Animated Game Adaptations

 Let’s cover the growing medium of animated adaptations of video games in this article. With the rise of video game culture and the continuous popularity of these games, it comes as no surprise that we are now seeing an increase in animated shows and movies based on video games. From classic games like Mario and Sonic to more recent hits like Cuphead and Angry Birds, these adaptations are bringing beloved characters and storylines to life in a new way. This medium allows for creative storytelling and world-building, while also tapping into the nostalgia of fans who have grown up playing these games. The animated format also allows for more flexibility in visual design and imagination, opening up new possibilities for the worlds and characters we’ve come to love. As we delve into this article, we will explore the potential and impact of animated game adaptations on both the gaming and entertainment industries.


Arcane is a unique, animated adaptation of the popular video game League of Legends, and it has proven to be a successful game adaptation for once. Released in 2021, Arcane has captivated audiences with its stunning animation style and compelling storytelling. Unlike many previous attempts at adapting games into other forms of media, Arcane managed to not only capture the essence of the game but also expand upon its world and characters in a way that works so well for both fans and newcomers. The level of detail and effort put into the show’s visuals and narrative is unparalleled, making it one of the best animated shows of the year. The series does not feel like a mere cash grab, but rather a labor of love from the creators who clearly had a plan to destroy the stigma surrounding game adaptations. Arcane’s success is a testament to the potential of translating video game worlds into other forms of entertainment.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

 Super Mario is considered one of the most successful game adaptation movies to date. The iconic arcade game character, originally created by Nintendo, first appeared in the classic video game Donkey Kong in 1981. Since then, Mario has become a beloved figure in gaming culture. In 2023, fans were thrilled when an animated movie adaptation was released, and it did not disappoint. The movie is praised for its faithfulness to the source material, bringing the cute and colorful world of Mario to life on the big screen. The plot follows the classic storyline where Bowser goes on a rampage, threatening Princess Peach, and Mario must embark on a mission to save the kingdom. The movie captures the essence of what makes a good video game adaptation, and its success has solidified its place as one of the best adaptations ever made. After the disappointment of the live-action adaptation last year, the animated movie was a breath of fresh air for fans of the franchise.


Castlevania, the anime adaptation of the popular video game series, has gained a dedicated fan base for its dark and compelling storytelling. The series follows Trevor Belmont, the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, as he goes on a journey to save Eastern Europe from the grip of Vlad Dracula Tepe. Along the way, Trevor is joined by the powerful sorceress Sypha Belnades and Alucard, Dracula’s son. The animated TV series, which has aired its first two seasons, has been praised for its stunning animation, complex characters, and intense action sequences. The show dives deep into the lore of the video game series while also adding its own unique twists and compelling character development. With a strong focus on the fight between good and evil, Castlevania’s adaptation has successfully captured the essence of the original video game and continues to intrigue audiences with its dark and thrilling storytelling.

Cyberpunk Edgerunners

The Japanese anime adaptation of Cyberpunk Edgerunners is set to release in 2022 and is highly anticipated by fans of the original game. Loosely based on the game Cyberpunk 2077, the anime will follow the story of a high school student who gets caught up in the gritty world of cybernetic enhancements, futuristic technology, and corporate corruption. The anime is expected to explore the same themes of the original game, such as humanity’s relationship with technology and the consequences of a hyper-urbanized society. With stunning animation and a dynamic storyline, Cyberpunk Edgerunners has the potential to become a standout series in the cyberpunk genre of Japanese anime. Fans are eager to see how the anime adaptation will expand upon the world and characters established in the original game and look forward to experiencing the cyberpunk universe in a new and immersive way.

Resident Evil

The Resident Evil animated adaptation brings the popular video game franchise to life through CG animation, resembling a long cutscene. The series follows familiar characters such as Kennedy and Claire as they navigate the horrors of the Resident Evil universe in a thrilling and immersive way. The voice actors bring the beloved characters to life, adding depth and emotion to their struggles as they try to stop the evil threatening to destroy their world. The adaptation stays true to the source material created by Capcom, maintaining the same level of tension and horror that fans have come to expect from the franchise. With its intense action sequences and gripping storytelling, the Resident Evil animated adaptation is a must-watch for both fans of the video games and newcomers to the series. Whether it’s fighting off hordes of zombies or navigating treacherous environments, the adaptation captures the heart-pounding excitement that has made Resident Evil a household name in the world of survival horror. 

Cuphead show

The Cuphead show is a faithful adaptation of the popular video game, bringing the zany characters and vibrant retro animation to life on the small screen. The animated series, based on the video game, stays true to the original source material, capturing the same retro aesthetic and wacky boss battles that fans have come to love. The show is a prime example of the recent trend of creating shows based on video games, as studios look to capitalize on the success and popularity of gaming franchises. The Cuphead show not only appeals to fans of the game, but also introduces new audiences to the unique and imaginative world of Cuphead. With its colorful animation and charming characters, the show successfully transitions the gaming experience to a new medium, providing an entertaining and visually stunning TV series for both gamers and non-gamers alike.

Devil May Cry

Devil May Cry is an anime based on the popular video game series of the same name. The story follows a character named Dante, a demon hunter who operates a paranormal detective agency. Set in a land of darkness and supernatural creatures, the series combines action, horror, and fantasy elements to create a compelling and visually stunning world. With its fast-paced combat sequences and complex characters, Devil May Cry has become a beloved franchise for fans of both the video game and anime genres. The adaptation successfully captures the essence of the game, immersing viewers in a thrilling and darkly beautiful universe. The anime has received praise for its faithful adaptation of the source material, as well as its ability to expand upon the game’s lore and mythology. Devil May Cry is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys immersive storytelling, dynamic fight scenes, and a captivating blend of the macabre and the supernatural. Netflix announced a new adaptation of the game also in the works. 

Sonic the Hedgehog

Throughout the years, there have been several television series based on the popular video game franchise Sonic the Hedgehog. These shows have followed the adventures of Sonic and his friends as they battle against the infamous mad scientist, Dr. Eggman. Each series has its own unique take on the characters and storylines, appealing to different generations of fans. From the classic 90s animated series “Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog” to the more recent “Sonic Boom,” there is a Sonic show for everyone. In addition to the television series, there has also been the infamous film adaptation released in 2020, which brought the beloved characters to the big screen. Whether it’s the comedic antics of Sonic and Tails from “Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog” or the action-packed adventures of “Sonic X,” these shows have continued to captivate audiences and keep the legacy of Sonic the Hedgehog alive. 

Final Fantasy

The Final Fantasy adaptation has taken various forms over the years, including animated video games, anime based on the video game series, and animated films adapted from the video games. The franchise has a dedicated fanbase, and the adaptations has received mixed feelings by fans of the game. The FF animated movies and series have brought the beloved characters and storylines to life in a new and immersive way, while the anime based on the video games have expanded the universe of Final Fantasy and provided fans with new and exciting adventures to enjoy. Additionally, the 3D animated films adapted from the video games have definitely given fans a visually stunning and captivating way to experience the world of Final Fantasy, though not always as popular. With each adaptation, fans have been able to delve deeper into the rich and complex world of Final Fantasy, making the franchise even more beloved and enduring.


The Pokémon show took the world by storm with its captivating storyline and lovable characters. The anime series follows the adventures of Ash Ketchum and his friends as they journey through various regions, capturing and training Pokémon to become a Pokémon gym leader. Along the way, they encounter the notorious Team Rocket, who are always up to no good. The show seamlessly combines elements from the popular video game series, allowing fans to see their favorite Pokémon come to life on the screen. The TV adaptations have been a hit with both children and adults, drawing audiences in with its engaging plot and charming animation. Pokémon has become a worldwide phenomenon, and the series based on video games has only added to its immense popularity. With its endearing characters and exciting battles, the Pokémon show game adaptation continues to delight fans of all ages. 

Hyper Light Drifter

Critically acclaimed video game “Hyper Light Drifter,” creator Alx Preston announced plans to adapt the game into a new animated series on Netflix. This adaptation is set to bring the visually stunning and atmospheric world of the game to life in a new format. With the rise in popularity of animated films and series adapted from video games, many fans are eagerly anticipating this new venture. The “Hyper Light Drifter” animated series is expected to appeal to a wide audience, including both fans of the game and newcomers to the franchise. Given the success of other video game adaptations in the realm of televised entertainment, there is great potential for the series to make a significant impact in the market. Preston has also hinted at the possibility of a mobile game tie-in to coincide with the release of the animated series, offering fans multiple ways to experience the world of “Hyper Light Drifter.” 

Carmen Sandiego

The animated series “Carmen Sandiego” is another example of an animated series based on video games. The series follows the titular character, Carmen Sandiego, as she travels around the world pulling off heists and outsmarting the organization V.I.L.E. Just like in the video game, the series takes the audience on a thrilling ride as Carmen uses her intelligence and cunning to steal back stolen treasures. The series not only brings the beloved character to life but also expands on her backstory and motivations. The adaptation seamlessly incorporates the essence of the original video game while adding depth and complexity to the character and her world. With stunning animation, an engaging storyline, and thrilling heists, “Carmen Sandiego” successfully brings the beloved video game to a new medium and captivates audiences of all ages. 

Street Fighter II

The Street Fighter II show, which debuted in 1994, is considered one of the first animated video game adaptations to gain widespread popularity. Taking the iconic characters and storyline from the hit video game, the show is an anime based on video games that successfully transitioned onto television screens. The plot revolves around the intense battles and rivalries between famous fighters such as Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, and M. Bison, capturing the essence of the game and bringing it to life in a new format. The Street Fighter II TV series was well-received by fans of the game, as it stayed true to its source material while expanding upon the world and characters. The success of the show paved the way for future video game adaptations onto television, proving that there was a market for this type of entertainment. The Street Fighter II show remains a seminal work in the realm of video game TV adaptations, and its impact can still be felt in the industry today.


The adaptation of video games into animated television series has proven to be a successful and lucrative venture. The popularity of animated game adaptations is evident from the immense success of the Pokémon franchise, which has spawned numerous television series based on the beloved video game. In addition to Pokémon, there are several other popular mentions that have also achieved widespread acclaim, such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Castlevania. These adaptations have managed to capture the essence of the games themselves while also expanding upon the characters and storylines, creating a whole new experience for fans. As we have explored the 10 best animated television series based on video games, (and others who had varying success in the beginning) the potential for future adaptations is clear, with the possibility of introducing new generations of fans to beloved video game characters and worlds. Overall, animated game adaptations have proven to be a successful and enduring phenomenon in the entertainment industry.