Video games-turned-movies aren't for everyone, but there are still some that have wowed all audiences. Here are the best video game movie adaptations of all time, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
30. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Angelina Jolie may be Lara Croft, but even she may not be able to save the day. The Lara Croft franchise originated from a video game series back in 2001 and sprouted into a trilogy of action-packed films.
However, critics were not so crazy about the 2001 movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, giving the movie adaption a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. One critic from Empire Magazine went so far as to call it "Not disastrous, but somewhat disappointing nonetheless."
29. Pokémon 3: The Movie (2000)
Although critics deemed the third film better than its predecessors, Pokémon 3: The Movie didn't get such glowing reviews from its viewers. According to Rotten Tomatoes, movie number three received a 21% from critics and was deemed "so-so" overall.
Overall, critics agreed that fans of the franchise will still enjoy watching their favorite characters get together - but for newcomers, it's worth a pass. However, one critic did applaud the plot hyping up its fans for the storyline's "psychological complexity."
28. Ratchet & Clank (2016)
Coming in at 21% on Rotten Tomatoes, Ratchet & Clank did become a family-friendly movie upon its release in 2016. This epic space adventure video game turned film is packed with action and comical dialogue that makes it an awesome watch for gamers and movie lovers alike.
With heartfelt storytelling and detailed visuals, Ratchet & Clank offered children entry into a new universe, but critics still found it was more suitable for those who were already familiar with the franchise. "It doesn't really do a lot to explain the world that it's in," one critic wrote.
27. Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
Resident Evil: Afterlife was the fourth installment in the Resident Evil film series, which was loosely based on the video game series of the same name. The film ended up being a major box office hit with both its loyal video game fan base and new viewers, becoming the second highest-grossing movie of the series, at $300 million dollars.
Despite scoring major millions at the box office, the horror action film received a 21% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics. One of the website's top critics, Tirdad Derakhshani, wrote the movie "lacks the humanity -- interesting characters,[and] funny one-liners."
26. Need for Speed (2014)
Need for Speed was a wild adaptation of the popular video game which was released back in 2014. Starring Aaron Paul as Tobey Marshall, this high-octane film follows Tobey on his journey for revenge against Dino Brewster after being framed for a crime he didn't commit.
Along the way, he connects with a colorful cast and leaves some serious wreckage in his wake. Need for Speed is an action-packed thrill ride with constant entertainment for audience members who placed the movie a lot higher than Rotten Tomatoes critics did, with 22%.
25. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)
Of the franchise's movie adaptations, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life got more love than the first film, scoring a 24% on Rotten Tomatoes. Angelina Jolie continued to kill it as Lara Croft and brought forth all the powerful energy that we love her for.
The action-packed adventure follows Lara and her crew on a mission to save Pandora's Box from the hands of villains who are not afraid to play dirty. Not to mention, the crazy sets, wild car chases, and giant explosions were all really filmed on set instead of using CGI.
24. Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
The Resident Evil horror game series began back in 2002, and shortly after, the movies were born. After seeing such major success with the games, the franchise created seven films, with the third film, Resident Evil: Extinction scoring a 24% on Rotten Tomatoes.
With Milla Jovovich returning to her role as Alice, loyal fans called her role captivating but found the storyline to be quite dull. One critic wrote the movie was "fun" but gave us "forgettable stuff," while another wrote, "it doesn't present anything that is in any way original."
23. Super Mario Bros. (1993)
Super Mario Bros. has been forever etched in the minds of fans around the world as one of the most memorable video game movie adaptations of all time. Starring Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, and Dennis Hopper, this cult classic brought one of gaming's most iconic figures to life on the big screen, scoring 29% on Rotten Tomatoes.
While some may be quick to point out its flaws, it's undeniable that Mario's live-action debut stands apart from its peers when it comes to classic gaming movies - especially among Gen Z, who got a whole lot of hilarious pop-culture references in the mix.
22. Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
Hold on tight because the Resident Evil movies are making it a few times on our list. Resident Evil: Retribution was the fifth film released from the franchise and the second film in the series to be shot in 3D, the first being Resident Evil: Afterlife.
The action-packed film received an overall rating of 28% on Rotten Tomatoes from its critics, recognizing that this film is just "more of the same." The apocalyptic film may not have rolled over so well with its critics, but fans of the series were curious where Alice would land this time and continued to ask for more…
21. Warcraft (2016)
Warcraft, the movie adaptation of the popular video game that integrates fantastical orcs and human warriors in an epic story of heroes and villains, has become an all-time favorite movie adaptation despite its 29% on Rotten Tomatoes. As for what makes it so special?
Its thrilling special effects and its use of CGI to create this extraordinary world have brought Warcraft to life for viewers. From its beautiful soundtrack to Travis Fimmel's magnetic portrayal as lead Anduin Lothar, Warcraft beautifully captures a timeless epic atop a modern saga that audiences loved to watch.
20. Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)
Our next movie, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, earned a 30% rating, according to Rotten Tomatoes. The last of the Resident Evil installments may not have impressed critics the same way it did with its loyal fan base, who waited five years for the final film.
However, the film's adaptation of the video game enticed gamers everywhere to take a look, as it was considered a success for Sony and Constantin Films. Although, movie fanatics might want to look the other way, as critics were not a fan of the film's special effects.
19. Silent Hill (2006)
Silent Hill is a classic for gamers. The movie adaptation of Silent Hill was released in 2006 and was simply iconic. Starring Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, and Laurie Holden, this movie surprised its gaming audience, taking home a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The visuals were killer, and the accompanying soundtrack was incredible, giving an extra element of emotion to every scene. A critic from the Horror Queers Podcast called the movie adaptation "mostly faithful" to its original video game, thanks to its director, Christophe Gans, "impressive visual eye."
18. D.O.A.: Dead or Alive (2006)
D.O.A.: Dead or Alive was a wild ride for anyone who loves video games and movies. With intense fight choreography from Cory Yuen and heavy hitters like Jaime Pressly, Eric Roberts, and Brandon Routh gracing the screen, D.O.A.: Dead or Alive earned a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film does an excellent job at capturing the intensity of the fighting game it's based on; plus, it has great comedic moments from Daniel Cohen. Even despite its low budget and campy tone, D.O.A.: Dead or Alive is totally worth a watch – it may not be in theaters anymore, but this banger still reigns supreme!
17. Resident Evil (2002)
The first of the Resident Evil series, this horror/action film scored a 35% on Rotten Tomatoes. Starring Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez, the duo was tasked with breaking into "the hive" where a deadly virus has been unleashed, killing the lab's personnel.
Audiences see the team have just three hours to shut everything down and save the day before the deadly virus takes over planet Earth. The movie adaption was deemed as "loud, violent, formulaic, and cheesy" by Rotten Tomatoes, but still a nail-biter!
16. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has the perfect amount of sass to make it the ultimate adventure movie. From Alice's uncompromising attitude to the ruthless action sequences, it was visually appealing for first-time Resident Evil viewers. Rotten Tomatoes gave this action film a 37%.
Audiences found Resident Evil: The Final Chapter to be very much in touch with the game. Even without the video game background knowledge, the movie stands out as an absolute classic for its high-octane intensity, hair-raising moments, and brutal fight scenes, leaving audiences speechless.
15. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, was one of the films that had it all. It's got action, epic plotlines, and some sick special effects. Plus, it's the perfect nostalgic movie! It takes us back to when gaming was less H.D. and more 8-bit pixels.
The film scored a 37% on Rotten Tomatoes for being just "suitably entertaining." However, the massive video game franchise was built back in 2010, releasing numerous extremely successful Playstation and Nintendo D.S. games. A remake of the Sands of Time was announced in 2020 but has seen some delays since.
14. Uncharted (2022)
Uncharted has always been an iconic franchise for gamers, and fans have been eagerly awaiting the movie adaptation. Focused on Nathan Drake, the video game follows Drake on his quest to discover incredible hidden treasures, and the film does a great job of mimicking the game.
Recently released, this action-packed film manages to stay true to the spirit of the game while still providing amazing visuals exclusive only to its silver screen counterpart. With a Gen Z mindset and Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg taking the lead, Rotten Tomatoes rated this film 41%.
13. The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
Coming in at 43% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Angry Birds Movie starring Jason Sudeikis and Bill Hader, was definitely one of the more entertaining video game-to-movie adaptations we've ever seen. The sassy animated flick gave off some pretty crazy shenanigans that perfectly embodied the original premise of the mobile game.
We all know how entertaining it was to fling those feathery creatures around and topple down castles, but seeing them do backflips n somersaults on the big screen just hits differently. While doing great justice to the original game, these explosive characters are just savage.
12. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
Directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within took our favorite fantasy characters from the hit Final Fantasy games and brought them to life with its groundbreaking CGI animation – no disturbing visual effects here. Critics believed this movie raised "the bar for computer-animated movies" that followed.
Taking us into an alien world where a struggle between humans and aliens is being fought, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within gives viewers a glimpse into their favorite video game from a new angle. No wonder why it got nominated for three Saturn Awards! However, critics of Rotten Tomatoes scored this film at 44%.
11. Mortal Kombat (1995)
It's time to get ready for some classic action! Mortal Kombat, the 1995 video game adaptation, is one of the most epic fighting movies of all time. Starring Christopher Lambert as Lord Raiden and Talisa Soto as Princess Kitana, this martial arts movie is a must-watch for any fan of the original video game series.
While the visuals may not hold up today as they did in '95, there's no denying that Mortal Kombat has earned its spot as one of the O.G. classics among movie adaptations of our favorite childhood games. The film earned 45% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics, with a sequel in '97 and, most recently, a reboot in 2021.
10. Monster Hunter (2020)
From its beginnings, as a Japanese role-playing hit to its big-screen debut, Monster Hunter is an action-packed treasure trove of unbridled power and exploration. Following in the footsteps of the game's protagonists, audiences get to witness the epic mission that unfolds with grit and heart.
Of course, characters face off against some of Monster Hunter's most treacherous foes in stunning, life-like 3D animation. And no one can deny that seeing Milla Jovovich's character become a powerful battle-ready hero is absolutely fantastic! As for Rotten Tomatoes? 44%.
9. Rampage: Big Meets Bigger (2018)
Rampage, the blockbuster adaptation of Midway's classic video game series, brought in all the action and then some. Starring global superstar Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, this modern monster movie pays homage to its game-playing roots with plenty of over-the-top destructive ones.
With its larger-than-life-size monsters ready to tear up the city, Rampage: Big Meets Bigger brings on some serious epic vibes as well as a few unexpected plot twists. The adventure film was a huge success with audiences, and at the box office, with Rotten Tomatoes deeming it a 51%.
8. Tomb Raider (2018)
The final installment of the Lara Croft series, Tomb Raider, scored the highest rating on Rotten Tomatoes of the three, with a 53%. Although Jolie did not reprise her role as Lara Croft, Alicia Vikander surprised fans with her ability to take over such an iconic role.
"The real pleasure of this Tomb Raider is Alicia Vikander's distinctively living embodiment of Lara Croft," a critic from Curve wrote. "Part athlete, part sleuth, this Lara is all sinew and soulful drive." So, we're glad to hear it lived up to the hype.
7. Mortal Kombat (2021)
Mortal Kombat is the newest video game movie adaptation of one of the most iconic video games ever. Serving up straight action, this movie does not disappoint. With a stacked cast including martial arts champion Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero and Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, this reboot looks to bring new life to an already beloved story.
Its visual effects will make anyone who watches it feel like they're in an actual tournament fighting for their lives. All hail the blood god! As for Rotten Tomatoes? Critics believed this film hit the "right nostalgic notes," rating it at 54%.
6. Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
Sonic the Hedgehog totally smashed it out the park, claiming its place among some of the best video game movie adaptations ever. It was a wild ride that played on nostalgia while also providing something contemporary and fresh for those that are just jumping aboard the Sonic train now.
This movie was sure to get everyone excited with sick special effects and a dope soundtrack. Starring Jim Carrey, the classic background characters like Tails and Dr. Robotnik gave enough of an ode to the original game to satisfy diehard fans but also kept it lighthearted for newcomers. As for Rotten Tomatoes score? 63%!
5. Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)
For all the gamers out there, Pokémon Detective Pikachu is one adaptation that's not to be missed. It borrows a bit of nostalgia from the classic game series and splashes it with new rawness. Not only does it hold true to its source material, but it also packs an electric punch with its unique animation style.
Filled to the brim with lovable characters and a perfectly-calculated twist on storytelling, this movie was an instant hit at the box office. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Justice Jesse Smith, Pokémon Detective Pikachu scored a 68% with Rotten Tomatoes critics.
4. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (2022)
After the success of the first film, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 came back with an even more action-packed, need-for-speed adventure for round two. When watching the sequel, fans got some major gaming nostalgia plus plenty of new surprises, the perfect combination for a video game adaptation.
The family-friendly movie scored a 69% on Rotten Tomatoes after being a major success at the box office and with audiences worldwide. With James Marsden and Jim Carrey leading the way, the world's favorite blue hedgehog definitely did not disappoint!
3. The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)
The Angry Birds Movie 2 is a sequel with an attitude to match. Featuring an all-star cast, from Jason Sudeikis to Josh Gad, the 2019 installment of the beloved game-turned-movie franchise puts its own unique spin on the classic revenge plotline.
The movie is even great for the entire family-not, just the children! It's hilarious, heartwarming, and so savage that it might be Gen Z's new favorite movie, to quote - even better than the original. It's no wonder The Angry Birds Movie 2 took home a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes.
2. Werewolves Within (2021)
Werewolves Within is the perfect blend of nostalgia and modern gaming! The comedy/horror movie brings an exciting remake of the classic video game, retaining all the elements that made fans love it while giving them new and improved mechanics to explore.
Werewolves Within is set in a post-apocalyptic world and has some intense werewolf storylines. With a unique visual style and a great narrative, this movie adaptation of the beloved video game is guaranteed to be one of the best video game adaptations of all time - and Rotten Tomatoes agrees, serving the movie a 86%!
1. The Last of Us (2023)
Granted, our last adaptation is actually a television series. But get ready for The Last of Us to take legendary to the next level 'cuz viewers are about to witness a major twist. Everyone who's anyone - from gaming grandmasters to regular folk - will be waiting for this one-of-a-kind collab between the gaming and CGI world.
Oh yeah - can't forget that even former foes Sony Pictures and Naughty Dogs decided to come together for this blockbuster moment. A moment that will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the best video game adaptations of all time. Plus, it got a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes! We'd definitely check this one out.