Video games have grown from being the nerdy little hobby that parents would bemoan as a waste of time, to the undisputed king of the entertainment industry. Across all its forms, gaming is now worth more than the film and television industries put together, so it’s no surprise to see streaming platforms and broadcasters doing all they can to cash in with a slice of the pie. Not all adaptations are created equally, but join us here at MoviesOnline as we take a look at some of the best video games that were successfully ported over to the small screen!
The Last Of Us
The Last of Us is one of the most impactful and compelling video games ever released. Set in a dystopian future where a virus has ushered in a near-apocalyptic future and turned thousands of humans into mindless zombies, The Last of Us is a gritty action title that emphasises the reality that, when it comes to survival, there is no such thing as ‘good’ and ‘evil’.
The journey and character arcs of main characters Joel and Ellie were begging to receive the live action adaptation treatment, which fans were finally given in January 2023. HBO’s show starring Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal was immediately hailed as one of the best video game adaptations of all time, premiering with 4.7 million viewers on its first day and going on to amass a further 40 million within its first two months.
Online multiplayer exploded in popularity in the late 2000s/early 2010s, becoming the norm for gamers around the globe. And Halo was a huge reason behind this sudden surge. And, as you can see here, its legacy for fuelling competitive online multiplayer games has only grown in the years since. One of the best examples of the power of exclusive titles, titles like Halo Reach helped Microsoft dominate the gaming market for a time, with the Xbox 360 becoming the first console to really challenge the dominance of Sony’s PlayStation.
And whilst the influence of Halo as a gaming franchise has certainly waned in the years since, the Halo TV series has certainly given fans something fresh to sink their teeth into. Released on Paramount+ after some delays due to the pandemic, the first season drew positive receptions for its action-packed sequences, the visuals and its cast of characters.
Studio MDHR’s Cuphead was originally released back in 2017 and immediately became one of the most popular games on Steam. The game’s gruelling difficulty and rubber hose art style of the golden age of American animations made it a title players could sink hundreds of hours into. All the assets were hand-drawn by the developers and the game’s soundtrack was recorded by a live Jazz Band reminiscent of the 1930s.
The Cuphead Show was released on Netflix in February 2022. Developed by Dave Wasson, known for Disney’s Star vs the Forces of Evil and Mickey Mouse Shorts, The Cuphead Show was the perfect blend of the game’s swinging jazz style with a classic retro animation. Three seasons were released across the streaming platform across 2022, receiving positive reviews for its humour, art style, voice acting, soundtrack and tone.
Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the world’s most recognisable video game mascots. Free-to-play and series sales over the years stretch past the 1.5 billion mark as of 2022, grossing over $5 billion for developers Sega. The series has become the face of 90s culture, though the franchise has had a less than perfect reputation in the years since.
Nevertheless, the popularity of the blue hedgehog has seen the character ported over into all facets of the entertainment industry. And whilst Sonic TV shows haven’t always been the best, the release of Sonic Prime certainly looks set to be one of the best fans have received. The first batch of episodes were released on Netflix in December 2022, with the platform revealing it to be ranked number fifth in the top 10 on English television to be watched with 27.7 million hours logged. The second batch of episodes are slated to be released in July 2023.
CD Projekt Red might still be attempting to repair their reputation after the ham-fisted launch of Cyberpunk 2077, but there was a time where the Polish developers were arguably the most acclaimed RPG team on the planet. Having first launched The Witcher series back in 2007, the release of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt in 2015 absolutely redefined the formula for a successful action RPG game. Winning over 200 Game of the Year awards, the exploits of monster hunter Geralt of Rivia were practically begging for a live action adaptation.
An adaptation that fans would finally get in 2019. Starring Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra, and Freya Allan, the Netflix show was immediately lauded as one of the most compelling and faithful adaptations of all time. Taking inspiration from both the games and novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, Cavill’s enthusiasm as a gamer helped create one of the most relatable and energetic performances as a video game protagonist, and the show was renewed for a third season slated for June and July 2023. A fourth season has also been commissioned, though with the decision to swap Cavill in favour of Liam Hemsworth in the role of Geralt was met with some criticism online.
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