Video games have had an enormous impact on our culture, and as they have grown from the pixeled single screen games like Pacman and Space Invaders in the ‘80s arcade, so has the impact they have had. Spawning spin offs, books, online games, movies, and even music, the video game industry is becoming so much more than just a simple way to pass the time – it is now a firm fixture in modern life.

Resident Evil

Originally released in 1996 for the PlayStation by Capcom, this game franchise is the first in the list because it is regularly credited with being the first to take a videogame in a cinematic direction using cut scenes

Resident Evil is both the best-selling Capcom video game franchise and the highest grossing live action video game series, but despite inspiring the creation of six films between 2002 and 2016 starring Milla Jovovich, reception has been mostly critical from game fans.

The Resident Evil casino slots game is more like the original video games, featuring recognizable and colorful characters that we all know and love.

There have been several novelizations of both the movie series and the game franchise, but the first novella came out in 1997 in Japan under the Japanese name for the series, which is Biohazard: The Beginning. 

Street Fighter

Street Fighter is one of the highest grossing video games of all time. Initially released by Capcom in 1987 for arcades, the original game was a simple one-on-one fighting game with limited characters and move sets. Although Street Fighter was also released for home computers, it wasn’t until Street Fighter II: The World Warrior came out that the standard for one-on-one fighting games was established, with multiple characters to choose from, each with unique moves and a backstory.

Street Fighter has seen a consistent popularity since it was first released, with multiple crossovers, movies, animated series, and toys based on the franchise. Aside from an animated series in the early 1990s, characters from Street Fighter have been featured in Disney’s Wreck It Ralph and Spielberg’s Ready Player One.

The initial 1994 movie Street Fighter starring Jean-Claude Van Damme is considered by many to be an action film classic in the same way that most of Van Damme’s films are, although critics did not rate it very good.

Alongside the arcade and console games, the characters and designs of the franchise were adapted to become a fun and simple online arcade game. ‘Haduken,’ and other phrases, have become a popular part of modern culture and used almost everyday in conversation.

Tomb Raider

Lara Croft is the most recognisable character from a video game in the world. Since the release of Tomb Raider by British company Core Design in 1996, the franchise has grown to include multiple films, different games on many platforms, comics, books, and even music.

The 2001 movie Tomb Raider that starred Angelina Jolie put the franchise on the map for people who don’t play video games, and while some critics slammed it for relying more on the charms of Laura Croft than action or game-relevant storylines, it was the highest grossing film based on a video game series until Prince of Persia: Sands of Time was released. There are several other movies and animations based on the franchise, too.

Sonic the Hedgehog

The initial Sonic the Hedgehog game was released in 1991 for the Sega Genesis as a direct competitor for the popular Nintendo character Mario.

In terms of other productions based on the Sonic game franchise, there have been comics, animations, and books, but it is the recent movies produced by Paramount that have sparked imagination. Faithful to the in-game design of characters, with Hollywood names behind the popular faces, the 2020 movie (and the 2022 sequel) has spawned a whole Sonic universe planned by Paramount and Sega.

The little blue hedgehog is referenced in conversation, in culture, and in movies – more so than his Nintendo nemesis.

Prince of Persia

The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie released in 2010 is the highest grossing movie based on a video game franchise, even though it came out to mixed reviews from critics.

The origins of the Prince of Persia games go back to 1989. Prince of Persia is one of the most ported games in video game history, available in some form for every console and PC since the original trilogy was released in the ‘90s. The 2003 Sands of Time reboot is darker and has more violence and is the basis for the movie – and spin-off games like online games and mobile apps.

Modern Culture Blurs the Lines

Gamers today want their video games to feature realistic graphics, movie-quality cut scenes, and a real storyline to make playing more satisfying – and hitting these needs blurs the lines between movies and games even more.

Game characters permeate conversations, feature in movies and music, and spawn their own offshoots in terms of other games, merchandise, and sequels, making gaming an industry that is firmly a part of our creative culture.