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Here are the Highest-grossing Video Game Movie Adaptations

Video games movie and TV series adaptations have long been a staple action subgenre. According to Marketwatch, video games have, in fact, surpassed movies and sports as the most popular forms of entertainment, mostly thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s no wonder, then, that Hollywood has continually turned to videos games for movie and TV inspiration. With the wealth of games, narratives, and characters to choose from, combined with the dedicated fandom attached to each video game, it’s only natural to see the jump from console to the big screen.

That being said, video game movies are often disregarded by critics and even disappoint fans of the games themselves. Nonetheless, they do tend to be big box office draws, as reported by Mickey, and some of them are criminally underrated. Currently, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has become the highest domestic grossing video game movie, but since it’s still in theatres — and still racking up profit — it won’t be included on this list just yet. Here are the highest-grossing video game movies adaptations of all time.

Warcraft — $439M

Warcraft is (at the time of writing) the highest-grossing video game adaption of all time. Based on the game series of the same name — including one of the most popular MMOs of all time, World of Warcraft. Set in the era of the First War, Warcraft follows Anduin Lothar of Stormwind and Durotan of the Frostwolf Clan. These are both considered heroes of their respective sides, the Horde and the Alliance. The film is not set in the same universe as the games, instead being set in an alternate version, featuring well-known and loved locations and characters, but not following much of the lore established in the series. Featuring talent such as Dominic Cooper and Travis Fimmel, we recommend this movie to both fans of the video games and the fantasy genre alike.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu — $433.4M

The first live action Pokémon film and the second-highest-grossing video game movie of all time, Detective Pikachu is loosely based on the 2016 game of the same name. Starring Ryan Reynolds, the film tells the story of former Pokémon trainer Tim Goodman and the Pokémon they capture to solve the disappearance of Harry Goodman, Tim’s father. Justice Smith stars alongside Reynolds as Tim, putting in a strong performance and taking this movie from good to great. Detective Pikachu is a film that is guaranteed to appeal to a wide range of audiences, even those new to Pokémon. It’s funny and refreshing, and should be on your watch list if you haven’t already seen it!

Rampage — $428M

Rampage is a science fiction monster film based on the video game series of the same name. A primatologist must team up with a gorilla, mutated due to a rogue experiment, to stop the destruction of Chicago by two other mutated animals. Rampage stars incredible talent such as Dwayne Johnson and Naomie Harris, who carry this film from being another monster movie to being a must-watch, especially for fans of the video game or even fans of the Planet of the Apes series due to the similar subject.

Uncharted — $392.9M

Uncharted is the newest film on this list, starring Marvel wunderkind Tom Holland as the rugged hero Nathan Drake. Postponed due to the pandemic, the film released in February 2022 and has already become one of the top five highest-grossing video game movies of all time. Based on the Naughty Dog series of the same name, Uncharted is an adventure film in which Nathan Drake is recruited in a race against a corrupt billionaire (played by Antonio Bandera) and a mercenary leader (played by Tati Gabrielle) to locate the treasure of the Magellan expedition. Holland shines in the role of Nathan Drake, despite the fact that he’s a very different character from the lovable teen Peter Parker. Aside from Holland, the film also includes solid performances from Mark Wahlberg and Netflix star Rudy Pankow. If you’re looking for your next adventure fix, consider Uncharted.

The Angry Birds Movie — $352M

Based on the classic mobile game Angry Birds, The Angry Birds Movie follows Red, one of a host of birds living on an island, who suspects foul play from a newly arrived group of pigs. The birds work together to stop them, forming plans to take them down. As Angry Birds is incredibly popular, it’s no surprise that it’s on this list. This movie is fun for all ages, and with an all-star cast of voice acting talent (including performances from Sean Penn and Jason Sudeikis), we recommend giving this a watch for a lighter, more causal take on a video game movie.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time — $336.3M

This film brings together elements of the other two titles from the Sands of Time trilogy — Warrior Within and The Two Thrones — making this film a comprehensive take on The Prince of Persia. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan, this is another movie with incredible talent attached. The tale of the street urchin who becomes a prince is a well-loved one, with the video game considered a classic, having received critical acclaim upon launch. If you’re looking for a fantasy classic, definitely add Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time to your list.

Sonic the Hedgehog — $319.7M

Sonic the Hedgehog initially made headlines for changing the titular character’s overall design due to backlash on social media, but it also ended up being a very successful movie. With Ben Schwartz playing the iconic blue hedgehog and beloved comedy actor Jim Carrey taking on the role of evil Dr Robotnik, the film sees Sonic teaming up with a local sherif to take down his rival. Its sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was released recently and is already earning itself a spot as another high-grossing video game movie. This film is definitely an interesting take on a classic character, and we definitely recommend giving it a try.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter — $312.2M

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is the sixth and final installment in the original Resident Evil film series. Based on the beloved horror game series of the same name, Alice (Milla Jovovich) and her crew are betrayed by a clone of Albert Wesker who attempts to end the group of apocalypse survivors once and for all. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is perhaps the best-enjoyed of the series, as it’s been described as bringing the series full circle. As such, you’ll probably enjoy following the development of the characters over the course of the series. We definitely recommend this for an intense zombie-filled story and some good horror scares.