7 TV Shows That Should Be Made Into Video Games

Lots of TV shows have already been turned into video games in one form or another. Developer Telltale Games made The Walking Dead into what many consider to be the best video game released in 2012. But since we’ve entered the age of “peak TV,” there are dozens of shows out there that haven’t been made into a video game but should.

Here are seven shows from the past or present that could make killer video games if a talented developer got the rights to them. Come on, television industry. What are you waiting for?

1. Jessica Jones

This gritty show is set in a New York City that’s drenched in noir trappings rarely seen in video games. It stars a private investigator who doesn’t seem to enjoy her job, even though she’s better at it than anyone else. She doesn’t get any pleasure from boozing, but that doesn’t stop her from chugging liquor straight from the bottle. Nor does she ever back away when a client offers her a task that sounds impossible.

Jessica Jones could be turned into an episodic action adventure game, with each new installment centering on a “case of the week,” while also pushing forward a wider narrative that would be tied up by the end. Meanwhile, players would have to use their brains and their fighting skills to solve problems and get results — something this character was born to do.

2. Homeland

We get to play as modern-day soldiers in video games all the time, but it boggles the mind how few spy games there are. Sure, you have the Metal Gear Solid series and a handful of cartoonish stealth games, but there’s plenty of opportunity to inject some realistic spy work into modern video games.

The Showtime series Homeland revolves around the competent yet troubled CIA agent Carrie Mathison as she takes down terrorists with a close-knit group of colleagues who are equally adept at finding informants, sneaking into buildings, and shooting criminals in the head. The characters are fascinating, the action is intense, and the stakes are high. What more could you want from a video game?

3. Battlestar Galactica

Let’s just put it out there: We need more space combat games. Modern video game systems are capable of putting players right in the thick of the action, so let’s strap into fighter ships and blast through space, firing high-powered lasers at enemies.

No TV show has done a better job of showing (what I imagine would be) the zero-G intensity of space combat. The ships are fast and furious, turning on a dime to whip around to land a shot. And with an enemy as formidable as the Cylons, the game could be as tough as it is rewarding.

4. Sons of Anarchy

This show has already been turned into an iOS game, but it’s not any good, so let’s scrap it and start from scratch.

Two things gamers can’t seem to get enough of are driving fast and shooting bad guys. So why not make a game that puts those things front and center, with a healthy dose of vulgarity and macho camaraderie thrown in for good measure?

The ideal Sons of Anarchy video game would probably be an open-world, Grand Theft Auto-style game set on the West Coast, but centered in sunny Charming, California. You and your motorcycle gang basically run the town, but you venture off on speedy bikes to sell drugs, sling weapons, and commit all the gang-on-gang violence fans of the show would expect.

5. House of Cards

Kevin Spacey makes a fine anti-hero as a Washington politician in this Netflix series. With all its backstabbing and secret political maneuvering, House of Cards could make a fantastic adventure game of the kind Telltale has been putting out for years.

The game would exist in the same corrupt world as the show, but it would be you making the tough decisions to get ahead in your career. To what extent would you go to gain power? Would you turn on a trusted friend? Would you break the law? Would you kill? This game could be a great way to find out — without hurting anyone in real life.

6. The Simpsons

Sure, they’ve made dozens of games out of The Simpsons in the past. And sure, the show has lost much of its luster since the turn of the millennium. But now that video game hardware has caught up with the show’s animation quality, it’s a shame we haven’t gotten a decent Simpsons game in ages.

A new Simpsons game could take a page out of the recent (and excellent) game South Park: The Stick of Truth, in that it could basically look like an episode of the show. Since The Simpsons has a whole town’s worth of characters, it should be an open-world game that has you follow a central story line, while offering a huge number of side quests that put you in contact with every one of Springfield’s citizens.

7. The Americans

This may be another spy show, but it seems like it’s set in a whole different world from Homeland. The Americans centers around a pair of Soviet spies living in deep cover in the U.S. in the 1980s. They’re a husband and wife team who are tasked with completing any mission orders that come down from the leaders in Moscow.

In a game based on The Americans, it would be great simply to be able to explore the unique period setting. The eighties in America hasn’t appeared in a major video game since, what, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City? Throw in some tense and challenging spy missions based on securing intelligence and taking out undercover enemies, and you’ve got the building blocks for a great game.

Follow Chris on Twitter @_chrislreed
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