The Evolution Of Video Game Movies: The Wrap-Up.

It's finally over! This was probably one of the most ambitious projects I've done on the blog--ambitious due to the fact that nobody in their right mind would want to watch every major video game movie each week over the span of a year. It was pretty much the opposite of the 50/50 and 60/60 Lists, which are movies one needs to see. But I did this so, as the Nostalgia Critic would say, you don't have to. I also did it to find the ones you might actually want to check out in the legions of dreck. Because there were some good ones. I watched pretty much everything from every genre of film (including a handful of documentaries) based on every type and style of video game.

These are some stats from what I figured out over the course of this series wherein I watched 50 films (minus 4 films since they were documentaries and don't count):


Based on Fighters: 12
(Fatal Fury/Street Fighter x3/Double Dragon/Mortal Kombat x3/DOA/King of Fighters/Tekken x2)

Based on Survival Horror: 11
(Resident Evil x7/Alone in the Dark x2/Silent Hill x2)

Based on RPGs (including MMOs): 7
(PokeMon x2/Final Fantasy x2/Dungeon Siege x2/Dragon Age)

Based on Action/Adventure: 7
(Tomb Raider x2/BloodRayne x3/Hitman/Prince of Persia)

Based on Shooters: 5
(House of the Dead/Doom/Postal/Far Cry/Max Payne)

Based on Platformers: 2
(Mario x2)

Other: 2
(Cloak & Dagger/Wing Commander)

Ironically, some of the best and worst films come from the Top 2 categories--though statistically that would have to be the case due to the number of films of each type produced. And while Fighters are the most plentiful, they're also some of the most forgettable (which a few notable exceptions, of course). Though the Action/Adventure genre also produced quite a few duds. And while not entirely bad films, almost all of them aren't necessarily worth remembering. And Uwe Boll really likes his Shooters, as 3 of the 5 are his... and the genre doesn't fare well when the only two left are Doom and Max Payne. So looking at these two genres statistically, any future adaptations of Uncharted and Halo are almost destined for mediocrity unless you can get some really good talent behind the camera.

Going back to RPGs for a second, this was the most intriguing genre to me. This genre more than any other seemed to want to please fans the most but, at the same time, completely miss the point. The PokeMon films didn't know what to do with themselves and would play with themes that didn't match the world it was set in or the age group it was going for. Final Fantasy: Spirits Within is one of the biggest bombs and question marks of all time because it was made by the originators... and had nothing to do with the games. While on the other hand, FF7: Advent Children is amazing, but made only for fans and nobody else, so it really can't prosper in the mainstream. The Dungeon Siege films are crazy fun, but they're Uwe Boll, so they aren't great. Strangely, though, I found them to be two of his best and most entertaining video game movies. And then there was Dragon Age which, from what I read, put everything in the film, yet changed up everything so it didn't make any sense. And in the end, the overall film was rather mediocre. I feel that RPGs could definitely succeed translated into film if the creators figure out who the hell they're marketing to.

Then there's the oddity of the group--platformers. Prior to Halo and the rise of the FPS generation, platformers were considered the most popular games available. These are games like Mario, Mega Man, MetroidSonic the Hedgehog, Viewtiful Joe, Crash Bandicoot, Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper, Spyro the Dragon, Castlevania, Kirby, Earthworm Jim, Jak and Daxter, and the list goes on and on. Yet the only attempts at adapting these types of games was at the start with Mario? (Note: I think Sonic does have an animated movie, but we won't go there...) Granted, these are typically freakin' bizarre games and concepts, but you can't help but wonder why more companies don't try them, at least in an animated film. Even if you went to the least weird and most popular, Mega Man, Metroid, and Castlevania could all easily work as live-action films. Alas...

I also noticed that 99% of the time, sequels are far, far worse than their predecessors, even if that means the original was so-bad-its-good and the camp that made it entertaining was removed. I often found that sequels were some of the worst films on this list.

So now let's finally wrap this all up. Let's look at some Top and Bottom lists for the year. First up, let's take a gander at those I can't even recall. These are pretty much ranked in order of how much I can't remember a thing about them and how unremarkable they really are.


5) Wing Commander

All I really remember here is Matthew Lillard crushin' on some woman... who ends up dying. Poor Matthew Lillard.

4) Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

All I remember here is the terrible, terrible CGI shark at the beginning. And I thought I remembered the climax, but as it turns out... I was thinking of the first film. Yeah.

3) Alone in the Dark 2

Um... some evil thing is chasing some people into a bathroom, where they're all killed and another person sees all of it. I think that's how it opens. And that's about all I got.

2) Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture

The plot had something to do with the armor of the Greek god Ares. Or at least that's what I thought until I just looked it up, and it was actually his Roman counterpart, Mars. Alrighty then.

1) The King of Fighters

I literally remember nothing about this movie. I don't know who starred in it, what the visuals looked like... if it was even live action or animated (I think it was live action). Zero.


So now let's look at the films that might not have been good, but I found them immensely entertaining anyway. I bet you can't guess what director shows up here more than 3 times.

10) Cloak & Dagger

It was the first film I watched for the project (and my grandpa has a speaking role appearance in it!). The tone of this movie was just so utterly strange. It was a very dark and disturbing movie, but everything was treated so lightly and kid-friendly. This film really is a sight to behold.

9) D.O.A.: Dead or Alive

Boobs. And it knows it.

8) House of the Dead

Uwe Boll's first American film, and it shows. It's not even close to his worst (or most entertaining), but it does so many strange things that it's hard not to have fun with it. From the video game inserts to the really bizarre slow motion and camera spins... this movie is something else.

7) Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen

Easily the most bizarre movie on the list. Everybody knows when you really think about it, the Mario games are really weird. But what if you were to embrace that weirdness and try to make it all work in an actual world setting? You'd get this mind-melting film.

6) In the Name of the King: Two Worlds

Oh man did I have fun with this one. Yeah, it's Uwe Boll again. But it's Dolph Lundgren traveling back in time and/or to a parallel universe (it's not really made clear) and just not giving a damn. It's goofy and entertaining, though not nearly as entertaining as some of the following films.

5) BloodRayne

Yup, another Boll film. Nothing in this movie makes sense. The acting is terrible. The costumes are terrible. And I remember just laughing through the whole thing at just how silly things got.

4) Resident Evil: Retribution

You know what? I like the fourth and fifth live-action Resident Evil films, and I don't care what anybody says. That being said, I know they aren't great films. But man is this a fun one. I watched and reviewed this when it was in theater... and it's now out on DVD. This is easily the most entertaining of the franchise since the first.

3) In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

This film is so damn entertaining I can't even begin to explain. King Burt Reynolds. Prince Matthew Lillard. Farmer Jason Statham. Evil wizard Ray Liotta. Good wizard John Rhys-Davies and his daughter, Leelee Sobieski. Forest Nymph Kristianna Loken. And then Ron Perlman, because he's freakin' Ron Perlman. It's one of the most bizarre casts I've ever seen, and it is so amazingly fun.

2) Street Fighter

Of course!

1) Super Mario Bros.

I know some people don't agree with me here, and it may be a level of nostalgia I have for the film. But I think this movie is a ton of fun. I actually appreciate this film quite a bit, and I think it gets too big of a bad reputation. There are far worse video game movies out there now, and I hate that this constantly makes the top of people's lists just because everyone would expect it to since you're a movie critic and that's what all movie critics have agreed upon. Nope. Not me.


These are the five best films I can recommend to you if you're looking for good video game movies. Good ones do exist... but again, there is a reason I could only do a Top 5 instead of a Top 10. But first...

Runners-Up: King of KongEcstasy of Order. This is a tie for these two documentaries. Both of these films are the only two that got my highest rating in the entire project. But as they're documentaries and not actually adaptations of games, I didn't feel it right to include them on the official list. However, these are two great films that I strongly recommend checking out if you haven't. They would make a great double feature, as they both have quite a bit in common with each other. Great stuff.

5) Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children

This is a fantastically made film. It has gorgeous visuals and amazing action sequences. The music, taken almost entirely from the game, is beautiful. Unfortunately, I put it in my #5 spot because the entire film is fan service. If you haven't played Final Fantasy VII, then you're not going to know or care about anything going on in this film... which is sad, because it's really that good. So unless you want to do a little wiki research and then appreciate it for its visuals, you'll probably not care all that much.

4) Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie

An actually good Street Fighter movie that almost nobody talks about. No, it's not a sequel. the II in the title is in reference to the video game, not the film series. This actually came out before the live-action film. The animation is great. The action is done very well. And the story isn't all that bad. If you're hankering for a good Street Fighter film, don't pass up this little gem. (And that Chun-Li shower sequence followed up by the Vega fight is stunning.)

3) Resident Evil

While it has almost nothing to do with the games, it remains to be the best film of the series. It actually takes itself seriously and acts as more of a horror film than a campy action movie as the rest of the series does. There's a nice story, good characters, and fine thrills. Granted, some of the CGI is a little outdated, but the rest of it is solid.

2) Mortal Kombat

Speaking of outdated CGI, this movie is downright painful in that regard. But the rest of it is damn entertaining. This is about as close as you can get to a good adaptation of the games. It's funny, fun, and full of fan service. And the action is really good, as well. Oh yeah, and that theme song is one of the best movie themes ever.

1) Silent Hill

To wrap this up, most of you saw this one coming. And most of you who have seen this film will probably agree. Sure, some of the acting isn't great, especially in the first 15 minutes or so, but by God, the story and the visuals make up for it. This is a really pretty looking film, even down to the crazy, gritty, bloody things. It's so expertly handled in all regards. And the sequel made me appreciate this film even more.


Now for the moment you've all been waiting for. After a year and 50 films, seeing practically every major video game movie ever made and in chronological order... what do I feel are the five worst films?

5) Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

This is everything and more on how a sequel should not be done. When I was about to re-watch this film, I thought it was going to be so-bad-its-good quality. I remember kinda digging it for similar reasons when I was younger. But it's not. It's really not. This movie is just painfully bad. Truly, painfully bad. Nothing in this film is done competently. There's a reason most people consider this one of the worst ever made. And this is only my #5, folks.

4) Alone in the Dark

Uwe Boll strikes again. Even though most of his films are entertaining, they all most certainly are not. The acting in this film is atrocious. The voice-over is lazy, telling you everything that's going on as it's happening. The film goes on for 2 minutes at the start with an expository text scroll. The action scenes are done very oddly and poorly, like Boll doesn't know how to transition into a shootout. But as I said in the review, it's not the worst film I've ever seen; however, it's worst crime is that it's so unapologetically boring. And that's the worst thing a film can be, to me.

3) Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

I tell this a lot, but I actually saw this in theater and felt embarrassed while walking out. This is coming from somebody who saw all of the Twilight movies in theater by himself. It was that bad. The story is all over the place and makes no sense. The action is decent, but it never lasts more than like 30 seconds. Kristin Kreuk is nice to look at, too... but that's not even close to enough to save this movie. This film fails for Chris Klein's performance alone. What was he thinking? Bad. Just bad.

2) Silent Hill: Revelation

Easily the biggest disappointment of any sequel I've had in a long time. To go from the first film being what I think is the best video game movie ever made to the sequel being almost the worst ever made. There is almost zero things done right in this film. It's just terrible from start to finish in every regard. If you were a fan of the original film, skip this. It's not worth it... not even to know what happened at the first film's cliffhanger. It'll just piss you off even more.

1) BloodRayne 2

Bad. Just... bad. Terrible acting and characters (except Michael Eklund, who is hilarious in this... the only good thing about the film). Terrible directing. Terrible mood. Terrible lighting. Terrible editing. Terrible story. Terribly boring. This is my second least favorite Boll film next to Seed, and that says a lot if you know my feelings on that movie. This film is just painfully bad. And you know you're in trouble when your main character doesn't show up for 20 minutes into the movie. To me, this is hands down the worst video game movie of all time... thus far.


  1. I feel like I should congratulate you for finishing this project...but I'm not sure it's appropriate given the quality of the films. You survived, at least!

    Of the films you've mention I've only seen The Legend of Chun-Li and I count it among the worst films I have ever seen. And yea, I also saw it in theaters, too, but it was either that or the Jonas Brothers movie...which was being crowded with per-pubescent, giggly girls.

    1. You mean of the "worst" list or of all the movies I watched? I thought yu've seen more video game movies than just Legend of Chun-Li.


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