Adapting video games into movies hasn’t had the best track record, but Netflix seems to have slightly better luck. They’ve done animated series based on Castlevania, Skylanders, and Carmen SanDiego, there’s a Cuphead cartoon in the works, and of course, everyone’s talking about the live-action Witcher show.Even though it’s based on the books more than the games, the popularity of the series has led to a record-breaking number of hardcore fans and newcomers flocking to The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt four years after its release.
Presumably, other video game publishers have taken notice and are trying to fast-track projects based on their properties — which will hopefully lead to more adaptations that actually treat their source material with the respect they deserve.6 Video Games That Should Be Netflix Shows
Grand Theft Auto V
There has never been a shortage of procedural crime dramas set in gritty major cities, but they almost always focus on the cops being heroes, rarely the criminals. Grand Theft Auto’s appeal on an interactive level is letting players cause mayhem in a gigantic sandbox, but Grand Theft Auto V’s story is especially interesting since it shows three criminal characters experiencing the same events from different perspectives — something could totally work as a Netflix show.
GTA V already told a phenomenal story, so why not pick up where it left off, just a decade later? All the principal actors are still around, and while Rockstar might want to explore new territory and characters in Grand Theft Auto 6, fans would undoubtedly be ecstatic to reunite with Trevor, Michael, and Franklin in another medium.
Fallout’s grim post-nuclear-apocalypse dystopia paired with a cheerful 1950s all-American can-do attitude has its own visual identity, and could allow for plenty of stories that are equal parts comedy, drama, horror, and action.
Plus, of all the AAA franchises out there, a live-action Fallout with a low-budget is totally on-brand — a cast in of scruffy characters wearing costumes made out of recycled garbage set against a desolate backdrop is authentically Fallout. Hell, hire the folks behind the Nuka Break fan series and enlist a bunch of cosplayers as extras and you’ll be all set.
In a perfect world, Bloodborne’s dripping wet nightmare of grotesque horse skeletons, puss-filled, bandage-wrapped ghouls, and ragged-ass werewolves would be a phenomenal live-action horror movie or mini-series, but before production budgets go through the roof on trying to recreate and puppeteer a building-sized Cleric Beast animatronic, maybe this one should go the gritty animated route.
Adi Shankar and Frederator Studios did a wonderful job turning the classic monster-slaying action of Castlevania into a gruesome M-rated cartoon, and while it sounds like Shankar’s got his hands full with projects based on Devil May Cry, Assassin’s Creed, and Hyper Light Drifter, we’d still love to see a Bloodborne cartoon.
Imagine: a horror-tinged monster of the week boss fight show where a lone hunter scuffles with awful villagers, creepy monks, and bizarre creatures before turning a corner to face down a gigantic menace like Vicar Amelia or Rom The Vacuous Spider. Along the way, the hunter could gain access to badass new weapons and of course, nudge the underlying story along through bits and pieces of wonderfully deranged lore. In the meantime, at least we have the Bloodborne graphic novels from Titan Comics.
God of War
God of War’s incredible characters,from angry brooding dads to eccentric dwarven shopkeepers, would translate perfectly to a Netflix mini-series. The tale of Kratos and Atreus’ epic journey across Midgard is one of loss, grief, turmoil, and the growing relationship between father and son — and the mini-series format would give the story plenty of room to breathe.
But also: God of War is about killing monsters and ripping off their heads with a gigantic axe and/or your bare hands, so the combat sequences would be violent, intense, and way too spicy for network television — and The Witcher proved once again that Netflix isn’t afraid to put some M-rated live-action beheading and disembowelment front and center.
The recent movie 1917 did a phenomenal job of depicting the journey of two men across a war-torn battlefield with a one-shot cinematography approach, striking a balance between tense action and nuanced character moments, all the while keeping the camera locked on the characters — Just do that, but with Kratos and Atreus! And on a TV budget!
The Legend of Zelda
Considering the Zelda franchise has been legendary for over thirty years now, it’s genuinely baffling that we haven’t had an official movie or TV adaptation of The Legend of Zelda — y’know, aside from that animated series that inspired a thousand YouTube Poop videos and our own ideas for what it might look like.
The big debate would obviously be which Zelda game would make for the best show, and what that show’s format would be — but given that almost every Zelda game gives its universe a soft reboot and new look, there’s really no issue with trying something new entirely, maybe even season to season.
Perhaps take a page from The Mandalorian and make Link a mostly-silent protagonist. Let the supporting characters provide the banter and exposition, but limit Link’s interactions to facial expressions, pantomime, and the occasional “YAH!” as he smashes pots or torments local poultry.
From kid shows like Octonauts and Llama Llama to more adult fare like Bojack Horseman or Tuca and Bertie, animated talking animal shows are a hit on Netflix. Given the wide age range of Animal Crossing’s fanbase, a show that finds a balance between the sugary-sweet baby cartoons and foul-mouthed animated sitcoms could bring everyone together.
A human character takes the train to a small, unexpected town, only to be greeted by a diverse cast of talking animals, including an evil raccoon that they are immediately indebted to. By helping villagers across town via small, episode long-quests, Animal Crossing could tell a charming, bittersweet slice-of-life story of making friends, doing chores, and buying furniture.
After all, Animal Crossing is about adorable animals and friendship — but it’s also about the crushing responsibility and grueling monotony of capitalist society. In the meantime, the next best thing is Netflix original Rilakkuma and Kaoru — it’s about a depressed adult woman who finds joy in life thanks to her layabout talking animal roommates.
Which video game do you think would make the perfect Netflix show? Let us know in the comments below. Netflix already made video games based on Stranger Things, Narcos and Dark Crystal, so it’s time to return the favor and make some shows based on games instead.
…Or, you know, just put the friggin Netflix app on Switch already.