30 Video Games Made into Movies (For Better or Worse)

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Video game film adaptations have a long, complicated history. Well, it’s really not that long. It’s not complicated, either. They’re mostly bad. We’ve finally hit a comic book movie renaissance, and those seem to be pretty good now, but art of video games made into movies still has a ways to go to get their due on the silver screen.

It’s not for lack of trying. Plenty of talented, passionate people have tried adapting video games into films, but for some reason or another they almost always end up subpar. It doesn’t help that many games on this list aren’t exactly easy to adapt. Super Mario Bros. may have a premise, but it doesn’t really have a plot, at least it didn’t way back in 1993.

Here are the most notable video game adaptations we’ve had, including some that flew under the radar. Almost all of them had a rough time at the box office and in critic’s circles. Don’t get your hopes up.

Mortal Kombat (1995) Dir: Paul W. S. Anderson


Years before he kicked off the Resident Evil film franchise, Paul W. S. Anderson brought the controversial Midway Games fighter to life in Mortal Kombat. The film centered around Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Sonya Blade as they followed the god Raiden to Outworld for a fighting tournament that would decide the fate of Earth. It came out the same year as Mortal Kombat 3 hit the arcades and the supporting cast featured a hodge-podge of characters from the first few games.

The film made $122 million on an $18 million budget, making it the fourth highest-grossing video game film of all time. Critically, the film was less successful, but it had its champions. Gene Siskel of Siskel and Ebert actually gave the film a thumbs up, calling it “the only half way decent video game movie [he] has ever seen.” That’s a compliment, right?

Here’s the real compliment: it’s not Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

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