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Video games can be about anything from violent martial arts fights to two plumber brothers attempting to rescue a princess named Peach. So, when it comes to movies adapted from video games, they also run the gamut of genres, from horror to comedy and family-friendly animation to thrillers. Sometimes, it's clear that a film is based on a popular game—Sonic the Hedgehog? That one's pretty obvious—while other times, an adaptation might just seem like an original idea unless you're a gamer yourself.
Below are 15 video game movies, including quite a few that came out in 2023. This happened to be a big year for these adaptations with everything from The Super Mario Bros. Movie to Five Nights at Freddy's finding success at the box office and gaining new fans. Read on to check out some trailers and descriptions, and learn where you can watch these adventure-filled movies right now.
Five Nights at Freddy's
One of the newest video game movie adaptations is Five Nights at Freddy's. The horror movie hit is based on the video game of the same name in which players have to protect themselves against the creepy animatronic characters who exist at a Chuck E. Cheese-like chain and come to life at night. The movie version stars Josh Hutcherson as a security guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza.
Also released in 2023 is Gran Turismo, which is about Jann Mardenborough, a player of the Gran Turismo racing simulation game, who became a real race car driver, competing in Super GT and Formula 3, amongst other types of races. Archie Madekwe stars as Mardenborough alongside Orlando Bloom and David Harbour.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
The animated Super Mario Bros. Movie became a huge success this year—it's second to Barbie as the highest grossing movie of 2023 in both the U.S. and worldwide. The movie tells the story of how two plumber brothers, Mario and Luigi, became involved in the magical world fans know from the Super Mario games. The voice cast includes Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, and Keegan-Michael Key.
Tetris—also from 2023—tells the story of Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton), the man who obtained the rights for Tetris to be released on game devices. That sounds like it could be boring, but given that Tetris was developed in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the movie is actually a thriller that involves international travel, tense discussions, and the KGB.
Super Mario Bros.
Thirty years before The Super Mario Bros. Movie, a live-action movie inspired by the games was released in 1993. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo star as Mario and Luigi, plumbers who travel to a parallel universe where they meet the evil Koopa (Dennis Hopper) and have to save Princess Daisy (Samantha Mathis). The movie is considered one of the worst of all time, so maybe you'd like to test that idea for yourself?
The video game series Uncharted, about treasure hunters, was adapted into a 2022 adventure movie with the same title. Tom Holland stars as the game's lead character, Nathan Drake, as he goes on a mission to find a treasure related to the Magellan expedition before his rivals do. Co-stars include Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
The original Tomb Raider game was released in 1996. Players took on the character Lara Croft, an archeologist searching for an artifact and battling enemies. The first adaptation came with 2001's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie. There is also a 2003 sequel, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider — The Cradle of Life.
Or, if you'd like to check out a newer version, Alicia Vikander took on the role of Lara Croft for 2018's Tomb Raider. This one is based on the 2013 version of the Tomb Raider game.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog—the game about the extremely fast bright blue hedgehog released in 1991—was made into a movie in 2020. It's about Sonic (Ben Schwartz) attempting to escape a scientist, Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), who wants to use Sonic's quills as an energy source. A sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, was released in 2022.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu
Pokémon Detective Pikachu is based on the video game of the same name, which itself comes from a long line of Pokémon games. In this story, the character Pikachu is, obviously, a detective, and he helps a Pokémon trainer named Tim attempt to find his missing father. Justice Smith plays Tim while Pikachu is voiced by Ryan Reynolds.
The horror movie franchise Resident Evil is also based on a video game—but it provided inspiration, rather than being a direct adaptation. The first film from 2002 stars Milla Jovovich as Alice, a woman attempting to stop a virus from spreading and leading to a zombie takeover. There are five sequels, all of which star Jovovich, as well as a 2021 reboot movie that does not feature the actor.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Want to check out the reboot? It stars Kaya Scodelario, Robbie Amell, Tom Hopper, and more, and is, again, about a zombie apocalypse.
Mortal Kombat (1995)
The Mortal Kombat fighting games were first made into a live-action movie in 1995. The film is about a martial artist competition that takes place between fighters from Earth and from another dimension. There's also a 1997 sequel, Mortal Kombat Annihilation.
Mortal Kombat (2021)
Similar to Tomb Raider and Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat was also rebooted more recently with a new cast. This version was released in 2021.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is based on the video game series of the same name, specifically the 2003 game, The Sands of Time. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the titular prince, who must stop evil forces from gaining access to the power to turn back time. The movie is notable for its whitewashing and Gyllenhaal said he regretted starring in it, so while it certainly fits the bill of a video game adaptation, keep that in mind.
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