The best and worst of video game-based movies

Raul Julia in 1994’s ‘Street Fighter’

With the debut of Assassin’s Creed on the big screen (you can read our review here), the number of movies based on video games has climbed to…we’ve lost count.  The first was Super Mario Brothers back in 1993.  It bombed commercially and critically.  In fact, its Rotten Tomatoes rating of 15% is probably too generous.  The last film in this genre prior to Assassin’s Creed was Warcraft which came out this past June.  While it was also a critical failure, at least it was a hit at the box office with over $400 million in box office.

Milla Jovovich in ‘Resident Evil: Extinction’

The video game Resident Evil became a successful film franchise.  There have been five of these films starring Milla Jovovich as “Alice” and they’ve tallied over $900 million in box office.  The sixth and supposedly final Resident Evil film is due out next fall.  2018 will see the reboot of Tomb Raider with Alicia Vikander replacing Angelina Jolie as “Lara Croft.”

As promised; and in no particular order in either list, here are TailSlate’s picks for best and worst movies based on video games.


Jurgen Prochnow in ‘House of the Dead’

House of the Dead – 2003

Noted German actor Jurgen Prochnow is the only easily-recognized name among the cast of this movie, considered not only one of the worst of the video game/turned movie genre; but one of the worst of all time period.  Killing Dr. Curien’s zombies with the light gun in the actual video game wasn’t all that much fun either.

Kristin Kreuk and Josie Ho fighting in ‘Street Fighter 2: The Legend of Chun-Li

Street Fighter 2 – The Legend of Chun-Li – 2009

Starring Kristen Kreuk who currently plays Catherine Chandler on television’s “Beauty and the Beast” as the title character, this was the second and hopefully final film born from the Street Fighter video game.  Part of the problem with this movie is that the action sequences are as poorly done as the weak storyline.

Mark Dacascos, Alyssa Milano and Scott Wolf in ‘Double Dragon’

Double Dragon – 1994

Based on an arcade video game that later transitioned to the Nintendo Entertainment System, Alyssa Milano and Robert Patrick were among the cast of this dog of a film that currently holds a rating of 8% on Rotten Tomatoes.  The arcade video game was fun.   The movie was not.

Doom – 2005

Dwayne Johnson in ‘Doom’

Starring Dwayne Johnson (I guess he’s only referred to as The Rock on the WWE Network), Karl Urban and Bond Girl Rosamund Pike, the film’s backers promised a sequel if this one did well at the box office.  Mercifully, it didn’t.

Best (a term we’re using loosely here)

Raul Julia and Jean-Claude Van-Damme in ‘Street Fighter’

Street Fighter – 1994

With action star Jean-Claude Van-Damme and Academy Award winning actor Raul Julia as the hero and villain, TailSlate does not put this among the best of this genre because of the quality of the film.  Instead we are recognizing the fact that it does not take itself too seriously and as a result its entertainment value was lifted.  Sadly, this was Raul Julia’s final film and the “Vaya Con Dios Raul” salute to him in the credits would have been more appropriately placed in a much higher-quality film.

Bridgette Wilson battles Trevor Goddard in ‘Mortal Kombat’

Mortal Kombat – 1995

It is not the acting that landed this movie a coveted spot on the very short list of what TailSlate considers the best of the video game/turned movie genre.  It was a combination of the very well-done fight scenes along with its excellent visual presentation.  Cameron Diaz was originally slated to play “Sonya Blade” but she got hurt during martial-arts training before production began.  Director Paul W. S. Anderson gave her replacement Bridgette Wilson the nickname “RoboBabe” as she insisted on doing all of her own fight and stunt scenes.

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