15 Movies and TV Shows Based on Video Games

Once a niche escape for some, video games are now on the big screens. Video games have come a long way since playing Super Mario Bros. on a Game Boy. Our favorites can now be easily relived without spending hours finishing a game. The new era of adaptations holds promising opportunities for broader storytelling. While some video game shows and movies fall short, others end up critically acclaimed.

1. The Last of Us (2023 – Current)

The Last of Us (2023) Bella Ramsey
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Television Studios.

Whether you recognize the source material or not, this TV show hits all the right notes. The Last of Us incorporates masterful screenplay and cinematography to deliver a near-perfect adaptation. All the emotional elements are there, especially the found family dynamic between Ellie and Joel. This show adds a layer of freshness despite the overdone zombie apocalypse trope. The Last of Us sets the stage for future video game adaptations, and the bar is high.

2. The Witcher (2019 – Current)

The Witcher (2019) Henry Cavill
Image Credit: Little Schmidt Productions.

The Witcher takes fantasy to a whole new level. The Netflix TV show is binge-worthy and exciting. Fans of the games will gush over Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Geralt, who garners praise for sticking to the charm of the books, which it mainly adapts from. The world intrigues the audience with its intricate politics, magic system, and monsters, all key elements inspired by the game. Not to mention, the CGI was practically seamless. If not to relive the trance of the video game, watch this one for Cavill and his love for the series.

3. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) Milla Jovovich
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Resident Evil has amassed a loyal fan base. The Final Chapter combines aspects from all of the games and makes for another mindless zombie movie. Fans recognize the undead, mutants, and bio-weapons, creating excitement for the series once again. The Resident Evil franchise is a rocky one to follow, with so much content available to consume. Most viewers and gamers agree that the film works hard to continue the storyline. Tread lightly before diving into this zombie-verse.

4. Uncharted (2022)

Uncharted (2022) Mark Wahlberg, Tom Holland
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Nate and Sully are brought to life in this film based on the popular video game series Uncharted. The very existence of this movie opens doors for a saga of action/adventure films to continue. This movie is full of thrilling action scenes that combine elements from the game. However, fans of video games should be forewarned. As with any adaptation, the movie deviates from the source material, such as how Nate and Sully meet. Similarly, the excitement of a global treasure hunt seems downplayed. Still, the movie is worth a watch.

5. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)

The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

We’re here for a good time, not a long time. The Super Mario Bros. Movie gives us precisely that. It is a fun and nostalgic watch that will take you back to the days you played Nintendo games all night long. The whimsical Mushroom Kingdom follows a slightly more complex storyline, different from the lighthearted tone of the games. Critics do not hold back when it comes to this movie, but you can’t deny a mindless and nonsensical movie night.

6. Arcane (2021 – Current)

Arcane (2021) Ella Purnell
Image Credit: Riot Games.

Arcane is an adaptation/spin-off from the popular online multiplayer League of Legends game. Although the game’s massive lore has several storylines, Arcane illustrates only one, which is almost separate from the gameplay. Set in the vibrant city of Piltover, the series follows a tale of corruption, heroes, and power. The story is told through the eyes of champions Jinx, Vi, and Jayce, surprising viewers with each new perspective. What stands out about this adaptation is the distinct animations and use of color.

7. Twisted Metal (2023 – Current)

Twisted Metal (2023) Anthony Mackie
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Television Studios.

Twisted Metal is like a slow train ride only to result in a wreck, and it’s done so well. The series required a whole season just to set up the world. It pays off once the players become more prominent. Twisted Metal spares no expense to produce an action-packed experience. The show balances its source material with wacky creative direction, intensifying the adrenaline-fueled vehicular combat. Keep an eye out for the anticipated second season.

8. Castlevania (2017 – 2021)

Castlevania (2017) Richard Armitage, James Callis, Alejandra Reynoso
Image Credit: Powerhouse Animation.

Netflix’s Castlevania tops the list for many avid gamers and binge-watchers. The series brings a fresh, gothic taste to a world of vampires and hunters. The dark atmosphere takes from the eerie settings of the games and creates a stunning animated story. Trevor Belmont kickstarts the adaptation as viewers follow his battles with Dracula and an army of vampire monsters. Despite some deviations from the classic games, Castlevania carves out a unique identity for itself. This is a must-watch for lovers of gore and the Middle Ages.

9. Gran Turismo (2023)

Gran Turismo (2023) Orlando Bloom
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Gran Turismo brings a unique twist to video game adaptations. The film incorporates elements of the iconic racing game and intertwines it with a true story. Jann Mardenborough was a video gamer turned race car driver after being given a golden opportunity. This film promises viewers heart-racing action with beautiful cinematography. Gran Turismo incorporates character drama with

10. Silent Hill (2006)

Silent Hill (2006) Radha Mitchell
Image Credit: Alliance Atlantis.

A horror movie as good as the game it stems from is unheard of. Silent Hill breaks all misconceptions about movie adaptations. The film emanates the eerie essence of the town of Silent Hill. The real thrill is in the nightmares that manifest across town as a mother searches for her daughter. Fans of the game will shiver as they recognize the haunting visuals and unsettling sounds.

11. Tomb Raider (2018)

Tomb Raider (2018) Alicia Vikander
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Tomb Raider takes inspiration from the classic video game series that compels viewers with an iconic portrayal of the beloved female lead. Alicia Vikander does Lara Croft’s adventure justice. The character embodies the video games as strong-headed and relentless. She must journey to uncover the secret behind her father’s disappearance. Plus, the movie is brought to life by the breathtaking set design.

12. The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

The Angry Birds Movie (2016) Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Remember being eight years old and begging your mom to let you play Angry Birds? This film is a nostalgic and comedic adaptation of the mobile game. It features vibrant animation and hilarious voice performances. As annoying as the game was, this movie is delightful for all audiences and sends a heartwarming message.

13. Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)

Hitman: Agent 47 (2015) Rupert Friend
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Agent 47 tells the story of a genetically engineered assassin. The movie stays true to the concept, derived from the game, of an elite assassin planning each move. The narrative departs from the main direction of the game but takes inspiration from the rich lore. Rupert Friend plays a solid lead role and captures the core of the Hitman franchise.

14. Tetris (2023)

 Tetris (2023) Nikita Efremov, Taron Egerton
Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Tetris is different from your average movie adaptation. This is more of an origin story, told by transforming the puzzle game into a clever narrative. The film explores the cultural importance of the game during the Cold War era. Never fear; the movie also shows the gameplay of the original version. The soundtrack features an eight-bit vibe that adds nostalgia to the experience.

15. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (2022)

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (2022)
Image Credit: CD Projekt.

This Japanese animation takes place in the dystopian sci-fi Night City from the game Cyberpunk 2077. The show is immersive, with gritty storytelling and edgy themes like identity and human nature. “Edgerunners” is faithful to the game’s aesthetic and characters. With source material as dense as it gets, this show adapts and delivers an expanded world for viewers to enjoy. The episodes explore the inner workings of Night City, where a group of street operatives grapple with social issues.


The Fugutive
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


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