Today I watched the greatest film ever made that was based on a video game... in fact, it is the ONLY great film based on a video game.
That film was The King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters. It is a documentary about the rivalry between two gamers looking to set the world record score on Donkey Kong.
A fascinating and entertaining look at how seriously some of these gamers (most of whom are your stereotypical nerds who clearly are all still virgins) take their 'sport', and it plays out like a classic sports underdog movie as newcomer Steve Wiebe looks to take on the shadowy and mysterious Billy Mitchell (who seems like a character from Dodgeball).
Hollywood still enjoys making movies based on video games because they believe that there is a huge built in audience. Despite the fact that throughout the years, they have all ranged from OK (Tomb Raider, Doom) to awful (Super Mario Brothers, Street Fighter, everything else).
The one that really should have worked was Resident Evil. Resident Evil 2 is still my all time favourite game and a film series based on the games about a zombie outbreak is a perfect cinematic setup but Paul W.S. Anderson failed to translate it to the big screen.
What is the secret to making a great film based on a video game? Make it about the video game and not based on the video game. If you do a straight adaptation you will end up with a terrible film that nine times out of ten has been directed by Uwe Boll.