From Hitman To Max Payne: The Best And Worst Film Adaptations Of Video Games

Film versions of video games don't have the best reputation. But is it deserved?
Publish date:
Updated on


Film adaptions of games are nothing new anymore, but to some people, they are either not gamers so they haven’t put two and two together, or the end result has been so bad that it has gone straight over their radar. Here are some of the best and worst film adaptions.


We may aswell start with the bottom of the barrel. The first problem here is that Timothy Olyphant has such a punchable face you never want anything but injustice to happen to the tattooed tuxedo, and half of Hitman’s brilliance is that although you are a bad, bad man at your core you are only killing people who had it coming to them. But in old Timothy’s case he was far more annoying than anyone else in the cast. But Hitman’s biggest downfall was not that it didn’t follow a specific game’s storyline because taking an idea and doing your own thing with it is nothing bad at all. It’s downfall was that what it did wasn’t impressive in the slightest. It was a bland film, clearly and it’s ploy was to disguise that with smoke and mirrors, or explosions and helicopters. If you have still not seen Hitman save yourself the £6 and wait for ‘Absolution’ in the Autumn.


Granted the film was not as scary as the games, not even close. In fact DOOM wasn’t a scary film at all but to be fair it didn’t really try to be and if it did it hid it well. If games and cinema alike have proved nothing else over the past decade though they have at least shown us that in the modern day it is impossible for a 120 minute film to scare like a game can today. And it is simply because when playing a game you are actively involved and with cinema you are merely a pedestrian. Much like watching someone else get run-over or getting run-over yourself. The latter is obviously worse, or better in this instance. So what about DOOM then, surely it failed if it wasn’t scary? Well, yes on those grounds it did but don’t pretend you don’t remember the first person scene that it recreated perfectly. It may not have felt like playing a game and that’s because simply it wasn’t a game, but DOOM gave it a good go and by no means was it a bad film.

Final Fantasy: Advent Children

Are you a fan of the FF universe? Or were you a fan? Chances are after the past couple of less than impressive outings for the series your support may have wavered somewhat. If your answer to both these questions is ‘naaah, can’t be arsed with that’ or something similar you will get nothing out of the Advent Children.  it is a plot heavy piece of cinema to put it subtly. If you were to find yourself for one reason or another watching Advent Children on mute you’d think you’d struck a CGI gold-mine, kind of like watching all the best cut-scenes from the prettiest games out there. That is because visually this film is stunning but if you are as previously mentioned ‘not arsed’ about Final Fantasy then you may aswell keep the sound off. For those of you who are Final Fantasy fans, and there are lots of them well they are laughing. As for is this a good or bad adaption of a game, well it’s more of a sequel featuring the brilliant ‘Cloud Strife’ once more, but we’ll let you decide what you think of it.

Resident Evil

Put aside the fact that Paul W.S. Anderson has never made a good film, Resident Evil is not a bad 90 minutes and it is a damn sight better than any of its shoddy sequels. Remember the ‘rubber band’ recreation of Nemesis from Resident Evil Apocalypse? No, we try not to either. It featured largely nothing from the Resident Evil games except the obvious things-Zombies, Umbrella, a big mansion etc- but there are little details buried within its story; The S.T.A.R.S. logo on Police Cruisers, the “Horror in Raccoon City! More Victims Dead” newspaper headline that features at the end of the film and at the start of the original video game. But as recent Zombie films go it is by no means the worst, it is just unfortunate it shares a title with the best survival-horror title of all time. However the film was originally offered to George A. Romero but his script was disapproved of by Capcom’s Producer as it “was not good enough” which still seems very strange as Romero is the very King of the undead to this day. Resident Evil had its fair share of problems but its trashy sequels had far more and in short it is worth watching just for Milla Jovovich in that red dress.

Sonic The Hedgehog The Movie

Fear not this isn’t a disastrous B-Movie you have never heard of before just now, it is something far better. Sonic The Hedgehog The Movie is the result of Japan’s Sega’s best-selling hero’s tales being made into a 60 minute Anime spectacular. While it doesn’t follow the games to the T, (but then again neither did the various TV shows) and with it being a Anime there is no short abundance of girls with furry tails and talking owls and such there is enough from the core Sonic Universe for this to feel like a real Sonic feature. Tails is ever present with his trusty Aeroplane, Knuckles appears with his subdued/competitive attitude and even wears a Stetson when we first meet him (again don’t ask why, it’s Anime) and the best thing about having these supporting characters is they all offer something to the film’s narrative; they never just feel lie objects included as a selling point. All this aside the action steals the show here, from the scene of Sonic tearing through the landscape at jaw-dropping speeds to his climatic fight with the infamous Metal Sonic it is all flawless. If you want the ultimate Sonic experience and cannot be dealing with repeated deaths and constant drowning and uncontrollable frustration then this hour long rip-roaring spectacle is just the ticket.

Super Mario Bros

If Sonic The Hedgehog The Movie is the good then Super Mario Bros is the bad and the ugly. An absolute tragedy, the best part of this film is the end, 1. Because it’s over and 2. Because Bob Hoskins comes up in the credits as ‘Mario Mario’. Other than this it’s all shit. Don’t despair though there are upwards of 7 billion Super Mario video games to spend your time with instead.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Didn’t do a lot wrong, didn’t do a lot right, and really didn’t do much at all. It was another Disney/ Jerry Bruckheimer effort and was in many ways supposed to resemble the success the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise enjoyed. After all, if you could base a huge blockbuster film on a theme park ride, basing a film on a video game is a walk in the park. Prince of Persia doesn’t offer a lot in substance or story telling but it boasts a fully capable task and some very eye-pleasing visual sequences. Although nothing mind blowing it is a far more enjoyable adventure than numerous other fantasy/adventure titles over the past few years.

Tomb Raider

The best thing about the early Tomb Raider games was Lara Croft. The best thing about this film was Angelina Jolie, as Lara Croft. For obvious reasons. The film was put together to look epic and out of this world but on many occasions looked very downsized and claustrophobic. Looking past Jolie’s impressive boobies her overall performance was the only saving grace for this movie. The same applied to the sequel.

Max Payne

Max Lame. Max Payne has never been about anything other than moaning about shit life has thrown your way, and then shooting it all out the sky. There are no real premises for a film there but Remedy Entertainment went ahead with it anyway to produce something that even Steven Segal would have turned down.

If you liked this, have a go on these

The Greatest Video Game I Ever Played

2012: Nintendo's Worst E3 Ever

Click here for more articles about TV and Film 

Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter

Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook