6 video games that deserve a live-action TV show adaptation
HBO's The Last of Us TV show arrived in 2022, after what feels like a lifetime of waiting for that moment - and as we do with every newly announced video game adaptation, we hoped for the best.
Naughty Dog's 2013 game stands as one of the finest examples of storytelling that the medium has to offer, and safe to say, HBO has smashed it out of the park. Although the rhetoric of "The Last of Us has finally broken the curse of bad video game adaptations" is a cliche, there's plenty of truth in its intent.
Video game adaptations have a bad track record, but now we know how good we can have them, it only makes us wonder what could be next.
Hope for our favourite stories to make the leap to the small or big screen is renewed, so, what exactly would be the perfect video game to make the jump to a live-action TV show? Here are our picks to breach the wall of entertainment.
- If you're looking for a breakdown of the top games in one of Ubisoft's most well-known game series, check out our rankings of the best Assassin's Creed games.
Video games that need a TV show adaption
Red Dead Redemption & Red Dead Redemption 2
There's no denying that the story of John Marston is a thrilling one, but after Red Dead Redemption 2 gave the video game franchise that extra little something, the entire saga of Marston and Arthur Morgan has become something of a legend.
The narrative of both games is a breathtaking story of brotherhood, betrayal and big ol' horses that would make a comfortable transfer to the small screen and fill the hole of cowboy content that we've been missing since Westworld.
Say what you want about the games on reflection, but there's no denying that the general audience would be compelled by the misdemeanours of Arthur Morgan and his compatriots. If anything, THAT bank robbery sequence would make for an episode of television that many would struggle to forget.
- If you're looking for another game like Animal Crossing, here are our recommendations for the cosiest of cosy games.
Resident Evil 7
We know full well that the cinematic history of Resident Evil isn't exactly reflective of its source material, whether that be in story or quality, but there remains some brilliantly compelling storytelling in the video game series.
When it comes to the most terrifying to adapt, it's undoubtedly the seventh mainline title that makes the most sense, as well as being one of the series' greatest bangers.
The claustrophobia and icky design of the Baker household is enough to make TV viewers truly feel the horrors of the video game, and with a story led by a sympathetic protagonist, it's a recipe for horror delights that Resident Evil has failed to tap on the big screen for some time.
Following the short-lived Resident Evil Netflix series bowing out before anyone got to give it a chance and Welcome to Raccoon City being a box office bomb, we've been burned too many times. After continuously botching Jill Valentine, maybe Ethan Winters can bring the series back to the cinema.
- If you've vanquished the foes of Sanctuary and are on the hunt for another similar adventure, here are the best games like Diablo 4.
Format-wise, this one could be a little different, but that doesn't mean it'd be any less badass. Picture this - we're wordlessly introduced to Agent 47 (any miscellaneous tough-looking baldy will do) pulling his gloves on. He's going to work.
No time is wasted as we're introduced to the first episode of an ongoing series, where it becomes clear that this show shows us one high-intensity assassination per episode, taking us to every corner of the world on a globe-trotting adventure with a story that wraps up neatly in one last kill in the final episode. It's like Poirot, but a lot more vicious. Sounds sick, right?
Now that Rian Johnson's Poker Face is with us, it's clear that by-the-episode crime can work, and as Hitman has failed to make the transition to the cinema a couple of times before, this could finally be his chance to shine in live-action. If you're reading this IO Interactive, yes we'll be on your writing team. You're so welcome.
- Alongside The Last of Us, Sony has plenty of great exclusives, so check out our recommendations of the best PS5 exclusives.
While it's perhaps the most bizarre pick for video game TV show adaptions on this list, come on. Movies like Speed Racer have proven that live-action can be just as frenetic as animation, and there's no reason we can't have a short, goofy, film based on the world of Katamari.
Let's cast a massive, well-known actor like Chris Evans or Ryan Gosling as The Prince, and someone like Jack Black or Danny DeVito as The King of All Cosmos, then let those adorable little guys roll over our world, collecting paper clips and dogs as they go.
Katamari Damacy is an insane pitch, we know, but if you're planning on telling me you wouldn't be seated on day one, then we're ready and willing to call you a liar.
- Want to put your battle skills to the ultimate test? Here are our picks for the top Soulslike games you should be playing next.
Let's be honest, everyone's asking for that Legend of Zelda video game TV show or movie - but that's a pretty bog standard choice, and we all know what the fallout would be if it had the nerve to be bad. So, our obligatory Nintendo choice is going to be something that could prove a little darker.
The world of Metroid is incredibly fascinating and would be more than accommodating to a movie adaptation. When it comes to casting the beloved Samus, it's easy enough, because Brie Larson is right there. Get her in a spaceship and get to work, Nintendo.
We love a bit of New Weird, from Annihilation to Loki, and the under-loved subgenre has truly flexed its muscles in the interactive medium of video games. Remedy Games seem to be the go-to team for narratives that duck and weave around themselves in twisted and eerie ways, so it only makes sense that a TV series based on Alan Wake could bring the subgenre to the masses.
Alan Wake's story is dark and bizarre, with a core mystery that will be more than enough to keep viewers guessing. Plus, with the game's titular protagonist looking exactly like his voice actor, there's no reason that the show couldn't enlist Ilkka Villi to play the main man in live-action.
So that's six video games that we think would translate fantastically to a TV show adaption. If you're looking for more game recommendations and other lists, check out our lists homepage right here at GGRecon.