Great movies can create wonderful places we want to visit and intriguing people we want to spend time with. And every once in a while they invent a game we would like to play. Inspired by the latest installment in the Hunger Games franchise, this week's Top 5 lists my favorite movie games.
These are games invented to play a part in a movie, be it small or large, that helps expand either the story or the world around it. I ended up ruling out board games. There are quite a few, but none of them could find their way into the top five. So Jumangi, Zathura, Tri-Dimensional Chess (Star Trek) and Dejarik (Star Wars) are all on the outside looking in.
5. Fix-It Felix (Wreck-It Ralph)
It's got to be difficult to create an old school arcade game in a world where so many retro video games are known and loved. But the team behind Wreck-It Ralph not only created a believable game to hang their story on, but they also get extra points for releasing it to the public afterwards.
4. Light Cycle Racing (Tron)
30 years before Wreck-It Ralph there was Tron. Tron created a video game world with the scope of MMORPGs today, but did so while we were all living in a Pong world. Watching those light cycles racing towards their inevitable doom was a ton of fun. The film and arcade cabinet were released in the same year and though the video game was simple, just two different colored lines moving around the screen, imagining what was happening inside the cabinet thanks to the movie was half the fun.
3. Wheel of Fish (UHF)
Only in the mind of Weird Al Yankovic could you find this bizarre love child of Wheel of Fortune and Let's Make a Deal. Contestants must spin the wheel and hope for the best, and given the show's low budget, anything can happen. If you haven't seen UHF you should. It's full of parodies, puns and pop culture, all with Weird Al at center stage, right where he should be.
2. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games)
Only one kill or be killed game was going to make my list and though I have a soft spot for Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Running Man, it can't hope to beat the juggernaut that is The Hunger Games. From the way it's brought to life on screen you can see why this game of Survivor on steroids would catch on in this dystopic future, where the line between rich and poor is so dramatically drawn. It's certainly not a game I'd ever want to play, but it's deviously fun to watch.
1. Quidditch (Harry Potter series)
Games set in the Harry Potter universe could be it's own Top 5 list, with Gobstones, Exploding snap and Wizard Chess to consider. But Quidditch takes the cake without question. Played on broomstick, Quidditch is the perfect blend of soccer, dodgeball and racing. And with no small amount of crowd interference and all the behind the scenes drama of professional wrestling, Quidditch more than earns its spot at the top of the list.