The Best (And Worst) Video Game Adaptations You Can Stream Right Now

The Best (And Worst) Video Game Adaptations You Can Stream Right Now
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Do you ever turn off your PC, or your PS5, or whatever, after hours of rainbow lights and eyebrow sweat and think, “Ugh, I really wish I could do that some more, except slightly differently and on the streaming service of my choice”? You do? How serendipitous. I put together a list of every big video game adaptation — the good, the bad, and the only OK — currently streaming for free.

I would have liked this list to be weighted toward “the good,” but the state of video game adaptations is a sad, sick puppy. Newer, more artful and emotive shows like Castlevania and Arcane (both of which make the “best” part of this list) seem to be slowly adding games to the prestige-adjacent mixing bowl, but vintage duds and Tom Holland’s flaccid presence can’t be ignored. So here’s a little bit of everything. Popcorn not included.

This streaming list was originally published on Kotaku US, and has been edited to include Australian links to streaming options (if available).

The best of the best


In a nutshell: Riot Games’ collaboration with French animation studio Fortiche (which it also holds a non-controlling stake in) is inspired by its MOBA League of Legends. Violet protects her trigger-happy sister Powder as much as she can while navigating class conflict between the seedy city Zaun and glistening Piltover. It’s also distributed by Netflix. This post is not sponsored by Netflix.

What it scored: 100 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes

Release date: November 6, 2021

Streaming on: Netflix



In a nutshell: Netflix’s adaptation of Konami’s gothic action-adventure series Castlevania has Count Vlad Dracula Țepeș bring pain down on the Romanian region of Wallachia after it wrongs his wife. Square-jawed hero Trevor Belmont has a problem with that.

What it scored: 94 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes

Release date: July 7, 2017

Streaming on: Netflix


Dota: Dragon’s Blood

In a nutshell: Another animated Netflix adaptation, this time of Valve’s multiplayer online battle arena Dota 2. War-worn Dragon Knight Davion shares a soul and power with the slightly evil Slyrak, a dragon he found dying. That can be to his detriment.

What it scored: 75 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes

Release date: March 25, 2021

Streaming on: Netflix



In a nutshell: This live-action TV series based on Halo, Bungie’s first-person shooter franchise, is executive produced by Steven Spielberg and made for Paramount+. Covenant, a dedicated alien alliance, wants to end humanity. Cased in green armour and born to fight back, super soldier Master Chief won’t let it.

What it scored: 70 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes

Release date: March 24, 2022

Streaming on: Paramount+


The Cuphead Show!

In a nutshell: The aptly titled The Cuphead Show! is Netflix’s animated take on run-and-gun game Cuphead. Cuphead and Mugman — their heads are a cup and a mug, respectively — goof around in Inkwell Isles while the Devil tries and fails to take Cuphead’s soul. There are musical numbers.

What it scored: 69 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes

Release date: February 18, 2022

Streaming on: Netflix


Nier: Automata Ver1.1a

In a nutshell: The forthcoming anime about PlatinumGames’ action role-playing game Nier: Automata will feature battle android 2b fights invading aliens on humanity’s behalf.

What it scored: 4.8 out of 5 on Crunchyroll.

Release date: January 7, 2023

Streaming on: Crunchyroll


The Last of Us

In a nutshell: The soon-to-be-released HBO drama brought to you by Naughty Dog’s zombie-ridden survival horror franchise The Last of Us has already generated buzz. Joel, played by Pedro Pascal, smuggles 14-year-old Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey, across the destroyed United States.

What it scored: TBD

Release date: January 15, 2023

Streaming on: Binge


The hit or miss


In a nutshell: Naughty Dog’s action-adventure game gets the Tom Holland treatment in this Sony blockbuster. Nathan Drake (Holland), with the help of Sully (Mark Wahlberg,) finds his missing brother and Ferdinand Magellan’s rumoured treasure.

What it scored: 41 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, 2.8 out of 5 on Letterboxd

Release date: February 18, 2022

Streaming on: Amazon Prime, Binge, Foxtel Now


Mega Man: Fully Charged

In a nutshell: This vibrantly coloured interpretation of Capcom’s sci-fi Mega Man franchise is an adaptation aimed at kids. The boyish robot Aki Light defends Silicon City from mean robots. He also has a robot sidekick named Mega Mini and a robot dog. And he’s a robot.

What it scored: 3.5 out of 5 on Google Reviews

Release date: August 5, 2018

Streaming on: Stan


Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge

In a nutshell: Warner Bros.’ animated movie based on the Mortal Kombat fighting game franchise is possibly a direct-to-DVD sleeper hit. Ninja Hanzo Hasashi, or Scorpion, kills a bunch of people in the intergalactic Mortal Kombat tournament, hoping to avenge his family.

What it scored: 90 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, 3.4 out of 5 on Letterboxd

Release date: April 14, 2020

Streaming on: Available to buy or rent on Apple, Amazon, Google Play, and YouTube


The Legend of Zelda

In a nutshell: An early entry, the 1989 animated series follows Link and Princess Zelda, the cherubic protagonists of the fantastical The Legend of Zelda franchise. They need to protect Hyrule from Ganon, a warthog-looking wizard who wears a cute purple cap.

What it scored: Six out of ten on IMDB

Release date: September 8, 1989

Streaming on: Well, excuse me, princess! It doesn’t look like this is available to stream in Australia.


For more background noise, check out Sonic Prime (Netflix), Injustice (Netflix), or Rabbids Invasion (Netflix).


…and the worst

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

In a nutshell: A Street Fighter spin-off, produced in part by publisher Capcom features Chun-Li (Kristen Kreuk) as she tries to take down the evil crime boss M. Bison (Neal McDonough) after he kidnaps her father. An ancient Chinese scroll helps her go into Street Fighter mode.

What it scored: 3 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, 1.4 out of 5 on Letterboxd

Release date: February 27, 2009

Streaming on: Available to buy or rent on Google Play and YouTube


Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

In a nutshell: Angelina Jolie plays Lara Croft, the tank-top-wearing, mud-splattered archeologist who defines (originally) Square Enix’s Tomb Raider franchise. Croft has to prevent the Illuminati from using an ancient artifact from ruining the world. There’s time travel and puzzles.

What it scored: 20 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, 2.6 out of 5 on Letterboxd

Release date: June 11, 2001

Streaming on: Amazon Prime, Binge, Foxtel Now


Resident Evil

In a nutshell: Director Paul W.S. Anderson, who is also behind lukewarm adaptations Mortal Kombat (1995) and Monster Hunter (2020), takes the survival horror Resident Evil franchise on. Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes up with amnesia. She needs to take the Umbrella Corporation down while its nefarious bioexperiments turn people into zombies.

What it scored: 35 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, 2.9 out of 5 on Letterboxd

Release date: March 12, 2002

Streaming on: Available to buy or rent on Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, Apple, and Telstra TV


Hitman: Agent 47

In a nutshell: Genetically-modified (he’s still bald, though) Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) is an uncompromising assassin. He helps Katia van Dees (Hannah Ware) find her father, who coincidentally was the one to make him into a super killer.

What it scored: 8 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, 2.1 out of 5 on Letterboxd

Release date: August 21, 2015

Streaming on: Disney+


To encourage your brain spilling out your ears, also consider watching Warcraft (Netflix), Max Payne (Disney+), Silent Hill (Netflix), or Silent Hill: Revelation (Buy or rent on digital platforms)

What’s your favourite video game adaptation? Does the perfect adaptation even exist?


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