Best Games Based on Books

Adapting material from one medium to another is fraught with difficulties. What makes for a good book, does not necessarily make for a good movie, and neither exactly match what makes a game good. That’s why most video game adaptations are awful.

These guys picked 5 games, based on books, which (they say) defies that trend. Give it a look-see.

Were they right? Let’s see.

• Spec Ops: The Line was way too pretentious to be any good. It was boring, bleak, and peachy. A game that isn’t fun, that’s actually anti-fun, is a failed game.

• American McGee’s Alice was a good game, and did a lot of things right (and some things wrong). The sequel, not so much.

• The two Metro games were both quite enjoyable, the first despite some glaring gameplay flaws (that Metro Redux fixes). They were incredibly atmospheric and compelling, though uneven.

• I’ve never played the last two games, so can’t comment on them, though Rainbow Six has a sterling reputation among people who love that sort of game.

The Verdict: Mostly good picks, one bad pick, and two games so old I hadn’t ever played them.

Plus, to be frank, these five games are NOT among the ranks of great video games. They may not be as abysmal as adaptations usually are, but they are still not incredible.

Even when the end result is good, virtually all adaptations (with some noticeable exceptions, Arkham Asylum) fail to reach the glorious heights of native media.

4 thoughts on “Best Games Based on Books”

  1. Also, the classic Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, the numerous Discworld games, the 8-bit Tolkien text adventures like The Hobbit. Then there was the Telarium series of adventure games derived from literary sources such as Michael Crichton and Roger Zelazny, whose ‘Lord of Light’ would make a great epic action RPG.

  2. This list is missing the excellent “I have no mouth, and I must scream” therefore is woefully incomplete.

  3. Haha “Rainbox Six”! Ah jeez I went out and bought a Voodoo 3 video card just so I could play that game in 3d accelerated mode.

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