5 Classic Action Movies That Would Make Great Video Games

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  • The concept of turning a fan-favorite film into a video game is nothing new. In fact, as long as digital game technology has existed (or even pinball machines for that matter) there have been tie-in games cobbled together to ride off the success of a tentpole film franchise.

    However, for every GoldenEye 007 success story, there’s a hundred poorly executed tie-in games (like the critically lambasted E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, for example — yeesh).

    Yet, as game developers have learned a few tricks over the years, these video games based on movies have gotten noticeably better. So much so that it would make sense for some game developers to start scouring through previous film IP to see which classic movies might make great video game fodder for today’s audience.

    With that as our premise — and based on no rumors or reports beyond our own selfish desires to see these games turned into reality — here’s a list of five classic action movies which we think would make great video games.

    Commando (1985)

    If the 1980s are the golden standard for over-the-top action flicks, then Commando is perhaps the most ‘80s action movie ever. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger at the cusp of his box office powers (Commando was the first film to feature Arnold as a leading part of its marketing), Commando exemplifies every hallmark of the excessive ‘80s action.

    While there is a loose plot involving Arnie (aka “John Matrix” — great name) needing to rescue his daughter (a young Alyssa Milano) from South American mercenaries, the crux of the film is about Arnold going full Terminator seek-and-destroy mode as he exacts his revenge.

    In one notable sequence towards the end of the film, we get a full 20 minutes or so of Arnold single-handedly taking down an entire island of mercenaries using a wide array of machine guns, hand grenades, and even a well-thrown buzzsaw blade.

    One can simply imagine what type of carnage a player could unleash if a first-person shooter-style Commando game were to release today.

    Die Hard (1988)

    Okay, okay — before we dive into this next one we do need to acknowledge that there have in fact been several video games based on the classic Bruce Willis Die Hard franchise. Yet, to be fair, there has not been a non-mobile game version released in almost 20 years. And even then, none of those games have done a great job recapturing the ‘80s action glory at the heart of the film series.

    Now, as Bruce Willis has finally ridden off into the sunset of his career, why not bring back everyone’s favorite hero John McClane for a new video game franchise. Personally, I’d love to see a game based on the original Die Hard film that features some sort of PvP element where you take turns squaring off as McClane vs. Hans Gruber in a match format.

    First Blood (1982)

    Another classic film franchise which has seen its fair share of video game adaptations over the years. Sylvester Stallone’s portrayal of everyone’s favorite disgruntled war vet John Rambo still deserves a proper video game adaptation. And while Rambo: The Video Game (an arcade-style rail shooter video game from 2014) attempted much of this in spirit, the final product was ultimately one of the worst games of all time.

    However, while Rambo might not have been a true first-person shooter or arcade-style adventure game, it might be perfect fodder to find its home as a battle royale style game.

    I know from experience that you can play with a Rambo skin in Fortnite, and there is absolutely something exciting to perching your Rambo character hidden in a tree for several minutes waiting for an enemy before jumping down and ambushing them with a knife — as John Rambo would of course do himself.

    Bloodsport (1988)

    For the few of you reading this article who aren’t familiar with Jean-Claude Van Damme’s breakout martial arts tournament action film Bloodsport, we’re about to blow your minds like Chong Li’s mind was blown when he saw Frank Dux (Van Damme) blow up that brick with his classic Dim Mak technique.

    And for those who might not have known about Bloodsport, you also might not have known that Bloodsport was the de-facto inspiration for the original Mortal Kombat game. So much so that the Johnny Cage character and his signature splitting-nuts punch were direct homages to Van Damme and Bloodsport.

    So, of course it would make sense for Bloodsport to finally receive its own video game adaptation. Even if that game is basically another new Mortal Kombat, it would be awesome to see Johnny Cage turned back into Frank Dux to battle against Chong Li, Ray Jackson, and the rest of the Kumite.

    Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)

    Finally, while I’d have to work out some of the technical details on this one, I personally would love to see my all-time favorite Chuck Norris movie — and all-time favorite action movie at that — Lone Wolf McQuade turned into a video game.

    One of Chuck Norris’ first action films after he made his debut fighting against Bruce Lee in The Way of the Dragon in 1972, Lone Wolf McQuade almost single-handedly helped to give birth to action cinema as we know it. The film combined so many great elements of the Western, the martial arts, and the hero cop genres together.

    It would probably have to be an action-adventure game akin to The Last of Us franchise. However, if you could play as Texas Ranger Jim “J.J.” McQuade, drive a badass 1983 Dodge Ramcharger, and karate fight David Carradine to the death at the end, we might just be able to turn the greatest action movie of all time into the greatest video game ever.

    Article by Jourdan Aldredge — a writer at Soundstripe, a royalty free music company that supplies creators with music for commercials and SFX for film and video projects.


    Games, Movies