With the Nintendo 64 classic GoldenEye coming to the Switch after a quarter of a century, people are starting to look fondly at movie games. Reader, that would be a terrible mistake. Movie games are often the dregs of the electronic entertainment universe. In this piece, we’ll crack open the vaults to reveal the worst of the worst, video games so bad you’ll throw your popcorn and controller at the screen.
The lore behind the Atari 2600 ET: The Extra-Terrestrial mega-flop is well known now: Programmer Howard Scott Warshaw only had five weeks to finish the game for a Christmas release, and it was so baffling, ugly, and unintuitive that crashed and burned. Atari had paid a rumored $25 million for the right to make the game in the first place, so it hurt more. There were a number of obtuse adventure games on the 2600, most of which weren’t very good, but the ridiculous time frame (which forced Atari to skip user testing) made this one of the worst. Atari would post a $583 million loss in 1983, with this game partially to blame.
9. Bad Boys: Takedown in Miami
The PlayStation 2 era was notorious for its tremendous ups and downs and catastrophic ups and downs, especially near the end of the system’s lifespan. One of the worst games the console has ever seen was 2004’s Bad Boys: Miami Takedown, released alongside the 2003 sequel. This game is a third-person shooter that roughly follows the plot of the movie, but neither Will Neither Smith nor Martin Lawrence bothered to record dialogue for him, and his two stand-ins look nothing like them. The action is monotonous, with each mission simply requiring you to run from one location to another while lobbing bullets at thugs with horrible AI that often pins them to a wall as you kill them. A greatly enlarged camera that obscures the action is just icing on the cake.
Most versions of this Activision tie-in to the 1984 hit movie are just average, but the NES version (released in 1986) has a segment so terribly awful that it drags the entire product down. In Ghostbusters, you lead your squad of paranormal investigators around New York City and earn money to buy better gear before facing off against Zuul at the end. But to get to Zuul, you have to play through a sequence that requires you to climb 25 flights of stairs by frantically pressing the A button without getting hit by ghosts. It’s strenuous, numbs your thumb, and can take up to 10 minutes at a time to do. and i hope you like it Ghostbusters theme music, because it plays on a loop throughout the game.
7. Fight Club
Releasing a tie-in game five years after the release of a movie is a rare thing, but Vivendi Universal’s Fight Club didn’t take the extra time to polish the game. Dispensing with the film’s twisted and corrosive reflections on society and identity, Fight Club the game is a dull, repetitive one-on-one fighting game that plays like Tekken with all the charm and character stripped away. With just three basic fighting styles and an AI that is among the dumbest ever in the genre, this is the very definition of cheap cash. Even the inclusion of Fred Durst as an unlockable character for some reason doesn’t save him.
6. Charlie’s Angels
This brutal GameCube and PS2 game was released three years after the hit movie, which is already a bad sign. Developed by French studio Neko Entertainment, the minds behind Crazy Frog Racer and Garfield Lasagna World Tour, it delivers a jumble of uninspired and ugly punches and kicks by low-poly models with nightmarish facial textures and bizarre animations. Everything about this product is grossly inferior, right down to the game-breaking bugs that can cause levels to loop infinitely. When you’re selling a game about sex appeal and the characters look so ugly, you’ve got a real problem.
One would think that the narrative centered on the beheading of the Highlander The series would lend itself well to video games, but unfortunately, the ZX Spectrum just wasn’t up to the task in 1986. This brutally primitive title sees you take Conor McLeod through three heavily pixelated sword fights, where the only sound is a Pong. -like a beep when your blade makes contact. Even for Speccy, this was a clunker, with unresponsive controls and bland, strategyless battles. All three of your opponents have the same moves, even the Kurgan. Just an absolute waste of time and cassette tape.
4. Tunnel Rats: 1968
German director Uwe Boll is widely known for producing bumbling movies based on video games. But what would a video game based on one of his movies be like? Surprise, it’s bad. Tunnel Rats: 1968 was a tie-in game to his 2008 Vietnam War drama, and while the movie isn’t one of Boll’s worst, the gameplay is atrocious. A glitchy first-person shooter with some absolutely unforgivable bugs (if you die, your grenades may simply stop working forever), the nail in the coffin comes from the game’s health recovery system, which requires you to painstakingly slice through ears of Vietnamese soldiers. . Disgusting, tasteless and not funny at all.
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2004 Catwoman The movie is probably the most reviled DC adaptation ever, a confusing mess starring Halle Berry as the titular feline thief. The game was developed by Argonaut, who certainly should have known better (they helped create the legendary Star Fox), but in the 2000s it had fallen on hard times. This is a 3D action-adventure game obviously inspired by the then-popular Tomb Raider franchise, but the execution was lousy. The game’s combat features the odd decision not to let Selina take down enemies directly, requiring you to throw them into hazards to defeat them. The controls are awful too, with platforming sequences turning into frustrating trial-and-error tests. Argonaut would lay off 100 employees and put the company up for sale shortly after the release of Catwoman.
2. Dirty Harry
Nintendo’s entertainment system had an avalanche of lousy movie games, but none were as aggressive as 1990’s Dirty Harry. Based on the 1971 thriller starring Clint Eastwood as San Francisco Police Department detective Harry Callahan , the game takes… some liberties with the source material. At no point in the movies does Harry, for example, run through apartment buildings full of snakes and stun them by jumping on their faces, but it sure happens a lot in the game. Add in extremely clunky and unforgiving controls, an obtuse story that lengthens the game by having you wander around without any real guidance, and worst of all, a room you can enter that has no exit, forcing you to restart the game and lose all your progress without warning, and you won’t feel lucky, punk.
1. Beverly Hills Police
Eddie Murphy was in his heyday as Axel Foley in the 1984 action-comedy movie, and there were contemporary video games released at the time for systems like the Commodore 64. And then there’s the nightmare that is the 2006 Beverly Hills Cop game, released only in Europe. Let’s start with the elephant in the room: for some reason, Axel Foley is white in the game. With that out of the way, the rest of the package isn’t much better. The enemy AI is so dumb that the thieves won’t shoot you if you’re crouching because they can’t look up or down. Throw in stealth missions that instantly fail if an enemy spots you from across the level, tedious fetch missions, and cutscenes that can’t be skipped, and you have a game that never should have existed, no matter what year it was released.
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