Uncharted, Tomb Raider, and more: The Biggest Game-to-Movie Adaptations

Photo by NikSonFik on Pixabay

Everything Tom Holland has touched recently has turned to gold. After Spider-Man: No Way Home broke numerous records, the British actor is back at the top of the box office with the release of Uncharted.

Reviews may have been mixed but the numbers don’t lie: fans are going wild for Holland as Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan in the latest popular game franchise to be adapted for the silver screen.

To mark Uncharted’s successful transition into movies, here are some of the most iconic games that were given the Hollywood treatment – some more successfully than others.

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider is more than just a game series – after the roaring success of the first game more than 25 years ago, it has transformed into a cultural phenomenon and expanded into a media franchise. There are comics, novels, a television series, and even a Tomb Raider casino game that can be played at many of the best online casinos. Then, of course, there is the movie franchise spanning three films, which has so far grossed more than $700 million at the worldwide box office.

Reviews for all three films – the first in 2001 starring Angeline Jolie – were mixed, although the studios won’t care one bit, considering how much money the franchise has made them.

Warcraft

One of the best examples of critical reviews having little influence on movie-goers, Warcraft is the highest-grossing game-to-movie adaptation in history, accumulating around $440 million at the worldwide box office (although it could eventually be surpassed by Uncharted).

It certainly helped that the film had an in-built audience of millions, such is the enormous fanbase of the Warcraft games spanning different generations and dating back to the first release in 1994.

Warcraft assembled a strong cast, too, led by the Vikings star Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper, and Ben Foster.

Rampage

A game series that goes back more than 35 years, Rampage finally received the movie treatment in 2018 and was another smash hit commercially, raking in almost $430 million in the global box office.

Starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Rampage received generally favorable reviews, with Johnson and his co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead’s Negen) earning praise along with the movie’s action sequences and special effects.

Of course, Rampage was never going to win any Oscars, but it was a good popcorn movie and definitely deserved its success.’

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Although the Prince of Persia game series was popular enough prior to its movie adaptation, the release of The Sands of Time in 2003 sent it over the edge. Lauded as one of the greatest games ever made, The Sands of Time was a critical and commercial success, selling more than 14 million copies worldwide.

Seven years later, the inevitable movie adaptation came along starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan. Its reception was largely underwhelming with critics, but it was a major hit with the fans, who ensured it became the fourth-highest grossing game-adapted movie of all time with its $336 million earned.

Need for Speed

Need for Speed has been a flagship title for Electronic Arts since the game’s first release in 1994 and the franchise’s popularity has endured for more than 25 years.

The movie adaptation came along in 2014 and starred the Breaking Bad star, Aaron Paul. Adapting a game that doesn’t have an in-built storyline can be a challenge, and so it proved for the creators of Need for Speed. The movie did well at the box office, grossing more than $200 million, but it was panned by critics for its plot and direction.

Sonic the Hedgehog

One of the most famous games in history and a vital part of Sega’s arsenal in their console war with Nintendo in the 1990s, Sonic had been introduced to TV screens with animated shows in the past, but it wasn’t until 2020 that it received a live-action adaptation.

The movie’s journey toward its release was a rather rocky one. After its first trailer, released amid heightened anticipation, the movie was panned by critics and fans over Sonic’s look. The film was scheduled for release in 2019 but was pushed back by three months to allow Sonic to be redesigned.

Once Sonic the Hedgehog was released, starring Jim Carey and James Marsden as the voice of Sonic, it proved a big commercial hit and received mixed critical reviews – a rather regular outcome for many game adaptations. Two more Sonic movies are in the pipeline.

Resident Evil

The Resident Evil game franchise has made a massive impact on gaming culture, leading the way for a new genre of survival horror video games. Since its first release in 1996, there have been 28 Resident Evil games in total (including remakes and upgrades), with the latest title due out this year.

It has also been a prolific franchise on the silver screen: Resident Evil’s seven movie releases make it the largest game-to-movie franchise – and has grossed a total of more than $1.14 billion, it’s little wonder Sony has kept pumping them out.

Of course, some have been better and more successful than others, with 2017’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter being the most lucrative, having accumulated more than $312 million.

Written by
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  1. You forgot Silent Hill

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