Hollywood has always had a love/hate relationship with video games. While the games themselves make a lot of money, it’s hard to adapt the medium to film and television screens. In the 90’s we saw the likes of Double DragonAnd Street FighterAnd Super Mario Bros. It completely bombed at the box office, while Japanese viewers were treated to tons of anime movies and series that were completely foreign to American audiences.
To this day, video game adaptations are a hit or miss with fans and critics alike. 2018 Tomb rider Barely broke even, 2016 Doctrine killer It was useless, and who knows what’s going on with Sony unknown franchise? For television, the idea of developing a live-action series based on a video game was unheard of until recently. This medium was mostly reserved for Saturday morning cartoons.
This is not to say that there haven’t been some decent video game adaptations in recent years. With anime becoming increasingly popular, and producers looking to make more gritty and realistic series, we’ve seen more and more adaptations made that stay true to the source material, while simultaneously bringing something new to screens for fans to shout about. With that being said, it’s time to take a look at the 10 best movies and TV shows adapted from a video game, based solely on Rotten Tomatoes scores.
10 Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022) – 69%
Building on the success of the original 2020 version sonic the hedgehogwhich brought in $319 million at the box office, it was inevitable that we would get a sequel, and in 2022 audiences were treated to Sonic the hedgehog 2. Featuring the vocal talents of Ben Schwartz and Idris Elba, as well as the live-action talents of Jim Carrey and James Marsden, Sonic the hedgehog 2 It grossed a whopping $405 million at the box office this time around.
Due to its success, we can not only expect another one in the franchise but also a spin-off series. Although it received mixed reviews across the board, S.Onyx the hedgehog 2 is a decent sequel that will serve its loyal audience of Sega fans well.
9 Halo: The Series (2022) – 70%
Released to Paramount+ on March 24, 2022, Halo: The Series is a live-action show based on the popular video game of the same name. Starring Pablo Schreiber as Chief Superintendent, the series follows the ongoing war between the United Nations Space Command and the Covenant.
While remaining true to the source material, Halo: The Series He also deviates from it in favor of adding dramatic elements that prove useful plot devices to move the story forward. This doesn’t always work out, as it had some trouble finding its footing in the beginning, but we can only hope that Season 2 of this adaptation gives fans more of what they love from video games.
8 The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) 73%
In the sequel to the original 2016 version, angry birds 2 movie He sees birds and pigs uniting to defeat a common enemy. It’s a plot device as old as time, but it works well in this fun addition to the movie franchise. Featuring the addition of Leslie Jones to the voice cast, the movie features great stuff, and the same fun-loving scenes one would expect from such a movie.
To this day, it remains the highest-rated animated film based on a video game on Rotten Tomatoes, and the third installment in the series is expected to be released in 2024.
7 The Witcher with 81%
Not just popular video games, but the series of novels that inspired them, the magician It ranks seventh on our list. premiere on netflix in 2019, the magician It was a hit with audiences upon its first appearance, with many praising Henry Cavill’s efforts as the titular character, despite their reluctance at first. It only really gained traction in the second season, with most audiences preferring it over the first.
Sadly, we’ll see Cavill leave as Geralt of Rivia at the end of Season 3, with Liam Hemsworth poised to take over in Season 4. One can only hope he brings the same grit and determination that Cavill did, but that remains to be seen for now.
6 Dragon’s Dogma at 83%
It was originally released as a Japanese web anime, Dragon’s Dogma It is licensed by Netflix, and released worldwide in 2020. It centers around Ethan, a man looking to take revenge on the dragon who stole his heart, Dragon’s Dogma It’s true to the video game that inspired it, while at the same time adding just enough twists and turns to keep audiences guessing what happens next.
While video game fans will have to wait a little longer for the sequel, those who watch the Netflix series can expect a new season to drop later in 2023.
5 Werewolves Within (2021) – 86%
Based on the popular Whodunit VR game, Werewolves within is a comedy horror film that almost no one saw in theaters, but opted for video-on-demand instead when it was released in 2021. The film is about the residents of a snowy small town with a wolf on the loose, and said residents trying to figure out who the killer is.
It sounds simple, and it is, but it just doesn’t stop Werewolves within It’s fun and interesting, with enough gore to satisfy even the most diehard horror fan.
4 Castlevania – 94%
Based on the Konami video game series of the same name, Castlevania It became an instant hit when it premiered on Netflix in 2017. Originally planned as a movie, the project languished in development hell for a while until a streaming service came along and got things moving. With critics praising the series for its animation, voice acting, themes, and action, Castlevania It only lasted four seasons.
There was talk of a fifth season being released, but those rumors have since been squashed, and viewers will instead be treated to a spin-off titled, Castlevania: Nocturnebut unfortunately due to the WGA strike, we’ll have to wait a little longer for the premiere.
3 The Last of Us at 96%
When it was announced that Max was developing a series based on the popular Naughty Dog video game, fans eagerly waited to see their beloved Joel and Ellie come to life in the The last of us. It was well worth the wait, though, as audiences were treated to a visual masterpiece, with expert storytelling bringing new fans to the show, even if they didn’t play video games.
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are the perfect onscreen duo, and they play each other so well. While many set pieces are lifted directly from the games, the world of The last of us It was expanded a lot in the first season, and since it’s already been renewed for a second season, we could see this series last a very long time.
2 Cyberpunk: Edgerunners – 100%
Set in the universe created by Mike Pondsmith, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Based on CD Projekt Red’s popular video game, Cyberpunk 2077. Premieres on Netflix September 2022, Edgerunners Serves as a prequel to the video game, with the events taking place a year prior to its opening. Set in Night City, the story follows David, a street smart kid who becomes motivated to stay alive after his parents are killed in a drive-by shooting.
It received praise for its world-building, characters, and animation. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners It is one of those rare series that works wonders for the source material on which it is based, and makes you want to go back and revisit the video game again and again. While there are no plans for a second season, CD Projekt Red Community Manager Satoru Honma hasn’t ruled out the possibility of more stories in the same universe.
1 Arcane: League of Legends – 100%
Based on the 2009 multiplayer online battle arena hit by Riot Games, Arcane: League of Legends is an animated steampunk adventure set in the fictional town of Piltover. Featuring the vocal talents of Hailee Steinfeld. Ella Purnell and Kevin Alejandro to name a few, mysterious was a smash hit on Netflix, premiering in November 2021. Critics raved about the show, some even calling it the best animation since at the time. Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse.
Having received 17 awards from various institutions, Arcane has become such a smash hit that the creators were taken aback, and have yet to begin planning a second season. So while Season 2 is coming, it won’t for a while, although at least we won’t have to wait the six years that Season 1 took.