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Best TV shows for gamers from Castlevania to The Witcher

As TV adaptations of video games become more common, here’s some of the essential shows you need to watch while your thumbs recuperate.
Best TV shows for gamers from Castlevania to The Witcher

While the interactivity of gaming sometimes makes switching to TV shows feel like a backwards step, the latter’s golden age can be a welcome reprieve for some top tier storytelling.

TV has never been better too; with gaming companies now striving to replicate the huge success of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon to offer the same vast libraries and value for money.

So what shows should you watch if gaming is your primary diet? Here’s the best TV shows with gaming nods and flavours.

Castlevania - Netflix

Created by Warren Ellis, Castlevania is easily the best video game to TV adaptation there’s ever been. It’s not a difficult contest when you’re against Sonic The Hedgehog and Mortal Kombat animes, but Castlevania might be one of the best shows on Netflix too.

It’s a strictly adult anime filled with expletives, violence and horny vampires, but the characters and script are sharp and witty too. You don’t need any past knowledge of Castlevania games either, just a penchant for all things gothic and Dracula.

Castlevania
Castlevania is an unmissable treat (Picture: Netflix) 


The Witcher - Netflix

While based more on the book series by Andrzej Sapkowski, fans of The Witcher games will get a kick out of seeing Geralt of Rivia brought to life by Henry Cavill in this Netflix adaptation.

Structurally, the first season is a bit of a mess - with stunning action sequences and creatures largely masking flaws in coherence. But there’s enough promising material here to get excited about the upcoming second season.

The Witcher
Henry Cavill plays Geralt of Rivia (Picture: Netflix) 


Westworld - Sky Atlantic

A sci-fi series where residents visit a simulation theme park to live out their wildest fantasies, Westworld is a terrifying and fascinating interpretation of where advancing artificial intelligence could lead. The cast is stellar too, including Evan Rachel Wood, Anthony Hopkins, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright and Ed Harris.

While the second season doesn’t quite match the borderline perfect quality of the first, the third season has recently begun on Sky Atlantic and HBO - so it’s the perfect time to jump-in.

Westworld
Westworld recently returned for a third season (Picture: HBO) 


Adventure Time - Amazon

Loaded with gaming references and in-jokes, Adventure Time follows the gallivants of Finn and Jake to fight evil in the magical Land of Ooo.

You might brush it aside as solely for kids, but it’s hysterical for all ages - with a cast of zany characters to rival any show on the box. It’s also set to return for a series of specials later this year, so now’s the perfect time to get up to speed.

Adventure Time
Adventure Time is all kinds of trippy (Picture: Cartoon Network)

 


The Boys - Amazon

Amazon found their killer app with The Boys last year, which spins tired superhero tropes on their head for a story about revenge and abuse of power.

Based on the comic book by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, The Boys is gleefully violent and features Karl Urban on career-high form as William “Billy” Butcher. If you’re sick of Marvel and DC superhero movies, The Boys is a therapeutic, anarchic blast in the face.


Pokémon - Netflix

It feels like a silly recommendation, but Netflix has a huge bulk of the Pokémon anime series ready and waiting - spanning the Indigo League to the more recent Sun & Moon episodes.

It’s not exactly close to the best anime on offer, but for anyone who grew up fighting over Pokémon trading cards or bragging about their high-level Blastoise on playgrounds - this is an essential nostalgia tickle.

Pokemon anime
There's a bunch of the Pokemon anime on Netflix (Picture: Nintendo)


Dead Pixels - All 4

If you’re looking for something with a distinctly British flavour, Dead Pixels available on All4 is an overlooked gem which was one of the sharpest new sitcoms of last year.

The show follows the gaming obsession of three friends in fictional MMORPG called Kingdom Scrolls, as they navigate relationships and dealing with the outside world. Unlike many shows which tackle the subject, this manages to avoid the cringe curse through a witty script and genuinely likeable, relatable characters.


Stranger Things - Netflix

If you haven’t watched Netflix’s Stranger Things already, this is a show designed for citizens who grew up on Dungeons and Dragons, 80s arcades and repeat Goonies binges.

The recent third season was arguably the best of the bunch too - managing to breakaway from its derivative inspirations into a show with its own personality and spunk. With a fourth season on the near horizon, Stranger Things has never been in a better position.

Stranger Things
Stranger Things was at its peak in season 3 (Picture: Netflix)