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Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie
Ubisoft | PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube, PC
From its thunderous opening to its hidden alternate ending, King Kong grabbed us by the balls and then squeezed every time we tried to go do something else. It kept us on our toes constantly, forcing us to find innovative uses for spears while under constant threat from giant bugs and dinosaurs. It was so intense that, by the time we actually got to play as the big ape himself, it was a relaxing breather by comparison.
What makes King Kong especially noteworthy is that it's the first movie game in which the film's director actually had significant creative input. It was famously reported that - in addition to being closely involved with the game's design himself - Peter Jackson hand-picked Ubisoft's star designer, Michel Ancel (Rayman, Beyond Good & Evil), to turn Jackson's vision into a game.
The result was a cinematic thrill ride that started with a thunderclap on Skull Island and immediately brought you face-to-face with everything from giant centipedes to screaming mutant carnosaurs. If you were lucky, you might be able to take on the latter with a tommygun instead of a sharp hunk of bone, but the real key to victory was figuring out how to use the game's puzzles and environments - often one and the same - to your advantage.
While some may argue King Kong isn't really the best movie-to-game adaptation, it's easily the smartest and the prettiest, and it's overall one of the most immersive games ever made. It also gave us a profound respect for the sharpened stick as a sturdy, versatile weapon, and how many other games can claim that?