The 90s was an interesting time for the movie industry, as the introduction of more sophisticated CGI added a new element to the cinematic experience. There are some excellent examples of CGI when it is done well, for example, Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park. However, there are plenty of examples where CGI looks terrible, such as Spawn from 1997. Or it makes the movie look dated and frankly, a pointless exercise such as some of the CGI scenes which were added to the Star Wars Special Editions.


RELATED: The Best 90’s Video Games, Ranked

Video games were also in a transitional phase, as consoles were moving away from 16-bit to more advanced 32-bit machines. As always, there were a lot of video games based on 90s movies, with the vast majority of them being cheap cash-ins. There are exceptions though, and this list will explore some of the best examples of video games based on 90s movies.

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10/10 Batman Returns

Konami released some excellent games for home consoles, in particular the SNES. Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time, and Contra 3: The Alien Wars, are just a few examples of fantastic games which were adored by fans. Batman Returns released in 1993, was another stellar entry into their line-up.

Batman Returns is a side-scrolling beat ’em-up that closely follows the story of the movie. The graphics and combat are excellent, but the music takes center stage and is some of the best heard on the SNES. The developers did their homework to make sure the game was as authentic as possible, and the recreation of the Danny Elfman score is second to none.

9/10 Alien 3

Although Alien 3 the movie may have been a disappointment for fans upon its initial release, time has been kind to David Fincher’s directorial debut. Although the movie sees Ripley again battling the infamous Xenomorph, the lack of firearms in the movie helped to increase the overall tension. This is obviously in stark contrast to Aliens, which is why moviegoers may have been underwhelmed.

RELATED: Every Alien Movie, Ranked By Rotten Tomatoes

There’s a lot to admire about Alien 3 the video game, as it follows the movie in terms of its look and tone, right down to a digitized version of skin-headed Ripley. However, the developers must have felt the lack of weapons from the movie would have turned off gamers, so Ripley is armed to the teeth with a pulse rifle, flamethrower, and grenades. Although Alien 3 was released on multiple systems, the SNES version was particularly well-received thanks to its graphics and music.

8/10 Dick Tracy

When it comes to star-studded casts, there aren’t much better than Dick Tracy from 1990. Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, Madonna, Dick Van Dyke, Kathy Bates, and Dustin Hoffman are just a few of the names from the big-screen adaptation which became a huge blockbuster. There were different video game adaptations released, but the Sega Genesis was arguably the best version. Sega had perfected the formula for side-scrolling games with titles such as Shinobi, Altered Beast, and E-SWAT, and Dick Tracy follows this similar production line.

Although the game didn’t perform well in terms of sales, it did capture the comic book style of the movie with its graphics. The gameplay also mixes things up from the standard side-scrolling action, with sections where Tracy must shoot enemies who appear in the background, as well as a section where he is riding the side of a police car. There was also a bonus level where Tracy had to shoot targets whilst avoiding civilians. Again, the inclusion of a bonus level was typical in a lot of Sega games released in the 80s and 90s.

7/10 Disney’s Aladdin

Aladdin the movie is mainly remembered for one thing and that is the incredible vocal performance from Robin Williams. His role as the Genie transformed the movie into something truly special and is a reminder of the immense talent Williams had which is sadly no longer with us. The video game adaptation of Disney’s Aladdin could have been a cheap cash-in, but instead became one of the biggest video game hits from 1993.

RELATED: Best Games Based On Disney Movies, According To Metacritic

The developers worked closely with Disney to bring the graphics to life, and it still looks fantastic today. The hard work paid off, and the animation is some of the best seen on consoles. The characters felt like an extension of the movie, right down to their mannerisms and the way they moved. The music is also superb with renditions of A Whole New World and Friend Like Me.

6/10 GoldenEye 007

What is there to say about GoldenEye 007 that hasn’t already been said before? This truly iconic N64 game helped to redefine the FPS genre and confirm the status of Rare as one of the best video game developers in the game industry. GoldenEye 007 went on to sell millions of copies and was adored by fans across the world.

The multiplayer mode in particular gave players the chance to face off against each other using their favorite characters from the James Bond movies. Recently, fans of the game were left shocked and excited by the announcement of a 4K version of GoldenEye 007 which is coming to Xbox Game Pass. The original version is also being released for Nintendo Switch with an online multiplayer mode included.

5/10 RoboCop 3

RoboCop 3 is often regarded as an extremely poor entry into the series with fans and critics delivering scathing reviews. One major criticism was leveled at the decision to remove the violence which became a major part of the first 2 movies, in favor of a more child-friendly film. This was the final nail in the coffin, and despite not being a financial flop, RoboCop 3 found it difficult to find an audience.

There were a few video game adaptations of RoboCop 3 released on consoles, but it was the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST versions that received the most praise. The game featured first-person driving and shooting sections which were fairly innovative for the time. Piracy was rife on home computers so, in an attempt to combat this, Ocean Software released the game with a dongle that plugged into the 2nd joystick port. Sadly, this failed to stop the game from being hacked and pirates cracked the game before it was even released.

4/10 Die Hard Trilogy

Variety and value for money are words players would often associate with Die Hard Trilogy which was released in 1996. Not only did gamers get to play out their John McClane fantasies from the first 3 movies, but they also had the chance to experience completely different types of gameplay.

The original Die Hard was a 3rd person shooter, Die Hard 2: Die Harder was an on-rails light gun shooter, and Die Hard With A Vengeance was a driving game where McClane had to race against time to defuse bombs. Each game took elements from the movies that resonated with fans, and the game was a commercial hit.

3/10 Mission: Impossible

It’s hard to believe Tom Cruise has been making Mission: Impossible for 26 years, and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. If anything, the stunts have become more outrageous, with Cruise often putting his own body on the line to entertain fans.

RELATED: Tom Cruise’s Best Stunts, Ranked

Although there was an N64 version of Mission: Impossible released in 1998, the Lego Dimensions level pack is the best place for players to get their fix of fun and espionage. The game follows the plot of the first movie, with key scenes being recreated in the typical Lego game style.

2/10 Jurassic Park

1993 would be a defining moment for cinema! Audiences seeing dinosaurs realistically recreated and shown on the big screen was a truly magical experience for cinemagoers. Although the CGI is spectacular and ground-breaking, the beauty of Jurassic Park is not having an over-reliance on making everything CGI. The practical effects are more than a match for the CGI and helped to bring the dinosaurs to life, which made them more believable for audiences.

There were a couple of notable Jurassic Park games released in time for the movie, and both of them have completely different styles. The Sega Genesis version was a side-scrolling platformer where the player took control of Dr. Alan Grant or a velociraptor. The game had superb animation and was rightly praised by critics. The SNES version, developed by Ocean Software, had run-and-gun gameplay which was similar to Zombies Ate My Neighbors. There were also first-person sections reminiscent of the early Wolfenstein games.

1/10 Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The video game adaptations of Terminator 2: Judgment Day was a huge disappointment for gamers! Although it wasn’t on the level of ET: The Extra-terrestrial video game, there was a lot of hype surrounding the Terminator 2 video game, as fans were excited to play out scenes from the blockbuster movie. There were different versions released on home computers and consoles and all were panned by critics who said it was a cynical cash-in to exploit fans.

Arguably the best version of Terminator 2: Judgment Day was to be found in the arcade. This light gun shooter featured various scenes taken from the movie and had an awesome arcade cabinet. The arcade game was extremely successful and financially became a huge hit. The arcade game was converted for the SNES and Sega Genesis and was compatible with the Super Scope and Menacer light gun peripherals.

MORE: Best Video Games Based On 80s Movies

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