With the gaming industry raking in over $120 billion in 2019, we look at some of the hottest games that Hollywood really need to cash in on, turn into movies and make a fortune.
Gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry and, much like films, appeals to people of all age
But Hollywood doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to turning video games into films. Warcraft split people like Marmite: they either loved it or hated it. And don’t even get me started on Assassin’s Creed, Street Fighter or Mario…
With the standard of video games rising (technically and visually) there’s never been a better time to turn one of these stories into a blockbuster.
1. The Last Of Us
This is the first of our games that could make Hollywood a fortune. If I hear “the infected” and “post-apocalyptic” in the same sentence, you’ve already won me over. But for those who need a little more convincing, what Naughty Dog did with The Last Of Us series is simply mind-blowing.
In the first game, you play as Joel, a smuggler tasked with escorting teenage girl, Ellie, across the post-apocalyptic United States. They use arms and weapons to defend against hostile humans and cannibalistic creatures. All infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus.
The sequel is set five years later. This time with the ability to control two characters whose lives intertwine. Ellie, who sets out for revenge after suffering a tragedy, and Abby, a soldier who becomes involved in a conflict between the militia and a cult.
Both games have been praised for their narrative, gameplay, visuals, sound design, and characterisation. As well as winning awards for ‘Game of the Year’ plus a slew of others.
The fact is though if you’ve played either of The Last Of Us games and haven’t thought “damn, this would make an insane movie”. Well, you probably need to take your head outside for a wobble.
Perfect actor to play Joel Miller: Josh Brolin
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
There isn’t a single game where I’ve been more invested in the characters than in RDR2. Is there anyone who’s played the story mode without feeling a twinge in the old tear ducts when Arthur dies? I ain’t gonna lie, I ugly-cried.
But it’s because it’s so well written and produced that scores of people felt the same. And if they could conjure up that kind of emotional attachment to characters in a video game, imagine how incredible a film would be?
Set in a fictional recreation of the American Old West in 1899. Red Dead Redemption 2 focuses on the life of Arthur Morgan and his position in the notorious Van der Linde gang. The game follows the gang’s decline as they are pursued by lawmen, fellow gangs, and Pinkerton agents. The narrative revolves around the characters of Dutch van der Linde, John Marston and Micah Bell, and Morgan.
The game features an open world in a classic setting, an unmatched soundtrack. Also, character development that’s rarely seen in video games. Although the first Red Dead was a triumph. The story in RDR2 with the gang and its colourful characters running from the law would translate far better on the big screen.
It’s rare that the cut scenes in a game capture your attention the way they do in RDR2. That in itself a good sign that this would make one hell of a Western film.
Best actor to play Arthur Morgan: Tom Hardy
Perfect actor to play Dutch Van der Linde: Daniel Day-Lewis
Actor to play John Marston: Kit Harington
Holy smokes. Now, this is one of those games that would make an awesome and ambitious film and would make Hollywood a fortune.
The visually stunning, all-encompassing open world of Skyrim is just breathtaking to explore. The setting alone would provide the framework for a fantastic film, but it’s backed by a story
that’s perhaps even better.
The game revolves around the player’s character. The Dragonborn, on their quest to defeat Alduin the World-Eater, a dragon who is prophesied to destroy the world. Throughout the game, the Dragonborn has side quests that enable them to fully discover the world and factions within it.
It’d be pretty hard to fit all that Skyrim is into one film – and there’s the small matter of deciding which (none/some/all) of the groups the protagonist would join. Becoming one of the Dark Brotherhood would make for a different film than say the Companions.
But even if it was done over the course of a trilogy, the world, characters, and dragons would all make for a truly spectacular film.
Perfect actor to play the Dragonborn (if male): Chris Hemsworth
Perfect actress to play the Dragonborn (if female): Daisy Ridley
4. Grand Theft Auto
Cars. Guns. Gangs. Need I say more? Take your pick over which version of the game might be best they all have potential. Personally I’d go with Vice City for the soundtrack and outfits alone, but that might be just me.
Perfect actors to play the lead (depending on the direction of the film): Michael B. Jordan,
Benicio Del Toro.
I’ve thought for a long time that the Uncharted games would make amazing films, and word on the street is that there’s one in the pipeline. (But Tom Holland playing Nathan Drake… lordy lordy. Great guy. Love him as Spiderman. But Nathan Drake? Jury’s out on that one…)
For those who don’t know, Uncharted is an action-adventure game series which follows Nathan Drake; a treasure hunter who travels across the world to uncover various historical mysteries.
There are currently four games in series, each with its own unique story, and any of these would make a really enjoyable film. Heck, why not make all four? This is Hollywood after all.
Take the locations Drake travels to. Then mix them with the hilarious relationship between him and Sully. Finally, add a dash of bum-clenching suspense, and you’ve got all the ingredients of a dangerously good movie.
Perfect actor to play Nathan Drake: Bradley Cooper
6. Metal Gear Solid
With all the source material you get from the Metal Gear series, you’ve already set yourself up for a franchise. In fact, this may make a better TV series than a film. But with the right cast and budget, you could make several films out of these games and still keep people coming back for more.
Metal Gear is a series of action-adventure stealth video games. The player often takes control of a special forces operative (usually Solid Snake or Big Boss). They’re assigned the task of finding the titular superweapon “Metal Gear”. A bipedal walking tank with the ability to launch nuclear weapons.
The series is credited for pioneering and popularizing stealth video games and “cinematic video games”. Notable traits of the series include stealth mechanics, cinematic cutscenes, intricate storylines, offbeat humour. Plus, exploration of cyberpunk, dystopian, political and philosophical themes, with references to Hollywood films to add flavour.
The franchise has also been adapted into other media, such as comics, novels, and drama CDs. Surely it’s only a matter of time before a director picks up this gem and turns it into a
cinematic gold mine.
Perfect actor to play Solid Snake: Christian Bale
Do you agree with our list of games that would make Hollywood a fortune? Which games would you like to see appear on the big screen? Leave us a comment below.
Read more from our gaming pages HERE.
See a Wikipedia list of games turned into movies HERE.
9 Rarest And Most Valuable Pokémon Cards In Existence
If you’re one of the millions of people with a set of Pokémon cards stashed away somewhere, it might be time to dig-lett them out (sorry). Time to see if any of these babies are in your collection. Here’s our list of the top 9 rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards in existence.
Chances are you haven’t caught them all. But having even one of these could net you a large wad of cash.
Pokémon has been an on/off craze ever since it first started back in the mid-’90s. But despite releasing games, a cult anime series and several films, it’s those little cards that are making a profitable resurgence right now.
Even in just the last three years, rare Pokémon cards have been sold for thousands of dollars at auction. So now is definitely the time to check your collection. Time to see if you could be sitting on a small fortune.
9. 20th Anniversary 24-karat Gold Pikachu
Crafted in solid gold
Sold for 216,000 yen ($2,081) in October 2016.
You don’t get much more unique than a Pokémon card made from solid gold. Yep, you heard right. This insanely unique and incredibly rare Pokémon card was produced by Japanese jewellery maker, Ginza Tanaka. A limited number of solid gold cards were created as a replica of the original Japanese Pikachu card (affectionately nicknamed ‘Fat Pikachu’).
Made from 11 grams of pure 24-karat cold, the only way to get a copy of this ultra-rare Pokémon card was to enter a lottery held in 2016. If you won, you were given the chance to buy a copy of the limited-edition card for 216,000 yen (around $2,081/£1,700).
The solid gold card was shipped in its own unique box and housed in a plastic frame. And what makes this even more incredible is that, whilst most rare and unique Pokémon cards stem from early on in the game’s beginnings, this card appeared for the first time in just the last 5 years. Definitely one of the rarest (and coolest) Pokémon cards in existence.
8. Master’s Key
A more recent card – but no less rare
Sold for $21,000 in November 2019.
Like the 20th anniversary gold Pikachu, Master’s Key is another rare yet relatively new Pokémon card. It made its first appearance just over ten years ago when it was awarded to competitors in the 2010 Pokémon World Championships held in Hawaii.
Participants in both the TCG (Trading Card Game) and video game counterpart received a copy of Master’s Key. Only the trophy case differed depending on the category.
Only 36 copies of the card are estimated to exist – equal to the number of participants in all age divisions of the world championships. And to prove just how rare this Pokémon card is, one of them sold at auction in November 2019 for more than $21,000.
7. Espeon and Umbreon Gold Star POP Series 5
A pair of Gold Star Pokémon cards from one of the most valuable Pokémon sets of all time
Sold for $22,100 and $20,000 respectively between December 2020 and February 2021.
The Gold Star Pokémon cards are one of the most valuable Pokémon sets ever produced. At the time of writing, a near mint full set of 27 cards is for sale on eBay. The price tag? £35,000 ($49,717).
But it’s the Espeon and Umbreon which are the real moneymakers. Perhaps the rarest cards in the set, these two alone sold for over $20,000 in just the last few months.
The cards are named after the gold star that appears next to the Pokémon’s name at the top of the card. It signifies that the card features alternative colour artwork which is different from the common version.
Only 27 Gold Star cards were released from 2004 to 2007. Making them some of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence.
Whilst the Japanese versions of the cards remain the most valuable due to their limited availability, the English versions of the Espeon and Umbreon Gold Star cards still command a high price. PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator – the prestigious organisation that grades the quality, condition and value of trading cards) values the two cards at $194,209 and $187,277 respectively. Easily making them two of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards around.
6. 1999 Pokémon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind
An ultra-rare promo card – one of only 12 ever made
Sold for $65,100 in October 2020.
When it comes to availability, you don’t get much rarer than the Tropical Wind card.
With just 12 being given to the top players at the 1999 Tropical Mega Battle tournament, the Japanese Tropical Wind promo card is extremely rare.
This inaugural tournament – a precursor to the Pokémon World Championships – took place in 1999 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, Hawaii. The event was invite-only and was a battle between the best 50 players from Canada, Latin America, Europe, the United States, and Japan. During the event, a handful of trophy cards could be obtained. One of these was this baby right here.
This particular Tropical Mega Battle promo card (the 1999 Japanese-language copy of Tropical Wind) has sold at auction for as much as $65,100 in PSA Gem Mint 10 condition, with the most recent sale taking place in October 2020. PSA estimates its value to be as high as $148,482. Making the ultra-rare card a contender for one of the most expensive and valuable Pokémon cards ever made.
5. No. 1 Trainer
Quite possibly the most unknown Pokémon card of all time
Sold for $90,000 in July 2020.
Most people won’t have ever heard of No. 1 Trainer, and it’s even more unlikely they’ll have seen a copy in person. When it comes to rare Pokémon cards, they don’t get much rarer than this.
With only seven copies believed to be in existence, No. 1 Trainer may well be the least known card in existence.
No.1 Trainer is a holographic promotional card awarded to finalists in the Secret Super Battle tournament held in Tokyo in 1999. To earn a place in the competition’s finals (which were held in a secret location) players had to first win a regional tournament. Their prize was the No. 1 Trainer card, which granted them access to the finals.
The text on the front of the card translates to: “The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament’s champion is recognised here, and this honour is praised. By presenting this card, you may gain preferential entry into the Secret Super Battle.” It’s almost like a modern-day, real-life Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory.
As only seven regional tournaments were held, it’s believed that just seven copies of the No. 1 Trainer card were made – easily making it one of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence.
4. Pikachu Illustrator
Extremely expensive and extremely rare
Sold for $195,000 in October 2019.
The Pikachu Illustrator card is an incredibly rare Pokémon card. It still holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive Pokémon trading card sold at auction (although, more about this later…).
Pikachu Illustrator was originally given to winners of promo contests held in 1997 and 1998 by Japanese magazine CoroCoro Comic. 39 copies were officially awarded to the winners. While two copies were reportedly later discovered by one of the creators of the card game, seemingly bringing the total number of Pikachu Illustrator copies to 41.
As well as being ridiculously rare, the card is unique in a number of ways. It’s the only Pokémon card to say “Illustrator” instead of “Trainer” at the top. And has a one-off pen icon in its bottom-right corner to acknowledge its creation for the design contest. The card’s artwork of Pikachu is by Atsuko Nishida, the original illustrator of the fan-favourite Pokémon.
Approximately 19 copies of the card are believed to still exist, with 10 having been certified by the PSA.
A near-flawless copy of the card graded at Mint 9 (one grade under perfect condition) sold at auction in 2019 for $195,000 and broke a Guinness World Record. But arguably, there are a couple of contenders to that crown.
3. Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card
A signed card to celebrate the Pokémon founder’s 60th birthday
Sold for $247,230 in April 2021.
Of all the cards featured on this list, this rare and incredibly valuable Pokémon card is definitely one-of-a-kind.
Just last month on April 26, 2021, a copy of the Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card made headlines when it sold for nearly a quarter of a million US dollars.
The card depicts the Pokémon company founder and current president, Tsunekazu Ishihara. It was given to staff as a celebration of his 60th birthday in 2017.
What makes this specific version even rarer is that Ishihara actually signed this near-mint card to boost its price even further.
The ability “Red Chanchanko” refers to the red vest which is traditionally worn on 60th birthdays in Japan and prevents the effect of any attack, ability or trainer card against Ishihara. Meanwhile, its GX move “60 Congratulations” tells you to flip 60 coins, and take a present for each one. A truly unique, legendary card.
2. Pokémon Blastoise #009/165R Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram
Quite possibly the only card one in existence
Sold for $360,000 in January 2021.
This Blastoise card is probably the single rarest Pokémon card in existence. One of only two such Pokémon cards ever made, it sold for a whopping $360,000 (£266,000) in January 2021.
This Pokémon card was created in 1998 as a presentation piece by Magic: The Gathering maker Wizards of the Coast to convince Nintendo executives to allow it to handle the TCG’s English-language release. The game would eventually make its international debut one year later in 1999.
While two Blastoise ‘Presentation’ cards were produced, this is the only one that has been seen publicly. Even more impressively, it has been graded at a NM/Mint+ 8.5 level by certification website CGC, meaning that the 20-plus-year-old card is in near-perfect condition. The location and state of the other Presentation card remain unknown. This either means that this card is the sole one remaining, or someone somewhere is unknowingly sitting on a small fortune.
1. 1999 First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard #4
The card that every kid wanted
Sold for $369,000 in December 2020.
Charizard. The card that absolutely every kid (and adult too now, apparently) wanted. And while the shiny Charizard has always been a firm favourite, this particular variant is even rarer.
While a number of top quality, first-edition cards from the Pokémon TCG’s early days are worth some money, due to their limited availability and age, this specific version of the holographic Charizard absolutely stands out as one of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards ever released.
What sets the card apart is the lack of a shadow underneath the dragon graphic. This was a printing error which was corrected for most of the cards printed but the few that sneaked passed quality control are incredibly sought after.
According to auction house Iconic Auctions, the rare card is “the Holy Grail of Pokémon cards, the most iconic and important card to both the Pokémon franchise and its die-hard fans”.
A mint-condition first-edition shadowless holographic PSA 10 Charizard sold at auction in October 2020 for a staggering $220,574 to the retired rapper – and Pokémon fan – Logic. Then, just two months later in December, another one of the same quality sold for a mind-blowing £350,000.
But as if that wasn’t enough, just a few hours after that, yet another card broke all records, selling for a mind-numbing £369,000.
Although this hasn’t officially been recognised by Guinness World Records, this certainly knocks the Pikachu Illustrator off its perch, as well as the staggering sum held by the Blastoise Galaxy Star Hologram.
Either way, despite not being the rarest, this is definitely the most valuable Pokémon card sold to date. But with the desire for rare Pokémon cards showing no signs of slowing, the big question is: how much higher can their value go?
One thing’s for sure, if anyone out there truly has caught them all, that would make for one incredibly valuable collection.
And that’s our list of the 9 rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards in existence. Did you ever have any of these? Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.
Are Team Rocket just misunderstood? Read our article HERE.
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