hong Kong filmmaker and choreographer has directed some great films in his home country, including Duong Tu Quynh means of the star Yes madamand is best known in the United States as Jet Li’s personal action director in his Hollywood films (as well as his action director). X Men). –PV

DOA: Dead or alive available to watch for free with ads on Tubi, Vudu, The Roku Channel, Freevee, Pluto TV and Plex.

Like a dragon

The two characters in Like a Dragon point their guns at each other, wear colorful costumes, and stand in front of a red staircase with a body on it.

Image: Media Blasters

Legendary director Takashi Miike (Audition) has done quite a few video game adaptations, including this cool take on the Yakuza franchise. Playing with rich comedic material from video games, Miike makes the most of the opportunities available to her by recreating the rules of the video game world in a live-action setting. –PV

Like a dragon available for full viewing on YouTube.

Great lawyer

The character Miles Edgeworth in the movie Ace Attorney.

Image: Toho-Towa

Miike followed Like a dragon with this delightfully honest version of the Ace Attorney franchise. Over-the-top appropriately with exactly With the hairstyle and style cues you’d expect from a franchise, this is a fun and very different kind of legal drama. –PV

Great lawyer available to rent or buy digitally on Amazon, Google Play, and Apple.

Valid marker / BiuBiuBiu

Screenshot from BiuBiuBiu, showing battle royale overlay on mobile but with real people in it.

Image: Huawen Pictures

This 2021 Mandarin-language movie is just kind of a video game adaptation, but it’s remarkable and worth mentioning in a way. This is a sports drama set in the world of e-sports, about a young man who was once an e-sports prodigy and is now struggling to raise his child. When a major tournament with a grand prize pool opened, he decided to gather a team together for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Elements of the sports drama of BiuBiuBiu (great title, by the way) works well, but this movie really shines when it comes to how it depicts game sequences. Instead of just having our protagonists play the game on their phones, directors Hu Guohan and Zhou Siyao instead take us into the game’s world in an amazingly immersive way, reproduce the fun movements of mobile games with incredible accuracy.

Here is a taste:

The result is an exciting action movie that feels years ahead of its time. –PV

Valid bookmarkers (or BiuBiuBiu) is available to watch in full on YouTube.

Monster hunter

milla jovovich and tony jaa in monster hunter movie

Image: Sony Pictures

Anderson got even bigger with his latest video game adaptation, as Jovovich, Tony Jaa and rapper TI take on giant monsters with huge weapons. Highlighting the scale of video games, both in terms of opponents and fighting styles, Monster hunter is a fun popcorn cinema and the rare modern blockbuster that makes effective use of CG to create believable shots. With Jovovich and Jaa’s mix of action and comedy best friend and massive set pieces, Monster hunter is big and stupid in all the best ways. –PV

Monster hunter available for viewing on Starz through Prime Video or for digital purchase at VOD providers.

Arcane

Vi (Hailee Steinfeld) in Arcane

Image: Netflix

Riot Games’ League of Legends animated series, Arcaneis about the early life of League of Legends champions Vi, Jinx, Caitlyn, Jayce and Viktor. The story focuses on two interconnected stories. One story tells of Jinx going insane after a catastrophic accident and Vi’s journey to save his sister from herself, while the other tells about Jayce and Viktor inventing Hextech, an creation. new combination of magic and technology. Besides the great characters and writing, the first part of Arcane It’s also one of the most visually stunning and unique animated series in recent memory. —AG

Arcane available to watch on Netflix.

The werewolf inside

Ranger Finn Wheeler swings two axes and gets covered in blood in Werewolves Within.

Image: IFC movie

Horror comedy 2021, directed by Josh Ruben and written by Mishna Wolff The werewolf inside is one of the best video game adaptations, precisely giving so much freedom to its source material. Inspired by the 2016 VR game of the same name, Ruben and Wolff’s film starring Sam Richardson (I think you should leave) as Finn, a kind-hearted but unfortunate ranger who moves to the small town of Beaverfield in search of a fresh start. Unfortunately, he ends up in the middle of a crisis when the townspeople suspect a vicious maniac killer is lurking among them. Brimming with hilarious dialogue, thrilling twists, and gripping comedic chemistry between Richardson and co-star Milana Vayntrub, The werewolf inside is a video game movie that goes beyond its inspiration to become a fun thriller of its own. —Toussaint Egan

The werewolf inside available for viewing on Showtime through Prime Video or for digital purchase at VOD providers.

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