If you’re an OG gamer, your first foray into the world of gaming may have been spent in a noisy arcade, playing as Pac-Man, the hungry circle munching on delicious, golden dots while being chased by ghosts.
Or, if you were one of the lucky ones who had their own gaming device, you’ll likely be familiar with peering into a tiny, unlit screen. You might also be one of the many who fell hopelessly in love with the adventurous (and weirdly pointy!) original Lara Croft character.
However, you were introduced to the world of gaming, if you’re lucky enough to have been around since some of the first major video games first graced our bulky screens, you’ll probably remember when some of the world’s favourite games first made it onto the silver screen too.
Since the release of the Super Mario Bros live-action movie in 1993, films based on some of the best-loved games have been a staple of the movie world. That’s why the gaming mad team at BestCasinoSites.net have created the ultimate guide to the most popular movies based on video games across the globe. Does your favourite make the cut?
The Top 10 Most Popular Video Game Movies Globally
1. Tomb Raider (2018)
The most popular movie based on a video game may come as no surprise to those who fell in love with the Lara Croft game franchise in the ‘90s. However, it’s not the 2001 version of Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie that people are searching for the most online. We’re talking about the 2018 reboot, which starred a steely-eyed Alicia Vikander as a modern-day Lara Croft undertaking a perilous journey to discover the whereabouts of her enigmatic father.
As well as being considered one of the best video game movies of recent times by some, this movie achieved the most searches for 23 countries across the globe! This was the top searched video game movie for many European countries, including the UK. It even found itself as number one further afield, in countries across South America and Asia. Despite beginning the movie getting around on an old bike, it looks like she managed to travel pretty far after all!
2. Mortal Kombat (1995)
Taking joint second spot is a bit of an oldie. Another action-packed nailbiter, Mortal Kombat from 1995 was the most searched for movie based on a video game in 18 countries. In this not-so-family-friendly movie based on the Mortal Kombat game franchise, a group of heroes fight to save the earth from malevolent forces in the ultimate martial arts tournament.
Though this movie holds the title of being amongst the first to bridge the gap between gaming and the big screen, perhaps its most prominent achievement was spawning a generation of kids who perfected roundhouse kicks on their unsuspecting younger siblings. What can we say, children were just hardier in the ‘90s.
3. Monster Hunter (2020)
Speaking of malevolent forces, also in joint second is the Monster Hunter movie from 2020, which was based on the game franchise of the same name.
Although critics and audiences were a little divided, the movie certainly did pack a punch. After all, how wrong can you really go with the ultimate force to be reckoned with, Milla Jovovich, taking on the role of survivalist and monster slayer?
This video game based movie tied with Mortal Kombat, amassing the most amount of searches for 18 countries. This included South Korea, which is renowned for producing some truly stellar films and TV series of its own in recent years.
4. Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)
Coming in fourth, starring the guy who managed to make male-pattern baldness look cool, is Hitman: Agent 47. Based on the hit series of stealth games that centred around Rupert Friends’ killer-for-hire carrying out increasingly tricky murders, this film may not have managed to charm the critics, but it did come out on top for searches in 15 countries, including India and Israel.
5. Warcraft (2016)
Initially announced in 2006, World of Warcraft fans had a long wait on their hands, as this video game-based movie wasn’t released until 2016. Despite being utterly slated by critics, this movie somehow managed to cement itself as the highest-grossing video game adaptation of all time, raking in $439 million at the box office!
An achievement the creators of Warcraft can be more proud of, however, is coming fifth highest in our list, being the most highly searched game turned movie in 14 countries overall.
6. Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
Milla Jovovich is gracing our list yet again, this time reprising her role as Alice in the fifth instalment of the Resident Evil series: Resident Evil: Retribution.
Sharing joint sixth place, this movie came out on top for 11 countries, including El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.
7. Need For Speed (2014)
Despite starring Breaking Bad’s Adam Paul who was praised for his portrayal of Tobey Marshall, Need For Speed didn’t win over critics. Based on the series of racing games released by Electronic Arts (better known as EA) this movie adaptation came joint sixth in our list, with 11 countries, including Botswana and Zimbabwe, searching this movie more than any other game-based film.
8. Resident Evil (2002)
Appearing on our list for the third time, it’s every gamer’s favourite leading lady, Milla Jovovich. In eighth place, it’s the first instalment of the Resident Evil movie franchise, released in 2002. This was the best video game movie according to nine countries, including Canada and Iraq.
9. Rampage (2018)
Coming in ninth place, based on the game franchise of the same name, this science fiction movie centres around humanity’s fight against giant, mutated gorillas. Starring Dwayne Johnson, who, as always, plays a giant human, this movie received mixed reviews. It did, however, gross $428 million at the box office, and was the top searched for game-based movie in nine countries, including Ireland.
10. The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
Unless you’re a 12-year-old boy in 2010, you may find yourself in a bit of a flap over this game-based movie making the top 10. Heck, you might even want to furiously tweet about it. In case you haven’t worked it out, taking the final spot is the 2016 Angry Birds movie, which is the only phone-based game to make our movie list!
It was the best video game-based movie according to search volume in six countries, including Ecuador and Cambodia.
The Top 10 Most Popular Video Game Movies by Continent
While all of these game-based movies have achieved the high honour of being the most searched in numerous countries, some of the movies on our list go one step further—with four of them coming out on top for entire continents!
The top dog when it comes to conquering continents (eat your heart out, Genghis Khan) is Mortal Kombat, which beat the other entries into submission and came out on top for three whole continents; North America, South America and Oceania.
Lara Croft proved to be the key to the hearts of Europeans, with Tomb Raider being the most popular game based movie in Europe. Those in Africa certainly demonstrated a Need for Speed, with the 2014 movie being their number one pick; and finally, we have Hitman: Agent 47 coming out on top overall in Asia. Going off these results, It’s pretty fair to say that the world as a whole is a sucker for an action-packed gaming movie with a gutsy protagonist.
Has your favourite game made it to the big screen yet? If not, you may be in luck. There are currently heaps of game-based movies in the works, set for release in 2022 and beyond. So keep those eyes peeled for the likes of Borderlands, Mass Effect, and even Five Nights at Freddy’s.
BestCasinoSites.net sought to find out the most popular video game movies across the world.
To do this, BestCasinoSites.net utilised Rotten Tomatoes’ ‘49 video game movies ranked by Tomatometer’ as a suitable seed list.
Titles released within the last 12 months were omitted from the study to avoid unfair search rankings due to popularity.
BestCasinoSites.net used Ahrefs to collate search volumes for every country (on average per month) by scraping data for each movie.
Care was taken to translate each search query, but most queries didn’t return any results, so most are in their English counterparts.
Search volume data for every country was recorded to determine every country’s favourite. All data was ranked.
Dominica, Djibouti, Andorra, Bermuda, Samoa, American Samoa, Greenland, Benin, Jersey, Guernsey and Gibraltar were excluded from the study due to having zero search results.
All data was collected on 22/06/2022 and is subject to change.