Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Video Game TV Series You Should Check Out Next

History has shown that successfully adapting video games into different mediums is no mean feat. Video game movies, in particular, have failed far more often than they have succeeded. From older attempts like 2005's "Doom" to more recent fare like Tom Holland's "Uncharted," video game films have always been plagued by the same core issues — a general misunderstanding of the source material and a tendency to throw longtime fans under the bus in the interest of mass appeal.

Of course, there are a few notable exceptions. "Mortal Kombat" has had a couple of mildly successful movies, with the 1995 adaptation becoming something of a cult classic over the years. The "Tomb Raider" films have found success at the box office, as have the "Resident Evil" movies (despite having little to do with the source material). More recently, features like "Detective Pikachu" and "Sonic the Hedgehog" have earned praise for their loyalty to their respective games and colorful entertainment value. But, truth be told, movies have never been the best medium for video game adaptation.

Fortunately, there's been an explosion of video game-based TV shows in recent years. Netflix has led the charge, but there have been great series produced all over that have their origins in gaming. The longer form of TV allows for more accurate adaptations, and the results speak for themselves. Here are some awesome video game TV series that you should check out.


Based on the Konami game series of the same name, Netflix's "Castlevania" is a blend of gothic themes, nuanced writing, and stylish anime action. Inspired primarily by "Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse" and "Castlevania: Curse of Darkness," the show tells the story of Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage), the last in a long line of demon hunters. He takes up arms when Dracula (Graham McTavish) declares war on the world. Though he's ostensibly the lead protagonist, Trevor is really just one piece of the story, which evolves over the course of four seasons to include other vampires, sorcerers, necromancers, and more.

There's a lot to love about "Castlevania," and it all starts with the beautiful (and often horrifying) animation. It's an exceedingly violent show, with no inhibitions about showing the most brutal effects of Dracula's genocidal crusade against humanity. The 15th-century setting means there's plenty of gothic architecture and lots of creepy castles, which serve as great venues for the show's stunning fight scenes. The battles are as creative as they are intense, especially when the core trio of Trevor, Dracula's son Alucard (James Callis), and magician Sypha Belnades (Alejandra Reynoso) are all fighting together.

More than anything, though, "Castlevania" impresses because of its writing. Every character, no matter how villainous, is given complex motivations and deep analysis. It's not uncommon for episodes to consist of just a few extended scenes of characters talking to each other, and those quiet moments are every bit as riveting as the biggest battles.


After years of setbacks, it looked unlikely that the live-action "Halo" TV series would ever see the light of day. The big budget Paramount+ show made changes to the canon of the games, resulting in a series that received mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. It's not a perfect adaptation, and it's not a perfect show, but given the long road it had to travel just to get released, it's kind of impressive that "Halo" is as complete and entertaining as it is.

Let's start with what the "Halo" show does really well — loyalty to the games in its aesthetic and design. Every Warthog, Banshee, DMR, and piece of Mjolnir armor is recreated perfectly here. Master Chief looks exactly how you expect him to look, his shields make the exact same sound they make in the games, and his arsenal of weapons is spot-on in pretty much every way. There are also pieces of Martin O'Donnell's iconic score sprinkled throughout the series, which is sure to give viewers positive flashbacks of their time with the games.

Not everything in "Halo" is totally loyal, though. The show exists in a separate canon and takes some big liberties with character and events, especially when it comes to Pablo Schreiber's version of Master Chief. "Halo" is pulpy, self-serious, and a little stilted at times, but so are the games. Ultimately, the Paramount+ series is a great time if you don't take it too seriously.


With over 180 million players worldwide, "League of Legends" is arguably the biggest video game in the world. The multiplayer online battle arena game saw an influx of new players following the success of "Arcane," the Netflix show set in the "League of Legends" universe. It's a story of haves and have-nots that follows two of the game's most popular characters, tragic sisters Jinx and Vi.

On paper, the show doesn't sound like anything that special. It's a CGI steampunk fantasy saga with heavy stylistic influences from modern young adult novels. Dead parents, forbidden magic, classism, fictional drugs — all the tropes are present in their full glory. So what makes "Arcane" so unique?

First and foremost, it's the visual style. The CGI used in animated shows has grown steadily more impressive over the years, but "Arcane" might be the best-looking computer-animated show ever produced. Characters' facial animations are rendered in excruciating detail, pulling every ounce of emotion out of high-stakes storylines. And when the action starts, things get even more stunning. "Arcane" uses brief flashes of other visual styles to keep things fresh in fights scenes, making each episode a unique feast for the senses.

Critics argue that the storytelling can be a bit heavy-handed and that the tone gets a little too edgy at times, but it's all in service of the larger style. "Arcane" is just so beautiful to watch that any lackluster moments are quickly washed away in a wave of staggering animation.

Dota: Dragon's Blood

If you're looking for a solid video game adaptation in the realm of classical fantasy, Netflix's "Dota: Dragon's Blood" is a great pick. Based on Valve's massively popular MOBA game "Dota 2," this animated series follows Davion the Dragon Knight (Yuri Lowenthal) on a quest to save the world. Other characters from the game like the enigmatic sorcerer Invoker (Troy Baker), the deadly demon Terrorblade (JB Blanc), and Princess Mirana (Lara Pulver) all feature prominently as well.

"Dota: Dragon's Blood" is animated by the acclaimed Studio Mir, known for shows like "The Legend of Korra" and "Voltron: Legendary Defender." As a result, there's a lot of visual flair to the series, ranging from great character designs to high-energy "camera" movement during the many fight scenes. It's also a pretty violent and bloody series and is, therefore, best enjoyed by older audiences.

Other than its affiliation with "Dota 2," there isn't much unique about "Dragon's Blood." It takes place in a pretty standard high fantasy world, filled with small towns, reclusive rulers, strange magic, and dangerous monsters. Still, while the show is hardly brimming with new ideas, it excels in its execution. The script is tight, the story and lore are compelling, and the voice acting is great. "Dota: Dragon's Blood" doesn't break any new ground, but if you like stylish animation and traditional fantasy stories, then it's definitely worth your time.

Mortal Kombat: Legacy

If you've only seen the "Mortal Kombat" movies, you're missing out on what might be the franchise's best adaptation ever. "Mortal Kombat: Legacy" is a live-action series that ran for two seasons from 2011 to 2013, originally airing on YouTube. The show consists of just 19 episodes of about 10 minutes each, but don't let that deter you — "Mortal Kombat: Legacy" is a fiercely loyal and deeply entertaining adaptation, and the format means that each episode stands on its own.

Want to see a brief history of Scorpion and Sub-Zero? Or Cyrax and Sektor? Or Kitana and Mileena? All with faithfully recreated costumes and great fight choreography? Then "Mortal Kombat: Legacy" is for you. The series originated as a fan project, and it feels like one in all the best ways. A lot of love and care went into the character portrayals and the execution of the storylines, making "Legacy" a great watch for diehard "Mortal Kombat" fans.

Of course, if you're interested in a different kind of live-action "Mortal Kombat" show, you could also check out the short-lived "Mortal Kombat: Conquest," which ran from 1998 to 1999. It's a low-budget pulp fest filled with cheesy dialogue and obvious sound stages, but it has its own unique charm and a few genuinely cool fights to boot.

The Cuphead Show!

Since the critically acclaimed indie game "Cuphead" takes most of its inspiration from classic American animation, turning it into an actual TV series seems like an obvious move. Netflix's "The Cuphead Show!" is aimed primarily at younger audiences, but there's also enough visual style and smart humor to keep older viewers entertained. What you see is basically what you get here — this is a clever and nostalgic cartoon adventure that the creators pulled off brilliantly.

The majority of critics loved it (and audience scores were even higher), though some reviewers said there was room for improvement. Bloody Disgusting, for example, lamented the show's lack of narrative depth, calling it stylish and mildly entertaining but without any real substance to keep viewers engaged. That's largely a symptom of the show's inspiration, however, as the old cartoons that it pulls from weren't exactly known for thematic nuance or complexity.

Ultimately, "The Cuphead Show!" is a series that's best enjoyed by specific audiences — kids, lovers of classic animation (though the series isn't actually hand-drawn), and fans of the game looking for a brief and entertaining distraction. For a story that'll make you think, maybe try some of the other shows on this list.

The Witcher

Yes, "The Witcher" was a series of books long before it was turned into a video game franchise by CD Projekt RED. Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski is a talented fantasy storyteller, and he's received significant acclaim for the world he created. But it's pretty safe to say that a big budget Netflix adaptation never would have happened if it weren't for the massive success of the "Witcher" games, especially "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt."

Your enjoyment of "The Witcher" may largely depend on your expectations going into it. Are you looking for a "Game of Thrones" style saga with political intrigue, betrayal, and satisfying long-term story arcs? Then you might be better off looking elsewhere. "The Witcher" Season 1 in particular is a bit of a mess narratively, with little explanation offered for the state of the world or the ways the different timelines overlap. Season 2 makes some big improvements in that department, though, and it starts building out more compelling arcs for the central characters.

If you're coming to "The Witcher" for deep themes and complex stories, you're coming for the wrong reasons. The real appeal of the series is its silly and pulpy entertainment value. There are bizarre monsters and exciting fights, troublesome bards and mystical witches, and at the center of it all, a powerhouse performance from Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia. "The Witcher" may frustrate you at times with its poor pacing and confusing storytelling, but it will rope you back in with its stylish fun.

Dragon's Dogma

Far from the best adaptation on this list but still a solid option for fans of fantasy anime, "Dragon's Dogma" takes the Capcom-developed role-playing game of the same name and turns it into a brief but effective action-adventure series. The story is a pretty typical fantasy revenge tale starring Ethan, a man whose home and life get destroyed by a dragon, which he then sets out to kill. There's a lot of magical lore to discover along the way, most of which is translated perfectly from the video games. As such, "Dragon's Dogma" may be best enjoyed by those who've played the games, but there's still a lot of fun action and solid storytelling to keep newcomers engaged.

Several things are holding "Dragon's Dogma" back from true greatness. As the AV Club noted, the English voice acting isn't the best, the dialogue feels stilted at times, and there's a lot of clunky exposition. The show also doesn't always do a great job of handling more sensitive subject matter. Compared to other Netflix adaptations like "Castlevania" and "Dota: Dragon's Blood" — shows that have very similar aesthetics and tones — "Dragon's Dogma" can look a bit shabby, but there's still a lot to like here. If you've watched the aforementioned shows already and want something similar to consume, this will definitely scratch that itch.

Sonic Boom

If you're a fan of "Sonic the Hedgehog," there are plenty of options available to you as far as TV adaptations go. Several Sonic cartoons came out in the 1990s, from "Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog" to "Sonic Underground." An anime series named "Sonic X" (which directly recreates storylines from several of the video games) dropped in the 2000s. That's without even getting into the multiple short-form web series. Each has something different to offer diehard fans, but we're focusing on one of the more recent ones — the late 2010s computer-animated series "Sonic Boom."

At first glance, that might seem like an odd choice. "Sonic Boom" is based on a pretty lackluster game, it doesn't have the kinds of tie-ins that previous adaptations like "Sonic X" do, and it seems squarely aimed at kids and only kids. None of those assumptions are entirely wrong, but "Sonic Boom" is surprisingly clever in its writing, with comedy that goes to some truly wild places.

Yes, it's still mostly for kids. What did you expect? "Sonic the Hedgehog" has always been for kids. But if you like to relax with some light cartoon watching, or if you're looking for something to watch with your own children, "Sonic Boom" is smart, witty, and pretty enough to keep viewers of all ages engaged.

Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist

The "Street Fighter" films have a certain B-movie charm, but they're far from the faithful adaptations fans of the franchise deserve. The various anime films and series are a bit better on that front, but if you want a live-action version of the "Street Fighter" story that's actually loyal to the video games, you should check out the 2014 web series "Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist."

Originated as a fan project, "Assassin's Fist" is a miniseries featuring several popular characters from the fighting games. Ryu (Mike Moh, best known for his controversial turn as Bruce Lee in "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood") and Ken (Christian Howard) lead the charge, but there are also appearances from the likes of Gouken and Akuma. The story is limited in scope, and it certainly doesn't have the biggest budget in the world, but there's a lot of heart to "Assassin's Fist." The fight choreography is excellent and incredibly loyal to the games, right down to the sound design of the punches and kicks.

Like "Mortal Kombat: Legacy," a similar show that also started as a fan project, "Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist" benefits immensely from the passion of its creative team. It's a true love letter to the series, complete with form-perfect Shoryukens and beautifully recreated costumes. If you've ever been a fan of the "Street Fighter" franchise, you owe it to yourself to check out "Assassin's Fist" as soon as possible.


Though a less conventional adaptation than some of the other entries listed here, the Peacock original series "Frogger" still counts. The basic pitch is this — it's a game show in the style of "Wipeout," but where all of the sets and challenges are themed around the classic Konami arcade game. There are lily pads, cars, slow-motion replays, and a lot of retro video game touches to the show, which is hosted by "New Girl" star Daman Wayans Jr.

Obviously, the appeal of "Frogger" is entirely different from most video game TV shows. The games have no real lore or story to adapt, which is probably a good thing given that game shows aren't known for their narrative complexity. Still, if you enjoy the basic entertainment value of shows like "American Ninja Warrior" and have any nostalgia at all for the arcades of the '80s, "Frogger" can be a fun time.

Tron: Uprising

Though the "Tron" franchise technically started with the 1982 Disney movie, the first video game was actually released in 1981 ahead of the film's premiere. The story of "Tron" has always been deeply tied to gaming culture, and the early arcade games that spawned from the film throughout the '80s are just as central to the series' appeal as any of the films. "Tron: Uprising" belongs on this list, and it's definitely a show worth checking out.

Produced in the wake of 2010's "Tron: Legacy," "Uprising" takes most of its aesthetic cues directly from that film (including the phenomenal soundtrack). That all works to the show's benefit, as the Emmy Award-winning animation makes the film's light cycle and Game Grid designs pop with style. The look of "Tron: Uprising" is all stark contrasts and hard edges, which make for some absolutely stunning action set pieces. This is must-watch content for longtime "Tron" fans, but it's also good enough to stand on its own two feet.

Pokémon Generations

Since the entire "Pokémon" franchise started with the first run of Game Boy games, every incarnation of the anime is technically a video game TV show. But instead of going through the decades of Ash Ketchum's adventures with Pikachu, let's focus on a lesser-known "Pokémon" series that ties in directly to the video game plotlines.

"Pokémon Generations" is a short-form anthology miniseries, with each episode adapting a different iconic moment from the games. Spanning from the very first generation in the Kanto region to the Kalos region of "Pokémon X" and "Pokémon Y," the stories cover all sorts of different topics. The dismantling of Team Rocket, the summoning of Giratina at the Sinnoh region's Spear Pillar, the discovery of the Johto region's mythical red Gyarados — all of these game moments and more come to life in "Generations" with a flashy visual style that sets it apart from the main "Pokémon" anime.

More than anything, "Pokémon Generations" is fun because it beautifully recreates the sensation of playing the games as a kid. In other words, the show makes the best moments from the games look the way we always imagined them, and that's something truly special.