TV shows based on video games are clearly having a moment right now. Recently, HBO Max released the first season of The Last of Us and it is widely being hailed by fans and critics alike as one of, if not THE best video game adaptations of all time. The game was already quite popular when it was released back in 2013 as an exclusive for the PlayStation 3 but now it’s enjoying a resurgence in its popularity thanks to the new adaptation.
— The Last of Us (@TheLastofUsHBO) January 16, 2023
Many fans and critics were pleasantly surprised by the HBO Max series, given that video game adaptations have notoriously been lacklustre (we are being polite) so far. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that there have been a few exceptions that have done (or at least attempted to do) justice to their source material. And so on that note, here are five of the best tv series based on video games that you can binge-watch right now.
‘The Last of Us’ and other video game-based TV shows you can stream right now
1. The Last Of Us
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that our first recommendation is for a show that is already widely being hailed as the best video game adaptation of all time. Starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey (you might remember her for her scene-stealing turn as Lyanna Mormont on Game of Thrones) and created by Craig Mazin (the man responsible for the incredible Emmy-winning Chornobyl) and Neil Druckmann, The Last of Us tells the story of a smuggler named Joel who is given the responsibility of escorting 14-year-old Ellie across a new United States that has been ravaged by a zombie apocalypse. As Neil is still trying to come to terms with the tragic loss of his daughter, he forms a unique bond with Ellie as the two try their best to survive under dire circumstances.
Watch The Last of Us on Disney+
2. The Witcher
Based on the series of popular books and fantasy action role-playing video games, The Witcher on Netflix stars Henry Cavil in the titular role. With two seasons already out, and a third on its way, this makes for the perfect series to binge-watch over the weekend. In fact, the show has been so popular that there is now a prequel series titled The Witcher: Blood Origin, as well as an animated movie called The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, that you can also stream.
Watch The Witcher on Netflix
3. Resident Evil
Over the last two decades, there have been countless movie adaptations (including sequels and prequels) of the Resident Evil video games. However, not many people are aware of a series adaptation as well. Available for streaming on Netflix, the series features eight episodes and stars Ella Balinska and Adeline Rudolph in lead roles. While it’s set in its own universe, it does use the storyline of the popular video games for its backstory. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled after just one season as it received a mixed response from critics and audiences. Nevertheless, we still recommend watching it, especially if you’re a fan of the video game franchise.
Watch Resident Evil on Netflix
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Who does not know about Pokémon? The popular video game franchise, which first debuted in 1996 with Pokémon Red and Blue, has also expanded to an equally (dare we say more?) popular animated series. For most of us, our childhood memories are intertwined with Pokémon in some way or another. So if you are feeling particularly nostalgic today, and especially with the recent news of Ash’s adventures finally coming to an end, why not take a trip down memory lane?
Watch Pokémon: The Animated Series on Pokémon’s official YouTube channel
While we are on the subject of animated series, let’s move on to another animated adaptation that has received a lot of acclaim from fans and critics alike. Set in the universe of the incredibly popular League of Legends video games, Arcane is produced by the French animation studio Fortiche. The series follows the lives of popular video game characters and sisters Vi and Jinx, played by Hailee Steinfeld and Ella Purnell, respectively. The series received such an incredible response during its debut that, at that time, it also set the record for being Netflix’s highest-rated series within a week of its premiere.
Watch Arcane on Netflix
(Main picture credits: Courtesy Instagram/@TheWitcher, TheLastofUs)
(Feature picture credits: Courtesy Instagram/@TheLastofUs)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: The TV series The Witcher is based on the popular books and video games of the same name.
Answer: Hogwarts Legacy, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Forspoken, the Resident Evil 4 remake, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and Dead Space are some of the most sought-after video games of 2023.
Answer: Yes, the Last of Us on Netflix is an adaptation of the popular video game franchise of the same name.