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  • Many people have bemoaned the fact that ActRaiser never got a real sequel which featured the combination of town-building sim and real-time action. (ActRaiser II was a sequel In Name Only and fully ditched the city-building aspect while making the platforming nigh-impossible.) But it did. It was called Dark Cloud.
  • Dance Rush is described by many arcade Rhythm Game fans as Chunithm WITH YOUR FEET! Or alternatively, "Shoenithm".
  • The Dark Souls series plays a great deal like a 3D Castlevania, albeit set slightly further back in time.
  • Data East made a great many of these.
  • DayZ plays almost exactly like an MMORPG/FPS hybrid set in the 28 Days Later universe.
  • Dead Rising:
  • Dead Space, owing to its somewhat derivative nature and quality despite that, has been mentioned as evocative of pretty much every notable sci-fi horror movie ever. This video goes into more detail on its inspirations.
    • However, the Alien franchise probably comes up the most in such comparisons. Though that franchise is notable for averting The Problem with Licensed Games on various occasions, this series is often cited as one of its best adaptations. In fact, at least one critic remarked that Dead Space 3 was a better Aliens game than the much-maligned Aliens: Colonial Marines, which was released around the same time.
    • Dead Space does feel remarkably like a System Shock sequel, as well.
    • It could also be taken as basically being Resident Evil IN SPACE due to the Our Zombies Are Different nature of the Necromorphs (such as their being able to mutate themselves into new, more combat-capable forms). It's similar to Resident Evil 4 in particular, with its (usually) over-the-shoulder third-person perspective and being more actionized than some other horror games, typically expecting you to kill every enemy in an area before advancing. Dead Space 2 is even more similar to Resident Evil 4 since Isaac now has dialogue which casts him as a serious-yet-snarky protagonist similar to Leon rather than the Heroic Mime of the first game, and even some scenes are similar, such as Isaac riding on the drill driven by Ellie while fighting off Necromorphs being very similar to Leon riding on the bulldozer driven by Ashley while fighting off Ganados.
  • Deadfall Adventures appears to be a First-Person Shooter version of Indiana Jones and Pitfall.
  • Despite the creator's efforts to give it a more unique art style, Deadly Premonition — while So Bad, It's Good — remains a closest thing we have that can be considered a Twin Peaks game.
  • Deathbots is an unlicensed NES knockoff of The Terminator, which had its share of subpar official games.
  • The ancient arcade game Death Race is an unofficial adaptation of Death Race 2000, as well as a spiritual precursor to Carmageddon.
  • Berserk has had a couple of decent games to its name, but by far the best ones are Demon's Souls and Dark Souls.
  • Due to the rather disappointing quality of most recent Star Wars games, many fans of the series have been pointing to Destiny as a worthy successor to the franchise in terms of style, tone, and character archetypes. It's even got a lot of plot and tone similarities to the popular Star Wars comic Legacy. It's also, gameplay-wise, a less cartoony, MMO version of Borderlands. Story wise and gameplay wise destiny is also the closest we will get to the return of Tabula Rasa
  • Destroy All Humans!
  • Devil May Cry:
    • The first game is often regarded as the best 3D Castlevania game that Capcom ever made. It helps that the first game's director, Hideki Kamiya, loves the first Castlevania.
    • The third game is either in the same league or surpasses DMC1 in this regard. The majority of Dante's Awakening may takes place in a Gothic tower, but it has the trappings of a Castlevania game. The Nintendo Hard difficulty of the classics (CV1, CV3, CV4) and the exploration/backtracking of the Metroidvanias with a white haired Half-Human Hybrid hero (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night).
    • The PC version of Devil May Cry 4 (and the Special Edition on both consoles and PC) on Legendary Dark Knight is the best Dynasty Warriors game ever made.
    • Dante, with his wise cracks, his (near-)breaking of the fourth wall, and his massive arsenal, has been compared to Deadpool.
    • Due to V's play style, some fans had noticed that Devil May Cry 5 is as close as we're gonna get to a Chaos Legion sequel.
  • Doom was also originally set to be based on Alien, but the developers scrapped the idea as soon as they heard the movie producers' strict demands for such a game. The game was then reimagined as a combination between Alien and Evil Dead.
  • Shigeru Miyamoto had originally wanted to make a Popeye arcade game in the early 1980s, but Nintendo's right to the character were revoked midway through production. Miyamoto then took the idea of a scrappy hero rescuing a helpless damsel from a hulking brute and made video game history with Donkey Kong. Ironically, Nintendo did eventually produce an official Popeye game, which was unfortunately released in the middle of The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 and thus languished in obscurity.
  • Don't Starve have been cited as being a great Tim Burton game, especially with its whimsical, heavily steampunk-flavored art design.
  • Double Dragon is a story about two martial-artist brothers fighting punks in post-apocalyptic 199X to save the girl, and who ultimately become each other's direst enemies. In other words, it's an adaptation of Fist of the North Star. It also borrows elements from Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon, such as the Lee brothers' surname and the mooks named Williams, Roper, and Linda, the latter being named after Bruce's widow Linda Lee Cadwell.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The series is in many ways similar to A Song of Ice and Fire, having a similar tone, overall setting (of sorts), and some smaller things such as the use of the title "Ser".
    • It could also be thought of as yet another Dungeons & Dragons game, possessing not only the classes but certain concepts that are idiosyncratic to DnD, like the Grease spell and the idea of a Bard as a spy that picks up a variety of talents. That the developer worked on official Dungeons & Dragons games in the past helps.
    • Last, but certainly not least, it is also arguably the best Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 CRPG ever made. The Fade is pretty identical with the Aethyr/Warp, and the dangers of wielding magic are pretty identical to those of being a Psyker. The mainstream Crystal Dragon Jesus religion reveres an ascended barbarian warrior monarch, a description that not only fits Andraste, but also Sigmar. The Templars, like the Inquisition and Witch Hunters, control magic users, and like Unsanctioned Psykers, mages outside the Circle are hunted down. And those are only a few of the most directly visible similarities.
  • Being a game where you play as a time cop, and Set Right What Once Went Wrong through creating Close Enough Timelines, Dragon Ball Xenoverse is one of the closest there is to Time Squad: The Video Game.
  • Dungeons by Kalypso Media is basically a remake of Dungeon Keeper in all but name.
  • A subversion: Dynamite Deka, a 3D beat-'em-up for the arcades and Sega Saturn released in Japan, was heavily inspired by the Die Hard films to the point that the game's main character, Bruno Delinger, bore more than a passing resemblance to Bruce Willis. When Sega worked on the game's international version, they tacked on the Die Hard license, renamed Bruno Delinger into John McClane, and modified the main villain into Hans Gruber.
    • The sequel Dynamite Cop, the international version of Dynamite Deka 2, did not retain the Die Hard license. It is, however, the best game adaption of Under Siege or Speed 2: Cruise Control we will ever see in our lifetime.
  • Dark Fall the Journal is essentially a point-and-click reimagining of Sapphire and Steel's "Assignment 2", albeit with more puzzles and fewer cliffhangers.

  • Enter the Gungeon is basically Smash TV AS A ROGUELIKE!
  • Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is sometimes considered an impressive adaptation of the Cthulhu Mythos. The game used inspiration from the stories and even the books can be found, but you can't read them, only observe them. It's also somewhat of a spiritual sucessor to the Alone in the Dark series, which was also heavily influenced by the Mythos.
  • Eternal City, also known as 7 Days Eternal Capital, is basically Puella Magi Madoka Magica as an Action RPG slash Visual Novel with different characters.
  • EverQuest is one of the more straightforward adaptations of Dungeons & Dragons, with Tolkienesque fantasy tropes, fantasy races with detailed cultures described in the sourcebooks, fire beetles from the Monster Manual, a variety of deities from settings like Dragonlance, and elemental planes for high level adventurers to go exploring.
  • The Evil Within series is either the best video game adaption of A Nightmare on Elm Street or The Cell. Ruvik, being a clear expy of Freddy Kruger certainly helps, and is even voiced by Jackie Earle Haley; who played as Kruger in the remake. The first game in particular has you in the mind of a serial killer The series is also seen as the psychological horror equivalent of Inception.
  • eXceed 2nd can be seen as one to Ikaruga due to its use of the polarity system.


  • Gal*Gun is a Rail Shooter take of DNA², but with angels and demons instead of time-travelers.
  • The Sega Saturn game Gekka Mugentan Torico (known as Lunacy in the U.S) feels like The Prisoner with a liberal dash of Twin Peaks thrown in. The City of Mists even has architecture reminiscent of Portmerion, Wales, which was used for The Village of The Prisoner. The show has an eerie atmosphere and several characters who play headgames with our mysterious player character, who is known only as Fred.
  • Paradox Interactive's Gettysburg: Armored Warfare shares the same plot as The Guns of the South (a time traveler from the 21st century brings advanced weapons and tactics back to the Civil War to try and help the Confederacy win), albeit with less philosophizing.
  • God Hand:
  • Among Gradius fanbase, there's a discussion on what Gradius V being a spiritual adaptation to. Some fans went for both the Salamander games due to similar gameplay structures, while others root for the MSX-exclusive entries (Nemesis series in Europe) for having similar story presentation styles.
  • The Grand Theft Auto series as a whole is essentially Rockstar Games' love letter to generations of classic crime dramas, the stories and settings of each of them heavily informed by the Hollywood movies and TV shows that Sam and Dan Houser grew up on.
  • The 1986 computer game The Great Escape was not licensed from the movie of the same name, but merely inspired by it. Oddly enough, the film did later receive an official video game adaptation in 2003, complete with voice clips of Steve McQueen lifted from the movie.
  • GRIDD: Retroenhanced, a cyberspace hacking rail shooter with TRON-esque graphics and synthwave music, is essentially an '80s retraux take on Rez.
  • Gundam Breaker is essentially a Gundam Build Fighters game in everything except name; the second game seemingly lampshades this by including the Iori Hobby Shop as one of the challenge maps.

  • Halo:
    • Halo 3: ODST, with its drop pods, is quite possibly the best adaptation of Starship Troopers outside of Aliens.
    • The series as a whole reads very similarly to Aliens, with its space marines, flying dropships, kinetic weapons, battles with parasitic aliens, and Sergeant Johnson, who is basically just Apone with a different name.
    • It also has one of the best depictions of the architecture and technical power of The Culture.
  • Hatsune Miku Project mirai has more than a passing resemblence to Groove Coaster, namely the "icon moves along a twisting track and you have to hit notes on it" concept.
  • If you're an Ace Combat fan but also exclusively a PC gamer whose machine can't properly handle PS2 emulation, H.A.W.X. and Vector Thrust can help you scratch that itch.
  • Helldivers is a top-down shooter in which the protagonists are Space Marines fighting for a human empire that speaks of spreading freedom and democracy throughout the galaxy, but which is actually about stomping the crap out of any aliens and dissidents it comes across through a culture obsessed with military service. In other words, it strongly invokes the satirical overtones of the film adaptation of Starship Troopers, though here, the allusions to The War on Terror are deliberate.
  • The Hidden, a Game Mod for Half-Life 2, has been cited as evoking the feel of the Predator films, much like the aforementioned Crysis.
  • When it comes to video game adaptations of Red Dawn (1984) (of which there are quite a few on this page), Homefront towers over them all. Its plot was written by John Milius himself, and is basically the original Red Dawn with North Koreans in place of the Russians. (And this was before the 2012 remake.) And in turn, it's been hailed as the sequel Freedom Fighters (see above) never got.
  • Homeworld:
    • It was meant to be a Battlestar Galactica game, but that didn't work out. The resulting game still had the essential story of the original BSG and the mood of the re-imagined series (despite the game predating the latter).
    • The lore also heavily suggests that it takes place in the universe of the Terran Trade Authority. Or at least, it could. The game manual gives a thorough background of the Kushan history using the same narrative style of the TTA books. Also, like the TTA books, the illustrations are exclusively of spaceships and Big Dumb Objects, but almost never people (unless they're wearing spacesuits). The spaceships look as if they were designed by Chris Foss and Peter Elson. These two artists weren't involved in the game's design, but were given "props" in the credits. Elson was actually supposed to design the game's box art, but then they decided for some reason to go with CGI.
  • While the setting is only superficially similar, Horizon Zero Dawn is, gameplay-wise, the closest The Hunger Games has come to actually getting a licensed game. It helps that Aloy is essentially just Katniss with red hair.
  • Hotline Miami is likely the best video game that could be made out of Drive. Both works share a quiet, blond-haired protagonist known by an iconic jacket, incredibly brutal violence, 1980s-inspired synth soundtracks, and neon-drenched cities rife with crime. Nicolas Winding Refn is even giving a Shout-Out in the credits.
  • A number of creepypasta games, especially those based on SCP-087, SCP-432 and 7 Days, feature dark, changing structures (including, in the case of the first one, a seemingly endless descending stairwell) inhabited by some dark, sinister, unseen entity that stalks the player. These games can be thought of as proof of concept for a House of Leaves Unity game.
  • While Jaws Unleashed may have suffered from The Problem with Licensed Games, that doesn't mean there isn't a good game that lets you play as the Threatening Shark from Jaws, swimming around eating hapless swimmers, divers, and fishermen while their fellow humans try to hunt you down. You just have to look for Hungry Shark Evolution on your smartphone or tablet's app store instead. The developers of the Hungry Shark games even made a mobile adaptation of the film Shark Night 3D that plays almost identically to the other games.
  • The Hurricane of the Varstray -Collateral Hazard- is basically Star Soldier: Bullet Hell Edition.



  • Kane and Lynch Dead Men has a noted similarity to the films of Michael Mann, specifically Heat and Collateral. The magazine PC Powerplay specifically noted that the game "[took] some pages out of Mann's notebook." The sequel went in a markedly different aesthetic direction, however.
  • Katakis for the Amiga and Commodore 64 was a thinly veiled adaptation of R-Type, which many considered superior to the systems' official R-Type ports. Not surprisingly, Irem sued Factor 5 over it.
    • Konami also produced an arcade R-Type clone titled Xexex, which was never sequelized or ported to any consoles, again possibly due to legal threats from Irem.
  • Katana ZERO may be seen as a retraux successor to the NES Ninja Gaiden trilogy, with a Metroidvania layout.
  • On a review of it in this very wiki, Kid Icarus: Uprising was called the best Serious Sam game ever put onto a Nintendo system. Likewise, it's an awesome entry in the Sin and Punishment franchise.
  • KGB, also known as Conspiracy, released by Cryo and Virgin Games, was actually described by Computer Gaming World as a John le Carré style adventure. You are not playing a glamorous secret agent but are very much cast in the Stale Beer style of spy thriller.
  • Killerball was for all intents and purposes an unlicensed adaptation of Rollerball.
  • Kill Switch plays more like a sequel to WinBack than the official WinBack 2: Project Poseidon.
  • King of the Monsters is basically a Godzilla game in all but name and characters. And then Way Forward develop Godzilla: Domination, with the Scrappy Mechanic removed and features "suspiciously" similar gameplay and graphical style to King of the Monsters.
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is the closest we'll ever get to Spectrobes 4. Jupiter Corporation, who previously made the first two Spectrobes games, even made Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories for the Game Boy Advance.
  • Kirby: Planet Robobot:
    • Aliens/outsiders invade and modernize a primitive world? Character who looks very similar to the protagonist gets modified and works for the enemy? Main antagonist is the CEO of a huge corporation? The fact there is a ESP ability with PSI/PK powers?note  Did Kirby just become MOTHER 3?
    • Many comparisons have been made between this game and Mega Man X (mainly, the latter game's Ride Armor sequences).
    • The resemblance to Lagann has also been heavily noted. The final scene of Story Mode, where Kirby's Robobot Armor drills through the final boss and combines with Meta Knight's ship, only furthers the similarities.
  • Kung Fu Master is more of an adaptation of Game of Death than the Jackie Chan movie which shares its title in Japan (Spartan X, a.k.a. Wheels on Meals).
  • The Kunio-kun soccer league games, including Nintendo World Cup, may as well be called Captain Tsubasa: The Game.


  • Nintendo's early NES racing game Mach Rider was highly inspired by Mad Max, with a touch of Sega's Hang On, and possibly a spiritual predecessor to Road Rash.
  • Manhunt:
    • The first game was originally meant to be an adaptation of The Warriors, but Rockstar couldn't get the license at the time. They later made an officially licensed Warriors Beat 'em Up that is incredibly faithful to the film, and also an example of fans having No Problem with Licensed Games.
    • Some have suggested that the sequel, Manhunt 2, is a spiritual licensee of Fight Club.
    • Both games are, together, also among the best translations of an '80s Slasher Movie to video game form, with their extended stalking sequences and ultraviolent stealth kills committed with a wide arsenal of melee weapons. The main difference, of course, is that here you're supposed to root for the killer to take out the human garbage in front of him, not like that's such a big change.
  • Mass Destruction makes an excellent sequel to SNK's NES game Iron Tank.
  • Mass Effect is inspired by generations of science fiction whose influence it wears on its sleeves.
    • It is essentially a licensed Lensman series, only without the cheesy writing and the Values Dissonance.
    • Alternatively, it can be called Babylon 5 with dialogue options.
    • It also serves nicely as a Star Trek: The Next Generation game. Hell, the main villains are even similar (robotic beings that want to destroy or assimilate all life and are ungodly powerful). Notably, it nails the full experience of being a Starfleet captain—bonding with crew-mates, talking your way through complex interstellar diplomacy, embarking on dangerous away missions, and seducing attractive aliens—much better than most actual Star Trek games.
    • Let's see here, extinct alien precursors leave behind warnings of a machine intelligence whose function is to purge the galaxy of sentient life? Mass Effect is Revelation Space: The Game.
    • As Yahtzee once lampshaded, to an extent, the first game is basically a Star Wars game. This really shouldn't come as a surprise, considering BioWare also made Knights of the Old Republic, and the plot of Mass Effect 1 is basically that game minus lightsabers.
    • Whatever aspects of Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers didn't end up in Firefly ended up here. It helps that genetic engineering, cybernetics, computer hacking, and psionics are all part of the setting, and even a full-on Paragon Shepherd has a One Riot, One Ranger job description and is barely tolerated by the galactic government, much like the Series 5 Rangers.
  • Max Payne:
  • One of the driving forces behind the original Medal of Honor was none other than Steven Spielberg, who worked with the same military adviser that he'd worked with when making Saving Private Ryan. As such, it could be probably be called the best video game adaptation of Saving Private Ryan ever made, if not in story details then certainly in the tone it took with its portrayal of World War II. The influence was especially apparent in Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, which featured a level based on the storming of Omaha Beach, one of the most famous scenes in the movie, as well as a French town full of snipers, and a Hold the Line sequence defending a bridge.
  • Mega Man:
    • The original Mega Man was intended to be an Astro Boy game, so you could say that the Mega Man games are the best Astro Boy video games created (at least until Astro Boy: Omega Factor was released).
    • Neo Human Casshern, a series about a boy who becomes an android in order to fight a big army of robots, with his robot dog companion who can turn into vehicles. There also is an evil-protype twin-brother and a girl as protagonists/antagonists. Any resemblance Mega Man might have to this is only coincidence.
    • Mega Man eventually ended up being more of an amalgam of Astro Boy and Casshern.
    • Capcom did make another Breath of Fire game for the PlayStation 2 (and arguably a better installment than Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter). It's called Mega Man X: Command Mission.
    • If you're looking for a Kamen Rider game that isn't a fighting game or a mass brawler, one that feels like it's from the early Heisei era, look no further than Mega Man ZX.
    • While the Ben 10 games on the PS2 aren't bad, they were often criticized for not featuring all of Ben's forms for the sake of the gameplay. On the flipside, games that feature all of Ben's forms often have simplified gameplay for the sake of character variety. However, one game managed to combine the best of both worlds, bringing gameplay and character variety together. The name of the game? Mega Man ZX Advent.
  • Metal Gear:
  • Metal Storm is perhaps the best NES adaptation of Thexder, which did have a Japan-only Porting Disaster.
  • The Metroid games captured the essence of the Alien movies better than any of the licensed games did. Samus Aran ↔ Ellen Ripley. Metroids ↔ Xenomorphs. The main antagonist of the series, Ridley, is even a Shout-Out to Ridley Scott, director of the 1979 Alien film.
  • The Monkey Island series was heavily inspired by two major sources: Disneyland's original Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and the Tim Powers novel On Stranger Tides. And in turn, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies bore the influence of Monkey Island. (In not-at-all related news, the fourth PotC movie was coincidentally based on the same book.)
  • Muppet Monster Adventure may be the best Spyro the Dragon sequel from the original PS1 trilogy that Insomniac Games never worked on and is better then the official sequels that came out after the PS1 trilogy. It is also helped that Sony Europe published the games PAL version release, in which Sony was involved with the original PS1 trilogy!




  • Quackshot, a Disney-licensed Sega Genesis game starring Donald Duck, is said to had been created by Sega to get around an embargo which prevented them from using the Ducktales license, which was instead given to Capcom for their NES game.
  • The visual novel Quartett! looks like something straight out of Hidekaz Himaruya's portfolio if he did eroge.
  • Quantum Break is as close to a Fringe game we're going to get, between the contemporary, East Coast science fiction setting, the existence of a Mega-Corp that resembles Massive Dynamic a little too much, the presence of Lance Reddick who plays a character very similar to an Observer, and a scientific experiment at the heart of the lore that is responsible for the eventual end of the world. Even the game's muted blue-tinged Color Wash resembles Fringe's look. Hardcore Gamer even called it as such before the game's release.




  • It takes a bit of time to realize that UFO: Enemy Unknown, alias X-COM: UFO Defense in the States, is not set in 1980, and was not made by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.
  • Ultima is an adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. Akalabeth is taken from Akallabêth, the fourth part of The Silmarillion, and the story of the the White Tree is adapted in the Silver Seed plot of Ultima VII Part II. There are also Balrogs, sometimes called Balrons, and Hobbits, sometimes called Bobbits. Likewise, the series adapts D&D; the first game was based on Richard Garriott's 28th CRPG adaptation of the tabletop game, and the Gazer enemy is based on the Beholder.
  • Uncharted:
  • Similar to the brawler games mentioned above, Undercover Cops is one of the best Fist of the North Star games without the over-the-top gore or Kenshiro.
  • Until Dawn, in addition to being an homage to every Slasher Movie and teen horror movie of the last forty years, bears a number of further similarities to The Cabin in the Woods once you look under the hood. Both stories revolve around a group of teenagers who fit into classic horror movie archetypes heading out to a cabin deep in the woods for a weekend of debauchery, and both groups are being manipulated to play out just such a horror movie scenario. (In Until Dawn, it's one of their own seeking to avenge the deaths of his sisters, and in The Cabin in the Woods, it's a Government Conspiracy carrying out a Human Sacrifice.) And both plans go flying Off the Rails by the third act once actual supernatural forces that the villains never accounted for come into play.





  • KID may have gone bankrupt, but their Infinity series lives on in spirit as the Zero Escape series.


Example of: