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Top Movie-Based Video Games for Exploring Cinematic Worlds

The most successful games are the ones that make for a truly immersive experience. Now, imagine if they would let you immerse in one of your favorite fictional worlds. Gaming titles based on blockbuster movies may be hit or miss. But those that let us roam freely within a spectacular universe we first saw on the big screen, always hold a special place in our hearts.

If you are looking for a new game to spice things up or want to know more about the best movie-themed gaming titles, here are our top choices.

1. GoldenEye 007

GoldenEye 007 was released in 1997 and was one of the most influential titles in the development of the FPS genre. It is definitely an oldie, but a golden one that is often cited as one of the best video games of all time. It is also credited with establishing the importance of consoles as venues for FPS gaming and for introducing more realistic gameplay and graphics. The only game to truly transfer the Bond universe on your console, it was first developed for Nintendo 64. It was so popular that it saw a 2010 remake also titled GoldenEye 007 – equally fun, but not as critically acclaimed as the original, which still holds a 96% score on Metacritic.

The game sees the player assume control of none other than James Bond himself. It features a single-player mode that sees 007 fight bad guys and executes tasks across different levels. These are often filled with gadgets and objects that were featured in the 007 film series. Multiplayer mode supports up to four players across five free-for-all game variants on a split-screen. The weapons that are available to the player range from traditional pistols and grenades to stylish submachine guns and throwing knives, while many of them are modelled after weapons that appeared on the screen.

2. James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game

When James Cameron’s new movie Avatar was released in 2009, everyone knew that it was going to be a blockbuster from the start. Until Avengers: Endgame hit the movie theaters in 2019, Avatar had remained unchallenged as the highest-grossing film all over the world for almost ten years. And its plot, which focuses on the colonization of a habitable moon rich in spectacular and magical fauna and flora, makes the perfect setting for a video game.

James Cameron is no stranger to creating blockbuster movies that inspire spin-off games. His iconic 1997 film Titanic that catapulted Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet into fame, has also inspired a popular free online slots game. The most recognizable elements of the movie make an appearance in the game, such as the Heart of the Ocean that leads to free spins and Jack drawing Rose as a bonus feature. The Avatar game also draws heavily from the movie, as the player is led through the lush world of Pandora. When starting, the player can choose whether to fight for the Na’vi resistance or the evil RDA. The choice leads to the story unfolding in a different environment, and showcasing different gameplays and weapons.

3. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

If there is one open world to explore, J. R. R. Tolkien’s Mordor is definitely the one. Shadow of Mordor lets the player roam around the gloomy and dark realm of evil Sauron, the main antagonist in the Lord of the Rings saga. The game’s main character is Talion, a Human Ranger, who wants to take revenge against Sauron for the murder of his wife and child. Talion connects with the spirit of Elven Lord Celembimbor, which enhances his skills and power.

The game has been praised for its immersive environment and the use of innovative tech. These include the Nemesis System that allowed NPCs, especially Uruks, to remember their interactions with the player and adapt their behavior accordingly. Even though the films themselves were based on the novel series, most of the visual elements of the game were based on their depiction in the Peter Jackson trilogy. The game also saw a sequel in 2017 titled Shadow of War that is equally great, if not better.

Roaming the worlds that exist only in the imagination of filmmakers is usually a guaranteed bet for games as graphics and immersive mechanics will take the front seat. And this is surely the case with our top picks.

Written by Dorothy Jones