20 PC Games With The Biggest Movie Potential

20 PC games with the Biggest Movie Potential
20 PC games with the Biggest Movie Potential

The time was if a movie was a big hit, video game companies would make a terrible game version tie-in of the film. These days when developers make a hit game, Hollywood cashes in and makes a terrible movie of the game instead. Movies inspired by games are infamous for their ability to disappoint.

But I still have hope for the future. I mean, if they made the Twilight films there has to be hope for a good game to movie adaptation soon. Ah but what to choose? Well let’s make a list.  

Here are the ground rules. There can only 1 game of a series allowed. It has to be PC games only: If we start rocking over all the platforms, we’ll be here all day.

Remember, it’s not about how good the game is or was, but about those games with the biggest movie potential. Some games on the list are old, I'll give you that. But this is my list so if you’ve never heard of a game I mention, then you need to go get yourself an education in the history of gaming.

Find them. Play them. Love them.  


20:  Star Wars:  Knights of the Old Republic 

"If I only had a heart." ;-Yeah well you don't, so deal with it.

The chances of this getting made now are almost non-existent.. But there was a time, a long, long time ago, when George Lucas was still destroying my childhood memories with his terrible Star Wars prequel trilogy, when I had hope that someone might try to make Knights Of The Old Republic into the clearly awesome movie it could be.

The game is set 4,000 years before the original 3 films, and players find themselves traversing the Star Wars universe playing as a fallen Sith Lord who, essentially, wakes up one day and seems to have found the light side of the Force. The game comes with a fully developed cast of companions and enemies rivalling Firefly, and outclassing every character in the prequel trilogy. When you mix that with the truly epic battles between good and evil, and a story engrossing enough to be considered for an Oscar nomination and the fact it would be a Star Wars film, Knights Of The Old Republic must surely be considered a missed opportunity.  

19:  World of Warcraft

Movie? What movie? Nobody told us.

Apparently they already are making it into a movie. Please let it be good, please let it be good…..


18: Angry Birds




18:  Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Yeah, but would you want to live there?

Patrick Stewart, and Sean Bean are just two of the actors who put their talents to work for this offering. As a game it’s got everything a movie would need: A lone warrior on a solemn quest given by a dead king; a fanatical cult out to destroy the world and a constant stream of demons invading from other realities. Yeah, I think that pretty much covers it.  

The uninformed would say it was just a rip off of The Lord Of The Rings, and The Hobbit, but these people should just be ignored. The brilliant thing, if they made an Elder Scrolls Oblivion movie and it was a hit, is that we would then probably get a Dragon Born sequel to look forward too. I'm just saying. Think how cool that would be.

You think the sword's big. Wait till you see my arrow, you know what I'm saying?



You will never be this hard-core, or this red, or in this much trouble.

Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Tau, Sisters of Battle, Chaos Space Marines, Necron, Eldar, and Orks.  

With a mythology as dystopian and developed as War Hammer, the potential for movie success is huge. What with a universe that has seen centuries of continual war and, literally, hundreds of novels and different versions of the board games, who wouldn’t want to see the noble Space Marines disemboweling Orks by the hundred? This isn’t a movie, this an entire franchise just waiting for someone in Hollywood who has the vision to green light it.

We are the Imperial Guard, and we like to die by the thousand.


16: Stalker: Call of Pripyat.

You shall not pass!

Saying Stalker is immersive, is a disservice to adjectives.  

Between the lone hero, his dark past, general Russian indifference to life, and a strong story line involving redemption, revenge, greed, mutants, hallucinations, vodka and AK47’s, this game is a dark horse. It would also be a really dark film as well as long as they didn’t "Disney’ it."  

This would be one of those movies that stayed with people long after they left the cinema. The cut scenes in game alone deserve so much more recognition than they were ever given. In fact if they actually just made the film with nothing but the cut scenes I would be happy out. Again, just saying.


Immersive, submersive, submersible. Only one of these adjectives is correct.



That's what I think of the Mark Wahlberg movie.

What? They already made a Max Payne film? 

Yes, I know. But it sucked. Imagine just how good a decent one could be. What is it with Hollywood? Why did they feel the need to wee all over what was one of the greatest PC games ever. All they had to do was take the storyline from the game and the film would have been great. Where was the revenge, the inner turmoil, the atmosphere? As one critic notably put it at the time, the Wahlberg Max Payne looked like the director was ‘trying to shoot Blade Runner in Cleveland.’ Don’t get me started on the random specially invented monsters just for the film. Why? Just why?

Wahlberg? He aint got nothing on me.


14:  Dying Light

An adult version of The Walking Dead.

Quarantined city?  Check.  

Zombies? Check

Badass enemies? Check.

Race against time? Check.

CEO of evil multinational conglomerate? Check.  

Vertigo? Check.  

Free running? WTF?  

The movie’s already there, it just needs some actors and five million tons of fake blood and we've got ourselves a hit! The reason it’s down at 15? Because it’s new and there’s 14 games with more potential still to come.

He just saw the last Twilight film.


13:  HomeWorld 2

Mass Effect?

A bizarre choice? No. Imagine the big battle scenes in Ender's Game but as an entire movie instead of the crappy two hour stuff where the movie focuses on the kid trying to make friends, and you're there with this one. The HomeWorld games had a storyline so deep and so far reaching, that even though there were no real characters, the tale of interstellar survival against overwhelming odds has magnificent scope for film. You only need to watch the remake of Battlestar Galactica again to see how much the series borrowed from the original HomeWorld game. Once you've done that, then you should watch the epic space battles in Mass Effect to see how much they borrowed from HomeWorld as well...But either way, do play the game.


12: Sam&Max Hit the Road.

But this isn't the original Sam&Max....SSSHHhhhhhhh.

It had to be somewhere. Old school PC gamers breathe a sigh of relief, the Freelance Police are here. Sam is a suit wearing 6ft dog P.I. and Max is some sort of deranged rabbit sidekick. The game just oozes personality and is rightly seen as iconic and legendary in its field.  

Perhaps one of the wryest, most humour filled games ever made, the chaotic way the pair solve crimes while mostly breaking the law themselves has never been bettered. It deserves so much more than the short lived cartoon series it got. With travel destinations such as Egypt and the moon, and a host of ludicrous bad guys, making Sam&Max the movie could be the smartest choice Hollywood ever makes.

Yeah, you see why I did what I did with the first picture.


11:  Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi. 

Mind blowing graphics, for the time.

Yes, again, they already did it, I know. But the 1999 "Wing Commander" movie sucked, which was a real shame because it had the amazing David ‘Poirot’ Suchet, and Jurgen ‘Das Boot’ Prochnow in it. But somebody also cast Freddie Prinze Jr as the main character and the movie never recovered. Go figure. 

Wing Commander 2, the game, blew me away when I was a kid. Its addictive magnificent storyline caused me more sleepless nights than I care to remember. Epic in its scope, it focused on one pilot, Christopher Blair and his fight against the evil cat like Kilrathi bent on the destruction of mankind. Between the Admiral that hated him, the love interest ‘Angel,’ the rival fighter jock ‘Maniac,’ and the one good Kilrathi fighting on the Terran side, Hobbes, the potential here was huge. Then Chris Roberts, the guy who made the game, went off to Hollywood and ruined everything by making the movie, and effectively killed the franchise, and my childhood forever.  

Ooh, the Top ten.  Now the choices become tough.

10:  DOOM

When did they terraform Mars? It has to be artistic license.

He’s at it again, I hear you say. They already did it. I know, I know. But it was sh*t. Ok, so Hollywood didn’t have much of a script to follow. The plot of DOOM is basically "Lone Marine on Mars fights demons.” But you have to wonder how the movie they did make managed to be such a colossal misfire when they had all that scope to do better. But DOOM was and is still the most popular and influential game of a generation. If any game is crying out for a movie reboot, then DOOM is the one. Only next time they should make the whole thing an FPS, not just the five minute good part that happens near the end in the film they already made.

An entire FPS game as an FPS movie? That I would pay to see.


9:  Deus EX

Don't give a f***

Deus ex was, and still is a great game. It would also make a great film.  

I doubt if Cyber Punk has ever been so well realized in any genre, let alone gaming. The story Centres on one JC Denton, a rookie agent, who must fight terrorist forces in a chaotic world of the future on the verge of collapse. Imagine Blade Runner, but with more action, less introspection, and a whole lot of extra carnage, and you're there.  

What made the game so amazing for its time was the numerous ways players could try to complete objectives. You could lock pick doors, kill the guards and steal their keys, or in some instances, just kick the door in. I guess it all depended on what mood you were in at the time. You just couldn’t have that level of choice in a movie but that wouldn't mean that scriptwriters couldn't create a movie around the bleak dystopian vision of the game.

8: Dead Space

Issac Clarke.  He doesn't like Beliebers


Another Beleiber fan checks out of rehab. 

Saying Dead Space is a nail biting thrill ride of a game is an understatement. The movie wouldn’t have to do anything but take the story almost scene for scene from the game to make it a hit. Dead Space is set in 2508 on a "Planet cracker" space ship, and engineer Issac Clarke finds himself plunged into a frenetic race against time battling a horde of ancient aliens in an action packed fight to the death with more plot twists and turns than a twisty-turny thing.

Genetic mutation? Check. Religious artefacts? Check. Shock and horror? Check. Totally unexpected knife edge ending? Check.

7:  Duke Nukem 3D

Hail to the King, baby.

“It’s time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I’m all out of gum.” It’s Duke’s time to shine.  A game that constantly did as much lampooning and dropping of overworked cliches like confetti at every dramatic juncture possible, deserves nothing less. Violence, risque humor, pig like aliens dressed like cops; what’s not to like?  It’s a crowning glory in late 20th century gaming, pop culture, and no nonsense kick assery The only question is who would play Duke? Is there an actor on Earth capable of pulling it off?


6.  BioShock

Everyone should shower before they go to work.  

Set in an alternate 1960’s world and dealing with obscure philosophical thinking that takes influences from the likes of George Orwell, BioShock is unlike any other game ever made.  The same could be said for a movie adaptation.

The undersea city of Rapture is an urban nightmare; claustrophobic,leaking, falling apart, and in it's final days as a social experiment. With a population either insane, or dead and a thought provoking antagonist secretly pulling every ones strings, Hollywood and audiences would love this twisted morality tale. But no self-respecting BioShock movie could be made without Big Daddies.You've got to love the Big Daddies. They would make for the best on screen boss fights ever.



5.  Fallout 3

Workers of the world, unite!

Imagine the film Mad Max 2, but set 200 years in the future, and without cars. Imagine then the main character having lived their entire life inside ‘The Vault,’ unaware of the brutal world outside.

Imagine the hero leaving the vault in a seemingly hopeless search across the wastelands of Armageddon in search of their missing father: Fallout has "Road Movie," written all over it.

Think Terminator Salvation, but without Terminators or Christian Bale, or those annoying kids, or that stupid half human Terminator, or the God awful storyline. Fallout would be a brilliant movie.    

How Forrest Gump should have ended.


4.  Half Life

Bad day at the office?  Why not call in an airstrike?

“Scientist defeats Alien invasion.”  

That right there is the tagline. And what a tagline. The only reason it’s not number 1 is because Gordon Freeman doesn’t say anything, ever. Our Gordon is perhaps the most understood, and yet undeveloped game character ever created. Yet as gamers, we all feel we know him, and what drives him to do what he does in the game. Could that empathy be transferred to the big screen? Who knows? But what we do know, is that he wears glasses and wields a crowbar the same way a Samurai wields a sword. Would Gordon be able to handle dialogue in a film? Hollywood traditionally, does not do well with blank canvases. (See DOOM, above)  

That said, Freeman is also the quintessential hero: Gordon has evil government forces trying to kill him on one side, alien invaders trying to do the same on the other, and there he is in the middle, fighting everyone, stoically trying to do the right thing by closing the temporal rift to another galaxy that he helped create. 

I'd give to the KickStarter fund for this movie.


3.  Portal

Why look, over there?  Who is it?  Their very good looking whoever the....Oh wait, it's me.  Yay!

I'm in two minds about this one, but It could be the best adaptation ever. Think big picture here. Imagine DreamWorks got a hold of it, and just used the story from the game: A lab rat orphan attempts to escape to freedom while a disingenuous practically insane A.I. robot tries to stop her. The potential is just awesome. But then imagine all they did was take the concept, and remake it in a purely Hollywood style. It could be a disaster. But if it was done well I personally think we could be talking about one of the best films ever made.

This may be the best game adaptation to film never made.

Atmospheric, no?

2.  Borderlands 2

In a world where only the brave, or the criminally insane dare to tread, where greed and revenge are served in equal measure, the Vault hunters fight for freedom and hope. With a truly evil antagonist in the shape of Handsome Jack, and barrels of dark humour alongside great characters, this is a movie that would practically write itself. All Hollywood would have to do is show up with some cameras, and this film would be a success.


And finally:  The Game with the BIGGEST PC GAME MOVIE POTENTIAL is……...

1. Left For Dead

Look, we already made the poster for the movie.  We can fire someone in marketing.

This is the movie every zombie fan would want made, I believe. Bill is the most kick ass character ever developed. Is anyone else thinking Nick Nolte? Just me?

It would be what World War Z should have been, and what you wish Walking Dead was already. It would be edge of the seat stuff from beginning to end. Four survivors, one night, and one city filled to the rafters with Undead to try and  pass through safely. Just think of the boss fights they could film with the Tanks and the Hunters.  

Could you imagine the pitch in LA: ‘It’s Speed, mixed with Aliens mixed with Predator, but with zombies.’

How could anyone say no?

Just your average Sunday stroll in the park,


The End.  

And that's it.  The credits roll. But is there a repressed film critic inside you just waiting to get out? Do you think I missed something out? Does one game have more potential than another?  

What films do you think should have made the list, and why?




Chilled, Calm, writer, lover, fighter
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: World Of Tanks, Skyrim, GTA5, Dying Light
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, Borderlands 2, Grand Theft Auto V
This article makes me feel: