Here’s a tough article, what are the best movies related to a video game? It’s a head-scratcher but we’re going to give it a go.
Come on, let’s be honest, when we think of movies based on video games we heave a sigh, roll our eyes and look despondently at our feet. We have all learned, through bitter experience, that this genre of movies has never been a good thing and our experience is a long and enduring one. Since Hollywood first spat out the first example, way back in 1993, with the release of Super Mario Bros which starred Bob Hoskins. Maybe his agent thought this was a good idea after Hoskins’ appearance in Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988, who knows?! We have been inundated with 29 movies all in all.
But why do they do it? The cynical reason why Hollywood looks to the gaming world for inspiration. Like an experienced surfer riding the wave all the way into shore. So the movie studios look to ride the success of whatever video game is dominating the market and the zeitgeist at that time. How to ensure that your video game movie captures the best box office? It must capture the attention of the excitement and player support that the game garners.
Now one of these entries was pure animation and may not sit comfortably within your purview of what makes up a movie? But in 2016 we were presented with The Angry Birds Movie which was a decent box office success. Hitting $350M on a $73M budget though critically it failed to inspire. One of the reasons for this (apart from the bad script) was the fact this movie appeared 7 years after the game had come out and become the sensation that it did.
A studio issue?
Unfortunately, most studios forget that they still need to make good movies around a video game. Due to low budgets, poor scripts, and ham acting, we, the poor audience, have to suffer the consequences and sit through most of this drivel. But that’s the thing, even though we know what to expect we still go and watch the next installment to this. So we only have ourselves to blame for keeping this disappointing genre going! And so we have the very latest edition to this shoddy list – Mortal Kombat (2021).
On the face of it, it’s difficult to understand why this movie was made. Coming almost a generation after the 90’s video game and 1995 movie of the same name. But this is based on the recently released game, Mortal Kombat 11 (2019), that was the highest grossing edition in the franchise. Judging by the “edgy” and violent trailer, the reboot is taking the movie franchise into a different direction. And certainly with a bigger budget than the first. Will we watch it? Of course we will. Will it be any good? Probably not. But that’s not the point, as this movie marks #30 pn the list, we will definitely be lining up to watch it just as we did the first way back when.
But there must have been some of these movies that are good, I hear you plead. Certainly there have been a few which have risen themselves (albeit slightly) above the rest of the fare and it is these that we turn our attention to now. Trying to find the right balance between encapsulating the joys of the game to producing a worthwhile movie that can achieve both critical and box office success (or at least just making some damn money, if nothing else!). So here are nine of the “best” movies this genre has to offer…trust me when I say, “that’s not saying much(!)”
9. Silent Hill – 2006
Based on the psychological creep-fest game that appeared in 1999. Silent Hill mirrors the tone of the game pretty well and makes for some uncomfortable moments. While piling on the creature-fest aspect, as well, though with less success. After having dreams about the place, our protagonist, Rose, has driven to the mysterious town with her adopted daughter. But they are involved in a car accident and Rose regains consciousness only to find that her daughter is missing and presumed to be lost in Silent Hill.
So far so good, but as the film producers were feeling pressured to “liven up” the project for a cinema audience. So they went a bit OTT on the creature feature and lost the atmosphere. This played heavily on the critics, who gave it a swerve. While the box office began well ($20M on opening weekend) but stalled with just $100M and when it cost $50M to make, that’s not good.
8. Resident Evil – 2002
The movie that spawned the most successful video game movies franchise ever. Six films and a billion dollars later, we have an enduring storyline that never knows when to stop (2021 will see a reboot to start it all off again!) and has kept husband and wife team, Paul W S Anderson and Milla Jovovich, in full-time employment for a long time already.
Compared with the sequels, this was quite a straightforward affair. It focused more on the initial fun of the 1996 video game with our female star getting to grips with a zombie outbreak. For the uncomplicated storytelling and the similarity to the game’s “shoot-em-up” model, it worked quite well. Though critics were split on this very issue. Box office receipts were moderate to start with as it just crept over $100M on a $33M budget.
7. Tomb Raider – 2001
Another stalwart of the video game universe that got a reboot over 20 years after the original 1996 game came out. This would be based on one of the latter game editions, that was released in 2013, and boasted the fact that they had an Oscar winner in the starring role. Swedish actress, Alicia Vikander, took up the baton left behind by Angelina Jolie.
A fairly straightforward plot of Lara trying to find her missing father on a mysterious island. That would lead to a lot of climbing and jumping about while firing off her big guns – which is all that you could ask for, really. Achieving a moderate critical response, though IMDB reviewers hold it in higher regard. But the nail in the coffin for this reboot franchise was that it gleaned $276M from the worldwide box office. Though this was considered just break even considering it’s whopping $94M budget.
6. Tomb Raider – 2018
The reboot is only beaten by the original. With an all-star cast that consisted of Jolie, pre-James Bond Daniel Craig and Jon Voight to name just a few. An accredited Hollywood director, Simon West, at the helm it was destined for good things – sort of. A spectacular set-piece (which means more jumping and climbing). And a spectacular chest from Ms Jolie would ensure entertainment for all.
But it would not be well received critically. The director would comment, a decade afterwards, that the prospect of a strong female protagonist was ahead of its time. If it had appeared after Hunger Games and Wonder Woman maybe its reception would’ve been different? After costing $115M to make it only managed $275M in worldwide receipts.
5. Doom – 2005
This early workout for The Rock was based on the third installment of the 1993 game that had come out just a year before the film’s release. Boasting acting chops from both Karl Urban and Rosamund Pike, this movie kept things close to the spirit of the classic First Person Shooter (FPS). Though with a touch of Cameron’s Aliens thrown in for good measure.
This close adhering to the game’s style would put off critics (I mean, what were they expecting? Shakespeare??) and the movie died at the box office as it failed to even recoup its $60M budget.
4. Street Fighter – 1994
This would be only the second video game movie to appear. But, though not one of the “greats”, it does have a lot of charm and a memorable performance from Raul Julia (which would be his last role). As well as ham acting from Jean-Claude Van Damme between his bouts of martial arts.
Considering the rather big budget of $35M, the movie boasted pretty poor production quality. Not to mention the poor script (when it wasn’t being tongue-in-cheek). It did manage receipts of $99M though could not manage kind words from the critics.
3. Sonic The Hedgehog – 2020
So, almost 30 years after the game originally came out, we get the delight of a Sonic movie. Though seemingly pointless, it would actually be quite a success. As a good blend of (newly improved) CGI, don’t mention the teeth, fun story and the antics of Jim Carrey (his best for a long time) helped to make this a hit.
Though splitting the critics, its $85M budget was recouped from its $320M receipts.
2. Pokemon Detective Pikachu – 2019
Based off the 2016 video game of the same name, this was a project you might not have much hope for, initially. But the shrewd casting of Ryan Reynolds to voice the lead proved intuitive and ensured the movie would sway the critics. Ensuring a strong $433M return on its $150M investment.
1. Mortal Kombat – 1995
Coming in at #1, Paul Anderson’s first foray into video game movies proved to be a successful one. Keeping close to the source, the fighting was upfront and centre with Christopher Lambert leading the charge. Achieving the strongest reviews within the genre, it would go on to make over 6 times its $18M budget.
Thank you for reading our article on the nine best video game movies. Did we miss any, which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.
Read about the top 11 video game heroes 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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