Feature: 10 Film Adaptations of Games

Games and film have been popular forms of entertainment for a long time, so it’s not a surprise that the two collided many times over (often with hideous consequences). Here we look at the top 10 film adaptations of games and a couple of franchises that didn’t even break into the top 10.

super mario bros film

10. Super Mario Bros. 

There was only one Super Mario Bros. film, and maybe that was more than enough. Released in 1993 starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as Mario and Luigi, and Dennis Hopper as King Koopa. With a well rounded cast, nobody would have guessed it would have been such a disastrous flop. Leguizamo said in his biography that him and Hoskins didn’t enjoy their time working on the film and would have to get drunk just to get through it. Much like the audience then!

mortal kombat film

9. Mortal Kombat

There were two Mortal Kombat films, the first came in 1995 and was successful at the box office. The less liked sequel titled Mortal Kombat: Annihilation came just two years later with an altered and seemingly less popular cast. While most of the cast couldn’t return to the second film due to conflicting schedules, only Linden Ashby turned it down due to not liking the script. The main issues that fan’s of the franchise had with the second installment included fighting scenes which were too short and a childish atmosphere.

D.O.A. film

8. DOA: Dead or Alive

DOA starred Jaime Pressly, Holly Valance, Sarak Carter, Natassia Malthe and Suki from 2 Fast & 2 Furious. The film royally bombed, making a mere £224,786 in the UK on opening weekend across only 220 screens.

Doom Film

7. Doom

Doom (2005) was penalised for not following the plot of the game. Not even Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson could save this one. Doom only took £612,087 in the UK during it’s opening weekend, which doesn’t need to be said – it’s just not good.

max payne film

6. Tekken / Max Payne

For sixth place we have a tie. Tekken had two films, the first being released in 2010 but went straight to DVD in the UK. The second following a year later with the title Tekken: Blood Vengeance, but didn’t make it anywhere near the UK only being released in Japan and USA.

Max Payne hit our screens in 2008 with a well known cast including Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges and Chris O’Donnell. It even includes a couple of singers like Ludacris and Nelly Furtado, but despite being panned by critics it made over £1 million at the box office in the UK during the opening weekend. However the differences between the games and the film proved to alienate the die hard fans of the franchise.

Tomb raider film

5. Tomb Raider

Lara Croft stole the heart of many young men (and women) in the gaming world. It was important they found the right actress to portray the icon in the films. Enter Angelina Jolie. With curves in all the right places she was set to get hearts racing. The first film hit cinemas in 2001, with the sequel titled Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life emerging 2 years later. It has been rumoured that a reboot of the franchise is in the pipelines and may be already in the development stages.

silent hill film

4. Silent Hill

There have been two films in the Silent Hill franchise. The first came out in 2006 when Director and long time fan on the games Christophe Gans took it under his wing and made a decent adaptation. Six years later the cast return with a new writer/director for a 3D installment. Everyone loves a bit of Sean Bean!

Resident Evil film

3. Resident Evil

Resident Evil is the biggest film adaptation franchise from games. With a grand total of five films all of which starring Milla Jovovich and was produced/written by her now husband Paul W.S. Anderson. The first film came over 10 years ago back in 2002. The following films titled; Resident Evil: Apocolypse (2004), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) and finally Resident Evil: Retribution (2012). There is a sixth movie in the pipeline already with Anderson back on to direct for the first time in the franchise since its debut. This is expected in late 2014.

hitman film

2. Final Fantasy / Professor Layton / Hitman

Another tie as we reach closer to the top of the pack, each of these franchises have only had one film. Maybe that’s the trick?

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) with Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi and Donald Sutherland all provided voices in this animated film. Final Fantasy was a huge success in the US taking over $13 million in its opening weekend, but only taking £43,546 in the UK.

Professor Layton (2009) may have been one you missed entirely, not necessarily by choice as it was sent straight to DVD in the UK.

Hitman (2007) starring Timothy Olyphant as Agent 47 reeled in over £1 million at the box office in the UK during it’s opening weekend and over $13 million in the US. There are rumours that there will be a sequel, at the moment it’s unsure if Olyphant will also be returning – some sources are saying he will be replaced with Paul Walker. Only time will tell.

prince of persia film

1. Prince of Persia

Top spot goes to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time managed to bag the title of highest grossing video game adaptation worldwide, ever! So if that’s not impressive enough then we’re not sure what is.

Films that didn’t make the cut include the Street Fighter franchise that made two films. The first back in 1994 which starred Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile and Kylie Monogue as Cammy. The second being released 15 years later with the title Street Fighter: Legend of Chun-Li which put Kristin Kreuk into the role of Chun-Li and Michael Clarke Duncan as boxer, Balrog.

Another film not to make the top 10 was Far Cry (2008), with only one film in the franchise it starred Til Schweiger as Jack.

And lastly House of the Dead had two films, the first released in 2003 and the second following 2 years later. Neither of which seem to have left a lasting imprint with the lowest score of the lot.

Chart is made based on the average scores on each franchise provided by user ratings on IMDb. Franchises with multiple films have had the mean calculated across the all the user scores. Correct at time of publishing.

The team here at PopBucket discussed film adaptations of games in a podcast, which you can check out here. Enjoy!

Zara enjoys random chit-chat, so why not have a natter with her on Twitter? You know you want to.

Author: Zara Waqar

Associate Editor (Films) and veteran of PopBucket, gamer girl and resident film guru. She loves anything zombie and laughs roughly 80% of the time.

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