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3 Great Action Films That Never Got Great Games

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There appears to be a bit of a revival for video games based on major movies lately. It’s not that these types of games ever really went away, but with the rise of so many terrific action franchises, from Call Of Duty to Assassin’s Creed, there hasn’t been as much of a need for cinematic material as the foundation of a video game. However, this appears to be changing somewhat.


Star Wars: Battlefront has become one of the bigger franchises in console gaming, and as we recently noted, it’s only going to get bigger. Telltale Games has excelled largely by adapting series that are already familiar to fans through television and cinema. And Marvel is supposedly on the cusp of a whole new lineup of games that will inevitably be associated with its blockbuster movies, beginning with a Spider-Man title in 2017.

It’s a nice development in gaming, but it also makes you think back to all the great action and adventure movies that never really made it in gaming. If you took the time for it, you could make a pretty thorough list of films that belong in this category. But just for fun, we singled out three.


Gladiator came out back in 2000, and in an alternate universe it’s easy to imagine it sparking a whole wave of hand-to-hand combat games set in ancient settings. The idea of controlling Russell Crowe’s legendary Maximus character in the Roman Colosseum is an appealing one to just about everybody who enjoyed the film, and there would have been very natural story and multiplayer modes. Unfortunately, such a game never materialized. The only lasting interpretation of the 2000 movie in gaming comes in the form of a slot machine that was allowed to use characters and original music from the film to liven things up. Described as possessing the same ancient Roman theme as the movie, the game is a nice homage, and certainly makes for a more interesting online slot reel. But it’s not quite the action-packed Gladiator experience some would probably still love to see.


Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino’s bizarre alternate history of World War II is still one of the most violent and exciting movies of the past decade or so, and would have been a blast in any kind of playable format. It’s not a stretch to say modern gamers would absolutely love to take up a role as a Nazi-hunting soldier rampaging through Germany and ultimately taking on Hitler himself. For whatever reason, this game just never materialized. Back in 2011 a new installation in the Brothers In Arms series was described as “basically” Inglourious Basterds, and it shared some of the absurd characteristics, but it wasn’t quite the same. A console game actually based on this movie would have been a massive hit, if done correctly.


John Wick

John Wick is a more recent movie, and there’s a sequel on the way, so there could still be hope for a major gaming adaptation. The film definitely deserves one after bringing us some of the most unique shoot-em-up action to hit the big screen in years. A dark, unsettling atmosphere, countless anonymous bad guys to take down, and a brand of firearm combat almost like a form of martial arts would have made for a terrific game. Evidently, there’s actually a VR experience on the way, so we’ll have to see if that winds up doing the movie justice. In the meantime, a regular console game would do just fine!