Video games have a... sour history with movies. Movies based on video games are often awful dreck, and games based on movies are... well, often awful dreck. Most are cheaply and quickly thrown together in order to capitalize on a movie's release and are promptly eviscerated and forgotten.
That said, there are a few hidden gems buried in all the waste. Whether they were made by a competent studio or actually had some time and money pumped into them, these games broke the trend and were actually worth playing. In other words, E.T. they were not.
These are the ten best movie-based games according to Metacritic.
10 The Godfather - 77
When we all heard that they were making a Godfather game, we all let out a collective moan. After all, how on Earth could they touch one of the greatest movies of all time? And while we all expected a "look how they massacred my boy!" moment, the game actually turned out... surprisingly well! It kept the story of the movie largely intact and expanded on it in some key and interesting ways, and it contained a surprisingly great sandbox to mess around it. The extortion system was also a nice addition, helping to distinguish this game from the many other sandbox titles of the time.
9 Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets - 77
We all expected game tie-ins for the Harry Potter movies, and unfortunately, most of them turned out how we expected - cheap crap meant to capitalize on the success of the movies. That said, Eurocom did a great job with Chamber of Secrets, which is often considered to be the best game in the series. It had a great story, the gameplay was wonderfully and suitably magical, and it had a ton of replayability to keep the children coming back. It's arguably the greatest Harry Potter game ever released, and it's unfortunate that it feels so dated today, because the young Harry Potter fans of today really need to experience its magic.
8 Ghostbusters: The Video Game - 79
Ghostbusters was a lot like The Godfather - a whole bunch of collective eye-rolling before a pleasantly surprised "huh, this isn't so bad" seal of approval. You played as a new recruit, and the events of the game were set shortly after Ghostbusters II.
Unlike many movie-based games, Ghostbusters contained all the original actors reprising their roles, including all of the Ghostbusters and even some supporting actors like William Atherton and Annie Potts. Aykroyd and Ramis were also brought in to work on the script, resulting in a certifiably awesome and authentic Ghostbusters experience.
7 Peter Jackson's King Kong - 82
Peter Jackson's King Kong was a surprise hit. The movie performed well and scored big with the critics, and the game served as a brilliant companion piece and a fantastic launch title for the seventh generation. It showcased what the new toy could do, offering up some great graphics and some surprisingly deep gameplay mechanics, which saw you using firearms and spears as Jack and your own massive fists as Kong. Add in a game cast, including an always-entertaining Jack Black, and you have yourself one of the greatest movie-in games of all time.
6 Spider-Man 2 - 83
When it comes to Spider-Man games, few are as good as Spider-Man 2. Yes, Insomniac's recent Spider-Man was a certifiable home run, but that movie wasn't based on any specific movie, but the larger Spider-Man mythos. Many aspects of this game's production were praised, particularly its inventive and engaging web swinging mechanic which allowed you to intuitively fly across the massive and surprisingly realistic Manhattan. It also contained a ton of interesting side quests, and manipulating Spider-Man's abilities was an absolute blast. It doesn't get much better than this.
5 The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King - 85
Like Spider-Man 2, The Return of the King is often touted as the greatest Lord of the Rings game ever made. Which is funny, considering there's not really a whole lot to it. The gameplay consisted of little more than hacking and slashing, pressing various buttons multiple times until the enemies were defeated. That said, it was still a ton of fun, and it was nicely complemented by the game's overall production. The graphics, music, animations, voice acting, and movie scenery were all lauded, making this the perfect companion to one of the most perfect movies ever made.
4 The Warriors - 85
It's frankly amazing what Rockstar can do. Back in 2005, following their megahit San Andreas, they decided to take a break from the whole GTA thing and released... some random game based on an obscure movie from the '70s. Uhhhh... what? To everyone's bewilderment, the game was a roaring success, thanks primarily to the interesting story, wide variety of gangs, and fun combat mechanics. It quickly became regarded as one of the greatest brawling games ever made, and it put The Warriors back on the map following decades' worth of obscurity.
3 Ratchet & Clank - 85
Should we consider Ratchet & Clank to be a movie-based game? When it comes to the 2016 remake, yes, you could certainly make that argument. The game served as both a remake of the original game and a tie-in to the 2016 movie.
In a reversal of the typical proceedings, the game was critically lauded and is fondly remembered, whereas the movie was lambasted and quickly forgotten. The remake was a gorgeously animated, fun, and downright hilarious piece of work, and it reminded us just how fun a good platforming video game can be.
2 The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher's Bay - 90
Released for the Xbox back in 2004, Escape from Butcher's Bay served as a tie-in prequel to The Chronicles of Riddick. It's frankly amazing what this game managed to do back in its day. For one thing, it basically put Riddick on the map, as no one seemed to care about the character or Pitch Black before this game. It also became known as one of the Xbox's greatest games, thanks in large part to its gorgeous graphics. At the time, no other console game looked like this, except maybe Halo 2. It was both a great game and a technical showpiece, and it is an undeniable masterpiece.
1 GoldenEye 007 - 96
Ah, GoldenEye 007. Not only the greatest movie-based game of all time, but arguably the greatest video game of all time, period. Of course, the game has become dated as all heck and is borderline unplayable today. But this was unspeakably good back in the day. This game helped popularize first-person shooters and was easily the greatest game of its kind found on consoles. It also helped sell the Nintendo 64 and was seen as the greatest multiplayer game of its day, even besting the likes of Mario Kart 64. We should all bow to GoldenEye, because it is the King of the FPS.