20 of the best movie tie-in games

Not all movie tie-in video games suck. No, really – check out our round up of the best examples
King Kong

Movie tie-in games get a bit of a bad rap – they tend to be dismissed as quick cash-ins, rushed onto store shelves to tie in with a film's release date.

But among the uninspired platformers and rush-released shooters, there are some gems to be found. We've rounded up some of the best games inspired by the silver screen.

Robocop 3 (1993, Amiga)

Robocop 3 was a terrible, terrible film – and the cyborg cop's previous outings in video games were clunky, generic platform games. So when Digital Image Design dropped this 3D actioner on Amiga, Atari St and PC, it was a revelation.

Four different sections were loosely strung together to follow the film's plot: driving, beat-em-up, flying shoot-em-up and first-person shooter – though you could pick and choose from among them at will. Those blocky 3D graphics might not look like much now, but this was proper 3D driving and gaming years before Quake arrived on the scene.

The Terminator (1990, PC)

A 3D sandbox game, set in an accurately-mapped virtual Los Angeles, in which you boost cars, rob shops and engage in gun battles with cops? No, it isn't Grand Theft Auto 5 – years before GTA was a twinkle in DMA Design's eye, Bethesda Softworks' The Terminator had you causing vehicular mayhem on the streets of LA. It even stirred up controversy in the press with its "death animations," which depicted the gory demise of its blocky characters in close-up.

Although you had the choice of playing as the Terminator or Sarah Connor's protector Kyle Reese, let's be honest – everyone wanted to be Arnie.

Batman: The Movie (1989, Amiga/Atari ST)

Until 1989, Batman's most striking movie presence consisted of a man in grey tights and a black mask with chalked-on eyebrows. Then Tim Burton changed all that with his reboot of the franchise, finally giving developer Ocean something to work with.

Batman: The Movie: The Game consists of a series of sub-games, ranging from platforming action in the Axis chemical plant to cruising through Gotham in the Batmobile, hooking onto lamp posts with your trusty Batarang. Have you ever danced with the devil by the pale moonlight? No, neither have we. But we have hopped through a cathedral very, very slowly.

The Warriors (2005, PS2)

Taking a break from the mighty Grand Theft Auto series, Rockstar Games put its creative talents to work on The Warriors – based on the 1979 cult action thriller. Taking place in 1970's New York, it was up to you to punch, kick and generally use violent methods to progress. Bit like GTA, then. Many of the actors from the film helped with the voiceover, making this a more authentic game movie tie-in than most.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (2004, Xbox)

In 2004, you could watch Vin Diesel's pulp anti-hero Riddick on the big screen in the bloated epic The Chronicles of Riddick – or you could fire up your Xbox and play Starbreeze's taut prison-break prequel. Mixing stealth and FPS action with a richly-detailed world populated by fellow prisoners (all of whom have their own personality and routine), it shames those movie tie-in games that sling together some action sequences and a couple of cutscenes and call it a day.