As computer games are becoming more popular day by day, Hollywood is getting more into making films and series based on games. It has proven most Hollywood films that are based on video games are booming. Among them, sci-fi films based on video games are the best. It is not a simple task to make a video game into one of the best sci-fi movies. But directors are not backing away, and we are receiving more science fiction films than ever.
These Sci-Fi films are mainly for the fans of video games and sci-fi film lovers. But people enjoy watching a good science fiction film. You can be sure of one thing, as long as the film genre is science fiction and based on a popular video game, it will stay at the top of the list. Today, we bring you the best 12 Sci-Fi movies that are based on Video Games.
What are Sci-Fi Films?
Sci-fi or science fiction is a genre of films that use speculative science-based fictional depictions of unique events that are not accepted by mainstream science. The events are most likely impossible to happen. These events include time-traveling, alien invasion, extraterrestrial life forms, and outer space colonization. They often feature futuristic elements like robots, cyborgs, time machines, flying machines, laser guns, death rays, interstellar traveling, etc.
World-famous scholar and screenwriter Eric R. Williams identified Science fiction as one of eleven super-genres of films. Sic-Fi films usually focus on human philosophy and the socio-political condition of society. They can go beyond standard human capabilities and explore unknown phenomena and ideologies.
Though science fiction movies have become more prevalent in the 90s, it has been around since the silent film era. The first film of the sci-fi genre was A Trip to the Moon (1902), directed by Georges Melies.
Differences Between Science Fiction and Fantasy
It is hard to differentiate between science fiction and fantasy as they deal with unnatural and unrealistic elements. They overlap each other quite a lot, and a film can fall under both categories. There is even one genre called science fantasy that combines both of them under one title. However, there are some differences between Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Credibility: Science fiction films focus on elements of the modern world and involve scientific and technical elements to predict how they would develop. This genre has realism mixed with scientific myths or possibilities.
Fantasy uses supernatural elements as its driving force. Things like magic, magical creatures, dragons, monsters, and talking animals fall under this genre. We can say that the fantasy genre presents impossible things, whereas the sci-fi genre presents something possible in the future.
Environment: Sci-Fi films are set in futuristic environments and dystopian futures. We set fantasy films in worlds with mythical creatures where supernatural events are expected.
Compliance with Laws of Nature: The rules of nature often tie science fiction films down. But fantasy has no such restraints of nature over it.
Best Sci-Fi Films based on Video Games
Below are 12 of the best-known examples of sci-fi action movies that have been adapted from video games:
1. Mortal Kombat (1995)
5.8/10 44% 6.4/10
- Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson.
- Based on: Mortal Kombat.
- Budget: $18 million.
- Box Office: $122.2 million.
- Cast: Christopher Lambert, Robin Shou, Linden Ashby, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Bridgette Wilson.
Mortal Kombat is a 1995 American science fiction martial art film based on the popular video game series of the same title. It is the first film of the three-films Mortal Kombat series. The film features a group of heroes who will take part in an intergalactic martial art competition. It follows the story from the original 1992 Morta Kombat game while using some story elements from Mortal Kombat II.
The film Mortal Kombat was a massive success at the box office. It was the #1 best Sci-Fi film at the box office at that time. Mortal Kombat has a sequel released in 1997 and a remake in 2020.
Synopsis: For over nine generations Shang Tsung, a wicked sorcerer, has been winning the vicious hand-to-hand combat known as the Mortal Kombat tournament. If he succeeds in winning for the tenth time, he will become the ultimate ruler of the universe. Three warriors have been chosen to save the universe. They have to train and win the tournament against Shang Tsung and his minions. But before that, the warriors must overcome their inner demons and face their true selves.
2. Resident Evil Film Series (2002-2017)
- Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson, Alexander Witt, Russell Mulcahy.
- Based on: Resident Evil by Capcom.
- Budget: $288 million (6 films).
- Box Office: $1.233 billion (6 films).
- Main Cast: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Ali Larter.
Resident Evil Film Series is one of the best sci-fi horror films based on a video game. The film series has six films released from 2002 to 2017. We expect a reboot of the original film to release in November 2021. The original six films of the series are Resident Evil (2002). Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017). Milla Jovovich has played the lead role of Alice in all the films. The series was a massive success at the box office and earned over 1.233 billion worldwide.
Synopsis: All six of the film features Alice. She is a former security specialist and covert agent of the Umbrella Corporation’s biotech research company. The organization’s bio-weapons have caused a zombie apocalypse and turned almost every person on the earth into a zombie. She now stands against the Umbrella. Alice, with her team of special agents, tries their best to stop the organization and find a cure at the same time.
3. Tomb Raider (2018)
6.3/10 52% 7.0/10
- Directed by: Roar Uthaug.
- Based on: Tomb Raider.
- Budget: $90–106 million.
- Box Office: $274.7 million.
- Cast: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Tomb Raider is another good Sci-Fi movie that has treasure hunting mixed in it. They based the film on a video game of the same title. It is not the first movie that is based on the Tomb Raider video game. 2018’s Tomb Raider is the reboot of the original film series. Actress Alicia Vikander plays the role of Lara Croft in the film. Tomb Raider received mixed reviews from fans and critics. However, the film earned around 274 million at the box office, making it a success. A sequel of Tomb Raider is under development.
Synopsis: Lara Croft embarks on a journey to find her father, who has disappeared. She goes on an adventure to find the whereabouts of her father and the reason behind his disappearance.
4. Warcraft: The Beginning (2016)
6.8/10 28% 7.1/10
- Directed by: Duncan Jones.
- Based on: Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment.
- Budget: $160 millions.
- Box Office: $439 millions.
- Cast: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Toby Kebbell, Dominic Cooper, Ben Schnetzer, and Robert Kazinsky.
Warcraft is one of the best video games from Blizzard Entertainment. Director Duncan Jones decided to make a movie based on the popular sci-fi fantasy game in 2006. They released the film in theaters in 2016. The audience and fans of the game received the film positively. Warcraft: The Beginning managed to take home an amount of 493 million worldwide. The film featured a large cast and had some fantastic visual effects. The way the film ended, there is a possibility of a sequel in the future of Warcraft: The Beginning.
Synopsis: The peaceful kingdom of Azeroth is threatened by war as the realm is faced with fearsome invaders known as Orc warriors. A portal opens between two worlds, and two parties are faced with each other. One is on the verge of destruction, and another one is on its way to extinction. Two heroes are sent to the battlefield to each side. What will be the outcome of the battle in Warcraft?
5. Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
6.5/10 63% 7.2/10
- Directed by: Jeff Fowler.
- Based on: Sonic the Hedgehog by SEGA.
- Budget: $90 million.
- Box Office: $319.7 million.
- Cast: Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey, James Marsden and Tika Sumpter.
Sonic the Hedgehog is a comedy science fiction film based on SEGA’s popular video game series by the same name. Directed by Jeff Fowler, the film features Ben Schwartz and Jim Carrey. It is the first film of the film series, and a sequel is in the making. The film follows the cute blue Hedgehog from the game and a heart-whelming friendship. Sonic the Hedgehog was a massive success worldwide. The film grossed over 319 million US dollars.
Synopsis: Sonic the Hedgehog tells us the story of the world’s fastest blue Hedgehog, Sonic. It shows his new life on earth and how he overcomes different challenges here. Meanwhile, Dr. Robotnik, an evil mastermind, plans to capture Sonic and rule over the earth.
6. Rampage (2018)
6.1/10 52% 6.9/10
- Directed by: Brad Peyton.
- Based on: Rampage by Midway Games.
- Budget: $140 million.
- Box Office: $428 million.
- Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Naomie Harris, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, and Malin Akerman.
Rampage is a 2018 sci-fi film starring Dwayne’ Rock’ Johnson and directed by Brad Peyton. The film is based on the popular game from the Midway Games by the same title. The film strictly follows the game’s story with some movie improvisations here and there. Rampage was a massive success at the box office, earning the filmmakers a whopping 428 million dollars. The crew received praise from both the critics and fans.
Synopsis: Primatologist Davis Okoye shares an unconditional bond with George, a silverback gorilla. George is knowledgeable and shows love for Okoye. But a failed genetic experiment turns the timid gorilla into a devastating giant monster. To make things even worse, they discover that there are other genetically mutated giant monsters out there. These newly created giants now go on a rampage across North America and destroy everything on their way. Davis Okoye joins with a genetic engineer to find an antidote and stop the rampaging monsters.
7. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
6.6/10 37% 6.7/10
- Directed by: Mike Newell.
- Based on: Prince of Persia.
- Budget: $150-200 million.
- Box Office: $336.4 million.
- Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Toby Kebbell, & Alfred Molina.
Many of us had played Prince of Persia when we were children. It is no wonder that filmmakers would turn this fantastic game into a science fiction movie. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is an action-packed high-octane film. The audience with a mixed opinion received the film. However, it was the third video game adaption film that gained the highest revenue on the opening. The budget for the film was around 200 million. But considering the budget, the film didn’t do too well at the box office.
Synopsis: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time features Prince Dastan, a runaway prince who has become rouge. He joins forces with Princess Tamina, and together, they stand against dark forces to keep an ancient dagger safe. The dagger can release the Sands of Time, a precious gift from the Gods in the heavens that can reverse time and rule the world.
8. Assassin’s Creed (2016)
5.7/10 18% 6.5/10
- Directed by: Justin Kurzel.
- Based on: Assassin’s Creed by Ubisoft.
- Budget: $125 million.
- Box Office: $240.7 million.
- Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, and Charlotte Rampling.
Assassin’s Creed is a 2016 science fiction action film directed by Justin Kurzel. The film is based on the popular action-adventure game Assassin’s Creed by Ubisoft. The film was not received highly by the audience and failed to satisfy them. Moreover, Assassin’s Creed had a massive budget in the making of the film. But if you are a fan of sci-fi movies, you will enjoy the Assassin’s Creed movie. Despite the negative reviews, it has some fantastic visuals and action sequences. The film’s story is different from the actual video game and showcases new mythology in the making.
Synopsis: With the help of unlocked genetic memories, Callum Lynch can relive the life of his ancestor in 15th century Spain. During this time, Lynch discovers the secrets of the infamous ‘Assassins’ society. He gains incredible skills and knowledge about the assassination and is now determined to take down the oppressive Knights Templar.
9. Doom (2005)
5.2/10 18% 5.7/10
- Directed by: Andrzej Bartkowiak.
- Based on: DOOM by id Software.
- Budget: $60 million.
- Box Office: $58.7 million.
- Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike, and Razaaq Adoti.
Doom is one of the best Sci-Fi thriller movies loosely based on a video game by the same title. Andrzej Bartkowiak directed the film. Doom is one of the glorified video game films that take you on a full-on first-person shooter experience. It has a mix of action and science fiction that co-exist perfectly. Doom performed moderately on the box office and received missed reviews from the audience. The first-person sequences are well enough to please any Doom fan.
Synopsis: A group of Marine soldiers is sent to investigate a research facility located on Mars. But to their surprise, they encounter horrifying genetically enhanced beings upon arrival. How will they survive and return safely to earth?
10. Wing Commander (1999)
4.3/10 10% 6.2/10
- Directed by: Chris Roberts.
- Based on: Wing Commander.
- Budget: $30 million.
- Box Office: $11.6 million.
- Cast: Freddie Prinze Jr., Matthew Lillard, Saffron Burrows, David Suchet, Jürgen Prochnow, David Warner, and Tchéky Karyo.
Wing Commander is one of the best space sci-fi films based on a video game of the same name. It featured futuristic aerial warfare in outer space. The film has a large cast of actors in it.
The critics did not appreciate Wing Commander. It was rated 10% according to the Rotten Tomatoes review by 50 reviewers. Wing Commander performed poorly at the box office. It is the first film on our list that suffered a massive loss in the monetary section.
Synopsis: Wing Commander features space adventure with out-of-the-box special effects. The film follows the journey of a young crew who is the last hope for the planet. They come across a device that can shorten their route to earth, where they have to stop the menacing alien Kilrathi.
11. Super Mario Bros. (1993)
4.1/10 28% 5.3/10
- Directed by: Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel.
- Based on: Mario by Nintendo.
- Budget: $48 million.
- Box Office: $38.9 million.
- Cast: Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper, and Samantha Mathis
Super Mario Bros. is a science fiction live-action adaptation of the Super Mario video game franchise by Nintendo. Among all the characters created by Nintendo, Mario Brothers are the most popular. So, it is no wonder that filmmakers would turn the story of the brothers into an action-comedy movie. However, the filmmakers were not successful in satisfying the fans of Super Mario Bros. Because of its failure, the production company faced a loss. Super Mario Bros. is less of a film and more of an enormous screen video game performance by the actors.
Synopsis: Super Mario Bros. follows the story of the video game. The two Mario brothers are on a quest to rescue Princess Daisy from the hands of ruthless and dangerous President Koopa.
12. Ratchet and Clank (2016)
5.6/10 21% 7.0/10
- Directed by: Kevin Munroe.
- Based on: Ratchet and Clank.
- Budget: $20 million.
- Box Office: $14.4 million.
- Cast: James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Sly Stallone, and Jim Ward.
Ratchet and Clank is an animated sci-fi film based on the popular video game Ratchet and Clank. The film gives us an original story that is true to the video game. Unfortunately, it seems the industry has forgotten about the film. The film has a weird mix of the cast, including Sly Stallone, James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, and Jim Ward. The film may lack the overall charm and humor of the original title; it was enjoyable to watch.
Synopsis: When Captain Copernicus Qwark threatens the universe, an evil space captain, the world’s last hope is a mechanic and his trusted robot partner. Embark on a journey in the best sci-fi space movie with the duo.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is the Best sci-fi game?
Half-Life 2 is the best open-world sci-fi game of all time. Other popular sci-fi games are Portal 2, EVE Online, DOOM, Mass Effect 2, etc.
- Who is the best sci-fi movie director?
James Cameron is a Canadian film director. He is well known for directing The Terminator, Avatar, and Titanic. His other works are Aliens, Tru Lies, The Abyss, Ghosts of the Abyss, etc.
- Who is the most excellent Sci-Fi film director?
Stanley Kubrick, the director of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), is one of the greatest directors. 2001: A Space Odyssey is considered as the first modern sci-fi movie. His other popular films were Full Metal Jacket, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut, and Lolita.
- Are Vampires sci-fi?
No, vampires are under supernatural beings and fall under the Fantasy genre.
- Is Avengers sci-fi or fantasy?
Marvel’s Avengers is a fantasy film series. Though it has some scientific advancements like the Iron Man suit, fantasy rules the universe of the film series.
- Is The Terminator a sci-fi movie?
The Terminator (1984) is a science fiction action film, and James Cameron directed it.
- What is the first science fiction movie?
Le Voyage Dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon), created by Georges Méliès in 1902, is the first-ever science fiction movie. It was based on the works of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells.
Science fiction movies take us on a journey of technological advancement. You cannot but wonder what if those things showed in the films were real? Though not all sci-fi films based on science fiction video games are booming at the box office, they have a unique appeal. We have made a list of 12 incredible Sci-Fi Hollywood movies that you will enjoy. Would you mind sharing your thoughts and letting us know what do you think about our selection?