The 5 Worst Video Game Movie Adaptations Of All Time

Published: Jan 13, 2022

The Worst Video Game Movies

Video games are more than a bunch of players running around with guns shooting at each other. Games combine art, music, storytelling and make it all interactable for an immersive experience. It's no wonder movie companies want to adopt some of the hottest games and place them into movies that can reach an audience far beyond the gamer. Unfortunately, they're not always successful.

The worst of the worst transitioned from a screen full of pixels and became a 2-hour long, live-action film full of disappointment and other mixed emotions. With such a brilliant premise and potential, these movies could have been so much better.

The list of bad video game movies includes some from the past, and a few from the present. Most are so terrible they leave you wondering why anyone thought it would be a good idea to spend millions of dollars on them! A few have become cult classics for being so bad they're actually funny.

Questions About Bad Video Game Movies

What makes a movie based on a video game a bad movie?

There are a few key things that make a movie based on a video game a bad movie. One is when the movie strays too far from the source material, for instance changing the story or characters so much that it's unrecognizable. Another is when the movie simply doesn't capture the essence of what made the game popular in the first place. Oftentimes, it's because the filmmakers don't understand games and try to force in elements that are only applicable to movies. Finally, another big reason is when special effects take center stage over good storytelling – which can be off-putting for fans of both genres.

What are some bad video game movies?

Super Mario Bros. (1993), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). These movies are not on our top 5 worst video game movies list, but they are among the worst video game movies ever made.

Why are video game movie adaptations made?

Since video games always need a villain, video game movie adaptations often bring in new characters to become the main threat of the story. This might be problematic for video game fans who know and love the original characters and setting, but director Uwe Boll managed this with his video game movie “Alone In The Dark” by turning all of Friday's friends into bad guys.

Top 5 Worst Video Game Movies


Far Cry (2008)

Far Cry (2008)


About Far Cry (2008)

The video game franchise “Far Cry” is about surviving in the wilderness fighting off an enemy. It's meant to be gritty and realistic, which definitely didn't translate to the movie version. The video game follows a genetically altered killer named Jack Carver who finds himself on a mysterious island after fixing a boat. After being captured by the island inhabitants, he escapes and spends the video game fighting off an army of enemies called The Project at Eden's Gate.

In a video game movie adaptation, it's best to keep the story about the video game, but this isn't what happened with Far Cry. The video game version of Jack Carver is brought to the movie, but he is quickly killed off and replaced with an entirely new character played by Til Schweiger. Unlike the video game Carver, movie Jack is more of a soldier than a tough guy who spends most of his time trying to save his girlfriend from an evil corporation.

Rather than staying true to the video game's story about a man stranded on a mysterious island, the video game movie adaptation follows a new story about Jack Carver's daughter and her search to find him. While this could have been interesting if it were handled differently, video game fans will likely be disappointed that video game Carver is not at all involved with his daughter in this story.

Genre: Action, Adventure

Rating: R for strong violence, some language, and brief nudity

Duration: 1 hr 41 min

Release Date: January 18, 2008 (USA)

Directed by: Uwe Boll

Cast: Til Schweiger as Jack Carver, Natassia Malthe as L Prez, Uwe Boll as Karl

Worldwide Box Office: $743,000

Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes - 41%, IMDb - 5.3/10


Alone In The Dark (2005)

Alone In The Dark (2005)


About Alone In The Dark (2005)

The video game franchise “Alone In The Dark” is about a paranormal detective who fights off zombies and demons. This video game has been popular since the first iteration of it came out in 1992, but that same popularity did not translate to the movie version.

In the video game, Edward Carnby is a paranormal detective on a mission to uncover mysteries related to ghosts and other frightening creatures. He gets help from his friend Charles Fiske who has been murdered, which starts the adventure as Carnby searches for his killer. After receiving mysterious invitations to explore an abandoned mansion with five strangers, Edward Carnby finds himself trapped inside fighting off monsters such as zombies and werewolves.

In the video game movie adaptation, director Uwe Boll strays too far away from what made the video game popular and instead takes a paranormal detective and turns them into an action hero. The video game protagonist Edward Carnby is changed to be named Edward Roivas to give him more of a back story. While video gamers will understand that this character is not video game Edward Carnby, viewers who have never played the video game may find it hard to understand why he is important. Instead of a detective investigating supernatural crimes, the movie Edward Roivas becomes a ghost hunter hunting for his dead relatives.

In the video game, the introduction to “Alone In The Dark” features music that scares players, but the movie Edward Roivas doesn't even encounter any scary creatures until after 20 minutes into the video game adaptation. The video game also has zombie-like monsters instead of werewolves and demons.

Genre: Adventure

Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense action and some frightening images

Duration: 1 hr 40 min

Release Date: March 26, 2013 (USA)

Directed by: Uwe Boll

Cast: Christian Slater as Ben Richards, Dominic Monaghan as Jack Thompson, Isaiah Washington as The President

Worldwide Box Office: $107,000

Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes - 33%, IMDb - 3.3/10


BloodRayne (2006)

BloodRayne (2006)


About BloodRayne (2006)

When the video game “BloodRayne” came out in 2002, it was already a sequel. This created problems when creating the movie adaptation because if viewers have never played the first version of this game, they will not understand what is going on at all.

The movie follows Rayne (Kristanna Loken), half-human and half-vampire, as she hunts down her mother and father's killers. Along the way, Rayne meets two allies in a Gypsy played by Michael Madsen and an Irish Traveler played by Billy Zane. After a clan of vampires poison the countryside with a toxic blood serum that turns humans into vampires, Rayne is aided by FBI Agent Blood (Matthew Davis) and the three take down the vampire clan.

In the video game, Rayne is half-human and half-vampire which is why she hunts down her parents' killers. In this movie adaptation, Rayne's character comes off as more of a supernatural assassin with no connection to the protagonist from the video game because Rayne does not have a human side. In the video game, Rayne fights from the shadows as an assassin and even uses her vampire qualities to her advantage which is why she was so popular with gamers. In this movie adaptation, Rayne almost has too much power as a character making it difficult for viewers to understand what makes her unique compared to other video game characters.

Genre: Fantasy, Action

Rating: R for strong creature violence and gore, some language and sexuality

Duration: 1 hr 40 min

Release Date: September 11, 2006 (USA)

Directed by: Uwe Boll

Cast: Kristanna Loken as Rayne, Michael Madsen as Kagan, Billy Zane as Sebastian

Worldwide Box Office: $1.7 million

Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes - 33%, IMDb - 5.8/10


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DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)

DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)


About DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)

Gamers were excited when they heard that there was going to be a movie adaptation of the video game “Dead or Alive.” When the film finally came out, gamers quickly realized that this was not like the video game they grew to know.

Instead of focusing on action and graphics, director Corey Yuen focuses on the romantic relationship between Kasumi (Devon Aoki) and Hayate (Derek Yee). Along the way, Ayane (Natassia Malthe) is used to create a love triangle when she develops feelings for both Kasumi and Hayate. In this movie adaptation, Ayane's character seems useless instead of being a potential threat to Kasumi and Hayate's relationship.

In the video game, Ayane is a potential threat to Kasumi and Hayate's relationship because she has always been in love with him. In this movie adaptation, Ayane just comes across as a third wheel instead of a character that gamers wanted to see in the video game.

Genre: Action, Fighting, Romance

Rating: R for sequences of violence and martial arts action, and sexuality

Duration: 1 hr 40 min

Release Date: April 25, 2006 (USA)

Directed by: Corey Yuen

Cast: Devon Aoki as Kasumi, Derek Yee as Hayate, Natassia Malthe as Ayane

Worldwide Box Office: $7.5 million

Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes - 28%, IMDb - 5/10


Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-li (2009)

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-li (2009)


About Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-li (2009)

In this adaptation, Chun-Li's character comes off as more of a doomsday machine rather than the protagonist from the video game. Even with her superhuman abilities, she is still beaten by Bison throughout most of the movie which goes against what gamers understand about her character. In addition, Guile's role in this film was reduced to that of a useless character instead of the man gamers look up to because he is one of the best Street Fighter players.

While Chun-Li is one of the most popular characters in the Street Fighter video game franchise, this does not mean that her character would be successful in a movie adaptation. The film would have been more successful if it was focused on a different character because Chun-Li has too many things going on with her role in the video game franchise.

Genre: Action, Adventure

Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence including intense gunfire and fight scenes, some sexual content, sensuality, and language

Duration: 1 hr 52 min

Release Date: February 27, 2009 (USA)

Directed by: Andrzej Bartkowiak

Cast: Kristen Kreuk as Chun-Li Zang, Neal McDonough as M. Bison, Chris Klein as Charlie

Worldwide Box Office: $12 million

Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes - 25%, IMDb - 4/10

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