[-[[caption-width-right:349: Notice how [[SoOkayItsAverage 50% approval]] counts as being among "the best". And [[Anime/FinalFantasyTheSpiritsWithin one of them]] is [[InNameOnly only nominally]] related to a game.]]-]

->''"The movie has been 'inspired by' the [[VideoGame/{{Doom}} famous video game]]. No, I haven't played it, and I never will, but I know how it feels not to play it, because I've seen the movie. Film/{{Doom}} is like some kid came over and is using your computer and won't let you play."''
-->-- '''Creator/RogerEbert'''[='s=] review of the same movie

For whatever reason, video games and movies [[{{Pun}} don't play well together]]. Every so often, someone [[WingdingEyes with dollar signs]] in their eyes will try to make a movie based on a video game franchise, only to run into this unscalable wall: [[TitleDrop video game movies suck.]]

It's kind of hard to say why. Some would say that the plots of most video games are just too simplistic to translate into a movie, existing just to give the player an [[ExcusePlot excuse]] to go out and fight things. Others would say that video games are essentially movies that have showmanship sacrificed in favor of control, so sacrificing the control leaves you with a bad movie. Maybe directors just invariably pick the wrong genre - an FPS is exciting but doesn't exactly put effort into CharacterDevelopment when that character is meant to be the player. Maybe there's too much reliance on the popularity of the game to sell the movie, rather than writing quality.

The reality? Well, it tends to vary. [[PlatformGame Platform games]] tend to be about getting from A to B, and thus many don't require plot within the games themselves outside [[ExcusePlot a few minutes of setup]] (that may even be hidden [[AllThereInTheManual within the manual]] in older games) and a [[AWinnerIsYou two minute ending]], so the writers need to improvise. The average {{first person shooter}} may offer an hour or two of narrative cinematics, but even the more cerebral examples of the genre will, [[NecessaryWeasel by definition]], feature enough hours of [[MoreDakka plot-free gunplay]] to rival the dumbest {{summer blockbuster}}. [[FightingGame Fighting games]] tend to have a similarly flimsy plot with MultipleEndings depending on the player's character. Game writers tend to use the excuse of a 'tournament that decides the fate of humanity', and ALL playable characters need to be sympathetic enough for players to want to play as any one of them, with an ending for each one, but movie writers need to pick just one hero and winner out of a dozen, which is going to tick off fans of the other eleven.

Conversely, the only video game genres that consistently pay much attention to plot ([[RolePlayingGame RPGs]], {{action adventure}} and {{adventure game}}s) tend to have far ''too much'' plot to squeeze into a two hour flick without [[CompressedAdaptation leaving a ton out]]. While this isn't by itself an insurmountable problem (it's the same issue faced with every [[TheFilmOfTheBook adaptation of a novel]], for example), it is one more thing that can go wrong. Additionally, there is the problem of translating a story from the interactive medium of video games into the non interactive medium of film. In video games, a story is told [[SlidingScaleOfGameplayAndStoryIntegration through the player's own choices and interactions with the game]]. By nature, films do not tell stories in this way, which causes great confusion for screenwriters who are tasked with somehow translating seemingly "plotless gameplay" into a linear narrative. Not that this is impossible, as some [[http://www.wired.com/2014/06/edge-of-tomorrow-review/ even praised]] ''Film/EdgeOfTomorrow'' for successfully translating video game features such as RespawnPoint and TrialAndErrorGameplay into a film narrative (the author of source material ''LightNovel/AllYouNeedIsKill'' admitted he wrote it inspired by his gaming experiences). ''Film/JumanjiWelcomeToTheJungle'' was another film with significant videogame elements such as finite lives that fared well commercially and critically.

On the other side of the adaptation equation, blame can also be pinned on the studios and directors who put out these films. The generation that grew up and has grown up playing video games has yet to produce a whole lot of filmmakers. As a result, the vast majority of people in the film industry aren't really all that familiar with video games, including the ones they are tasked with putting on film; some of the older film industry fellows have an outright ''disdain'' for the younger medium.

Thus, filmmakers don't really know how to adapt the games effectively; even if they choose a good game with a good plot that's not too hard to adapt, they probably aren't going to understand just what makes the game so appealing to people anyway. One cannot [[AdaptationDistillation distill the core taste]] if one does not know what the taste actually is. Indeed, this medium ignorance, aside from resulting in bad game adaptations, is also the direct cause of PacManFever. It's essentially the cross-media version of a PortingDisaster.

There are also filmmakers and directors that know a popular game series but they barely understand ''why'' the series is popular to begin with. Rather than contacting the developers that produced the games to get their advice or even asking the fans themselves for help, the filmmakers decide to just wing it and try to interpret the popularity from their own point of view, which can cause fans who see the final product to groan and face palm as they watch a film that they think was made by someone who has zero knowledge on the subject matter and material. This is usually caused by filmmakers and publishers that just want to cash in on the brand name of a famous series, though not all people do this.

The situation is similar to what was the case with most superhero films prior to ''Film/SpiderMan'': poor understanding of the comics led to poor adaptations, until the people who actually grew up reading the comics got good standing in the movie business and helped drive the current train of popular and critically acclaimed superhero films.

So far, no one's nominating video game movies for Oscars. If you hear new, exciting rumors about an upcoming film (like the once-rumored Creator/JohnWoo-directed ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' movie), tread carefully, or you may be crushed beneath the {{descending ceiling}} of bad writing.

Often ([[SugarWiki/NoProblemWithLicensedGames although less universally]]) the inverse is also true, of course, which is {{the problem with licensed games}}.

For some reasons (such as less risk-taking/far-fetched plot than other genres or a high immunity to {{gameplay and story segregation}} effect), DatingSim movies (rare as they may be) seem exempt from this, although as with anything, there are exceptions.

{{Animated adaptation}}s of video games also tend to be received more favorably than their live-action counterparts, perhaps because a medium as focused on zaniness and stylized aesthetics as animation is just better suited to the often eccentric, strange and overall unrealistic kinds of stories and settings of most video games. Also, the fact that animated movies are produced with methods similar to those used for video game cutscenes helps, in that they can -- at the very least -- have the merit of being visually faithful to the source material.

Another possible contributor to the lackluster reception of video-game-based movies is not necessarily that they're bad, as CriticalDissonance demonstrates in a few instances, but that the current generation of movie reviewers and critics didn't grow up with video games (see the Roger Ebert quote above) and thus can't better appreciate said films without experience with their source material, similar to the situation with comic book-based films. Or, in some cases, said generation outright developed bias against video games, seing them as the lowest common denominator in the entertainment industry, ranging from "they're decerebrating" to "they encourage violent behaviours".

As of April 2018, the highest-rated video game movie by Rotten Tomatoes is ''Film/{{Rampage|2018}}'', with a whopping... 50%. Along with ''Film/TombRaider2018'' (49%), it's the only movie to rank higher than the ones in [[http://moviesmedia.ign.com/movies/image/article/117/1170228/Video-Game-Movies-01_1306370375.jpg our page image]].
%% No examples on this one, please. There are just too many to list.