10 Critically Reviled Video Game Movies (That Really Aren't THAT Bad)

They may not be perfect, but they're not as awful as you think...

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2001 Angelina Jolie
Paramount Pictures

There's a long-standing consensus that highly successful video game franchises don't often translate well to the big screen. Whether it's to do with their respective film adaptation's condensed plot (a two-hour film often struggles to concoct the character-driven narrative that a whole game could), the reliance on computer-generated imagery, the thinly-written characters or just the fact that video games weren't meant for movie screens, there has been a significant lack of great video game films. However, that hasn't stopped Hollywood from trying.

Over the years, we've seen multiple successful game franchises make their way to the big-screen and, in spite of some genuinely awe-inspiring source material and cutting edge special effects, the resulting films end up being truly awful.

Given the stigma attached to video game films, every one of them tend to create a somewhat divisive response, so it's hardly surprising that some end up blurring the lines and get lost in between the countless failures and, well, little successes. Yes, these are ones that critics tend to dump in the 'awful' category just because they failed to exceed the grandeur of their source material.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some of these poorly-received video game movies that, in all honesty, deserved a little more love.

10. Assassin's Creed

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2001 Angelina Jolie

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer Score: 18%

Critics Consensus: "Assassin's Creed is arguably better made (and certainly better cast) than most video game adaptations; unfortunately, the CGI-fueled end result still is still a joylessly overplotted slog."

As you can infer form the consensus above, critics weren't kind to Assassin's Creed for many reasons, and yet many of them heaped light praise on it for being one of the better made video game-inspired movies. In all fairness, it's easy to see why because the film does walk the line between good and bad - failing in certain ways to recapture the magic that makes the game series so unique but still succeeding in its attempt to best previous films in its genre.

Sure, the film was criticised for its reliance on CGI and its often-stalling story, but that doesn't mean it didn't have its silver linings - because there were quite a few of them. For a start, the story was decent and it employed an admirable amount of similarities to the games' narratives while also attempting to do its own thing. Furthermore, Michael Fassbender's performance was compelling at all times, ensuring that even the weaker material resonated with audiences.

There's an irony in the fact that such a reviled film is still considered one of the best video game adaptations of all time, and that makes Assassin's Creed an anomaly... even if it doesn't deserve to be one.


Michael Patterson is an experienced writer with an affinity for all things film and TV. He may or may not have spent his childhood obsessing over WWE.