In the last few years, video game adaptations have taken the world by storm. One reason why games are so iconic is because of the unforgettable stories they deliver to players, and seeing them being turned into TV shows and movies gives long-time fans more to look forward to while simultaneously introducing the epic tales to new people who wouldn’t have found out about them otherwise.
In this list we’re counting down the best video game adaptations of all time, why they are so epic, and most importantly, why they should be your next binge-watch.
Best Video Game Adaptations
Plenty of adaptations have seen the light of day, and while many of them have a devoted fan base, only a select few have made their way into this list. If you can’t find your favorites anywhere, don’t panic as you can name them in the comments.
5. Dota: Dragon’s Blood – Netflix
It was hard to imagine that a Dota animated series would be so good, but after watching all three seasons, I couldn’t get enough of how spectacular of a job Studio Mir did.
The show starts off perfectly as it introduces you to Davion and the rest of the ragtag cast. But where it truly shines is that every episode reveals context about the fantasy world and the reasoning behind what’s happening both on and off screen. There aren’t any mindless dragons, monsters, and people moving about.
All of them have a purpose, and Dota: Dragon’s Blood keeps on building a bigger picture throughout all three seasons and it’s easily among the best video game adaptations of all time for that. In other words, it’s what Netflix’s live-action Witcher should’ve been.
As acclaimed as the video game The Last of Us was, a live-action was already going to break the internet and so it did. HBO’s The Last of Us is a sensational work of art that captures the original video game’s themes, emotional undertones, and characters flawlessly. Even the infected look terrifyingly good.
Joel and Ellie’s journey feels personal. The set pieces are huge, work well together, and serve as a refresher for old fans because they add more to the story but still faithfully adapt the source material. I simply can’t wait to watch what they do next, especially with Abby.
3. Arcane – Netflix
Arcane was a shocking breakthrough hit of 2021. Nobody had high hopes for the League of Legends adaptation, but oh boy, did Arcane leave viewers jaw-dropped.
The art style in particular is why Arcane is one of the best video game adaptations ever. It’s sharp, vibrant, and looks identical to League of Legends’ visuals. The animators did an amazing job capturing the essence of the games, while the story has emotional depth and quickly gets you invested in its characters. Overall, Arcane is a masterpiece and one animated show you need to watch in this lifetime.
Netflix’s Castlevania isn’t just among the top video game adaptations, it’s also the best Dracula and vampire animation. The story unravels across different periods and follows Alucard and Trevor Belmont as they first try to put a stop to Dracula, and then, stop the world from ending at the hands of Death.
It’s – dare I say – even better than the classic Castlevania games in terms of both story and fidelity. Castlevania breathes life into arguably the most beloved vampire characters and iconic video game weapon, and at the end of the day, it truly stands out as the greatest animated show about vampires today.
1. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners – Netflix
If it weren’t for Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, Castlevania would be the best video game adaptation of all time, but, well, Edgerunners does exist so that spot in this list is already claimed. As big of a disaster as Cyberpunk 2077 was at launch, its anime spin-off adaptation, on the other hand, was met with universal praise.
In 10 short episodes, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners said more about Night City and its inhabitants than any game or anime could in 20 hours. Edgerunners introduced us to David, and how he went from an orphan badly beaten by Night City to a legend in the events of 2077. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a wild ride from start to finish, and it’ll make you cry, shiver in anticipation, and want to watch it all over again by the end of it. And that’s why millions of fans would recommend you jump into it right away.