Finest Gaming Documentaries – Gaming Reviews

Finest Gaming Documentaries – Gaming Reviews

#Gaming #Documentaries

Regardless of being pretty younger in comparison with the likes of movie and TV, gaming is wealthy with historical past and interesting particulars. On the identical time, there’s an emotional core and romanticism surrounding many video games and their creators, who work tirelessly to see their initiatives to completion.


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These elements naturally lend themselves to some fascinating documentaries—and a few filmmakers have taken benefit of this, particularly of late. Given its dynamic tradition and historical past, in addition to the slew of video games in the marketplace, there is not any scarcity of nice matters to select with regards to gaming. These are a number of the most entertaining and intriguing.

Up to date January 2, 2023, by Stephen LaGioia: As gaming continues to develop as a medium and develop in recognition, so too has the documentary movie scene surrounding it. With all the things from retro and arcade gaming to esports, indies, and {hardware}, there’s a seemingly countless properly of intriguing content material to attract from on this entrance. And with so many docs (particularly newer releases) coping with gaming, this record of one of the best online game documentaries has been refreshed and revisited. Schooling, in addition to leisure issue, have been thought-about in these picks of the greatest gaming documentaries.

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12/12 Nintendo Quest

Nintendo Quest film promo cartoon with Jay and NES club car

Other than being charming, retro video games could make for rewarding, profitable collectibles. That is the notion this highway movie from Rob McCallum appears to faucet into with 2015’s Nintendo Quest — and follow-up miniseries on Amazon Prime Video. The documentary revolves round retro sport collector Jay Bartlett in addition to his buddies and movie crew, as he embarks on a trek by Canada and the central US to collect all 678 formally licensed NES video games.

There are a couple of catches. Jay should pull off this feat in simply 30 days, and might’t purchase on-line; completely getting the video games by retail shops, buddies, and different collectors. The result’s a memorable highway journey that is half trip and half intense scavenger hunt. Intermixed are numerous bits of historical past and interviews concerning the tradition of taking part in, accumulating, and competing in video games. This one is pretty laid again and simple, however a enjoyable watch all the identical.

Nintendo Quest will be discovered free (with advertisements) on the Roku, Tubi, Plex, and Filmzie apps, and can be rented or purchased on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.

11/12 Video Sport Invasion: Historical past of a International Obsession

Video Game Invasion Nolan Bushnel giving interview with arcade screen in background

Whereas this documentary errs on the drier aspect, it has the advantage of being out there to be watched from the comfort of YouTube, so there’s that. However actually, Video Sport Invasion from 2004 does do a nice job of stepping into the early historical past of gaming in depth.

Hosted by Tony Hawk (as a result of why not?), the documentary leans closely on enjoyable retro footage in addition to interviews from numerous business heads and followers, together with Atari founder Nolan Bushnell. These in search of a straight-up academic video of the 70s, 80s, and early 90s gaming particularly ought to get pleasure from this one.

10/12 All Work All Play: The Pursuit of Esports Glory Stay

All Work All Play documentary wide shot of host looking on at crowd at esports arena

Given the extra private stage they tackle, in addition to the heated competitors concerned—esports and documentaries would appear to mesh properly. This 2015 movie by Patrick Creadon reinforces this notion, that includes a deep dive into the blossoming esports business and honing in on professional players.

The film highlights a bunch of passionate, devoted League of Legends gamers competing within the ESL’s 2014 Intel Excessive Masters World Championship. The movie’s mixture of intriguing particulars, high-stakes competitors, and a extra private focus makes All Work All Play a gripping watch for many of its two-and-a-half-hour runtime.

Sadly, this title is not out there for streaming.

9/12 The Misplaced Arcade

The Lost Arcade documentary men standing outside city video game arcade store

Taking a extra attribute angle, 2015’s The Misplaced Arcade serves as a love letter to the Chinatown Truthful arcade in New York. Closed in 2011, the arcade was quickly reopened, however it might be remodeled considerably underneath new administration.

Director Kurt Vincent brings parts of nostalgia and private connection along with his anecdotes, specializing in the combating sport group and New York Metropolis at giant (the place the arcade resided). Generally known as the “final arcade”, which served as a spot to hang around and join with a various, typically underprivileged youth—the movie carries a extra private and emotional weight.

This movie will be rented on Vudu, Apple TV, Google Play, and YouTube.

8/12 GameChangers: Desires of BlizzCon

Gamechangers Dreams of Blizzcon host presenting esports players

Produced by FilmRise, this esports-centric documentary appears in-depth on the interior workings of the professional gaming scene. Particularly, the film follows two skilled gamers of probably the most favored esports titles, StarCraft 2, as they combat to make the World Championships at BlizzCon 2014.

The movie captivates by honing in on the sheer, uncooked expertise (and rapid-fire keystrokes) of the gamers. On the identical time, it entertains and attracts in viewers emotionally, with a motivational, fist-pumping “rise to the highest” premise akin to a sports activities film. It is easy to get invested on this hour and 30-minute journey, which zips by sooner than a Zerg swarm.

This title is at the moment out there totally free (with advertisements) on Peacock, and will be rented on Apple TV.

7/12 Excessive Rating

High Score TV series promo image of collage of games, controllers, hand grabbing NES controller

The multi-part miniseries Excessive Rating is a chronological historical past of the 80s and 90s gaming, narrated by the voice of Tremendous Mario himself, Charles Martinet. The sequence is chock-full of fascinating gaming details, enjoyable footage, in addition to unique interviews that delve into gaming’s early days, cultural affect, and inevitable rise.

All six episodes roughly keep on with a theme, style, or cultural period, which incorporates Atari’s rise, the Nintendo-Sega console wars, and early role-playing video games. Martinet brings a fittingly lighthearted character to this feel-good, nostalgic romp—which each seasoned players and newcomers can get one thing out of. The deep, overarching gaming segments are sometimes damaged up with extra private narratives, including sentimentality and cultural relevance to the combination.

Excessive Rating is a miniseries that is at the moment unique to Netflix subscribers.

6/12 GoldenEra

GoldenEra documentary Rare developer interview within stylized Goldeneye screen

This 2022 documentary by Drew Curler goes into wonderful element documenting the creation of the esteemed GoldenEye. It covers Uncommon’s historical past and a few of its key builders, the conceptual and logistical strategy of GoldenEye‘s creation, behind-the-scenes appears, and its general cultural influence. GoldenEra colorfully illustrates the workings of the hit FPS to outsiders, whereas serving as a love letter to its followers.

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It tosses in some fascinating, lesser-known details which will have escaped even some diehards—like the truth that GoldenEye was conceived as an on-rails sport and a 2D platformer early on. Between the ample GoldenEye trivia, nice manufacturing worth, and heat and fuzzy nostalgia, GoldenEra is a gaming doc value trying out, even for non-fans.

The movie will be considered totally free (with advertisements) on Roku, Vudu, Tubi, and Freevee, and rented or bought on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV (purchase solely), Vudu, Microsoft Retailer, and Google Play.

5/12 Minecraft: The Story Of Mojang

Minecraft Story of Mojang film Notch on a train

The blocky open-world epic referred to as Minecraft quick grew to become a gaming phenom following its alpha launch in 2011. However behind this endlessly enjoyable sport of constructing, crafting, and enemy-slaying is a equally gripping story of its grassroots conception and rise to fame. This Kickstarter-backed movie has interviews with key designers from Minecraft studio Mojang, together with Swedish sport programmers Jens Bergensten and Markus Persson, generally referred to as Notch.

The documentary served as a draw for gaming historians and Minecraft followers on Xbox platformers, releasing on Xbox Stay in 2012; a precursor to Microsoft’s $2.5 billion buy of Mojang. Given its distinctive growth and unlikely ascent to superstardom, The Story of Mojang is a good tribute and an fascinating watch. Regardless of being pretty lengthy at 104 minutes, it is kind of a truncated historical past of an unlimited sport and tradition. Nonetheless, the movie succeeds in stoking intrigue with its nostalgia and its uncooked, private nature.

The documentary can at the moment be rented or purchased on Apple TV.

4/12 Indie Sport: The Film

Indie Game the Movie developer working on game home computer

This 2012 movie by James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot feels forward of its time, as indie gaming has since develop into a rising drive. The documentary properly outlines the lifetime of up-and-coming younger devs and covers the then-young indie scene. It highlights a couple of pioneers of its renaissance; particularly the creators of Braid, Tremendous Meat Boy, and Fez.

Indie Sport: The Film takes extra of a private strategy with a quasi-rags-to-riches arch. It covers the builders’ uphill battle to see their initiatives to completion with few sources and small budgets. This show of fixed progress whereas overcoming adversity connects on an emotional stage, offering inspiration together with intrigue. Indie Sport additionally entices from a inventive standpoint, as creators together with Phil Fish and Edmund McMillen focus on their creative perception and the event strategy of their creative video games.

The movie will be purchased or rented or purchased on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Films, and YouTube.

3/12 Atari: Sport Over

Atari Game Over film construction worker holding up ET cart at excavation site

This 2014 movie by director Zak Penn movie is a celebration of all issues Atari throughout its heyday. Regardless of being 66 minutes, Sport Over will get into spectacular element relating to the formidable studio in its youth, protecting its rise and collapse within the 70s and 80s. The movie additionally highlights a then-recent gaming “floor zero” excavation within the type of a New Mexico landfill. That is spliced with a historical past of the notorious E.T.; a forsaken relic and a legend unto itself. The hyped sport was apparently overproduced to the purpose the place extra carts have been buried within the landfill.

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The legend was a minimum of partly validated, as excavators unearthed over a thousand copies of this gaming artifact. This amusing people take, coupled with the wealthy, groundbreaking historical past of Atari at giant, rounds out an incredible movie that is over all too quickly.

The film will be discovered free (with advertisements) on Roku, Tubi, Pluto, and Plex rented or purchased on Google Play Retailer, YouTube, Microsoft Retailer, or Vudu (purchase solely).

2/12 Console Wars

pixel art image of Nintendo leads looking at NES sale in Console Wars documentary

The 90s is sometimes called a golden period of gaming, notably among the many Millenial and Gen X crowd. One factor’s for certain—it was an period of nice transformation and heated battles amongst console makers; particularly Nintendo and Sega. Primarily based on Blake J. Harris’ e book of the identical identify, Console Wars chronicles the late 80s and early 90s conflict between the 16-bit rivals.

Whereas largely honing in on edgy underdogs Sega, Jonah Tulis, and Blake Harris’ movie tastefully covers the scene at giant, doing so in an in depth, but entertaining style. A lot from the fascinating, tumultuous period is roofed right here—from a ’93 senate listening to coping with violent video games to a heated debate from Sega and Nintendo heads that almost grew to become a brawl. Interviews from key figures, together with then-Sega CEO Tom Kalinske, and former Nintendo Chairman Howard Lincoln, convey a private factor and a few enjoyable details to the fold.

The movie is offered on Paramount +.

1/12 The King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters

Steve wiebe playing Donkey Kong in The King Of Kong

This one actually has all of it—an emotional core, gripping gaming historical past (of the early-80s arcade period), a definite solid of likable topics, and a traditional David-vs-Goliath plot. Seth Gordon’s King of Kong from 2007 hones in on a bunch of diehard arcade fanatics and report holders, particularly Restauranteur “elite” Billy Mitchell and underdog Steve Wiebe.

Each vie for top-score glory in arcade video games, primarily by the grueling traditional, Donkey Kong. This heats up after Wiebe bests Mitchell’s long-held high rating from an arcade machine in his storage, although not with out “controversy”. The movie highlights Wiebe’s climb to “break by this empire” as he places it, as he grinds away at gaming occasions to get a high rating acknowledged.

The movie will be rented or bought on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu, Microsoft Retailer, or DirecTV.

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