(Photo by HBO)
Adapting video games into films that please fans of both mediums continues to be a tricky proposition. While the success of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and Detective Pikachu suggests the video-game-movie curse has finally been vanquished, television has already been discovering equal, if not greater success. Netflix series based on League of Legends, The Witcher, Castlevania, and Cuphead have all connected with critics on the Tomatometer, while the most recent title, HBO’s The Last of Us, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, has lived up to the buzz.
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and lollipops on the streaming front. Netflix’s Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness broke the platform’s game-based hot streak with a Rotten score, followed by live-action entry Resident Evil, starring Lance Reddick. The streamer’s The Witcher: Blood Origin — which, OK, is maybe technically based on the books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski — and Sonic Prime also disappointed on the Tomatometer. And, while Paramount+’s Halo did well enough with critics, longtime Master Chief fans of the Halo games were decidedly less impressed. All that said, the Covenant-crushing sci-fi saga has been confirmed to return for a second season.
Additionally, some of the more promising upcoming adaptations are forgoing the feature-film route in favor of streaming episodic content directly to our smart devices. Multiple game-to-series efforts, from Tomb Raider and Splinter Cell to Gods of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Twisted Metal are in the pipeline.
The future looks pretty bright for game franchises turned into TV series. See all the high scores in our guide to video game tv series ranked by Tomatometer! –Matt Cabral