10 Video Game Series That Still Need Animated Adaptations


As unlikely as Netflix’s intention is to crack the “video game adaptation code,” its recent hits like Powerhouse Animation Studios Castlevania and Fortiche Esoteric proved that animation is the key format. Accident or not, the streaming giant has since noticed anime adaptations for the likes of Assassin’s Creed, grave robber, Far cry, Burst celland more are on the way at various studios.

Movies could also work for many gaming IPs, but a serialized format would arguably give the most leeway for a story to be done justice. It remains to be seen what other franchises might be on the horizon, and whether others like HBO and Amazon will take the hint, but there are still a host of beloved games that would translate well to small-screen animation.


Supergiant Games’ underworld took the gaming scene by storm in 2020. The indie roguelike action game elevated the subgenre by blending the heart-pounding, cathartic dungeon-crawling it’s known for with an engaging and emotional story. underworld made the quieter moments of Zagreus’ Father’s House of Hades just as rewarding as its instant action by having a diverse, irresistible, and lovable cast of characters with significant intrapersonal dynamics.

The big props go to the art direction and impressive acting, which go hand in hand with the fantastic storytelling and character writing for why. underworld is struggling to adapt an animated TV show. Even the game’s launch trailer basically served as a proof of concept for how it would work.

Ring of Elden

Elden Ring still Terni fighting the dragon Agheel on horseback.

While the above underworld is arguably the most consistent choice for an animated television series, Ring of Elden is both a serious competitor and the most current. Given a recent press release from publisher Bandai Namco, however, a Ring of Elden anime series might even be inevitable. FromSoftware’s latest sprawling dark-fantasy epic has made an unforgettable milestone in the gaming industry in a way similar to that Super Mario 64, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrimand The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild made for their respective genres/subgenres.

The tastes of The Lord of the Rings, game of thronesand the witcher have comfortably brought fantasy back into the mainstream, and the rich, dense lore and world-building of Lands Between would give a potential creative team a sandbox of stories to play with and bring to the screen. And with George RR Martin’s ties to the game’s production, there may be a smooth pipeline straight to HBO Max.

the trigger of a stopwatch

The colorful main cast of Chrono Trigger characters.

An all-time classic JRPG from the days of 16-bit games, Square Enix the trigger of a stopwatch has a perfect model for a serialized animated television series. Specifically, given the style of the game, it would make for a great anime series.

He does not seem the trigger of a stopwatch is getting a remaster, remake, or (another) sequel soon, and in the hands of the right writing team and the right animation studio, this fantastic journey would be a great excuse to relive this story in a new way. Toei Animation would be a prime candidate to animate it, as the studio is Akira Toriyama’s go-to producer. dragonball IP, whose art is the basis of the trigger of a stopwatch.

The Legend of Zelda

Link gazes up at the sky in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Being one of the icons of video gaming and one of Nintendo’s biggest cash cows, it’s surprising that The Legend of Zelda has yet to see a high profile anime adaptation. Fantasy being more in demand than ever and ZeldaIn the inherent atmosphere of JRR Tolkien/LOTR, now seems as opportune as ever for the property to enter the world of television.

The options available for a story are also plentiful, as most mainline games could translate into a series. breath of the wild seems like the easier choice due to its beautiful visuals, setting, and scope. And while that would be a big “if,” an original story might be another option given the universe’s already complex timelines.

Solid metal gear

MGS 3 promo art of The Boss and Naked Snake with their weapons drawn.

Sony has long since confirmed they are working on a live-action Solid metal gear film starring Oscar Isaac, but as tempting as it may seem on paper, an animated television series is arguably the ideal format. Convert the Isaac-directed movie to a live-action HBO series, like The last of us becomes, would also have been a great option given the network’s stellar creative track record.

However, an animation similar to what Powerhouse did with Castlevania could be thrilling on its own and provide an excuse to bring back fan-favorite Solid Snake voice actor David Hayter. Solid metal gear was acclaimed for its mind-bending psychological elements, spy-thriller story, and compelling, if sometimes convoluted, political commentary. It’s for these reasons that long-form television would give an adaptation the polished treatment it deserves.

fire emblem

Hilda launches an attack in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes.

Similar to other JRPG giants like Final Fantasy, dragon quest, Characterand more, intelligent systems fire emblem The franchise is largely defined by anthology-style entries where each serves as a new entry point. Of course, as with the trigger of a stopwatcha fire emblem the story would make a great long-running anime series. Each game is its own expansive, high fantasy setting and story with political intrigue in addition to ‘sword and sorcery’.

The most recent Three Houses on Nintendo Switch was perhaps the series’ biggest highlight, offering multiple character-driven story routes depending on the player’s decision. With the wealth of games and stories at your fingertips, fire emblem could easily be another rich sandbox as long as the keys to the kingdom are given to the right creative team.

Mass Effect

Promotional art and collage of the main cast of the original Mass Effect trilogy for the Legendary Edition remaster.

Similar to Solid metal gearit’s the case, Mass Effect is also set to get an adaptation via Amazon, per Deadline. It will also be a TV series, and rumors have swirled around Henry Cavill’s involvement. However, the details of the show are unclear, including whether it will be live action or animated. the original Mass Effect trilogy is a beloved set of RPGs, praised for its massive sci-fi world, player freedom and customization, and a compelling cast of secondary characters.

Much would roll over an adaptation of any type, but animation would allow for more creativity in depicting this world and its characters. That would admittedly be difficult, regardless of the character roster, and whether it should be a retelling of the trilogy or take place elsewhere in the Mass Effect universe with an original cast and story.


Samus aiming the arm cannon in Metroid Dread.

metroid is another beloved Nintendo IP that has deservedly enjoyed a resurgence in the age of modern gaming. mercury vapor Metroid Dread on the switch assured him, which will hopefully create even more uproar for the long-awaited moment Prime 4 spear.

Space bounty hunter Samus Aran would make a compelling hero in an animated film Extraterrestrial-inspired TV series, playing on elements of both sci-fi and horror – though understandably on the lighter side for the latter. The right adaptation would yield an eerie, disturbing, and atmospheric story punctuated with slick action sequences. In addition to the main storyline, anthology-style episodes could also provide a good narrative structure.

transmitted by blood

best bloodborne ps4 games

While a FromSoftware fantasy epic has already been covered, transmitted by blood is unique enough to occupy another place. transmitted by blood is definitely dark fantasy too, but it takes a Victorian-era gothic spin on the genre with touches of Lovecraftian/Eldritch horror.

It would be another great choice for HBO Max if the streamer leaned into adult animation, and transmitted by blood drips with a macabre atmosphere that an animation studio could bring to life in a spellbinding way. Castlevania could again be a template for this setting, with the challenge mostly about crafting a story around the blank slate protagonist and doing justice to the grotesque creature designs and cathartic, bloody action.


2B jumping with sword in hand in Nier Automata.

Game Director Yoko Taro Deny the series began as an intermediate niche collection of PS2 games – counting Drakengard — and PS3 before exploding with the critically acclaimed game NieR: Automata. More recently, the PS3 game received a remaster in the form of Replicant NieRgiving the game a modern facelift and a second life.

An anime adaptation of these games would be one of the most emotionally resonant and heartbreaking series to date, as Taro is known for holding back little of his deep storytelling style. These two Deny the games are set in dystopian sci-fi worlds while exploring philosophical themes through their characters.

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