Top 8 Video Games Based on Books
Have you ever thought about the fact that your favorite video game might be based on a novel? We’ve seen this happen with film adaptations of books, but there are quite a few examples of this happening in the gaming industry, as well.
So, for today’s article I decided to compile a list of the best video games based on books!
Here are the best games based on novels
Let’s go in chronological order, shall we?
1) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Developed by Infocom, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1984) is an interactive fiction game based on Douglas Adams’ comedic sci-fi novel with the same name. The game is still to this day regarded as one of the best of all time thanks to its wit, wacky situations and smart puzzles. The fact that the author of the source material himself actively participated in the development of the game made The Hitchhiker’s Guide a very well-made product.
2) I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream
I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream (1995) is a point-and-click adventure and an adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi short story. The game was kind of a commercial failure, but critics absolutely loved it: the mature presentation of ethical issues, the psychological depth of the characters, and the reflection on the state of humanity that the game provoked in the player were signs of a true masterpiece. Today, I Have No Mouth has been rediscovered, and it’s receiving the praise it deserves.
3) Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
Created by Red Storm Entertainment and published by Ubisoft, the game, as the name suggests, is based on the Rainbow Six novel by author Tom Clancy. The first game of the series was released in 1998, and it was followed by about 14 more iterations. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six was an extremely important game for the tactical shooter genre, to the point of being considered as a milestone in the FPS sphere.
The Metro (2005) video game series, developed by 4A Games, was inspired by the work of Russian author Dmitrij Gluchovskij. The dystopic sci-fi novels were adapted into a series of three action-adventure FPS games that became wildly successful. The scope of the games is to survive in a post-apocalyptic Russia, which became completely inhospitable after nuclear bombs dropped on its surface, leaving it covered in radioactive matter.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (2007) is another vastly appreciated video game saga loosely based on the book Roadside Picnic written by Russian brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (the biggest inspiration was the film Stalker by Andrey Tarkovsky). Set in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, this FPS title with RPG elements follows the Stalkers, professional treasure seekers who try to reach the core of the highly contaminated Zone for their personal gain.
Released in 2007, BioShock was one of the titles that changed the gaming industry forever. It incorporates ideas pertaining to various authors, mainly Ayn Rand, who established the philosophy of Objectivism. The depth of the philosophycal themes tackled within the game and the decision to leave moral choices completely up to the player were quite revolutionary aspects for a video game at the time of release. The BioShock series prompted a new discussion around video games, a discussion that was eager to refer to this title – and many others around this time – as a pure art form.
7) The Witcher
In the same year of BioShock came The Witcher, the first game of an action RPG saga that would go on to become another staple of the video game medium. Developed by CD Projekt Red, the title takes inspiration from Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, writer of the The Witcher novel series. The game is heavily choice-based, meaning that players will forge their own path throughout the narration. The Witcher saga was praised for its immersiveness, mature themes, superb writing and gameplay.
8) Dante’s Inferno
Dante’s Inferno (2010) is based on one of the most important works of Italian literature, Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. Created by Visceral Games, in this action-adventure title the player will impersonate the titular Dante, who must fight through the nine Circles of Hell to rescue his beloved Beatrice from the clutches of Lucifer himself. Critics were blown away by the unique and creative design of the circles of Hell, and the enemy designs, as well. The hellish creatures Dante encounters are in fact profoundly disturbing and horrifying, which makes them spot on for the setting based on eternal damnation they’re immersed in.