It Was Better As A Game: 15 Movies That Prove Hollywood Needs To Stop Taking Interest In Video Games

Max Payne PF WENN


Late film critic Roger Ebert once argued his belief that, unlike films, video games could never be considered art. Whether or not you agree with this sentiment is purely objective. However, I do believe we can flip the script a bit to make a statement we all agree with– video game movies can never be considered art. Okay, maybe “never” is a bit too definitive, but to date there has not been a single video game turned movie that has legitimized the adaptation as anything more than a blatant cash-in (no, Mortal Kombat doesn’t count.) By their very definition, video game adaptations are inferior films, ones who take an interactive story and remake it as a passive story (thus robbing a game narrative of what made it dynamic in the first place). No matter how you slice it, the video game adaptation is a nut Hollywood just can’t seem to cr-ack. For proof of Hollywood’s myriad of failures in relation to the subgenre, here are 15 movies that prove Tinseltown  needs to stop trying to make video game movies work.

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros PF WENN


Super Marios Bros. is probably the first thing that comes to mind when audiences think of video games—the property first appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986 and was an instant phenomenon. The premise was simple, if surreal—a plumber named Mario and his brother, Luigi, must rescue a princess from a fire breathing dragon with the help of magical mushrooms (no, not those sorts of mushrooms). After three hit games, Hollywood Pictures and Buena Vista Films bought the rights to a Mario video game adaptation in 1993. The resulting film, which starred Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the title characters, took the fairy tale story of the games and cross-pollinated it with a futuristic dystopian world ala Blade Runner. The producers cast Dennis Hopper as the story’s dragon protagonist (who’s a half-dinosaur albino crime boss in the movie) and literalized the Mario universe within a sci-fi context. The resulting movie is one of the weirdest would-be blockbusters ever to tank, effectively ruining the careers of directors Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel after its release.


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  • Nate

    Just because Silent Hill Revelations wasn’t a financial success meant it sucked as a movie. I went and saw it in 3D, and it was awesome! Are you sure they’re not making a 3rd? Because the ending left it open for a sequel. Honestly, I really don’t know why SHR got such bad press…the 3D was done really well, the movie was clearly made for 3D and not thrown together in a week, there were parts in the movie where stuff jumped out at me and I jumped! Sorry, but I disagree…keep making videogame movies, Hollywood!

    • guest

      I can tell your taste buds are right up where the sun doesn’t shine.

  • Jonathan A. Price

    If the movie is making money, it’s doing the job it’s intended to do. Hence, if anything, more directors probably need to take the Resident Evil approach to game-inspired filmmaking.

    • Muhammad Bilal Islam

      No thanks

  • Muhammad Bilal Islam

    Just because there has been terrible video game movies doesn’t mean they should stop making them. They should just start making good ones. They really need to let Neil Blomkamp do a Halo movie.

  • Muhammad Bilal Islam

    Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is an awesome movie and is the best thing on this list. If live-action video game movies were anything like Advent Children, we would be in a much better spot.

  • guest

    As long as the likes of Paul W.S. Anderson, Andrzej Bartkowiak and Uwe Boll are around, there will never be a good video game movie.

    • John

      You forgot to include Michael J. Bassett.