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Jinx glaring at the camera
Jinx (Ella Purnell) in “Arcane”

Video games serve as an incredible medium for interactive storytelling. From first-person shooters to roleplaying, every gaming genre carries with it the opportunity to spotlight moments in alternate universes for both gamers and non-gamers who can explore worlds beyond their own. But for those who would rather sit back and let the magic unfold through traditional media, several studios have adapted popular video game franchises into mind-blowing and stunning movies and TV shows, available on various streaming services. Here are some of our favorites.

‘Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children’ (2005)

Vincent Valentine and Cloud Strife having an important conversation
Vincent Valentine (Shogo Suzuki/Steve Blum) and Cloud Strife (Takahiro Sakurai/Steve Burton)

An iconic franchise from Square Enix (the developers and publishers behind games such as “NieR:Automata” and “Kingdom Hearts”), “Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children” is a film sequel to the original 1997 “Final Fantasy VII” game, one of the most popular games in the Final Fantasy series. When Midgar’s children become infected with the Geostigma disease, Cloud Strife (Takahiro Sakurai/Steve Burton) comes out of isolation in order to stop mysterious forces from resurrecting an old enemy. Familiar characters outside of Cloud include Vincent Valentine, Tifa Lockhart, and many more.

From a critically acclaimed RPG to one of the most highly anticipated films of the year it was released, “Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children” is available to Amazon Prime Video users. Note that you’ll only be able to rent or buy the film since it’s unavailable to stream with a subscription.

‘Castlevania’ (2017 to 2021)

Trevor Belmont crossing his arms and frowning
Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage)

Premiering on Netflix in 2017, the animated series “Castlevania” was every old-school gamer’s dream. Based on its Konami video game counterpart, the first season takes inspiration from “Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse,” the 1989 installment of the Castlevania franchise. It’s a vampire tale that features Count Dracula, who summons demons to overrun the country after his wife is burned at the stake due to a false witchcraft accusation. Combating these forces is Trevor Belmont, the story’s current wielder of the Vampire Killer whip, who joins forces with other characters to push back on Dracula’s takeover of the country.

It’s possible to watch the entire animated series on Netflix, but “Castlevania” is also available on Amazon Prime Video.

‘Persona 5: The Animation’ (2018 to 2019)

Morgana, Ren Amamiya, and Ann Takamaki looking at the camera
Morgana (Ikue Otani/Cassandra Lee Morris), Ren Amamiya (Jun Fukuyama/Xander Mobus), and Ann Takamaki (Nana Mizuki/Erika Harlacher)

Ask any JRPG fan to name their top five video games, and there’s a chance the Persona franchise is on the list. Hardcore and casual gamers alike are very familiar with the Shin Megami Tensei spinoff. The “Persona 5” video game is chock-full of dialogue scenes, but fans of the action-packed series can take it easy by watching the animated series on Hulu or Crunchyroll.

High school student Ren Amamiya is secretly known as Joker from the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, a rebellion group looking to fight the corruption that takes place in their modern-day society. Throughout the show, they explore a supernatural realm known as the Metaverse to steal malevolent intent from the hearts of adults. It’s one of the best ways to start learning about the Persona series, and watching it may even lead you to play the game!

‘Pokémon Detective Pikachu’ (2019)

Pikachu smirking in front of a taxi
Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds)

Even if you’ve never collected the trading cards or played any of the games, Pokémon is a recognizable franchise known by everyone — even those who don’t know how capturing and collecting them works. The most well-known Pokémon and the face of the franchise, Pikachu, has had a surge in popularity since Pokémon became more mainstream, which led to its own movie, “Pokémon Detective Pikachu.” Based on the Nintendo 3DS game of the same name, the movie is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video. (It’s not available with a subscription.)

Waking up in the real world and suffering from amnesia, Pikachu goes on a journey with Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) to become a detective in order to find Tim’s father. The live-action adaptation also features various other Pokémon in the real world — something long-time fans will definitely enjoy.

‘Arcane’ (2021 to Present)

Vi glaring
Vi (Hailee Steinfeld)

“League of Legends” is a popular franchise known by millions of people all around the world, from dedicated gamers to the casually curious. The franchise is well known for its multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, but it has expanded into other game genres and media, garnering new fans with interests in things like card games, K-pop, and RPGs.

One of its most successful media adaptations is “Arcane,” a three-act animated Netflix series that features some of the playable characters (known as champions) from the game. The show follows the origin stories of sisters Jinx and Vi as they navigate the two drastically opposing worlds of Piltover and Zaun. Viewers will also be able to explore storylines from other popular in-game characters as they interact with the sister duo.

‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’ (2022)

David and Lucy on a train
David Martinez (Kenichiro Ohashi/Zach Aguilar) and Lucy (Aoi Yuki/Emi Lo)

After the success of “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” many fans held high expectations for CD Projekt Red’s newest game, “Cyberpunk 2077,” only for it to receive mixed reviews with complaints ranging from game release delays to performance issues. Despite the overwhelming response to the action RPG, the game has sold over 20 million copies worldwide as of September 2022, and fans are still intrigued by the futuristic world of Night City. So when “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” released its Netflix trailer, people saw it as a new and refreshing way to interact with the franchise.

“Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” is a 10-episode stand-alone series that takes place in a futuristic city obsessed with technology and body modifications. David Martinez (Kenichiro Ohashi/Zach Aguilar), wanting to stay alive, decides to become a mercenary outlaw known as an Edgerunner. It’s a lethal and action-packed story that greatly redeems “Cyberpunk 2077.” If you’re thinking about getting Netflix to watch the show, check out some Netflix deals and discounts before you make your decision.

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