Top 10 Movie Licensed Video Games

It’s a running joke within the industry that movie tie in games just aren’t very good. Well, here we try to prove some of that wrong with our favorite movie video game tie ins of all time.

10 Toy Story 3

Console 360, PS3.

Release Date June 15th 2010

Publisher Disney Interactive Studios

Developer Avalanch Software

Metacritic Score 76

User Score 8.9

A fun little game that took players completely by surprise. A direct movie tie in, that opted to avoid following the events of the film. This is a lesson for modern game designers in how to make kids games that can appeal to a whole spectrum of players.

Even adults who picked this up found themselves strangely drawn into its beautiful simplicity. Design a town and play with the residents. Players who felt compelled to could chase down bank robbers and help find Bo-Peep’s sheep, but the real magic came when you just messed around.

9 X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Console 360, PS3

Release Date 1st May 2009

Publisher Activision

Developer Raven Software

Metacritic Score 75

User Score 8.4

An enjoyable title. The story was generic and relatively uninteresting, but the mechanics and sheer brutality of the kills more than made up for any narrative shortfalls. Flying around the map chopping up your foes with big claws sprouting from your knuckles is great fun, and the added dynamic of killing everyone whilst avoiding their gunfire added an element of strategy that was most welcome. This game won’t win any awards, but those looking for good time smashing stuff up can’t go far wrong here.

8 The Lion King

Console SEGA Mega Drive

Release Date 8th December 1994

Publisher Virgin Interactive

Developer Westwood Studios

Metacritic Score N/A

User Score N/A

Simple in premise with a quality result. This side scrolling adventure included all the familiar faces of the movie, and incorporated them into a platforming experience that was just brilliant. Although the modern day graphics will put it to shame, it came during a period that the 16 bit era was really getting into its stride, providing a level of detail and character animations that were just unheard of previously.

7 Michael Jackson

Console SEGA Mega Drive

Release Date 1989

Publisher U.S. Gold

Developer Emerald Software

Metacritic Score N/A

User Score N/A

Used as the poster boy to the launch of the SEGA Megadrive, Michael Jacksons movie tie in game saw him storming around various levels, killing people with his dance moves and grabbing his crotch all in an effort to save the children from the bad guys. Leaving that thought there to linger in your mind, it’s also important to mention that this was one of the first console games to include fully digitised voices, a major step for the industry. In its day, this was one of the best looking and well designed games around.

6 Lego Star Wars

Console 360, PS3

Release Date 6th November 2007

Publisher LucasArts

Developer Travellers Tales

Metacritic Score 80

User Score 6.2

Stating a craze that appears to be showing no signs of abating, Lego Star Wars was and is a game that brings the hardcore and casual fan bases together. Deep enough for hardened gamers to sink their teeth into, but simple enough that anyone can play along. If you have kids and want to play games with them, then you really have to get into the Lego games, with the Star Wars iterations at the top of your list.

5 Aladin

Console SEGA Mega Drive

Release Date 11th November 1993

Publisher SEGA

Developer Virgin Games

Metacritic Score N/A

User Score N/A

This is one of the few game to film tie ins that, providing you like games, is every bit as good as the film. Great visuals, and a wonderful balance of gameplay that constantly kept things fresh. Those who have played the game before will undoubtably remember the challenge of the flying carpet level, a standout moment in many peoples gaming life. Anybody that wants to look back over the history of gaming should definitely get hold of this along the way. Sheer class.

4 The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay

Console Xbox

Release Date 1st June 2004

Publisher Vivendi Studios

Developer Starbreeze Studios

Metacritic Score 89

User Score 8.8

This game is brilliant, and to think that it;’s a movie tie in is astonishing. This is a brutal game with fantastic visuals for the time. Chronicling the main characters time leading up to and just after him getting that funky stuff done to his eyes, allowing him to see so well in the dark. The game has you breaking free from a violent prison where the guards mostly leave people to sort their own problems out. Soon enough you escape and are aggressively pursued around the prison interior as you make a bid for freedom. Want to know how the developers behind The Darkness games learned their trade? Start here.

3 The Warriors

Console Xbox, PS2

Release Date 21st October 2005

Publisher Rockstar Games

Developer Rockstar Toronto

Metacritic Score 85

User Score 9.2

A bit of a stretch to call this a movie tie in game because it was released so far after the original film, its coincidence with remastered the re-release allows it to make its way onto our list. Rockstar grabbed the franchise and brought it into the modern era with a brutality that far exceeds the film. Smashing players heads into walls and defending your turf against the quite honestly terrifying ganges is a blast. Let down by periodically shoddy boss battles is more of a product of the games era than it being a movie tie in. A personal favorite from the original Xbox generation.

2 Spiderman 2

Console Xbox, PS2

Release Date 9th July 2004

Publisher Activision

Developer Treyarch

Metacritic Score N/A

User Score N/A

Anybody that has played video games for any amount of time will have memories of this game. Probably not from the campaign, but from flying around the open world environment. Fantastic fun and a standout memory for most. Spiderman 2 was a major improvement from the first Spiderman, as it was the first time the franchise went open world. One of a small selection of open world games in its time, players were drawn towards the nice visuals and sheer fun that could be had from climbing as high as they could and free falling to earth only to swing off at the last moment. Doing this and finding collectables was easily the best part of the game.

1 Goldeneye

Console N64

Release Date 25th August 1997

Publisher Nintendo

Developer Rare

Metacritic Score: 96

User Score 9.1

No surprises to see this sitting atop the pile, however it commands such esteem in our hearts that theres just no way anything released so far can usurp Goldeneye from its rightful place.

Great visuals for its time and a solid control scheme were only part of the attraction. What this game was really about was the fantastic multiplayer component. Utilising the Nintendo 64′s then revolutionary four controller ports, friends would huddle round tiny televisions for hours and fight fiercely contested battles, until things descended into arguments at the end because someone had been watching your screen or cheated by using Odd Job.

Goldeneye didn’t really do anything new, but it brought the multiplayer deathmatch to the home console in style. Friends would become enemies, and a small but devout core of players used to invent their own games to be played in the multiplayer map. This is a game that any gamer worth their salt needs to have played.

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Yearly Iterations Of Video Games

They’ve now become a common staple of the video games industry, but are yearly iterations of franchises a good idea? Or do they stifle talent?

I suppose the most obvious answer would be yes they do (though I don’t necessarily agree with this). Companies, probably most notably Activision stumble upon a good idea, or popular game, then churn out title after title until theres no market left. Just look at Rock-band and guitar Hero, these games were initially very popular, most of us have at least one plastic guitar lying around gathering dust in a corner, but just recently we’ve seen a massive decline in sales, as the market either reaches saturation point, or people have just become sick of the games, leading to Harmonix being sold off recently for only fifty Dollars.

The most notable yearly iteration of them all, Call of Duty has now spawned vast numbers of games, and now were surely reaching the saturation point of the genre, and this can only be a bad thing of its fans, as sales drop, so will developer support, and naturally investment and talent being pumped into the genre will fall.

I also feel that the yearly releases of sports games are also interesting. Its well know that developers have plenty of ideas to implement on future releases, but they hold them back so that they have something to add next year, surely depriving it’s customers of the the ultimate experience?

There are however solid pros to this approach that some people may not have thought about, and the haters of this also need to take a look at themselves.

Today we live in a consumer driven economy, where supply and demand is paramount. These titles obviously sell, so why shouldn’t companies release these games? At the end of the day they’re there to make money, and not sit around for the fun of it. If you don’t like it, vote with your wallets, and don’t buy the games, but more often than not, these games are often quite good, even with the small incremental improvements.

I do however feel that that although the yearly iterations can become tiresome, and frustrating, especially at the beginning of 2011 we are looking at one of the best years ever in gaming, and most of what we see are sequels, the yearly iteration has a very important role to play in gaming today. The revenue that these games provide, may push publishers towards releasing more of the same type of game over and over again, but it also gives the developer a massive cash pile that they can invest in high budget new ip’s. If it wasn’t for games like Madden of Fifa, we certainly wouldn’t have seen games like Dead Space, or at least not with the polish and high production values that the game has today, and as a result we may have a watered down version with poor visuals, and gameplay. Making us much poorer for the experience.

So yes, enjoy your rant about publishers running games into the ground, its annoying and we all hate it, but sit down and enjoy LA Noir and tickle those 10 copies of open world sandbox games sitting next to GTA under the chin, because they’ve played their part brilliantly.

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Top 10 PS3 Exclusives (As Of Summer 2011)

Looking at the list below, it quickly becomes clear that the Playstation 3 has a very strong catalogue of exclusives.

A couple years back a big fuss made about the XBox 360 ensnaring the Final Fantasy and Metal Gear games, bringing them onto their console and ending the long run of exclusivity Sony had held over these titles on the home gaming market. Fortunately, the PS3 hasn’t suffered from these losses. Granted Final Fantasy was largely a disappointment to its loyal fan base, and theres been no sign of Metal Gear Rising for some time, but instead of wallowing in a vat of its own self pity, Sony have marched on. Garnering themselves what is arguably one of the strongest exclusive lineups around.

10. Little Big Planet 2

A class act. Taking all of the mechanics that were great about the first game and ratcheting it up a few notches. The LBP games have always been about the user generated content (UGC), and the tools available to the player in this game are utterly astounding. Creating cutscenes to go with a level, allows for a depth rarely seen before in UGC tools. Instead of making the same styled level over and over again, there have been racing games, top down shooters, and even football games created with the tools on offer. Put all this together with the same cute characters that we all know and love with the same innovation shown by the creators, and this game definitely earns a mention.

9. Killzone 2

Probably one of the first games that even began to show us what the PS3 was really capable of. Seeing this game when it first came out was breathtaking. Even by todays standards, it’s still one of the best looking games around. Although compared to other games of a similar ilk, the single player was nothing special, what was really fun about Killzone 2 was the multiplayer. Interesting match types, solid mechanics and tight controls made this one of the most fun and unique multiplayer shooters on consoles.

8. Mod Nation Racers

Continuing Sonys push to provide fun and engaging tools that will result in great user generated content. Mod Nation Racers was, and is the definitive karting game on the Playstation 3, and arguably on the current generation of consoles (Although many will disagree).

For karting game fans this game has it all, incredibly in depth kart and character creation centers, as well as a fun and intuitive track designing feature.

When this is added to the fact that the single player is extensive, multiplayer is fantastic, and the controls are easy to use and very responsive, theres just no way that this game can be left off the list.

7. Unchartered: Drakes Fortune

When Naughty Dog finished Drakes Fortune, it’s difficult to imagine they could have envisioned that they had just created one of the best new IP’s of recent times.

This game is literally brimming with quality. Beautiful visuals, encapsulating story, and interesting characters.

Having drawn a lot of Tomb Raider references upon release, the quality of the series has stood the test of time with the Tomb Raider titles now having to live up the the quality of its padawan. The Apprentice really has become the master.

6. 3D Dot Game Heroes

A Running theme of Playstation exclusives this generation is one of freshness, and that is rarely clearer than in 3D Dot Game Heroes. The artistic direction in the title is amongst the most beautiful there has ever been.

A clear throwback to the blocky history of the video game industry, there is nothing else like this game on shelves today. A story that’s incredibly reminiscent of Link To The Past, this game is the perfect title for gamers interested in playing titles of old, but are put off by the outdated visuals.

5. God Of War 3

For many, this is the most perfectly realised hack and slashed title out there. Bringing the main quest of Kratos to a close, players are catapulted around environments that are built on an unbelievable scale. There are few developers out there that are able to make the player feel such a sense of scale. Climbing up the side of enemies the size of buildings before tearing someone apart with your bare hands is an absolute blast. Not the most likable character in video games, but definitely one of the most fun. Thanks in no small part to the design and control scheme that hack and slash games will look to for inspiration for years to come.

4. Infamous 2

Building upon the success of its predecessor, Sucker Punch, learned a lot from the first time around. Keeping the things that made Infamous stand out, then adding a host of new features and elements that has and will win the hearts of many gamers.

Shaking things up, the environments can often be as dangerous as the enemies. Adding to this a set of characters that are interesting and often completely unpredictable, Infamous 2 is really one of the greats. If you like open world games, chances are you will love Infamous 2.

3. Heavy Rain

Although the mechanics and ideas behind this game weren’t completely new. Throughout a period of time in which it often felt as if the only game ever invented was the first person shooter, Heavy Rain was a welcome break from the norm. The odd plot hole didn’t detract from the fact that the story was for the most part utterly engaging. Filled with tension and suspense, this game had players on the edge of their seats, and very often caught up in the emotion of the characters. Suffering slightly from a slow start, that is perhaps a necessary evil to get the player used to the controls and acquainted with the characters. Make no mistake this game is one of the best, and should be played by anyone looking for something just a little bit different.

2. Little Big Planet

Just missing out on the top spot, Little Big Planet (LBP), is one of this generations stand out titles. Crossing the gap between casual and hardcore gamers, the cutesy look, and pick up and play nature of the game did enough to appeal to the masses, with the control scheme, varied environments, and near perfect music score grabbing the hardcore.

Kicking off the user generated content push that Sony has followed ever since, this game was a pioneer and will stand the test of time as one of this generations titles to remember.

1. Unchartered 2: Among Thieves

No surprises for guessing who is sitting in the top spot. Unchartered 2 is one of the best games of the generation. Any poor XBox owner that hasn’t experienced this title is sadly missing out. Easily one of the best titles of the last five years, Among Thieves became a classic the moment it hit the shelves. This game is best of its type, and every game looking to follow a similar path will be looking to this game for years to come. It is perhaps a testament to the quality of the game that the only title looking likely to knock it from its perch is Unchartered 3.

With that in mind, is there really any more to be said?

If you’ve played this game then you’ll know how much fun among thieves is is. If you haven’t, then go get yourself a copy right now. You will not regret it.

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