8 of the Worst (or Weirdest) Video Game Adaptations

Video games make quite a bit of money, so you’re probably not at all surprised to hear that the suits behind movies and TV shows have tried to adapt them to their medium. But just like when books make the translation to the screen, sometimes they are really bad. You’re probably thinking of bad video game adaptions because they seem to miss more often than they hit—and HBO is pushing their adaptation of The Last of Us. That one might fare a little better since The Last of Us is kind of already a movie. Here are some of the worst video game adaptations.

Doom (2005)

Remember that time The Rock was in a video game movie that wasn’t Jumanji (does that count as a video game movie?). Well, if you don’t remember, it might make you feel a little better to know that The Rock also doesn’t really want to remember it either. He even just says the quiet part out loud: that Doom (2005) is an example of what not to do when it comes to writing. 

Doom has never really been known for its narrative, even its remake in 2016 and sequel Doom: Eternal (2020) handwaved a lot of story aside as an excuse to shuttle the player from room to room. So… we guess there’s a very flimsy excuse for its 18% on Rotten Tomatoes?

Super Mario Bros. (1993)

Honestly taking one look at any frame from this movie and you’ll see just how much gray there is, which doesn’t really jive with the understanding anyone has of anything Mario-related. That makes the 29% on Rotten Tomatoes make sense. Allegedly it was a nightmare to work on, with writers changing hands frequently (this is a common theme with “things that are bad”), and not enough money to accommodate an increasingly large scope. 

If anything at least Super Mario Bros. (1993) was apparently a big stepping stone for the transition from practical to digital effects in movie production

BloodRayne (2005)

If anything, BloodRayne (2005) is a pretty good time capsule for that fun brand of mid-2000s edginess media got up to just for the name alone. But uh… no, the movie was not good—and honestly many might be forgiven for not knowing there’s a video game called BloodRayne. This one came in with a $25 million dollar budget, which is like $38.1 million in 2023 money. It only made back like $3.7 million though (which is like $5.6 million in 2023 money).

Honestly, the worst part of this movie was making us go to an inflation calculator and realizing $1 in 2005 money is like $30 in 2023. Go watch Castlevania (2017) on Netflix if you want video game vampires, that one got like a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Resident Evil (The live action ones)

We’re not entirely sure how hard you can knock the Resident Evil film franchise, because the series has grossed $1.2 billion over its six entries and one reboot. It does make Resident Evil the video game IP with the most live-action adaptations, and at one point was not only the highest-grossing zombie film series, but the highest-grossing horror film series

Despite that, all the movies were… kind of panned by critics. None ever reviewed particularly well, and the most critically well-received live-action Resident Evil-thing is a Netflix series audiences liked less than the Paul W.S. Anderson movies.

Speaking of Paul W.S. Anderson, that name is going to show up again. Also stunt double Olivia Jackson lost her arm filming one of these

Monster Hunter (2020)

It’s another Capcom franchise! Capcom gave Paul W.S. Anderson Monster Hunter, probably because the Resident Evil movies made money. 

That didn’t pan out too well, since the movie’s $60 million budget only brought back $44.5 million at the box office. This was just another one of those movies that everyone kind of collectively forgot about having left no cultural footprint. 

Resident Evil (The animated ones)

Actually, movies like Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017) were received better than their live-action counterparts. We just wanted you to see this stupid gif.

The Witcher (2022)

The relationship between The Witcher and its onscreen Netflix adaptation is a little… Odd. The first two seasons were received decently enough critically, though many fans of the books and games weren’t as enthused with the creative liberties taken by the show. You can have your own opinions on that. Oh yeah, technically The Witcher is an adaptation of a book and a game at once. 

Either way, The Witcher’s most recent outing on Netflix is now one of its worst audience-scored entries. Oops. 

Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)

You might think it weird that a movie could be a worse adaptation than all the live-action Mario memes you come across all the time, but Hitman (2015) and its 8% would beg to differ. It did get a more favorable 40% audience score? So maybe people were just craving some John Wick fluff. In which case, just watch John Wick, since if you’ve ever played Hitman you know the game actively discourages firefights. Also the movie was critically panned for being boring.

Also also, there was a prequel that came out in 2007. Hitman (2007) doesn’t even get to be known as “so bad it was the worst reviewed game movie ever” (at the time) though. 

Speaking of adaptations, see if you know your bad book adaptations here.