The Top 10 Movies We Wish Were Video Games

April 9, 2010

Every once in a while, a film comes along that is so compelling in one way or another, you wish you could immerse yourself in its world and take on the roles, situations, and surroundings that help define it. The video game and film industries have started to capitalize on this as of late, but over the years, there’ve been a handful of overlooked candidates that really should have made the leap into the interactive realm.

10. A Clockwork Orange

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Fancy a little...ultra violence? Stanley Kubrick's over-the-top masterpiece on the human condition takes a decidedly twisted look at the teenage wasteland of sex, drugs, art, and angst.

Might be tricky to get this one past the ESRB, but with the copious amount of high speed reckless driving, rapes, bludgeonings, and general mayhem, set to the tune of a surreal, slightly dystopian - yet strangely familiar - future, this one would surely be a hit with the kids.

9. Vanishing Point

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A man. A muscle car. And a whole lot of speed. Vanishing Point is like Cannonball Run through the eyes of a sociopath. You are Kowalski, a decorated war vet and former race car driver on a mission to get his delivery - a 1970 Hemi Challenger - from Denver to San Francisco no matter what it takes. Constantly pursued by the cops and surviving on fistfuls of benzedrine, getting the package there on time is your one and only focus.

Just imagine the cops-n-robbers style multiplayer matches you could do with this. Real-time challenges with cop cars piloted by other players. Drag races across the Nevada desert. Teaming up with sympathizers to take down The Man. Pure awesome.

8. Hard Ticket to Hawaii

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Bringing together bikini girls with machine guns, ninjas, drug kingpins, bazookas, and a hungry, giant snake on a plane (really) into one movie would be quite a feat for most films, but b-movie cult classic Hard Ticket to Hawaii does it with ease.

As a video game, we'd be treated to action-packed and decidedly varied gameplay: From jeep vs. helicopter combat and snake fighting, to blow up doll skeet shooting - the possibilities are really endless with this one. 

7. They Live

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John Carpenter's '80s dark comedy-meets-science fiction cult classic, They Live prays on fear that the aliens are already among us in disguise, using subliminal mind control to take over the world. But one man, armed with a special pair of glasses and a metric ass-ton of attitude, can see the truth, and the aliens' mind control devices have no effect on him. His mission is to free as many people from mental slavery as he can, and take out as much alien scum as possible while he's doing it.

While They Live has never been turned into a video game, there have been a number of games which have "borrowed" some of the style of the film for own purposes (we're looking at you, Duke Nukem 3D). But there's never been a fully-realized They Live in the video game realm, and it's high time we got one.


6. Escape from New York

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In the dystopian future world of 1997, Snake Plissken is an ex-soldier turned outlaw in the now prison-state of Manhattan Island in New York. World War III has taken a heavy toll. The city is ran by street gangs and the unwritten law is that it's every man for himself in this urban wasteland.

The President, while on his way to a summit meeting aboard Air Force One, is forced to eject from the plane in an escape pod when terrorists take control of the plane and crash it into Manhattan. He survives, but is taken hostage by street thugs who threaten to kill him unless all military personnel leave Manhattan.

Snake, a new arrival to the island, is offered a deal: Get the president back, get your freedom. The catch? He only has 24 hours to do it.

With urban combat in a sprawling post apocalyptic New York, endless armies of merciless street gangs, car chases, land mines, military hardware, and hostage rescue, this one is a no-brainer for the video game treatment. So where is it?

 

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5. Dirty Harry

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In 1970s, San Francisco seemed to be a breeding ground for badass cops who didn't play by the rules and got the job done their own way. The most notorious of these crime fighters would have to be Harry Callahan, and his trusty Smith and Wesson revolver.

While tracking serial killers and other types of sadistic lunatics, Harry always seemed to have a knack for finding himself right outside a robbery in progress or other crimes which gave him a chance to exercise his special brand of justice.

Dirty Harry was actually well on its way to becoming a game for current-generation consoles, with Clint Eastwood involved with both the voice acting and on the creative front. However due to "trouble" at The Collective, the developer in charge of creating the title, the game never saw the light of day, and it was officially canceled in 2007. A travesty, indeed, but one that could be easily rectified by another developer picking up where The Collective left off and finally giving us an awesome Dirty Harry game.

4. Point Break

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As a former football star and rookie FBI agent, you, Johnny Utah, have been placed in charge of finding the guys responsible for a string of bank robberies perpetrated by a gang calling themselves The Ex-Presidents, who also happen to be avid fans of surfing, partying, and other forms of extreme behavior.

From the crazy night surfing and the tense bank robberies to the point-of-view camera chasing the robbers through suburban neighborhoods, Point Break basically is a video game already. It would be like a modern day combination of T & C Surf Design, NARC, and Chase HQ. Just try convince yourself that wouldn't be...radical

3. Road Warrior

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Road Warrior, the second entry in the Mad Max series, is the high-water mark for many fans. Can you blame them? In a post-apocalyptic world, now with nothing to lose since his entire family was murdered, shotgun-wielding and leather-clad ex-cop Mad Max spends his time in a badass supercharged Ford Falcon, dishing out justice to misanthropes on the battle-scarred highways of Australia and living off the land. And somewhere along the way, he reluctantly becomes a town's only hope against a gang hell-bent on pillage.

We did get a taste of this world in an overhead style game for the NES way back in 1990, but it's high time for a fully fleshed out modernized version. Think equal parts Fallout 3 and Burnout: Revenge.

2. Pee Wee's Big Adventure

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At its essence, Pee Wee's Big Adventure is about a boy and his beloved bike. But it's also about a vast conspiracy, ninjas, bloodthirsty biker gangs, Godzilla, Large Marge, secret microfilm, and much, much more.

Imagine the old Sierra point-n-click games like the Space Quest series, but given in a 21st century booster shot and wrapped around the twisted mind of Tim Burton, and you have the recipe for an absolutely epic adventure game.

 

1. Blade Runner

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Though Blade Runner has actually had a video game adaptation in the past, it was a point-and-click adventure--a genre with limited relevance today. It's kind of hard to believe that Ridley Scott's cyberpunk masterpiece hasn't been turned into an action adventure already. Based loosely on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick, Blade Runner is far more than a generic '80s sci-fi flick.

Against the backdrop of an amazingly detailed and beautifully dystopian landscape of Los Angeles in the year 2019, Blade Runner lives in its own fully realized world. A complex and unforgiving film, it is equal parts existential turmoil, action, sex, and violence. And that is one of the reasons Blade Runner stands out in the crowd. 

Of course, a paint-by-numbers sci-fi shooter wouldn't do this film justice. Perhaps a gameplay combination of something like Heavy Rain and Borderlands would be more appropriate. Either way, this is a world I want more of--a lot more.

 

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