video games

5 must-watch video game screen adaptations that aren’t ‘The Last of Us’

Kyle Chua

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5 must-watch video game screen adaptations that aren’t ‘The Last of Us’
These shows and movies prove video game adaptations can actually be worth watching

Video game adaptations have long had to fight the misguided notion that they can be more than just campy, lowbrow entertainment, with the majority being either so-bad-it’s-good romps or commercial failures, panned by fans and critics alike. So much so there’s a belief that Hollywood has some sort of video game movie curse preventing it from ever putting out a successful adaptation.

It wasn’t until these recent years when the conversation changed, and many realized that the characters and stories from video games can actually work on another medium. While HBO’s The Last of Us greatly helped in that regard, it doesn’t deserve all the credit as there have been a number of shows and movies released before it that have managed to find similar success.

Here are five that you can check out:

Image from Netflix
Arcane: League of Legends

Sitting at a 100% approval rating from critics and a 96% rating from viewers on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, as of writing, Arcane: League of Legends is perhaps the most well-received video game adaptation to date.

The nine-part series manages to enthrall fans by expanding the deep lore of League of Legends, focusing on the origins of two popular Champions, sisters Vi and Jinx, while satisfying newcomers with a compelling narrative and gorgeous visuals that combine hand-painted and computer-generated art. It doesn’t matter whether you like animation or not, or whether you have any connection to the game, Arcane is simply a stunning piece of television that’s well worth your time.

Arcane’s first season is streaming now on Netflix, with a second already in production.

Image from Warner Bros. Pictures
Pokémon’s Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu isn’t out to redefine cinema, or be anything more than a fun, family-friendly blockbuster. That, however, has worked more to its favor rather than its detriment, turning out as a delightful adventure that can appeal even to those who don’t know a single thing about Pokémon.

Fans of the international phenomenon, however, are sure to get a kick out of seeing some of their favorite pocket monsters in a live-action movie hybrid thanks to the dazzling special effects work.

Image from Netflix

Spanning four stellar seasons, Castlevania takes the best parts of the popular video game franchise of the same name and creates something wholly original with it. That’s perhaps what’s so great about the series – it’s willingness to stray from its source material to better suit the storytelling format of an episodic series. Yet there’s no mistaking it for anything other than Castlevania. You can expect an engaging dark fantasy story, gothic horror, and plenty of action.

All four seasons of the series are now streaming on Netflix, with a sequel already in the works.

Image from Netflix
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners ticks all the boxes of late 80s to early 90s anime favorites – edgy protagonists, stylish fight sequences, and over-the-top violence. More than that, however, the 10-episode series works both as a standalone series that you can enjoy in a vacuum or a companion piece to Cyberpunk 2077. If you’ve played the game, you’ll surely enjoy seeing Night City from a different lens and learn more about what life is like there.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is now streaming on Netflix.

Image from Paramount Pictures
Sonic the Hedgehog

Much like Detective Pikachu, Sonic the Hedgehog and its sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, are entertaining comedies that your whole family can enjoy. The overall success of the two movies has to do with how well Sonic’s infectious charm translates from video game to the big screen.

Adding to that, he’s still as fast as ever, making for some cool action scenes that’ll likely please fans of the long-standing SEGA franchise.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is now streaming on HBO Go Asia. –

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