For the most part, video games are often conceived from an original thought, an idea sparked by a group of creative developers one night.
But sometimes, ideas for video games come in the form of adaptation, whether it be from books, movies, or a television series. Most of the time, they’re complete failures.
Every once in a while, however, an absolute gem of an adaptation comes around, forgiving the trite titles of gaming past.
We’ve rounded up the ten best games adapted from film and television to help you weed out the good from the ugly.
1. ) South Park: The Stick of Truth
Ubisoft’s South Park: The Stick of Truth isn’t the first game to be released based on Comedy Central’s animated series, but it is one of the first successful titles. Learning from their previous first person shooter failure, Stick of Truth is a traditional turn based control RPG. Written and voiced by the show’s creators, Stick of Truth is well on its way to cementing itself as one of the ideal adaptations. It showcases the humour South Park fans will be yearning for, but doesn’t compromise on the gameplay. We will respect your authority.
2. ) Lego Marvel: Super Heroes
If the Lego movie has taught us anything, it’s that Lego knows how to mix fun and adult humour into one entity. Lego Marvel Super Heroes is some of the most fun I’ve had playing a game in recent years. The co-operative gameplay only adds to the enjoyment, and is one of the best ways to play the game. The game finds the perfect balance between narrative and action driven allotted gameplay time, inserting slapstick humour along the way. This game may look like it’s meant for kids, but let me assure you, it is most certainly not.
3. ) Enter the Matrix
Atari’s Enter the Matrix sticks out in my mind because it was one of the few that came in a double disc package for the Nintendo Gamecube, which was the platform I played it on. Returning to it years later, however, the game remarkably still holds up. It’s still a fun experience to play through, and the “Easter eggs” left behind for fans of the trilogy to discover are incredible. Control-wise, it’s not perfect, but considering it came out in 2003, it’s still pretty, pretty, pretty good, as Larry David would say.
4. ) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Lucas Art’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is what we wanted all Star Wars games to be…instead of what we received after the series came to a halt. Now owned by Disney (and looking like we might get a resurgence) The Old Republic games stick to the canon as well as a game can while trying to keep it original. The combat system was flawed, absolutely, but considering how astounding the graphics were circa 2000, and how well written it was, the mechanics can almost be overlooked. Hey, at least they work!
5.) The Warriors
Rockstar’s 2005 controversial game that won over critics and consumers everywhere, The Warriors is basically a secondary, far more interactive viewing experience. Based on Walter Hill’s 1979 classic cult movie, The Warriors was an ultra violent experience that had parents groups and video game criticizers howling with complaints. The controversy died down overtime, but the successful nature of the game did not. Come out to play-ay.
6. ) Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Ubisoft’s brilliant video game adaptation of the biggest Canadian graphic novel/movie to come out in recent years, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, proved to development studios around the world that there was a way to do adaptations right. A throwback to retro side scrolling arcade fighting games, Scott Pilgrim is a quick game created as a gimmick to coincide with the release of the film, but instead, Ubisoft found themselves with a cult title hit. Side note, the amazing soundtrack from Anamanguchi is a total bonus.
7. ) The Simpsons: Hit and Run
Radical Entertainment’s 2003 hit game just so happened to be based on one of the biggest television phenomenon’s of all time, but that’s pretty cool. The Simpsons: Hit and Run mastered making redundancy fun and incorporated almost all of the available cast of characters created at that point in time. You played the Simpsons game because you were a fan of the show, but you continued to play and race your way through because you inevitable became a fan of the game. Props Radical Entertainment, you deserve it.
8. ) The Walking Dead
There is no development studio, past or present, that executes adaptation as flawlessly as Telltale. From their early games focusing on Jurassic Park and Back to the Future, to their recent successes The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, Telltale proves that adaptation can not only work, it can excel. The point and click adventure games have earned themselves a massive following, with thought pieces being published on the episodic series as they’re released. Their next big venture, Game of Thrones, will only cement their top position as the go to game adapters for television, film, and book content.
9. ) Adventure Time: Hey Ice King, why’d you steal our garbage?
Cartoon Network’s newest game, based off of their biggest show Adventure Time, is surprisingly wonderful in its absurd difficulty. This is a game targeted toward children, but like the Lego games, can be challenging and enjoyable for adult audiences, too. The dungeon crawler, which has been compared to Blizzard’s Diablo series, is an homage to games of the ’90s (and earlier, I’m sure) that I grew up with. Combined with Adventure Time’s adult humour masquerading as a children’s cartoon, this game will keep you entertained for quite some time.
10. ) Goldeneye: 007
Let’s face it, this is the best game based off of a movie. In fact, Goldeneye may just be one of the best games of all time, regardless of its origins. It defined the co-operative experience for friends, and led to the invention of sliced up cardboard being taped to the television set to ensure friends didn’t cheat while playing through a death match. The single-player campaign is fun, but it’s the four-player co-operative experience that makes it the memorable title that it is. If all adaptations led to a massive design trend in gaming, we’d be golden. Pardon the pun.