Game developer(s): NetherRealm Studios, Midway Games, and more
Movie producer(s): Lawrence Kasanoff with New Line Cinema
Starring: Robin Shou (Lui Kang), Christopher Lambert (Raiden), Talisa Soto (Kitana), and Brian Thompson (Shao Kahn)
In 1993, the Mortal Kombat phenomenon began and '80s and '90s kids held on tight. We grew up playing the MK games. Today, MK is still a household name and a household game, so it's no surprise Mortal Kombat became a movie only a couple of years after the original release, and that several adaptations have been done since.
Let's just say, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation did not do well and its predecessor Mortal Kombat was not much better. It's not the best movie I've ever seen. It is, however, memorable, but maybe not for the right reasons. It didn't do the series justice and had a lot of that '90s cheese factor. There's a lot of action (maybe too much), but the writing just didn't do it. It's no wonder the first movie got 44% on the Tomatometer and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation got a very sad 2%. It's a good thing these two movies were not the only MK adaptations ever done.
Game developer(s): Wargaming Seattle
Movie producer(s): Shawn Williamson and Dan Clarke
Starring: Jason Statham (Camden Konreid), John Rhys-Davies (Merick), Ray Liotta (Gallian)
Adapted from the Dungeon Siege series, an action RPG that came out in 2002, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale was a big, boring, flop. If anything, it's so bad that it's kind of funny, campy even, which may get you laughing. That counts for something right? No reason to wonder why it got a 4% on the Tomatometer.
Dungeon siege is known for its fantasy-medieval setting, the kingdom of Ehb, which could have made for a really cool movie or TV series (ahem, Netflix, ahem)! Dungeon Siege fans, here's hoping we get a reboot that does the game some justice!
Game developer(s): Capcom, Namco, Arika, and more
Movie producer(s): Edward R. Pressman and Kenzo Tsujimoto
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme (Guile), Ming-Na Wen (Chun-Li), and Raul Julia (M. Bison)
In 1987, Street Fighter, the popular Japanese fighting game, came out and wasted no time gaining popularity. It was an important part of the late '80s and early '90s pop culture to play Street Fighter with your siblings or friends, so the natural net steps were some sort of franchise.
At the time, Jean-Claude Van Damme was an icon. Everyone knew his name. Everyone watched his movies. So, it also seemed like a smart move to have him in such an important role; however, it was really bad. Really bad. It wasn't near as bad as Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, but it had the same cheese factor, a small budget, and an overall '90s cheese vibe. I'm not sure much effort was put into this video game movie adaptation and it really disappointed Street Fighter fans. Major flop.
Game developer(s): id Software, GT Interactive, Rage Games, and more
Movie producer(s): John Wells and Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Starring: Dwayne Johnson (Sarge), Rosamund Pike (Samantha Grimm), and Karl Urban (John Grimm)
The Doom series first debuted in 1993 with their first-person shooter game, eventually coming out for mobile, and becoming quite the franchise. People love fighting demons and all that fun stuff, what can I say? In fact, DOOM Eternal: The Ancient Gods - Part Two just came out this year (2021).
Self-proclaimed Dwayne Johnson fan here (he makes it on this list more than once, though not intentionally), I really wanted to like this adaptation. The casting was excellent, also a big fan of Rosamund Pike, but the story and the development of that story (like many on this list) lacked anything super original or exciting. Though, seeing Dwayne Johnson's face change is pretty exciting.
Game developer(s): IO Interactive, Square Enix Montreal, and more
Movie producer(s): Daniel Alter, Adrian Askarieh, Luc Besson, and more
Starring: Timothy Olyphant (Agent 47), Olga Kurylenko (Nika Boronina), and Dougray Scott (Mike Whittier)
Hitman: Codename 47 was the first of the stealth video game franchise to debut in 2000 and thank goodness it did. I love a good stealth game, and this one came with challenging gameplay and an interesting backstory. The game has never truly ceased in popularity, the newest game, Hitman 3, coming out just this year (2021).
In 2007, we were all hopeful that Hitman would be a... hit, but it just wasn't. It was pretty lackluster, under-developed, and Timothy Olyphant didn't quite best fit the role as Agent 47. It was also predictable. It really let Hitman fans down, grossing $101.3 million (USD) and a 16% on the Tomatometer. This one, I have to say, the Rotten Tomatoes critics got right.
Game developer(s): Nintendo
Movie producer(s): Roland Joffé, Jake Eberts, and Fred C. Caruso
Starring: Bob Hoskins (Mario), John Leguizamo (Luigi), and Dennis Hopper (Bowser)
We all know the game Super Mario Bros. and the entire Mario Bros. series, right? Just a little platforming game with a couple of Italian plumbers that came along one day in 1985 and remains popular today. Of course, they made a movie. Of course, it became a franchise to be reckoned with, but that doesn't mean the movie was good.
I want to make something very clear, as a '90s kid, I have a real soft spot and respect for '90s movies with Bob Hoskins. He was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. A true '90s icon. This movie, however, was not iconic. Not even close. The actors and the premise, even being based on one of the most iconic video games of all time, didn't help the movie in the right direction. It was a bit of a flop. Having said that, I still loved Bob Hoskins. The movie just got a bit too '90s cheesy.
Game developer(s): Electronic Arts, Criterion Software, EA Gothenburg, and more
Movie production companies: Electronic Arts, DreamWorks Pictures, Bandito Brothers, and more
Starring: Aaron Paul (Tobey Marshall), Rami Malek (Finn), Imogen Poots (Julia Maddon)
This racing video game debuted in 1994. It quickly became a franchise, with a wide array of games released since the '90s, the latest in 2020, Need for Speed Heat: McLaren F1 Black Market Delivery. With games like these, that have such a huge following and loyal fanbase. This is one I expected a movie to come out for way sooner than 2014, but it happened and that's what counts.
The movie overall was a bit cliché and predictable, though the cars were cool and some of the acting and casting was well-done. That, however, wasn't enough to get this movie higher up the list. It was just too predictable. Watch the trailer and you've seen everything you need to know. Rightfully so, the Tomatometer only gave it 23%.
Game developer(s): Blizzard Entertainment
Movie producer(s): Thomas Tull, Charles Roven, Tessa Ross, and more
Starring: Travis Fimmel (Anduin Lothar), Paula Patton (Garona Halforcen), and Ben Foster (Medivh)
It was in 2004 that the MMORPG World of Warcraft, better known as WOW, came out. It's one of the most popular, if not the most popular with 2,193,035 players worldwide. This is one video game that really deserved an adaptation, but I am not sure it got the adaptation it deserved.
The movie was rushed. It was a lot of action without the development and story-building a complex game like this would need to create a compelling movie. It just fell flat. If you are a WOW fan, I am sorry. You deserved better. However, I will say some of the actors and acting were great. The animation was cool. It was the story and story building, the rush into action that was the problem. Even though the reviews were pretty mixed and it earned 28% on the Tomatometer, it still grossed over 439 million (USD). I guess that is proof enough that earnings don't equate to a successful movie.
Game developer(s): Jordan Mechner, Ubisoft Montreal, and Brøderbund Software
Movie producer(s): Jerry Bruckheimer and карим абубэйд
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal (Dastan), Gemma Arterton (Tamina), and Ben Kingsley (Nizam)
The first Prince of Persia action-adventure video game goes way back to 1989. The games have evolved becoming more and more story-oriented and well-done over time. It has been developed by several companies, was released for mobile, and spawned this adaptation in 2010.
At first, as with most video game-inspired movies, fans were pumped, but the movie became way too Hollywood casting Jake Gyllenhaal in the role of Dastan. This decision effectively ruined the movie and earned the movie 37% on the Tomatometer. Though I do like Jake Gyllenhaal, his position in the role wasn't believable for a multitude of reasons and the movie just didn't reach its capability.
Game developer(s): Insomniac Games
Movie producer(s): Kim Dent Wilder, David Wohl, and Brad Foxhoven
Starring: James Arnold Taylor (Ratchet), David Kaye (Clank), and Jim Ward (Captain Qwark)
The Ratchet and Clank series goes back to 2002. If you haven't played, the series has some third-person shooting and some action platforming. It's tons of fun and includes the cuties Ratchet and Clank, of course. Because the series became as big as it did, it needed an adaptation, and this one was.. okay.
It wasn't bad, it wasn't good. It was okay. That's not to say I wouldn't watch it again, but it just wouldn't be my first choice. The Tomatometer was a bit harsh giving it only 21%, but I'd say it's a midrange film that just didn't reach it's true potential. Two cuties like Ratchet and Clank could have made for a great adaptation if the time and development had been put into it.
Game developer(s): Capcom, Tencent, GREE Inc., and more
Movie production companies: Screen Gems, AB2 Pictures, and Constantin Film
Starring: Milla Jovovich (Natalie Artemis), Ron Perlman (Admiral), and Tony Jaa (The Hunter)
In 2004, the fantasy action RPG Monster Hunter came out on PS2. Players fell in love with the game, most likely because of the fantasy theme and reward system, but, to be honest, it was just a really addictive game. Each game that has launched since then has been equally addictive, spawning, of course, the need to have a movie adaptation.
Since Monster Hunter came out on the big screen, most have agreed that Milla Jovovich played the part to the T, but it's really just another midrange movie. Fans expected a lot out of the movie, and like many video game movie adaptations tend to do, it just didn't wow anyone. Maybe gamers have high expectations. Maybe creators underestimate our expectations. Either way, it was a good movie, but nothing I would sit to watch again and again.
Game developer(s): Rockstar Games, Remedy Entertainment, and more
Movie producer(s): John Moore, Julie Yorn, and Scott Faye
Starring: Mark Wahlberg (Max Payne), Olga Kurylenko (Natasha), and Mila Kunis (Mona Sax)
Max Payne the game came out in 2001 and got high marks as a third-person shooter. Since then there has been a Max Payne 2 and 3, mobile releases, and this great movie with Mark Wahlberg. It was pretty epic. Even Ludacris made an appearance as Jim Bravura.
Rotten Tomatoes' critics didn't agree, but I liked the movie and Mark Wahlberg fit the Max Payne Role well. Grossing only $85.8 million (USD), the predictable ending of the movie is what had fans feeling less than thrilled. I get it, a little more complexity in the writing could have made this movie ten times better, but I still think it's an enjoyable watch for Max Payne fans, as well as those who just like a good action movie.
Game developer(s): N/A
Movie producer(s): Chris Columbus, Adam Sandler, Allen Covert, and more
Starring: Adam Sandler (Sam Brenner), Michelle Monaghan (Violet), and Peter Dinklage (Eddie Plant)
Did you know Pixelsis also a French animated short film from 2010 (written by Patrick Jean)? While it inspired the 2015 version of Pixels with Adam Sandler, we can't ignore the roots behind both movies. Games like Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and more, inspired Pixels.
Of course, without these classic games, Aliens couldn't have sent over real-life video games for Sam, Violet, Eddie, and other characters to fight. It's a pretty funny movie that kept my attention. So, while it's not a straightforward or literal adaptation, it wouldn't be here without the games that inspired it.
Game developer(s): Nintendo, Atari, and Sentient Software
Movie producer(s): Clark Spencer
Starring: John C. Reilly (Ralph), Sarah Silverman (Vanellope von Schweetz), Jack McBrayer (Fix-it Felix)
Did you know that Wreck-It Ralph was inspired by the one and only, the legendary, the absolutely epic: Donkey Kong? Makes sense, right? I mean look at the size of Ralph, look at the size of Donkey Kong. They are both wrecking things all the time, right? Though, in the movie Ralph plays a villain from an '80s arcade game, Fix-it Felix, this is all smoke and mirrors, because Donkey Kong was the real inspiration.
While this video game movie adaptation isn't as literal an adaptation, and is more of a loosely inspired interpretation, as all of the movies and TV shows on this list, the movie would not exist without Donkey Kong. Ralph wouldn't be Ralph without Donkey Kong. It's lovely to think that Donkey Kong goes way back to 1981 and it's still such a well-known franchise and inspired a movie like Wreck-It Ralph and Ralph Breaks the Internet.
Game developer(s): Rovio Entertainment, ak tronic Software & Services GmbH
Movie producer(s): John Cohen and Catherine Winder
Starring: Sean Pen (Terence), Peter Dinklage (Mighty Eagle), and Jason Sudeikis (Red)
In 2009, the puzzle video game The Angry Birds came out for iOS, and it helped define what mobile gaming is today. When mobile gaming on smartphones was first gaining mainstream popularity, only a year after the App Store came out on iOS, this cute little game came out and stole hearts and hours and hours of productivity.
When they came out with The Angry Birds Movie, I was pretty excited, and overall, I thought it was a cute family movie with some creative but true-to-game animation and relevant story-telling. The movie stays true to the grumpy birds we first catapulted on our smartphones but really brings them to life with additional storytelling. It even grossed an impressive $352.3 million (USD). The Angry Birds Movie 2 did not live up to the same hype, grossing only $41.7 million (USD), but, despite this, the reviewers tended to like the second movie and the storyline more.
Game developer(s): Sega, Sonic Team, Sumo Digital, and more
Movie producer(s): Sega, Paramount Pictures Studios, Blur Studio, and more
Starring: Ben Shwartz (Sonic), Jim Carrey (Villain-Dr. Robotnik), and James Marsden (Tom Wachowski)
In 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog came out, introducing the cute, blue, and super-fast hedgehog protagonist that we know and still love. It was an epic beginning that evolved into a crazy popular franchise. In 2020, we finally got the Sonic the Hedgehog movie we always wanted and deserved (I'm talking to you '80s, '90s, and '00s kids!).
Before it came out, however, Sonic the Hedgehog fans were not messing around, because the first trailer came out, and everyone was horrified. The original trailer included what Paramount called "realistic." If I'm being honest, the realistic Sonic was creepy and didn't look like the Sonic we knew. Luckily, the pretty unanimous reaction to Paramounts version of Sonic resulted in a push of the original release date and Paramount going back to the drawing board to create a Sonic that looked like... Sonic.
Sonic the Hedgehog only got a modest 63% on the Tomatometer, but I think it was a cute, family-oriented movie that deserved more kudos. If it had come out with the original "realistic" Sonic, imagine the Tomatometer then!
Game developer(s): Core Design, Ubisoft, Crystal Dynamics, and more
Movie production companies: Paramount Pictures, Mutual Film Company, Lawrence Gordon Productions, and more
Starring: Angelina Jolie (Lara Croft), Noah Taylor (Bryce), and Daniel Craig (Alex West)
This action-adventure video game debuted in 1996, and let's be real, it was a good first go at an epic game, but most importantly it was the beginning of a gigantic franchise. This action-adventure actually had good graphics (by '90s standards and tech) and Lara Croft as a protagonist was pretty revolutionary. Hence, why they had an icon like Angelina Jolie play her in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Angelina Jolie quickly became the face of Lara Croft after her portrayal of the character. Because she took the role seriously, and fit so well into the role, it was hard not to associate her with Lara Croft, and I've never stopped associating her with the role to this day. I don't care what anyone says, these were good video game movie adaptations, and Angelina Jolie did Lara Croft proud.
Game developer(s): Core Design, Ubisoft, Crystal Dynamics, and more
Movie producer(s): Graham King, Gary Barber, and Drew Crevello
Starring: Alicia Vikander (Lara Croft), Walton Goggins (Mathias Vogel), and Dominic West (Lord Richard Croft)
Another Tomb Raider adaptation, this movie really took it there. Alicia Vikander reportedly worked extremely hard to put on muscle and do Lara Croft proud. As a big fan of Alici Vikander, I do think I might be slightly biased about this movie, but I also thought the producers, writers, and director, put a lot of effort into surpassing Angelina Jolie's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, bringing it out of the '00s, and amping up the overall quality of the adaptation.
As far as adaptations go, this one was a win, and though it pains me to turn on the '00s roots, I have to agree it did surpass its predecessor Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Though, I am not sure fans find Vikander's role as Lara Croft quite as iconic.
Game developer(s): Team Silent, Double Helix, Vatra Games, and more
Movie producer(s): Konami, Davis Films, and Silent Hill DCP, Inc
Starring: Radha Mitchell (Rose Da Silva), Sean Bean (Christopher Da Silva), Deborah Kara Unger (Dahlia Gillespie), and more
In 1999, the creepy survival game, Silent Hill, debuted and grew in popularity. Several Silent Hill games have come out since, leaving Silent Hill fans with plenty of content to consume and obsess over. I, for one, was surprised it took so long for them to make a film adaptation, but I am glad they did.
Silent Hill, the prequel, was a great psychological horror movie with mid-'00s vibes, though it got a 32% on the Tomatometer. The second movie, Silent Hill: Revelation, was a sad, sad excuse for a movie with a 10% on the Tomatometer. I'm not sure what they were thinking with the second one, but I hope, one beautiful day, we get a proper Silent Hill redo. However, that first one was good, and I stand by that statement.
Game developer(s): NetherRealm Studios, Midway Games, and more
Movie producer(s): James Wan and Todd Garner
Starring: Jessica McNamee (Sonya Blade), Lewis Tan (Cole Young), and Joe Taslim (Sub-Zero)
We know all about MK right? With a few different Mortal Kombat adaptations on this list, we all know how big the MK franchise is, how many of us grew up playing the game. It's another franchise that really speaks for itself. So, when fans have had to endure many failure adaptations while waiting for one that does the game they love justice, I have to say, this one does.
I know there are mixed reviews out there, but Mortal Kombat really took the storytelling, development, and action to another level while honoring the game. This movie is anything but boring, and it truly didn't disappoint me as a big MK fan. Though critics were hard on it and it only grossed $42.0 million (USD), I think it's a well-done film that honors an epic game. I would also say, the $42.0 million (USD) grossed is probably a result of the pandemic. If you haven't watched Mortal Kombat, do it!
Game developer(s): Atari and Atari, Inc.
Movie production companies: Walt Disney Pictures, Sean Bailey Productions, Prana Studios, and more
Starring: Garrett Hedlund, (Sam Flynn), Jeff Bridges (Kevin Flynn), and Olivia Wilde (Quorra)
In the 1970s, Pong came out and became a popular arcade sports game based on table tennis with somewhat similar gameplay to Pinball. While it was wildly popular, I don't think anyone ever expected a movie or TV show adaptation based on this storyless arcade game. However, it happened, and it was actually worth watching.
Tron: Legacy grossed over $400.1 million (USD) and it was all inspired by an arcade game from the '70s. Who knew, right? With iconic actors like Jeff Bridges, and thoughtful writing, it's no wonder the movie did so well. As an adaptation of the original, it was long overdue. Tron from 1982, despite the awful '80s graphics, was also worth watching and also included Jeff Bridges (so, of course, it was good). It even got a 72% on the Tomatometer. If you dig sci-fi, give it a go!
Game developer(s): Nintendo, Niantic, The Pokémon Company, and more
Series production companies: Boomerang, TX Network, and more
Starring: Ikue Ōtani, Rica Matsumoto, Megumi Hayashibara, and much more
Pokémon cards, clothes, games (Pokémon Go), TV shows, movies, wallpaper. If you want a Pokémon version of something, it's probably out there. It all started in 1996, and it doesn't look like it's coming to an end anytime soon!
The Pokémon TV Series is comprised of eight total series, so it's doubtful you will run out of options, but it's recommended you start with the first season with Ash, Misty, and Brock going way back to 1997. While the show has varied in stars, writers, animation, and content, it's still been a go-to show for Pokémon fans, because it not only stays true to the game, but it has helped develop and expand the world of Pokémon. Fans give it rave reviews because it goes so far back it has become an essential part of what makes Pokémon the Pokémon we know today. Today, the show influences the games as much as the first game influenced the beginning of the series.
Game developer(s): Capcom, Sega, Rockstar San Diego, and more
Movie production companies: Constantin Film, New Legacy Film, Impact Pictures, and more
Starring: Milla Jovovich (Alice), Michelle Rodriguez (Rain Ocampo), Sienna Guillory (Jill Valentine), and more
Resident Evil, otherwise known as BioHazard, is one of the most popular video game franchises to date. It first came out in 1996, and since then, Resident Evil games have been created one after another after another. It was pretty clear that there would be some type of adaptation made, and there have been several, but the Resident Evil series with Milla Jovovich cannot be beaten.
There is nothing like curling up with some popcorn and rewatching the first Resident Evil at the start of a nostalgic, weekend-long binge. While it only got a 33% on the Tomatometer, I am starting to think Rotten Tomatoes is missing the point. Love this movie series and all that it entails, though a part of me wishes it had been started just a bit later in the game, with a bit more quality and attention paid to the first movie.
Game developer(s): Ubisoft, Gameloft, and more
Movie producer(s): Michael Fassbender, Conor McCaughan, and more
Starring: Michael Fassbender (Aguilar, Cal Lynch), Marion Cotillard (Dr. Sophia Rikkin), and Jeremy Irons (Alan Rikkin)
In 2007, the first Assassin's Creed game made its debut and it was the action-adventure game I lived for back then. Known for its rich historical references and storyline, Assassin's Creed felt incredibly fresh and unique. Good story, check. Historically driven, check. Travel to another space and time while playing, check again!
Books were written starting in 2009, and that same year, the first adaptation came out, Assassin's Creed: Lineage. It was absolutely zero to write home about. In fact, in total, there are four Assassin's Creed film and TV adaptations, but the Assassin's Creed from 2016 with Michael Fassbender is the only worth mentioning. While some thought this movie was a flop, I actually enjoyed it. I will say, I am partial since I am a huge Fassbender fan, but I still think it was a good film with a great starring actor and worthy storytelling.
Regardless of the mixed reviews, it earned over $240 million (USD). Assassin's Creed: Black Flag was planned as a sequel before Assassin's Creed launched, but that was in 2016. It's rumored there is to be a Netflix adaptation instead, because the first movie wasn't received as hoped, but at this point, there isn't enough concrete news.
Game developer(s): Square Enix and Square
Movie producer(s): Jun Aida, Chris Lee, and Akio Sakai
Starring: Alec Baldwin (Captain Gray), Steve Buscemi (Neil), and Ming-Na Wen (Aki Ross)
In 1997, this fantasy RPG was epic, and continued to evolve into the equally epic franchise it is today. There have been quite a few Final Fantasy adaptations over the years, giving fans more and more of the world they love so much to consume. Not all of them have been very noteworthy, but Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within has been one of the better adaptations to date.
With legendary voice actors, photoRealism, impressive CG, and animation, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within really did what a good video game movie adaptation should do, it gave the fans content that was true to the series and beautiful to watch. It grossed around $85.1 million (USD), so they must have done something right. Despite 44% on the Tomatometer, I'd say this movie is worth watching.
Game developer(s): NetherRealm Studios, Midway Games, and more
Movie producer(s): Warner Bros. Animation and Studio Mir
Starring: Jennifer Carpenter (Sonya Blade), Patrick Seitz (Scorpion), and Joel McHale (Johnny Cage)
Did you think only one Mortal Kombat adaptation would make this list? Then you thought, okay two made the list, right? Think again. This animated MK adaptation is good, like really good. The voice acting is great (Huge Jennifer Carpenter fan here), and the art and storyline felt true to the fandom. I don't want to get ahead of myself here and say it was amazing, but great sums it up pretty well.
While it's one of the better video game-to-movie adaptations, I think it suffered from a rushed ending. Other than that, I can see why Tomatometer has it at 90%. If you haven't given it a watch, you should!
Game developer(s): Midway and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Movie producer(s): Beau Flynn, Brad Peyton, Hiram Garcia, and more
Starring: Dwayne Johnson (Davis Okoye), Malin Åkerman (Claire Wyden), and Naomie Harris (Dr. Kate Caldwell)
In 1986, the action video game Rampage came out, allowing kids to play a villainous human turned "monster" and destroy stuff. Who doesn't want to play a monster and destroy stuff? In the late '80s, this game was just the ticket. In fact, it's remained popular enough to inspire the newest Rampage, an arcade game that is mostly available at arcade eateries like Dave & Buster's. So, people are still playing it and loving it today.
The movie was so well-received it grossed over $428 million (USD), and the bond between Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) and George was heartwarming enough to add a lot of dimensionality to the adaptation that is Rampage. Also, the ending was totally cry-worthy. If you haven't seen this movie, you should. It really is a worthy watch, even if you weren't a Rampage fan.
Game developer(s): Nintendo, Niantic, The Pokémon Company, and more
Movie production companies: Legendary Pictures and The Pokémon Company
Starring: Ryan Reynolds (Detective Pikachu), Justice Smith (Tim Goodman), and Kathryn Newton (Lucy Stevens)
The first Pokémon game debuted in 1996, and the rest is pretty much history. It has become an extremely successful and beloved franchise. I literally walked around with a purse full of Pokémon cards so I could trade with other kids back in my day. I think the Pokémon series pretty much speaks for itself, right?
There are tons of Pokémon adaptations, some better than others, but I pretty much knew that Detective Pikachu was going to be awesome when I heard it would be starring Ryan Reynolds as Detective Pikachu. It was wholesome and well-written and funny and smart. I don't care what any critic says, this adaptation is top-notch, and most Pokémon fans agreed. Even though it wasn't a literal adaptation, it was a fun spin including some core Pokémon.
Game developer(s): Konami, Mercury Steam, Konami Digital Entertainment, and more
Series producer(s): Adi Shankar, Fred Seibert, Ted Biaselli, and more
Starring: Richard Armitage (Trevor Belmont), Graham McTavish (Dracula), and James Callis (Alucard)
Castlevania is an action-adventure and gothic-horror video game that came out in 1986. It's one of the most popular video game franchises, and I don't say that lightly. Since then, a slew of games have been released, and there were always rumors about amazing adaptations to come that either never did or movies that came out and flopped.
However, this animated series adaptation of Castlevania pretty much blew up Netflix. With four seasons on Netflix, the fourth the final season of the series, Castlevania delivered to fans the Castlevania we wanted and craved. The casting was perfect. The story s well-developed. The whole darn thing just works. No complaints here. It even got a 94% on the Tomatometer, which I rarely see. Graham McTavish, thank you for being the best Dracula I've seen in a long time. Castlevania fans are grateful.
Game developer(s): CD Projekt, CD Projekt RED, CDP.pl, and more
Series production companies: Sean Daniel Company, Stillking Films, Platige Image, and more
Starring: Henry Caville (Geralt of Rivia), Anya Chalotra (Yennefer), and Freya Allan (Ciri)
In 1993, The Witcher actually started as a fantasy novel series (six novels and several short stories) by author Andrzej Sapkowski. The series is so good (if you've read it, you know), that it inspired the popular video game series that debuted in 2007. The last book was published in 2013, and was said to be the end of the series. There were, however, rumors that Sapkowski could write more of the series.
Regardless, I might have been stretching it by adding The Witcher, on Netflix, to this list, but I wanted it to be comprehensive. Many of you, have not read the books, and sadly many gamers don't know the game started with Sapkowski and his six-book series. Either way, the show lived up to the books and surpassed the games in every way. The acting is great. The story stays true to the original, though Yennefer's story is much more developed, and there is no fear that we will be in another GOT situation. By GOT situation I mean, we don't have to worry about writers trying to wrap up an epic show with an uncharacteristic ending like with the horrendous finale that we experienced with GOT.
Due to the pandemic, production is far behind what was expected, but fans (including myself) are willing to wait patiently for season two!