5. TRON: LEGACY
TRON might have been a Disney movie, but it does hit its marks. The original TRON changed the way we viewed movies, because the effects used were revolutionary for its time, and in my opinion the sequel does it again. The effects in this movie are spectacular and do truly make you feel as if you are in a virtual environment. And while the plot does drag and is somewhat boring, Daft Punk’s awesome soundtrack more than makes up for it. So do yourself a favor and go back to revisit this effects masterpiece before it’s lost in the archives forever.
4. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
To me this movie is the benchmark of what all video game movies should live up to. Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) perfectly combines humor, action, romance, and nostalgic video game effects and cameos to create the perfect real-life video game movie. Enemies disintegrate into coins, health bars are displayed, 1-ups appear onscreen, and combos accumulate in the corner, all with the right timing. Wright does a great job of making the video game references and effects appear at the right time without making them feel overwhelming. The characters are also extremely relatable from most gamers' point of view. Whether it’s the hopeless romantic, the dream girl, the exes, the friend who’s in it for the fame, or the clueless airhead, we've all met people like this, been there, or are the one wishing to meet our dream girl (or guy, no discrimination here ladies). From the 8-bit opening theme this movie had me from the very beginning.
So with all my praise you might be thinking “Why is this number four if it’s so good”? Well the answer is… I don’t know. I loved Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, but the movies I’m going to be listing coming up capture the gaming spirit better. But in terms of real-life action video games, this movie takes the cake.
3. King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
Yeah, this is a documentary, and yeah, it’s fucking awesome. King of Kong tells the story of the Donkey Kong world record from the perspective of a newcomer (Steve Wiebe), the champion (Billy Mitchell), The Refs (Twin Galaxies), and their family and friends. Why this movie is so amazing is because it evokes serious emotion. You as the viewer want to see Steve Wiebe win and beat the hell out of the smug success that is Billy Mitchell. That said, there is some bias, as the directors clearly try to make Billy Mitchell look like the bad guy, but I can forgive it because the documentary really is that good. If you’re a gamer, you need to see this one.
2. Wreck-It Ralph
Wreck-It Ralph is like a combination between Scott Pilgrim and TRON: a Disney movie with action, awesome visuals, a message, heart, and of course tons video game references. I was very skeptical of this movie at first, but after the first 30 minutes I was in love. From old-school references like Root Beer Tapper, Q-Bert, and Pac Man to newer references like Metal Gear Solid and Call of Duty, this movie is a must-see for any video game fan. My only complaint is the length. At various times towards the end I checked my watch several times out of boredom, but make no mistake this movie is definitely worth it. This movie has enough humor, heart, and video game references to make this a very strong #2 pick.
1. Indie Game: The Movie
Indie Game The Movie is my number one because it IS the perfect video game movie. I don’t care if you don’t like documentaries, you have to see this film. Indie Game: The Movie follows three indie game developers, Phil Fish (FEZ), Team Meat (Super Meat Boy), and Jonathan Blow (Braid), as they tell their story on how indie games affect their lives. The movie is expertly written and edited to be entertaining at all times, seamlessly merging interviews, voice-overs, and game footage to show the audience what it really takes to create indie games. The movie follows their pre-production, development, testing, release, and post-release stages, so every phase is covered and explained to the audience. By the end of this movie you can see how absolutely burned out these developers are and how stressed their relationships with their family members get, but you can also see their passion and that they would rather do nothing else than make games. Indie Game: The Movie to this day is my go-to film recommendation for anyone trying to make it in the games industry (trust me, it isn't easy, as two years in game design taught me that) and is an excellent example of what sacrifices have to be made to be successful. If you watch one movie out of this list, make it this one.
GTFO: A Film about Women in Gaming
“OMG GTFO”, “ARE YOU HOTT”, “WHY ARENT YOU IN THE KITCHEN MAKING A SANDWHICH”, “YOU MUST BE FAT”. These are some of the things girl gamers have to deal with when putting on a mic and playing video games, and frankly, it’s bullshit. GTFO is a documentary that hopes to cover these subjects and much more, to share gamer girls’ side of the story, what they can do to stop it, and finally achieve equality in a virtual gaming space.
For more info you can visit their Kickstarter:
Video Games: The Movie
Not to be confused with Indie Game: The Movie, VGTM is a separate documentary by a completely different person trying to convey EVERYTHING about the industry. From clearing up some of the common misconceptions about gamers, to showing what it takes to make a AAA game, to interviews with people like Cliff Bleszinski, Randy Pitchford, and Chris Hardwick, this truly looks like it might be the best video game movie yet. For more info you can visit their Kickstarter and donate! This one is still going on until June 18th folks.
So are there any games you feel should be added or excluded to the list? Be sure to give your reasoning in the comments.