Video Games That Deserve An Animated Series

15 Video Games That Deserve An Animated Series

Video games have come a long way from simple pixelated adventures, to the current crop of immersive storytelling experiences with complex characters and intricate worlds. While Hollywood continues to adapt video game franchises into live-action films and television shows, it’s the animated realm that might hold the key to truly capturing the essence of these beloved gaming universes. From beloved classics to modern masterpieces, a number of video games have transitioned seamlessly into animated series, including Arcane and Castlevania.

In addition, Netflix has a slew of animated series in the works, as does Amazon Prime, with a handful of them based on video game properties such as Devil May Cry and Tomb Raider. Considering the growing appetite for animated video game adaptations, there’s a treasure trove of games waiting in the wings. 

Despite Hollywood’s history with adaptations, here are some video games that are ripe for adaptation into captivating animated shows.

1) Bloodstained


Given the success of the Castlevania animated series on Netflix, a Bloodstained adaptation is a no-brainer. After all, Bloodstained is the former’s spiritual successor, coming from the creative mind of Koji Igarashi who served as Lead Producer on the Castlevania series.

Bloodstained’s heavier focus on magic and gothic fantasy could help separate it from Castlevania, while similarly embracing the heart and flashy action that fans have come to love.

2) Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger

Considering that Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama designed and drew the characters for the game, which also features several animated cutscenes, it’s not a huge leap for a Chrono Trigger anime to see the light of day.

Chrono Trigger stands as an absolute gem in the realm of video games and certainly merits a reintroduction to today’s gaming audience. Given the enduring success of Dragon Ball, a new series adopting the same iconic art style would undoubtedly capture the hearts of fans.

Furthermore, in a 2016 interview with Game Informer, one of the directors of Chrono Trigger, Takashi Tokita, shared, “Personally, if there is ever an opportunity, I would love to see a high-quality, high-end version of Chrono Trigger. Or a movie production, or something of the sort.” Therefore, an animated series just makes perfect sense!

3) Cult of the Lamb

Cult Of The Lamb

Cult of the Lamb makes it abundantly clear that the foundation for an animated adaptation is packed with potential. The game’s distinct cartoonish aesthetic allows nearly every element to seamlessly transition into an animated show with minimal modifications.

In addition, its intriguing fusion of adorable and eerie elements, where cult culture collides with an idyllic setting, delivers an inherently unsettling yet fascinating atmosphere that could translate beautifully into an animated series. Give it the same manic energy as Netflix’s The Cuphead Show and you have a recipe for success.

4) Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Ghost Trick

Ghost Trick is a game often lauded for its fluid and stylish animation, as well as a charming plot full of riveting twists and dramatic emotional beats. Coupled with the game’s outlandish characters and supernatural mechanics, these elements easily lend themselves to a snazzy yet poignant anime, a la Cyberpunk: Edgerunners or Chainsaw Man.

5) Hades


The roguelike sensation Hades boasts an intriguing and emotional story (evidenced by being the first video game to win the Hugo Award literary prize) set in the rich underworld of Greek mythology. An animated series could deliver on the game’s action-packed moments while exploring the compelling character dynamics amongst Zagreus and his colourful cast.

Also, fun fact: the highly-stylised announcement trailer was produced by Studio Crackle (which worked on the opening of The Legend of Vox Machina) and directed by Spencer Wan, who served as animation director on Netflix’s Castlevania series, demonstrating the franchise’s potential for an animated adaptation.

6) Hi-Fi RUSH


Diving into the world of Hi-Fi RUSH is akin to immersing yourself in an anime. Its rich universe is intricately interwoven with wacky characters and a compelling backstory that can be explored in greater depth in an animated series. What’s more, its vibrant and captivating aesthetics is reminiscent of mid-2000s western animation, like Totally Spies or Teen Titans.

7) Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight

The beautifully crafted, hand-drawn world of Hollow Knight is perfect for an animated series. This enchanting and atmospheric game could translate superbly into an episodic format, following the titular knight’s exploration of the eerie, underground kingdom of Hallownest.

With fans eagerly anticipating Hollow Knight: Silksong and expressing love for the franchise, an animated series might be just the thing to satiate demand before the sequel’s release. Alternatively, it could bring this indie darling to a wider audience, allowing more people to board the Hollow Knight hype train.

8) Kentucky Route Zero

Kentucky Route Zero

Kentucky Route Zero, a story-driven experience that begins with an eccentric twist and keeps spiraling into delightful weirdness, possesses a unique charm that would translate wonderfully well into an animated adaptation.

The enthralling characters and surreal narrative could make for an exciting journey across enigmatic destinations. Each episode could mark a distinct chapter in this peculiar road trip, with our motley crew of characters stumbling upon uncanny curiosities like androids, colossal birds, and luminous skeletons along the way. The animated format would be crucial in capturing the game’s dreamlike quality.

9) Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts

Murmurs of a Kingdom Hearts animated series have bubbled up before. Back in 2002, director Seth Kearsley (Eight Crazy Nights, The Looney Tunes Show) was hired to develop an animated adaptation of the first Kingdom Hearts game. A pilot was created that tested “exceptionally well,” but the idea was eventually canned in favour of more games in the franchise. In 2020, word was going around that an adaptation was planned for Disney+, although no confirmation nor further news came out of that.

Ultimately, a Kingdom Hearts cartoon would be a hit with the franchise’s hardcore fans. It would certainly help make sense of the series’ convoluted lore, while its beloved characters could even draw in new audiences. Get on it already, Disney!

10) Little Nightmares

Little Nightmares

With a third entry in the series on the way, Little Nightmares is a franchise that’s brimming with potential. Not only is the series a huge hit in Japan, but it’s published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, which has access to animation studio Bandai Namco Filmworks (better known as Sunrise Inc.) under the same parent company. This gives an animated adaptation of Little Nightmares greater odds of being made.

Whether rendered in stop motion (similar to Rilakkuma and Kaoru) to mirror the game’s aesthetic, or taking a more traditional anime approach, an animated series could be a fascinating reimagining of the game with a focus on expanding its eerie world. Seeing the spooky locales and monstrous creatures from Little Nightmares come to life in animation would be truly appealing.

11) Night in the Woods

Night in the Woods

Just like numerous other coming-of-age narratives, the relatable characters and sharp dialogue found in Night in the Woods would effortlessly translate into an animated series. Despite its cartoonish appearance, the show would navigate intricate themes, all the while featuring characters that, despite their animal-like appearances, remain remarkably believable. With shows out there like Bojack Horseman and Amphibia, Night in the Woods would fit right in.

12) Ori and the Blind Forest

Ori and the Blind Forest

Ori and the Blind Forest‘s enchanting world and emotionally-charged narrative could come to life in a beautifully animated series. Following Ori’s journey through the mystical forest of Nibel would be a breathtaking and emotionally resonant experience for viewers.

Ori and the Blind Forest’s deceptively challenging platforming sequences can keep players at a distance. Conversely, an animated series can close the gap and shine a spotlight on its gorgeous environments and ethereal characters.

13) Psychonauts


Psychonauts‘ quirky and imaginative world, where characters explore each other’s minds, is a perfect fit for an animated series. It’s an opportunity to blend humour, heart, and a psychological exploration of the themes of mental health and self-discovery.

Founder of Double Fine Productions, the developer of Psychonauts, Tim Schafer, has said in an interview with IGN that while he agrees you could “do tons of stuff with Pscyhonauts,” he thinks that “games are cooler than movies and tv, so it’s already peaked.” However, collaborate with an animation team that has genuine love for the series and perhaps he might just change his mind.

14) Splatoon


We’ve mentioned Splatoon’s rich dystopian lore before. It’s a universe that’s just begging to be fleshed out in an animated series. Beyond the charming aquatic characters and bustling urban setting lies a grim reminder of humanity’s near-extinction. Splatoon offers a narrative canvas with the flexibility to be straightforward or intricately layered — whether it’s a breezy sports competition anime or a dark exploration of a post-apocalyptic realm.

15) Undertale


Despite being one of the indie gaming scene’s biggest triumphs, it’s somewhat surprising that Undertale hasn’t ventured into other creative realms. Given Undertale‘s unique brand of humour, an animated adaptation could easily bring its witty dialogue to life, potentially becoming a delightful extension of the game’s rich lore. If Deltarune is anything to go by, the developers have a knack for crafting endearing characters. An animated series could be an opportunity to introduce even more whimsical monsters to the franchise while giving existing ones even more depth.

So there we have it. This list cannot include all titles, so what are some video games you want to see as an animated series?