Growing up, I loved video games. I played the full gamut of them: Sonic, Mario, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Double Dragon, Frogger, Pong, Donkey Kong...you name it. Having an extremely active imagination I also would picture my favorite games and characters coming to life. So when Hollywood started making that move, I got excited.
Over the years, however, it has become quite apparent that translating a game into a film is not the easiest thing to do. Now don't get me wrong, there have been some VG movies that I have enjoyed, including Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat. There just have been more that were total busts: Super Mario Bros., D.O.A., anything by Uwe Boll. There have also been some that ride the line between being flops and being good, like Doom.
Obviously some games make for an easier transition. Fighting games, for one, have a fairly basic plotline that can be followed, it is just a matter of the acting/fighting being either good or bad in the film. It is when you get into games with more complex characters and plots that things seem to become tricky. RPGs are the most difficult, as it becomes a matter of player choice on so many things, that you ultimately can't please everyone.
Many times, even when you do have a successful film come about, sequels end up falling on their faces, with notable examples like Mortal Kombat Annihilation and Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li. Or, like with the Resident Evil franchise, the films take off on their own path.
Personally, I think there is a happy medium that can be met, especially in the case of RPGs. I see no problem with simply taking the world that the games set us in and bringing us tales happening from there. Take Mass Effect for example, rather than worry about how to try and bring Commander Shepherd and his/her squad to life, give us some other character(s) in that same universe. Let us see what was happening around the galaxy while the Normandy was running off on its missions. Something like what Halo: Nightfall did with its story would be really cool.
With the upcoming adaptation of Assassin's Creed, along with a new Mortal Kombat film in the next couple of years, my hope in seeing good films based on video games is still relatively high.