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Video Game Movie Adaptations, Ranked


Video game adaptations have been known to struggle to become great movies. This is primarily because a video game is an active experience where the audience takes part, as opposed to a neutral experience where they sit and watch the story as a sideliner.

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The best video game adaptations are those that have a strong core story separate from gameplay. However, this often comes at a cost – the bastardization of the source material. Many attempts to bring video game concepts to the big screen have struggled, and only a few have managed to succeed.

10) Assassin’s Creed

Source: Assassin’s Creed, 20th Century Studios

From the start, Assassin’s Creed is a difficult game to adapt. The main storyline isn’t even the setting for the gameplay, as it takes place in modern times, and the game is mostly historical in nature. There are also many different eras in which the games are set, making it even more difficult to choose a specific era.

Overall, the movie did a decent job of both creating a new era and trying to make the property fresh and relevant for a movie audience. However, it failed to capture the magic and essence of the game series, so there likely won’t be a follow-up.

9) Street Fighter

Source: Street Fighter, Universal Pictures

Although it is often held up as an example of what not to do during a video game adaptation, street fighter is still a remarkably entertaining film when viewed through a campy lens. It has a pretty impressive cast that put on an over the top show, almost on purpose.

Add crazy action sequences and precise costumes, and street fighter is always mentioned among the notable adaptations. Despite everything he’s done wrong, he’s still done a few fun things, like capturing the Incredible Incredible in the video game series.

8) Uncharted

Source: Uncharted, Sony Pictures

From the beginning, Unexplored was going to be a tough movie to adapt, mostly because the video game has such blockbuster sequences to begin with. Not even A-list names like Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg will top the action of the video game classic.

Although a fun sight, the movie got off to a bad start because Unexplored is pretty thin in the storyline department. The film more or less charts its own course, which, while entertaining, doesn’t quite achieve the magic of the video game series.

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7) Super Mario Bros.

Source: Super Mario. Bros, Hollywood Pics

Super Mario Bros. is another example that’s billed as a complete flop of an adaptation, but has since become a cult following in recent years. The film is so over-the-top that it’s hard not to feel nostalgia for it, even though the method of adaptation was a complete departure from the games.

It tries to include various elements from the franchise, such as using mushrooms, and even a Super Scope 6. The story goes in some incredibly crazy directions, but it’s still a pretty fun popcorn movie, even absurd. Plus, watching Dennis Hopper chew up the scenery never really gets old.

6) Warcraft

Source: Warcraft, Legendary Images

An adaptation of the RTS series Warcraft has been in development for a very long time. After all, the series has an incredibly rich mythology and characterization that practically begs for a movie version.

The movie more or less told a decent story and had great fantasy action. From a fantasy adventure standpoint, the film was rather disjointed and average. However, from a video game adaptation perspective, it was a moderate success.

5) Mortal Combat

Source: Mortal Kombat, New Line Cinema

When mortal combat was released, it had very little plot or characterization. It was simply an arcade brawler that focused more on bloody deaths than the stories of its eccentric cast of characters. The first one mortal combat The film adaptation told a gripping story that rooted audiences for the characters and was rich in mythology.

The fights were also there, although they have aged a little badly since its release in 1995. Between the costumes, the sets and the music, this first mortal combat gave fans hope that video game movies could be adapted with some semblance of skill and creative vision.

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4) Resident Evil

Source: Resident Evil, Sony Pictures

resident Evil as a video game series has come a long way over the years, but not its status as a horror franchise. The same goes for movies, which range from sci-fi to straight-action.

The first one resident Evil took a lot of liberties with its story and characters, but the spirit of the original was ultimately there. With impressive effects and an excellent score by Marilyn Manson, the first film remains a highlight of video game adaptations.

3) Rampage

Source: Rampage, Warner Bros.

On its surface, Carnage was a simple arcade game without much story. Players took control of giant monsters that eventually proceeded to wipe out entire towns until they took so much damage that they reverted back to regular pipsqueak humans.

Crafting a storyline for this simple game seemed like a daunting task, so the filmmakers wisely let it slide in favor of the spectacle. They fought giant monster battles with The Rock in the lead and created a very entertaining movie in the process.

2) Sonic the Hedgehog

Source: Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega

Sonic has seen many successful cartoon versions, but using him as a live-action character seemed difficult. It’s mainly because the idea of ​​a talking hedgehog running really fast is crazy to begin with.

In the end, the writers were able to create a plausible story that matched a very fun Sonic against a wild and crazy Jim Carrey. The result is a surprisingly fun film that even did the unthinkable – it listened to fan criticism of the titular hero’s design, took notes, and turned it around in spectacular fashion.

1) Detective Pikachu

Source: Detective Pikachu, Toho Co.

The idea of ​​doing a live action Pokemon the movie always felt appealing, but just out of reach. It seemed impossible to set the right tone for a version of the property that appealed to young and old alike.

Yet, somehow, Detective Pikachu manages to get away with it. Even more insane is the fact that he did it by telling an original story with Ryan Reynolds voicing the iconic character as a true wise detective. Unexpected, certainly, but certainly not unrecognized.

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