There have been many video game movies over the years, with the most recent examples being Assassin’s Creed and Warcraft. However, none of them were very successful. The highest-grossing video game movie was Warcraft, meaning it was at least a step in the right direction, but the movie with the highest Metacritic rating was Mortal Kombat, released in 1995, whereas the movie with the highest Rotten Tomatoes score was Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. There’s not much to say about the best of the worst, as they were just ok, however there is a lot to say about the worst of the worst.
To make sure this isn’t just a list of Uwe Boll movies, this list is a mix of video game movies with the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score, Metacritic score, and overall reception. It’s still mostly just a list of Uwe Boll movies, but there are some that managed to sneak in the ranking and get roughly the same abysmal scores. Here are the fifteen worst video game movies of all time.
15. Max Payne (Max Pain to watch)
Although this one was number one in the box office in its opening weekend, the movie adaptation of Remedy Entertainment’s Max Payne starring Mark Wahlberg as the titular character was panned for its story by critics and by fans of the series for its deviations from the game. Even one of the game’s producers was at first highly critical of the movie, only publicly changing his opinion when the movie hit the top spot in the box office, stating it would help the game get a sequel. The biggest difference was that despite the game mentioning elements of Norse mythology, only in the movie do creatures resembling Valkyries appear, and are also not explained if they are hallucinations from a drug Max Payne is forced to take (in the movie he takes them to survive, in the game he is forced to by someone else), or if they are real.
14. Street Fighter (Street Why-ter)
This action movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Raul Julia was only loosely based on Street Fighter II. Although it was universally panned, it was a commercial success, as it recouped three times the production costs. The original ending hinted at a sequel, but the actor who played Bison died before the movie was released, so they cut that scene out of respect for him. The movie came out a year after the Super Mario Bros movie, and the director wanted to avoid shoehorning in elements from the games to make sure it doesn’t end up like that one. There were even two video game tie-ins based on this movie, which shouldn’t be surprising, seeing as this is the Street Fighter franchise we’re talking about here.
When the latest Hitman movie was announced, it looked promising, but it was clear from the first trailer that this movie wasn’t going to be any good. Although it did somehow get a positive rating from Kotaku, and a 6/10 from IGN, the Metacritic is at 28/100 and its Rotten Tomatoes rating is at 8% (which places it lower than Super Mario Bros on that platform). Despite that, most people preferred it to the previous Hitman movie. The people that didn’t hate it simply likened the movie to many other action movies that just require you to turn off your brain for the duration of the movie. It’s not the worst, per se, but it’s definitely not good, so don’t waste your time with this one. The original movie was also seen as a very typical action movie, and was panned for the incoherent plot and senseless dialogue on top of excessive violence.
12. Super Mario Bros (Super Mario No)
The Super Mario Bros movie was critically loathed, although it has garnered a cult following since its release in 1993. Shigeru Miyamoto said its greatest flaw was trying too much to be like the game, instead of trying to be an entertaining movie in and of itself. For the people on set, it was apparently not a pleasant experience either, as the actors for Mario and Luigi often had to film scenes while drunk to be able to get through it. They also said the directing duo was a nightmare of a married couple that didn’t talk to each other and were both control freaks. It’s no surprise this movie turned out to be an amalgamation of so many different directions.
11. Wing Commander (Failing Commander)
Based on the MS-DOS and later Playstation and Mac 3D space shooter series, this adaptation starred Freddie Prinze Jr, known for movies like “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and the Scooby Doo live action movies. It was criticised for cheesy special effects, shitty writing and an overload of sci-fi clichés. There was even a novelization of the movie for whatever reason, but since it was based on the original script, there are some major differences in the story as some scenes were cut in the movie due to certain elements of the movie being cut out.
10. Silent Hill: Revelation (“Silent Hill: The Room” would have been a better fit)
The original Silent Hill movie, despite being critiqued for inane dialogue and plot that was all over the place, received some praise for its visuals, set designs and for its overall atmosphere. The sequel, however, wasn’t so fortunate, with critics noting the lack of scares (counterproductive for a horror movie) and just generally being cheesier all around. The plot and dialogue were also seen as just as weak and incoherent as in the original, but without the strong atmospheric and set design, the movie was just a mess.
9. Postal (Return To Sender)
This pile of Boll-ocks was critically lambasted, being even nominated for 3 Golden Raspberry Awards. It won the award for Worst Director. Somehow it also won the award for Best Director and Best of Festival at the Hoboken International Film Festival, which basically makes that festival as credible as a baby talking about Quantum Physics. The movie released the day after the last Indiana Jones movie, and Boll even had the audacity to say it would destroy the other movie at the box office. It’s based more on the second game on the first, but there’s not even much to adapt when the whole game is just about destruction and chaos.
8. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (No joke necessary)
The second attempt to adapt the Street Fighter video games fared even worse than the original. It was rated one of the worst movies of the 2000s by Rotten Tomatoes, due to a shallow plot and bad castings, making the movie “just another video game adaptation” which goes to show how low the standards are if they’re not even calling it “a bad video game adaptation”. The fighting scenes were dull, which is a mortal sin for an action movie, and on top of that, they didn’t have the right balance between martial arts and Hollywood head-bashing. It’s a huge mess.
7. Far Cry (It’s a Far Cry from being a good movie)
The second pile of Boll-ocks in this list, this adaptation of Far Cry came out in 2008 and was unsurprisingly an absolute disappointment. The German actor Til Schweiger was placed in the lead role, which is a waste as he is a good actor. Just look at Inglorious Basterds as an example. It was critically despised, earning an average score of 3.1 on IMDb (which is half a point lower than The Room). There was a general agreement that it is not only a horrible movie, but also a bad adaptation of the source material, as it follows a very typical action movie plot and takes itself just as seriously as every Uwe Boll movie: way too seriously. It didn’t even find a place on anyone’s guilty pleasure list either, it was just plain bad.
6. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (In the Name of Uwe Boll: A Dull and Shitty Tale)
The third Uwe Boll disaster on this list stars Jason Statham and even got two sequels. None of these three movies follow the story of the games, as only the first one was “loosely based” on the first game. Unsurprisingly, it was a critical and commercial failure, plagued with low quality production, bland acting and horrible dialogue. You know, the typical Uwe Boll shtick. This movie also hit Time Magazine’s “worst video game movies of all time” list.
5. BloodRayne (Uwe BloodRayne)
The next Uwe Boll entry on this list is by no means a surprise, as the games had only gotten a mixed reception in the first place. BloodRayne also got two sequels, however with a different main actress. This movie only got nominated for six Golden Raspberry Awards, but sadly didn’t win any of them, despite deserving at least the Golden Raspberry for Worst Director. This movie was also on Time Magazine and GameTrailer’s lists of worst video game movies of all time, where GameTrailer even said that everything about the movie is off, be it acting, make up, action scenes, the lot.
4. Tekken (Tekken the piss)
Some have called Tekken an average action movie, saying it was better than both Street Fighter movies, but most said the movies were really bad. The one thing that some people commended it for was attempting to recreate the fighting style of the video games, even if the rest of the movie was bland and dull. The director of the Tekken game series called the movie absolutely terrible and complained that they were not able to supervise it. The movie has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making it one of the worst movies of all time. Its sequel was declared an absolute disgrace of the source material, with the film’s writers and directors being accused of having absolutely no idea who the characters are.
3. House of the Dead (House of the Dreadful)
You’ll never be able to guess the director of this critical failure based on a video game that got a sequel. Enter stage left, Mr Boll. It’s noted as being filled with unintentional laughs and just generally being an absolute mess of a film, giving Uwe Boll another spot on Time Magazine’s list of worst video game movies of all time. Somehow it got three out of five stars from IGN, saying it doesn’t do a bad job at being the B-movie it is, but that’s a bad description of the crap Uwe Boll put on the silver screen that’s not only a horrible disgrace of the source material, but a shite film overall.
The sequel to the highest rated video game movie of all time (which still sets the bar pretty low) is one of the lowest rated video game movies of all time. It takes a lot to fuck up this badly. Although it’s a sequel, it has very few of the actors from the original, and it’s almost become an unintentional comedy and a cult hit. It has almost no plot and is just an excuse for a bunch of fight sequences to be put together in the same movie. Not to mention the dialogue is horrible too. The movie was universally reviled and the planned sequel was cancelled, too, but they’re now in talks for a reboot.
1. Alone in the Dark (Totally missed the mark)
This is probably the only time in an Uwe Boll adaptation where the large deviations from the story of the games can’t be blamed on him, as Alone in the Dark 5 was supposed to be released at the same time, only for it to be sent back to the drawing board just before release. However, that doesn’t make the rest of the movie any more forgivable, nor does it make sense that Uwe Boll made a sequel to this movie, even if it was to be expected from him. The movie won four out of the five Stinkers Bad Movie awards it was nominated for, namely Worst Special Effects, Worst Director, Worst Picture and Worst Actress. The movie is so bad that there are even heavy editing mistakes that made it through post production. For example, a dead body lifting their head before the end of the scene while the camera crew moves away. This movie is considered by many to be one of the worst movies ever made.
Those were the fifteen worst video game movies of all time. Were any of them your guilty pleasure? Or do you disagree with the order? Sound off in the comments below.