Over the last ten years video games have truly broken into the mainstream. A solid game won’t just fly off GameStop shelves, but they’ll end up on bookshelves and even the big screen. But what about television? With the exception of crummy cartoons based on Mario, Sonic, and Kirby, it seems that major TV networks are allergic to video game adaptations. It’s time for them to sack up and make quality TV shows based on our favorite games. We’ve even compiled a list to help them get started. You’re welcome, fat cats!
Making video game storylines into good television isn’t easy. First, you need a deep storyline and backstory that can be explored or expanded into a few years worth of quality programming. That’s no easy feat. Second, you can’t have too much gore. As much as we’d love to see it, the FCC would shut down a game based on Dead Rising or Mortal Kombat faster than people realized Paris Hilton isn’t talented. Beyond that, the skies the limit. Here are just a handful of tasty games that’d your time not playing video games less boring.
Mini Ninjas’ softer side might not appeal to you at first, but after playing the game it’s hard to deny their adorability. I don’t just mean that they’re cute little warriors. If you look past the G-rated fighting, Mini Ninjas is as good of an action game out there. But, because they rescue an animal every time an enemy is defeated (like Sonic releasing animals after beating up baddies), No other video game out there would make a better cartoon. There’s a classic storyline of good versus evil, fuzzy animals, and ninjas. We smell an Emmy.
For the more serious folk, Sam Fisher from the Splinter Cell series would give Jack Bauer have a heartattack, after Sam snapped his neck dangling from some overhead pipes. Sam takes a proactive approach to diplomacy, infiltrating and assassinating any organization even suggesting the slightest harm on U.S. soil. With 24 out of business, it’s time for Splinter Cell to start regulating, every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, 8 CT.
With all of the other iconic games in this list, Enslaved is certainly the dark horse. But, based on Journey to the West, a fabled Chinese novel, Enslaved certainly has the chops to make a compelling television show. The setting is in post-apocalyptic, so seeing New York City and other famous locations overgrown with wildlife would be really interesting (and eerie). Also, the protagonist, Monkey, would be unlike any lead character on television. He doesn’t like people, has a tail, is reluctant to help, and is controlled by Trip, the foxy antihero. Journeying to rescue Trip’s father wouldn’t be anything new to television, but the characters and settings could be explosive and even controversial. I’m in.
With over 20 years of dominance in video games, some network, somewhere, could cash in on the fanbase Final Fantasy has attained. Sure the games don’t follow a continuous storyline, but that could make the writing and creative process of a Final Fantasy show all the more easier to be accepted by hardcore fans. Really, the only rules to follow are to have a band of rebels unite against an evildoer and to have side plots exposing characters’ inner struggles. SyFy would probably be the best fit for Final Fantasy, since the costumes, weapons, and settings would probably be a far cry from mainstream.
Red Dead Redemption
Currently, there are rumors that a Red Dead Redemption movie is in the works, but until I see something more substantial than fanboy videos on YouTube, we’ll stick to our dream of a Red Dead show. John Marston is one of the best characters to ever come out of a video game, and his story trekking across the Wild West would steal the show. There aren’t any Old West shows currently, but there’s always room for spurred boots, saloons, and six shooters on TV. Giddy up!
Metal Gear Solid
If any network picks up Splinter Cell, Metal Gear Solid would be a perfect countermeasure for competitors. Proclaimed to be one of the best video game series ever, Metal Gear Solid practically invented the spy/espionage game genre, and built a masterful story around Solid Snake, the protagonist. There may be a movie coming out based on the games, but with all of the adaptation flops Hollywood has turned out I’ll put my money elsewhere. Metal Gear Solid has enough drama, spy romance, and action to melt my TiVo, but it’d be worth it.
Vote in our poll below and let us know if we missed any video games that could be great TV shows in the comments section:
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