Movie tie-in games have become less and less common, primarily due to the fact that games are increasingly expensive to make and rarely meet the strict schedule of film releases.
While there's been some excellent ones - GoldenEye, The Thing, The Lion King - the vast majority of movie tie-in games are just that; cheaply-made, poorly-designed games that are pushed out to quickly cash in on a film's success.
Here are the ten worst examples in gaming and film history.
10. FRIDAY THE 13th (NES)
Friday the 13th followed the story of a brutal and supernaturally-powered serial killer who was offing teenagers in a summer camp. The game of Friday the 13th did not even come close to following that story, or any subsequent story related to the film. The game sees you being attacked by zombies (never even mentioned in the film) and trying to find a torch to light fires in the cabin to keep Jason away. Who could appear from nowhere. In fact, the game is so terrible that many contemporary reviewers believe that the game was half-finished when it was put into production.
9. BACK TO THE FUTURE (Commodore 64)
Back To The Future is one of the best films of the '80s and made Deloreans relevant. The Commodore 64 game based on the film, however, was not even close to being relevant. It literally ended with players jumping in said Delorean with the words "GAME OVER NEVER SAW THAT BEFORE". Even the programmers admitted how sh*t it was. In an interview in 1986, Mark Eyles, one of the game's developers, said that the team "knocked it out in about two months flat." It shows.
8. CHARLIE'S ANGELS (PlayStation 2)
You thought this was going to be all retro games, didn't you? No, it seems that terrible tie-in games weren't just something from the '80s, they happened as recently as 2003. While the reboot of Charlie's Angels might have been a bit of campy nonsense, the game was a depressing reminder that mediocrity can often go unchecked and unrestrained. Maybe there was bonus features in the game? Unless you count finding trailers for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle as a bonus feature, then no, there were none. Awful, awful, awful.
7. POWER RANGERS (SNES)
We'll be experiencing the craze that was the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers again with the Gritty Remake™, but let's cast our mind back to the '90s. Super Nintendos were everywhere, Power Rangers were everywhere - the two had to meet. As you can imagine, it was about as uninspired and unoriginal as anything that's pushed out to meet popular demand. The game played like an unlicensed rip-off of Streets Of Rage. How anyone - anywhere - paid money for this is baffling.
6. HOME ALONE (PlayStation 2)
It's hard to know precisely what the thinking was behind this 2006 version of Home Alone. It didn't feature Joe Pesci, Macaulay Culkin or anyone remotely related to the original film. It didn't have any of John Williams' soundtrack. The game was about trying to lock doors in order to keep two burglars - who looked like Peppa The Pig versions of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern - to keep them out. It's almost fascinating to watch longplays of the game because it truly baffles the mind as to how anyone thought this could work. In fact, the game is something of an urban myth - Wikipedia claims that its existence is "largely unknown to the gaming world."
5. ADDAMS FAMILY (NES)
Going through the list of films that have videogame adaptations, you really have to wonder at how they managed to spin some of them off. Some of them, sure, you can see it. The Addams Family, however, takes some doing. Essentially, you play Gomez who is trying to free members of his family. Straightforward enough, right? WRONG. The game is so frustratingly difficult that it's next to impossible to finish and let's not forget that this was in the time of the NES - when there was no such thing as saving a game to continue on later. No, you were expected to finish it one sitting. ONE SITTING.
4. JUMPER: GRIFFIN'S STORY (Xbox 360)
Jumper was a slightly inventive teen sci-fi adventure that starred Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell and Rachel Bilson. Jumper: Griffin's Story was expected to be a sort of prequel to the film and fill in some of the blanks of the story. Like the film, Jumper: Griffin's Story was a bland, listless thing that had no purpose other than to take your money and waste your time. Even the voice-acting, done by a bored-sounding Jamie Bell who probably recorded it one take, was laughably bad.
3. GHOSTBUSTERS II (NES)
When you talk about games that didn't even come with the ability to save your levels or status, kids today recoil with horror. Imagine a game that didn't even let you pause. That was the real horror of Ghostbusters II. Well that and the Atari-esque graphics, the terrible music (you can only listen to Ray Parker, Jr. so many times before you jam a pencil in your ear) and the fact that the game cost the modern-day equivalent of a human kidney.
2. THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (NES)
John McTiernan's adaptation of Tom Clancy's Cold War techno-thriller is one of the most overlooked films in Sean Connery's career. Sam Neill, Joss Ackland, Alec Baldwin and Scott Glenn all give stellar performance in a tense, if dated, yarn that had some incredible cinematography for Jan De Bont. The game, however, was a muddle mess of a thing that was insanely difficult. It did, however, have an 8-bit Joss Ackland. Silver linings, people.
1. E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (Atari 2600)
A game so terrible it actually had a documentary made about it. No, really. Look up Atari: Game Over on Netflix and you'll see a fascinating tale of corporate greed, artistic endeavours gone awry and 780,000 dumped cartridges in a landfill in New Mexico. Really. Atari expected E.T. to be a commercial explosion for them and ordered up an unprecedented amount of cartridges for the Christmas season. Many were returned, the game vastly undersold its expectations and was one of the catalysts for the crash in the gaming industry. It's hard to explain how terrible E.T. was. It has to be experienced.