In the world of cinema, it is common to find that many of your favorite movies whose stories are actually adaptations of books. In fact, at all award ceremonies, screenplay awards are always split between original scripts and adapted scripts. No one finds it strange, except when it comes to video games based on books.

video games based on books

People don't often think the same of video games. Few would imagine that a video game as a distinct visual and interactive medium could be born from the white pages of a novel. But the truth is that there have been such cases, quite a lot in fact.

And unlike what happens in many movies, who can afford to limit themselves to simply following the plot of their original source, the process of adapting a book to a video game is more complex. People find themselves asking is The Witcher video games based on books because they don't feel like reading a book at all when they play the games.

video games based on books

It is about taking the universe, atmosphere, or theme of a book and translating it into a completely new language. A task that may be more or less faithful to the original source (to the point of almost all its similarities fading away), but can still produce the best video games based on books worthy of the original material.

Are you still wondering what video games are based on books? This is what our list of video games based on books will help you with, by listing 1 of the best games that got their inspiration from the written word.

10 Best Video Games Based on Books

Video Games Based on Books (1/5)

1. BioShock

Although not an exact adaptation, BioShock is strongly influenced by author Ayn Rand's objectivist novels, a philosophy that extols complete individualism and capitalism.

But, unlike Rand's idea, expressed in novels such as Atlas Shrugged (1957), BioShock criticizes this philosophy and exposes its perversion that is evident in Rapture, an "underwater failed utopia espousing objectivist values", according to the creator Ken Levine himself.

2. Assassin's Creed

Ubisoft's epic historical fantasy has its roots in Alamut, a novel written by Vladimir Bartol in 1938 that tells the story of the Hashshashin, a sect of Shia Islam assassins (albeit depicted much cruder in the novel) from the 11th century.

The series' famous Leap of Faith comes from this novel, as does the motto "nothing is true, everything is permitted."

Video Games Based on Books (2/5)

3. The Witcher

Perhaps the most well-known example on the list, The Witcher is a saga of medieval fantasy novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The series features nine novels written between 1992 and 2013, whose popularity got a big boost thanks to the successful CD Projekt Red video game trilogy, and most recently the Netflix series with Henry Cavill.

4. Parasite Eve

The Parasite Eve video game, released in 1998, is actually a sequel to Hideaki Sena's eponymous book. A horror-fantasy in which mitochondria have gained self-awareness and destroy humans with terrible mutations.

Video Games Based on Books (3/5)

5. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six

Writer Tom Clancy, famous for dozens of spy novels with military themes, lent his signature to various adaptations of his novels in video games, and was later acquired by Ubisoft.

Although Splinter Cell, The Division, or Ghost Recon have little to do with Clancy's novels, Rainbox Six does come from a Clancy novel, which is within the Jack Ryan literary series. Then again, they have little to do with each other's plots, because the game and the book were created in parallel.

6. Metro 2033

Dmitry Glukhovsky's novel Metro 2033, narrates the struggle of factions among the last remnants of mankind, hidden in the Moscow metro after a nuclear war. The game of the same name more or less faithfully adapts the story but comes with spine-tingling horror and claustrophobia from a first-person perspective.

Video Games Based on Books (4/5)

7. STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl

STALKER is based on the novel by the brothers Arkady and Boris Strugastky named Roadside Picnic (1971) but with a different setting. If in the novel it was an extraterrestrial phenomenon that produced the appearance of various creatures and paranormal activities, in the game they come from secret experiments in Chernobyl.

The novel was also adapted for the cinema by Andrei Tarkovsky in with the cult film Stalker.

8. Spec Ops: The Line

This acclaimed narrative-heavy first-person shooter is inspired by Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1889). The anti-war element in the story, which was already adapted for the cinema by Francis Coppola in Apocalypse Now!, is transferred to the game's setting of a conflict in the Middle East.

Video Games Based on Books (5/5)

9. Dynasty Warriors

The prolific action-strategy franchise Dynasty Warriors originates from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a Chinese epic written in the 14th century by Luo Guanzhong that is loosely based on the historical events of the fall of the Han dynasty and the power struggle between three kingdoms from the 2nd to 3rd century.

The game adapts real battles but with numerous creative licenses, in a frenetic hack'n'slash in which you have to defeat hundreds of enemies.

10. The Binding of Isaac

The Binding of Isaac takes its name from one of the scenes from Genesis in the Old Testament, the Sacrifice of Isaac, in which God asks Abraham to sacrifice his own son, Isaac, to demonstrate his faith.

The same premise is in this game, in which the terrified Isaac runs away from his mother and into random monster-filled dungeons. Its creator, Edmund McMillen, wanted to demonstrate the contradictions he saw during his religious education.

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