Video Games: From Small Consoles to Big Screens

In recent years, beloved video games have been moved from console to the big screen.

We’ve all played games from our childhood, and even now, and think to ourselves, “Man, this would be a great TV show, I’d love to see more of my favorite characters.” It’s true, and it’s enticing to think about the sheer potential of some of our favorite game characters and how they could develop. More action, more romance, more dialogue. When the credits roll on some of our favorite games, why should that moment be the end for our beloved characters and storylines? I don’t feel like that should be the end, and a lot of producers and screenwriters feel the same way! Below, we’ve taken the time to list some of our favorite game-to-tv adaptations. The good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Fallout (2024) on Prime Video


Fallout is based on the role-playing video game franchise created by Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, but this new Amazon Prime series is a 100% original story based in the canon universe of post-apocalyptic America. The series depicts the aftermath of the Great War of 2077, an apocalyptic nuclear exchange in an alternate history of Earth where advances in nuclear technology are revolutionized. A young woman named Lucy leaves behind her home in Vault 33 to venture out into the dangerous wasteland of a devastated Los Angeles to look for her kidnapped father. 

  The Fallout series is known for its characters with complex and intriguing backstories. It explores their moral ambiguity and the difficult choices they make. From “wastelanders” to idealistic settlers, the series is filled with characters from all walks of life, each with their own personalities and goals. The character development we see in Lucy is brought to life through the performances of actors ranging from a mixture of well-known and obscure actors.

The series also features iconic companions, such as the dog, which adds to the overall experience. For new fans, the mystery of the world and the vaults can be intriguing. The world is filled with interesting characters and lore, giving a strong foundation to build on.

The attention to detail enhances the authenticity of the adaptation, making it more enjoyable for fans. Top-notch production value, including well-designed sets, costumes, and visual effects, helps to immerse viewers in the experience. They certainly spared no expense when it came to the sets on the show. You can see for yourself the level of detail they put into crafting the set of Vaults 31, 32, and 33. 

The Witcher (2019) on Netflix

The Witcher is based on the popular book series by Andrzej Sapkowski and the video game franchise developed by CD Projekt Red. This Netflix adaptation follows the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter known as a Witcher as he navigates a dark and fantastical world filled with magic, political intrigue, and moral ambiguity. 

Henry Cavill’s portrayal and dedication to Geralt of Rivia captures the character’s essence from the books and games perfectly. The show’s action sequences are well-executed, and Jaskier’s songs, including “The Golden One”, “The Ride of the Witcher”, “Toss a Coin to Your Witcher”, and “Burn Butcher Burn”, are enjoyable. However, the show’s timeline can be confusing, which leads to difficulty in understanding the plot and the sequence of events. Some episodes feel rushed, while others drag on, affecting the story’s flow. Fans were disappointed by the deviation and changes from the source material, which is one of the reasons Henry Cavill left the show. Finally, some viewers may not watch the show if Liam Hemsworth is Geralt.

Danganronpa (2013) on Crunchyroll & Hulu

The Animation follows the events of the video game Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc. The series follows 16 high school students locked inside Hope’s Peak Academy, their high school where an anthropomorphic bear threatens the students and gives them only one way to leave the Academy, to murder another student, and not be found guilty in the subsequent trial.

What makes this series great is the feature of the iconic antagonist, Monokuma and a diverse cast, each with their unique personalities and backstories. The characters’ distinctive design reflects their personalities and roles. Their relationships are characterized by betrayal, friendship, rivalry and romance. The show stays true to the storyline, characters and atmosphere of the game. Pleasing fans and maintaining the essence of what made the game popular in the first place. The compelling mystery elements, plot twists, suspenseful moments and complex character interactions kept viewers engaged, eager to see what happens next and uncover the truth behind the mystery. The success of the show can be attributed to the distinctive visual style taken from the game’s art including vibrant colours, character style design and dynamic camera angles. The show successfully builds tension and drama during class trials keeping viewers on the edge of their seats and adding excitement to the show. Strong voice acting performances and a fitting soundtrack helped immerse the emotional impact moments in the series. The voice actors bring the characters to life and the soundtrack perfectly sets the tone and atmosphere of the show.

Arcane (2021) on Netflix


Set in Riot’s League of Legends universe, it primarily focuses on sisters Vi and Jinx, both champion characters in the League of Legends game.   

There are many reasons this show has become such a big hit. The characters in the series are multi-dimensional and have deep and compelling backstories that evolve over time. Each character is fleshed out making them relatable and engaging to the audience. The show invests time in exploring the character’s emotional journey resulting in a satisfying character arc. The soundtrack is amazing with memorable songs like “Enemy”. The antagonists are complex with a compelling background. The story is intriguing, emotional and delves into the origins of iconic League of Legends champions that keep the audience hooked. The animation is stunning with fluid action sequences, detailed environments and a unique art style. The series seamlessly integrates the lore elements of the game featuring familiar champions and locations. The fans appreciate the references and easter eggs. The show explores compelling themes like power, inequality, consequences of ambition, and family and betrayal. This resonates with real-world issues and tackles these themes with maturity and depth. The emotional impact of the series delivers powerful moments that will stay with the audience long after the show is over.

The Last of Us (2023) on HBO Max


Based on the video game franchise developed by Naughty Dog, the series is set twenty years into a pandemic caused by a fungal infection, which causes its hosts to transform into zombie-like creatures and collapse society. The Last of Us follows Joel, a hardened middle-aged survivor who is tormented by the trauma of his past, tasked with escorting the teenager Ellie across the post-apocalyptic United States.    

What helped this show become such a success are the amazing actors in the series like Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as they bring their characters to life. The story is emotionally gripping and keeps the audience in suspense with its action, tension and relationships. The visuals and environment are hauntingly beautiful and convey the beauty, horror and devastation of the world. The show explores complex themes such as mortality and the lengths to which people will go to survive or protect those they love, and that is what resonates with the audience.

Castlevania (2017) on Netflix


Castlevania is a Netflix original series inspired by the Konami video game franchise.  The TV series expands its scope to explore the motivations, backstories, and personal struggles of the cast of characters. Follow Trevor Belmont, Alucard, and Sypha Belnades as they defend the nation of Wallachia from Dracula and his minions.   

The character antagonist, Dracula, is memorable, compelling and menacing. The character is given an amazing backstory and an equally impressive end. The characters in the series are multi-dimensional with well-paced development. The moral ambiguity of the characters makes them more compelling and human. Their interactions and relationships add depth to the story. The series stays true to the video game capturing the iconic gothic horror atmosphere, characters and lore. Fans were pleased with the faithfulness of the series. The story is well-crafted with engaging plotlines, intriguing twists that delve into themes of revenge, redemption and the struggle between good and evil. The animation quality is high with detailed character designs, fluid action sequences and an atmospheric environment. The style complements the gothic aesthetic of the show. The show does not shy away from mature content containing graphic violence and dark subject matters. The pacing of the series is good with no unnecessary filler episodes keeping the narrative moving and leaving viewers eager for more.

Super Mario Bros. (Live Action) (1993

A 1993 film based on Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. video game series. Following the impact of a meteorite onto the Earth 65 million years ago, the universe is split into two parallel dimensions. In 1993 Italian American brothers Mario and Luigi were working as plumbers in Brooklyn. Iggy and Spike, the henchmen and cousins of the villain President Koopa, kidnap Daisy. The brothers pursue them through an interdimensional portal to Dinohattan. 

What made this movie such a disaster? It took liberties with the source material, staring far away from the games and the of Super Mario Bros. There was little resemblance to the original material. The plot was confusing and failed to capture the charm of the game. It lacked humor, adventure and a sense of wonder. The characters were portrayed inconsistently compared to their video game counterparts. The movie suffered from low production values including cheap-looking sets, mediocre special effects and bad costumes.

Sonic Underground (1999)

The movie takes place in a separate canon and continuity than any other Sonic the Hedgehog media. Queen Aleena, the former ruler of Mobius, was overthrown by Dr. Robotnik. To preserve the dynasty, Queen Aleena separated her three children: Sonic, Manic, and Sonia after the Oracle of Delphius told her of a prophecy. When Sonic, Manic, and Sonia grew up, the Oracle of Delphius revealed the prophecy to them. After that, Sonic, Manic, and Sonia decided to go on a quest, searching through Mobius for Queen Aleena. The Oracle of Delphius has assigned the three siblings powerful “medallions” that can change into musical instruments and can also be used as weapons. Sonic’s medallion is an electric guitar, Sonia’s medallion is a keyboard and Manic’s medallion is a drum set. The three use the amulets not only to fight Robotnik’s forces but also as instruments for their underground rock band, “Sonic Underground.” 

This movie was popular thanks to the introduction of new elements to the Sonic universe that piqued the interest of fans who are eager to discover the universe and new viewers. The fast paced action and adventurous plot of the series keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. While the incorporation of music sets it apart from other adaptations. The nostalgic value of the show makes it a treasured part of many people’s childhood. The iconic intro song is instantly recognizable and beloved by fans.

Pokémon (1997)

The franchise originated as a pair of role-playing games developed by Game Freak, from an original concept by its founder, Satoshi Tajiri.  The show originally followed Ash Ketchum, a young trainer of fictional creatures called Pokémon. Joined by his partner Pokémon Pikachu and a rotating cast of human characters, Ash goes on a journey to become a “Pokémon Master“, traveling through the various regions of the Pokémon world and competing in various Pokémon-battling tournaments known as the Pokémon League.

This show adaptation is beloved by fans because it remained faithful to the fundamental aspects of the Pokémon games. Which entails capturing, training and fighting against other trainers to ultimately become a Pokémon master, which we see Ash do in the series. The show features memorable characters such as Ash Ketchum, Pikachu, Misty and Brock. The diverse design of the Pokémon adds to the show’s appeal and nostalgic factor.I know I certainly love to follow Ash Ketchum on his journey through all of the regions, especially in the early days of the Kanto region and when he first meets Pikachu. That was certainly some wonderful character development, as Ash and Pikachu became inseparable, which we bear witness to throughout the entire 25 seasons and beyond.

Fate/Stay Night (2014) on Hulu

The story revolves around Shirou Emiya who unknowingly enters a to-the-death tournament called the Fifth Holy Grail War, where combatants fight with magic and Heroes from throughout history for a chance to have their wishes granted by the Holy Grail. One evening, after seeing two devastatingly powerful beings trading blows at his school, he is attacked, as witnesses to the Holy Grail War are generally supposed to be eliminated. Chased to his home by the spear-wielding warrior Lancer and barely able to avoid his attacks, Shirou is about to be killed when he is saved by Saber. Saber, the personification of a renowned figure in history (Arturia Pendragon in her case), was created to aid participants in the War. In her supposedly accidental summoning and the appearance of the marks on Shirou’s hand, his entry as a Master into the Holy Grail War is formalized. 

You either love this show or you hate it. The series is set in a complex and intriguing world with rich lore that gets the audience interested. The animation is high quality at times having amazing fight scenes but it is inconsistent because of many adaptations. The show is emotionally deep as it delves into emotional themes such as sacrifice, identity and the nature of heroism. The show has some pacing issues as some arcs progress too slowly while others are rushed, making the series feel incomplete and it has an over reliance on tropes. The series has been adapted multiple times each covering different routes from the visual novel; these adaptations don’t fully capture the depth and complexity of the source material.

Mortal Kombat (2021)

Based on the video game series of the same name created by Ed Boon and John Tobias. In 17th-century Japan, assassins led by Bi-Han killed a rival clan led by Hanzo Hasashi, including Hanzo’s family. After killing the attackers, Hanzo fights Bi-Han, who stabs him with his own kunai. Hanzo dies, and his soul is condemned to the Netherrealm. Raiden, God of Thunder, later takes Hanzo’s surviving infant daughter to safety. 

In 2021, the realm of Outworld defeated Earthrealm in nine tournaments known as “Mortal Kombat“. If Earthrealm loses a tenth one, the rules state it will be conquered by Outworld. However, an ancient prophecy states that the “blood of Hanzo Hasashi” will unite a new generation of Earthrealm’s champions to prevent the Outworld’s victory. Aware of this, sorcerer Shang Tsung, who has overseen the last nine victories, sends his warriors to kill Earthrealm’s champions, identified by a dragon mark, before the next tournament begins. One such champion, MMA fighter Cole Young, is attacked alongside his family by Bi-Han, who now calls himself Sub-Zero. 

This movie was a mess due to its weak plot and characterization; they both lacked depth and development to unaged the audience. The focus on action came at the expense of the story and character arcs, underutilization of characters and not giving them screen time or development. The dialogue is poor and cheesy; it fails to intrigue the audience or convey emotional stakes. The movie has an inconsistent tone veering between campy humor and gritty violence which doesn’t work for this movie. The fighting scenes in the movie lacked depth in both choreography and execution. They often relied on flashy special effects rather than strategic combat and well-crafted choreography. The film heavily relied on nostalgia with callbacks and references to previous adaptations which limited the movie’s ability to stand on its own.

Knuckles (2024) on Paramount+

Based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series published by Sega, it is a spin-off of the Sonic the Hedgehog film series and is the first live-action Sonic television series. While struggling to adjust to life on Earth, Knuckles the Echidna takes on deputy sheriff Wade Whipple as his apprentice, training him in the ways of the Echidna warrior to help him prepare for a bowling tournament in Reno, Nevada where his estranged father will be competing. 

The series has some mixed reviews from the audience. The character is portrayed in a faithful way to the character’s game counterpart. The show has given Knuckles a depth that goes beyond what is seen in the game. This dimension makes him more relatable and interesting. The voice acting of Idris Elba is effective in conveying Knuckle’s personality, emotion and his voice is nice to listen to. However, the writing of Knuckle’s personality and motivation is inconsistent and seems to change from episode to episode.

The Conclusion

There are many things to love and hate about the adaptations of some of our favorite video game-turned-tv shows. Producers and writers have their work cut out for them, as most of us have grown up with these characters and it’s difficult to picture them in any other light than what we know from video game history. Fans find it difficult to accept plot points and twists that some would consider not to be “canon.” If we, as dedicated fans, can learn to open our minds to the ideas of writers and producers that are potentially new to the story, then we can bear witness to some of the greatest stories ever written about characters that we know and love. Who doesn’t want to see how things could have turned out? Who doesn’t want to see beloved characters develop into something new that could potentially keep their stories going for generations to come?

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Fungies helps game developers create their own storefronts or marketplaces to sell directly to players. Web2 and Web3 compatible. helps game developers create their own storefronts or marketplaces to sell directly to players. Web2 and Web3 compatible.

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