8 TV shows that really need to be turned into games

Television rules the nation...

Television screens arent just good for displaying whatever images spurt out of your console--they also give us access to TV shows that well obsess over and eventually force our friends to watch until theyre assimilated into the favourite new show cult. But for years, the shows that have made the jump from the small screen to the consoles underneath it have disappointed us with either their mediocrity or unsuitability for the enticing medium of games. Surely there are a few shows that would be able make the transition with some grace, that need to be turned into games?

We think there are a few programmes that deserve to join us in the glamorous realm of gaming, so lets ignore some of the more suspect attempts and take a look at the series that need to be made into games quicker than Game of Thrones needs to return.


Justified is the insanely enjoyable tale of US Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens acting like a badass and saying really cool things while dispensing justice. If theres one thing games can nail, its having protagonists who act like a badass and say really cool things. They even sometimes dispense justice themselves. So, by that airtight logic, someone needs to mix the two together for a concoction more addictive than Harlan Countys less than legal products.

All it would take is a pinch of LA Noires enjoyable detective work combined with some of Red Deads gratifying combat and youve got yourself the basis for a great Justified game. Or just make it possible for us to press X to hear Timothy Olyphant dispense quips for eight hours because, either way, youre bound to get the full Raylan Givens experience and thats an experience you need.


Well assume youre already up to date with the exploits of ISISs number one field agent, Sterling Malory Archer. Its one of the most consistently funny things on TV and if you arent, well thats what Netflix is for. But in a world where Family Guy has two games (let that sink in for a second), surely Archer would make an awful lot more sense as a game. At the very least, when was the last time a game put you on a highway to the dangerzone?

Everything about Archer would translate perfectly to the world of games, especially if it worked like Alpha Protocol. The show has been to space, the Vatican, and depths of the ocean, so no need to worry about repetitive locations. It has the possibility of basking in missions with Lana and Archer bickering away at each other and Archer is surprisingly skilled in all forms of combat, so theres your varied gameplay. Hell, dead characters come back as cyborgs--the only way it could be more suited to a game version is if an achievement popped up at the end of every episode.


The recent BBC series has made Sherlock Holmes into an absolute legend. Not only does this Sherlock solve crimes with astounding logic and reasoning, hes also a massive dick to people, which is pretty funny to watch. But while its enjoyable enough to watch Sherlock and Watson have a simmering bromance and occasionally solve some cases, wouldnt it be much more rewarding to do it ourselves?

Taking a fair few blood stained notes from Telltales Walking Dead series, imagine an episodic Sherlock game where each chapter had a specific case with an underlying bigger story playing out in the background. Rope in Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Bilbo Freeman and youve got a double act that could easily rival Lee and Clementine. Lets not forget as well, getting a dialogue tree with this new Sherlock would allow us to pretend were rather witty... if only for a few hours.


You know who is quite good at this whole TV malarkey? J.J. Abrams. Hes made a few shows youve probably seen--that one with airplane and the island springs to mind--and a few of them have even been turned into games as well. He and gaming also share a deep passion for lens flare... Ahem, moving on, its time that one of his best shows, the dearly departed Fringe, makes the switch from the TV universe to the games one.

Fringe has alternate universes, a powerful female lead, villains that can walk through time and space, a strong and original dystopian setting in its final season and had an arsenal of inventions that could fuel the next few Insomniac games. Wrap that all together and youve got the sort of sci-fi saga that could fill the Mass Effect shaped hole in our hearts.


Hannibal recently proved to us that not only was Dr. Lector scary again, but he was also a pretty accomplished cook when other serial killers were picking up his slack. So while survival horror has been thin on the ground this generation, Hannibal could be the show to help revive it for games.

Place the player as Will Graham and get him to solve murders while dealing with Wills fractured state of mind, where you wouldnt be sure if you were solving a case or playing out a nightmare, like the Scarecrow sections from Arkham Asylum. Season with some terrifying scares and allow to simmer for 10-12 hours for a classic horror experience. Although, to be honest, it would probably much more fun to give Hannibal his very own surreal edition of Cooking Mama. It would certainly provide the most intriguing menu out of the series.


V is the almost forgotten sci-fi mini-series from the 80s that even a recent glossy reboot probably cant help you remember, where reptilian aliens who wore fake skin came to earth preaching peace--as they do--but were secretly trying to take over the planet for its natural resources and the human-shaped food. It also had the grizzled chops of the original voice of Sam Fisher Michael Ironside, but thats only the beginning of why this obscure show needs a gaming reboot.

Its the plucky tale of a small resistance fighting back against their oppressors, the sort that would fit perfectly into the mould of another forgotten gem, The Saboteur. Imagine open world exploration that has the option for you to travel into space and a city that dynamically responded to your attempts at fighting the power of the slimy lizards. Just have less dodgy Irish accents and a lot more aliens. Salivating yet?

The Thick Of It

Quick, what do you think makes good source material for a video game? If you answered with: satire based on the absurdity of the British political system, then youre probably the writer of this article and also very correct. Or at the very least, youve seen ultra-aggressive swear machine Malcolm Tucker in action and thought that it would be quite nice to take control of him for bit and do some verbal damage.

Malcolm is used to running around the corridors of British power; conniving and bullying his way through problems, dropping more F bombs than a typical Call of Duty deathmatch. So give us a game where we use our wits to try and extort people in the British political system, hitting the right mixture of sinister, charming and shouty. We think its safe to say thats the sort of gaming experience the world has been clamoring for.


This is the internet, and that means that you love Community. Either that or you are yet to watch Community, in which case, go watch Community. Lest we forget, this is a show that turned one episode into a thing of 8-bit beauty, and it also doesn't do it any injustice to say that nearly every episode is hilarious. But right now youre scratching your head and wondering why turn it into a game?

Well--because we wont be paid for saying why not and conveniently forgetting the fan-made Journey to the Centre of Hawkthorne--who wouldnt want to explore Greendale Community College? It could be an open world adventure where you could interact with people like Leonard, Magnitude and Chang... actually scratch that, just turn it into a kart game. Mario Karts great and all, but the Greendale Seven are better and it would be Dean-licious to use the hallways for importunity novelty racing.

Season Finale

Thats eight shows that we think need to be ported over to the gaming world and we even added in a few ideas of how to go about it. Some are probably better than others, but do you believe that TV and games shouldnt mingle and be left to their own devices? Have we missed any of the shows you think would be perfect for a gaming adaptation? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

And while we're on the subject of games and television, why not check out The Top 7... Watchable TVS?

Ben Tyrer

Hello, I'm GamesRadar's News Editor. I've been working in the games industry since 2013, after graduating from Bournemouth University with a degree in multimedia journalism. Since then I've worked for Official PlayStation Magazine as a staff writer and games editor, as well as writing for Official Xbox Magazine, Edge, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, PC Games N, and more. When I'm not moaning about being beaten on FIFA and Warzone, I'm writing news, features, and reviews for this wonderful site.