4. Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie
Chun Li shower scene. That alone propels this movie to near-top status for understanding what its audience wants. And the rest of the movie doesn't disappoint either. Suspension of disbelief regarding quirky "I must avenge my family's honor/destroy this multi-billion dollar corporation by winning a fighting tournament, because apparently that makes sense" plots is difficult even in the native medium, so it's amazing so many films even attempt this feat. But this anime doesn't just pull all the elements of the Capcom franchise together, it thrives within them.
The film is about a thousand times more mature than the campy romp each Street Fighter game is, but trust me when I say that's a good thing. Trying to translate the sheer silliness of this stellar series to the silver screen results in well this. So just look the other way when you notice Tentacle Princess Nurse Dojo X in your friends' DVD stash, because you take the bad the slimy, probey bad with the good when it comes to Japanese animation. And in the case of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, it's very bloody, and very good.
3. Resident Evil
Join hands and repeat after me: The Resident Evil films including and post-Apocalypse never happened. It'll make your brain not hate you so much for admitting that the first RE film was actually kind of good. And unlike the other horror adaptations on this list, the liberties taken with Paul Anderson's vision worked just fine within the established universe as well as to the story's advantage. She may be a little annoying, but the Red Queen was in on the creepy little girl fad before it was cool, and her lines explaining the T-virus can still send a shiver down the spine.
And even though Anderson beats us over the head with it, the crossover metaphor with Through The Looking Glass (the main character is named Alice, she meets with a Red Queen, etc.) is a pretty cool storytelling device when you think about it. If you want to see a horror film that knows the definition of the word "pacing" not to an exemplary degree mind you, but a satisfactory one be sure to check this one out. It'll make you think twice before stepping into an elevator if nothing else.
2. Mortal Kombat
This entry is debatable, I won't deny that. As one of those "so bad it's good" films of the '90s, this is a cult classic for just about anyone who's seen it. Sure, it ultimately destroyed the careers of Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Robin Shou, who could never be thought of as anything but Shang Tsung and Liu Kang respectively, but you don't see people calling Star Wars terrible for ruining Mark Hamill's future prospects or Jurassic Park for marking Sam Neil as "Hey, it's that guy who played Dr. Grant."
The movie respects the lore and characters of the MK universe so well that future iterations of Kano in-game were modeled to reflect the performance of late actor Trevor Goddard. It's useless to resist his Aussie charms, ladies. He's studied all your moves. But fellas, don't feel left out. If you ever want to impress a woman, just take a tip from good ol' Johnny C and be a total douche. Because that's how he do.
Come on, you can't tell me you didn't run around in some trees after watching this when you were little, pretending you were fighting the mighty Scorpion. That's why the Mortal Kombat movie is one of the best videogame films: it satisfied our fantasies of seeing our favorite characters come to life, and in return we acted out scenes from the film ad nauseum.
1. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
When it comes to videogame cinematics, there's one name that towered above the rest far before they became a large enough sensation to warrant a Top 100 Countdown: Square. The Final Fantasy games were always a visual treat, a virtual eyegasm for nerds everywhere. We used to watch the FF cutscenes and wonder with our hearts skipping a beat, "When will our games look that good?" Well now we can look at the I'm-not-sure-if-I-should-be-turned-on-by-this computer creation of Aki Ross and wonder, "When will our movies look that good?"
Spirits Within earns top spot for several reasons. First of all, it's got one of the best plots of any game-based film, and by that I mean it's at least coherent, despite being about alien ghosts and a giant space cannon. Second, the movie received widespread recognition beyond the usual gamer channels, with Dr. Ross herself being featured in and on Maxim as one of its cover hotties. Third, it's basically a required viewing for any graphic arts major who wants to do 3D modeling. And finally, it actually made quite a respectable sum of money; just not enough to cover the cost of its own production, and so it needs some bargain bin love.
Yes friends, I'm all too happy to sell out to a closed down motion picture studio and encourage you to purchase a decade-old movie featuring the dulcet tones of Alec Baldwin and Steve Buscemi. So go now. Buy a movie and have a lovely night in.
And then watch a real movie. Oh snap.