Unlike many of the video games themselves, there are no cheat codes for video-game movies. The film industry’s track record over the last 25-plus years suggests it is nearly impossible to successfully adapt a video game to the big screen. That has not stopped people from trying — and, in nearly every case, failing.

This list represents a full accounting of those failures, along with the few (and I mean very few) successes, dating all the way back to 1993’s Super Mario Bros. and continuing through 2021’s Mortal Kombat. It includes everything in between, ranked from the worst to the best — with the notable exception of animated movies. For one thing, animated movies felt a lot closer to video games than live-action movies, and therefore a lot easier to pull off. Also I really didn’t want to watch Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Even for me, that was too painful. (I also left out direct-to-video sequels to video-game adaptations. Please send my deepest and most heartfelt regrets to BloodRayne: The Third Reich.)

There are a lot of terrible movies to get through, so let’s just get started...

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