10 Video Games That Hollywood Should NEVER Make Into Movies

By Klein Felt Posted:
Grand Theft Auto, Elder Scrolls, Animal Crossing

After the success of things like The Super Mario Bros. Movie and HBO's The Last of Us series, video game adaptations are all the rage; however, some things might be best left in the digital realm. 

In the coming years, Hollywood takes on everything from Minecraft to Twisted Metal (featuring Captain America himself, Anthony Mackie) are on the way. 

But while some video game franchises are primed for the big screen, others should never be adapted into movies. So, here are some names in gaming that would be better off left as just that, video games.

10 Games That Should Never Get Movie Adaptations

1.) Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing

One of the biggest names in gaming as of late has been Animal Crossing. The charming life-sim sees the player as the only human in a colorful settlement of adorable animals, foraging, building, and completing tasks for the locals. 

Despite the series being beloved by fans worldwide, it would not make the best film. So much of the Animal Crossing experience is simply living and existing in that world, and that is something that would not lend to an exciting big-screen experience. 

2.) Pong


Pong, along with many other classic arcade-style titles, is not something primed for Hollywood. All of the enjoyment of Pong is derived from the act of playing the game. There is no gripping story or quippy dialogue, it is two lines and a ball, and that is it! 

Sure, there could be an opportunity to tackle the story of Pong in the same fashion as the recently released Tetris film (starring Taron Egerton), looking at the origins of the classic video game. But there is no sprawling tennis story to tell here. Please Hollywood, just leave Pong alone. 

3.) The Elder Scrolls


To some, the world of The Elder Scrolls might feel primed for a Hollywood adaptation; however, the sweeping open-world RPG series would likely not work as a summertime blockbuster. 

The best part of the Elder Scrolls games is not the story presented by the development team, but the ones the player makes for themselves. So many hours of these games are exploring this world, finding sidequests, and immersing oneself in this fantasy setting. That off-the-beaten-path sort of storytelling would not be conducive to a traditional film. 

4.) Kirby


With one Nintendo mascot lighting up the box off in Chris Pratt's Mario, some have been calling for Hollywood to bring Kirby and Dream Land to the big screen next. 

However, while Kibry himself has become fairly iconic over the years, the rest of his colorful cast of characters does not nearly have the sort of mainstream appeal the Mario characters do. Plus, add in the fact that aside from the errant "Poyo!" and "Hi!," Kirby as a protagonist has never really had much to say. 

5.) The Sims

The Sims
Electronic Arts

A Hollywood take on Electronic Arts' The Sims would not work for similar reasons to Animal Crossing. This series of simulation titles are all about designing and maintaining the lives of a group of humans known as Sims.

The player serves as this god-like presence, catering to every need of their Sim family, hoping to keep them alive (or not). Seeing as The Sims is just a digital simulation of life itself, this would be hard to translate to the screen and justify it being called The Sims

6.) Call of Duty

Call of Duty

Call of Duty is arguably the biggest franchise in video games, with yearly releases that sell millions of copies; however, the hit first-person shooter would not make the next great game-to-movie adaptation. One of the pillars of Call of Duty is its epic story campaign, with mind-boggling moments of action that would make Michael Bay proud.

The franchise thought mimics Hollywood, allowing players to be a part of the action. Including those same set pieces and stories on the big screen, but removing the player agency, would result in the generic run-of-the-mill military fare that has become infamous in film.

7.) Portal


Portal and Portal 2 tell two of the best stories in video games, they just would not have the impact they do as movies. Part of the charm of the Portal series is having this incredible narrative evolve around its silent protagonist, as the player moves from puzzle to puzzle and chamber to chamber. 

Holding the controller is something so key to what Portal is. Playing around with the teleporting abilities of the portal gun, and figuring out the ingenious solutions to each of these tiny puzzle rooms is as much a part of the Portal experience as its gripping story. However, J.J. Abrams is currently developing a Portal film, so he may prove this article wrong in the not-so-distant future. 

8.) Mass Effect

Mass Effect
Electronic Arts

Bioware's Mass Effect series has been compared by some to the likes of Hollywood monoliths like Star Wars; however, the adventures of Commander Shepard are probably better left in the digital realm and not on the silver screen. The universe of Mass Effect is massive, with hours of gameplay spent combing through the almost Tolkien-esque descriptions of this world's lore, having in-depth conversations with various crewmates, and hanging about the SSV Normand

Because of the vastness of the series, its story, and its incredible character, it would require an unprecedented buy-in from a studio to do it justice. So far, video game adaptations have sort of been a one-at-a-time deal, with sequels being announced after the success of a first movie or season of TV. Mass Effect couldn't be done this way and is better experienced in a medium where the viewer/player can spend hundreds of hours in this world and not two. 

9.) Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto
Take-Two Interactive

Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is not just one of the most respected names in gaming but in entertainment as a whole. The crime sandbox is beloved amongst fans, allowing gamers to get into all sorts of criminal hijinks in some of the most detailed open-world maps on the market. But the best parts of GTA would not translate well to the big screen whatsoever. 

The actual story beats of the Grand Theft Auto games usually boil down to generic crime boss film tropes, giving players a fun opportunity to participate in sort the sort of amazing sequences they see at their local cinema. A GTA movie would ultimately end up being forgettable, bringing with it nothing of what makes the series special with its make-your-own-fun brand of urban adventure. 

10.) Dark Souls/Elden Ring

Dark Souls Elden Ring
From Software

As much as Hollywood would probably want to make a Dark Souls movie work, it just would not. From Software's RPG franchise has become a modern pillar of the video game world, offering fans epic fantasy, gothic, and samurai adventures highlighted by their tremendous difficulty. 

And it is from this difficulty that comes the reason why a Dark Souls adaptation can never happen. Yes, the world and lore of these games are great, but it is the challenge and sense of satisfaction from overcoming said challenge that makes these games special.

There is just no way Hollywood could emulate the sweet ecstasy of coming to a Dark Souls boss, having one's head bashed in over and over again, and then eventually emerging victorious within the confines of a big-screen blockbuster. 

While these video gamer adaptations should never go ahead, one that did in The Super Mario Bros. Movie is playing in theaters worldwide now

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.