Here's Our List of Some of the Worst Adaptations of Video Games Ever

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Jan. 30 2023, Published 4:24 p.m. ET

(l-r) 'Mortal Kombat: Annihiation'/'Super Mario Bros.' (1993)
Source: New Line Cinema/Lightmotive

Gamers are lucky enough to be graced with the likes of The Last of Us on HBO. The series adapts the critically-acclaimed Naughty Dog video game first released on the PlayStation 3 in 2013. Since its premiere, the show has garnered critical acclaim from reviewers and fans alike.

You might be excused if you were skeptical about the show's quality when it was first announced, though, since live-action adaptations of video games tend to run the gamut between pretty good and very bad.

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To be fair, not every adaptation of a game is a guaranteed stinker. Detective Pikachu was a lovingly crafted Hollywood film that held plenty of reverence for the source material as it avoided the uncanny valley of depicting Pokémon in real life. Even the Sonic the Hedgehog films can be squeezed for plenty of charm and meme fodder to help them garner a fanbase. But there have been some awful adaptations that simply don't do the games justice. Here's our list of the worst video game adaptations.

'Uncharted' (2022)
Source: Sony

'Super Mario Bros.' (1993)

We can't talk about the new animated Super Mario movie coming out in 2023 without first mentioning the disturbing fever dream that was 1993's Super Mario Bros. Loosely based on the popular Nintendo series, the film stars Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as Mario and Luigi respectively.

Trading in the franchise's fantasy aesthetic with an ugly and bizarre cyberpunk sewer-scape populated by sweaty dinosaurs, it's no wonder Nintendo waited 30 years for Mario to make another big screen appearance.

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'Mortal Kombat: Annihilation' (1997)

Despite its initial lackluster reception, the first Mortal Kombat film released in 1995 is fondly remembered for its camp, practical action, and an incredible theme song that would go on to become a staple for the violent fighting game franchise.

However, lightning couldn't strike twice for this failed movie franchise. As a sequel to the first film, Annihilation is marred by inconsistent writing, terrible special effects, and some of the best worst acting performances in cinematic history.

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'Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within' (2001)

Calling this movie an adaptation isn't wholly accurate, considering that this CG film uses the name "Final Fantasy" very loosely. The movie adapts none of the games from the popular JRPG series in lieu of an original but unappealing space opera that barely even works with its source material.

Despite its legacy as the first photo-realisitic CG film in cinematic history, it is regarded as a film that does so much yet says so little with incredible CGI over a boring narrative.

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'Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li' (2009)

The first-ever 1994 Street Fighter film isn't necessarily good, but it is at least filled with hilariously campy moments and cheesy one-liners to make for a fun movie night. However, this ill-fated reboot centered around the popular kung-fu Interpol agent is utterly devoid of any joy and entertainment as woefully miscast actors and pop stars attempt to bring new life to live-action Street Fighter with terrible results.

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'Uncharted' (2022)

This one may be a bit of a stretch, considering that this adaptation of the acclaimed game series on PlayStation is nowhere near one of the worst by metrics alone. But the original Uncharted game was heavily inspired by the Indiana Jones films as it attempted to bring the same kind of thrills into gamers' hands. If the Uncharted film is simply adapting a game that was already inspired by a movie, this chain rule of movie production makes Tom Holland's stint as Nathan Drake ill-fated from the start.

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