There are dozens of film adaptations of video games. Unfortunately, most of them are universally hated by both – critics and fans. We’ve decided to choose the 10 absolutely worst movies based on video games.
We wanted our list to be more than just a reflection of our opinion. In pursuit of objectivism, we used Rotten Tomatoes. To reduce the impact of possible review bombing, we doubled the critics’ score and added it to the audience rating.
We rated only Hollywood live-action movies that had a theatrical release. Therefore, there are neither TV films nor direct-to-video releases.
Score: 52 (critics: 13, audience: 26)
It was one of the earliest Holywood takes on video games. And also one of the first signs of upcoming disasters. The critics crushed Double Dragon. The list of its sins featured a silly story, poor acting, and cheesy dialogues. The movie grossed only about half of its budget. We’re curious if Mark Dacascos, Scott Wolf, Alyssa Milano, and Robert Patrick ever regretted playing in Double Dragon.
Score: 45 (critics: 10, audience: 25)
Ironically, the game series famous for cutscenes featuring renowned actors was very poorly adapted. This time we can’t blame Hollywood for not understanding video games since the movie was directed by Chris Roberts, “the father” of the Wing Commander series. According to Freddie Prinze Jr., who played Christopher Blair, the original script was fantastic. Unfortunately, it had been replaced right before the filming started. Moreover, budget limitations played their part. Hence, Wing Commander turned out to be a critical and financial disaster.
Score: 40 (critics: 10, audience: 20)
This movie is an ultimate example of what happens when the filmmakers treat video game fans like mindless morons. The names of characters and places were randomly put in the script. As a result, Chun Li became a journalist, Dhalsim was a scientist, and Ryu and Ken were conmen. The only reason all copies of the Street Fighter movie shouldn’t be burned at the stake is an exceptional performance by Raul Julia. He was M. Bison this movie needed, but not the one it deserved.
Score: 31 (critics: 4, audience: 23)
This is the first (but not the last) Uwe Boll’s movie on our list. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale featured surprisingly many renowned actors. Boll cast Leelee Sobieski, Jason Statham, Ron Perlman, and Ray Liotta, to name only a few. Unfortunately, this is the only good thing we can say about this movie. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale was a painful box office bomb and was nominated for Golden Raspberry Awards in 5 categories:
- Worst Picture
- Worst Screenplay
- Worst Supporting Actor – Burt Reynolds
- Worst Supporting Actress – Leelee Sobieski
- Worst Director – Uwe Boll (won)
Score: 31 (critics: 0, audience: 31)
This is not a mistake. Reviews were so harsh that this movie was given 0 points by the critics. Even Katsuhiro Harada (the producer and director of Tekken games) said it was a terrible movie. Also, the box office was merciless. Tekken grossed about $2 million, while its budget was $30 million.
Bay the way, the series with so many weird characters demonstrates the potential for a much more entertaining movie.
Score: 29 (critics: 2, audience: 25)
The first Mortal Kombat movie is still considered one of the best films based on video games. Its sequel is the exact opposite. Annihilation tried to put every Mortal Kombat character on a screen instead of telling an entertaining story. The result was a mess, which was hard to watch even for die-hard fans. The animality part of the final fight was a whole new level of stupidity.
Score: 28 (critics: 5, audience: 18)
The first Street Fighter tried to use every character, so focusing on just one fighter in the spin-off seemed like a wise choice. Unfortunately, they screwed up this one too. The Legend of Chun-Li had a weird vibe of cheap erotic movies because of its distinctive music and narration.
Score: 25 (critics: 4, audience 17)
The redhead dhampir had her five minutes in the early 2000s. Her two games were well received. She even became the first video game character to have a pictorial in Playboy. The movie could have been Rayne’s ticket to the big league. Unfortunately, BloodRayne was directed by Uwe Boll. The film turned out to be an unoriginal origin story. To make matters worse, for some scenes Boll hired prostitutes instead of actresses to cut the costs. Although BloodRayne was a failure, the German directed two direct-to-video sequels. Believe us, they are even worse than the original.
Score: 19 (critics: 3, audience: 13)
Another of Boll’s masterpieces. This time the controversial filmmaker took on a classic arcade hit from Sega. The movie had almost nothing to do with the game it was based on. Some say it was a complete disaster; according to others, it may be considered a decent B-movie. Everyone agrees that House of the Dead is a terrible video game adaptation.
Score: 13 (critics: 1, audience: 11)
Guess who is the director of the movie considered the worst video game adaptation? Yes, it’s Uwe Boll! His version of Alone in the Dark is based on Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare. A movie that was supposed to be a thrilling horror; became 96-minutes of poorly realized nonsense. Alone in the Dark was nominated for Razzies in two categories: Worst Director (Boll) and Worst Actress (Tara Reid).
A few movies couldn’t be on this list because they don’t have enough reviews to get a score. Two of them deserve at least an honorable mention.
Uwe Boll’s Far Cry currently has an audience approval of 12%. Surprisingly, it could be worse. Dead Trigger, directed by Mike Cuff and Scott Windhauser and starring Dolph Lundgren, received an audience score of measly 6%. Boll must be jealous.