Videogame TV shows seem to be heating up in popularity at the moment, with The Witcher getting another season, the Halo TV show around the corner and talk of an Its Takes Two TV show starting to heat up.
While a sudden burst of videogame TV shows might catch you off-guard going “Videogame movies are bad, why the heck would I watch a videogame TV show” I can assure you that they’ve been a popular thing for a while. And I love all of them.
Here are some TV shows based on videogames that you should check out, along with some videogame TV shows that are coming up.
You’ll find that most of the shows below come from Netflix… That’s not because I’m taking a comically sized bag of money from Netflix or anything, it’s just cause most videogame TV shows lately have come from the streaming giant. Let’s get into it.
OK I seriously can’t stop talking about this show. I don’t mean it lightly when I say this is not only the best videogame TV show out there but it’s also the best Netflix original available to stream right now. Again, I’m not even a fan of the game it’s based on, but it’s true.
Arcane is a Netflix adaption of League of Legends (Riot Games), the popular MOBA videogame where two teams of five players fight for dominance over a map, each playing as one of over a hundred unique characters.
The show, however, laser-focuses on two heroes: Jinx and Vi. These sisters get caught up in the politics between Pilltover and Zaun in an emotional and action-packed story that I love more than anything right now. It’s also incredibly beautiful, with an unforgettable art style. It has been renewed for a second season.
The second show is The Witcher, another Netflix original. OK, put the pitchfork down, I know what you’re going to say – The Witcher is based on the books, not the game. I know. However, I’m putting it here because much of the series’ art direction looks very much like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt: RED). Also, you know, it’s hard to say if The Witcher’s cultural popularity would be anywhere near what it is right now without the game, so, it’s here. Sue me.
The Witcher is a medieval series based on Polish folklore, following the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher, a monster hunter stripped of most emotions. It’s an action-packed show billed by many as Netflix’s Game of Thrones. It absolutely slaps.
Dota: Dragon’s Blood
Picking up a second season in January, Dota: Dragon’s Blood is a Netflix adaption of another popular MOBA: DOTA 2 (Valve). It’s actually kind of funny that Netflix has the distribution rights for the League of Legends anime and the DOTA 2 anime, two games that are seen as competitors.
Dota: Dragon’s Blood, however, is vastly different to Arcane. Dragon’s Blood subscribes to anime norms a bit more, with a traditional 2D art style and a gorier approach, following a Dragon Knight and the politics of the Dota world. Like Arcane, there are lots of call-backs to the games, but it’s a different show entirely.
I’m not gonna hear for a minute that this show should be excluded from the list because it’s a cartoon intended for a young audience. Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego is a fun, all-ages action show, based on the popular globe-trotting edutainment series of games of the same name (made by Broderbund).
It follows a young Carmen Sandiego, focusing on a story prying into her shady past and mysterious organisations operating around her. Like the games, it’s focused on edutainment, retaining the class and adding a nice animation style. It’s well voice-acted and I found it to be quite enjoyable all-around. There’s also an interactive episode available on Netflix, harking back to the games.
Netflix’s Castlevania is the last game we’ll add to our list, a gorey medieval anime adaption of the famous Konami series. Castlevania follows Trevor Belmont, a talented monster slayer of house Belmont, in a hugely gorey series focusing on killing Dracula and ridding the land of his evil.
The show is well-rounded at four seasons, easy to cut through with short episode lengths. Parts of it feel a bit side-questy but all-around it’s very enjoyable. It has a very satisfying ending too.
Upcoming videogame TV shows
While Arcane, The Witcher and Dota: Dragon’s Blood are ongoing, there are plenty of upcoming videogame TV shows that are still in the works. Here’s a snapshot of what to look out for:
- Assassin’s Creed: Yup, there’s an Assassin’s Creed series in the works at Netflix. We don’t know a whole lot about it beyond a teaser, but we do know that Die Hard’s writer is at the helm.
- Cyberpunk: Edgerunners: In the leadup to Cyberpunk 2077’s release in 2020, the developers announced an anime series, with Netflix publishing it and Studio Trigger animating it. Set for a 2022 release, we don’t actually know much about this anime.
- Fallout: A Fallout adaption is in the works for Amazon Prime Video. Hell yeah, the post-apocalyptic RPG is getting a TV show. We don’t know when this show is dropping.
- Halo: Master Chief is coming to Paramount+. Based on the much-loved Xbox exclusive Halo series, this live-action story is coming on March 24.
- It Takes Two: The developer of It Takes Two, Hazelight Studios, is currently in talks to adapt the game for either film or TV.
- Resident Evil: Netflix is working on a Resident Evil TV show due for release in 2022. We don’t know a whole lot about it, but Netflix did release a four-part animated Resident Evil series called Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness in 2021. It’ll feature an original story split between two timelines.
- The Cuphead Show!: Due for a release on February 18, The Cuphead Show! is a Netflix adaption of the beloved and difficult side-scrolling cartoon game.
- The Division: Netflix is adapting The Division for a streaming world. Set in a post-apocalyptic world centred around special agents, the show will be produced by the director of Deadpool 2. A release window hasn’t been specified. Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain will star.
- The Last of Us: Being adapted by HBO, Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed The Last of Us will be getting a TV series in 2022.
- The Witcher: Blood Origin: A prequel to Netflix’s The Witcher by about 1,200 years, Blood Origin will delve into the ancient Elven civilisation before it fell. Michelle Yeoh will star with a release set for 2022. A teaser trailer has been released.
Make sure you check out our article on every major sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, horror and adventure TV shows and movies hitting streaming services this month.