Cinema and TV: the 5 best and worst adaptations from the world of video games

Cinema and TV: the 5 best and worst adaptations from the world of video games

Cinema and TV

The recent release of The Last of Us collided directly with a typical stereotype that unites the dimension of video games to that of cinema and TV series. Basically almost all the adaptations coming from the videogame dimension have disappointed both the general public and the fans. The main fault of this vision can be found in all those films and products that over the years have tried to unite the two realities without ever really succeeding, generating transpositions that have not been able to restore the same sensations felt by the players, expanding them through expressive means different. Yet not all transpositions have gone bad in this sense, which is why we have decided to collect the 5 best and worst adaptations ever made from the world of video games.

Basically the world of video games and that of cinema and TV series they never got along too well, resulting in adaptations that many considered among the best and worst things ever made. The new HBO series has therefore reopened this debate by generating two distinct factions: on the one hand those who are still embittered by the previous experiments, and on the other the confident ones aware that not all the products released have garnered negative reactions.

So let's start with this new list, opening the dance with what are considered the 5 worst adaptations ever made by the world of video games, and then follow with the best. Reminding you that not everyone has Peter Jackson's talent, for example, in adapting things.

Cinema and TV: the 5 best and worst adaptations from the world of video games

1993 Super Mario Bros. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Assassin's Creed movie Hitman: Agent 47 Street Fighter The Witcher Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Arcane Castlevania Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

Super Mario Bros. 1993

Directed by Rocky Morton and Annabelle Jankel, from a screenplay by Parker Bennet , Terry Runte , Ed Solomon, Super Mario Bros. del 1993 is the very first experiment ever made of contact between the world of video games and that of cinema, as well as the first attempt to transpose a video game to these levels. Starring Rob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi, the film was a huge flop at theaters with box office takings of around $38 million on a $42-48 million budget.

Why didn't the general public appreciate such an attempt? Simple, this film even having the name and rights of the historic Nintendo character has taken a lot of liberties in the writing and adaptation phase, returning an adventure very far from what fans would have expected to find. The basic story is built on a rescue, but the biggest question mark is the context in which everything happens.

best worst video game adaptations After a meteorite crashes into Earth, two parallel realities are formed. So Mario and Luigi will find themselves having to carry out a particular mission in a sort of cyberpunk dystopian world, very far from the carefree and colorful context of the famous video games. The film, in fact, deviates from the infantile aura that we all know to implant the narration in a sort of context that hybridizes Blade Runner, Ghostbusters, with obvious contaminations also from the Wizard of OZ. A mix of chaotic and 90s elements that disturbed fans and the general public.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Released in 2010 and directed by Mike Newell, even Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was not appreciated at all by video game fans. While it didn't do badly at the box office, audiences turned up their noses at the set of elements that made up the film. Many did not digest the casting of Jake Gyllenhaal in the role of Prince Dastan (since he did not have the "right" features for a boy of Persian origins, getting closer to the stereotype of the Westerner who pretends to be what he is not), furthermore a series of fundamental changes in the story have moved the narrative towards an unprecedented direction that fans still today have not been able to fully understand.

Thus from the dark story of a kingdom in ruins, they have drawn a sort of "fairy tale ” in which the balance of power within a royal family is destroyed by the existence of a legendary magical dagger. Not darkness and light, but human beings and greed. Unfortunately such an approach did not convince.

best worst videogame adaptations

The Assassin's Creed movie

It wasn't the first time that the Assassin's Creed saga moved away from its videogame origins, also because we're talking about a set of stories which over the years have also invaded the paper dimension with novels and books of various types. Its arrival in cinemas, therefore, could not but attract everyone's attention, fueling a hope that, in the end, did not satisfy those who saw it on the big screen.

best worst video game adaptations The problem with Assassin's Creed wasn't so much the plot and the various differences, as much as the general aesthetic appeal. Many complained of a certain coldness in its composition and in the way in which they chose to carry out some narrative and action developments. All the differences with the legendary elements that have defined the saga on consoles have alienated fans, fueling harsh criticism and complaints even from the specialized press, which hasn't been slow to crush it.

Hitman: Agent 47< /h3> The 2015 adaptation of Hitman wasn't one of the best ideas they could come up with. Already the 2007 film had not convinced almost anyone, with this new attempt they confirmed all the doubts that the public had for some time. Starring Rupert Friend in the lead, directed by Aleksander Bach and written by Michael Finch and Skip Woods, the film was left hanging in terms of reviews, so much so that its release went quite quietly. However, the negative reviews were not long in coming, all concentrated on demolishing the structural aspects and the vague attempts to transpose one of the most famous sagas of all time.

best worst video game adaptations

Street Fighter – The final challenge

In 1994, Street Fighter was trying to captivate fans by also arriving on the big screen (it arrived here in '95). Unfortunately this attempt at "expansion" did not achieve the desired results, bringing only disappointment to cinemas around the world. The great attraction towards this project comes from the fame that video games had gained over the years. We're talking about a real institution in the cabinet sector and beyond that was now attempting the leap .

The result was a generally mediocre film that no one remembers anymore. Steven E. de Souza packaged an extremely "easy" experience as a whole, merging trashy moments with well-known faces of the cinema of the time. The result did not convince practically anyone, although it was not a real flop in terms of budget and revenue.

best worst video game adaptations If up to now we have only talked about  worst, now we move on to present the 5 best adaptations from the world of video games, or in any case the ones that have most convinced the general public, and let's take into consideration:

The Witcher

The Netflix TV series that draws on both to the literary origins of the character that serves as the title, and also to the video games that made him famous all over the world. In the role of Geralt of Rivia we find a Henry Cavill in great shape, ready to bring to the small screen a character that many have always been waiting to see. After the great success of the first season and the good reception of the second, this product is preparing to expand further with new stories underway for the small screen.

best worst video game adaptations

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

Still on the subject of TV series Cyberpunk: Edgerunners develops its full potential and story within the narrative context from which it draws its same title. Starting from the Cyberpunk video game, he therefore sets up a separate story with a protagonist who finds himself involved in a series of vicissitudes immediately familiar to those who have loved the video game, with the possibility of appreciating the situation even if you are not a regular gamer.

best worst video game adaptations What fascinates, therefore, is not only what happens to KENN, its protagonist, but the world around him, in a riot of details and deeply mature moments who have been able to captivate lovers of the genre. You can find it on Netflix.


Always remaining in the Netflix catalog, you cannot miss Arcane. It is a series taken from League of Legends , the famous online video game. The enormous success it has achieved has not gone unnoticed by anyone and fans are waiting for a new season. Conceived by Alex Yee, Christian Linke, the story develops in the maze of a city that hybridizes technology with magic against the backdrop of a conflict that continues to divide the citizens. In all this two sisters collide and find each other in the hope of giving an answer to something they still don't understand.

best worst video game adaptations


Starting from the homonymous and famous video game, Warren Ellis develops an animated TV series that draws fully from the dark and horror imagery that players know, outlining the journey of a particular vampire hunter who fights terrifying beings and seeks to protect others.

best worst videogame adaptations In this Netflix TV series we faithfully rediscover the style that has always outlined the videogame saga it is based on, trying to expand its narrative possibilities with a visual and animated experience that knows how to keep with bated breath.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

With Pokémon: Detective Pikachu we are faced with an experiment that managed to capture the favor of the general public, while proposing a very particular adventure in terms of genre. Based on the famous Japanese video games, this film tells the story of a young man who sets out to find his father, investigating the situation together with none other than Pikachu .

best worst video game adaptations The duo he will find himself collaborating in a world that hybridizes reality and fantasy, in a comical and at the same time serious context that has known how to work (if interested in retrieving the film, you can find it easily on Amazon).

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