Movies and video games are two equally awesome things that defined our childhoods. Naturally, whenever we found out that they were making a video game based on our favorite movie, there was no way we weren’t gonna get excited about it!
Except, we all learned very quickly (usually too late to get our money back though) that most games based on movies are pushed out as quickly as possible to capitalize on the movie. This essentially leads to 9 out of 10 of these games being terrible.
These are just a few of the most famous offenders.
1) Back to the Future (NES, 1989)
Back to the Future is a beloved action-adventure classic that spawned two sequels and generations of fans. The story of Marty McFly and Doc Brown trying to save the future from being catastrophically changed (and making sure Marty’s parents get together at the big high school dance) has stood the test of time (heh heh) and remains a favorite even to this day.
Back to the Future on the NES is a dull mess that has next to nothing to do with the movies. You run around as Marty (who looks nothing close to how he does in the movies) collecting clocks, dodging obstacles, and occasionally playing minigames. It was so bad the film’s co-writer Bob Gale called it “one of the worst games ever.”
2) Friday the 13th (NES, 1989)
One of the most successful entries in the slasher film genre, the Friday the 13th franchise focuses on hockey-masked, undead killer Jason Voorhees as he stalks and brutally murders anyone who ventures near the site of his childhood death, Camp Crystal Lake. Of course, this sounds like perfect fodder for a game on a system marketed to kids!
The Friday the 13th game has you playing one of the camp counselors who must save the campers and other counselors from repeated attacks by Jason. This is easier said than done, thanks to constantly being assaulted by zombies (for some reason), completely ineffectual throwing weapons (like rocks), and the game’s barely usable map. Jason’s random appearances do sometimes manage to be scary, but it ultimately ends up more frustrating than anything.
3) Charlie’s Angels (Gamecube/PS2, 2003)
Adapted from the 1970s TV series of the same name, the two Charlie’s Angels movies were campy, high-octane action movies meant to show off the talent (and, erm, assets) of superstar trio Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu.
While the films had their audience, the video game was a catastrophic failure. Despite featuring the actual voices of the lead trio, the game’s mundane gameplay, terrible graphics, and constant bugs made it an absolute chore to even watch, much less play.
Click to the next page for even more awful movie games!
4) Street Fighter: The Movie (Arcade/PS1/Sega Saturn, 1995)
This entry feels a bit like cheating since it’s based on a movie that was already terrible. However, it’s worth mentioning due to the fact that it’s based on a movie which itself is based on a video game. Specifically, the terrible Street Fighter movie featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Kylie Minogue and Raul Julia.
Featuring the same characters as the original Street Fighter games but with digitized, Mortal Kombat-style graphics of the film’s actors, this game is a weird hybrid seemingly made for two audiences but loved by none. Why would you play this when you could just play one of the many other, better versions of Street Fighter instead?
5) Top Gun (NES, 1987)
The biggest box-office hit of 1986, it’s impossible to overstate how huge Top Gun was at the time. Between its superstar cast, incredible soundtrack, and so-cheesy-yet-awesome performances, it remains so popular today that a sequel is apparently in the works!
The NES adaptation has none of these things. What it does have is the tiniest display screen ever, stiff yet awkward controls, and the fact that you have to land your plane on a tiny aircraft carrier at the end of every mission (using the tiniest displays possible for relevant information). Trust me, you won’t feel the need for speed after playing this drag of a game.
6) Enter the Matrix (PS2/Gamecube/Xbox, 2003)
Released as a tie-in to The Matrix Reloaded and featuring much of the series’ cast in new video vignettes, Enter the Matrix released at a time when the franchise was bigger than ever. It received a massive marketing push and went on to sell over 5 million copies worldwide!
Unfortunately, it turned out that the game had been rushed out to coincide with the release of the film, and as such was riddled with glitches and borderline unplayable segments. Electronic Gaming Monthly reviewer Mark MacDonald went so far as to say “In more than 20 years of playing games, I have never seen a console game as obviously unfinished and rushed to market as Enter the Matrix. […] This game is a complete mess, and that’s the only thing complete about it.” Ouch.
Which do you think is the worst?