50 Blu-ray movies every high-def fan must own

Corpse Bride
Fans will get a kick out of the fun featurettes on The Corpse Bride Blu-ray disc

A Blu-ray player is for life, not just for Christmas. And that's why it's time to start building a decent collection of Blu-ray discs.

The great thing about Blu-ray players is that the vast majority of them can competently upscale DVD movies to near-HD. And that means that unless you have a particular penchant for a specific movie (sorry, Wild Things isn't out on Blu-ray yet), there's no real reason to urgently replace all your older DVD titles.

Instead, you can focus on buying new movies on BD instead of DVD, as well as some of the old classics you might only have on VHS or not at all.

So whether you've just received a Blu-ray player or PS3 for Christmas, or you're looking to boost an existing collection of discs, here are the best 50 Blu-ray discs currently out there. We've selected these titles based on the quality of the movies themselves, how well they've transferred to Blu-ray and also the variety of special features.

50. Return To House on Haunted Hill
Warner Home Video - £28
We're the first to admit this horror sequel isn't a great film. But its interactive Choose Your Own adventure-style viewing mode makes it sing as a technological marvel. There are 90 different permutations of the tale available to view, including additional lesbian ghost sex! What's not to like?

49. 28 Weeks Later
20th Century Fox - £29
Due to its low-budget origins, this impressive sequel isn't the best-looking Blu-ray disc ever. However, it will leave you quaking with fear thanks to a dynamic and expansive DTS-HD Master audio 5.1 mix that drags you into the heart of the on-screen zombie horror.

48. The Fountain
20th Century Fox - £25
Director Darren Aronofsky's provocative tale of love across millennia was rendered almost unwatchable on DVD thanks to a painfully muddied, indistinct transfer. Thankfully, this sublime Blu-ray transfer easily makes amends, rendering the dreamlike visuals perfectly.

47. Transformers
Paramount Home Entertainment - £25
These 'robots in Disguise' were meant to be enjoyed in hi-def, and the AVC 1080p encode makes the most of the fantastic CG bot-on-bot action, while the lossless Dolby TrueHD mix is a huge improvement on the earlier HD DVD's Dolby Digital Plus audio. Brilliant fun!

46. Cloverfield
Paramount Home Entertainment - £25
This shaky-cam monster movie ably demonstrates the wonders Blu-ray can work with even the trickiest material. From its surprisingly sharp VC-1 visuals to the bombastic Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sonics, every aspect of this disc is made to impress.

45. Bram stoker's Dracula
Sony Pictures - £18
Even if it doesn't boast a fang-sharp transfer, there's still plenty to recommend about Coppola's take on Dracula. Not least the wonderful new extras, including a commentary, documentary and 12 deleted scenes.

44. Kingdom of Heaven: Director's Cut
20th Century Fox - £29
This vastly improved re-edit of Ridley Scott's historical drama contains some of the most epic battle scenes yet witnessed in hi-def. If they'd only kept the legions of extras from the four-disc DVD, this would have been much higher up the list.

43. The Simpsons movie
20th Century Fox - £29
Thanks to a straight digital-to-digital transfer, this feature film outing for Homer and family never looks less than spectacular, while the DTS-HD Ma mix is as light and bouncy as you'd expect from animated fare.

42. Zodiac: Director's Cut
Warner Home Video - £28
Fight Club/Alien3 director David Fincher truly came of age with this mature and detailed account of the notorious San Francisco Zodiac murders (which inspired Dirty Harry, don't cha know). Warner's platter offers a magnificently detailed picture, and packs in copious extras that detail the making of the film and the true story behind it.

41. Ghost Rider: Extended Cut
Sony Pictures - £25
This camp comic-book spectacular roars into life on Blu-ray. Its razor-sharp transfer makes the most of the eye-popping special effects and the dynamic uncompressed PCM 5.1 mix will rattle the foundations of your house.

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