Top 10 Television Shows Based On Video Games


television shows

Hey guys!. In this post, I’ll be discussing a list of Top 10 Television Shows Based On Video Games. We thought it was high time we had a look at video game success stories within the TV space. Anyway, we’re going to look at some TV shows based on video games today, so let’s look at some! 

10. Castlevania.

Castlevania is one of the most enduring franchises in gaming, beginning way back in 1986, so it’s wonderful to see a Netflix adaptation do that legacy justice. Opting for an anime style, rather than live-action, helps the show capture the brooding, gothic tone of the games perfectly, while still keeping enough dark humour to avoid being too droll. Castlevania even satisfies the harshest of critics – the fans – by staying faithful to the source material, while throwing in enough surprises to keep things interesting. The plot is a loose adaptation of 1989’s Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, technically a prequel to the first game, where monster hunter Trevor Belmont takes on the infamous Count Dracula – you remember him, right, the guy who does the arithmetic and loves cereal? Dracula’s understandably miffed after humans burned his wife at the stake, vowing to wipe out humanity, so, as is tradition, only a cool dude with a whip can stop him! The strong voice cast includes The Hobbit stars, Richard Armitage and Graham McTavish, playing Mr Belmont and Dracula respectively, plus Battlestar Galactica’s James Callis playing Dracula’s son, Alucard. 

9. Earthworm Jim.

Earthworm Jim is a very WEIRD character, being a literal worm that got landed on by a giant mechsuit that also apparently granted him sentience, strength, intelligence and... human teeth?! He now has to fight off the swathes of enemies all gunning (funnily enough) for the magical suit to use for their own nefarious schemes. The series was very successful through its first 2 games, with follow-ups Earthworm Jim 3D and Menace 2 The Galaxy being commercial and critical failures. The television series itself was very popular, released around the same time as the second game and following the same be-toothened earthworm through a series of what would normally be considered mundane tasks such as returning his neighbour’s eggwhisk, getting more power for his super suit, restoring a monarchy after a hostile takeover and eating dirt. 

8. Sonic Boom. 

Differentiated from its TV adaptation via the sub-title ‘Rise of Lyric’, Sonic Boom was released for the Wii U in 2014 to less than stellar reviews. Apparently designed to appeal more to western audiences, which seemingly meant putting rad bandages on everything, the development of the game ran parallel to the creation of the television series as well as merchandising in order to maximize profit for this game that was no doubt going to be very successful. The game was released without any early review copies, which is always a good sign, and was instantly lambasted by players and reviewers alike for its unpolished appearance and shed-load of glitches. The television series, on the other hand, is actually quite good, especially when compared to the game. Witty, with self-referential humour and constant fourth wall breaking about game development, the Sonic franchise, and general video game tropes. Running for 2 seasons, with over a hundred episodes, there is a lot of good Sonicky goodness to check out. 

7. You Don’t Know Jack. 

The only non-fiction entry on this list, You Don’t Know Jack was an American TV series that ran for 6 episodes in 2001, based on the original 1995 adult trivia quiz PC game You Don’t Know Jack, which I will now shorten to YDKJ for convenience. With post-1991-scandal Paul Reubens playing fictional host Troy Stevens, the game show was your typical answer-questions-for-cash-prizes and the predictable ‘brand new car’, trying to be jokey but still doing exactly what it was pointing out, like a bad self-referential fetch-quest. The set design and the host tried to keep the same irreverent humour as the video game, with conveyer belts built into the floor, question cards mimicking the ones you’d see on screen, and Reubens making a variety of interesting faces, but it ultimately failed to get picked up for another series. Meanwhile, the YDKJ series continues to be a powerhouse, updating with modern technology to involve phone and computer interactivity, allowing you to play alongside a variety of people from all over the world. 

6. Steins;Gate. 

Steins;Gate is the second game in the visual novel video game series Science Adventure, sequel to the Chaos;Head. The game itself follows mad scientist Okabe, otherwise known as his pseudonym Kyouma, and the members of his creatively named ‘Future Gadget Laboratory’ as they discover that he has accidentally invented a time machine in his attempt to make a portable microwave and he’s started receiving text messages from the past. The 24-episode anime follows a similar storyline from both the video game and manga. Created by animations studio White Fox and released in 2011, the series was well received by critics and was followed up in 2018 by an adaptation of the game’s sequel Steins;Gate 0. 

5. Super Mario Bros. Super Show! 

It would be kind of pointless to explain what Mario is, considering that it is the most successful video game franchise of all time, so let’s talk about the show. Based upon Super Mario Bros. 1 and 2, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! was a variety program showing animated Mario stories, as well as episodes of the Legend of Zelda, with linking live action segments. These live action segments involved real-life video game character cameos, including Mario and Luigi and Inspector Gadget, with a variety of guest stars including Beverly Hillbillies actress Donna Douglas, Brady Bunch’s Eve Plumb, and basketball player Magic Johnson. While trying to separate Mario from Charles Martinet’s upbeat Italian voice is pretty much impossible, it’s easy to forget that before 1992 he was described as an Italian-American plumber from Brooklyn and sounded as such, lest we not forget the mistakes of the Super Mario Bros movie. This is very surreal to hear today, a bit like Postman Pat talking in a thick Brummie accent . Professional wrestler Lou Albano portrayed the live action Mario in the Super Show!, which does actually make sense because if this version of Mario jumped on you like his pixel counterpart you would also die. In addition he voiced the animated equivalent in the cartoon sections. So was Mario in the animated segments separate from the live action Mario? Was live action Mario the real Mario who just voice acted the adventures? There’s just too many questions and I’m glad it was cancelled. 

4. Digimon. 

Based upon the success of the Tamagotchi which they for some reason considered FOR GIRLS, DigiMon started off in 1998 as pocket-virtual pets inside a small handheld device where you could feed and generally care for your little digital monster. But, what makes that in any way different from a Tamagotchi? Easy. It’s for boys and you MAKE IT FIGHT. Taking the Pokémon route, you were able to connect with friends and battle each other’s Digimon’s, with this then inspiring the development of a full on DigiMon fighting game the very next year. In 1999 the DigiMon franchise became an animated series, following the same premise, with the main characters having Digimon preprogramed to bond to them which I don’t know if that’s better or worse than capturing Pokémon in balls and I don’t want to think about it. The series had an initial run of 5 seasons between 1999 and 2007, before getting a reboot in 2010 with series names such as ‘Data Squad’, ‘Adventure tri.’ And ‘Digimon Universe: App Monsters’, and has had 16 feature length movie releases, with the latest released in February 2020. 

3. Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? 

The Carmen Sandiego franchise started its life as the educational mystery game Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego, focused on teaching children about the wonders of Geography [sparkles] through the good old-fashioned teaching device of international espionage. Players had to help track down elite cat-burglar Carmen Sandiego across the world in order to steal back various precious treasures. The series continues to go strong at 18 games and counting, including various titles where she goes to America, Europe, the PAST and SPACE. Jesus, this woman can do anything! Carmen has also had a live action quiz show, internet browser games and a new animated reboot broadcast in January 2019. This Netflix series, just titled ‘Carmen Sandiego’ because we’re cool and we do short titles now (and rad hat by the way), reimagines the prolific jewel and artefact thief as a reverse Indiana Jones, returning stolen treasure back to where it belongs because. It doesn’t belong in a museum! A 3rd season is due to come to Netflix in the near future. 

2. Donkey Kong Country. 

The Wikipedia page for this series says that it’s loosely based on the Donkey Kong series of games. A Canadian French production by Nelvana Limited for season 1 and Hong Guang Animation for season 2, the series ran between 1997 and 2000. With slick, smooth character models and eyeballs stolen from Marty Feldman, the episodes mainly revolved around the adventures of the DK Crew on the paradise isle of Kongo Bongo island (which sounds and feels problematic to say) when the eponymous Mr Kong finds a crystal coconut that is able to grant him anything he wishes. 

1. Pokemon.

As the third bestselling video game franchise in history it’s unsurprising to see Ash and his friends sitting pretty at the top of our list. Pokemon, short for PokettoMonsut, or Pocket Monsters in English, started its life as a franchise in 1996 with the release of Pokemon Red and Green for the original gameboy - inspired by creator Satoshi Tajiri’s childhood love of bug collecting. A quarter of a century later and the franchise has over 30 main series games (including all versions), 23 movies, a trading card game, merchandise out the wazzoo and enough pokeplushies to collectively smother everyone reading this post. The show itself follows Ash Ketcham, as he attempts to be the very best Pokémon trainer in the world, like no one ever was. Setting off from his home village of Pallet Town in 1997, Ash has travelled the length and breadth of 6 regions, had had over 16 companions and has yet to reach his 11th birthday… Either way, he finally climbed the summit and became league champion in 2019! 

That is it from today’s post on Top 10 Television Shows Based On Video Games. If you do not agree with the points in the post and have some of your own opinions, share them with us in the comments section down below. 

Also, Read:
Chandan is the writer of “Top 10 Television Shows Based On Video Games”. Also, Connect with me on Facebook.


Hey there! I'm Chandan and I'm from India. I'm a writer and youtuber. You can contact me at: pinterest

Post a Comment (0)
Previous Post Next Post