In modern times, we’re accustomed to seeing any action and/or adventure movie translated into some kind of gaming experience. At the least, this means an iOS or Android counterpart featuring playable scenes from the film upon which it’s based, and at most it means a full-on video game experience for a console.
But over the years, and particularly before the spread of mobile gaming, a lot of major action and adventure movies inspired games that were more or less overlooked. Here are five such games you may never have even realized you missed.
1. Disney’s Aladdin
It might not be the most politically correct position to take, but a lot of people (at least that I’ve talked to) have always blindly assumed that the Prince of Persia franchise is the closest we ever came to a genuine Aladdin action game. Well, it wasn’t! Disney’s Aladdin for Sega Genesis was a true, movie-based platformer that actually played relatively similar to the original Prince Of Persia, but it used genuine movie material. In fact, in ranking this game as the ninth best movie-based video game ever, this list revealed that it was actually drawn by the same artists who helped animate the movie.
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge
That’s right: there was a video game made as a follow-up to Tim Burton’s beloved stop-motion Halloween/Christmas crossover film, and it actually wasn’t half-bad. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge came out in 2005 for Xbox and Playstation systems, and rather than simply rehashing the events of the movie, it was presented as a kind of playable sequel. It was no secret that the gameplay was basically exactly the same as that of Devil May Cry, though the presence of Burton’s playful skeleton characters still gave it a unique flavor.
3. Gladiator Slots
A lot of movies made these days ultimately have their titles and characters licensed to online casinos for the creation of slot and arcade games. In fact, this genre is right alongside app arcades in producing popular accompanying games for new action and adventure movies. But it’s kind of strange, to say the least, that a slot arcade based on the 2000 film Gladiator is still common alongside games based on Marvel and DC comic films. This platform describes the game as “a must for any fan of the beautifully shot Gladiator film,” and it really is a fun little throwback. Musical themes, characters’ faces, and even a few short movie clips from the film are all worked into the experience.
4. Space Jam
One of the most famous and widely adored sports movies of all time did have a game, even if it was a one-off thing that never really made it into the annals of classic movie adaptations. It wasn’t that great, but who didn’t want to jump in on the Looney Toons vs. Monstars action? The game came out for Sega Saturn and Playstation, and it cut down the ordinary basketball format used in the movie to a three-on-three arcade experience that let you play as all your favorite Looney Toons characters.
5. GoldenEye 007
No, not that one. The original GoldenEye 007, for Nintendo 64, is probably one of the least obscure movie-based video games ever made, given that it’s considered a classic that helped to launch the modern era of first-person shooters. The remake, however—a 2010 game designed for the Wii—seemed to go largely and criminally unnoticed. It basically overhauled the original with the advantage of modern graphics and much more sophisticated shooting mechanics and gameplay, kind of like Call Of Duty meets GoldenEye. The game did earn a 9/10 rating here, and though it does lack some of the old-school charm of the original, it’s damn good in its own right.