Top 10 Old School Video Games That Should Become Movies

Last Updated on August 3, 2021

Everything old is new again. TV shows, movies, toys, and video games are prime properties to get made into new feature films. But, when it comes to video games, it is usually only newer games like ASSASSIN’S CREED and SPLINTER CELL that are being adapted when there are countless classic games from the 80s and 90s that would make great movies. Sure, for every WRECK-IT RALPH there is a PIXELS but that doesn’t mean old school cannot make for good blockbusters. Here is our ranking of the ten video games that deserve the big screen treatment. If we missed one or you disagree, let us know in the talk backs below.

#1 – Wolfenstein

Nobody likes Nazis but movie fans do enjoy seeing them as cannon fodder. From INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS to IRON SKY, Nazis getting their asses handed to them is the best revenge we can bestow on such evil. So, why not give the team behind KUNG FURY the chance to adapt this gory and violent first person shooter and give us something cheesy and awesome. I would pre-order tickets today if I knew it was coming.

#2 – Shinobi

Ninjas are cool. Ninja movies have not had much luck in recent years unless they are mutant turtles but there is something in Shinobi that could make for a kick-ass action film. Give it to The Wachowskis and let them put their trademark visual prowess on it and you have yourself a really cool product.

#3 – Castlevania

Castlevania has had a long, rich history on several consoles and has spawned animated productions in Japan, but nothing in the United States. It has all of the hallmarks of a Hollywood hit: vampires, action, monsters, romance, costumes, and more. Taking this story and adapting it for the big screen could be a franchise-starter for any studio. The question is whether you go with a safe PG-13 version or a harder, gorier R rating.

#4 – Super Mario Bros

Another Nintendo property that may see the light of day as an animated feature, I still firmly believe that Super Mario Bros would work as a live action film. The problem with the first film was that it strayed far away from the source material so much that it didn’t even resemble the simple and iconic story. Stick to the classic tale and this would instantly be a huge hit.

#5 – Metroid

In a time when Hollywood is looking for good female led action films, why not make Metroid? Samus Aran is a kick ass babe along the lines of Ripley in the ALIEN films but also appeals to males. Metroid already has several narratives in the video game world that could easily become a feature film. Please just cast Charlize Theron.

#6 – Contra

You could consider THE EXPENDABLES films to be inspired by the Contra games, but I always envisioned something more like a buddy cop film set in the jungle. You know, RAMBO meets LETHAL WEAPON? Two soldiers, on their own, against an unfathomable army but still manage to kick everyone’s ass thanks to an assortment of batshit crazy weapons. Yeah, I would watch that movie.

#7 – Ghosts N’ Goblins

A medieval set version of GHOSTBUSTERS. How cool would that be? I always imagined a movie of this game being more like a Monty Python take on a horror film, which would mean lots of humor and gore. If Sam Raimi or Edgar Wright could get involved, that would be a plus. Can’t you imagine Simon Pegg in the lead, running around in his underwear?

#8 – Altered Beast

One of the original Sega Genesis bestsellers, Altered Beast follows a man who transforms into animals to defeat horrendous monsters. While the film is set in ancient times, it could be easily set in a contemporary period and be one hell of an action horror film. While it could go down the path of VAN HELSING or THE WOLFMAN, I would much rather see it be a scary version of HERCULES.

#9 – Mega Man

Mega Man would work as an animated feature but it could also be one hell of a live action epic. Part ROBOCOP and part superhero movie, Mega Man could kick start a franchise, each film focused on a different villain or squad of villains from the vast franchise.

#10 – Sonic the Hedgehog

There is currently a film in development based on Sega’s trademark character, but he has yet to make the leap to the big screen. After decades, I am shocked we have not seen an animated film with the whole crew. I doubt a live action film would be possible, but why not give the story a massive CGI blockbuster venue?


About the Author

5925 Articles Published

Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.