Gamer Koala

The Highest Rated Movies Based on Video Games

While Hollywood’s track record translating games to film isn’t great, occasionally they do get it right! These ten movies defied expectations and turned out to be quite watchable! They not only honor the source material but also captivate audiences with impressive visual effects and memorable performances.

We examined their Rotten Tomatoes average scores to determine which ten video game movies stand above the rest. Let us know if you think the critics missed any gems!

10. Rampage (51%)

Rampage movie
Warner Bros

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson starts off our list with Rampage, which was released in 2018. Many of us who grew up in arcades in the 80s and 90s will remember this game. You take control of a giant monster, similar to King Kong or Godzilla, and wreak havoc on cities across America. You smash buildings, destroy military vehicles, and munch on humans to win.

If you’re looking for a popcorn flick with lots of action, hokey dialogue, and Dwayne Johnson’s pecs, then… well, I guess you can pick any of his movies. But if you want one that’s based on a video game, Rampage is your best bet. Just don’t go in prepared to take anything seriously and you’ll have a great time.

9. Tomb Raider 2018 (53%)

Tomb Raider movie
Warner Bros.

After two Angelina Jolie-led Tomb Raider films failed to establish a franchise, the idea of a successful movie based on Lara Croft’s adventures felt like a pipe dream. But thankfully, Warner Bros decided to step in where Paramount left off and reboot the idea, this time starring Alicia Vikander.

It’s much more grounded than the former movies, but that’s not surprising, considering that the video game series did a similar reboot and paved the way to a more serious approach. A more believable Lara Croft didn’t win over all the critics, however. The movie is pretty derivative, and some of the effects work is questionable, but the performances were enough to unearth a gem.

8. Mortal Kombat 2021 (55%)

Mortal Kombat 2021 movie
Warner Bros.

Another example of learning from prior mistakes, the 2021 Mortal Kombat reboot definitely created a better film than its predecessors. Like Tomb Raider, the approach this time around is more grounded and realistic. But thankfully, that doesn’t stop the gore or brutal fatalities from being in the spotlight. It is Mortal Kombat, after all.

Like Rampage, this is a movie best suited for anyone looking for near-mindless entertainment. It’s definitely best suited for fans of the franchise (MK has one bizarre world), but any fans of ultra-violent fight movies would very likely get a kick out of Mortal Kombat.

7. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (59%)

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

If this ranking had been by domestic box office numbers instead of reviews, then The Super Mario Bros. Movie would easily be #1. It raked in over half a billion dollars in the U.S. and over $1.3 billion worldwide, making it the third highest-grossing animated movie of all time. Only Frozen II and The Lion King are ahead.

The first attempt at a Mario movie (back in 1993) made our worst video game adaptations ranking, so this was a 30-year-old redemption story in the making. And while the new Mario Bros. movie is certainly better, it is definitely guilty of playing it too safe. Hopefully, the inevitable sequel will push the envelope.

6. Sonic the Hedgehog (63%)

Sonic the Hedgehog movie

Mario vs Sonic is one of the most definitive Gen X battles. In the video game world, Mario has almost always dominated. But on this list? Step aside, plumber boy, there’s a new hedgehog in town. This movie manages to show a lot of heart (between all the product placements).

This film is maybe most infamous for the total (re)makeover that Sonic himself got after early trailers revealed a very odd-looking title character. The internet went wild, making fun of the character design, which must have sent producers into a big enough panic to hit the eject button and start over from scratch. It was worth it, though.

5. Gran Turismo (65%)

Gran Turismo movie

Video game movies touch on a lot of genres, so it makes sense that one of the sports games would eventually branch out into the “feel good” or “underdog” category. And while we could split hairs all day on what constitutes a video game movie, Gran Turismo deserves credit for what it accomplished.

It’s a simple movie with a straightforward story that features all the usual tropes… the coach is a grump, the parents don’t understand the talent and the dream, the odds are astronomical, and so on. But most importantly in a movie like this, the racing scenes are solid, and the CGI is effectively used. Definitely worth a watch.

4. Pokémon Detective Pikachu (68%)

Detective Pikachu movie
Warner Bros.

Pokémon movies are nothing new. There are dozens of them, not to mention television shows. Still, it took a mixed live-action attempt with some heavy hitters like Ryan Reynolds and Ken Watanabe to pull off something with broader appeal. And truly, Ryan Reynolds works overtime to carry this movie.

Detective Pikachu is stuffed with easter eggs for fans of the series to sleuth for themselves, but there’s enough heart (and some stunning visuals) to appeal to audiences who can only name one or two pocket monsters. Some critics say that it falls off in the third act, but audiences still overwhelmingly enjoyed the movie.

3. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (69%)

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 movie

What’s this? A sequel with better ratings than the original? That’s just about as uncommon as a good video game movie, am I right? But here we are. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 managed to mostly recreate the success of the first film. It loses some of its “fish out of water” charm, but Sonic’s newfound courage is nice character growth.

While Sonic 2 is rated slightly higher than its predecessor, it does seem to be aimed a little more squarely at the children under 12 audience. So if silliness isn’t your thing and the first Sonic movie skated a little too close to grating your nerves, skip the sequel. But if you want to see more characters, Knuckles and Tails specifically, then this is your chance.

2. The Angry Birds Movie 2 (73%)

The Angry Birds Movie 2

Here’s a surprise. Another sequel! And this time, the original didn’t even make the list (The Angry Birds Movie sits at 44%). This time around, the writers strayed from the source material quite a bit more than they did for the first film. It feels more like a movie starring Angry Birds characters than an adaptation of a video game.

But it mostly worked. And while this kind of chaotic energy may not be for everyone, The Angry Birds Movie 2 does a pretty good job of appealing to kids while not completely alienating adults. This time around, the birds and the pigs have to unite against a common enemy, which is a fairly forced attempt to connect the movie to the Angry Birds 2 game.

1. Werewolves Within (86%)

Werewolves Within movie

This #1 best-rated video game movie probably flew right under your radar. Overall, Werewolves Within is a pretty lighthearted horror comedy loosely based on a relatively obscure online-only VR game of the same name. But it shows that having a witty script and a great cast can turn just about any kind of adaptation into gold.

It’s a pretty refreshing approach to the horror genre that doesn’t get too tied up in werewolf mythology. Instead, it delivers some effective thrills, twists, and genre spectacle. It’s also very self-aware, almost to the point of overkill, but for a video game movie, we agree with the critics.