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The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games 

Ranker TV
Updated May 14, 2020 1k votes 151 voters 3.2k views 32 items

List Rules Vote up the best TV series based on video games.

It's pretty common knowledge that movies based off of video games are usually pretty bad. While that's certainly true of most Hollywood adaptations of the industry, the same cannot be said about television programs made from video games. For some reason, the format just works, which is why most children's Saturday morning cartoons included at least one series made from a popular video game franchise.

It's not surprising given the fact that many of the characters created in the early days of the industry were crafted for children. That and the limited graphical abilities of the 1980s and 1990s meant that simple characters running around mazes could be translated into colorful cartoons with rich backstories, characters, and situations. Some of those animated series based on video games were actually pretty good, and presented here are the very best - or at least the most fun to watch. As both game and animation technology has developed, the synergy between the two media has just grown stronger. From the two concurrent 1993 Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons and the multitude of Mario series to the more recent 2017 Castlevania series, video game TV shows run the gamut of style and genre.

Don't forget to vote up your favorite TV shows based on video games, and if any of your favorites are missing, make sure you add them as well!

list ordered by
1
Castlevania is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Richard Armitage, James Callis, Graham McTavish

Premiered: 2017

Castlevania (Netflix, 2017) is an American adult animated web television series based on the 1989 video game Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse by Konami. The series follows Trevor Belmont ...more
2
The Super Mario Bros. Su... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Lou Albano, Harvey Atkin, John Stocker

Premiered: 1989

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! is an American television series based upon Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2 video games. It was originally broadcast via first-run ...more
3
Adventures of Sonic the ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Jaleel White, Long John Baldry, Garry Chalk

Premiered: 1993

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is an American animated series produced by DiC Animation City and Bohbot Entertainment based on the SEGA video game franchise Sonic the Hedgehog. It was first ...more
4
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Jaleel White, Bradley Pierce, Charles Adler

Premiered: 1993

Sonic the Hedgehog is an American animated television series. It was story edited by Len Janson and produced by DiC Animation City. Made with the partnership of Sega of America, Inc., the show ...more
5
The Adventures of Super ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Tara Strong, Tabitha St. Germain, Tony Rosato

Premiered: 1990

The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 is an American animated television series based on the video game Super Mario Bros. 3. It aired on NBC with Captain N: The Game Master in a programming ...more
6
Where in the World Is Ca... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Greg Lee, Lynne Thigpen, Rockapella

Premiered: 1991

Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? is an American half-hour children's television game show based on the Carmen Sandiego computer game series created by Brøderbund Software. The ...more
7
Mega Man is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Jim Byrnes, Garry Chalk, Scott McNeil

Premiered: 1994

Mega Man is a Japanese-American animated television series multi-produced by Capcom Productions, Ruby-Spears Productions, Ashi Productions, and Ocean Productions and is based on the game series ...more
8
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Cynthia Preston, Tabitha St. Germain, Len Carlson

Premiered: 1989

The Legend of Zelda is an American animated series based on the Japanese video game series The Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The plot follows the adventures of Link and ...more
9
Earthworm Jim is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Earthworm Jim Dan Castellaneta, Jeff Bennett, Jim Cummings

Premiered: 1995

Earthworm Jim is an American animated television series based on the video game with the same name which appeared on Kids' WB for two seasons from September 9, 1995 through December 13, 1996. ...more
10
Captain N and the New Su... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Walker Boone, Catherine Gallant, Tabitha St. Germain

Premiered: 1991

Super Mario World is an American animated musical comedy television series loosely based on the Super NES video game of the same name. It is the third and final Saturday morning cartoon based on ...more
11
Captain N: The Game Mast... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Garry Chalk, Michael Donovan, Doc Harris

Premiered: 1989

Captain N: The Game Master is a American-Canadian joint-venture animated television series that aired on television from 1989 to 1991 as part of the Saturday morning cartoon lineup on NBC. The ...more
12
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Ming-Na Wen

Premiered: 1995

Street Fighter is an animated television series produced by InVision Entertainment based on the Street Fighter video game franchise by Capcom. The series aired as part of the USA Network's ...more
13
Where on Earth is Carmen... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Tim Curry, Rita Moreno, Rodger Bumpass

Premiered: 1994

Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? is an American animated television series based on the series of computer games. The show was produced by DIC Entertainment/Program Exchange and originally ...more
14
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Jim Byrnes, Garry Chalk, Michael Donovan

Premiered: 1993

Double Dragon is an American animated series based on the video game franchise of the same name. It was produced by DiC Animation in association with Bohbot Entertainment and Tradewest, Inc., ...more
15
PaRappa the Rapper is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
GOTTA GO FA5T added PaRappa the Rapper

Premiered: 2001

PaRappa the Rapper is a 2001 Japanese anime series aimed towards children in Japan that consists of 30 episodes. It features the rapping dog PaRappa and his friends in different adventures. ...more
16
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Pac-Man Marty Ingels, Barry Gordon, Barbara Minkus

Premiered: 1982

Pac-Man is an animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera based on the video game Pac-Man, made by Namco and published by Bally-Midway, which premiered on ABC and ran from 1982 to 1983. ...more
17
Sonic Underground is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Maurice LaMarche, Garry Chalk, Gail Webster

Premiered: 1999

Sonic Underground is an animated series that follows the adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and his siblings, Sonia and Manic. The cartoon follows a main plot separate from all other Sonic the ...more
18
Street Fighter II V is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Jason Douglas, Rob Mungle, Brett Weaver

Premiered: 1995

Street Fighter II V, is an anime series based on the fighting game Street Fighter II. Directed by Gisaburo Sugii, the series first aired in Japan in 1995, from April 10 to November 27, on YTV. ...more
19
Pac-Man and the Ghostly ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures Andrea Libman

Premiered: 2013

The series follows Pac-Man,along with his friends Cylindria and Spiral helps protect Pac-World from the threat of Ghosts after the seal that locked up the Netherworld was accidentally opened. ...more
20
Where in Time Is Carmen ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Lynne Thigpen, Kevin Shinick, Alaine Kashian

Premiered: 1996

Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego? Is an American half-hour children's television game show loosely based on the computer game of the same name created by Brøderbund Software. The program ...more
21
Speedrun by Polygon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Jimmy Mondal

Premiered: 2020

Speedrun by Polygon (Quibi, 2020) is a pop culture and gaming news short television series hosted by Jimmy Mondal. A caffeinated, hyperfast injection of the news for the gaming (and gaming ...more
22
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Frank Welker, Len Carlson, John Stocker

Premiered: 1996

Donkey Kong Country is a Canadian 3D animated television series. It is based on the Nintendo franchise Donkey Kong as portrayed in the Donkey Kong Country video game series by Nintendo and Rare. ...more
23
Dragon's Lair is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Arthur Burghardt, Michael Mish, Fred Travalena

Premiered: 1984

Dragon's Lair is a short-lived television cartoon series by Ruby-Spears Productions based on the 1983 video game of the same name. Thirteen half-hour episodes were produced from 1984–1985, ...more
24
Angry Birds Toons is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Angry Birds Toons

Premiered: 2013

Angry Birds Toons is a Finnish animated TV series based around Rovio's video game franchise of the same name. This animated series provides explanations for the rivalry between the birds and the ...more
25
Carmen Sandiego is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Shows Based on Video Games
Gina Rodriguez, Finn Wolfhard
Carmen Sandiego (Netflix, 2019) is an animated educational series based on the franchise. The origin story of globe-hopping master thief, Carmen Sandiego (Gina Rodriguez).