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The 41 Best and Worst Video Game Movies, Ranked

From Uwe Boll’s many efforts to Detective Pikachu and beyond, we run down the list of the best and worst video game movies ever.
Video Game Movies Ranked
By  · Published on June 27th, 2021

20. Monster Hunter (2020)

Monster Hunter

To my point in the intro at the top, most video game movies stumble trying to cobble together a story out of a game’s minimal offerings. Monster Hunter is no different in that regard, but rather than try and fail the film simply chooses to avoid the topic of narrative nearly altogether. That’s fine enough as the action, fights, cinematography, and CG creatures all succeed in entertaining with both Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa bringing the heat, but then the film just ends. No third act, brief teases of plot crammed into the end credits — it leaves the film feeling like two acts working solely to set up a sequel, and that dampens the film’s positives a bit. [Rob Hunter]

19. Need for Speed (2014)

Need For Speed Movie

The fun thing about a game like Need for Speed, at least for a screenwriter picking up a project like this, is that there isn’t much of a plot to adapt. So you’re able to build characters and backstories and lore about secret societies of street racers. And they did enough of that to make this Aaron Paul-led film from 2014 interesting enough to get us from one action sequence to the next. And then the action sequences deliver a good time. Even the one in which a character steals a military helicopter to help his buddy win a race. The film ultimately falls short of doing enough world-building around the secret society behind the races, so it didn’t quite launch an entire franchise as Disney probably wanted, but I’m sure they’ll reboot it as a Disney+ show eventually. [Neil Miller]

18. Hitman (2007)


Hot off the heels of a very successful run on HBO’s Deadwood, someone convinced Timothy Olyphant to shave his head and play possibly the least-conspicuous professional assassin in the history of cinema in this adaptation of the popular first-person shooter of the same name. And perhaps, in the end, we should be thankful that this incoherent, hyper-violent film came along to torpedo Olyphant’s dreams of being a big-screen action star — he turned back to TV and we were gifted with a brilliant 78-episode run of Justified. Even more importantly, we should thank Olyphant for his service — the role was originally meant for Vin Diesel, in that era before they figured out how to take the Fast & Furious franchise to the next level, so it’s possible Hitman could’ve had an even more disastrous effect on the continuum of action cinema. [Neil Miller]

17. Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

Silent Hill Revalation

As with the first film, this sequel from MJ Bassett is a visual feast for fans of fucked up imagery, creative creature designs, and atmospheric terrors, and that’s enough to nudge it a couple of spots higher on this list than it otherwise deserves. The script, by Bassett and Laurent Hadida, is a bit too tightly packed with elements that grow more convoluted by the second in pursuit of its story. The result is a handful of scenes weighed down by exposition that feels like exposition which in turn adds a haze over it all, and the addition of endless hallucinations early on doesn’t help. You end up digging the visuals but being numbed by the story details and character histories. Those visuals are a delight, though, and while they mix practical work and CG the end result is the right kind of nightmarish. [Rob Hunter]

16. Warcraft (2016)

Warcraft Movie

While some of the films on this list are poorly made and visibly cheap, it’s clear that real care and money went into the look and feel of Warcraft. Director Duncan Jones crafts sequences and set-pieces featuring both orcs and humans at war, and it’s both impressive and visually compelling. Where it stumbles as a film, though, is in its many non-action moments. The characters struggle to stand apart, and their various dramas are never all that interesting. Resources are the main conflict here — just like the game! — but the narrative is more interested in setting up sequels (that never came) than delivering resolution before the credits roll. [Rob Hunter]

15. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

Lara Croft Tomb Raider

The first Lara Croft film stands above its eventual sequel for a few reasons. The most important of which is that a pre-Game of Thrones Ian Glen showed up and absolutely understood the assignment, delivering a deliciously devious performance to match wits with Jolie and a young Daniel Craig. The action is a bit of a mess but certainly didn’t lack ambition, making it a noble yet deeply imperfect attempt to launch a massive action franchise. [Neil Miller]

14. Double Dragon (1994)

Double Dragon

There are numerous aspects that keep Double Dragon feeling dated, not the least of which is its pro-police turn in the final minutes, but many of those same elements also add to the film’s charm. The C-list celebrity cameos are goofy, the hugely roided-out bad guy is vaguely disturbing, and Robert Patrick is absolutely aware of the movie he’s signed onto. It takes a tone and style clearly inspired by Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop (1987), and while it obviously can’t touch that masterpiece the satirical silliness works to earn a smile or two. Mark Dacascos is a plus unfortunately canceled out by Scott Wolf, but hey, Al Leong is in it too! It is hurt on the action front as the fights — the core element of the video game — are pretty uninspired, but there are some entertaining set-pieces and at least one epic explosion. And come on, this is stellar dialogue… “There’s a reason they call it martial arts and not martial science.” [Rob Hunter]

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

Street Fighter Legend Of Chun Li

Every ranked movie list is a subjective endeavor subject to the whims of the writer, and that in a nutshell is why this unintentional work of art has landed higher than you’re expecting. Street Fighter, as mentioned above, is a fighter game featuring outlandish characters, and while the earlier film version plays them pretty straight they’re given a little more room to breathe here. Neal McDonough was born to play 90s movie villains in films made after 2000, it’s always good seeing Moon Bloodgood, Josie Ho, and Michael Clarke Duncan on the screen, and director Andrzej Bartkowiak manages some solid enough fighting action throughout. And then, of course, there’s the film’s secret weapon — Chris Klein’s Det. Charlie Nash. We’ll probably never know what exactly was going through Klein’s head as he crafted this character, but good gravy is the end result unforgettable. The dialogue is fantastic, but his delivery? Chef’s kiss. [Rob Hunter]

12. Assassin’s Creed (2016)

Assassins Creed Movie

It’s hard not to appreciate 20th Century Fox (RIP) for really going for it with Assassin’s Creed. They took an extremely popular game, one that was lauded for its ambitious visuals and intricate narratives, and they invested in it. It got a $125 million dollar budget, a rising star director in Justin Kurzel, and it stacked up a cast that included Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleason, Charlotte Rampling, and Michael K. Williams. They really tried. And the result was a solid action film that leaned a little too much on Dan Brown-like historical puzzles, but ultimately felt like a faithful adaptation of the beloved games. It would’ve been interesting to see Kurzel and co. get a chance to make one or two more, had Disney not bought Fox and squashed the development plans. [Neil Miller]

11. Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

Resident Evil Extinction

While the entire Resident Evil series is essentially a post-apocalyptic endeavor, this third film is the first to lean into a more Mad Max feel with it all. It still hits all the expected beats with Milla Jovovich waking up naked and confused, zombie dogs getting put down, and lots of bullets, but it feels bigger thanks to being set mostly outside. Director Russell Mulcahy keeps things moving with a focus on action beats big and small and uses that energy to push things forward rather than rely heavily on back story and exposition. No shade to some others in the series, but the Umbrella Corporation’s list of plans, failures, evil acts, and fuck ups is enormous, and while they’re still in play here it’s a fun breather focusing instead on Alice and some outside survivors. Does it make a lick of sense? Hell no, but who cares when it pops with this much grimly ridiculous fun. [Rob Hunter]

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.