10 classic films that would be great games

Every single movie made since 1981 has had a videogame tie in. It’s in the contract studio heads make with Satan when they’re hired: (quoting) “Thou must marketize every product unto its synergistic utmost or be pierced through thine hearte by a thousand shards of glass ad eterneum.” But a few among us know that the history of cinema goes back even further than that of the home gaming console, back even to the days before electricity.

As far back as the 1800s, Neolithic man was projecting crude images onto cave walls using nothing more than a whale oil lantern and his own sense of self-esteem. But it wasn’t until the dinosaurs became extinct in 1915 that cinema really took off, when DW Griffith released his racist agitprop musical “Land of the Lost.” Since then, dozens of so-called “talkies” have been produced in as many as 7 different languages. But since they were produced before the advent of home gaming consoles, videogame adaptations were never made. We’ve selected 10 movies we remember from film school that deserve to be made into videogames despite mostly being black and white (too old to be in color) and sometimes not even in English (made in another country).


Hitchcock, duhvs


The film: A tranquil Northern California fishing town is attacked by a horde of relentless, bloodthirsty birds. A horrific take on the timeless theme of Man vs Nature, as only Hitch could have done it.

Above: Punishment for transgressions!

How to spin it into a game: The Birds: Aviary Empire is an RTS where you build and command legions of birds against human defenses. Use your seagulls as shock troops while your ravens flank and your special forces owl units launch surprise attacks on human leaders. Once you’ve conquered Bodega Bay, keep going till you’ve conquered the world! Or, maybe just a simple Duck Hunt mod would suffice.

Above: F***ing dog had it coming



The film: A case of mistaken identity plunges a regular guy into a web of international intrigue in Hitchcock’s magnificent spy thriller. North by Northwest is laden with romance, intrigue and some of the most memorable scenes ever committed to film.

 Above: You could carve a national monument into Cary Grant's chin, if you were so inclined

How to spin it into a game: A NxNW game should have a cel shaded look and Heavy Rainy gameplay while maintaining its gripping plot that actually, you know, makes sense. Based on a tried and true story from the master of suspense himself, what could go wrong?

Above: Press X to live!


Cult Films


The film: Sexploitation flick Barbarella captured the zeitgeist of the late sixties in a way few films could. From the shagadelic sets to the LSD-laced costumes, Barbarella featured space vixen Jane Fonda at the pinnacle of her voracious nubility.

Above: Proto-hentai promotional poster for Barbarella

How to spin it into a game: Any idiot with a half a boner can see that Barbarella is the template upon which all female videogame characters are based.  So why not have BioWare craft a sexy RPG with loads of titillating dialog sprinkled with pithy post-feminist zingers? In Barbarella: Shattered Inhibitions, everyone (and everything) is a romance option! 

Above: An idea whose time has come



The film: One of the greatest blaxploitation films of all time, Blacula tells the tale of an African prince who is turned into a vampire by the nefarious Count Dracula and then 200 years later is set loose on the streets of Los Angeles by a couple of campy gay stereotypes. In spite of critical disdain, the film was a commercial success and spawned the sequel Scream, Blacula, Scream.

 Above: Yes, you can get a ticket for Driving While Blacula

How to spin it into a game: Palette swap Castlevania and you’re done.

Above: See, Blacula is just like Dracula except… oh, forget it. I’m going for a lie-down, see you on the next page 

Next page: Arty European cinema!


  • Monty151 - April 18, 2010 9:25 p.m.

    It seems that every time i read a new book or watch a new movie, gr puts it into their articles... lol
  • Moondoggie1157 - April 18, 2010 10:46 a.m.

    I have wanted a game based around Apocalypse Now for ages, I would kill for a decent game adaptation... The eerie jungles, mental instability, and of course the killer soundtrack. This must be done... SO sick of games set in WWII Germany and the middle east... bleghhh...
  • StoveToTheFace - April 17, 2010 11:52 p.m.

    lol those would make the worst games ever..
  • crumbdunky - April 17, 2010 12:10 a.m.

    I believe I might well have said a few of these(Hitchcock and Apocalypse Now for starters)in the Books to Film article's comments the other week! Sneaky cribbers GR! Who else have you been slipping ideas away from, mmm? Anyway, good article and there's a lot of sense, oddly, in some of the ideas for making the shift gamewards too. That said, I STILL think my idea for a game based on The Idiot would be superior to any film adaptations! It would be the most niche game ever made(with, like, me as the market)but I'd be happy.
  • ChillyGroundfly - April 16, 2010 9:45 p.m.

    Great article. Personally, I'd go further into debt to fund "Shoot the Piano Player" as an FPS or "Bicycle Thieves" as a sandbox-style title. How about "Rules of the Game" on the DS? Think Wario Ware: "Tap A to critique the bourgeoisie of pre-war France!" . . . maybe not.
  • barrage7667 - April 16, 2010 8:58 p.m.

    i mean SPARTACUS THE GAME!!! wow fail
  • barrage7667 - April 16, 2010 8:57 p.m.

    nah man... SPARTACUS THE MOVIE!!!
  • frmonth - April 16, 2010 5:28 p.m.

    Oh and btw I would only trust rockstar with making a le dolce vita game, I think they would be able to craft the enviroment really well.
  • frmonth - April 16, 2010 5:27 p.m.

    I would wait to the next generation of consoles or until graphics improve significantly before attempting to make a seven samurai game because the visuals are just so amazing at the end with the struggle in the rain. You would have to be able to pull it off amazingly to do the original any justice.
  • GamesRadarJoeMcNeilly - April 16, 2010 5:04 p.m.

    <3 battle royale - that would be awesome online with a bunch of other people forming/breaking alliances and fighting to survive =D
  • Tomsta666 - April 16, 2010 4:40 p.m.

    Barberella could make a decent game :D What about Battle Royale? The premise of that film could translate into a pretty good game. What do you think?
  • GamesRadarJoeMcNeilly - April 16, 2010 2:51 p.m.

    re: Seven Samurai - one of my all-time faves too. mifune is fucking amazing. 20XX made me weep like baby jesus. re: jeux - well, since they are micro GAMES use of the plural is acceptable re: Akira - yeah, there are already two "Akira" games, i linked to gameplay footage of each. my point is that an Akira game should look more like the NeoTokyo screens. on they namecheck both Akira and Ghost in the Shell as inspirations. re: Barbarella as Bayonetta - great idea! that would be smokin' re: Rebel Without a Cause - also a great idea! switchblade fight FTW re: dinosaur extinction - i dunno, someone must have edited the wikipedia page between when i looked and when you looked? i'm pretty sure it said 1915.
  • durpdeedur - April 16, 2010 1:53 p.m.

    Too bad Neotokyo is terrible. A bad CS:S rip-off that would only please fans of Ghost in the Shell. It has very little to do with Akira if I remember correctly.
  • philipshaw - April 16, 2010 1:02 p.m.

    Interesting article and a Akira game would be good
  • drewbian - April 16, 2010 11:21 a.m.

    nice article guys
  • Clovin64 - April 16, 2010 10:49 a.m.

    I havent seen any of these movies yet. Now I feel like I've wasted my life watching crappy modern movies (Boo!)
  • Kipper - April 16, 2010 10:25 a.m.

    @ JoeM : Ghost in the Shell games already came out on PS1 and PS2.
  • jmcgrotty - April 16, 2010 7:13 a.m.

    The most obvious (maybe too obvious) would be making a GTA-style Rebel Without A Cause. Fighting, racing, moral decisions and the second-hottest Nat ever.
  • McSpermie - April 16, 2010 4:50 a.m.

    A little off topic, but you have great taste in movies
  • JoeMasturbaby - April 16, 2010 4:31 a.m.

    Akira and Ghost in the Shell would be amazing games.

Showing 1-20 of 31 comments

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