TV Shows That Should Have Their Own Video Games

by MIke Leaño

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The list of outstanding video games based on television shows is painfully short, which is odd (and unfortunate) since there are a number of programs out there that provide terrific game material. Almost every sci-fi show should probably have one, but the challenge is to think of gameplay that might actually be fun!

So here’s a list of TV shows that I think should have their own video games, and a few details about how I envision these hypothetical games would work.


The concept behind the Arrow TV show is just begging for its own video game, and despite already existing for two seasons, it has yet to get one. My vision for it is a hybrid between Grand Theft Auto, Batman: Arkham City, and a little Max Payne.


Arrow is just begging for its own game

At its heart, the Arrow video game would be a third-person shooter set in an open Starling City. It’s cover-based, has stealth elements, and you can play as members of Team Arrow. Arrow himself is armed with a number of different arrows:

  • Regular arrows (these are probably unlimited)
  • Incendiary arrows
  • Explosive arrows
  • Smoke arrows for obscuring enemy vision
  • Tranquiliser darts for putting foes to sleep
  • Grappling arrows for quickly climbing buildings
  • Bola arrows for entangling thugs
  • EMP arrows for disabling electronics

The combat system would be similar to the ones used in Arkham games, except Arrow can use his bow as a melee weapon. Other members of Team Arrow would have different combos and abilities, depending on how they fight on the show.

John Diggle, for instance, uses a variety of firearms; Canary uses a quarterstaff, and focuses on melee and acrobatics; Roy Harper is basically a slugger with healing, but has no combos. Felicity Smoak would function like the Oracle; she would provide the intel, move the story forward, and can perform hacks for the player.

The Max Payne aspect is bullet time, but it should only be limited to Arrow, and can only be used in tandem with his shooting so that you can pull off fancy, superhero-like shots.

Burn Notice

The adventures of super spy Michael Westen may be over, but I’ve always dreamed of a well-crafted Burn Notice game that would encompass the highlights of the show. So how would it play? Think of it as a better version of Alpha Protocol, but it’s set in a virtual Miami, and has sneaking like Splinter Cell.


Burn Notice: The Game is Alpha Protocol with car chases

The open-world environment is necessary because Burn Notice is filled with car chases, roadside ambushes, threats of exploding bombs, and time running out. Like Alpha Protocol, you have to choose the right approach when trying to convince people, although it would also let you decide what specific line to say, a la Mass Effect.

Each of the four main characters have special abilities. Westen is great at hand-to-hand combat, bluffing through trouble, and first aid. He has other skills (e.g. escapology, criminal psychology), but I’m not sure how they’d translate directly into gameplay.

Fiona Glenanne, on the other hand, is a demolitions, driving, and weapons expert; Sam Axe is proficient in martial arts, surveillance, and marksmanship; and Jesse Porter is skilled in firearms, driving, and persuasion.

Orphan Black

The first season of sci-fi cult hit Orphan Black was utterly exquisite. It had intrigue, drama, action, suspense, humour, and a gritty atmosphere, all wrapped up in cyberpunk package. This is why the idea of an Orphan Black video game excites me.

In my mind’s eye, the Orphan Black video game would be similar to The Lost Vikings, but instead of Nordic seafarers, you control protagonist Sarah Manning’s clones and do all sorts of missions like infiltration, stealing, police work, sabotage, and other activities similar to the program. And like The Lost Vikings, you’ll be switching control in real time between the clones and solving all manner of environmental puzzles.


Orphan Black is like The Lost Vikings, but without beards.

For an exciting twist, not all clones are capable of shooting. Since Sarah stole the identity of detective Beth Childs, she has a gun; so does soccer mom Alison. For gameplay purposes, the game can introduce a hacker and a bomb expert clone, even if they’re not in the show (so far, at least).

The missions don’t have to exactly mimic the storyline; what’s important is that they’re varied enough and should stay faithful to the tone of the show.

The Flash

I don’t mean to be partial to The CW, but their two superhero shows translate well into games. The Flash, in particular, deserves another shot at AAA stardom, especially since previous attempts didn’t go so well. Sorry, Injustice: Gods Among Us doesn’t count; it’s a fighting game.

First Shots Of Grant Gustin Wearing 'The Flash' Costume

Can we finally have a Flash game? Please?

Imagine an open-world Central City where you can run crazy fast–similar to this one, but faster. Like other superhero games, the Flash gains experience, levels up, and gains new abilities such as:

  • A sonic boom
  • Mind-numbingly fast combos
  • The ability to run up the sides of buildings and on water (but if you stop, you plunge under)
  • Some form of bullet time so that you can react more quickly than others, especially when indoors.

Unlike the cancelled game, which seems huge, I think Central City shouldn’t be as large. This gives the impression that the Flash is sickeningly fast and allows you to traverse the game world from end to end in only a few minutes.

So what about you? Do you have other TV shows in mind that should have their own video games? How do you envision these games to work? Let’s hash it out in the comments below!


Mike is a freelance writer and aspiring evil genius. If you enjoyed Mike’s post, you can visit his website Console Gamer for more gaming-related stuff. You can also stalk follow Console Gamer at Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

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  1. SOPILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think the Arrow concept really works! You have a variety of henchmen to defeat like Bronze Tiger, Deadshot, Sebastian Blood, Huntress, etc. You have two major villains in Malcom Merlin and Slade Wilson. You have Shadow organizations to progess the plot, like Amanda Waller, The League of assassins, etc. You have stakes like “save the city”, Save your family, save Laurel, etc…

    It would be cool if every time you learn a new ability, you get flashed back to the island for training missions with Shado/Slade/Yao Fei, etc…

    This would really work well. The only issue is, you kind of already know everything in terms of story, so I think this would have to be an alternate version of events, or a brand new story that somehow doesn’t contradict the show, otherwise there is no element of surprise. If it just recaps the events of the last few seasons, I feel like it could get pretty boring.

  2. Did you just mention The Lost Vikings? +2 internets for you, sir.

    Arrow should also have surveillance arrows. He could observe criminal
    meetings from far away and shoot an arrow with a microphone on it near
    their position so he can hear their dialogue. Also, do I even need to
    say “boxing glove arrows”? Yeeeeaaaaaahhhh.

    A Romance of the Three Kingdoms style turn-based strategy
    game based on Game of Thrones could rock my world. And although this
    isn’t exactly a current show, a Bioshock adaptation of The Prisoner
    would be the absolute best thing ever.

    1. Hey, surveillance arrows! Not a bad idea. 😉 I thought about the boxing glove arrows, but it doesn’t seem to jive with the show’s tone.

      Game of Thrones meets Romance of the Three Kingdoms? That could work! The Prisoner? Dammit, I’ve never heard of it, but thanks for mentioning it! Interesting!

      1. I was half-kidding about the boxing glove arrows, but it’s kind of hard to think of Green Arrow without picturing them. I wouldn’t really expect them to include them in the show except for maybe have somebody make a joking reference to them while giving Ollie a hard time about being anti-killing while using a decidedly lethal weapon.

        You’re going to want to check out The Prisoner for sure, at least if you love unique classic television and conceptual sci-fi with socio-political themes.

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