A decade ago, video game adaptations were hit or miss–and that’s being generous. Hollywood seems to have listened to fans and game enthusiasts because these types of adaptations have gotten so much better. Just look at Arcane – it’s one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. And with Borderlands getting a movie out later this year and a few other games (that I’ll get to in a bit) getting picked up already, I’ve got to thinking: what games would make great shows or movies? Here are my top picks.
This is kind of a joke, but not really. The game’s been around for years but really blew up recently. Because of that renewed popularity (and several mods released, too), it’s no surprise there have been animated and live-action fan films all across YouTube.
But what I want to see is a full-length live-action thriller where a large crew is looking for the impostor. I’d settle for a show, but only if it’s not drawn out too long. Like, imagine Star Trek mixed with the online game. It would be hilarious to see.
‘The Wolf Among Us’
Along the same lines as Among Us, I would love to see The Wolf Among Us as a movie. While the names are slightly similar, The Wolf Among Us is a bit more involved. It’s set as an episodic game, so while a television show sounds perfect, I think this would work better as a feature film.
The Wolf Among Us follows the Sheriff in Fabletown trying to solve murders. But what really drew me in were the side characters: they’re all characters from various fairytales. The game is also a prequel of sorts to the comic series, Fables.
‘Legend of Zelda’
Did you think I’d miss out on potentially seeing any Zelda game as a show or movie? Unlike the Mario movie that’s in production, I’d actually be excited for this if it stuck to the plot.
There was recently talk in 2021 about a live-action, but other than that, I’m lost on the adaptation. That said, if someone was to make a live-action show based on Breath of the Wild, I’d lose my mind. (In a good way.)
‘Star Wars’ Video Games
Star Wars is already a big franchise that’s expanding with shows from Obi-Wan to The Acolyte, so why haven’t they adapted their books and video games yet? If Lucasfilm chose only one of the games, I’d hope it’d be Jedi: Fallen Order. Set between the prequels and originals, it fits right in with the other Disney+ shows.
On the other hand, the four Knights of the Old Republic games are just such fun games that I’d love to see them play out in a show. They take place during the Old Republic, which is much earlier than anything we’ve seen in Star Wars films and shows yet. A rumored movie has been in development for a long time, and I’m starting to get worried that we’ll never see the Old Republic on the big screen.
Other Star Wars games I hope to see adapted or hinted at in other shows or movies would have to include the Jedi Knight, Rogue Squadron, and The Force Unleashed games. I will say, though, that I’m okay skipping Battlefront and Lego adaptations.
‘Detroit: Become Human’
I debated whether I would like to see this as a movie or show, but then I remembered how much I like I, Robot. For some reason, Detroit: Become Human radiates the same vibes as I, Robot. So maybe the creators of that show would try their luck at adapting this hit game.
There’s a pretty open ending, so I think the adaptation could go several ways. Maybe it’s a happy ending; maybe it’s one that makes everyone cry. Either way, we need more mainstream science-fiction shows and movies focused on androids and what it means to be human in such an advanced world.
‘Kena: Bridge of Spirits’
If the people who made Arcane took adapted Kena: Bridge of Spirits, I’d watch it over and over again. The animation in the game is already so beautiful; I can’t imagine anything making it better. Honestly, when I play, it feels like I’m watching a movie already.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits follows Kena as they help spirits find their way to the afterlife. Every character, both alive and dead, has a colorful personality and past. And I love coming across every single one of them. Can we get more games like this?
In case you’ve missed it or just haven’t gotten around to playing it yet, Elden Ring’s basic premise is becoming the strongest player possible and gathering the shattered pieces of the Ring to become the Elden Lord.
We already have Lord of the Rings, so maybe we skip a movie or movie series based on this game. But if we got a show as high-budget as The Witcher, maybe the Shannara Chronicles-sized hole in my heart will become whole again. And since it’s open-world, there’s no shortage of where and for how long this show could go.
This game needs to be adapted already! Just the first game alone would be a good one to two seasons driven by Corvo’s revenge. And with so many games in the franchise, this show could possibly go on as long as Supernatural without ever feeling like it’s dragging on too long.
Honestly, I’d watch 15 seasons of this if the writing and plot were just as captivating as the game. It combines magic and technology are combined, as we see in Arcane and League of Legends. And if you know me, I love this type of magic system.
I’ll be transparent: I never watched the movie from 2016 that was only loosely based on the games. And I doubt I will from what my friends have told me about it. That said, I would probably give it a chance if the games were directly adapted into a film or show.
Out of the 24 video games in the franchise, my top three picks for adaptation would definitely be Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. They are all very different but also bring that action that I love.
For each of these, I think a limited series would work best for them. And when I say limited series, I’m talking maybe 20 episodes total for each game. Fingers crossed, they hear my pleas and give the world some more content.
‘Until Dawn’ and ‘The Quarry’
Yes, The Quarry is super new, but it’s already at the top of my list. But I honestly think it’s going to become one of my favorite games of the decade. That said, I would love it even more if it was adapted into a limited series where every episode except the finale ends with a cliffhanger.
The same goes for Until Dawn. Imagine if it was released weekly and people all over social media were trying to figure out what was going to happen next and who would survive. The only thing I’d want to change about Until Dawn would be making the creature (which I will not name for I am a believer) designed more in line with Native American historical descriptions.
There’s something about the Dragon Age games that just hit differently. And that’s why I’d love to see a show based on the games one day. And while I’d enjoy a live-action, I honestly think an animated show in the same style as either How to Train Your Dragon or Dragon Prince would do the franchise justice.
When I think about a potential show for Dragon Age, I think the way Trollhunters was handled would be excellent for this game series. Trollhunters was essentially three shows that lined up back-to-back chronologically; with Dragon Age, each game could be one show that linked directly to the next.
I will literally never pass up the opportunity to talk about Oxenfree (and its upcoming sequel, Oxenfree: Lost Signals). Though there are several different endings that could come from playing through, I think there’s potential for a limited series here. That’s why I’m so excited this might just happen soon.
Imagine this as a live-action series where you never know which ending the creators chose for the show. Would you prefer the “happy” ending where Michael is back? Will everyone make it out, including Clarissa? Then imagine the end where static cuts the screen, and they’re back on the boat to the island again, starting the cycle all over again.
‘Horizon: Zero Dawn’ and ‘Horizon: Forbidden West’
Just last month, Netflix announced it was working on adapting Horizon: Zero Dawn into a show, so I had to include such a unique and fun game franchise. I don’t know how exactly this will play out at Netflix, but I’m hoping they make it live-action.
Now that Horizon: Zero Dawn is covered, I’m holding out hope it does well enough the show continues for several seasons to cover Horizon: Forbidden West, too. And if that’s not enough for you, a sequel to the second game might also be in the works! Imagine the possibilities!