The critical success of The Last of Us and the overwhelming commercial achievements of The Super Mario Bros. Movie have audiences thinking this is a new dawn for the video game movie adaptation. After years of disappointing efforts, Hollywood has finally cracked the mystery of how to make these elusive properties work.
It’s not like the business didn’t try before, but their previous pictures were disappointing, to say the least, going from bad to awful with no middle ground. Fans on Reddit have a few ideas about which video game adaptation is the worst, and unfortunately, they have more than a few contenders worthy of the title.
10 ‘Super Mario Bros.’ (1993)
The late Bob Hoskins played Mario opposite John Leguizamo as Luigi in the infamous 1993 movie version of Super Mario Bros. The film follows the siblings as they journey to a parallel universe ruled by the ruthless Bowser, played by the late Dennis Hopper, to save the helpless Princess Peach.
Redditor MonsieurGideon thinks Super Mario Bros. is the worst because “it made no sense and is more of a really good bad movie.” Fellow user filthylilbeast admits the movie was bad but also thinks there’s “a charm to it.” Indeed, Super Mario Bros. has become a cult classic, with many appreciating it for what it is: a silly, clumsy, and woefully misguided attempt to bring the most beloved video game property to live-action.
9 ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ (2015)
The original 2007 adaptation of the popular Hitman series received negative reviews but was a moderate box-office success. However, the 2015 reboot, Hitman: Agent 47, was a trainwreck waiting to happen. Rupert Friend stars as the titular character, a genetically-enhanced killing machine who must stop a shady corporation from creating more assassins like him.
Rubthebudhas appreciated the first Hitman movie, saying they “liked (Timothy) Olyphant better” and praising the actor’s performance while condemning the sequel and saying “everything (about it) was sh*t.” Meanwhile, wile_e_canuck claims they don’t “understand how (the filmmakers) could’ve messed the movie up so badly.”
8 ‘Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time’ (2010)
Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal dipped his toes into blockbuster territory with the misguided 2010 adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The film follows Prince Dastan, who must flee those who accuse him of his father’s murder while protecting a dagger that grants access to the mythical Sands of Time.
The film has been lambasted for whitewashing the title character and having nothing to do with the video game that inspired it. Redditor MovieMike007 criticizes the movie for “starring one of the least-Persian people in the world.” Indeed, the film is one of the biggest and most blatant examples of whitewashing, and it paid dearly for it.
7 ‘Alone In The Dark’ (2005)
Few directors are as infamous as Uwe Boll. The German filmmaker is behind some of the most disastrous video game adaptations ever, including the outright laughable 2005 action horror Alone in the Dark. Christian Slater, Tara Reid, and Stephen Dorff star as paranormal investigators investigating a dangerous threat.
The_Crownless_King calls Alone in the Dark “the worst movie (they’ve) ever seen next to Dragonball Evolution.” Killboypowerhed tongue-in-cheek-ly calls it “the movie where nobody was alone, and it wasn’t dark,” although ShaneRunninShirtless at least praises it for having a “great soundtrack.” Slater luckily bounced back from this tremendous misfire, but poor Tara Reid had no such luck.
6 ‘Mortal Kombat: Annihilation’ (1997)
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is the sequel to the 1995 cult classic Mortal Kombat. The story follows Liu Kang and his allies fighting Shao Kahn to prevent him from conquering Earthrealm. While the first MK combat endures as an endlessly entertaining and great so-bad-it’s-good movie, the sequel is dumb and ridiculous, without any redeeming qualities.
Redditor kowboy42 calls it “by far the worst” video game adaption, while MonsieurGideon disqualifies it as “a bad cosplay movie.” A since-deleted account opts for a more severe approach and considers Annihilation a film that “should be featured in classes as a case study in what NOT to do.” Ouch!
5 ‘Assassin’s Creed’ (2016)
Michael Fassbender is best known for his memorable villains, but he took on the hero role for the 2016 live-action adaptation of Assassin’s Creed. Co-starring Oscar winners Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons, the film centers on Callum Lynch, who must embrace his heritage as an Assassin to stop the Abstergo Foundation from securing the Apple of Eden.
Redditor theMTNdewd claims “Assassin’s Creed crushed (them)” because of the film’s wasted potential. Fellow user ShaneRunninShirtless complains about how the film had “only about 15 minutes of in-animus action,” a common complaint among fans. Assassin’s Creed is one of the most cinematic video game franchises, and it’s a shame its live-action adaptation dropped the ball so egregiously.
4 ‘Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun Li’ (2009)
Kristen Kreuk starred in the utterly forgettable Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. The plot chronicles Chun Li’s journey to avenge her father’s disappearance by joining other vigilantes to take down powerful crime boss M. Bison.
Redditor Peeka789 is “pretty sure this movie destroyed (Kreuk’s) career,” while a since-deleted account calls out the actress for being “so bad in (the movie.” There might be some truth to these claims, although Kreuk is hardly the worst part of the movie. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is ultimately an underwhelming effort with cheap production values and a lazy story that does nothing to honor its beloved source material.
3 ‘The King Of Fighters’ (2010)
The 2010 adaptation of the iconic fighting game King of Fighters is as bad as it’s forgettable. The film stars Maggie Q, Sean Faris, and future Deadpool 2 director David Leitch and follows the last descendants of three powerful clans who get transported to an otherworldly fighting tournament.
Critically panned for its performances and production values, The King of Fighters has aged like milk. Redditor that_melody calls it “pure trash” and further complains about it having “some of the worst acting you’ll ever see.” Fellow user ithinkther41am also mocked the casting of Leitch as Terry, calling it “the most baffling thing about that movie.”
2 ‘In The Name Of The King’ (2007)
Jason Statham might be one of the best action heroes in cinema, but he has starred in his fair share of turkeys. Case in point, 2007’s In the Name of the King, loosely based on the Dungeon Siege series, where Statham plays Farmer, a man on a quest to avenge his son while a war threatens the kingdom.
Directed by Uwe Boll, In the Name of the King was torn apart by critics and audiences. A since-deleted account calls it “god-awful” and says they “couldn’t even get through it.” Fellow user 007ace outright calls it “terrible,” while Iduffy16 blames Boll entirely, claiming “(all his) movies are the worst.”
1 ‘House Of The Dead’ (2003)
Uwe Boll is one of cinema’s most polarizing directors, with most of his films receiving scathing critical and audience reviews. However, House of the Dead, his 2003 adaptation of Sega’s famous franchise, might be his worst effort. The film is a prequel to the first game and centers on a group of survivors trying to escape a zombie-infested island.
House of the Dead lives in infamy as arguably the worst video game adaptation ever. MidEastBeast777 outright calls it “a terrible movie,” while HBK42581 criticizes the film’s choice to “cut to snippets from the gameplay from the arcade game” during the film’s climactic fight. LizardOrgMember5 goes so far as to call it “The Room of zombie-action movies.” There have been many terrible video game adaptations, but none hold a candle to House of the Dead‘s awfulness.
NEXT: 10 Highest-Rated Video Game Adaptations On Rotten Tomatoes