TV shows based on video games are rapidly gaining mainstream acclaim. In terms of global revenue, the gaming industry is the largest entertainment sector. Right behind games are TV shows, the most popular of which can be viewed on a wide variety of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, & Amazon’s Prime Video.
Shows based on games blend the two most successful entertainment industries into one medium. If you’re looking for some of the best British entertainment available, some of our picks will be right up your alley. We’ve put together the top 10 TV shows that are based on video games.
1. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness
Infinite Darkness is the latest entry in a long line of Resident Evil adaptations. Produced by Capcom, Netflix, & TMS Entertainment, this four-part Netflix-exclusive is a technical showcase for computer-generated imagery (CGI) technology.
Full-CGI series are rare, and well-made ones take a lot of time & resources. Luckily, Netflix is well-known for adventurous productions, and Infinite Darkness’ fluid animation definitely had a high budget. Each episode is 25-30 minutes long, which makes for a good couple of hours of entertainment.
Influenced by the best the anime world has to offer, Castlevania is produced by Frederator Studios, and is another exclusive for Netflix viewers. Based on Konami’s titular video game series, Castlevania follows famous characters from the games that many fans will recognise.
A critical & commercial success, Castlevania features four seasons of terrific animation, as well as some excellent writing. Originally planned as a full-length film, the award-winning script was converted to a four-season show, with each season consisting of eight to ten episodes.
3. The Witcher
The Witcher series is based on a video game trilogy as well as a book series. Although the book was the first to introduce fan-favorite Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, the Witcher 3 video game is arguably the main reason why coin-tossing and monster-slaying have become global phenomena.
The first season serves as an origin story for the main characters Geralt, Ciri, & Yennefer. Henry Cavill’s performance as Geralt of Rivia has been praised by critics: his portrayal of the famous monster hunter adds a lot of weight to the series. With a second season scheduled for release in December of 2021, fans of the Witcher will be looking forward to the next chapter in Geralt, Yennefer, & Ciri’s story.
4. Sword Art Online
After the novels sold over 25 million copies, Sword Art Online entered the video game market with a series of six games. Using that success as a springboard, A-1 Pictures produced the first season of Sword Art Online as a TV series. The science fantasy anime was met with critical acclaim when it was released and led to a second season being greenlit.
The story follows players who are stuck in a virtual reality game. The only way to win is to complete all levels within the game. If players try to quit before finishing, they will die. If they die in-game, they die in real life. Praised for its animation & music, Sword Art Online has also been commended for its depiction of the psychological effects of virtual reality.
5. Alien Isolation: The Digital Series
Alien Isolation: The Digital Series is based on a video game, which in turn was inspired by Ridley Scott’s Aliens films. The series is set 15 years after the events of the very first Aliens film, and sets up the events of the video game.
The show follows Amanda Ripley, daughter of Sigourney Weaver’s infamous Ellen Ripley character. Amanda joins a team of Weyland-Yutani agents who are sent to retrieve an important flight recorder. Once onboard the derelict vessel, Ripley encounters hostile androids & humans, and something far more sinister – an unknown alien organism intent on hunting Ripley down.
6. Halo: Nightfall
Released in 2014, Halo: Nightfall takes place in the 26th century. Humanity is in the midst of a war with an alien race named the Covenant. During a tenuous ceasefire, covert infiltrations by the Covenant threaten Earth’s outer colonies.
Tasked with a counterintelligence mission, Commander Jason Locke of Naval Intelligence is sent to investigate counterinsurgency threats. Following a bioterrorism incident on Planet Sedra, Locke and his team race against the clock to stop a terrorist plot threatening the entire planet.
7. Mortal Kombat: Legacy
Directed by Kevin Tancharoen, Mortal Kombat Legacy is an extremely popular web series. It is based on the renowned video games of the same name, which were created by Ed Boon & John Tobias.
The first season of Legacy serves as a prequel to the first Mortal Kombat game, providing several characters with alternate backstories. Although the first season’s episodes are non-linear, and each episode is a self-contained story, the second season focuses on the tournament itself. Both seasons have become cult classics. In April of 2021, the series was made available to stream on HBO Max.
8. Pokemon Master Journeys: The Series
The 24th season of the Pokemon animated series, Master Journeys follows Ash Ketchum, Chloe Cerise, and new protagonist Goh on their many adventures as Pokemon Masters. The series is a continuation of previous entries, offering plenty of continuity and familiar characters.
Masters features eight regions for the trio to explore, including two new regions from Pokemon Sword and Shield. Their journey will take the three protagonists through plenty of excitement, danger, and heartwarming moments. Of course, there are plenty of Pokemon featured throughout, including fan-favorites like Pikachu & Charizard.
9. DOTA: Dragon’s Blood
DOTA Dragon’s Blood is based on one of the most popular multiplayer games ever made, DOTA 2. A Netflix premier, it is produced by Studio Mir & Kaiju Boulevard, with animation work by Production Reve. The series was released in March of 2021, with a second season confirmed to be in production.
The story revolves around Davion, a Dragon Knight who hunts and kills dragons. After an ill-fated encounter with demons, Davion’s soul is merged with an elder dragon. In order to free his soul, Davion has to find and kill a demon named Terrorblade. The show has plenty of action, with some solid character-building in its quieter moments.
10. Persona 4: The Animation
Persona 4: The Animation is based on Atlus’ Playstation 2 video game. The story follows Yu Narukami, a young teenager who, after moving to the town of Inba, finds himself at the center of a murder mystery.
After discovering an alternate world in his TV, Yu is granted special powers that will help him to discover the killer. Persona is all about relationships, and Yu’s friends form an integral part of the story.