A decade ago, the idea of adapting any video game franchise into a successful movie or show sounded impossible. As concepts for a BioShock movie and a Netflix The Legend of Zelda series continued to get pushed back or canceled, it felt like we would never escape the stigma left behind by the Super Mario Bros. film.
A lot has changed over the last few years, though. Recent adaptations of Detective Pikachu and Sonic have surpassed expectations and begun to reverse the narrative on the genre. Sony has noticed this shift, as it currently has a The Last of Us and Twisted Metal series in development. With rumors of a God of War series on the horizon, Sony has many other exclusive titles that could make for exciting television.
Okay, let's get this one out of the way. While Knack is often viewed as a low-tier exclusive in Sony's catalog, there is potential for its futuristic world to be developed into an engaging children's show.
Knack's gameplay was never its strong point, but the character's ability to change shape could lead to some great scenes and a versatile protagonist. The show's tone could even be measured by Knack's size at any given moment. When he is small, you could see character growth and adorable moments. When he is the size of a skyscraper, it could lead to some epic fights on par with Godzilla vs. Kong.
9 Jak & Daxter
Jak & Daxter have been slightly forgotten about over the years. At one point synonymous with Ratchet & Clank, the latter has continued to evolve and stay relevant while Jak and his ottsel friend haven't seen a new release since 2009.
The Jak & Daxter series is full of humor and adventure. It would be easy to turn the trilogy of games into a three-season show, but there is so much more potential in exploring new characters and locations. Imagine the duo spending each episode traveling to different areas to help new or old friends, while also telling a story that resonates throughout the season.
8 Sly Cooper
Sly Cooper is another great Sony series that has unfortunately been left behind. It also has the potential to be one of the more unique and fascinating shows that the company could produce. Its film noir setting and anthropomorphic citizens could be combined to create an interesting hybrid of Ocean's Eleven meets Zootopia.
Finding the right voice for each character and a commitment to the genre could take this series a long way. From black and white flashbacks to montages of a heist coming together, the show could be a fast-paced journey filled with twists and turns. It would be great to see The Cooper Gang in action once again, confronting rival gangs while also solving the mysteries surrounding them. While a Sly Cooper movie was announced with a trailer in 2014, it's safe to assume we won't be seeing any more about it.
7 Astro Bot
The concept of a television show following Astro Bot as he travels around while making WALL-E noises sounds kind of dull, but sometimes simplicity is the key to success. There is nothing inherently complex about the games either – it's the creativity of the world and gameplay that has forged its stellar reputation.
An Astro Bot series should be light on dialogue and instead emphasize atmosphere, sound, and cuteness. Sony is partnered with some of the best animation studios in the business, including the team behind Into the Spider-Verse. If they were able to work on an Astro Bot show, it could be full of vivid colors and gorgeous animation while also showcasing the action and adventure that the little robot is known for finding.
6 Gravity Rush
Out of all the Sony exclusives that should be adapted into an anime, Gravity Rush ranks incredibly high. Its fiction and characters naturally lean into the genre, while also having enough potential to carve its own legacy into the medium.
Powerhouse Animation Studios (Netflix's Castlevania) would be perfect for this job. They excel at immersing audiences into their worlds with stunning hand-drawn animation. Letting them design Hekseville, as well as Kat's gravity manipulation power, could lead to a hypnotizing experience full of Inception-like action scenes.
5 Shadow of the Colossus
A Shadow of the Colossus series would need to be the most atmospheric, and perhaps also the most nihilistic. The story of a lone child facing off against insurmountable odds to revive his fallen friend sounds like it could be a tough adaptation, but in the right hands, it could be a mesmerizing depiction of the grieving process mixed with elements of fantasy.
Alex Garland is known for creating immersive visual experiences with well-written and interesting characters. Look no further than his 2018 film Annihilation for an example of an artist who is unafraid to explore uncomfortable themes and scenes. Even Chloé Zhao, known for 2021's Nomadland and Eternals, is the type of visionary director who could adapt Shadow of the Colossus into an engaging yet dark program that would leave viewers asking themselves philosophical questions as the credits roll.
4 The Order: 1886
Say what you will about the game itself, but the developers behind The Order: 1886 created a captivating and dark world full of interesting characters and monsters. The age of Victorian-era gothic fiction feels like a relic of the past, but perhaps a television adaptation of this game could revitalize the genre by becoming the next Van Helsing.
A series based on The Order would need to be tense and full of horror. Let's also not forget that the world of The Order: 1886 also contains steampunk DNA, so the show should also focus on the interesting gadgets and weapons that the Knights of the Round Table rely on to defeat grizzly beasts.
3 Until Dawn
Is there anything better than watching hormone-filled youth get gruesomely picked off one by one in horror? Supermassive's Until Dawn checked off every box on the "campy horror throwback" list, and a TV version could amplify that tone to horrific and hilarious results.
There is a lot of potential with turning Until Dawn into a TV series. Hey, maybe they could even get Hayden Panettiere and Rami Malek to reprise their roles? The only thing that could squander the show's chance for success is if it was turned into an interactive series similar to Bandersnatch. Until Dawn is already an interactive story and wouldn't benefit from regurgitating the same formula in live-action. The only thing the show would need is a smart script that nods at its influencers, while also telling a unique and surprising story.
It's hard to deny the current popularity of the Superhero genre in movies and television. Sony's Infamous contains all the elements like superpowers, attitude, and characters, that people who have never played the game could quickly fall in love with.
To make a decent TV show out of the Infamous series, it would need to have a great budget and an even better cast to make the universe believable. While many other games on this list should be adapted into an animated series, Sony should go all-in on a realistic interpretation of the games. Infamous has a ton of great source material to pull from, but it could also be interesting to see if they could tell an origin story for a new hero, with cameos from the current roster showing up occasionally.
1 Horizon Zero Dawn
The world-building and storytelling throughout both Horizon titles are some of the densest and most fully-realized in recent memory. With the right writers, they could adapt the current story into a television series, or perhaps tell an original narrative within the same universe.
A Horizon series would need the full support of Sony and its budget to succeed and stand out. Creating the post-apocalyptic world and its mechanical inhabitants would not be easy, but could be breathtaking if done correctly. Casting would also be important. The inhabitants of Horizon are unique and interesting people that could be portrayed by a diverse group of actors. When it comes to Aloy herself, it could even be in the show's best interest to cast Ashly Burch in the role instead of someone less familiar with the source material.
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