A Round-Up of Our Favourite Video Game to Movie Adaptations

In 1993, the first big-budget film adaptation of a video game came to the big screen. The game was Super Mario Bros. The film was called the same thing and the response was…well, not so great.

Starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the titular brothers and Samantha Mathis as Princess Daisy, the film was a critical and commercial flop — making just USD $38.9 million worldwide, against a budget of USD $42–48 million, which had to be more painful than being eaten by Cheep Chomp.

The failure of Super Mario Bros. has not deterred Hollywood Studios from mining video game IPs to make blockbuster films however, in fact, there will even be another version of Super Mario Bros. released in 2022 with the voice talents of Chris Pratt, Anya-Taylor Joy, Charlie Day and Seth Rogen.

Over the last almost 30 decades, plenty of other video games have been brought to the big screen from Mortal Kombat to Resident Evil, Warcraft and Sonic the Hedgehog, to varying degrees of success and acceptance from fans and viewers.

Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite video game movies that have captured our imaginations over the years.

Detective Pikachu

Pokémon Detective Pikachu was released in 2019 and, interestingly, was the first live-action film based on a Nintendo game property since the aforementioned ill-fated Super Mario Bros. It also marked the first live-action Pokémon movie.

It stars Ryan Reynolds with Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Suki Waterhouse, Omar Chaparro, Chris Geere, Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy.

Mortal Kombat

Of course, we love Mortal Kombat, it was shot around Port Adelaide, Coober Pedy, Leigh Creek and Mount Crawford right here in Australia!

The film was in development for more than two decades and brought to life fan favourites including Sub-Zero, Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, Kano, and Raiden.

The cast includes Lewis Tan as Cole, Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, Australian actors Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade and Josh Lawson as Kano plus Tadanobu Asano as Raiden, Mehcad Brooks as Jackson “Jax” Briggs, Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Chin Han as Shang Tsung.

Resident Evil

With six films already in the catalogue and a reboot set to drop late in 2021, audiences (and us) can’t get enough of Resident Evil, nor Milla Jovovich for that matter.

In 2012, the Resident Evil film series became the highest-grossing film series based on a video game and even though that title was later snared by the Pokémon film series, we still love the Resident movies and their portrayals of a zombie apocalypse.

Tomb Raider (2018)

Angelina Jolie may have been the first actress to step into Lara Croft’s combat boots, but we really love the 2018 version starring Alicia Vikander.

The film also stars Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, and Kristin Scott Thomas and sees Croft embark on a dangerous expedition to try to figure out the mystery of her father’s disappearance.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Ben Schwartz, who you might remember as the delightfully terrible Jean-Ralphio Saperstein in Parks and Recreation, brought Sonic the Hedgehog to the big screen in 2020, with Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell and Adam Pally also starring.

Sonic the Hedgehog, which sees our favourite blue hero trying to stop a mad scientist played by Carrey, is currently the highest-grossing video game film adaptation of all time in North America.

A sequel, titled Sonic the Hedgehog 2, is scheduled for release on April 8, 2022.

Need for Speed

Look, we don’t know what to tell you other than Need for Speed stars Breaking Bad‘s very own Jesse Pinkman aka Aaron Paul and that is more than enough reason for us to love it.

Throw in a bunch of fast cars and the element of nostalgia and you’ve got yourself a winner…even if the film’s 22 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes says otherwise.


It was only a matter of time before Hollywood decided to jump on the World of Warcraft bandwagon and make a feature film out of the hugely popular game.

The film proved to be just as popular, grossing USD $439 million worldwide, to become the highest-grossing video game adaptation of all time.

Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, and Daniel Wu star.

Legendary is currently developing a new Warcraft movie, but it’s unknown if it will be a reboot or a sequel to the 2016 version.

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