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The 10 best video game adaptations... post Fallout

But did Fallout make the cut?

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There have been so many just awful video game adaptations over the years that it still feels quite surprising when we get a genuinely good one, and this is considering we're getting more and more better adaptations as of late. With Fallout now here and taking the world by storm, I've pulled together my list of the 10 best video game adaptations.

1. Arcane

Hardly a surprise really and I probably don't even need to explain myself either. This animated take on Riot Games' massively popular MOBA has it all. Great and detailed animations, a broad and compelling collection of characters that each feel vital and add to the story, a degree of care and honour to the source material to appease the dedicated fanbase. There's really not a lot that Netflix did wrong in this show, and if anything the biggest question mark everyone seems to have about Arcane is if the quality can be maintained in its second season later this year.

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2. Castlevania

Some people might say that Castlevania: Nocturne was a better adaptation than Castlevania, and while I can see arguments for that, you can't deny the fact that the original had to set the groundwork that Nocturne followed. This was to many one of the first real signs that a video game can be successfully, and not just well but brilliantly, adapted into a TV/movie format, and to this day Castlevania likely stands tall as many people's favourite game adaptation. It's definitely up there for me.

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3. The Last of Us

I still feel as though this one is a bit of a cheat. HBO's The Last of Us was essentially just a carbon copy of a game that was unanimously praised as one of the greatest of all-time. There wasn't much of a necessity to having to take creative risks due to the fact that the original action-adventure suited a TV format so well in the first place, meaning once the cast had been nailed down, there wasn't really a whole lot that should have gone wrong. And it didn't. The Last of Us is great television, no one can dispute that.

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4. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

While I do believe that Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is one of the best adaptations we've ever had, I'm placing it so high for its impact on Cyberpunk 2077 and CD Projekt Red. There's no denying that both the game and the Polish studio were in trouble when Cyberpunk arrived in 2020, something that continued for a couple of years after that due to fractured trust with its fans. Edgerunners came and delivered a brilliant show that was original but had some interweaving elements, and debuted at a time when Cyberpunk 2077 was in a much better state than it was at launch, where it served as the catalyst to get a lot of people to return to the title and realise there was something buried beneath the bugs and issues.

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5. Fallout

Yep, I'm putting Fallout this high already. There was a lot that could have gone wrong with this show. The casting could have felt off, the depiction of the wasteland could have been wrong, the storyline could have felt drab or irrelevant, the list goes on. But that's not what has happened here. This is (in my opinion) the best piece of Fallout content to date. It gives me faith in this series and makes me want to dive back into the wasteland, despite the fact that I've never fallen in love with Fallout games in the same way I did with The Elder Scrolls. This is not just a great adaptation, but it's highly entertaining and enjoyable television, which in my eyes puts it much higher than some of the other storied adaptations we've seen in the past.

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6. Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog makes the cut because it came at a time where the majority of people likely expected it to be another cash-grabbing take on putting a gaming icon on the big screen. Surprisingly, it wasn't. What we got was actually a very charming adventure film that managed to create a genuinely interesting story for a character that has never really had the greatest narratives backing him up. Sure, there was the whole design debacle, which was all for the best in hindsight because Ugly Sonic probably still haunts the dreams of many, but Jim Carrey also delivered a fantastic Dr. Eggman, making for an overall product that was so good that we're set to get not only a third film this year but also a spinoff series based on Idris Elba's Knuckles.

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7. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

If you know someone who has a crush on Lara Croft, you can probably attribute that to this film. While Alicia Vikander gave her best go at becoming Lara in the recent Tomb Raider reboot, to many Angelina Jolie is and always will be the live-action Lara. The Tomb Raider games have always been popular and likely will continue to be in the future, but you can probably attribute Lara's stardom and multimedia fame to the collection of blockbusters with Jolie in the driving seat. They might not have been the greatest pieces of cinema, but boy did they give us a memorable take on the character.

The 10 best video game adaptations... post Fallout

8. Resident Evil (2002)

And this is a similar case with Resident Evil. They have made so many movies that serve as sequels to the 2002 original that quite frankly it's impossible to count them. Most of them are also absolutely abhorrent pieces of film that are near unwatchable at times. But, you have to look at that legacy and the fact that there was a market to make so many of these movies and attribute it to the first in the series, which gave us an action-packed outing crammed with cheesy 2000s charm and an original story.

The 10 best video game adaptations... post Fallout

9. The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Any adaptation that can generate $1.5 billion at the box office deserves to be on this list. The Super Mario Bros. Movie might go down as one of the most iconic animated films of all-time considering its success in cinemas and the fact that it has led Nintendo to seemingly double-down on its adaptation effort. It's this exact reason why I've decided to put The Super Mario Bros. Movie here and not Detective Pikachu, because when you really boil it down, those two projects are probably very similar in their actual quality.

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10. Pokémon: The First Movie

Every single person who grew up with Pokémon games has probably seen this film. Sure, it got panned by critics when it debuted all those years ago, but it also essentially gave Pokémon the worldwide platform it needed to boom into the entertainment titan it is today. This movie will probably go down as one of the greatest animated films of the 90s, perhaps even the 20th century, which is what makes it such an impressive and iconic project, especially considering the absolute troglodytes of adaptations that we were also getting produced around this time.

The 10 best video game adaptations... post Fallout


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