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Top 5 Best TV Shows to Game Adaptations

The best TV shows that became a part of the most successful games of all times.

Television and video games have been sharing industries since Atari hit the market in the 1980’s when kids would play Sesame Street-themed games on the first game-to-TV console ever. With the release of Nintendo’s first game console in the late 1980’s, some popular shows made their first appearances as video games, while games that would make great TV shows were first introduced as the video game classics we know and love today.

Today, there are hundreds of TV shows that have made it big through their transitions into the gamer world and games that have transitioned into popular films and television shows. Some of these have become huge hits today, while others have ended up making the list for the worst game to film adaptations.

The infamous glitches and technical issues that are subject to arise upon any new release are the biggest obstacles that every game developer needs to steer clear of. Case in point: the long-awaited release of the Telltale Game of Thrones game could have been a major success, but was met with some disappointment due to these very issues. While the Game of Thrones has succeeded in many areas, building a large video game franchise and even slot games, a simple technical misstep has the potential to mark it as a failure.

These top 5 best TV shows to game adaptations have carefully considered and executed each important aspect of building a successful game in their time.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game

Growing up in the 90’s was awesome for so many reasons, and playing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game on the original Nintendo console was one of them. In this action-packed classic, you could choose your favorite turtle and play with your friends as you continue through each level, beating down Shredder’s clans of foot soldiers, with the ultimate goal being to save April from Shredder himself. Nothing can replace the nostalgic feeling of screaming at your friends as you charge through each level on a murderous rampage to save April from the clutches of her captors.

WWE Raw 2

If you thought kicking ass with your favorite Ninja Turtle was fun, you must have been psyched when WWE Raw 2 was released on Xbox years later. The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Austin 3:16, The Undertaker, CM Punk, and all the other classic wrestlers were there, with all the action of Sunday Night Raw stuffed into an action-packed game. You could pick your favorite wrestler and take out your frustration, beating your opponents down with chairs, ladders, and tables – exactly the way you wanted them to during the live match.

The Adventures of Batman and Robin

As another classic for all the nostalgic gamers out there, The Adventures of Batman and Robin surely brings back some awesome memories. This one delivered well on both the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo consoles, taking its cues directly from the relatively short-lived Burton-esque television program based on the animated Batman series. Though the games had some vast differences based on which console you were using, both had some pretty awesome graphics for their time and delivered a thrilling challenge. 

South Park: The Stick of Truth

Die-hard South Park fans can never get enough of the show, which is why creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone teamed up with Obsidian Entertainment in the early 2000’s to deliver South Park: The Stick of Truth to their fans. The game delivers everything a South Park lover would want out of a video game, from Nazi Zombies to bizarro bosses, and of course all of your favorite characters. You play the game as the “New Kid” in South Park, and the role is completely customizable with a range of classes you’d fully expect from the creators of South Park. Play the game as a fighter, a thief, a Jew, or many other hilarious and controversial characters.

The Simpsons: Hit & Run

The Simpsons is another classic cartoon that pushed the boundaries of controversy, airing for a record-breaking period and gaining as many die-hard fans as South Park, if not more. Naturally, a Simpsons-themed video game could not be avoided, and fortunately, it turned out to be a huge hit. If you’re a fan of The Simpsons and Grand Theft Auto, The Simpsons: Hit & Run was right up your alley. The goal of the game is to restore normalcy to the town by going out on driving missions with your favorite character and vehicle from a range of different Simpsons-themed options, including a Duff truck or the Simpson’s own pink station wagon.

There’s a lot to consider when making a TV show to game adaptation. The developers must stick to the original storyline while adding twists and other elements of surprise that keep the game interesting for players and accurate for fans of the show. And of course, there shouldn’t be any glitches or technical issues. Each of the games on our list made the cut according to this important criteria.

Do you have a favorite TV show to game adaptation that didn’t make our top 5 list? Do you have some big ideas about which TV shows should be made into video games next? Leave your answers in the comments section below.

Published Jul. 10th 2016

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