10 Best Game To Screen Adaptations | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Video game adaptations rarely work. Super Mario Bros, Wing Commander, and House Of The Dead are just a few of the terrible game-to-screen adaptations released over the last few years and you can check out the linked list for more examples.

Thankfully, it’s not a case of ‘game over’ for every adaptation. Some of them have actually been pretty good and we take a look at some of the best game-to-screen adaptations below. Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments below:

The Witcher (2019 – )

Netflix’s fantasy series has more in common with the novels on which the games were based but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any similarities to the video game series. The lead character, Geralt of Rivia, resembles the video game iteration with his long flowing white hair, and the series features several other characters that fans of the games will recognise.

Gamers might be disappointed that the series doesn’t follow the games too closely so the fact that we have included this in our list of ‘best adaptations’ might seem a little odd. However, it’s still a cracking good series, and when Henry Cavill’s Geralt swings his silver sword around, this should scratch the itch of any gamer who wants to see their favourite game character brought to life on the screen.

Castlevania (2017 – 2021)

Konami’s video game series focused on monster hunter Trevor Belmont and his battles against Dracula’s forces. Netflix’s anime series, which is a loose adaptation of Castlevania III: Dracula’ Curse, doesn’t deviate from the central plotline although it throws in a few new characters that won’t be familiar to those who played the original NES game.

The series, with its dark gothic storyline, will please any fan of horror or medieval fantasy fiction, as well as fans of the game series. It’s a visual delight too, so even if you don’t get swept up in the story, the excellent animation will give you a reason to stay invested in the show.

arcane netflix

Arcane (2021 – )

Arcane is another animated series that Netflix has successfully adapted from a video game. The game in question is League of Legends, a popular multiplayer online battle arena game, that has over 150 million registered players worldwide.

The series explores the backstories of two of the game’s characters – Jinx and Vi – although a number of other League of Legends champions also feature in this accomplished adaptation. As with many of the titles on this list, you don’t need to be familiar with the games to enjoy this series. Thanks to the spectacular animation, fantastical storyline, and incredible worldbuilding, this is one show that can appeal to anybody, and not just diehard LOL players.

Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City (2021)

This isn’t the greatest movie you will ever see so don’t expect to see it on many ‘best’ lists. However, as a video game adaptation, it is far better than the unrelated Resident Evil movies that came before it which deviated significantly from the games. This one does much to please fans of Capcom’s horror franchise, as it borrows locations, characters, and one very iconic scene from the first Resi Evil, so this should satisfy anybody looking for a faithful game-to-screen adaptation.

The movie features lots of Easter eggs that gamers will relish, including the typewriter in the police station that acted as a saving point for gamers playing Resident Evil 2, and the card suit keys that are used to open locked doors in both the game and the movie. Several monsters from the games make an appearance, including Cerberus and the Licker, and the infamous zombie dogs also turn up to scare our heroes, but not in the way you’re probably expecting if you played through the first Resident Evil game.

Tomb Raider (2018)

Alicia Vikander stars as Lara Croft in this fun adventure movie that draws heavily from 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot and its sequel, Rise Of The Tomb Raider. Vikander certainly looks the part as her outfit is similar to that seen in the aforementioned game titles and fans of those games will recognise the red grappling hook and weapons that she carries too.

The movie is far better than the two Lara Croft movies that starred Angelina Jolie, not only in terms of quality but in terms of its faithfulness to the game character. Lara does far more tomb raiding in this movie than she did in the 2001 and 2003 films and the plotline, while not completely the same as that featured in the aforementioned games, still features story elements that will prove familiar to gamers. The sequel to this movie has now been cancelled but plans are in place for a new TV series courtesy of Amazon.

uncharted movie

Uncharted (2022)

Uncharted isn’t a completely faithful adaptation of the games that came before it so you shouldn’t expect a direct translation. Tom Holland doesn’t look much like the game’s protagonist, Nathan Drake, and the same can be said of Mark Wahlberg, who barely resembles Drake’s friend and mentor, Sully. Both actors are younger than the video game iterations of these characters but as the movie acts as a prologue to those games, we guess this can be excused.

This is still a decent movie, however, and it features at least one scene that fans of the games will recognise. It even features a cameo from voice actor Nolan North, who took on the role of Drake in the game series. We see him on the beach just after the moment Holland and Sophia Ali (as game favourite Chloe Fraser) fall into the sea after a death-defying moment involving a cargo plane (the familiar scene that we referenced), and when he hears about their misadventures, he says “Something like that happened to me once.” It’s a chucklesome moment, especially for game fans who will recognise its significance.

Silent Hill (2006)

The next time you’re planning a vacation, think twice before booking a stay at a hotel in Silent Hill. The fog-enshrouded town of the video game series features all kinds of monstrous inhabitants, including demonic nurses, double-headed dogs, and the terrifying Pyramid Head, so this is one place that won’t get many positive reviews on TripAdvisor!

The movie adaptation is loosely based on the first title in the game series but it swaps the game’s male protagonist Harry Mason for Rose Da Silva (Radha Mitchell), who goes on a similar quest to find her daughter who has somehow ended up in the nightmarish town of Silent Hill. There, she discovers all manner of inhuman creatures as well as a murderous cult, as she navigates her way through the fog-enshrouded streets of the titular hellhole. The movie might not be as scary as the game but it still manages to send a chill down the spine due to the eerie atmosphere and ominous music score.

Werewolves Within (2021)

Werewolves Within is based on a VR multiplayer title where gamers have to work out which of the players among them is a werewolf. Games of this kind are becoming increasingly popular thanks to Among Us and First Class Trouble, but this is the first of its type to be turned into a movie.

This isn’t a direct adaptation of the game – the medieval setting has been swapped out for the present day – but it follows the general plotline, where a group of villagers become increasingly aware that somebody among them could be out for their blood. It’s a classic whodunnit wrapped up in a horror setting but this is played more for laughs rather than scares. The movie is fun and it’s one that will keep you guessing throughout its runtime.

Sonic The Hedgehog (2020)

Before this movie was released, many people thought it was going to be awful. This is largely due to the original character design for Sonic, which caused a negative reaction when the first trailer for the movie aired. Thankfully, the speedy blue hedgehog went through a redesign, much to the relief of fans. And when the movie eventually came out, fans were pleased with the finished product, not only because it surpassed expectations in terms of quality but because it had plenty of callbacks to the games, including magic rings, familiar locations, and popular characters from the franchise.

A sequel followed in 2022 and another Sonic movie is currently in pre-production. Just like the titular hedgehog, it looks like this movie franchise is going to run and run, which could be considered a good thing if future movies in the series are as entertaining as this one.

The Last Of Us (2023 – )

Could this be the greatest game-to-screen adaptation of them all? The critics certainly think so as do fans of Naughty Dog’s game franchise, who have appreciated the parallels between the game and the HBO show. The series isn’t entirely faithful to the source material but it certainly comes close. It retains the characters and post apocalyptic setting of the game and includes scenes that closely resemble sequences that were featured in the first game.

Of course, the show would be nothing without stellar acting and quality writing, but thankfully, we have both, due to the talents of actors Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey and writers Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. Season 2 has been announced and presumably, this will follow the events of the game sequel. If this is the case and if you have played that title, you will know that life is going to get even worse for Joel and Ellie, the show’s main protagonists.

So there we have it, our picks for the best video game-to-screen adaptations.

What do you think of our choices? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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