The Best Movies About Playing Video Games
The 1983 movie WarGames lures a teenage computer hacker into almost accidentally starting a global thermonuclear war by asking him the simple question: “Shall we play a game?” As video games prove to be as popular than ever, it makes sense that movies about playing video games are as equally profitable. Here are the best movies about video game competition and video games in general.
Take note that this list is not about movies based on video games. Therefore, we can exclude films like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Mortal Kombat. Instead, these movies feature plots where the actual video game is part of the narrative. For example, in The Last Starfighter, a teenage loner and expert player of a video game called “Starfighter” is recruited to use his gaming skills to fight aliens and save the world.
Some of these characters are trapped in a video game movie, other characters are playing old school arcade games, some are even playing in a virtual reality system. What are your favorite movies about video games? Let us know by voting up or down in the list below.
- Photo: Ready Player One173 VOTES
Video Game: OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation)In 2045, the planet is on the brink of chaos and collapse, but people find salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by James Halliday. When Halliday dies, he promises his immense fortune to the first person to discover a digital Easter egg that's hidden somewhere in the OASIS. When young Wade Watts joins the contest, he finds himself becoming an unlikely hero in a reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical world of mystery, discovery and danger.
- Actors: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller
- Released: 2018
- Directed by: Steven Spielberg
- Photo: Wreck-It Ralph248 VOTES
Multiple Video Games
- Actors: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk
- Released: 2012
- Directed by: Rich Moore
- 342 VOTES
Video Game: WOPR (War Operation Plan Response)High school student David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) unwittingly hacks into a military supercomputer while searching for new video games. After starting a game of Global Thermonuclear War, Lightman leads the supercomputer to activate the nation's nuclear arsenal in response to his simulated threat as the Soviet Union. Once the clueless hacker comes to his senses, Lightman, with help from his girlfriend (Ally Sheedy), must find a way to alert the authorities to stop the onset of World War III.
- Actors: Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, Ally Sheedy, John Wood, Barry Corbin
- Released: 1983
- Directed by: John Badham
- 426 VOTES
Video Game: Starfighter
- Actors: Lance Guest, Robert Preston, Dan O'Herlihy, Catherine Mary Stewart, Barbara Bosson
- Released: 1984
- Directed by: Nick Castle
- Photo: Jumanji: The Next Level / Sony Pictures Releasing528 VOTESWhen Spencer goes back into the fantastical world of Jumanji, pals Martha, Fridge and Bethany re-enter the game to bring him home. But the game is now broken -- and fighting back. Everything the friends know about Jumanji is about to change, as they soon discover there's more obstacles and more danger to overcome.
- Actors: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Awkwafina
- Released: 2019
- Directed by: Jake Kasdan
- 621 VOTESFour high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game's jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose. What they discover is that you don't just play Jumanji - you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they'll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves - or they'll be stuck in the game forever.
- Actors: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Rhys Darby
- Released: 2017
- Directed by: Jake Kasdan