I love watching TV series. Naturally, most of my favorite shows have video games based on them, but since the idea behind most of the games based on TV series is to capitalize on the success of a given franchise, seldom are those games any good. That’s why I decided to work on a list with some of the best games based on TV series and here’s what I came up with. Before we move to the actual list though, bear in mind that I omitted all games based on anime and animated series, mainly because I’ll eventually work on articles with some of the best games on those respective categories. As usual, feel free to share ideas in the comment section below.
5. Lost: Via Domus (PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3)
Even to this day, Lost is considered one of the best television show ever made. A game based on the series was bound to happen eventually, but Via Domus wasn’t the title most fans were expecting. Lost: Via Domus (which means something like “The Way Home”) puts you in control of a character called Elliot Maslow, one of the survivors of the plane crash. It’s worth mentioning that Elliot was never featured in the show (the character was invented for the game.) Nevertheless, many characters that were featured in the TV show make an appearance in Via Domus. The game is divided into 7 episodes and the gameplay involves doing fetch quests and solving puzzles. Those who played the game tend to recommend it to diehard Lost fans. Apart from some blatant fan service, Via Domus doesn’t have much to offer.
4. The X-Files: Resist or Serve (PlayStation 2)
The X-Files: Resist or Serve is a survival horror for the PlayStation 2. The game follows FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully as they travel to the Rocky Mountains to investigate some strange murders. Aliens and zombies eventually make an appearance and soon enough, the agents start considering the fact that the killer is probably not even human. Although not critically acclaimed, reviewers praised the game’s story and voice acting. Criticisms were related to the game’s repetitive combat and bad camera.
3. 24: The Game (PlayStation 2)
24: The Game combines elements proper of the third-person shooter, puzzle and driving genres to create something unique. In terms of visuals, the game feels truly genuine to the television series, using the actors’ likenesses and voices. Those who had a chance to play 24: The Game enjoyed the game’s storyline and voice work, but criticized its visuals, poor camera angles and unresponsive controls.
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Xbox)
Surprisingly, there are many games based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but while most of them are absolutely dreadful, one of them stands out. Simply called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this Xbox action game came out in 2002 and was well received by critics for combining different gameplay ideas with a solid story. Sadly, this beat ’em up wasn’t released on any other console, so PlayStation 2 and GameCube owners couldn’t play it.
1. Defiance (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Everyone who played Defiance will tell you pretty much the same thing: this persistent world MMORPG has some really compelling ideas, but technical issues and bugs mar the experience. Some of Defiance’s best elements include: dynamic events, deep character customization and entertaining cooperative missions. At the same time, there are technical issues and the story isn’t that special. Personally, I haven’t had a chance to watch the television series yet, so I don’t know how loyal to the show the game really is. I’ll try to change that soon.
Some of the games that didn’t make the cut: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Law & Order, Power Rangers, Star Trek and Dark Angel.