Video game lovers today are accustomed to all sorts of adaptations. There are games based on history, mythology, and literature. There are games based on movies and all kinds of different sports. There are even mobile adaptations and online emulators that provide modern experiences based on older video games! Simply put, there’s no shortage of material, no matter what kind of gamer you might be.
One area that requires a little bit more digging though is that of the television adaptation. For whatever reason, great video games based on popular TV shows are few and far between. But they are out there, and to save TV fanatics a bit of time, we’ve compiled a list of five of the very best of them.
1. South Park: The Stick Of Truth
“One of the most enjoyable, hilarious, and disgustingly offensive role-playing games” is how a review at Forbes characterized this game. And if you’re a fan of South Park is there anything else you really need to hear? Following years of sporadic and lackluster game releases revolving around the show, The Stick Of Truth remains an astoundingly complete offering. Available for modern consoles, it’s a vivid and expansive role-playing adventure that puts you in the role of the “New Kid” in South Park and essentially allows you to play out your own giant episode. It’s tremendously enjoyable — and it has an almost equally fun sequel.
2. Reigns: Game Of Thrones
The original Reigns is a mobile game that functions like a combination of a text adventure, an RPG, and Tinder. You function as the ruler of a kingdom, and you’re presented with an endless series of cards depicting characters, scenarios, and choices. For each card you have to swipe right or left to make a decision, all the while attempting to balance various aspects of your kingdom without losing your throne. It’s a simple but inventive game, and it was such a success that they ultimately made a Game Of Thrones-inspired spinoff. Now, Reigns: Game Of Thrones is a terrific mobile game in its own right, and quite possibly the best GoT-related gaming experience.
3. Friends Slingo
We’re betting you didn’t know there was an online game based on Friends! And you’d almost be right, were it not for a couple of exclusive Foxy Games titles that use the legendary sitcom as the backdrop for casino play. Friends Slingo specifically is a combination between an arcade slot reel and a digital bingo game, in which slot symbols relating to the show turn up in order to fill out a bingo card. This makes for simple gameplay, but the game does a wonderful job of invoking the show, making it something truly rare: a fun video game based on a sitcom.
4. Dragon Ball Legends
Dragon Ball Z is one of the very few popular TV shows in history that we’d say has given rise to a few good video games. This makes a certain amount of sense given that the show was largely combat-oriented, and all different kinds of fighting and brawling games can make easy use of the characters. Even so, a few developers have done particularly well adapting Dragon Ball Z, with Dragon Ball Legends marking arguably the best individual result. This is a gorgeously animated 3D action RPG built for mobile devices and featuring all of the best characters and actors from the series. Any fan will love it.
5. The Simpsons: Hit & Run
We noted that it’s rare for popular TV shows to spawn multiple good games. But The Simpsons has certainly managed it, even more so than Dragon Ball Z. GameRant did a top-10 list of Simpsons-inspired games a couple of years ago, and frankly, there are multiple classics on the list. The Simpsons: Road Rage was basically a more fun version of Crazy Taxi, and The Simpsons: Arcade is one of the most enjoyable beat-em-up titles of its kind. But we have to agree with the writers at GameRant that The Simpsons: Hit & Run — a game they referred to as Grand Theft Auto-meets-The Simpsons — is the best of the bunch. It’s simply a masterpiece.
Those, for now, are our top picks for games based on popular TV shows. We hope you’re able to give them a shot, and keep your eyes on Silicon Cult for more news and takes on the gaming world.