The Lion King (1994, Super NES/Sega Mega Drive)
Forget the child-friendly Disney association, The Lion King harkened back to a time when video games were harder to finish than a Rubik's Cube – even on easy. In fact, only the most gifted children and adults ever made it past the first few levels, let alone make it to fighting the evil uncle, Scar. Besides a great soundtrack that was true to the film and equally impressive 2D visuals drawn by actual Disney animators, it was one of the few games published by old Richard Branson. Well, not him personally.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009, PS3/Xbox 360)
On the big screen, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a benighted mish-mash of mutants and TV movie-quality direction. As a video game, though, it delivered brutal God of War-style action courtesy of the ol' Canucklehead's adimantium claws. And those claws unleash rivers of gore that you'd never get to see in the X-Men films – the game really does show you a feral side of Wolverine that Hugh Jackman's portrayal has never quite managed. Bioshock-style mutagen upgrades and unlockable costumes mean it has plenty of replay value, too – though the game does lose points for featuring the voice talents of Will.i.Am.
More after the break...
Disney's Aladdin (1993, Sega Mega Drive)
Disney's Arabian street rat with a genie problem bounced onto the Sega Mega Drive as a 1993 platformer chock full of sword swinging action interspersed with acrobatic parkour-esque gameplay in the back streets of Agrabah. Occasional Genie bonus rounds allow for stocking up on powerups and points on the way to the showdown in Jafar's palace. Another version was developed separately for the SNES – which was also pretty good, though the Megadrive version just edges it (you get a sword!). The SNES version didn't feature the music from the film, but we can't decide whether that's a good or a bad thing.
We still shudder at the thought of those dreaded boulder levels like it was yesterday.
Kung Fu Panda (2008, PS3/Xbox 360)
Those who craved the ability to beat up animals while playing as a panda were well catered for, thanks to the video game based very loosely on the Dreamworks Animation film of the same name. It won an award for its slick animation, and while a little on the easy side for those older than its intended audience, there was gameplay goodness to be had as you worked your way up to becoming the revered Dragon Warrior.
Tron (1982, arcade)
Given Tron's virtual reality setting, a video game was almost a no-brainer. And although less well remembered than the film, the Tron arcade game delivered four mini-games based on different parts of the film. Yeah, four mini-games – though the one everybody remembers is the Light Cycle section, which took the classic Snake game (later seen on Nokia) and added a competitive element. You had to steer your Light Cycle from a top-down perspective and blow up your opponenet using the light trail behind you, just like in the film.