Hollywood has been cashing in on video game tie-ins over the years. But then, there’s been no shortage of games based on long-running TV shows either. We’ve seen game developers turn their magic to franchises from animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all the way to recent dramas like The Sopranos and The Walking Dead. Even reality shows like The Amazing Race and Survivor have been given the game treatment over the years.
Devoted fanbases have led to numerous movie- and TV show-inspired board games and console games. There are even slot games that allow fans to play for real money at the likes of Dreamz Casino. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to video games, TV adaptions just don’t get the same attention as movie-game tie-ins. So, we thought we’d attempt to redress the balance and take a look at some of the best games based on TV shows right here.
1. The Simpsons: Hit & Run
If you’ve ever fantasized about a game that somehow manages to combine Grand Theft Auto and The Simpsons, then it must have felt like Christmas when this one hit video game stores. You take control of Bart, Homer, Marge, Lisa, and Asu as you investigate the strange goings-on in Springfield in a far funnier and less violent version of GTA: 111. The gameplay is pure fun, especially the driving. and there’s some detail gone into Springfield’s open world. You feel that you’re in an episode of the long-running show. There are numerous Simpsons games on the market, but you’d be perfectly fine with just this one.
2. Buffy The Vampires: Chaos Bleeds
This is the fourth in several games based on Buffy, and it’s by far the best. The action takes place in the fifth season of the popular show. Unlike previous Buffy games, you can take control of other characters, with the multiplayer option meaning you can play alongside Buffy as either Willow or Zander. Chaos Bleeds is a fun action romp with decent sound, solid graphics, and a nice variety of vampires and other demons for you to deal with.
3. Game Of Thrones
Like the two above shows on the list, there have also been multiple games based on the Game of Thrones series during its seven-season run. However, the Telltale Games version is the best. While your decisions affect the story arc of the show, the game hits a home run in staying close to the Westeros universe. You’ll also hear voices of the actual GOT cast, adding some authenticity.
4. DuckTales: Remastered
If you had fun watching this show, you’ll love Capcom’s classic action platform game. We’re going back a while with this one (1990), but it sold over a million copies, which was pretty good in those days. You travel around the world as Scrooge McDuck, seeking treasure to add to your collection. The bright colors, inviting animation, and well-designed levels make you feel like you’re watching the show. And while it isn’t the most challenging game in the world, DuckTales is a lot of fun that will make sure you come back for more.
5. The Walking Dead: The Game
Telltale Games develop episodic titles better than anyone else, so it was of no surprise when their attempt at creating a thrilling and exciting Walking Dead game was a huge success. Loved by fans and critics alike, The Walking Dead: The Game perfectly depicts what a zombie apocalypse would probably look like. The game emphasizes story development and character, with each action you perform resulting in a different outcome. Along with amazing writing that’s equally as impressive as The Walking Dead comic book, the game is a great example of emotional storytelling with just enough action and puzzles to keep you hooked.
6. Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force
Elite Forces is based on season 4 of Star Trek: Voyager, and is an impressive first-person shooter that Trekkies fell in love with. The game ingrates several settings and characters from the show in a visually stunning world. The story is the same kind of quality you’d expect from the television show itself, and along with the great graphics and gameplay, this is a highly entertaining game from the world of Star Trek more than worthy of an entry on this list. It’s also worth pointing out that Elite Force’s multiplayer option adds to the longevity of the gameplay.
7. The Adventures of Batman & Robin
It was only a matter of time before the success of Batman: The Animated Series would lead to a video game. Fortunately, when Konami answered the call, they got it right with The Adventures of Batman and Robin. You take control of The Dark Knight himself while navigating levels based on episodes of the show. The game is fondly remembered for its favorable sound and graphics, as well as integrating some challenging puzzles you’re tasked with solving over the course of the game. With similar gameplay to Contra, The Adventures of Batman & Robin injects some fun into the franchise and is more in line with the ‘60s show, as opposed to Christopher Nolan’s darker take on the franchise.
8. Mission Impossible
You’ll likely be familiar with the Tom Cruise-led movies, but prior to that, the franchise enjoyed huge success as a TV show. The game, based on the late ‘80s continuation of the ‘60s show, allows you to toggle between the three main characters while you make your way around the world to rescue a scientist. The gameplay is challenging at points, although the variety of challenges and levels certainly make up for it. The sound and graphics are impressive for its era, with Mission: Impossible a difficult but thoroughly enjoyable game.
9. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3
The third in the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series also happens to be the best. Building on the games in the series that came before it, Budokai has improved on both sound and graphics, with the gameplay way ahead of the previous installments. Along with its story mode, you can take part in a tournament, a versus mode, and a battle ranking stage where you compete against the AI in a hundred fighter challenge. There are several characters you can choose from, and there’s also an impressive array of special moves. Budokai 3 is the most complete game in the franchise.