If one were to bring up cartoon video games right now, most people would think of Cuphead. The great new Xbox One exclusive (with its vintage, animated look) but that is not what we’re talking about. We are actually talking about animated series based on video games, like the most recent (surprisingly awesome) Castlevania animated series on Netflix. It was part Game of Thrones, part Dracula, and all badass. I think many people went in with low or no expectations and the end result was a fantastical (albeit short) story about a cursed family and a tragic love story that transcended time. Not the typical thing people associate with video games, but that is their loss, as the medium of video games truly transcends all genres and often run a lot deeper than non-gamers think.
With the success of Castlevania, this got me thinking. They treated the source material nicely, yet kept it fresh and innovative as well, so I wonder how many other cool video games they could adapt into shows that would potentially work as well (if not better) than Castlevania did? Here are ten video games that Netflix should consider adapting into an animated show next.
1) Metal Gear Series
This one goes without saying. When it comes to games that should be adapted into animated (anime-esque) shows, the Metal Gear series tops the list.
Because between all the games and plot twists and mechs and half-naked women, it would fit perfectly on Netflix, being animated means it could go as batshit-insane as the games have, and Netflix rules (or lack thereof) on swearing and nudity mean they could give us the full Metal Gear experience.
Maybe there could even be a moment on the show that shouts out the Psycho Mantis fight, with Mantis talking to people watching the episode. Some real 4th wall breaking stuff that could work really well on the small screen.
Just seems like a perfect start to this list. Few would argue.
2) Bioshock Series
The Bioshock games have been some of the most amazing narrative stories in gaming (part one and three, specifically) and having an animated show about the show could both delve into the world of Rapture covered in first two games and then could totally take us to Columbia (for those who do not know, yes, part one has a HUGE connection to part 3 you wouldn’t know about if you didn’t play Infinite’s DLC) would be an unreal, animated experience.
With the first season or two focusing on the fall of Andrew Ryan’s Rapture, while later seasons could see us venture upwards to Columbia, which would be even more jaw-dropping for audiences.
And making it animated keeps the budget from skyrocketing from all the amazing locals and characters the series interacts with.
Ideal for Netflix nerds like myself.
3) Mass Effect Series
Until the ending of part three kicked me in the dick, I was about to tell people I thought the Mass Effect trilogy was better than Star Wars or Star Trek. It is such a tight story about tension between races and warring factions in the galaxy, and that mixed with the backstory for each crew member would make for some remarkable binge television watching. Hell, they could even drop in some new crew members to keep us fans on our toes, I wouldn’t complain.
Also, the Sci-Fi setting would lend itself really well to an anime animation style like the one seen in Castlevania.
But bringing up animated series based on video games and to NOT think of this spectacular series would be a fail. Just leave Andromeda out of it, it’s not worthy.
4) Legend of Zelda Series
Oh, come on. This one was also a given, too. Though there have been rumors of a Legend of Zelda series for a long time now, we have yet to see anything take any real shape. There is where Netflix would come in like the golden Gods they are, buy the rights, and take The Legend of Zelda’s epicness to a whole new audience, touching on Link’s struggle through time and constant battles with Ganon.
Heck, a cohesive show could actually put the broken Zelda timeline together finally in a way all gamers would understand. They could even use the EXACT cartoon visuals of Breath of the Wild and it would fit like a glove.
It would also just be cool as Hell to see this series get treated with the love and respect it deserves. Also, seeing an animated Link taking down towering enemies in a variety of ways would be great fun for the lifelong fans of this series who grew up with it (like I did).
5) God of War Series
The one thing I think caught a great many people off-guard about just how good Castlevania is was the simple fact that it was, in a word, mature. They did not pander to a child audience, and that was what made the end result so fantastic. I say this because I know when you think God of War, you think boobs and blood, but guess what, a LOT of anime is boobs and blood, too, so there is NO REASON a God of War animated show could not come out, and there is NO reason it would not be true to the source material.
Yes, I am talking about Kratos at his best. Threesomes, people screaming while having their heads torn from their bodies. All of it. Animated, in flowing red, bloody glory. And seeing Kratos’ evolution from part one to his role as a Dad in the new version coming in 2018 would be an epic tale to tell in full.
6) Uncharted Series
This was tough because I was genuinely divided as to whether or not I wanted to see an Uncharted animated show on Netflix or whether or not I wanted to see a Tomb Raider animated show on Netflix. The reason I ultimately went with Uncharted was the lighter tone and banter between Nate and Sully, as well as the awesome cavalcade of characters from the Uncharted series. There are just so many memorable characters, both good and bad, and if they adapted some of the set-pieces from those games (falling train sequence please) they would have a sure-fire hit on their hands.
So when one mentions animated series based on video games you would be nuts not to think of this stellar Naughty Dog series. It would be the animated Indiana Jones we never knew we needed but clearly do!
Plus, I would much rather see this one as an awesome animated show then see it get made into some cheesy PG-13 movie starring Mark Wahlberg.
No thanks to that. It is Nolan North or GTFO!
7) Assassin’s Creed Series
I am well aware this was made into a big budget movie recently (that, even with its amazing lead actor, did not do the series justice at all) but that doesn’t mean that cinematic mistake couldn’t be erased with a new adaptation for Netflix, animated, no less, so they could go as crazy as they like and (like mentioned earlier) not worry about wasting budget flying out to Egypt and Italy and so on.
And much like the aforementioned Legend of Zelda show I think would kick-ass, Assassin’s Creed as an animated and on-going show could tell the (weird-ass) story from their games in a way that is far more easily digestible by mass audiences.
In other words, you could have all the aspects of the game we love (diving into hay piles, stealth kills, meeting famous people from our actual history) but the story could also be told in a manner in which people understand, which would be nice.
Plus, the assassinations. They could go all-out for those scenes and they could be jaw-dropping.
8) Metroid Series
The coolest part about this when talking about cartoon video games is that some of the games (like Metroid, for example) have brand new remakes that have kept the nostalgic look and feel, and also kept the charm of the originals, so the nostalgia factor for this one right now is super high.
You could even wait a potential season to do the Samus-female reveal. First season she is suited up and on the other planet. Even if she talks through a com, we would hear it distorted. End of first season is end of that first adventure, so she takes her helmet off, lets her hair down, and leaves people who don’t know the original game staring in awe that they were just watching someone kicking ass as someone they ASSUMED was a guy, when in reality, it was a badass female! The world needs more of that right now anyway.
That and the overall space opera feel of Metroid could make it a really slick animated show people would be digging on, and there is a lot of lore the creators could pull from to give the show some longevity, which would also be cool.
Six seasons and a movie, dammit!
9) Fallout Series
You know what there’s not enough of? Shows about what the world would be like after a massive disaster. Post-apocalyptic shows. Just think of a world like Mad Max if you need an example of what I mean. A future dystopian society where the only law is there are no laws and you just kind of wander the “wasteland”, meeting eccentrics and doing little gigs for people. While one may think an RPG FPS like the modern version of Fallout wouldn’t lend itself well to an animated adaptation, I beg to differ and have some solid points to back it up.
While the game does feel very free-form, you could tighten up the show a little by grabbing one of the main stories (I think the synth storyline from four would work really well right now while new Blade Runner is fresh in people’s minds). You could have Dogmeat in it, you could make the lead character a bit more charismatic (Hell, even go with New Vegas as inspiration, that one was perfect) and you have the dystopian future Netflix needs more of, while also adapting an amazing game series into a TV show.
Now, for the one we would all sacrifice a limb to see……
10) Red Dead Series
I cannot dream wistfully about new animated series based on video games without name-dropping the greatest game of all time. While many Gen-Xers and millennials are not the biggest fan of the western genre in film or TV, for some reason, we ALL took to Red Dead Redemption and I have yet to meet a single person on this planet who doesn’t agree that the story it told and the lands it took you across were some of the best in all of gaming.
And come on, we all ALSO know John Marston was one of COOLEST characters ever put in polygon form, so all they would need to do is tell the story of his early days in the gang, him settling down and leaving them when he got older, and that picks up right at the start of Redemption. You tell that EXACT story from the game, allude to the first game in the series no one knows about before Rockstar bought it from Capcom, you could have the same heart-breaking ending and all. Animated or not, Netflix Would have certifiable gold on their hands and a Red Dead show would go on to become a phenomenon, much like the game itself did, and justifiably so.
So what game did we miss? What video game would YOU like to see made into an animated show for Netflix? Take to our comments and let us know!