We've shared our pick of the greatest movie tie-in video games of all time, but now it's time to turn from the good, and look to the bad and the ugly. Among the many releases to have pillaged the creative content of film franchises in search of a quick buck, the following selection deserve to be pulled from the heap and openly ridiculed for their ineptitude. These are the worst movie tie-in video games of all time.
A side-scrolling brawler similar to Streets of Rage, Sylvester Stallone’s seminal 1993 hit was turned into one of the most fist-clenchingly terrible video games ever made. Due to awful controls and a poorly balanced damage system, the game was insanely hard, with little to reward those who persevered. Fittingly, the title was awarded Worst Movie-to-Game of 1994 award by Electronic Gaming Monthly.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Poor E.T. Everyone's favourite extra terrestrial went from starring in the film of the 80s, to the worst game of all time. After a lengthy battle to secure rights for the game, Atari gave developer Howard Scott Warshaw five weeks to make the title in time for the Christmas holidays of 1982. The resulting game, in which players collect parts for E.T.'s interplanetary phone, has been cited as contributing to the collapse of Atari.
Street Fighter: The Movie
First there was Street Fighter, a solid beat 'em up with memorable characters and quippy catchphrases. Then came 1994's film adaptation, a forgettable affair starring the muscles from Brussels and Kylie Minogue. Quite inexplicably, Capcom decided to follow up the film of the game with a game of the film. Using digitised animations of the film's cast, the game looked quite sharp, until anyone moved. The title failed at everything previous Street Fighter's had mastered.
Featuring the voices of Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Charlie's Angels third-person action title for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube was banned from including the physical likeness of the actresses. Shoddy graphics, invisible walls that prevented you from entering unfinished areas of the game and a tedious story saw The Official Playstation 2 Magazine award the game a total score of 1/10. Games this bad shouldn't be allowed.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
While Who Framed Roger Rabbit managed to blend the real and animated worlds with some success as a film, the game's attempt went one step too far: players had to call an actual 1-800 number, from which a recorded Jessica Rabbit would provide hints on how to pass the game's various riddles. Sluggish controls and a woefully designed game world were capped off by a near impossible final boss battle.
The first rule of Fight Club the video game is, you do not talk about Fight Club the video game. Because it's awful. Bad animation and a total lack of imagination were the main drawbacks of a game that failed to add anything to Chuck Palahniuk's classic novel and David Fincher's superb film adaptation. Hitting people sounded like landing a punch to a wet bag of vomit.
It seems the developers at Acclaim Entertainment were a touch confused when making the spectacularly wretched Total Recall. When Quaid died (which happened quite often, given foes' ability to dodge bullets), a screen appeared with Arnie's pixelated likeness declaring "I'll be back", while 'game over' became "Your game has been Terminated". One wonders if Acclaim had actually seen Total Recall...
Tomorrow Never Dies
The tough second album, Black Ops Entertainment were always going to struggle following up on Rare's masterful handling of Bond in GoldenEye. Their decision to change the game from a first- to third-person shooter was baffling, compounded by the omission of a multiplayer. Never fix what isn't broken.
The animation team at EA were clearly very excited to be working on a game adaptation of 2004's Catwoman, spending what must have amounted to the majority of development time lovingly (and creepily) capturing every inch of Halle Berry's curves. Terrible combat controls were made worse by a camera system that just didn't work; a more enjoyable experience would have been gained from hanging a Halle Berry poster on your wall and repeatedly smashing your face into it.
Bad Boys: Miami Takedown
Part of the joy offered by games that take their cue from a film's content and characters is their ability to immerse fans in the world they cherish. Any fans of Bad Boys will have immediately regretted immersing so much as a toe in Miami Takedown - a strong contender for 'worst game dialogue ever', with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence replaced by two voice actors who might once have seen a film.