Movie adaptations of video games have predominantly been rubbish over the years, and there’s no point telling ourselves otherwise (guilty pleasures don’t count either).
While not all of them have been rated rotten, the movie industry could leverage on the excellent quality of writing that some video game franchises are well known for, from developers such as Bethesda, Bioware and Rockstar Studios, just to name a few.
With so many great games to go through, here is our list of 10 gaming franchises that would be awesome on our screens as either movies or TV shows.
1 The Secret World
MMORPGs can make good movies, and we saw that with the release of Warcraft in 2016.
What other online world has a grand enough storyline and interesting characters that can rival television shows today?
Enter The Secret World, an online game where every myth, conspiracy theory and urban legend is true, and your character is at the center of it all, unraveling the mysteries for the faction you choose: The Illuminati, The Templars or The Dragon.
The intriguing “Lovecraftian” stories will take you to around the world, from solving the mist and undead in Maine to stopping the vampires in Transylvania. This would make one hell of a TV show.
2 Dragon Age
Bioware’s Dragon Age series needs no introduction, as it is considered to be one of the best fantasy RPG games of all time.
The world of Thedas is rich with lore and characters, and fans would love to explore the narrative on the big screen with a big budget Hollywood production ala Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.
It ticks all the fantasy boxes too thanks to its diverse population of characters and companions ranging from Elves, Dwarves, Kunari, Halflings and humans.
The only dilemma film makers will face is to decide if it’s going to be one movie or a trilogy.
3 Mass Effect
Let’s be honest – everyone wants to see Commander Shepard and his companions come to life on the big screen.
Another Bioware creation, Mass Effect deserves its own film because the narrative is what keeps gamers coming back for every new installment.
The characters are written so well that you actually believe and accept that they’re real, and you even feel emotional when the game decides that it’s time for some of them to die. Imagine the impact that would have in the cinema.
While it may be compared to existing space adventure films like Star Wars and Star Trek, Mass Effect won’t have to work too hard to bring the crowd in. Make it happen Hollywood!
4 Red Dead Redemption
Many will be up in arms about this entry from Rockstar Studios, but the reality is that the Grand Theft Auto type of film involving crime and action has been done to death in Hollywood.
What’s severely lacking is a good Old Western and 2010’s Red Dead Redemption could be the movie to reinvigorate the genre.
As a game, Red Dead Redemption had an engaging story that followed one man – a gunslinger and outlaw gang member – in his quest to redeem himself for his family against authorities.
The gripping narrative was the icing on the cake in a game that was renowned for its open world and action gameplay. Red Dead Redemption would be a guaranteed hit in the box office.
5 Alien Isolation
We’ve had four Alien movies, a couple of spinoffs in the form of Aliens VS Predators, and one alleged prequel called Prometheus to-date.
What’s the one thing they all have in common? Guns. What if the next Alien movie features a powerless protagonist armed with no weapons, and has to make their way through the entire movie by just sneaking around?
That would be a scary and emotional journey for the audience too. In 2014, Creative Assembly’s game Alien Isolation does just that – you play as Amanda Ripley, daughter of the legendary Ellen Ripley, and have to search the Nostromo spaceship for any signs of your mother.
You have no weapons, and must rely on sneaking around quietly in the dark, because if one of those things gets you, it’s game over.
How has Halo not gotten its first major film yet?
Halo is a legendary first person shooter game franchise that made its mark on the Xbox back in 2001, and gamers still love the games deeply, not because it’s another run of the mill shooter, but it actually has a great story and single player campaign.
The stars of the franchise are Master Chief and Cortana and it’s easy to envision them in a live action film.
In fact, in 2013 a Halo mini-series featuring live action and real actors was released on YouTube in conjunction with the Halo 4 game release.
While that was mostly fan service and provided some backstory of the plot in the next game, it’s still not the real movie fans wanted, featuring the Chief and Cortana making their way through the galaxy against the Covenant – and that’s still a better love story than Twilight.
7 Metal Gear Solid
Solid Snake is arguably one of the most recognizable video game protagonists of all time, with his badass eye patch and a penchant for stealthily kicking butts in every critically acclaimed Metal Gear Solid game release since 1998.
Hardcore fans of the series and its creator Hideo Kojima deserve to see a proper movie adaptation come to life, instead of that C movie release that came out in 1998.
Every Metal Gear game consists of superb writing, an interesting cast of characters and numerous plot twists and cliffhangers that could give Mission Impossible a run for its money.
8 The Elder Scrolls
No other gaming franchise can ever come close to topping the ultimate RPG sandbox experience that The Elder Scrolls series provides.
From Morrowind, and Oblivion to Skyrim, players are guaranteed to be immersed in all the vibrant and rich locations throughout the fantasy world of Tamriel.
To top it off, the lore littered within The Elder Scrolls have as much depth as the Lord of the Rings, and it would definitely command a big budget film production or even a HBO series with a talented cast and crew if or when somebody actually decides to put together a script.
9 Clash of Clans
Angry Birds was the first major mobile game to get its own feature film in 2016, and as fowl as it sounds – incorrect word used to create pun intended – it was well received even by those who have never played the game.
It would not be surprising to see a few movies coming out in the future based on popular mobile games, and the next film should definitely involve Clash of Clans.
The mobile MMO clan warfare that pits groups of players against each other in base defense gameplay already rake in $1.5 million daily, so the creators have more than enough money to put out a movie, or a long running reality TV show of top players and clans battling out live every week.
10 Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit
When it comes to single player narrative experiences in games, one must not overlook the importance of Quantic Dream’s 2005 masterpiece, Indigo Prophecy, also known as Fahrenheit.
It was the first game in the modern console era to introduce cinematic cut scenes with QTE (quick time events) gameplay, to complement the game’s brilliantly written story.
With elements of mystery, intrigue and action that mirrors The Matrix, Indigo Prophecy is a game that needs a movie adaptation and has to be directed by someone who can articulate the game’s immaculate delivery of plot climaxes. This is one movie that gamers would love to see.