73 voters

The Best Movies About Playing Video Games

Updated January 24, 2020 509 votes 73 voters 1.9k views17 items

List RulesVote up the best films that are about video games, not based on a video game.

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.

  • Tron: Legacy
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

    Video Games: The Games


    • Actors: Olivia Wilde, Jeff Bridges, Cillian Murphy, Serinda Swan, Michael Sheen
    • Released: 2010
    • Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
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  • Tron
    Photo: Buena Vista Distribution

    Video Game: Tron

    Tron is a 1982 American science fiction film written and directed by Steven Lisberger, based on a story by Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird, and produced by Walt Disney Productions. The film stars Jeff Bridges as a computer programmer who is transported inside the software world of a mainframe computer, where he interacts with various programs in his attempt to get back out. Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, and Barnard Hughes star in supporting roles. Development of Tron began in 1976 when Lisberger became fascinated with the early video game Pong. He and producer Donald Kushner set up an animation studio to develop Tron with the intention of making it an animated film. Indeed, to... more on Wikipedia
    • Actors: Jeff Bridges, David Warner, Michael Dudikoff, Cindy Morgan, Bruce Boxleitner
    • Released: 1982
    • Directed by: Steven Lisberger
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  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
    Photo: user uploaded image
    Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a 2017 American 3D action dark fantasy adventure comedy film directed by Jake Kasdan. Four teenagers discover an old video game console and are literally drawn into the game's jungle setting becoming the adult avatars they chose.... more on Wikipedia
    • Actors: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas
    • Directed by: Scott Rosenberg
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  • The Last Starfighter
    Photo: Universal Pictures

    Video Game: Starfighter


    • Actors: Wil Wheaton, Robert Preston, Catherine Mary Stewart, Barbara Bosson, Dan O'Herlihy
    • Released: 1984
    • Directed by: Nick Castle
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