Back in 2003, Lego was on the edge of bankruptcy. Now in 2021, the brand seems to be everywhere. Having expanded beyond toys for kids, to specialist kits for all ages, TV and movie themed sets. Lego movies in their own right, and a series of popular video games are also available.
Not all of these games are good though, some are do not cut it. In today’s article, we have compiled the most fun and exciting. And of course, they are movie adaptions of them.
1. Lego Marvel Superheroes
2013 was peak Marvel mania. The Avengers had assembled in cinemas the year before, and Travellers Tales released Lego Marvel Superheroes. It is a wonderfully constructed love letter to the Marvel universe. Combining hundreds of characters and locations from X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and more.
In between missions, explore a Lego Manhattan, spanning from the Statue of Liberty to the X-Mansion up past Harlem, to the massive Shield Helicarrier that hovers over the East River. The open world is expertly designed, and filled with enough wit and warmth to keep you entertained for hours.
2. Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes
Image credit: WB Games
The Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes was introduced in 2013 by Travellers. The first was having a full voice cast. Until then, silent protagonists had always been played for laughs. But fresh new actors brought life to plot points that otherwise wouldn’t have landed. DC Superheroes was also the first Lego game to introduce an open world, giving players the whole of Gotham City to explore.
There were a couple of teething problems in making these two additions work smoothly. The mini-map, for example, needed some polish. But it was a big step in the franchise’s history.
3. Lego Dimensions
It’s unusual for a game to begin by telling you to put your controller down and not play it, but that’s why Lego Dimensions is so good.
Players use real-life Lego pieces physical toys that, when placed on a special base, enter the game and can be used in the virtual world. It was Lego’s first foray into the toys-to-life genre, which it played with by flippantly mixing massive franchises into one spicy soup. There’s a great joy in seeing the DC universe mesh with Lord of The Rings and watching Batman beat Sauron with the Bat Signal.
You can tell real pop culture fans made this game, effortlessly weaving together: The Simpsons, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Portal and Doctor Who with just enough affectionate ribbing to not take the whole thing too seriously. Lego Dimensions is a brilliant toy, but it’s also a brilliant game.
4. Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Play it, you must
Uniting old characters and new. 2016’s Force Awakens was one of the few Star Wars movies of this century to truly bond fan judgement behind it. And the Lego Star Wars game pulled off pretty much the same trick.
The fifth Lego Star Wars title, and the best to date, the game weaves in dialogue from the film. As well as several in-joke moments that hardcore fans will love and appreciate. But if you’re not one of them, don’t worry. The main attraction here is the fun and engaging gameplay. This varies from blaster action to puzzle solving to spacefaring dogfights. We especially loved playing as Poe on a secret mission to rescue Admiral Ackbar. And making BB-8 mess with various machines to manipulate different bits of the environment.
There are over 200 playable characters. You can explore Jakku, Takodana, D’Qar, and Starkiller Base as mini-open worlds. The main cast of the film provide voices. And some levels even take place in between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens, acting as an unofficial prequel of sorts. In short, Star Wars fans will adore this, and even if you’re not one of them, you’ll find it huge fun anyway.
5. Lego City Undercover
Not all worthwhile Lego games are movie tie-ins, allow us to introduce you to Lego City Undercover. Based on the series of Lego sets on urban environments, this open-world crime fighting game that’s kind of like a Lego version of Grand Theft Auto. Only with no guns or swearing, and you’re on the side of the good guys.
In the game, you man undercover cop Chase McCain as he tackles a criminal gang led by his nemesis Rex Fury. Alternatively, you can opt for a number of entertaining side missions. These allow you to go off-piste and explore the various areas of the Lego-constructed city. Either way, there’s a lot of action involved, including swinging across poles and performing wall jumps. As well as some more cerebral work, such as donning different disguises, each of which give you different abilities.
In true Lego style, there’s a lot of tongue-in-cheek homage to crime shows and movies, from Columbo to Goodfellas, and the 20 districts of the game are all inspired by real-life cities. With these environments ranging from woodlands and islands to busy downtown streets, there’s a lot to explore, and overall this game provides both entertaining challenges and a lot of laughs along the way.
6. Lego Jurassic World
Life finds a way, and so, it seems, does Lego. The Jurassic Park series doesn’t essentially seem like the obvious choice for a Lego game. This one is an absolute win. Combining fantastic co-operative gameplay with a succession of comedic moments, this is an endlessly fun, open world game.
The game closely tails the first four films in the series. This means that you spend most of your time, escaping from dinosaurs. There’s little in the way of combat, as that would be totally off brand. So if you want a game where you bring down a T-Rex with your fighting skills, you’ll have to head elsewhere.
But if puzzles and challenges are your thing, such as hunting around huge piles of dinosaur droppings to find useful items. There’s a lot to love. Hysterically, if you get stuck, the ‘DNA’ cartoon helper from the first movie pops up to offer tips in the style of 2000s-era Microsoft Clippy. Except, in this case, he’s actually useful.
It’s worth noting that while a number of scenes from the films are brilliantly recreated here, they’re done in a fun, family-friendly way, so the kids won’t have nightmares. For example, after a character is eaten by a dinosaur, the beast will later vomit them up, entirely unharmed.
7. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean
Arrrrrgh. Says the sailor
The swashbuckling spectacle of a cutlass fight was always going to translate well to a video game.
Lego Pirates of the Carribbean takes the action of the first four movies and turns it into extraordinary set pieces. Jack Sparrow’s jesting humour fits perfectly with the Lego franchise’s whimsey.
Leading to some achingly funny moments. Some aren’t even in the actual movies themselves. I’m pretty sure no character ever rode a goat in Davy Jones’ locker, but after playing the game it’s a damn shame it didn’t make the cinematic cut. While the lack of dialogue sometimes makes the narrative stick, this is still a solid entry in the Lego canon. No, not that kind of canon.
8. Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4, 5-7
Image credit: WB Games
Expectro patroneum. Wi ngardium leviosa. Scamper muggles, this is not you Wizarding World.
Technically these are two separate games, but they’re so good we are lumping them into one must-play. All seven books have been transformed into a playable adventure that uses spellcasting to blast a dose of fresh air into the Lego game formula.
Meanwhile, Hogwarts Castle is the ultimate hub world, packed with nooks and crannies to explore alongside a huge cast of characters. In fact, JK Rowling’s universe is the perfect landscape to set a video game in and these two Lego titles will please Potter superfans and casual gamers alike.
9. Lego Lord of the Rings
Image credit: WB Games
“One ring to rule them all, One ring to find them. One ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them. In the land of Mordor, where the shadows lie.
The game is a bit of a SparkNotes trip to Mordor, it has such high production and recreated iconic moments so authentically that you’re unlikely to care. From Bag End and back, the whole journey is here with lines and the original score pulled from the movies. From here on out Traveller’s Tales took more risks in its design, but Lego Lord of the Rings is still a solid adventure.
10. Lego: The Incredibles
Image credit: WB Games
Each of the Parr family’s exclusive powers make for excellent level design fodder. In Lego: The Incredibles you’ll need to switch frequently between Elastigirl’s stretchy limbs and, say, Dash’s supersonic speed to make it through tricky platforming puzzles. There’s also a well-designed new addition in the form of group builds, where the Parrs must work together to construct towering, complex Lego structures in-game. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s a nice touch that acknowledges these games are ultimately a virtual mirage of physical Lego building, which children have been doing with their parents for years.