Become Your Favorite Character: Best Games Based on TV and Movies

Out of all the games available, movie- and TV-based games get some of the worst reputations as being nothing but money grabs, since many are merely poor replications of their predecessors. It’s true there are plenty of rushed, badly polished games out there even your 5-year-old brother won’t play. When a game developer does the movie/TV genre right, however, it makes up for all of the pain from the time you tried to play the “ET” game on Atari. While you’re waiting for the next-gen console war to start in earnest, check out these five movie and television tie-ins that are as good as, or better than, what they were based on.

‘The Tudors’

“The Tudors” is a popular Showtime series that captures the intrigue of medieval Europe. This concept is captured well in one of many downloadable games that is formed with an eye-catching hidden object game that puts you in the shoes of a spy for Henry VIII. You make your way through locations based on the show, finding out who is plotting against the throne and how to stop them.

‘Lego The Lord of the Rings’

“Lego The Lord of the Rings” is a great example of how to do movie-tie ins correctly. This Lego rendition, along with other projects the team has created, adds tongue-in-cheek humor to make the movie adaptations memorable without trying too hard to stay true to the source material. The gameplay has many platformer elements and collection goals, plus lots of charm. It’s one of the few games these days that focuses on local co-op play, so you can have someone else join you on your journey.

‘The Walking Dead’

“The Walking Dead” started out as a comic book series before finding a home on TMC. Telltale Games ended up getting the game license to make episodic games that are critically acclaimed. Instead of following the plot of the show, you take control of an original character who explores the show’s world. Crafting the game like this was a great way for the game developers to avoid diehard fans who might say particular characters aren’t properly captured in the game. You fight to survive in a harsh, zombie-filled world, where sometimes you’re safer with the zombies than the other human survivors.

‘Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay’

“Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay” takes on the role of a prequel to the movie “Pitch Black,” and it is one of the best movie tie-ins to hit the gaming world. The title features unique gameplay, with a focus on first-person shooting, stealth, and hand-to-hand combat. Gamers are in the shoes of Riddick and have to get out of the worst jail in the universe, preferably in one piece. Not only is this an excellent take on the “Pitch Black” movie universe, it was good enough to be put into the official story canon for the series. There aren’t many games that have managed that kind of distinction.

‘GoldenEye 007’

“GoldenEye 007” is the first game most people think of when it comes to stellar movie adaptations. This James Bond adventure not only stands at the top of the movie tie-in heap, it is also one of the best first-person shooters around. This one-two punch was made possible by a focus on superb gameplay, along with a multiplayer mode that wore out many controllers. It strayed from typical first-person shooter games of the time it was released (1997) by placing a heavy emphasis on the story and stealth mechanics. It also did a great job honoring the source material.

If you’re looking for some other games to get into after you finish these, take a look at our top selections from 2012.

What is your favorite game based on a movie or TV show? Share it in the comments.

~Gregory Halloway

Greg is a dad and mobile app developer who writes about the tech world from his home office in Portland, Maine.