Following the Ghostbusters 3 reveal trailer, fans are now anticipating a proper sequel in the franchise, but the reality is, a version of Ghostbusters 3 already happened in 2009 – and it was perfect. The possibility of seeing Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, and Ernie Hudson back in the iconic ghost busting garb is a tantalizing prospect for many. Despite the excitement surrounding the new film, it’s hard to forget that a strong followup to Ghostbusters 2 already happened back in 2009 – albeit in video game form.
The aptly titled Ghostbusters: The Video Game stands as, arguably, one of the best pieces of licensed software to ever arrive on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. What made this game so fantastic for fans, however, was the fact that the four core members of the original cast had reprised their roles. Not stopping there, William Atherton, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Annie Potts all returned to voice their respective characters from the Ghostbusters movies as well. This fan service already gives the video game adaptation an edge on Ghostbusters 3, as there currently is not a single member of the original cast confirmed to make their return for the sequel.
Of course, the inclusion of the original Ghostbusters actors in Ghostbusters 3 may change, but the big advantage the game will always have over the new movie is that it included Spengler actor Harold Ramis, who sadly passed away in 2014. Tragically, Ghostbusters 3 will have to continue on without the beloved brainiac Spengler. But Ghostbusters: The Video Game went further than just reuniting the original cast as a marketing tactic. The script for the game was doctored by Aykroyd and Ramis (who both wrote the original Ghostbusters movies), and the end result was a Ghostbusters adventure through and through. It delivered on every necessary note, and was arguably even more entertaining than the original sequel.
The Ghostbusters video game even featured a passing of the torch, of sorts – something that will have to happen in the new Ghostbusters movie if Sony Pictures plans on continuing with the franchise – as players took on the role of a newly hired Ghostbuster named Rookie. The character was given the name because Venkman (portrayed by Bill Murray) didn’t want the team to become too attached to the new recruit in case he met a bitter end. This dark and comedic tone carries on throughout the game, and it establishes itself as a true to form entry in the series.
Ghostbusters 3 could very well be a great movie, and it’s in the right hands necessary to live up to the legacy of the franchise. But there are doubts surrounding the film, as Akroyd stated that the script for Ghostbusters 3 was written last year – implying that Ramis wouldn’t have had a hand in its creation like he did in the video game. Hopefully, these fears are put to rest when more details on the project are released, but fans will always have Ghostbusters: The Video Game to fall back on if push comes to shove. In fact, Akroyd once said that the Ghostbusters video game is essentially Ghostbusters 3, telling Game Informer, “If you have an appetite for the third movie, then the video game is it.” Plus, the narrative from the game is so enjoyable that one fan has already edited the entirety of the Ghostbusters video game into a third movie.