10 Best TV Show Tie-In Video Games, Ranked – Screen Rant

Sometimes, a video game can go a long way in adding to the mythos of a good TV series.
The latest season of Cobra Kai dropped recently on Netflix, and if the audiences are done bingeing it all in one go, a good follow-up option can be playing the Cobra Kai video game from 2020. Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues is just one of the many titles that have been launched as tie-ins to popular shows.
With adaptations of classics such as Battlestar Galactica to long-running animated shows like The Simpsons and South Park, these games end up adding new narratives, environments, and bonus elements for diehard fans of the franchise.
The hand-to-hand combat and kick combos of the several 'dojos' of Cobra Kai come together in this 2020 game that dropped a few months after the release of the show's sophomore season.
Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues is basically a side-scrolling adventure with beat em' up actions. Apart from emulating the moves taught by Cobra Kai characters like Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, the game also emulates the duality of the show with the story mode exploring an accident from both the perspectives of the Cobra Kai students and the ones in Miyagi do.
Even though Battlestar Galactica was released to coincide with the 2000s-era remake, the game actually resembles the 1978 original series. In any case, it is worth the time for fans of both series.
In terms of the story, the Xbox and PlayStation 2 title cover the early years of the series protagonist William Adama as he explores deep space in search of a new home for the surviving humans. As expected, the gameplay is filled with adrenaline-fueled aerial dogfights in which players must balance speed, power, and missile radiuses.
When it comes to The Simpsons video games, the result is often hit-or-miss. While the series has had some duds like The Simpsons Wrestling and The Itchy and Scratchy Game, The Simpsons: Hit & Run turns out to be a standout game.
In what plays out as a family-friendly satire of the Grand Theft Auto style of open-world games, Hit & Run allows players to take the roles of multiple characters while exploring a series of mysterious events in Springfield. Driving and walking across the game's open world allows dedicated show fans to explore Springfield like never before.
Set during the events of the sixth season of Star Trek Voyager, this first-person shooter lets players don the uniforms of the Hazard Force, a high-security collective tasked with protecting the USS Voyager as it is caught in a starship graveyard.
The narrative goes on to incorporate mystery elements as players have to investigate the cause of the ship's entrapment. In exploring the vastness of the cosmos of the Star Trek series and doubling as a canonical addition to the show, Elite Force is a worthy entry into the pantheon of Star Trek games.
The Dragon Ball Z video games carry intense and larger-than-life battle sequences in typical one-on-one duels. The formula has been the same but with every passing year, the games are getting bigger in terms of the special moves and the animation.
One of the standout features is the complex and detailed 3D animation that carries a touch of the original anime's hand-drawn animation style. The visual elements are also as detailed as ever. Just go into Super Saiyan mode with a character and the ensuing explosion is visually enthralling to say the least.
Samurai Jack's first tryst with the gaming world was with the PlayStation 2 title The Shadow of Aku which got a much-required modern update with Battle Through Time, a 2020 release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo DS, and several other consoles.
The game is set during the events of Season 5 with the titular protagonist fighting his way across different timelines and scenarios in the sinister future created by the antagonistic dragon Aku. Samurai Jack voice actor Phil Marr reprises his role along with most of the cast. Breathing life into the 'lineless character animation style' of the original series, Battle Through Time proves the longevity of the franchise even though its initial four season-run ended years ago.
When Adventure Time protagonists Finn and Jake find the Ice King to be stealing their garbage to create a so-called 'Garbage Princess', the duo discover a larger royal conspiracy. Their attempts to stop Ice King involve adventures through the Land of Ooo that finds them encountering eccentric characters, finding hidden treasure, and surviving in underground dungeons.
Then, in true Adventure Time fashion, Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage also benefits greatly from a soundtrack full of humorous and wholesome acoustic songs describing Finn and Jake's surreal adventures. Reputed video game composer Virt (who is most known for scoring the Shantae games) composes the score, a role he would repeat in future Adventure Time games.
An improvement over the 2012 RPG of the same name, the episodic graphic adventure game was praised among fans of the series for its narrative depth. A big-budget fantasy drama like Game of Thrones might have most probably received a full-fledged action game dealing with the conflict against the White Walkers.
Instead, the 2014 Game of Thrones succeeds as an effective strategy game that tests the players' patience but also rewards them with enough plot twists. Another positive aspect is that several Game of Thrones cast members return to voice their original characters, including the likes of Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington among others.
Much like other South Park games, The Stick of Truth is a third-person role-playing game with a 2.5D perspective to replicate the feel of the original series.
The player assumes the role of the "New Kid" who moves into the protagonists' neighborhood, only to find themselves in an elaborate role-playing scenario that includes fighting humans, wizards, elves, and later even Nazi zombies, gnomes, and aliens! All in all, it is a brash, violent, and satirical game serving as a good-enough tribute to the controversial source material.
A high-definition remake of the 1989 DuckTales game (which in itself is an adaptation of the animated Disney series of the same name), the 2013 remastered version drew overwhelmingly positive responses from both gaming critics and Disney fans.
The gameplay retains the original 80s-era formula of a non-linear storyline and utility-based exploration reminiscent of classic games such as Metroid and Castlevania. As Scrooge McDuck and his nephews travel around the world in search of new treasures, DuckTales: Remastered turns out to be a title that is easy to play but has enough space to explore a visually-inviting world with no shortage of episodic story arcs for every level.
Next: The 10 Most Surprising TV Shows That Got Video Game Tie-Ins
Shaurya Thapa is an Indian freelance journalist who mostly dabbles in writings on cinema, music, and human interest features. When it comes to Screen Rant, he writes lists on a wide array of subjects ranging from international films to mainstream Netflix series and comic book trivia. He also hosts a podcast called ‘BhindiWire’, an Indian parody of IndieWire.


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