10 Video Game Fan Films and Shorts Worth Watching

Times are changing. It used to cost an arm and a leg to get enough equipment to film a decent home movie or make a high-end game. But as technology moved on software became more open and easy to access to everyone. It’s become easier to get a camera and film your own movie and the indie-game scene has grown so large that it is as serious as the mainstream market.

But a new occurrence has been growing, people have been making fan trailers of video games. Some are hilariously silly and some are so intense that they can become a movie on the silver screen. You don’t need don’t need a budget to match Inception for a fan trailer or fan movie to look just as good.

Trying to compile as many as possible for a post is tough so here are the top 10 that should be viewed.

Left 4 Dead

This new short film, by Adrian Picardi, just hit the net last month on December 16th. A Left 4 Dead film that is more of a gaming tribute but never the less it still looks good. The story is simple, after the death of Bill the remaining Lead 4 Dead survivors fight through a horde of zombies with the help of familiar icons.

Zelda: The Hero of Time

If you needed a reason to hate Nintendo (amongst other reasons) then this is a good one. Zelda: Hero of Time was actually a two-hour movie. It premiered at the Plaza Theater in Atlanta and then it was uploaded to Dailymotion on December 14, 2009 and availble for free download on the 21st. The acclaimed fan film created a huge buzz so large that Nintendo recognized it and wanted it to vanquish from the internet. A fate that a lot of fan film producers fear. BMB Productions and Nintendo ended up coming to an understanding that they would stop distributing the film on December 31st of that year. Thus ends the chapter to Hero of Time.

“We understand Nintendo’s right to protect its characters and trademarks and understand how in order to keep their property unspoiled by fan’s interpretation of the franchise, Nintendo needs to protect itself — even from fan-works with good intentions”

10. Modern Warfare: Frozen Crossing

Even though this was made by a special effects studio Part 1 had the budget of $215 while Part 2’s budget was $600. The cinematography looks good but it’s the composited visual effects that steal the show with it’s use of explosions, blood splatter muzzle fire. Modern Warfare: Frozen Crossing is easily a favorite for COD fans and others.

8. Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy

Kojima’s franchise always had a cinematic feel to it ever since Metal Gear: Solid so a fan made film shouldn’t be surprising. Released in 2009 this 70-mintue film took the creative group Hive Division three years to create. Sequels were told that they were on the way but things are looking unsure.

Kojima even tweeted about the short film when asked if he saw it. “Of course I did. It’s awesome. I felt like crying for their love towards Metal Gear. It’s also a well made movie. I can’t wait to see next part.”

Pokémon Apokélypse

Instead of a short and feature length film, fans are making fake trailers they film the fun parts of what would be a movie and edit it all together. Directed by Kial Natal, this pokémon rendition doesn’t take itself too seriously even though it has a dark and realistic tone.


Gritty barely describes S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl. If you aren’t familiar with the PC series you play as an amnesiac scientist in a post-apocalyptic Chernobyl filled with other S.T.A.L.K.E.Rs (Scavengers, Trespassers, Adventurers, Loners, Killers, Explorers and Robbers) anomalies and mutants are the aftereffect of a second nuclear disaster.

Survivors go to Kyrm in Russia planning to shut down a radiation signal that will cause another disaster.

A student made this piece and the acting helps drive this fan film to great lengths. The entire movie is in German but it has subtitles.

Beyond Black Mesa

Still on the post-apocalypse note with science-fiction, this short film takes place in the Half-Life universe. This took director Brian Curtin two years to make with a budget of $1,200. The only familiar character from the series is Adrian Shepard, she leads a band of resistance fighters trying to warn of the impending invasion.

Escape From City-17

Another fantastic Half Life short but with a budget of $500 and no crew. The production value can rival a Hollywood film the Purchase Brothers didn’t go short on anything. From the compositing, cinematography to the sound effects, Escape from City-17 takes guerrilla filmmaking to new heights. Though, this will take a long amount of time to produce the final product shows why.

The developers of Half-Life, Valve, saw it and approved the work, “we were blown away — the production quality certainly exceeds that of the usual community-made movies we see.” If only Nintendo felt like that towards Hero Of Time.

“We were blown away”, said Valve in a statement. “The production quality certainly exceeds that of the usual community-made movies we see.”

Portal: No Escape

You can’t say Valve has a small fan base because this is another short film based off of their series Portal. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg and starring Danielle Rayne, this piece follows the simple plot of the game. “A woman wakes up in a room with no memory of who she is or how she got there…” again the portal gun itself steals the show.

Mortal Kombat: Rebirth

It’s a rarity when a fan films doesn’t just get recognized but actually turns into a legit and licensed project. Directed by Kevin Tancharoen and starring Michael Jai White and Jeri Ryan this short went online on youtube on June 2010. None at Midway knew nor Warner Bros. who bought out the former company knew about this unlicensed short film.

This violent, realistic Mortal Kombat caused such a buzz that Warner Bros. gave Kevin a chance to make a web series to coincide with the 2011 Mortal Kombat game. After the success of the webseries Warner Bros is now letting Kevin Tancharoen direct a MK movie.

A lot of people make short films out of passion. Passion of movies and gaming and you can see that in each and everyone of these. Some companies recognize these talents and encourage the filmmakers whilst others panic and try to slap and cease and desist. But these aren’t all created to get a job but out of fun, or add something creative to their a portfolio or a film contest.

Here are some worth mentioning as well.

Assassin’s Creed: Generations

An Assassin’s Creed trilogy about a young man avenging his family and joining the Brotherhood.

Mario Paint

Amongst several hobbies and sports and saving the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario might be strung out on mushrooms painting.

Paper Boy

An exaggerated but hilarious adaption of Paper Boy for the NES.

Pac Man: The Movie

A Pac-man short that follows a direct literal translation of the game. The compositing actually adds to the humor and fun.

Duck Hunt

A fake trailer to about two duck hunters who stumble upon cash and end up being hunted for the money.

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