Movies & TV / Columns

The Top 10 NES Games That Should Be Made Into Movies (#10 – 6)

January 18, 2021 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Metroid Prime

The Top 10 NES Games That Should Be Made Into Movies: #10-#6


Movies based on video games have a, at best, spotty reputation. While the Milla Jovovich led Resident Evil movie franchise was an international success, very few people seem to admit to liking them (I personally love them). There are two live action Street Fighter movies and both are reviled, but for different reasons (I love both of those movies, too). And the movie based on Super Mario Bros. was a critical and box office bomb but has gained a sort of cult notoriety since then. Movie studios are still trying to make movies and TV shows based on video games, though. So what games would make for potentially cool movies, specifically games that appeared on the original Nintendo Entertainment System?

Over the next two weeks, I’m going to showcase which ten NES games I think would make for cool movies. I will include one “honorable mention” each week, and then five official picks. I decided to stick with games that haven’t been made into movies yet, so that leaves Super Mario Bros. ineligible for the list (although I do think a proper Mario movie should be attempted. It would probably cost a fortune in special effects, but a live-action Mario movie that looked like the franchise as video game fans understand it would be awesome). And my potential movies are all meant to be live-action movies. A Pixar type Lolo movie would probably rock hard, but I’d imagine a live action one would be too weird. So I’m thinking these movies have to be live action.

And now, without any further what have you, here are the first five NES Games That Should Be Made Into Movies (spots #10-#6):

Honorable Mentions:

Star Tropics: I’m surprised that this hasn’t been made into a movie or TV show yet, especially by some outfit like Nickelodeon or Disney. It’s all about a kid who has to search for his missing uncle, who has been kidnapped by aliens. The game is chock full of monsters and ruins and whatnot. The kid’s weapon, a yo-yo, is weird, sure, but it’s still kind of cool (and think of the merchandising opportunities! Yo-yos for everyone!). A definite YAish franchise could be developed from this.


10. Metroid: This game always pissed me off because, for whatever reason, I could never quite get a handle on the controls. I always screwed up jumping and that rolling thing you could do. However, it was always cool that the main character, Samus, was a woman, mostly because you didn’t see many female protagonists in video games at the time. I’d imagine that a movie version of the game would alter the look of Samus and not have wear a bright yellow suit with a red helmet. Everything would become black and gray and silver because that’s more “realistic.” But using the color pallete established by the game would make for a vibrant game. And I would keep the aliens that you fight on the planet Zebes the same way they are in the game: cool and weird. I’m surprised that this game hasn’t already been made into a movie, or a TV show of some kind.


9. Bionic Commando: This was another game that pissed me off every time I played it, either at a friend’s house or by renting it. That fucking bionic arm hook thing always screwed me over. I mean, why the hell couldn’t the main character jump and use his bionic arm? I’d suspect that a movie version of the game would jettison the whole futuristic setting of the story, with warring fictional governments and all that, and just have the main character have a bionic arm and, eventually, other bionic enhancements. I do remember that the original Japanese version was all about stopping Hitler but all that was changed for the American version (what the hell was the main bad guy’s name? Master something?). I bet this could be turned into a pretty cool spy movie with the main character having bionic enhancements.


8. Ghosts ‘N Goblins: This was one of the first horror themed games I played on the NES and I thought it was cool as hell to kill zombies. I also thought it was hilarious that the main character, Sir Arthur, could actually lose his armor in the middle of a board and have to fight off various monsters while in his underwear. How badass is that? And how ridiculous is that? I could totally see this as a kind of horror comedy, with a hilarious section where the main character (would the movie keep the name Sir Arthur or would it go for something else?) goes on a monster killing rampage in his underwear. The movie could also explore why he was only in his underwear at the beginning of the game and why he didn’t have clothes on underneath his armor in the first place. I never beat this game. In fact, I don’t remember getting beyond the third board, and that was after some serious swearing. I have seen the game play through on YouTube, though, and I’d definitely find a way to keep the annoying nonsense parts of the game intact. And think of the ending, where you have to go through the game again on a harder difficulty level in order to see the true ending. I bet that would make for a funny as hell ending.


7. Heavy Barrel: A badass action game where you have to stop a group of terrorists from launching a nuclear weapon after they take over a nuclear facility, it was always fun finding and unlocking the six pieces of the “heavy barrel” superweapon, which looked like a giant pen in the game that shot out massive footballs that obliterated everything in their path. This game always reminded me of Commando but was less annoying (Heavy Barrel also moved faster). I can totally see this as a full on action movie made in the style of low budget 1980’s Italian action flicks, with cheesy action sequences that still rock hard (bad guys flying everywhere after explosions and whatnot) and a transcendent scene where one of the main characters (it should probably be some sort of buddy movie) finally finds/assembles the heavy barrel gun. Think of the carnage! And I’d also keep the music, which was great.


6. Shatterhand: This was a game that pissed me off every time I played it but, at the same time, I couldn’t stop playing it because, even when it pissed me off, it was still fun. I loved the idea of a guy with two bionic arms who could punch things and make those things explode. It was also cool how, after you picked up various items from those box things you could end up getting a floating robot buddy that helped you kill robot bad guys from a distance. The whole “hanging on the fence” thing was also pretty nifty. This was also one of the few games that I remember playing where, after the first board, you got to pick where you wanted to go next. I bet that could be a cool thing to see in a movie (and that’s how you set up the franchise. You have Shatterhand, the main guy, pick a world to go to and that’s the first movie. The other boards are the sequels). Why hasn’t this game been updated and recreated into a modern game?


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Nintendo, Bryan Kristopowitz