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The Worst Video Game Adaptations, According To Rotten Tomatoes

Video game adaptations had a bad rap in Hollywood for years. Much like comic book movies, the industry struggled to crack the formula, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole for decades. Then filmmaker Uwe Boll came around, scooping up the chance to direct adaptations of popular video games such as "House of the Dead," "Alone in the Dark," and "BloodRayne." The director had bold ideas for these projects, often being contrary to the actual storylines from the games. Needless to say, Boll's features disappointed both fans and critics, giving the genre an additional kick to the groin while it was already down on the floor.

Fortunately, thanks to films such as "Sonic the Hedgehog" and "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," video game adaptations have come back swinging and are finally striking the right balance between the needs of fans and filmmakers. That said, the genre is always looking over its shoulder since it still holds the dishonorable distinction of having so many duds on the lowest end of Rotten Tomatoes. Much like the darkest alley in Raccoon City, let's brave the shadows to discover the worst video game adaptations according to Rotten Tomatoes. And spoiler alert: They aren't all Uwe Boll movies, though his films do feature quite a lot here.

12. Max Payne

In the early 2000s, the "Max Payne" video game series had gamers giddy with gun-toting delight. At the time of the first game's release, "The Matrix" was extremely popular, and players were particularly impressed by the "Bullet Time" combat mechanic where time would slow down so Max could unload on foes while spinning through the air. Due to the games' global success and fanfare, a live-action adaptation arrived in theaters in 2008.

Directed by John Moore and starring Mark Wahlberg as Max Payne alongside Mila Kunis and Ludacris, the film's first stills and trailer had a gritty noir feel to them that indicated the team understood the tone of the games. Plus, Wahlberg's casting as the lead also drew praise from fans of the franchise since he was a bona fide action star. Unfortunately, when "Max Payne" was released, many wished they could have used Bullet Time to slow down the film and escape the cinema before it went any further. The adaptation holds a 15% critical approval rating and a 29% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing.

David Hogan from Hogan Reviews stated, "Max is possibly the first game character to be better acted in his game than he is in his movie, [and] the John Woo-inspired action is almost entirely dropped."

11. Street Fighter

"For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me? It was Tuesday." How is it possible to hate a movie with such stellar dialogue? 1994's "Street Fighter" certainly isn't a boring film by any means. Directed by Steven E. de Souza, scribe of action classics like "Die Hard" and "Commando," and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as Colonel William Guile and Raul Julia as M. Bison, it is the first live-action adaptation of the popular fighting game franchise.

The biggest issue with the film is that it's crammed with way too many characters and convoluted subplots. The director claimed in an interview with Polygon that this was due to pressure from Capcom executives, despite his best efforts to push back and try to make the script more coherent. The film wasn't exactly a hit with critics either, as it mustered an 11% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

While it didn't exactly roundhouse kick its way to success, "Street Fighter" has become a cult classic in the years since its release, mostly due to the classic one-liners courtesy of Julia's Bison. If anything, all the people who thought this was the bottom of the barrel for the series certainly didn't expect "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li" to plummet to new lows.

10. Wing Commander

Set in the future and centered around space wars, "Wing Commander" is a video game series that scratches the itch of "Star Wars" fans who dream of becoming X-wing fighter pilots. After lighting up the 1990s with several sequels and prequels and even featuring Mark Hamill himself, the games soared into showbiz in the form of a 1999 live-action film.

Directed by the creator of the series, Chris Roberts, and starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Matthew Lillard, and Saffron Burrows, "Wing Commander" had all the potential of being the next big sci-fi hit. Unfortunately, the video game adaptation was more Jar Jar Binks than Jedi Master, crashing to a 10% critical approval and a paltry 26% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Prinze also doesn't have many nice things to say about the film, admitting he dislikes it to Movieline in 2000. "I read the script and loved it," he said. "So did my buddy Matthew Lillard. We both got the parts. We went on location and they said, 'Here's the new script.' It was a piece of s***."

9. Postal

Uwe Boll strikes for the first time on this list! In 2007, the German director brought the controversial game "Postal" to the big screen. Based on the isometric shooter video game from 1997 and its 2003 sequel, the film adaptation is a politically incorrect action-comedy starring Zack Ward as the titular character known as The Postal Dude.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Boll goes all in with the gore, gross-out factor, and outrageous content that would send Film Twitter into an instant meltdown nowadays. That being said, "Postal" is widely regarded as one of the director's better movies, receiving 9% critical approval and a 35% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Boll not only agrees, but he also believes it's a much better video game adaptation than "The Last of Us" and one of the best movies of all time, as he so eloquently stated in a now-deleted Facebook comment (via CBR).

"Postal" flopped spectacularly at the box office, making less than $147,000 from a $15 million budget. However, no one can accuse Boll of lacking ambition or crying over spilled milk, as he attempted to get a sequel made through Kickstarter in 2013. He wanted to raise $500,000 for "Postal 2," but the crowdfunding campaign was canceled after failing to raise even $30,000.

8. Hitman: Agent 47

Let's make something clear here: 2007's "Hitman" wasn't a marvelous video game adaptation by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it missed out on this list by a whisker. However, the 2015 reboot "Hitman: Agent 47" decided to say "Hold my beer" to its predecessor and take all the inglorious accolades.

Reportedly, Paul Walker was set to portray Agent 47 before his passing in 2013. As a result, Rupert Friend boarded the project as the lead star. Rather than take inspiration from the spy thriller tinge of the video game series, the Aleksander Bach-directed film plays out like a typical action movie with fights for the sake of fights. Naturally, this formula didn't exactly dazzle the critics, scoring an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences were much kinder to the film, however, and handed it a 40% audience score.

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw didn't hold back in his review of the film, writing: "It's a punishingly vacuous shoot-'em-up-and-grind-'em-down-with-dullness thriller featuring Rupert Friend as the notorious rabbit-faced assassin."

7. Silent Hill: Revelation

Going against the grain, the first "Silent Hill" live-action film grossed over $100 million and was generally well received by fans, holding a 60% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics were slightly more meh toward it. Instead of capitalizing on the good buzz, the sequel bounced around in development for more than half a decade and was impacted by the imprisonment of screenwriter Roger Avary, who was supposed to write the sequel as well.

Written and directed by M. J. Bassett, "Silent Hill: Revelation" arrived in 2012 as a direct sequel to the 2006 movie. Unfortunately, it didn't capture the imagination like its predecessor, with many complaints being aimed at it for failing to push the story forward or even be mildly scary. The Austin Chronicle review of the film stated, "Without the atmospherically batrachian fun of 2006's 'Silent Hill,' this turgid and wholly unrevelatory semisequel is August Derleth to the previous film's H.P. Lovecraft."

In the end, "Silent Hill: Revelation" dropped and left without so much of a peep, scoring a measly 8% on the Tomatometer and disappearing into the shadows of the forgotten.

6. BloodRayne

Oh, hi, Uwe! The "BloodRayne" video game sunk its teeth into the "hack and slash" genre in 2002 and refused to let go. This vampire game was a smash hit among gamers and received a sequel two years later. With such positive buzz, one would have imagined "Underworld" director Len Wiseman would have been a shoo-in to tackle this project. Instead, Uwe Boll got his hands on the property.

Boll did do a few things right here, though. For one, he cast Kristanna Loken as Rayne. Not only did the actor look a lot like the video game character, but she was also hot off a starring role as the T-X in "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines." In addition, the supporting cast features the likes of Ben Kingsley, Michelle Rodriguez, and Michael Madsen.

Despite all the promise of vampire action, "BloodRayne" veered down the same path as other Boll movies and straight into a swamp. In the Entertainment Weekly review of the film, Gregory Kirschling suggested that the director was on his way to becoming "the Ed Wood of this new movie century." Other critics weren't enamored with the film either, as it succumbed to a 4% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite no one liking it and "BloodRayne" bombing at the box office, Boll made two direct-to-video sequels.

5. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

In 1995, director Paul W. S. Anderson did the unthinkable: He made a video game adaptation that most fans loved. The first "Mortal Kombat" film was a major hit, combining everything that players liked from the games in a fun-filled, action-packed movie. After making over $120 million at the global box office from a $20 million budget, a sequel wasn't only possible, but inevitable.

Released two years after the original movie, "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation" received an increased budget of $30 million. However, it also had a few hurdles to overcome. Anderson didn't return to direct, and many of the main cast members also decided against coming back. Even so, these aren't the biggest problems with the film, as the story is about as thin as a fingernail. It's stuffed with way too many characters, and events happen for, well, reasons? The CGI is atrocious, characters flip through the air for no reason, and the dialogue is laughably bad, with lines such as, "Too bad you... will die."

Critics and fans uppercut this film into the spiked pit with their reviews. "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation" sits with a 4% critical approval rating and a 25% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. It wasn't a hit at the box office either, only making a smidgen over $50 million and therefore freezing the "MK" film series for decades.

4. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

A high fantasy RPG shouldn't be too difficult to adapt for the big screen, right? After all, there's lore, established characters, and the basic premise of the video game as a guiding light. Yet, in classic Uwe Boll fashion, he chose to turn it into his own pet project when he directed the 2007 adaptation of "Dungeon Siege." Boll's film, "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale," wasn't a cheap effort to bring to life, either. It cost $60 million to produce and boasts a cast consisting of Jason Statham, Leelee Sobieski, John Rhys-Davies, and Ron Perlman.

Despite the high cost of production and the big names attached to the film, "In the Name of the King" comes across like The Asylum's version of "The Lord of the Rings." The problem is it isn't even funny like "Sharknado," or playful like "Avengers Grimm." In fact, the general critical consensus is that it's just "blah," hence the 4% critical approval score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Incredibly, despite the film only making $13 million at the global box office, Boll still made two direct-to-video sequels afterward featuring Dolph Lundgren and Dominic Purcell.

3. House of the Dead

Before "The Walking Dead," there was "The House of the Dead." The SEGA shooter was extremely popular at the arcades, with players dropping countless quarters to pop those pesky zombies in the head and make their brains explode. Considering how zombies and horror films go hand-in-hand, it made all the sense in the world to adapt "House of the Dead" for the big screen.

Treating the 2003 film as a prequel, Uwe Boll instilled an action-horror ambiance into the feature. And with zombies making a comeback in the genre at the time, there was a high expectation that this adaptation of a well-known IP could attract the right kinds of publicity for future survival horror video game movies. It seemed like an easy win for everyone involved.

Instead, "House of the Dead" became what BBC described as "so bad it could well go down in history as one of the worst zombie movies ever made." The film met an early grave, receiving 3% critical approval and a 10% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

2. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Even though 1994's "Street Fighter" wasn't lauded as a champion in the genre, it made a hefty amount of money at the box office, raking in nearly $100 million from a $35 million budget. With that kind of cheddar in the bank, a sequel was always a possibility — and it nearly happened with JCVD returning along with his "Universal Soldier" co-star Dolph Lundgren in tow.

However, that project silently went away, and a different story developed in the background. This one would focus on the popular character Chun-Li and explore her backstory while throwing in a few other notable characters from the lore. In 2009, "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li" was released, starring "Smallville" actor Kristin Kreuk as Chun-Li, Neal McDonough as M. Bison, and an all-star cast in the remaining supporting roles.

As soon as it debuted, it received a critical mauling and currently sits at 3% on Rotten Tomatoes. The majority of critics were in consensus that this wasn't a good movie at all. The Los Angeles Times review best summed up the overall sentiment, stating, "Even with the low expectations 'The Legend of Chun Li' engenders, it still somehow manages to be a letdown."

1. Alone in the Dark

Of course an Uwe Boll movie had to take the top spot here. 2005's "Alone in the Dark" is not only considered the worst video game adaptation of all time, according to Rotten Tomatoes, but it's also widely regarded as one of the worst films, period. It holds a 1% critical approval rating on the Tomatometer, with only Eclipse Magazine's Michelle Alexandria giving it a mild semblance of a thumbs-up.

Yet, here's the weird thing: It had all the ingredients to be a moderately decent hit at the very least. A recognizable cast featuring Christian Slater, Tara Reid, and Stephen Dorff? Check. A creepy atmosphere? Check. A film based on one of the forefathers of the survival horror genre? Double check. The problem lay in the execution of all these elements.

Blair Erickson explained to Something Awful that he had written a much different first draft for "Alone in the Dark," which was disregarded by Boll. The writer criticized the director for missing the mark about what the series was about and trying to instill his own vision of what it should be. Erickson revealed how Boll decided to get his own people to write the script, then came back a while later and asked for the rights to Erickson's script — for free. The result is every bit as rough as you'd expect.