Double Dragon (1994)
If adapting a fighting game into a movie is a stretch, then adapting a side-scrolling brawler is nearly impossible. Few of those games proved as popular and timeless as Double Dragon, but the same can't be said for the film adaptation. Mark Dacascos and Scott Wolf star as Billy and Jimmy Lee, well-meaning brothers in a post-apocalyptic/punk rock version of Los Angeles, who fight the powers of evil by, predictably, knocking people unconscious.
It's fair to lump Double Dragon in with other films of the 1990s, capitalizing on kid-friendly franchises and martial arts, but not every one of those films was as cheesy and silly compared to the simplicity of the original game.
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)
It's easy to view the original Mortal Kombat movie with rose-colored glasses, considering the embarrassing video game adaptations that followed. Even so, the movie relied on well-known (if not acclaimed) actors and a simple enough story of a martial arts tournament and a young man's quest for revenge.
The sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, blew that foundation to bits, recasting leads with a less capable cast, throwing any semblance of relatable drama to the wind in favor of what has now become the norm for video game movie storytelling. The original movie may still be a guilty pleasure, but its sequel looked to succeed on brand power, resulting in a movie far worse than it had any reason to be.
Far Cry (2008)
The Far Cry video game series has proved to be a lasting one, based on a story as timeless in games as it is on film: a man - sometimes a military man, sometimes not - is dropped into a nightmare, and must kill or be killed. The first game's tropical setting and mercenary forces made a film adaptation a no-brainer, but the mutated humans in the story proved too strange and out-of-place to stick around for sequel games.
Yet when German director Uwe Boll (get used to hearing that name) set his sights on Far Cry, it was the mutants who soon took the spotlight. Turning a compelling story into a laughable action film led to another video game dud, and proved that no video game adaptation was safe in Boll's hands.
In The Name of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)
As proof that not all video game movie flops come from blockbuster franchises, there is In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale - again from director Uwe Boll. If it seems odd that the game being adapted - Dungeon Siege - is less than a household name, it's even stranger that the bog-standard fantasy even needed a game as foundation for its story or world.
Unsurprisingly, given its predictable and underwhelming performances, the film was a complete failure to which fans of the game paid little attention. Two critically-panned sequels would somehow follow - with the 'Dungeon Siege Tale' branding dropped. We're still confused as to why it was used in the first place. And yes, that half-face on the right is Ray Liotta... in a fantasy movie.
Wing Commander (1999)
These days, most video game fans would rejoice to see a live-action adaptation handled by the creator himself. But Wing Commander, the film based on creator (and director) Chris Roberts' space fighter of the same name, proves even the most well-meaning directors can fall short.
Even with a budget of $30 million and in-his-prime leading man Freddie Prinze, Jr. anchoring the sci-fi action flick, the finished film would go on to bomb with critics and audiences. It wasn't Prinze or even co-star Matthew Lillard who led the film astray, but a surrounding world, enemy designs, and action that simply fell well short of what fans hoped for, and mass audiences expected.