10 Video Game Adaptations That Are Worth The Watch, And 9 That I'm Looking Forward To

    If you've been watching The Last of Us and got a hankering for more great video game adaptations, I got you.

    There's no shortage of game-to-screen adaptations, but the genre doesn't really have the best track record. Oftentimes, it strays too far from the source material and totally alienates the fans the show was supposedly made for (*cough* Halo *cough*). That said, there are definitely some diamonds in the rough out there, and when they're good, they're really good.

    Ones to Watch Now:

    1. The Last of Us

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    Okay, I'm gonna start with this one just in case you've opened on this list out of curiosity and haven't actually watched the show yet.

    In a nutshell, The Last of Us follows Joel and Ellie in dystopian America after a fungus erodes humanity as we know it. Stoic Joel reluctantly ends up in charge of smuggling 14-year-old Ellie to a faraway facility where she may be able to help restore civilization to what it once was.

    It's not your standard zombie fare — in fact, the creatures stalking Joel and Ellie are technically still living beings. A fungus known as cordyceps has taken over the living host, and that fungus's only desire is to spread. 

    There are multiple different variations of these fungus-filled humans, known as the Infected. As the fungus progresses within their bodies, the human hosts transform, ultimately ending up as horrifying monsters with mushroom-like heads. 

    It's said that in the first stage of the infection, the hosts are awake enough to understand that they're not in control of their bodies, and can be heard wailing in pain or seeming to consider the actions somewhat. A horrifying and original premise to the standard undead, brainless, shambling zombies we're used to, the different types of the Infected will certainly keep Joel and Ellie busy.

    With strong, emotive storylines, well-fleshed-out back stories, and characters you truly root for, there's a reason why The Last Of Us is getting so much hype lately.

    2. Dota: Dragon's Blood

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    Based on video game Dota 2 by developer Valve, Dota: Dragon's Blood is an adult animation series. 

    Prepare to be immersed in a world of epic fantasy as you follow Davion, a Dragon Knight tasked with the quest of slaying dragons to keep the world safe. However, when Davion's soul ends up merged with a dragon's, he sets out to stop the demon Terrorblade, who wants all dragons dead so he can collect their souls.

    Boasting the writer of X-Men: First Class and Thor, it's no surprise that the world-building is top-notch, with characters rich with backstory and an engaging setting.

    Dota: Dragon's Blood is also pretty loyal to the lore of the game it's based on. 

    3. Arcane

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    Based on the world of League of Legends, Arcane is led by Vi and Jinx, two sisters who end up on rival sides of a war when a revolutionary new magical technology comes to light.

    Lacking in lore this show is not, as we see familiar League of Legends characters and settings vividly come to life on screen.

    Split into those in the ivory towers of Piltover and those in the gritty underground of Zaun, we're thrown into the lives of the elite as well as the day-to-day of the oppressed. The storytelling is so richly woven and emotive that we kinda root for all the characters, good or bad.

    With an impressive 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Arcane is definitely not one to miss.

    4. Castlevania

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    Based on the Konami video game series of the same name, Castlevania is a dark adult animation spanning the fantasy, horror, and action genres.

    After his human wife was burned at the stake after being falsely accused of witchcraft, grief-maddened vampire Vlad Dracula Tepes vows to wipe out everyone in Wallachia. 

    However, monster hunter Trevor Belmont is not prepared to sit back and relax while Vlad goes John Wick in his territory, so he enlists the help of a magician and Vlad's own son, a half-human/half-vampire known as a dhampir, to save Eastern Europe from a legion of angry vampires.

    5. The Witcher

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    Based on a book series and popular video game series, The Witcher follows Geralt of Rivia, a mutated monster hunter whose fate ends up entwined with a prophetic princess and a slippery sorceress.

    With Henry Cavill, a super fan of the games and books, cast as Geralt, it's no wonder that the show is pretty true to its source material — or at least, Season 1 was. Season 2 still got pretty good reviews, but many fans complained that the writing felt uninspired and that there were too many deviations from the original storyline of the books and games.

    In fact, it's rumored that as well as timetable clashes with his other projects, one of the reasons that Henry, whose performance as Geralt was widely lauded, left the show after filming Season 3 was due to the way the plot had begun to veer away from the source material he is so passionate about.

    All said, though, Season 2 is still worth a watch if you're not too focused on it being a faithful adaptation of the original storyline from the books and games.

    6. Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai

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    Based on the manga series and popular video game franchise Dragon Quest, this animated show follows Dai as he defends the world from an army of monsters led by the Dark Lord Hadlar and his master, the Dark King Vearn.

    Adapting the entire plot of the manga series into 100 episodes, the 2020 series has been praised for its unique take on the standard "average kid turned hero" plot arc.

    7. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

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    Based on the video game Cyberpunk 2077, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is set in a city where cybernetic modification and addiction, gang violence, and corruption are rife.

    The story follows David Martinez, who makes the decision to become an illegal mercenary known as an "edgerunner" or "cyberpunk" after being involved in a tragedy that changes the trajectory of his life.

    Set in a futuristic sci-fi dystopia where humans can be upgraded with robot-like body enhancements, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a gritty standalone that will make you root for the underdog and question who really is the bad guy in the story.

    Along with Arcane, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is one of the two shows topping recent juggernaut The Last of Us on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

    8. The Cuphead Show!

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    Based on the video game Cuphead, this show is a slapstick comedy developed for Netflix. 

    Set in a 1930s-style world known as the Inkwell Isles, the show follows Cuphead and Mugman, brothers who live with their grandfather, who is, of course, a kettle! They all live happily in a teapot-shaped cottage, and Cuphead and Mugman manage to get themselves into various pickles. 

    Each episode is mostly standalone, but there is a recurrent theme of the Devil hunting Cuphead because he believes his soul is owed to him. You know, just the usual!

    9. Shenmue: The Animation

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    Based on the Shenmue video game series by Sega, Shenmue: The Animation adapts the storyline of the first and second games in the series.

    After witnessing his father's murder at the family dojo, Ryo Hazuki sets out on a mission to find the man responsible and exact his revenge. 

    From his hometown of Yokosuka in Japan to the bustling city of Hong Kong and beyond, Ryo soon learns that there's more to his quest than he originally realized.

    With underground organizations warring and mystical forces at play, he must train to become the ultimate martial artist to bring justice for his late father.

    10. Danganronpa: The Animation

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    Based on the visual novel-style video game Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, this show may be one to watch if you're a fan of The Hunger Games.

    Average student Makoto Naegi wins a nationwide lottery to attend the prestigious Hope's Peak High School, an elite educational institution where graduates are fast-tracked into high-ranking, successful careers.

    It soon becomes apparent that the school hides a dark secret — in order to graduate, Makoto and his classmates must murder a fellow classmate and be found not guilty at the trial.

    Ones to Add to Your Diary:

    Movie Adaptations

    11. Borderlands (TBD)

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    Directed by horror heavyweight Eli Roth, Borderlands is based on the video game series of the same name. 

    With several big names in the cast including Cate Blanchett, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Jamie Lee Curtis, the movie will follow outlaw Lilith as she returns to her home planet on a quest to find the missing daughter of the powerful Atlas.

    Joined by a ragtag gang of misfits, Lilith will battle alien monsters and dangerous bandits to find the girl, who may "hold the key to unimaginable power."

    The movie wrapped shooting in 2021, so hopefully, we'll see it in theaters sooner rather than later. There are no trailers yet, but the video above offers a fan-made imagining of how it might look.

    12. BioShock (TBD)

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    Directed by Francis Lawrence, who directed three Hunger Games movies and apocalyptic thriller I Am Legend, this dystopian movie has been kept pretty tightly under wraps so far. That said, it's rumored that the movie will be based roughly on the first game.

    If that's true, we'll be transported to the underwater city of Rapture, a city created back in the '40s by a businessman named Andrew Ryan, who wanted to create a utopia for the elite in society to live freely beyond the constraints of government control and, ultimately, basic morality. 

    Ryan forbade contact with the outside world, so when protagonist Jack is in a plane crash which leads him to Rapture, he must escape the sci-fi horrors that await him as an outsider.

    Since there's no movie trailer yet, watch the game trailer above to get a feel for what the silver screen version may look like.

    13. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (April 7, 2023)

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    We all know Mario, the happy-go-lucky plumber who spends his life rescuing his eternally kidnapped love, Princess Peach, alongside his easily spooked brother, Luigi.

    But, in April 2023, we'll see him in a full-length movie adventure that looks like a couple of hours of good fun!

    With a big-name cast for the voice actors including Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, Fred Armisen, Charlie Day, and more, this movie clearly wasn't low-budget. 

    Fingers crossed it's a fun adaptation when it hits cinemas in a few months' time!

    14. Gran Turismo (August 11, 2023)

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    Gran Turismo is based on the game of the same name and entwines the true story of Jann Mardenborough, a teenage Gran Turismo player who aspired to be a race car driver.

    A coming-of-age story, we see Jann's story play out, from virtual racing to real life. 

    The star-studded cast includes David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Djimon Hounsou, Geri Halliwell, and Archie Madekwe.

    There's no trailer yet, but there's a sneak peek in the video above.

    TV shows

    15. Twisted Metal (TBD)

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    Produced by Sony Interactive Entertainment and set to premiere on Peacock, Twisted Metal follows a driver tasked with delivering a package across a post-apocalyptic wasteland — and of course, nothing is quite as simple as it originally seems. 

    The action comedy will be based on an original story from the 1995 vehicular combat game, following the driver as he "faces savage marauders driving vehicles of destruction and other dangers of the open road, including a deranged clown who drives an all-too-familiar ice cream truck.” (Source: MovieWeb)

    Starring Anthony Mackie, Stephanie Beatriz, Neve Campbell, and more, filming wrapped in August 2022, so hopefully, it won't be too long until it hits our screens.

    There's no trailer yet, so take a look at the game trailer from 10 years back above!

    16. Horizon Zero Dawn (TBD)

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    With The Umbrella Academy showrunner Steve Blackman signing a multi-year deal including a TV adaptation of Horizon Zero Dawn, it looks like action hero Aloy may land on Netflix in the near future.

    Set in a post-apocalyptic future, Horizon Zero Dawn shows us a world where technological advancements have all but wiped humanity from the face of the planet. The remaining humans form new communities but have little knowledge of history, meaning they live in a tribal fashion. 

    Juxtaposed against gigantic autonomous animal-shaped machines set on wiping out whoever comes too close, the game was praised for its unique take on an apocalyptic landscape.

    There's no release date yet as the show is in its early stages of development, so have a gander at the game trailer above instead.

    17. Fallout (TBD)

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    Based on the game of the same name, this series will land on Amazon Prime.

    Another futuristic apocalypse-based game, Fallout is set after The Great War in 2077, when nuclear radiation changed the way society functioned entirely.

    Little is known of how the Amazon show will bring the much-loved video game to life, but Westworld co-creator Jonathan Nolan is set to direct the premiere, while Tomb Raider's Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Silicon Valley's Graham Wagner act as showrunners.

    Todd Howard, exec producer at Fallout's game developer Bethesda, said: "It's not retelling a game story. It's basically an area of the map, let's tell a story here that fits in the world that we have built. It doesn't break any of the rules, it can reference things in the games but isn't a retelling of the games. It exists in the same world but is its own unique thing."

    Again, there's no trailer yet, so take a look at the trailers for the games in the series above.

    18. God of War (TBD)

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    Another one going to Amazon, God of War will adapt the hugely popular PlayStation game of the same name.

    There is very little known about the series so far, but Wheel of Time showrunner Rafe Judkins is tied to the project. 

    If it's based on the game's storyline (the Norwegian-based games, not the original Greek-based games), we'll see Kratos, the God of War, on a mission with his son to spread his wife's ashes from the highest peak and honor her final wish. 

    The journey turns out to be much more than just a father-son trek, and Kratos and his kid must battle gods and monsters along their path.

    With no trailer yet, we'll have to content ourselves with game trailers like the one above for now.

    19. Gears of War (TBD)

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    Set to be both a live-action movie and animated series on Netflix, Gears of War follows a band of infantry members in their quest against a race of genetically altered humans from the underground, known as the Locust Horde.

    Led by disgraced sergeant Marcus Fenix, the team fights for their lives against a horde of bloodthirsty creatures.

    You guessed it — there's no trailer for this one either, but you can get a feel for it from the game trailer above.

    Which game adaptation are you most excited for? And which would you recommend that's already out? Let me know in the comments!