BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

5 Classic Video Game Movies To Love (Even If They’re Kinda Bad)

4 Minute Read
Jul 25 2022

Video game movie adaptations have a history of being just hot garbage. But when they are bad, sometimes you can’t help but love them anyway.

It wasn’t too long ago that nerd culture was seen as something to be ashamed of. And so, movie studios didn’t put much stock into making movies that fit that audience. This means a lot of older video game movies are literally some of the worst movies to have ever been made. Of course, more recently, movies like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Detective Pikachu did amazingly well at the box office. That said, even though these older movies are awful, I can’t help but enjoy myself when I sit down and rewatch them.

Are these movies good? No. Do they make sense? No. Is that okay? YES! I won’t tell you how to live your life, but if you recoil at your perceived indigestibility of these movies, I think you’re putting a huge damper on your ability to just enjoy things.

Super Mario Bros.

The original Super Mario Bros. movie is one that people are starting to come around on. For years, people have torn this movie apart, but lately, that hasn’t been the case. It’s possible people were initially turned off by the fact that the movie has very little in common with any of the games in the franchise.

However, in the 30 years since its release, people have finally gotten over that and realized it’s a fun and good time film. Plus, with the Chris Pratt Mario movie coming out soon, I bet this movie will start getting a lot more attention.


Mortal Kombat

There have been a surprising number of Mortal Kombat movies over the years. Story-wise, it’s pretty similar to original games, which is also the case for the acting. It’s so campy and over the top. And the number of flips per minute must be somewhere in the Guinness Book of Records.

Despite its very obvious flaws, the original Mortal Kombat video game movie is a great ride. It’s a shame the direct sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, isn’t just bad, it’s boring.

Pokémon: The First Movie

If you ask anyone “Is the first Pokémon movie any good?” The answers you get can vary wildly. If you grew up with it, Pokemon: The First Movie is a hugely deep and philosophical look into the nature of humanity and what it means to be part of a natural ecosystem.

But if you didn’t grow up with it, it’s a weird and incredibly hypocritical view on animal cruelty where the movie ends (SPOILERS) with everyone growing to understand Mewtwo’s message of not making these sentient creatures fight each other for our amusement. But then just ends with “lol jk we gonna keep Pokémon fighting”.

Resident Evil

video game movies resident evil

I know it’s hard to imagine, but there was a time when a Resident Evil video game movie didn’t make people’s eyes roll. The entire Resident Evil IP is such a wave of ups and downs, but it keeps chugging along, despite what anyone else thinks. It’s kind of admirable, in a way.


Even still, the original movie is a solid horror/action flick. It’s been sullied by some very bad sequels which somehow made less sense than the game series’ story.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

video game movies tomb raider

Unlike Super Mario Bros., Tomb Raider is a movie that has gotten more hate over recent years. When it came out, it got decent reviews. Even Roger Ebert enjoyed it saying, “Here is a movie so monumentally silly, yet so wondrous to look at, that only a churl could find fault.” Churl is an impolite and mean-spirited person. I had to look it up. But more recently, the reviews for Tomb Raider have tanked.

It seems like the bar of acceptability for a fun, popcorn movie has been raised beyond reach. And that’s a real shame. These video game movies are a great time to sit down, grab some snacks, and just enjoy with friends.

Author: Matt Sall
  • Total War: Warhammer 3 - Champions Of Chaos Unleashed