15 Movies Like Ready Player One Every Fan Should See

movies like ready player one

When Ready Player One came out in 2018, there were a lot of people who went nuts for it. Even people who’d never read the book – or even knew there was a book – were excited to watch it because of the sci-fi aspects, big action scenes and interesting, unique plot.

The movie is rated PG-13, due in large part to the copious amount of violence in the film, as well as some sexually suggestive content (including a pair of bare buttocks), some profanity and rude gestures and a few bloody scenes.

The rating kept a lot of parents from taking their children to see it, which is understandable. Others risked the rating and braved the theater with their children anyway.

Although CommonSenseMedia puts the suggested age for the movie at 12 and up, some parents reported taking children as young as age eight to watch it with few concerns.

I’m certainly not suggesting you let your young children watch this movie simply because it was an excellent movie. You, more than anyone else, know what’s right and appropriate for your own children, and there definitely are some mature aspects to the flick.

I just think it’s a shame that Warner Brothers didn’t try to make this film a little more kid-friendly.

Because of the explosive action and special effects, the video game and virtual reality aspects and the extremely cool idea of living the majority of your life inside a virtual world, this is a movie many children would have loved.

The book upon which the movie was based is pretty dark and violent, though, so I suppose it would have been hard to tone it down too much without losing the central theme of the story. Still, it’s sad that so many kids had to miss out on such a cool movie due to some of the more mature aspects of its filming.

If you and/or your children were fans of the movie or if you skipped the movie because your child was too young, you may be wondering if there are any more movies like Ready Player One, particularly with a more kid-friendly MPA rating. You’re in luck; there are several movies like Ready Player One, a few of which even have PG ratings, which makes them a little tamer than RPO.

If you want to know my criteria for judging if if movie is “like Ready Player One” scroll to the bottom of the article or click here.

Now, let’s get to the movies!

Movies Rated PG

Tron (1982) and Tron: Legacy (2010)

Super Mario Brothers (1993)

The Spy Kids Movies (2001-2011)

Wreck-It Ralph (2012) & Wreck-It Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005)

Movies Rated PG-13

Avatar (2009)

Street Fighter (1994)

Mortal Kombat: The Movie (1995)

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) & Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

Pixels (2015)

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Pacific Rim (2013)

The Divergent Movies (2014-2016)

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Ender’s Game (2013)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Dune (1984)

Assassin’s Creed (2016)

Mortal Engines (2018)

What Makes Movies “Like” Ready Player One?

Science Fiction

Ready Player One relies heavily on common science fiction tropes, imagery and special effects. This doesn’t mean that every sci-fi movie is “like Ready Player One,” but being a science fiction movie does put a film a step in the right direction.

Flashy, High-Budget Action Scenes

The insane action sequences in Ready Player One largely contribute to the movie’s popularity. Typically, most sci-fi movies have some killer special effects, but they aren’t always heavy on the hardcore action. RPO had enough explosive fight scenes and chases that even a die-hard action movie fan could appreciate it.

While this type of on-screen action isn’t totally unheard of in sci-fi (Star Wars, for instance, fills every single one of its movies with fighting, shooting and ship chases), RPO definitely went above and beyond the norm for most science fiction flicks.

Virtual Reality & Video Games

These are two of the largest components of RPO, and they’re also what most kids – and several adults – loved best about the movie. People love video games, and the excitement and intrigue of a virtual reality world, which is less and less far-fetched every year, is something we all tend to enjoy.

VR is already a reality for us, although not quite on the scale of RPO. Still, the idea that one day soon we may actually get to exist in a world where we can live inside our favorite video games and interact with our favorite heroes and villains is something that draws a lot of us to movies like RPO.

The amazing thing about VR on that widespread scale is that there are no limits to what you could do with that type of technology. For that reason, there are several movies on this list that feature virtual reality and/or are based on popular video games.

Robots

Ready Player One features a lot of robots and other advanced technology and A.I. There are several movies out there that also feature this kind of technology, and while not all of them are reminiscent of RPO, many of them are.

The Dystopian World

Ready Player One is set in the year 2045, and Earth in 2045 is not a great place to be. The dystopian, futuristic society has always been a popular setting in science fiction books and movies, but over the last decade or so, it’s popularity has increased seemingly exponentially.

While not all movies set in a damaged, dystopian world are like Ready Player One, there are several of them that are quite similar.

The Thrill of the Hunt

The most driving factor of the main plot in Ready Player One is the hunt for an Easter egg – not a literal Easter egg, but a unique, hidden object placed inside a movie, TV show, book or game that die-hard fans try to find. This particular Easter egg, known as Halliday’s egg, has been placed inside a VR game. The prize for finding it is tantalizing enough that most of the world’s population is invested in trying to find it.

The clues, puzzles and challenges the main character and his friends face in their search for this Easter egg is what makes the movie so memorable and exciting.

Therefore, a movie with a good, solid plot featuring a scavenger hunt or treasure hunt of some kind is likely going to put you and/or your child in mind of RPO. Even though I didn’t add them to this list, the scavenger/treasure hunt aspect of the movie means that even non-sci-fi movies, such as Indiana Jones, The Goonies and The Pirates of the Caribbean movies, can be quite similar to RPO.

movies like ready player one
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