Following the release of the Assassin’s Creed movie, it got me to thinking what other games would make great films. I realize, however, that games now are often so large and engrossing that 2-3 hours wouldn’t be enough time to do them justice. Instead, I made a list of ten video games that deserve their own TV shows. I will be omitting games that already have an expanded universe with some form of official visual media released for them.
So, without further ado and in no particular order, here are 10 video games that deserve their own TV shows:
One of the first FPS games to deliver a brilliant story with ground-breaking AI, the Half-Life series put Valve on the map. So many hours of my childhood were spent playing this game. Half-Life is beyond immersive, thanks in large part to its engrossing sci-fi plot that makes an everyday man the main protagonist and hero of the story- even though he was mute. If nothing else, Half-Life belongs on this list of video games that deserve their own TV shows because if it were made into a series, at least we could have a close to Gordon Freeman’s story.
Half-Life brought so many new features to the table that have become standard for the industry now and will rightfully go down in gaming history for such reasons. Bringing this to a television series while giving voice to a character that was always a blank slate for the player to transplant themselves into would be a tough challenge, but if successful, would be spectacular.
It was a real tough call for me between this and its spiritual predecessor, System Shock, as to which better suits our list of video games that deserve their own TV shows. While I have always enjoyed System Shock more as a game, on the story front, Bioshock runs away with it. The social commentary in each of the Bioshock games and the characters within the worlds they created are far superior and I would love to see them come to life on the small screen.
A television series could explore so much more of these worlds. Rather than seeing just the aftermath, you could actually see the build-up and the fall of these societies, adding an extra depth to the universe we’ve come to love throughout these games. It would be amazing to see the rapture as it all starts to break down and to see the key characters in these events before we come to interact with them as players. The series could even go down the American Horror Story route and each season could be a different lighthouse, a different rapture for us to see and briefly inhabit. So 2K, if you’re reading this, would you kindly make Bioshock into a TV series?
My Last FPS on this list of video games that deserve their own TV shows is the zany, off-the-wall Borderlands. For all of its crazy characters, silly humour and writing, however, the game presents an interesting premise in a vast universe filled with more backstory than you can shake a skag at. The series would be surreal, and just like the games, wouldn’t take itself too seriously, parodying as much pop culture as it can get its hands on. The concept combined with its style would be enough to separate it from anything else out there.
If the rumoured Borederlands movie is released, I look forward to Deadpool-esque comedy with gore. However, I can imagine how much more they could do in a series format instead. There would be no limiting themselves to just Pandora. There are vaults all throughout the universe that could give us contrasting visuals and even more crazy characters.
XCOM is one of the hardest games I’ve ever played, but no matter how hard the game became, I couldn’t put down the controller. I was Earth’s only hope, fighting a war against invading aliens. Throughout the series, the locations and enemies have changed, but the key points have remain the same. While we’ve had a few shows akin to XCOM over the years (Falling Skies and V to name a couple), it never had that same feel as XCOM. Those series always seemed to feel as if they would have been set after XCOM had failed in their mission.
I would love to see XCOM as a true military resistance fighting a shadow war, then taking the fight back to the aliens, learning, adapting, and advancing as they uncover more and more of the sinister Cabal, find those shadow puppet masters, and bring down the whole house of cards. The key to this would be developing those characters to the point that their deaths mattered just like they do in the game. Every loss is a physical pain to you and losing just one person can lose you the entire war. Balancing the action with the politics as you try to ensure the rest of the world is supporting you would give this a twist you don’t often see and would keep it from feeling like some generic action TV show. If executed properly, XCOM is certainly one of the video games that deserve their own TV shows.
More specifically, Watch Dogs 2, which took the premise of the first and added a deep story and three dimensional characters to the mix. In today’s digital age and with the concerns people have around what data is monitored and recorded, what better way to tap into the zeitgeist of this modern age than showing what would essentially be a modern prequel to 1984.
The premise of Watch Dogs 2 is fantastic and it is actually one of the few games that I feel would work better as a story to watch/read than to be played. As amazing as the world is, I always prefer seeing what plays out on the fringes and watching the story rather than actually playing the game. I haven’t felt that about a game before, whether that’s because I don’t feel that the game is as good as its setting, I don’t know, but it’s a fantastic premise that I think a television series could expand upon.
The Elder Scrolls
This is one of the few games where it can take you an hour to walk 500 feet because you get distracted by a flower or a dragon or anything else you might find. These games have a rich lore that has been expanded upon for years. They have their own living, breathing worlds and a history to match.
As Game of Thrones and Vikings have proven, these settings can work successfully as TV shows. With a wealth of lore to draw from and entire continents and dimensions to choose between, The Elder Scrolls certainly belongs on our list of video games that deserve their own TV shows. And let’s be honest here, who doesn’t want to see the lusty Argonian maid realised for the small screen?
I grew up with Fallout 2 and loved the world they built and the humour within it. With the spirit of its first games, it could be so much more than “Skyrim with guns.” Always compelling in story and visuals, Fallout could become an amazing show, providing it remembers its roots while keeping its charm and humour. With its unique 50’s style, it would stand out among the crowd and I would happily watch tales of the Wanderer and his trusty companion Dogmeat.
The dark humor would have to carry this as a show, along with strong characters, since a puzzle game would lose its main element. But I think if its done right, it could show us even more of this universe and, who knows, maybe even tie in with Half-Life. It could give us a world to come back to every week, checking if the subject is able to survive GLaDOS’ Machiavellian schemes.
A modern-day Indiana Jones, Relic Hunter has shown us that Uncharted could work as a TV series. Naughty Dogs characters as so believable as it is, so it would be amazing seeing them come to life. And, I’ll be honest, I just can’t get enough Nathan Drake.
The original Monkey Island games were quite possibly the best of the LucasArts/SCUMM games. They had amazing humor and Guybrush was such a flawed character, you couldn’t help but love him. This game defines adventure games for me and could become such a great comedy. Plus, we all know you want to see insult sword fighting in real life.
Be sure to let us know which video games you’d like to see adapted to a television show! Sound off in comments below or on social media!