Games are becoming ever more cinematic as technology improves. This allows developers to concentrate on the narrative in their titles, telling emotive and dramatic stories. Of course, the result of this is that many games are now well-suited to being adapted into TV shows. The success of Netflix’s The Witcher has shown there is a lot of demand for these types of series.
There are a ton of video games that are just crying out for a TV adaptation. Some have interesting plots that deserve to be expanded upon or have incredible visuals that would translate well to television. Whatever the case, here are 10 games that should get the Netflix treatment and how close they are to becoming a reality.
There has been talk of Myst being made into a television series for some time. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the original game was both beautiful and mysterious. It may be difficult to do a direct adaptation of Myst or its sequel Riven but each is teeming with lore.
A TV series based on the franchise could act as a prequel, helping to set up what happened later. The potential is there to create a compelling and thoughtful show that focuses less on action sequences.
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group picked up the film and TV rights to Myst last year, so a TV adaptation could become a reality sooner than we think.
Ever since Halo first launched and became a blockbuster hit, people have touted it as a candidate for movies and television. A movie version announced in 2008 was to be directed by Neill Blomkamp and produced by Peter Jackson, but it never materialized.
Now, Showtime is bringing Halo to the screen as a TV series. The network has ordered 10 episodes. Production began in November 2019 for an expected premiere in the first quarter of 2021. The action-packed story, intriguing alien races, and emotional relationship between Master Chief and Cortana could all make great television. The setting of the Halo rings should also produce some stunning visuals.
There has long been talk of a movie based on Uncharted. A film adaptation makes some sense, as similar games like Tomb Raider have done well at the box office. Reportedly, Sony will start production this spring for a March 5, 2021 release date. The film is set to star Tom Holland and be directed by Venom‘s Ruben Fleischer. However, the project has been in development hell so long we’re not gonna count our chickens till the eggs hatch.
Rather than focus on a movie adaptation, a television series might be more appropriate and easier to make. It would also make more sense given the multiple entries in the series, which could be explored over several seasons. With lots of different storylines, locations, and plot twists, an episodic TV format would fit well.
Now that Game of Thrones has finished, fans will be on the lookout for the next big fantasy drama. Dragon Age could well fill that void. Although not every game has been universally acclaimed, they have still had complex and emotive storylines. The politics and mistrust between the different races, such as Humans, Elves, and Qunari would provide conflict and drama. Meanwhile, the inclusion of dragons and magical events would be ideal for bigger story arcs.
Dragon Age was actually adapted as a six-episode webseries in 2011 by Felicia Day, and received decent reviews. So the potential for a full TV series is there.
Metroid is a little different from many other entries on this list. Instead of a live-action adaptation, it would probably be better-suited as an animated series. This would allow the show to keep a similar aesthetic and style as the original games. Netflix has already adapted Castlevania in this way while Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within showed what is possible with animation. Writers would also have a lot of plot points to draw from the likes of Metroid Prime and Super Metroid. This would be a great chance to create a gritty and adult cartoon that could examine mature themes.
Leaked artwork on eBay in 2019 revealed Nintendo and DIC Entertainment once did have plans for a Metroid cartoon in the late ’80s. The artwork was for a series called the Super Mario Bros. Power Hour, which was never produced. Perhaps it’s better it never happened: the animators thought Samus was a ma.
The Elder Scrolls
The land of Tamriel is full of rich stories. Whether it is the tales of Oblivion in Cyrodiil or the plot from Morrowind, the series has hundreds of hours of material. The franchise would suit television perfectly. After all, it includes multiple races, each with their own striking designs, along with a wide array of distinctive locations. Plotlines could follow the complex politics of the continent or the fighting among the different factions. Skyrim, in particular, is ripe for an adaptation, with its grand story and dragons.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll get an Elder Scrolls adaptation any time soon. Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines shot down the possibility in a 2016 interview with Finder AU, saying they preferred to focus on making games. “It’s not like we don’t know where to go if we want to get a film or TV show made,” Hines said. “It’s more about, ‘is this something we really want to do? What are we getting out of it? What kind of distraction is it going to create?'”
The Last of Us
There is no shortage of zombie television shows, so creating yet another one might not seem like a great idea. But The Last of Us is a very different type of story to most others in the genre. When the game first released it was lauded for its deeply personal and emotive story. That’s something that would translate well to the small screen, giving viewers the chance to get to know the characters. Although the pace of the action might have to slow down a little, there is already a good deal of material to draw from.
This one actually has a decent chance of becoming a reality. Sure, the movie version announced in 2014 (to be produced by Sam Raimi) never materialized. But there’s new hope for a live-action adaptation. In 2019, Sony launched PlayStation Productions to develop projects for TV and film. The Last of Us has to be a definite possibility on their list.
Out of all the great games of the last decade, BioShock perhaps has the most potential in terms of television. It has everything going for it that would make compelling viewing. Rapture is a perfect setting that fans would love to see more of. Meanwhile, the philosophical and moral concepts discussed in the games could provide excellent themes to write about. Netflix could easily create something as interesting as Westworld in the underwater city where BioShock takes place.
In 2008, there were plans for a BioShock movie directed by Gore Verbinski, which fell apart. With the entertainment landscape much changed in the subsequent years, now would be the perfect time to redevelop BioShock as a TV series.
Science fiction is one of the most popular genres in film, gaming, and literature. Despite this, there are still very few good sci-fi TV shows. If producers are looking for material to fill the gap, they need go no further than Mass Effect.
Although the ending might not have been to everyone’s tastes, the first three games contain a lot of interesting ideas. In fact, the story is perfectly suited to television. The expansive narrative, large number of planets, and intriguing factions and characters are just begging to be explored further.
Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption and its sequel are two of Rockstar’s most successful and popular games. While they don’t have the same pull as Grand Theft Auto, they are far more narrative and story-driven. Of course, the fact that The Wild West is a favorite setting for viewers would also make it a prime candidate for a TV adaptation. Each of the two games is already very large, so there are a lot of interesting story elements. Add in the large cast of memorable characters and this could be a real winner.
Which games do you think should get the Netflix treatment? Sound off in the comments below!