The following is my Top 5 gaming themed movies with a narrative similar or related to video games, but not based on any specific game. So, movies like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter and Tomb Raider, etc won’t be included in this list. So, without further ado:
5- Grandma’s Boy (2006)
Produced by Happy Madison Production (Producers of most of Adam Sandler films), Grandma’s Boy is pretty much made in the same style of a good old stoner comedy with a bit of a gaming flavor.
The movie starts with Alex (Allen Covert) as gaming developer with a life going down the drain. He goes through the usual to fix his life, win the girl, but also making his own game.
A bit of trivia about the movie. The game Alex is making was an actual game called Demonik and was used in the movie as part of a marketing campaign. Sadly, the game was canceled when the publisher Majesco was in financial trouble.
4- The Last Starfighter (1984)
After Alex Rogan got a high score on his favorite arcade game, Starfighter, he meets the game designer Centauri. And here’s where the plot thickens to epic proportions. Centauri reveals to Alex that he created the game with the sole reason as to recruit a Starfighter and that Alex proved to be a great addition to joining their, not Star Wars, but Space War as a pilot.
3- War Games (1983)
What if playing a game like Call of Duty or Battlefield, or by 80s standards, Contra or Missile Command had real life impact?
War Games, stars Matthew Broderick as a young hacker/gamer. As all hackers do, he hacks his way through the NET in search of new video game to play. He finds, what he thought to be, a game and starts playing, and inadvertently almost starts WWIII. Soon after realizing what he had done, he and his girlfriend, of course, start looking for a way to amend his mistake and stop the war from starting.
2- Wreck-it Ralph (2012)
A Disney CGI film about an arcade video game villain sick of being the villain and always losing to the hero. He sets off to change his programmed destiny and travels through different games in hope of one day being the hero.
1- The Wizard (1989)
The movie starts with, Corey (Fred Savage) breaking out his kid brother from a mental institute, and they run off to California. Soon, Corey discovers that his kid brother can put pro-gamers to shame with his gaming skills. So they change course and head to the ULTIMATE GAMING CHAMPIONSHIP where they compete in playing…Super Mario Bros. 3.
The movie is a great lens to 80s films and gaming culture. After all, It has The Power Glove, Nintendo, an all-American road trip, logo with steel font, and Fred Savage.