Believe it or not, there was a time when comic book movies were seen as a risky bet at best. Nowadays, superheroes dominate the multiplex, and it is hard to imagine the days of Batman & Robin or, even worse, Steel. For years, there has been a lot of speculation about when and how video games will someday become the next goldmine for film producers to search through. After all, the video game world is full of fantastic stories and unique visuals, the likes of which the cinema has never seen before. But so far, it hasn't happened. Though there have been a number of wildly successful game-to-movie adaptations, some better than others, the genre as a whole hasn't quite broken out yet.
But never say never. Many of the most popular video games of the 1990s have served as inspiration behind big budget flicks, but do you know which ones? You might have sunk hours of your childhood into that one game, but did you realize that they made a movie of it?
Now, it's time to test your knowledge. Get your controller ready. Pop some popcorn. Answer this riddle: Have These 1990s Video Games Been Turned Into Movies Yet?
Back in 1993, this was the little computer game that took the world by storm. Set in a distant future, Doom tells the story of an unnamed space marine who is assigned by the Union Aerospace Corporation to Mars. He gets there right in time to witness a catastrophic accident with the portal technology, that opens a gateway to hell, spilling out hundreds upon hundreds of demonic creatures. Now, that space marine is the only thing standing between Hell and Earth. Doom has spawned many sequels. But did they turn it into a movie?
If there was one other game in the 1990s that might have infuriated more parents than Doom did, it was Mortal Kombat, the infamously violent fighting game that included such "fatalities" as one character being able to rip the other one's spine out. Set in eighteen realms created by the Elder Gods, Mortal Kombat depicts a series of warriors who must fight to the death to preserve their distinctive realm, due to a threatened takeover by Outworld. Was a movie made?
Though less violent than the previous two games, Grim Fandango was no less... grim. Influenced by both classic noir movies and ancient Aztec beliefs about the afterlife, Grim Fandango is a story that takes place in the colorful land of the dead, where the souls of the recently dead must journey through before they reach the afterlife. The hero of this journey is Manny Calavera, a travel agent for the dead, who seeks to save Mercedes "Meche" Colomar. Oh yeah, and by the way, all of the characters are skeletons.
Duke Nukem 3D
The action hero of all action heroes known as Duke Nukem actually first introduced himself to the the world in a couple of really fun 2D platform games, but it wasn't until the classic first person shooter, Duke Nukem 3D, where he became a gaming icon. Duke 3D revolutionized the FPS genre thanks to a combination of innovations, unprecedented interactivity, dark humor, realistic settings, a character with a lot of personality who had dozens of unforgettable one liners... oh yeah, and pig cops. Can't forget the pig cops.
Metal Gear Solid
Inspired by the old 1980s "Metal Gear" games, Metal Gear Solid is a stealth classic starring a skilled special agent named Solid Snake, who must stop a terrorist attack by quietly infiltrating a hideout housing nuclear weapons, as well as freeing their hostages, and stopping a nuclear attack from occurring. Metal Gear Solid forces the player to sneak around enemies rather than attacking them directly, with realistic gameplay mechanics that have been imitated ever since. So did Solid Snake make it to the movies?
The Indiana Jones of the video game world is Lara Croft, first introduced in this 1996 action adventure. Lara is a talented archaeologist who goes on thrilling adventures around the world, digging into history's most mysterious secrets, unearthing ancient runes, and dodging death traps. Tomb Raider has spawned many sequels, and two separate reboots in 2006 and 2013, the latter introducing a younger, less experienced Lara. Lara's tomb-raiding adventures seem like a perfect fit for some big screen adventures, but has such a movie happened yet?
id Software's other big series, Quake, goes together with Doom like peanut butter and jelly (well, really gory jelly, anyway). Though Quake is one of the biggest gaming franchises, it never had a hugely consistent identity. The first Quake put the player in a creepy, Lovecraftian dimension. The sequel, Quake II, told the story of an intergalactic war between humans and cyborg aliens known as the Strogg. Quake III: Arena ditched the story altogether, but Quake IV went back to the Strogg war, and the series has stuck with the Strogg ever since.
Street Fighter II
Though Mortal Kombat probably edges this one out as the most remembering fighting game of the 1990s, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior is definitely a close second. This arcade classic pits the player against a slew of skilled fighters, each with their own techniques, before the grand finale, where you must face M. Bison, the leader of a massive criminal organization, and the wielder of the Psycho Power. It'd be interesting to see what kind of movie this might turn into, wouldn't it?
"Do a barrel roll!" is the legacy of this classic game, and it's a line repeated even by those who didn't play it. Star Fox is the name of a mercenary unit of animals. Their leader is Fox McCloud, but he's joined by Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad, and Peppy Hare. Together, they must defeat Andross, and prevent the conquering of the Lylat solar system. This means navigating Star Fox's spaceship through a wild array of hostile environments, dangerous terrain, and enemy fire.
This creepy classic from 1996 tells the chilling story of the Raccoon City Police Department's Alpha Team, who investigate series of strange murders, only to get attacked by monsters. The team, which includes such mainstays as Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, race to hide out in a nearby mansion, but only more terrifying creatures await them ahead: it turns out that the monstrous creatures are the results of illegal experiments performed by the Umbrella Corporation, and those experiments are getting out of hand. Resident Evil has spawned numerous sequels.
When aliens ate your babysitter, or you're worried that the universe might be toast, your best chance at survival is this football helmet wearing little hero. Commander Keen is actually Billy Blaze, eight year old genius, who uses his trusty blaster and pogo stick to save the universe from dastardly aliens, robots, Vorticons, and even his elementary school rival, Mortimer McMire. This is the game series that spawned the infamous "Dopefish." Though these 2D platforming games may look dated now, they're still just as fun as they ever were.
Grand Theft Auto
Newbies might have only hopped onto the GTA bandwagon when the three dimensional Grand Theft Auto 3 premiered in 2001, but old timers were thrilling to the car-jacking action way before that, in the first two games. The three settings of the original Grand Theft Auto would go on to inspire the later games: Liberty City, Vice City, and San Andreas. Considering what a huge deal Grand Theft Auto was in the video game world, and how much controversy it stirred up, there must be a film out there, somewhere?
Surely, if there was ever a game seemingly designed to spin off into a brilliant film, it's Half-Life. Set in a underground lab called Black Mesa, Half-Life is seen through the eyes of quiet scientist Dr. Gordon Freeman. When an experiment goes haywire, causing strange beings from another dimension to spill into Black Mesa's halls, Gordon (and his trusty crowbar) must fight tooth and nail to get out alive. However, behind the scenes, a blue-suited man with a briefcase is watching everything that transpires...
You gotta catch 'em all. The original Pokemon games premiered on the Game Boy in the 1990s, and introduced 151 species of Pokemon... which, yeah, you gotta catch 'em all. You can capture Pokemon, train them, trade them, and of course, set them against each other in a battle. That original Pokemon RPG game spawned more sequels than you can shake a stick at, and anyone who lived in the 1990s knows the word "Pokemon," whether they played the game or not.
At its time, Myst featured the most unbelievably dazzling and realistic graphics ever featured in a game. The player is an unnamed figure called the "stranger," who can access the strange and beautiful island of Myst through a special book. There, you must solve puzzles, and unearth the secrets of a dark plot involving two brothers named Sirrus and Achenar, the sons of a former Myst resident named Atrus. This world-bending tale continued in the game's equally beautiful sequel, Riven.
Rayman is a nice little guy with no limbs, and throughout the game, he gains a lot of wacky abilities, such as spinning his hair around like a helicopter, or swinging his armless fist like a boomerang, and punching out his enemies. Rayman uses these abilities to save the Great Protoon from the clutches of his dastardly foe, Mr. Dark, and thus save his land and restore the balance. Rayman had a lot of sequels, which have continued to this day, but if you ask us, the 2d original is still the best.
Warcraft: Orcs and Humans
Before World of Warcraft became the most talked about game in history, there was Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, a real time strategy game that allowed players to either control the humans or the orcs. The game played a lot like its successor, Starcraft, with a focus on maintaining resources, building armies, and battling opponents if they invaded. It was followed by Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Since those early days, the Warcraft franchise has expanded quite a bit, needless to say.
The village of Tristram has been invaded by demons from Hell, becoming a place of terror and ruin, and only you can save it from this dreadful fate. To do so, you must valiantly venture down below the town, deep into the twelve deadly catacombs, and the end of which you will enter the mouth of Hell and confront its deadliest forces face to face: Diablo, the Lord of Terror. Before you reach Diablo, though, you have to do a lot of hack-and-slashing. Since the game's release, there have been two sequels.
Rise of the Triad
Rise of the Triad is a great game for a lot of reasons, but for our money, the single most important reason of all is its featured "God Mode," where the planet shoots up to 15 feet tall, becomes invulnerable, and can emit energy blasts with a godly moan. There's also "Dog Mode," where the player shrinks down and becomes a dog, able to bite enemies. Other than that, this game is a lot of fun, with some "ludicrous gibs," and some serious shootouts. It was remade in 2013.
What happens after the end of the world? Fallout, that's what. In the year 2161, society has been destroyed, due to a nuclear war between the United States and China all the way back in 2077. Eighty four years later in California, a water chip breaks down in the underground survival shelter Vault 13 -- and this poses a serious problem. It necessitates that one of the Vault Dwellers must venture through the Wasteland in search of a replacement water chip. This gets that person in trouble with a band of mutant freaks...
House of the Dead
This arcade rail shooter pits the player against swarms of zombies. You play as Agent Thomas Rogan, who goes on a rescue mission to recover his fiancée, trapped in a mansion owned by Dr. Roy Curien. It turns out that the not-so-good doctor has been up to some pretty deadly experiments, resulting in the resurrection of countless monstrous corpses. You know the drill. Needless to say, if Rogan wants to save the love of his life, he'll first have to gun down every zombie in sight.
The Castle of Dr. Brain
If you want to become the assistant to acclaimed mad professor Dr. Brain, you'll have to work that noggin of yours pretty hard. Dr. Brain may be a bit absentminded, but he's still a genius, and his castle is positively loaded with confusing and bizarre puzzles that you'll have to solve, many involving logic games and (gasp!) math. If you do succeed, you'll then go on to the next game, The Island of Dr. Brain, where you begin working as his assistant. This means, of course, more puzzles.
If you thought the space station levels in Doom and Duke Nukem 3D were pretty creepy, then the System Shock games up the ante to a whole other level. A fusion of a first person shooter and a role playing game, System Shock puts you in the shoes of a hacker charged with breaking into SHODAN, an artificial intelligence that controls a space station. While the original game is a great game, the 1999 sequel is the real classic that everyone remembers.
Let's face it, we probably remember this game more due to the famous prank call trend than the game itself. But whatever the reason, Battletoads is an iconic game. Starring three anthropomorphic toads named Pimple, Zitz, and Rash, it's a regular beat 'em up game that is, quite frankly, kind of an obvious Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ripoff. Nonetheless, Battletoads was big enough to get a few sequels, as well as an unsuccessful animated TV pilot. But did a Battletoads movie make it to the big screen?
One of the first arcade fighting games to use true 3D graphics, Tekken and its sequels were a favorite among fighting game enthusiasts everywhere. Unlike many of its contemporaries, Tekken gave players the ability to use all four of their characters' limbs independently, allowing for incredibly innovate combos and fighting moves. The game's storyline involves a corporate businessman named Heihachi Mishima, who initiates a "King of Iron Fist" tournament, with a $1 billion dollar prize. However, one of the competitors is his son, Kazuya Mishima.
Don't mess with Lo Wang. Following in the footsteps of Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warriors is a satirical, gory combination of over the top stereotypes, violence, and interactive settings. It stars Lo Wang, a bodyguard for the Zilla Corporation. After Master Zilla decides he's going to take over Japan with an array of otherworldly monsters, Lo quits, and Zilla sets the monsters upon him. When the Zilla Corporation kills Lo Wang's old mentor, the battle for the future gets even more personal.
Elder Scrolls: Arena
Long, long ago, in the ancient days before such epics as Morrowind and Skyrim were even a glimmer in the eyes of their creators, there was Elder Scrolls: Arena. Originally conceived as a "medieval-style gladiator game," Elder Scroll was expanded by the addition of RPG elements, becoming an epic adventure where the player must first escape from a dungeon, and then recover mystical artifacts, in order to save the good Emperor Uriel Septim VII, who has been unjustly imprisoned in another dimension.
You want controversy? It doesn't get much worse than this series. While the original isometric Postal isn't half as nasty or lewd as its more famous sequel -- a game which infamously gave the player a urination key -- but it's still just as dark and morbid. Named after the expression "going postal," this game puts the player into the shoes of a mentally unstable man who believes that the Air Force is releasing a poison gas. He responds by engaging in a series of brutal, bloody massacres.
Sid Meier's Civilization
Like Risk? Then you probably love Sid Meier's Civilization. This turn based strategy game puts the player in the role of a mighty emperor, tasked with the assignment of taking a humble settlement and, over time, transforming it into a booming empire. The story begins in 4000 BC, and ends in 2100 AD, so you have a lot of time to get it together. As if conquering the entire world one time around wasn't enough, the game also spawned quite a few sequels.
Long before Pirates of the Caribbean took over the multiplex, adventure gamers thrilled to the high-flying, humorous, and wacky adventures of wannabe pirate Guybrush Threepwood, a nice guy who has a name that most of the other characters struggle to pronounce. Guybrush's attempts to woo his love Elaine Marley, lead him right into the clutches of the bloodthirsty undead pirate LeChuck. Usually, this somehow leads him to the mysterious Monkey Island. Like that other famous pirates series, this one also takes place in the Caribbean.
Need for Speed
Like driving cars? Like driving them fast? Would you say that you might have... a need for speed? Then this is the game for you. Released in 1994 for MS-DOS, PS1 and the Sega Saturn, The Need for Speed allowed players to satisfy their deepest speedy cravings on six tracks, including cities, coastal roads, and alpine trails, while being pursued by the police. With no real plot to worry about, the Need For Speed spawned so many sequels, that new ones are still coming out today.
Prince of Persia
Though the first game was released in 1989, Jordan Mechner's Prince of Persia series was beloved by 1990s fans everywhere. Drawing inspiration from the classic Arabian Nights stories, Prince of Persia told of a nameless prince with marvelous athletic abilities, who must save his beloved princess from an evil vizier. To do this, he must progress through countless death traps and horrific obstacles. The first game was one of the hardest games ever made, since the entire game was timed. In recent years, the charming remake "Sands of Time" brought new attention to the old brain.
In the year 2037, the police force is gone, brought down due to inner corruption. They have been replaced by private security officers, one of whom is John "Rusty" Blade, who is currently trying to get a new drug off the streets. Some of these private security officers patrol the streets, while others take care of their corporate employers; one of the more notable corporations that many work for is SinTek, a biotechnology firm owned by the mysterious Elexis Sinclaire, who might have a few dark secrets up her sleeve.
This game puts you in charge of a team of... um, worms, and gives you an intense artillery of crazy weaponry capable of totally deforming the entire landscape, which can range from beaches to mountains to Hell. These little worms are some tough little dudes, who know their way around machine guns, nuclear missiles, and more. The Worms series took off in a big way, with numerous sequels, allowing players to destroy one another's worm teams in increasingly devastating fashion.
Did Need for Speed not give you your fill of high stakes automobile action? Need something a little more... twisted? Instead of just letting you race cars, Twisted Metal allows you to go into full combat, taking on others cars with everything that you've got. The story, as it is, involves some ancient guy named Calypso, who every year puts out a Twisted Metal competition around the streets of Los Angeles, challenging all of the drivers to fight to the death. In their cars, of course.
Alien Vs. Predator
Sure, Aliens and Predators both came from the movies, but their franchises were entirely separate. It was the video game where the idea of combining these two monstrous titans was first popularized, and this now iconic pairing is, when it comes down to it, a direct response to the popularity of the games. The first of these came out in 1993 on the Super Nintendo, and more Alien Vs. Predator games swiftly followed in the arcades, on the Game Boy, and by the end of the 1990s led to a first person shooter on the PC.
The popularity of the first person shooter as we know it today owes a lot to this game, which predated Doom, and was inspired by the old 1981 game Castle Wolfenstein. Wolfenstein 3D puts you in the combat boots of William "BJ" Blazkowicz, an Allied World War II soldier who must escape from the Nazi's stronghold, Castle Wolfenstein, by using any weapons at his disposal. Though at first this means taking out a few Nazi soldiers, he soon has to confront undead mutants as well, leading to a final battle against Hitler in a robotic armor.
When it came out, Unreal was the most unprecedented graphical experience in any game of its type to date, and its engine become the de facto standard among first person shooters for many years. In fact, the engine really sparked more popularity than the game itself, though the game does have a plot that resembles James Cameron's Avatar, involving a tribal race of aliens trying to free themselves from subjugation. This game was soon followed by Unreal Tournament, a multiplayer death match FPS.
Wing Commander allows the player to take control of a brand new pilot aboard a Strike Carrier named the Wingless Claw. There in the cockpit, you must zoom through space and defeat your enemies, with high stakes, high-flying combat reminiscent of Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica. IF you succeed, you eventually get to lead an attack through the Venice system, and take down the Kilrathi High Command. If not, and if you don't do well enough... well, the sequels all follow this ending, so it happens anyway.
Alone in the Dark
There's something rotten inside the Derceto mansion. Playing as either Emily Hartwood or Edward Carnby, players must work their way through a haunted mansion full of creepy, unkillable creatures, starting in the attic. Can you find your way out of the mansion? It's going to be difficult, when you're just a human, and when you see the beasts creeping between the mansion's walls. Don't be fooled by the dated graphics. Back in its day, this was probably the scariest game out there.
Lighthouse: The Dark Being
In this game, you're a writer who's just moved into a new cottage, which happens to be beside a lighthouse. The lighthouse in question is the residence of a scientist named Dr. Krick, and his baby daughter; one night, Krick's experiments causes unforeseen consequences. You go to investigate, and are just in time to see the baby lifted out of its crib by some horrific being from another dimension, who then disappears in a portal to another dimension. If you played this game back when it came out, in 1996, the Dark Being probably gave you some serious nightmares.
Thief: The Dark Project
Get ready to get sneaking. Unlike those run and gun games that everyone knows, Thief: The Dark Project sold itself as a "first person sneaker," where the player enters the role of a thief named Garrett in a strange placed called "the city," which combines industrial technology and steampunk devices with mythological fantasy elements. The game's story shows a dark conflict between the City's three warring elements: the Keepers, the Hammerites, and the Pagans. This complex storyline weaves through a number of sequels, as well.
Caleb was one of the deadliest gunfighters in the Old West, but after meeting and falling in love with Ophelia Price, he took on a different path: he became one of the leaders of a demonic cult called the Cabal, dedicated to the monstrous lord Tchernobog. Tchernobog kills Caleb, deciding that he is no longer worthy... but the old gunslinger reawakens in the early 20th century, itching for revenge, and with his sadistic tendencies still intact. Despite the time period, Caleb still possesses the supernatural ability to quote movies from decades ahead, like Army of Darkness.
Dead or Alive
Dead or Alive is another one of those fighting games that were big in the 1990s, though this one had a particular emphasis on combatants who were scantily-clad women. There is a plot, though, involving a Dead or Alive tournament, that a runaway named Kasumi joins because she wants to get revenge against her evil uncle Raidou, a guy who crippled her little brother at some point in the past. Kasumi's entering of the tournament, however, makes her into a fugitive.
Simon the Sorcerer
Years before the famous Harry Potter was entered into Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizard, there was another boy wizard from England: Simon the Sorcerer. Simon is a regular kid who is carried away into a magical land, where he must rescue the good wizard Calypso from the evil wizard Sordid. Wacky hijinks ensue, none of which is helped by the fact that Simon is actually rather rude and unpleasant to everyone he meets. He also has to eat some nauseating swamp stew...
While everyone loves the dragons in Game of Thrones and The Hobbit, what about little ol' Spyro, the adorable purple guy who first met the world in 1998? In the original platform game Spyro the Dragon, Spyro must save his fellow dragons from a series of crystalline prisons that are stationed all over many different worlds. Spyro, if he succeeds at his quest, must then have a final showdown with his nemesis, Gnasty Gnorc. Has he flown onto the big screen yet?
When the villainous turtle Devan Shell starts causing problems, it's up to a green, gun-wielding rabbit with attitude named Jazz Jackrabbit to save the world, accompanied by his goofy little brother, Spaz Jackrabbit. Spaz is kind of zany, but Jazz is cool as a cucumber as he guns down any enemies in his path, in fast-paced side scrolling action reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog. Basically, the whole thing is a science fiction version of that old "tortoise and the hare" story.
A point-and-click horror game designed by Roberta Williams, the creator of King's Quest, Phantasmagoria tells the story of a mystery novelist named Adrienne Delaney who, with her husband, moves into a creepy old mansion. She soon starts having nightmares, and it turns out the mansion used to belong to a magician whose five years all just disappeared one day, after his black magic experiments summoned a demon into the house. This game was followed by a sequel named A Puzzle of Flesh.
Lots of games will have you fly a weapon-loaded spaceship above the Earth, but Descent is the game that lets you pilot it down into the Earth's core. You are charged with the important mission of going down into hot and dangerous underground mines, taking out each mine's reactor core, and then getting the hell out of there before the whole thing blows. Along the way, a bunch of robots will pop up to make your quest more difficult, if they can.
It'd be impossible to ever count the sheer amount of hours that so many 90s gamers invested in this little space based real time strategy game, made by Blizzard, where players must construct their bases and defend themselves from attacks by enemy factions. This is done within the backdrop of an intergalactic war between the Earthling-descended Terrans, the psionic Protoss, and the insectoid Zerg. Yes, that's right: if you've ever heard the term Zerg rush, this is where it comes from.