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Throughout the ’90s and into the 2000s, movie tie-in games were all the rage, with nearly every major movie release receiving one, and sometimes even more artsy films, like Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula. By the 2010s, the genre began to fade into obscurity with The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame being viewed as the last major tie-in game.

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Although these types of games are no longer being produced in the gaming industry, there are still countless great games available that are worth revisiting, many of which still stand the test of time.


Blade Runner

Released in time to coincide with the DVD release for the director’s cut of Blade Runner, Blade Runner the game is a fun stand-alone adventure set in the world of the film. Soon to be remade for the Switch, Blade Runner boasted extremely impressive 3D graphics for its time in 1997.

Characters from the original film appear in the game, played by their respective actors, including Rachael, Leon, Hannibal Chew, Tyrell, and J.F. Sebastian. Harrison Ford’s character, Deckard, also appears but he does not speak. He is sometimes seen in scenes from the film, as the game takes place concurrently with the film. Blade Runner is a super fun point-and-click adventure game that is totally worth checking out.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins Wolverine movie reviews

As excitement for Insomniac’s upcoming Wolverine game ramps up, 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine is certainly worth replaying in the meantime. Rated M, which was a departure from most superhero games at the time, Wolverine takes full advantage of the character’s violent, primal nature.

The game was developed by Raven Software, who had previously made the first Ultimate Alliance and the two X-Men Legends games. According to GiantBomb, Raven Software was heavily inspired by the gameplay of both the Devil May Cry and God of War games. The game has long been regarded as one of the best movie tie-in games thanks to its excellent gameplay and interesting story that somehow works better than the film it’s based on.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Return of the King poster.

By far one of the most iconic franchises in the world, The Lord of the Rings easily deserves all the hype. Based on arguably the best film of the series, Return of the King features very few cut-scenes, allowing the player to truly experience the events of the film. EA worked in conjunction with Peter Jackson’s team to make the game as authentic to the film as possible.

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Return of the King employs elements from RPGs and hack-and-slash games to create the perfect mix between the two. The game begins with the epic Battle of Helm’s Deep and then transitions from the second to the third film. It also allows players to play as almost every character from the film, making great use of the film’s multiple storylines. A great tie-in and just a great game in its own right, Return of the King is a throwback worth picking up again.

Die Hard Trilogy

Promotional poster for Die Hard Trilogy

Extremely unique and revolutionary for the time, Die Hard Trilogy made the very cool creative choice to differentiate each film by having each game feature a different style of gameplay. The first film plays like a third-person shooter, as John McClane looks to take back Nakatomi Plaza from Hans Gruber and his army of goons. Die Harder plays like an arcade shooter, similar to the popular Time Crisis games.

The third and final film (at the time) is a driving game, as McClane races against time to stop Simon Gruber’s bombs. The game does an excellent job at adapting the first three films of the series and keeps things fresh by having different styles of video games. Although quite dated, Die Hard is still a ton of fun to play.

Enter The Matrix

The Matrix’s whole premise of being in a digital world really lends itself to a video game. But many younger audiences have no idea about the great games that came before the new film. Enter the Matrix acts as a side-story to the second film, Reloaded.

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Initially criticized for not allowing players to control Neo, players control Jada Pinkett Smith’s character, Niobe, and the game takes place at the same time as Reloaded. The Wachowskis wrote and directed the game themselves, even filming cut-scenes for the game that were filmed back-to-back with Reloaded and Revolutions.

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Mad Max

Mad Max Game Title

Released alongside Fury Road in 2015, Mad Max really leans into the post-apocalyptic setting established in the film. Featuring a vast open-world environment, the game blends elements from the GTA, Batman: Arkham, and Shadow of Mordor games for the perfect mix.

A huge success at the time of its release, many look back at Mad Max fondly, as it perfectly understands and translates the world from the film. Developed by Avalanche Studios, Warner Bros made the best choice picking them, as their previous work includes the Just Cause series.

Star Wars: Battlefront II

Cover art for Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005)

Star Wars: Battlefront II is arguably one of the best Star Wars games. While the 2017 game left a lot to desire, the 2005 game launched with everything it needed already including iconic locations from both the Original and Prequel eras. The game has something for all Star Wars fans. Battlefront II also features an excellent campaign mode set during and after the events of Revenge of the Sith, showing the transition from the Republic to the Empire.

The game has even remained popular all these years later thanks to a never-ending amount of fan-made mods and maps. As of 2022, there have even been mods created to allow players to experience the Sequel era in-game. Due to its renewed success, Disney even reopened multiplayer servers in 2017.

LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game

One of three tie-in games released alongside Episode III, LEGO Star Wars remains the most iconic by far. Based solely on the prequel trilogy, the game really puts its LEGO medium to great use by adding the famous building technique and offering silly, slapstick humor for kids to enjoy.

Not just for kids, the game was also a huge hit among adult gamers too. While The Skywalker Saga offers many new features, LEGO Star Wars retains a simple, linear path that really works for the game. Overall, LEGO Star Wars is a great ride of nostalgia and still holds up to this day.

Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2 is single-handedly one of the most ambitious games of its time. Using a massive open-world environment that really encapsulates Manhattan and some of the best web-swinging mechanics, the game succeeds in every way. Mainly adapting Spider-Man 2, the game does veer off at points by adding Raimi versions of iconic supervillains from the comics.

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Spider-Man 2 has been viewed by many fans as the gold standard for Spidey games. The style of gameplay Spider-Man 2 used would go on to be employed in every future Spider-Man game. Although the graphics are a little weak by today’s standards, the gameplay still holds up super well.

Goldeneye 007

Viewed by many as the pioneer of first-person shooter games, Goldeneye 007 set a precedent for many shooter games, including Call of Duty. Set in the James Bond film series, Goldeneye allows players to control the revered secret agent as he investigates a secret criminal organization going against the Russians.

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From the fantastic soundtrack to the really fun stealth and the fantastic multiplayer, Goldeneye has everything for 007 fans. Guest characters for the multiplayer mode included past Bond characters, such as Jaws, Oddjob, Mayday, and Baron Samedi. A remaster of the game developed by original game-makers, Rare, was planned for the Xbox 360 but was canceled due to rights issues with MGM. Luckily, the build was 100 percent finished and can be played on PC and modded Xbox 360 consoles.

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About The Author

Aidan Joshua Wagland
(23 Articles Published)

Aidan Joshua Wagland is a freelance writer for Screen Rant. When not writing articles, Aidan loves to make films, play video games and just being creative in general. He lives in Montreal.

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