In 1993, in collaboration with Nintendo, Buena Vista Entertainment released Super Mario Bros., the first official movie based on a video game. Ever since Super Mario Bros. hit theaters, video game films have been a “cursed media.” From box office flops to being critically panned, adapting a video game into a quality movie seemed an impossible task for Hollywood.
Thankfully, filmmakers have done better at adapting video games via streaming service TV shows. While programs like Arcane and The Last of Us will be looked at as the premiere examples of video game adaptations, there have been several video game movies like Detective Pikachu or Tomb Raider that managed to find some success as well. Still, it’s hard for audiences to forget the worst video game movies.
10 Monster Hunter Failed To Appeal To The Game’s Large Fanbase
The Monster Hunter video game series is beloved worldwide. Dropping players into an alien world, Monster Hunter revolves around players fighting against ginormous titans in grueling battles. The games were a great choice for a blockbuster movie adaptation.
Coming off the critically blasted yet somehow commercially successful Resident Evil film series, Paul W. S. Anderson turned his eyes toward another video game IP. Unfortunately, Monster Hunter neither resembled the games nor was a quality flick. Once again casting his wife Mila Jovovich in the lead, Monster Hunter was both a bland action film and a box office failure.
9 Hitman: Agent 47 Was A Bland Adaptation
The exploits of Agent 47 in IO Interactives’ Hitman franchise have become a part of gaming history. From as far back as 1998, IO has led the long-running video game series to massive commercial and critical success. As such, it’s only natural that Hollywood producers saw the games as a potentially good adaptation. There were two attempts to make a Hitman movie, but the 2015 movie missed the mark.
Hitman: Agent 47 seemed like a faithful adaptation of the game series, with leading actor Rupert Friend looking and talking like Agent 47. Unfortunately, the film received negative reviews from critics and fans alike, with the script, direction, visuals, and performances being highlighted as subpar.
8 Resident Evil: Retribution Marked A Low Point In The Franchise
Of the many attempts by Hollywood to adapt video games, Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil franchise is easily the most commercially successful. The six films released grossed an estimated $1.2 billion combined at the worldwide box office. However, Retribution was the franchise’s low point.
Having all the issues of the other entries and one of the worst plots in the franchise, Retribution was the weakest Resident Evil entry. Although the fight choreography was praised, it didn’t save Retribution, which ended up scoring a measly 28% on Rotten Tomatoes.
7 BloodRayne Flopped Both Critically And Financially
Since 2003, Uwe Boll has directed, written, and produced 11 different video game movies. However, most of them have been box office failures or some of the most critically panned movies of all time.
One of these was 2005’s BloodRayne. Based on the series of the same name by Majesco Entertainment and Terminal Reality, BloodRayne was the first of what became a trilogy of Boll-directed movies. However, the movie was both a box office bomb and panned by critics. BloodRayne went on to be Rotten Tomatoes’ 47th worst film of the 2000s and only scored a 4% rating.
6 Max Payne Didn’t Faithfully Adapt Rockstar’s Critically Loved Series
Rockstar Games has become one of the biggest developing studios in the entire industry. Revolving around the titular hard-boiled cop, Rockstar’s Max Payne trilogy was praised for its writing, gameplay, and character development.
In 2008, Hollywood attempted to fill the void fans had between the release of Max Payne 2 and Max Payne 3. Mark Wahlberg played Max Payne in the 2008 film, which tried but ultimately failed to capture what made the games special. While it was a modest box office success, the movie was lambasted by critics, who cited a nonsensical plot as its main fault. Wahlberg won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor, and any plans for future sequels were scrapped.
5 House Of The Dead Was A Baffling Action Hybrid
While some video game movies miss the mark, the decision to adapt a game typically makes sense. For example, movies like Assassins Creed and Doom aren’t great, but fans understand why Hollywood producers chose to adapt them.
However, the same can not be said for 2003’s House of the Dead. Based on an arcade rail shooter, House of the Dead was the first video game movie to be directed and written by Uwe Boll. Aside from the source material itself not being very viable to be translated, the film failed on multiple fronts. Feeling cheaply made and poorly written, House of the Dead was a Hollywood blunder.
4 Far Cry Fell Into Obscurity As The Games Found Success
Ubisoft’s Far Cry franchise has become one of the developers’ most famous IPs. Following the success of Far Cry 3 in 2012, the series has become known for its vast open worlds and iconic villains. Before Far Cry 3 brought the series into the spotlight, the franchise was more of a modest success. That didn’t stop Uwe Boll from attempting to adapt the first game in 2008.
Far Cry was a more straightforward video game film that essentially boiled down to an action movie set on an island. While Boll tries to pay homage to the games, Far Cry is a bland, predictable, and tedious affair that lacks any of the charms the series would display in its later entries.
3 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Boasted Both Terrible CGI And Writing
Studio NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat series completely changed the game industry. The violence in the early Mortal Kombat arcade cabinets sparked massive discussion about violence in video games. This discourse eventually resulted in the formation of the ESRB. Still, the fighting series continues to find success.
In 1995, the first Mortal Kombat was released, and it was a moderate success. However, the sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, killed any hope for more Mortal Kombat movies for the foreseeable future. Featuring poor special effects and performances, Annihilation is widely regarded as one of the worst video game adaptions. Since its release, Annihilation has aged poorly.
2 Alone In The Dark Remains One Of The Worst Regarded Films Ever Made
Horror video games have some of the worst film adaptations. Paul W. S. Anderson’s Resident Evil movies were based on a horror video game franchise, but those films were at least substantial financial successes. The same can’t be said for 2005’s Alone in the Dark.
Widely regarded as the worst of Uwe Boll’s video game adaptations, Alone in the Dark is based on the horror series that was initially developed by Infogrames Entertainment. Alone in the Dark ranks 36th on Rotten Tomatoes’ all-time worst movies list with a 1% approval rating. Aside from Rotten Tomatoes, several other prominent sites also view the film as one of the worst ever made.
1 Postal’s Attempts At Being Funny Fall Hilariously Flat
There are few games as controversial as the Postal series. The games have been banned in several countries and are often at the forefront of video game controversy discussions. Franchises like Grand Theft Auto and Mortal Kombat have also been in the public spotlight, but they don’t hold a candle to the number of offensive elements seen in Running With Scissors’ long-running franchise.
Inspired more by Postal 2, Postal is a political satire that lacks any humor, wit, or clever writing needed to make it work. Filled with several purposeful shock-value moments, Postal was unsurprisingly for three Golden Raspberry awards.
NEXT: 8 Horror Video Games That Would Make Great Films
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