The Worst Game Adaptations of Good Movies and TV Series

We have all probably played some truly bad games.  But how about some terrible games that have been made from good movies or TV series.

Any video game fan knows that movie licenses are a double edged sword.  On the one hand we have the opportunity to re-live, on our consoles the adventures that captivated us in a film version.  More often than not though, they are an excuse for “lazy” developers to settle for the appeal of the franchise in making their sales.

Their are numerous examples of bad games based on movies and also bad movies based on good video games.  In this article, I’m going to be looking at some of the worst games that came from large licenses.  From some TV series and movies that were considered some of the best.


Jaws on the NESIn 1987 a version of Jaws was released on the NES.  Published by LJN, it was an adaptation of Spielberg’s classic.  This version was, in the main based open the forth title in the saga “Jaws: The Revenge“.

It had nothing to do Chief Brody, Matt Hooper and Quint in a desperate fight against a monstrous man eating white shark. Jaws on the NES was a succession of levels of exploration at sea, from an aerial perspective, and moments of scuba diving that unfolded as a horizontal development shooter.Jaws NES GameplayThe levels alternated until you reached a ridiculous final confrontation.  Where JAWS (the shark) had to be impaled with the bow of the ship in a rather subjective perspective, and with some strange mechanics.

E.T. The Extraterrestrial

E.T. Atari

E.T. on the Atari has for a long long time been considered the worst game of all time.  Maybe it’s a bit harsh?  Maybe not!  E.T. The Extraterrestrial was a game that was rushed through production in record time.  A game involving Steven Spielberg in making an adventure that reflected the story of Elliot and the alien.

To save costs due to poor sales, surplus stock was buried in the desert.  A incredible story that was featured in a great documentary produced by Xbox.

If you have never played this game, I recommend you try it.  It’s not a great game but it’s not as bad as it has been made out to be.  E.T. The Extraterrestrial does falls short and it is a real shame that the game didn’t live up to Spielberg’s great 1982 movie.

Aliens: Colonial Marines

Aliens: Colonial Marines Worst game adaptationsAliens: Colonial Marines is a 2013 shooter developed by Gearbox Software.  It is based on the brilliant Alien film series and was published by Sega for Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

The movie “Aliens” is is one of the best science fiction movies of all time. It was a perfect material for a video game adaptation.  But it appears that Gearbox and Sega didn’t know how to take advantage of the original material.  Aliens: Colonial Marines, was a problematic release in many ways.  Its crazy, that with a development lasting more than 7 years, there would be problematic AI, uncompensated multiplayer and technical problems.

Aliens: Colonial Marines is not the worst game ever and many may actually enjoy it.  It is a little entertaining and has some interesting moments.  For me though, it’s rather disappointing and has been released a bit late.  If it didn’t have a good license it wouldn’t stand out at all.

Fight Club

Fight Club worst game adaptationsThe movie “Fight Club” is a 1999 David Fincher film, adapted from a great book by Chuck Palahniuk. The roles of Brad Pitt, Edward Norton or Helena Bonham Carter were great.  Many people discovered how to make soap and that the first rule of the fight club is not to talk about the fight club.

So, adapting such a story to a video game would probably be quite difficult.  Perhaps this is why Universal took advantage of the license for a 3D fighting game.  Fight Club the game was released in 2004 for PS2 and Xbox.  It was developed by Genuine Games Inc. and Visual Sciences Ltd. and was published by Vivendi Universal Games, Inc.

The Game completely bypassed the Mayhem project, the personality issues, and the visual styles of the movie.  It was super easy, super short and had the fighting mechanics of my little old Nan.  For a fighting game it fell way short of any other fighting games of the time.  A very poor game indeed.

Back to the Future

back to the future worst game adaptations

Back to the Future was one of my favourite movies as a kid but this game released on the NES in 1989 is the pits.  It features on my all time worst NES games.

The game published by LJN and developed by Beam Software Ltd. also known as Melbourne House is terrible it comes no where close to the movie, I mean hula girls and angry bees.  If your a fan of the movie don’t play this game if you do your going to wish you had your time back.

The Godfather II

God Father II

The Godfather 2 was actually quite a good game and is definitely not the worst on this list.  It was released in 2009 by Electronic Arts on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.  The Godfather 2 game is on the list because, it is hugely different to the original license.  The film released in 1974, is considered by many one of the greatest of all time.  If you are expecting the game to be like the film, you will be disappointed.

With a great original license and the popularity of gangster games, in the wake of GTA.  It is of little surprise, that EA and Paramount joined forces, to take advantage and make a buck or two.  If the game was more like the movie and not some GTA spin-off, it would be on this list.

Rambo: The Video Game

Worst Video Game Adaptation Rambo

Your probably thinking “Rambo, a good film?”.  Well… I consider the first one that was released in 1982, “First Blood” to be a good film.  The others are shite!

There have been many different games of Rambo released over the years on various machines.  But this one, “Rambo: The Video Game” is possibly the worst of them all.  It was released in 2014 by Reef Entertainment for PS3, Xbox360 and PC, and I have to ask how did it ever get through testing.

I don’t really know what to say about “Rambo: The Video Game”.  Rambo, his head is super large and makes him look deformed.  The collision detection system fails.  The behaviour of the enemies is erratic, often freezing. The animations of the characters go crazy, like they are all quadruple jointed.  There are so many graphical flaws I could be here all day.  Oh and the camera, it makes me feel sick.

LOST Via Domus

Lost Worst Video Game Adaptation

I enjoyed this TV Series and so did millions of other around the world so it comes as no surprise that a video game was made from it.  LOST Via Domus the video game, was developed by Ubisoft and released in 2008 for PS3, Xbox360 and PC.

LOST Via Domus isn’t a great a game and it’s far from the worst.  It is unfortunately though, a licensed game that has failed to live up to its title.  The games plot doesn’t reflect what we have seen on television.  The idea, which I think was a good one.  Was to relive the events of Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 from the perspective of a character who was not in the series.  In the end though, the narrative and interaction is very simple. There are many boring sections, and the linear development and puzzles become very repetitive.

The Sopranos: Road to Respect

The Sopranos Worst Video Game Adaptation

The Sopranos was ans probably is the best gangster based TV series ever made.  So making a video game based around this crime family seems a perfect idea.  The outcome though was a failure.  The Sopranos: Road to Respect was published by THQ Inc. and developed by 7 Studios Inc.  It was released in 2006 on the PS2.

The Sopranos: Road to Respect was short for a full priced video game.  You could complete it in few hours.  It also fell short with the visuals and the controls were poor, in fact everything was pretty poor.  For all the promise a game based around the The Sopranos had, we ended up with a poor beat’em up that is better off sleeping with the fishes.

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1 Response

  1. 1 May 2020

    […] Airwolf on the C64, had hardly anything to do with the TV series, apart from the music and the helicopter.  If the TV Series was better it could have made it onto my list of Worst Game Adaptations of Good Movies and TV Series. […]

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