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50 Worst Movie Videogames

Raiders Of The Lost Ark

The Movie: Spielberg's stone-cold classic adventure, in which Harrison Ford's world-weary archaeologist Indiana Jones races through set-piece after set-piece to stop the Nazis opening the Lost Ark of the Covenant.

The Game Version: Designed for Atari by notorious developer Howard Scott Warshaw (we'll be meeting him again later), this concentrates on the first half of the film only as Indy wanders around Cairo collecting the objects he needs to dig up the Ark.

Worst Element: The difficulty of telling apart the various objects, or indeed the blobby, pixelated Indy himself.

The Wizard Of Oz

The Movie: The sequel to Oz The Great And Powerful .

The Game Version: An extended journey along the Yellow Brick Road, in which Dorothy seeks an audience with the Wizard while all kinds of weird creatures try to attack her.

Worst Element: The frankly bizarre opponents include homicidal armchairs and acid-spilling lemons. It's not a game, it's a bad trip.

Back To The Future

The Movie: Robert Zemeckis' genre-mash of time travel, comedy and romance, a high watershed for 1980s high concept.

The Game Version: The NES version saw Marty McFly collecting clocks in order to prevent his parents' photo from fading. The game was so widely panned that the film's co-writer Bob Gale chimed in, calling it "one of the worst games ever."

Worst Element: The repetition; there are only so many clocks you can collect before it gets boring. It's the total opposite of the film's narrative diversity.

Enter The Matrix

The Movies: The then-Wachowski brothers' visionary cyberpunk actioner and its increasingly laborious sequels, as it turns out that there is only so much physics-warping fun you can have in a post-apocalyptic virtual reality world.

The Game Version: Created by the Wachowskis with an hour of live action footage, this was intended to form an integral bridge between The Matrix and its sequels… which of course made it ultra-confusing for casual buyers.

Worst Element: The main characters are Ghost and Niobe, minor characters from the sequels, thus disappointing everybody who wants to pretend to be kick-ass, kung fu master Keanu.

Superman 64

The Movie: Technically, this is based on the animated TV series, but Supes is so indelibly linked to cinema that we're invoking the big-screen Christopher Reeve series.

The Game Version: For no apparent reason, Lex Luthor has trapped Superman in a virtual, Kryptonite-flooded version of Metropolis where he forces him to complete various pointless tasks.

Worst Element: DC Comics and Warner Bros demanded so many stipulations - it can't take place in the real world, only limited powers can be used - that it barely seems worth the effort playing it… or, indeed, making it.

Total Recall

The Movie: Paul Verhoeven's ultra-violent take on Philip K. Dick, as Arnold Schwarzenegger unscrambles his mind in time to halt an interplanetary conspiracy.

The Game Version: Made for the NES and designed to appeal to kids, this sees Arnie takes on a gang on villains who look like midgets wearing pink jumpsuits.

Worst Element: Terrible graphics that leave a ghost image whenever you have to do something fast. When he punches, it looks like Arnie has three arms.

Charlie's Angels

The Movie: The fondly-remembered 'three chicks and a voice on a phone' TV series gets slathered in pop songs, incomprehensible plotting and leering innuendo by director McG.

The Game Version: Three Angels looking (vaguely) like Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu fight through various levels without ever stopping to don funny/sexy disguises.

Worst Element: The straitjacket of 'invisible walls' imposed by the developers to limit what the Angels can do during fights, which rather takes the fun out of it.


The Movie: The twin streams of the 1980s blockbuster - National Lampoon humour and Industrial Light & Magic FX - are crossed in Ivan Reitman's still-smart study of Manhattan pride.

The Game Version: Activision fast-tracked the game into production, using a game called Car Wars that was already in production. The result bares, shall we say, fleeting resemblance to the film it's supposedly based on.

Worst Element: A revised version redeveloped in Japan added greater complexity but also some grammatical howlers. Win the game, and you're rewarded with the message: "Conglaturation!"

Street Fighter: The Movie

The Movie: The classic game gets a Hollywood makeover with Jean-Claude Van Damme starring, incongruously, as a United Nations peacekeeper whose crew includes, equally incongruously, Kylie Minogue.

The Game Version: The game of the film of the game, now with a digitised Van Damme offering a clunky take on once-seamless fighting moves.

Worst Element: The law of diminishing returns. Every game on this list lost something in translation from the big-screen, so it was tempting fate to adapt something that had already been adapted from a game in the first place.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

The Movie: Steven Spielberg's heart-tugging suburban sci-fi fable about the friendship between a boy and an alien, aka THE hit of the 1980s.

The Game Version: Caught off guard by the film's popularity, Atari asked developer Howard Scott Warshaw to create something quickly. He cobbled together a game in which E.T. searches for components to build his phone home and… err… that's it.

Worst Element: The endless falling down holes on the off-chance there's something down there worth having, an existential crisis so exacting that it drove children to tears. Cue angry parents returning the game after Christmas, and unsold stock being dumped in a New Mexico landfill.