10 Game Adaptations That We (Almost) Don’t Feel Embarrassed About, Ranked
Embrace the worthy game adaptations!
Movies based on games are still considered a cursed genre, and most projects are doomed from the start. But things are improving year by year, albeit at a snail's pace.
Moreover, for the first time in many years, we can collect a dozen good or relatively good adaptations. There are still no masterpieces among them, but you don't have to burn with shame while watching them.
No list would be complete without Uwe Boll, a big fan of adapting video games for the big screen. In fact, he is best known as the world's worst video game screenwriter. At one point, Boll was so offended by all the criticism of his projects that he promised to make the worst movie in the world – and made the Postal 2 adaptation.
Uwe kept his promise: his Postal is a terrible and absolutely tasteless movie. But here's the beauty of it: the game is exactly the same. It's an outrageously irreverent trash shooter about a guy who uses cats as silencers and fights terrorists based in his small town store.
9. Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog was initially doomed to fail because people who knew and loved the character could not approve of the absolutely horrendous toothy monster shown in the first trailer. As a result, Sonic has become a symbol of how fan dissatisfaction can make a difference.
The character was redrawn, six months and millions of dollars were spent. In the end, instead of an anthropomorphic monster, we saw a blue hedgehog familiar from childhood and the still great Jim Carrey in the role of Robotnik.
8. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
The adaptation turned out to be far from the original. In fact, all that remains of the game in the movie is a magical dagger that can turn back time and parkour. The movie has been criticized for its chaotic script, overly childish humor, and the reduction of its rich fantasy content to a single magical MacGuffin.
But even with all its flaws, Prince of Persia is still exciting. This is a typical Disney blockbuster in the spirit of Pirates of the Caribbean, that relies on the same elements – a charismatic hero, colorful setting, and spectacular action.
7. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
In the summer of 2016, the world was gripped by Pokemon Go hysteria, and less than three years later, a blockbuster about pokemons was released but went surprisingly quietly. It would seem that Pokemon is a phenomenon, and the first Hollywood movie about them should be no worse than The Avengers. But no, Detective Pikachu collected a good box office and sank into oblivion.
But that is only fair, because the movie was good, but definitely not outstanding. The main thing it should be praised for is its loyalty to the original source – the world of the franchise was transferred to the screen very carefully.
6. Resident Evil
The last installments of Resident Evil are a torture for every Resident Evil fan, and even for every viewer with at least some taste. But that does not take away from the fact that everything started off relatively well.
As a fan of the series, director Paul W. S. Anderson brought the most memorable monsters into the picture – the zombie-dogs are still remembered by many. Other than that, the movie has very little to do with the games. However, the movie was a box office success, grossing over $100 million against three times its budget.
5. Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge
Scorpion's Revenge presented Mortal Kombat as it was intended – brutal and absurdly bloody. The deaths in the animation were so rich with anatomical details as if they were staged by the developers of the latest installments of the fighting game themselves.
And for once, the plot reveals Scorpion's backstory, albeit not in great detail. If you're a Mortal Kombat fan, this is one adaptation you shouldn't miss.
Director Duncan Jones tried to walk the fine line between a movie for fans and a blockbuster for the masses. It didn't work – Warcraft clearly leans towards the first category. Although the movie definitely has its own magic. Jones managed to create the illusion that there is a huge fairy-tale world beyond the borders of the frame, hardly inferior in size to Middle-earth or Westeros. It’s sad, we only saw it briefly.
Warcraft is not a self-contained story, but an introduction – the most spectacular and dramatic things have been saved for sequels, which we will apparently never get.
3. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
The film version of Tomb Raider is a rare example of what is called perfect casting – Angelina Jolie and Lara Croft merged into a personality so charismatic that she can easily charm the viewer and carry the entire movie on her shoulders.
Tomb Raider is not only a feast for the eyes because of the stunts performed by its main star. There is also a Cambodian temple overgrown with vines, the icy expanses of Iceland or beautifully constructed and atmospheric landscapes.
And the plot about ancient technology, secret societies and the posthumous mystery of Lord Croft is fully in the spirit of the original Tomb Raider.
2. Silent Hill
The reason for such frequent failures of game adaptations can be seen in the fact that they are entrusted to people who are completely indifferent to the games themselves. But Silent Hill is an exception. It was created not because the studio decided to capitalize on a popular brand, but because director Christophe Gans fell in love with the game and begged the studio for several years to let him adapt it.
Silent Hill deviated greatly from the source material, but no one would dare call it a bad movie.The otherworldly world and hideous monsters are no less frightening here than in the games, and the movie is still worth a revisit.
1. Mortal Kombat
Almost the only videogame movie that is almost unanimously considered a success by fans. Paul W. S. Anderson, who himself spent his nights playing Mortal Kombat, made a movie where nothing is superfluous.
It is a brutal, almost oriental fantasy that mixes Chinese and Japanese influences with the aesthetics of American action movies of the 80s. Mortal Kombat has amazing fight choreography, a brilliant soundtrack, respect for the source material, dense atmosphere, and a good sense of humor.
In short, it has everything a Mortal Kombat movie needs. And even twenty-five years later, this movie remains a benchmark for quality in live-action adaptations.