Oscar Nominated Films And Their Video Game Adaptations

by Kyle Hilliard on Feb 22, 2015 at 10:30 AM

The Oscars are considered the most prestigious of all film awards. Every year, the films that win and are nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture are considered the best of the best. Some of those movies (a surprising amount, in fact) have had video games based on them. Do these games live up to the standards set by the films on which they are based?

Among the movies featured in the best film category that have had video game adaptions, only a few actually won.

The Godfather (1972)
We gave the game a 7.5 when it released in 2006 calling it a disappointment. We actually thought the game might have benefitted without the license.

The Godfather Part II (1974)
Released in 2009, The Godfather II received terrible reviews. We gave it a 5.5, citing technical issues and just general poor use of the license. There’s a reason Electronic Arts made the decision not to pursue a third game based on the third film.

Rocky (1976)
There were a few games based on the Rocky license. We gave the boxing game that released during the PlayStation 2 era in 2002 a 7. There was also a Sega Master System in 1987 where players fought against Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, and Ivan Drago. It had some amazing graphics for its time, and a punching bag mini-game.

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Released the same year as the film of the same name, all of Electronic Arts’ games based on the Lord of the Rings film licenses have been generally well-regarded. We gave the game an 8.25. The popularity of the films, and the success of the licensed video games have led to a whole franchise of Lord of the Rings game.

These films did not win the best picture, but they were nominated.

Jaws (1975)
There are a few games based on the Jaws license. There was an NES game in 1987 that is generally disliked. Jaws Unleashed released in 2006 and in his review Andrew Reiner said, “After this miserable showing, the only waters that Jaws will be patrolling are those of the great video game toilet.”

Star Wars (1977)
There isn’t so much one singular game that defines the Star Wars video game experience. Star Wars video games have become their own separate business spanning a wide range of quality.  For the most part, people like Star Wars video games, and the future for the franchise is looking strong.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Similar to Star Wars, Indiana Jones has become a brand in the world of video games. There are some games that people really love, like the point and click adventure Fate of Atlantis and Lego Indiana Jones. Others though, like Nintendo 64 game The Infernal Machine, are generally panned.

E.T. (1982)
E.T. released for the Atari 2600 in 1982 and it is usually the first game brought up when discussing the worst games of all time. Attempts to release better E.T. games in the early 2000s did almost nothing to repair its reputation.

Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Beauty and the Beast had a few 8 and 16-bit platformers based on it for NES, Super Nintendo, and Genesis, but Belle’s adventures are often forgotten in favor of other platformers based on Disney films like Aladdin and Lion King.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Released three years after the movie, the video game based on the film did little to renew interest. We gave the game a 6.

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Before Electronic Arts began releasing Lord of the Rings games, Sierra and Universal released a Fellowship of the Ring game. It released in time to coincide with the movie of the same name, but it more closely followed the plot of the book. We gave it a 3.

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Faring much better than game based on Fellowship of the Ring, Electronic Arts’ game based on the Two Towers is often considered one of the better video games based on a licensed film property. We gave the game a 9.25.

Avatar (2009)
James Cameron invested a lot of time and energy into the experience of the film Avatar, and he seemed nearly as excited about the game. The world created for the film is a deep one and the video game was meant to flesh it out beyond the film. Unfortunately, it merely existed in its shadow. We gave the game a 6.5 calling it, “A lackluster, though not entirely unpleasant, experience.”

Up (2009)
The video game based on Pixar’s film is your standard fare in regards to video games based on animated films. Great for kids with some fun moments, but nothing particularly special.

Toy Story 3 (2010)
In many ways, Disney Infinity wouldn’t exist without the lessons learned from Toy Story 3. The two games have a similar structure with both creative and campaign-driven content. We gave the game an 8 highlighting its creativity and good use of the license saying that it stands as proof that developers can do much better than your average licensed video game.