The action comedy “Pixels” hits theaters this weekend, hardly Hollywood’s first foray into the world of video games. With films such as “Assassin’s Creed,” “Hitman: Agent 47” and “Warcraft” heading our way in the coming months, it will definitely not be the last.

Even the Super Mario Bros. franchise hasn’t escaped the clutches of poor Hollywood choices.

The successes Hollywood has seen when taking beloved video game properties and inserting glitz and glamour have been few and far between. “Alone in the Dark” in 2005 paired director Uwe Boll with Christian Slater and Tara Reid, creating the undisputed worst video game adaptation of all time.

Boll would return three years later to deliver a horrible adaptation of “Postal,” co-starring Verne Troyer of “Austin Powers” fame. Even the legendary Super Mario Bros. franchise hasn’t escaped the clutches of poor Hollywood choices, with the 1993 film starring Dennis Hopper and Bob Hoskins missing every conceivable mark. The project prompted the late Hoskins to say that starring in the film was his life’s biggest disappointment.

But what about those times that Hollywood got it right with video game adaptations? They do exist.

Here are five of the best video game movies to date.

Mortal Kombat (1995)
The first, and best, “Mortal Kombat” movie was a cheesy, poorly acted affair that has become a cult classic. Staying true to the franchise and to the 1990s, the film featured a long-haired Christopher Lambert and a techno song that the majority of ’90s kids still have stuck in their heads. While hewing to the core ideology of the game, the source material’s gore quotient took a hit to draw more people into the theater.

While it has aged horribly, it still ranks as one of the best game adaptations of all time, if only for nostalgia.


Resident Evil (2002)
While there have been many sequels, the original “Resident Evil” stands out as setting the pace for what the franchise would become on the big screen. Paul W.S. Anderson was able to sprinkle the right amount of elements from the video game to keep fans intrigued, while mixing a good action-to-horror ratio for fans of those genres. Milla Jovovich’s performance endeared her to the fan base of Capcom’s tent pole. This was an overall fantastic balancing act all around, which led to all of those sequels.

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Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Lara Croft is one of the most iconic characters in video game history, and Hollywood found the perfect actress to lace her boots in Angelina Jolie. The star’s strength, look and speed all matched up to the Lara Croft fans of the franchise knew, which brought them to the theaters in droves. While the films left something to be desired with regard to the story, just seeing how perfect Jolie was in the role was enough to sell fans. With the sequel to the 2013 reboot coming to Xbox One soon, it may be time to see Croft on the screen once again.


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
“Prince of Persia” provided the moment when the film industry decided to throw a lot of dollars behind a video game adaptation. It succeeded in creating a film that had enough of the feel of the games to speak to that crowd without confusing a casual audience that came to see Jake Gyllenhaal. The special effects were phenomenal, pushing the movie close to the top of any video game movies list.


Doom (2005)
The source material is such an iconic gaming franchise that skepticism over a movie adaptation was very real. Surviving more as a cult classic now, the film was derided by critics and fans alike during its theatrical run. The Rock was still fleshing out who he was as an actor at the time, and the R rating meant the film took itself a bit too seriously. It didn’t speak to the right people. With time comes wisdom, as fans can appreciate the first-person view used in different points of the movie, a definite “feel like the game” feature, while also meshing well with the campy plot and acting. With a reboot of the franchise coming out in 2016, it might not hurt to try this again.


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