Video game tie-ins to popular movies were a common thing in the 2000s, and though they are sparse in the video game industry today, many have stood the test of time and a couple of them are even considered some of the greatest video games of all time.

However, as the games were primarily another way to market the movie than to stand as its own moneymaker, not much effort was put into the quality of the gameplay mechanics or even the graphics. So when a truly great tie-in did come around, it was a big deal.

10 Batman Begins (2005)

The game of Batman Begins wasn’t totally well-received upon its release, and it may be even seen as worse now that the universally acclaimed Arkham series has influenced a generation of games.

However, though the gameplay might be botched, the game perfectly thrusts the player into the grimy world of Gotham, from the docks to the narrows, which were beautifully created in the movie and is one of the reasons it’s Christopher Nolan’s best movie.

9 Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith (2005)

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is inarguably the best movie of the prequel trilogy, as it features some of the best space battles and the final battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan on Mustafar, one of the best uses of CGI in the prequel trilogy.

With the game allowing the player to work their own way through those very scenes as the soon-to-be Darth Vader, it has become the best Star Wars game outside of the original Battlefront series, and it has an alternate ending too.


8 Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005)

After the success of The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson was given carte blanche to do almost anything he wanted, and that was to remake the classic King Kong into a three-hour epic.

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Peter Jackson was much more hands-on with the making of the tie-in game than players would expect, as he was disappointed with how the LotR games turned out. The result is incredibly impressive, as gamers get to play as both a human character trying to defend himself on Skull Island and as the King himself.

7 The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

After Spider-Man 2 started a trend of free-roaming Spider-Man games in 2004, the web-slinging franchise was starting to get old, even if the novelty was incredible to start off with.

However, The Amazing Spider-Man, breathed new life into the franchise as the web-slinging felt fresh, with the mechanics feeling more realistic and the wind effects were incredible. And it’s one of the rare events where the tie-in video game is actually better than the movie on which it’s based, though there are still a few things the movie got right.

6 Toy Story 2 (1999)

Being one of the highest-grossing movies of 1999, Toy Story 2 barely needed a tie-in game, but we’re lucky that they did it anyway because this game is as close as it gets to exploring the world of the series.

For the time, the textures were incredible and the gameplay was really tightly controlled, and it lovingly recreated the locations of the movie with some added Buzz Lightyear themed levels. The game is incredibly creative, as gamers have to solve puzzles and creatively use the environment to reach places that no other toy could.

5 The Incredible Hulk (2008)

After the scrapped plans for a sequel, The Incredibles Hulk remains an outlier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the movie did come with a just as incredible tie-in game.

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Taking influence from the much better The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction from years earlier, the game allows players to freely explore the world at their own leisure, and smash a few things along the way. The character model even looks surprisingly like Edward Norton, who played the titular character in the movie before he was replaced by Mark Ruffalo.

4 The Grinch (2000)

Going all the way back to the PlayStation 1 era of games, it may come as a surprise that the tie-in game to How The Grinch Stole Christmas is actually great.

Jim Carrey, one of the reasons the original version of the character is the best, didn’t return to voice the character and is replaced by a much inferior voice actor, but that’s the most jarring thing about the whole game. Players could leisurely explore Whoville and solve puzzles along the way. And players could even control Max too.

3 A Bug’s Life (1998)

Pixar seemingly licensed out their properties to the best game developers, as Toy Story 2 isn’t the only great tie-in game that came from the studio.

In A Bug’s Life, the best levels come when players have to find their way out of locations found in the movie by using mushrooms to bounce and climbing up plants to reach heights ants couldn’t possibly reach otherwise, and it’s insanely tough. Though it’s aimed at kids, it isn’t patronizing and is actually extremely difficult. It may just be nostalgia talking, but the game is a fun and impressive platformer.

2 X-Men: The Official Game (2004)

As the creative title suggests, this couldn’t be more obviously a tie-in game if it tried. However, though it’s a tie into the disastrous third movie, The Official Game involves scenes from the whole trilogy.

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The best thing about the game is that players can control several characters of the superhero group, including Wolverine, Iceman, and Nightcrawler. As each character has their own style of gameplay, the best by far is Nightcrawler, as the physics of being able to transport is incredible and hasn’t been done in a better way since.

1 Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Any gamer will know that Spider-Man 2 is undoubtedly the greatest movie tie-in game ever made, as it was the first of many Spider-Man games to allow free roaming around New York City.

And if the gameplay, the graphics, and the narrative of the game weren’t enough, on top of the lengthy story mode, there’s so much to do. Between the side-missions in helping civilians, delivering pizza within a time limit, and all of the collectibles hidden around, the game had as much depth as many games do today.

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