8 Video Games Based on Movies That Were Truly Horrible

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Movie to game adaptations have been happening for as long as video games have been around, and some of the titles have been truly wonderful. But with some of these releases, gamers have ended up with a handful of the worst games in history.

Whether it was for poor programming, awful graphics, or just terrible gameplay, these eight video games based on movies are some of the worst you can find.

If these adaptations have you hoping for some good movies, click here for the cheesiest horror movies you can find.

1. Street Fighter

First on the list calls foul from the moment you read the name. Adapting a game to a movie and then back to a game seems an exercise in futility.

Released in 1995, Street Fighter: The Movie is a coin-operated arcade game in the same style as the early entries to the franchise. Digital versions of the movie’s cast replace the fighting roster.

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The gameplay departs slightly from the previous entries. With a heavier focus on juggling and combos, the game’s balance becomes much more snowbally. While far from the worst-received title on this list, the low scores from Western audiences earn this strangely-conceived title on this list.

2. Ghostbusters

The year 1984 brought us the Ghostbusters movie, but it, unfortunately, brought us the game as well. Released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, few games have gameplay quite this tedious.

Players spend the game farming up ghosts so they can upgrade their gear, with that being the bulk of the gameplay. But nothing compares to the horror of the Stair Level.

Here, players can only lean back in their chairs and let their eyes glaze over while they smashed the A button continuously. Easily taking the cake as the dullest QuickTime event in gaming history, the nightmarish level became the most recognizable part of the otherwise-forgettable title.

3. Fight Club

Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club is an adaptation within an adaptation, going from novel to movie, to game. Released for Xbox and PlayStation 2 in 2004 and later mobile phones in 2005, the fighting added little to the industry.

A gritty, violent game filled with blood spatters, it tried desperately to capture the same energy as the movie. Falling short, the lackluster gameplay further alienated fans by changing the story of the film.

To be fair, beating the game lets you play as Fred Durst. If you’re a big Limp Bizkit fan, right-hooking Tyler Durden as Fred Durst might earn the title a few points.

4. James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game

Avatar is widely critiqued for managing to be a box-office record and to have left behind little in the vein of culture or lasting impact. Releasing in late 2009, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game only furthered that reputation.

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Far from underselling at nearly 2.7 million copies, the title was released for most home consoles, Nintendo DS, PSP, and Windows. Unfortunately, when it came to the gameplay, there wasn’t much to be impressed by.

The story was decent for Avatar fans but offered little for others outside of seeing some famous actors.

From the critics, the game received lackluster or average-at-best reviews. The only exception is for the iOS version, where the standards are considerably lower (especially back in 2009).

In 2014, the online services for the game would be taken offline. Interestingly, there’s a sequel set to release in 2022, titled Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. Given the upcoming release of a second Avatar movie and more than a decade of progress, maybe this one will end up better.

5. Superman (Nintendo 64)

Titled Superman: The New Superman Adventures, this title was actually based on the television series Superman: The Animated Series rather than a movie.

Released in 1999, the title is the first 3D Superman game to have ever hit the market. Sadly, the two years of development were hamstrung by repeated issues.

Constraints between the developers and the license holders led to there being a lack of polish in gameplay. Later on, developer Titus Interactive would attempt to remake the game for PlayStation, but couldn’t finish the title after their license expired.

Unresponsive controls, mind-numbingly monotonous gameplay, and terrible graphics sealed this game’s coffin. Though it sold well at release, critical reviews considered it one of the worst games ever released.

6. Charlie’s Angels

Designed for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube in 2003, Charlie’s Angels is a beat-’em-up based on the film of the same name. Players control the Angels on different missions that all aim toward finding missing national monuments.

Combat sticks to melee, which becomes an issue when the horrible hit detection comes into play. With the monotonous level design, unimpressive graphics, and boring, lackluster combat, there’s not much to enjoy.

One of the only notable things is that the Angels spend most of the game in revealing swimsuits. Not only is this sexualizing off-putting, it’s also downright goofy to be spin-kicking street toughs in a warehouse wearing a bikini.

7. Bad Boys: Miami Takedown

Titled Bad Boys II for its European release, Bad Boys: Miami Takedown is based on the second Bad Boys movie. Released in early 2004, the console title faced negative reviews across the board.

Panned for poor writing and repetitive gameplay, the five-act title offered little to nothing for players. Even now, almost two full decades after its release, the game is still among the worst titles in gaming.

8. E.T.

One simply cannot mention bad video games of any sort without mentioning E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. One of the many weird things released in the 1980s, this Atari title is among the worst video games ever released.

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Development took just five weeks which led to awful graphics (even for 1982), horrifically confusing gameplay, and literally no redeeming qualities.

It’s so horrible that urban legends began of buried games in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Former Atari manager James Heller eventually confessed that roughly 728,000 cartridges of various games are buried in the grave alongside the infamous release.

Did we forget to mention your favorite awful adaptation? Be sure to let us know what titles you think should have made this list in the comments below!

If our list has you wanting a good game to play, be sure to check out these 6 indie roguelikes for your collection.


After earning a Master's in Literature from the University of Central Florida, I began pursuing freelance writing full-time. I love writing and talking about games almost as much as I love playing them, especially underrated gems that others might not come across.