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15 Movies and TV Shows Based on Video Games, From


Jul 18, 2023

In the world of movies and TV shows, there are countless adaptations that have been made from popular novels and biographical works. But, these forms of entertainment have also been inspired by and adapted from some of the biggest video games, which don’t get nearly as much attention as they should. Recently, HBO’s acclaimed series, “The Last of Us,” based on the Sony action-adventure game franchise of the same name, broke viewership records and became the most-watched show in the history of the streaming platform in Europe and Latin America, per The Associated Press.

Along with television series, video-game to movie adaptations have also grown in popularity among audiences, with the star-studded “The Super Mario Bros.” movie, adapted from the beloved game franchise by Nintendo, the highest grossing film of 2023 so far, as reported by Forbes. The film, which features voice acting from stars like Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, and Anya Taylor-Joy, follows main characters Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad as they work together to stop the evil Bowser from taking over the world.

Amidst the success of “The Super Mario Bros.” film, here are some of the most popular flicks and series adapted from video games!

Movies Based on Video Games

“Resident Evil”

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Upon its release in 1996, the Japanese survival horror game “Resident Evil” garnered an immediate fanbase and was praised by critics for its gameplay and eerie atmosphere. The game not only grew into a franchise consisting of 10 core games and 30+ spinoffs/remakes, but it also inspired a film series made up of six movies. The general storyline of the franchise centers around Alice (Milla Jovovich), who navigates the world infected by a viral outbreak that turns people into zombies.


Originally released on the Playstation 3 in 2007, “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune” follows adventurer Nathan Drake and treasure hunter Victor Sullivan as they seek to find the secret treasures of El Dorado. The 2022 film starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg follows a similar storyline and primarily centers on the pair’s race to stop villain Santiago Moncada from stealing the secret riches left behind from the Magellean expedition.

“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”

“Tomb Raider” hit store shelves in 1996 as a Sega Saturn game and grew in popularity after being released on PlayStation and MS-DOS systems that same year. The franchise, which centers around archaeologist Lara Croft’s adventures searching for ancient artifacts, inspired numerous films, including a 2001 version (and a 2003 sequel) with Angelina Jolie, and a 2018 remake featuring Alicia Vikander.


“Doom” is heralded as being one of the greatest video games of all time and credited by some for popularizing the first-person shooter genre. The 1993 game was followed by four core games and several spin-offs throughout the 1990s and 2010s, and inspired the 2005 film starring Karl Urban as the franchise’s main character, “Doomguy,” a marine who is tasked with hunting down demons.

“Sonic the Hedgehog”

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The “Sonic the Hedgehog” game series is highly regarded as one of the most influential franchises of all time, along with other beloved series like “Super Mario” games. The franchise itself started with the release of “Sonic the Hedgehog” on the Sega Genesis in 1991, and has since consisted of platform-style and racing games. The 2020 film stars Ben Schwartz as the speedy blue hedgehog, who teams up with a local sheriff (James Marsden) to stop the mad scientist Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) from using his powers for evil.

“Max Payne”

In “Max Payne,” first released for Microsoft Windows in 2001, the lead character, Max Payne, is a former NYPD officer that turns into a vigilante after his wife and child are murdered, and he is framed for the death of his police partner. Two more games would follow the original and later inspired the 2008 film starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis.

“Mortal Kombat”

Initially released as an arcade game in 1992, “Mortal Kombat” has since become one of the most beloved fighting games of all time. The franchise allows players to use different characters and moves to defeat their opponents, making it fun and addicting for everyone. The game was so popular that it inspired the 1995 film, “Mortal Kombat,” directed by “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” filmmaker Paul Anderson.


In 1986, “Rampage” hit arcades everywhere, and gave players the ability to play as giant monsters trying to survive amidst being pummeled by military forces. The 2018 film adaptation stars Dwayne Johnson as Davis Okoye, a primatologist that pairs up with George, a giant gorilla, to stop monsters from destroying Chicago.

“Street Fighter”

“Street Fighter” is another fighting game that, like “Mortal Kombat,” dominated the late 1980s and 1990s. The game’s main character, Ryu, is a martial artist that has to defeat opponents in a handful of tournaments around the world using various special moves and jumps. The 1994 film of the same name is loosely inspired by the game, and centers around Colonel William F. Guile (Jean-Claude Van Damme) as he seeks to take down General M. Bison with the help of two street fighters.

“Detective Pikachu”

A spinoff of the “Pokemon” franchise, “Detective Pikachu” was released on the Nintendo 3DS system in Japan in 2016, with a worldwide release arriving later in 2018. The game features Pikachu as a detective that solves mysteries, and was the premise of the 2019 film of the same name starring Ryan Reynolds as the lovable yellow character.

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“Assassin’s Creed”

“Assassin’s Creed” was a cross-platform release in 2007 that immediately developed a large fanbase. The third-person, open-world game inspired a franchise that now consists of 12 core games, and a 2016 live-action film starring Michael Fassbender as Callum “Cal” Lynch/Aguilar de Nerha, an original character created for the movie. The storyline of both the game franchise and film centers around the struggle between the Order of Assassins and Knights of Templar, who fail to live in harmony due to their different belief systems.


“Warcraft: Orcs & Humans” was first released in 1994, and quickly developed into a multi-media franchise with a loyal fanbase. The real-time strategy game (also known as RTS) features times of adventure and magic and allows users to take on various missions with online players. The 2016 film of the same name is based on the successful franchise, and stars Paula Patton and Ben Foster in a story about a war between conflicting clans.

TV Shows Based on Video Games

“The Last of Us”

First released in 2013, the survival horror game, “The Last of Us,” centers around Joel and Ellie, two survivors living in a post-apocalyptic world that was depleted by a mutated fungus that turned humans into cannibalistic creatures. The 2022 HBO Max series of the same name follows the same storyline and features Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie.


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Image Source: Everett Collection

Released in 1986, the platform-style game, “Castlevania,” centers around descendants of the Belmont clan of vampire hunters who aim to defeat Count Dracula using the specialized Vampire Killer weapon. In 2017, the game was turned into an animated series by Netflix, and spanned a total of four seasons until its end in 2021.


“Halo: Combat Evolved” was first released in 2001, and later evolved into a franchise with six core games. The Hulu series follows protagonist Master Chief, a supersoldier who is in the middle of a 26-century battle with the Covenant, an alien force that seeks to destroy humans for good.


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