We’ve scoured the movie-sphere to bring you the ultimate list of films that will satisfy your craving for high-octane action, fantastical creatures, and immersive virtual worlds.
So sit back, relax, and grab some popcorn as we delve into the top 10 movies with a video game aesthetic. Warning: you may feel the sudden urge to grab a controller and start gaming after watching these flicks!
1. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is based on the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley and directed by Edgar Wright. The movie centers around the titular slacker, played by Michael Cera, who falls in love with a mysterious girl named Ramona, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and must defeat her seven evil exes in order to be with her.
The movie incorporates video game elements, such as music and sound effects from various games, including The Legend of Zelda, along with 16-bit iconography. It’s a visual feast that captivates the audience from start to finish.
2. Wreck it Ralph (2012)
Wreck-It Ralph is a movie that captures the look and feel of classic arcade games, from the pixelated graphics to the vintage sound effects. The movie revolves around Ralph, a video game villain who longs to be a hero and sets out on a quest to prove himself worthy. The bright visuals and playful, retro-inspired animation style make it a must-watch for gamers.
3. Ready Player One (2018)
Set in a dystopian future, Ready Player One is about a young gamer named Wade Watts, played by Tye Sheridan, who embarks on a quest to find a hidden Easter egg that will grant him control of a virtual world called the Oasis. The movie is packed with references to classic video games, movies, and TV shows, making it a treat for any pop culture enthusiast.
4. The Last Starfighter (1984)
The Last Starfighter is a classic sci-fi movie that feels like an ’80s video game come to life. The movie follows Alex Rogan, played by Lance Guest, a young man who dreams of leaving his small town and making a name for himself as a video game champion. When he discovers that the video game he’s been playing is actually a recruitment tool for an alien defense force, Alex is whisked away to a distant planet to become a starfighter.
5. Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is an upcoming movie that has already drawn comparisons to video games. The movie follows a group of adventurers on a quest to retrieve a powerful artifact. They must first travel to different towns and meet various characters before they can find what they’re looking for. The movie promises to be a thrilling ride for fans of both video games and fantasy.
6. John Wick 4 (2023)
The John Wick movies feel like live-action video games, with their over-the-top violence, slick cinematography, and frenetic action sequences. The brutal fight scenes in the movies are choreographed with the precision and flow of a fighting game, and the visuals are heavily stylized, with bold colors and dynamic camera angles. The immersive and intricate underworld of assassins and hitmen is also reminiscent of a level-based video game.
7. Speed Racer (2008)
Speed Racer is a movie that takes inspiration from classic Japanese anime and video games. The movie follows Speed, a talented race car driver who competes in a series of high-stakes races. The movie features bright and colorful visuals that feel like they were plucked straight out of a racing video game, complete with power-ups, speed boosts, and other video game elements.
8. Tron (1982)
Tron is a classic sci-fi movie that features an immersive virtual world filled with games, programs, and computer-generated landscapes. The movie follows Kevin Flynn, played by Jeff Bridges, a computer programmer who is transported into the digital world of his own creation. Once there, he must compete in games and battles against other programs, all while trying to find a way back to the real world. The movie’s pioneering use of computer-generated imagery makes it a must-watch for any fan of video game aesthetics.
9. The Lego Movie (2014)
While not strictly based on video games, The Lego Movie incorporates video game elements, such as the use of Lego bricks as a game mechanic. The movie follows Emmet, an ordinary Lego minifigure who is mistaken for the chosen one and embarks on a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the Lego universe together. The movie’s bright and colorful visuals, along with its playful use of Lego bricks, make it a joy to watch for kids and adults alike.
10. Pixels (2015)
Pixels is a comedy movie that pays homage to classic arcade games. The movie follows a group of video game experts who are recruited by the government to fight off an alien invasion that takes the form of classic video game characters, such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. The movie’s nostalgic nods to classic arcade games, along with its playful sense of humor, make it a fun watch for any fan of video game aesthetics.
In conclusion, movies that incorporate video game aesthetics have become increasingly popular over the years, reflecting the growing influence of video games in popular culture. Whether it’s through their use of pixelated graphics, vintage sound effects, or playful nods to classic video games, these movies offer a unique and visually striking experience that is sure to delight gamers and non-gamers alike.
What are movies with a video game aesthetic?
Movies with a video game aesthetic are films that have elements of video games in their visual style, narrative structure, or characters. These movies may reference specific video games or emulate classic video game aesthetics, including pixelated graphics, retro sound effects, and action-packed fight scenes.
What are some examples of movies with a video game aesthetic?
Some of the most popular movies with a video game aesthetic include Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Wreck-It Ralph, Ready Player One, The Last Starfighter, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, and John Wick 4.
Are these movies based on video games?
No, these movies are not based on video games. They may, however, reference or pay homage to video games in their content or style.
Why do these movies have a video game aesthetic?
The rising popularity of video games has made them a major influence on popular culture, including film. Filmmakers are increasingly drawing on the aesthetics and narrative structures of video games to create immersive and engaging movie experiences.