Over the years a lot of television shows have tried to use their popularity to spring them into the gaming industry. The problem with this is that, for the most part, the games turn out to be poorly made money grabs. The few instants the games were properly developed usually ended up being top sellers. Despite this, every year more television-based games are released with horrible gameplay riding the coattails of the TV shows fame. To save you the heartbreak of playing a terrible game I put together this list of the best video games based on television shows. This way you can skip right to the games worth your time.
Best Video Games Based on Television Shows
10. The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead has had many terrible games over the years, with the only exception being The Walking Dead by Telltale Games. By focusing on the story and character development the developers were really able to bring their original characters to life. The game is often discussed in high regard because of its unexpected turns and meaningful choices. By using an original story, within the same world, The Walking Dead was able to give us something both familiar and new at the same time.
9. The Simpsons Arcade Game
The Simpsons Arcade Game is one of the most beloved entries on the list. With pixel graphics faithful to the art style of the television show and iconic humor, The Simpsons Arcade Game remains one of the best beat em’ up games to ever be made. The game’s story played out like it was just another episode of the show. And each playable character had a move set inspired by their TV personalities, encouraging players to play the game as each of them. You will have an amazing time punching and kicking your way through rememberable locations and taking down fan-favorite bosses.
8. Goof Troop
Goof Troop is one of the most beloved co-op SNES games ever made. Based on a show of the same name, Goof Troop allows players to take control of both Goofy and his adolescent son Max. On a family fishing trip, the pair discover that their friends were kidnapped by pirates and set out to save them. Throughout the game, the player must complete puzzles and defeat enemies to progress to the next stage.
Ducktales is easily one of the best Disney games ever made. It follows The game’s story sticks close to the TV show following the adventures of plucky Scrooge McDuck as he travels the globe collecting treasure trying to become the world’s richest duck. It featured eye-catching sprites, non-linear progression, and tight controls. Ducktales’ popularity led to the game being remastered 20 years later in 2013.
6. Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds
Chaos Bleeds is by far the best game based on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show. Even today, 17 years after it was released, the bright graphics still look great. The game’s plot follows an original story that takes place during the shows fifth season. What makes this game better than its predecessors is the ability to play as other characters aside from Buffy. With typical action-filled gameplay, Chaos Bleeds is a game you can quickly pick up and have a good time with.
5. The Adventures Of Batman & Robin
The Adventures of Batman & Robin is the name of several games made about the TV show with the same name. Each gaming system developed its own version of the game, the best of which being for the SNES. This version of the game plays like an action-adventure platformer game where the player controls Batman. What makes this version better than the rest is that each level is loosely based on an episode of the show. While they are all worth playing, the SNES version would be the only one to make the list.
4. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a partly open-world action role-playing game based on the Dragon Ball franchise. The game allows you to relive some of the most popular moments from the show from the point of view of the main characters. Because of the mix of role-playing and fighting game gameplay, Kakarot provides players with a faithful retelling of the show. The original game allowed you to play through the sagas of DBZ and an additional DLC included the Dragon Ball Z: Super storyline. Making it perfect for gamers who want to relive the story without putting in the full 116 hours.
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time is a fantastic beat em’ up game based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon that ran from 1987–1996. Often ranked amongst the best brawlers of all time, this game has everything you need to keep you entertained for hours. Following an original story, Turtles In Time still remains faithful to the show in both art and action. The game was able to keep all the core beat ’em up gameplay but put a Turtle themed spin on them making them feel unique. To this day, nothing feels nearly as good as throwing a foot soldier into the screen.
2. The Simpsons Hit and Run
Like The Simpsons Arcade Game, The Simpsons Hit and Run is based on the beloved cartoon The Simpsons. Hit and Run is an action-adventure game that always gamers to run and drive, around the fictional town of Springfield. This allowed gamers to see the town in a new way. When released, the game received positive reviews for its GTA like gameplay and faithful recreation of the TV show characters. To this day the game retains a devoted cult following with mods still being released.
1. Pokemon Yellow
Pokemon Yellow is a re-released version of Pokemon Red & Blue made to more closely resemble the TV show. To do this, several changes to the game had to be made. The most noticeable difference and the biggest selling point of Pokemon Yellow is the overworld Pikachu. Yellow allowed for the player to see Pikachu follow behind him on the overworld and not just in battle screens. Aside from this visual difference, the biggest alteration to the game is the removal of a choice in starter Pokemon. In Pokemon Yellow, rather than choosing the player is forced to used Pikachu like in the show. The games gym leaders also have different Pokemon to reflect the ones they used in the show. After all these changes, what you are left with is one of the best video games based on television shows of all time.
Do you own any of the games on the list? Do you know of a video game based on a television show that we did not list? If you said YES to either one of these questions I would love to hear about it in the comments.