Now Reading
Books that Became Video Games

Books that Became Video Games

Unlike the restrictions imposed by cinema, television, and video games, the realm of literature offers limitless creative freedom, establishing it as the ultimate storytelling medium. While video games can certainly boast well-crafted narratives, it is essential to recognize the unique strengths and limitations inherent to each medium when considering adaptations.

Books, with their fewer constraints compared to films, serve as excellent source material for video game adaptations. This likely explains why there are more high-quality video games based on books than the seemingly endless stream of poorly-made movies or TV tie-ins. The most successful video games inspired by literature adeptly translate the themes, characters, and settings from the pages of books into the interactive world of gaming.

Popular Video Games Based on Books

1 The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

CD Projekt Red’s video game adaptations of Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy novels played a significant role in popularizing The Witcher series globally. Although the novels gained substantial popularity in Eastern Europe, it was the video games that brought widespread international acclaim.

The third game in the series, Wild Hunt, represents the pinnacle of the Polish studio’s efforts and stands as the best installment of the trilogy. Players who have experienced the first two games will recognize subtle references and hidden gems, but Wild Hunt remains easily approachable for those new to the series.

2 Metro Series

In the Metro series, players navigate the challenges of surviving in a post-apocalyptic Russia, where nuclear bombs have rendered the surface uninhabitable due to severe radiation. The first game closely follows Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky’s 2002 novel “Metro 2033,” but subsequent installments and books alternate to expand the storyline.

For a complete understanding of the main narrative, players should follow this sequence: read “Metro 2034,” play “Metro: Last Light,” read “Metro 2035,” and finally play “Metro Exodus.” This intricate interplay between the novels and games creates a unique and engaging storytelling experience that is seldom seen.

Books, films and video games are all now intertwined and often become one. While this complements the story nicely, you still have a lot of steamy stories just a finger away. All you need is a story-reading app. In a novel app like FictionMe, you can find unique books with deep stories, including ones that will be used to create games.

3 Bioshock

Ken Levine’s Bioshock stands out as a narrative-rich shooter, where players must navigate and survive the perilous underwater city of Rapture. The core philosophy of Andrew Ryan’s envisioned utopia draws heavily from the objectivist themes prominent in Ayn Rand’s literary works.

Ayn Rand’s novels, including Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, championed the ideals of rugged individualism and fiercely opposed governmental intervention and concessions to the needs of the less fortunate. However, the inherent impracticalities and ethical dilemmas of such a society become evident in Rapture’s downfall, transforming the city into a nightmarish dystopia. Its residents, once full of promise, devolve into deranged, drug-addled remnants of their former selves.

4 Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 continues their trend of adapting existing properties into immersive gaming experiences. This time, they ventured into the realm of science fiction, drawing inspiration from a different kind of literary source. Unlike their previous games rooted in traditional novels, Cyberpunk 2077 is based on the Cyberpunk series of tabletop role-playing books authored by Mike Pondsmith.

The tabletop series chronicles a narrative arc that begins with the original game, set in 2013 and extends to Cyberpunk Red, set in 2045. Cyberpunk 2077, the video game, takes the story further into the future, situating its events in the year 2077. Although the game makes some adjustments to dates and details from the tabletop versions, it maintains continuity through the inclusion of many shared characters and events.

5 Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six

Despite dozens of games bearing the Tom Clancy name and branding, only a select few are actually adapted from the novels he penned. Known for best-selling books like The Hunt For Red October and The Sum of All Fears, Clancy also played a pivotal role in the gaming industry. By the way, in FictionMe – read thousands of novels for free and you can read other works of Tom Clancy, which are currently only available on paper. In 1998, he co-founded Red Storm Entertainment, which launched Rainbow Six, a game directly inspired by his novel of the same title.

See Also

Ubisoft acquired the rights to the Tom Clancy name, extending it to franchises such as The Division and Splinter Cell, which are not based on Clancy’s novels. These series have continued to thrive even after Clancy’s unexpected passing in 2013.

6 Assassin’s Creed

Is Assassin’s Creed based off of a book? When Assassin’s Creed launched over a decade ago, even Ubisoft likely couldn’t have predicted the profound impact it would have on the gaming industry, nor the significant evolution the series would undergo with each entry. It becomes particularly fascinating when considering that the inspirational source for the game’s narrative is a lesser-known 20th-century novel.

The novel in question is Alamut, written by Vladimir Bartol and published in 1938. Alamut is also a region in Iran, home to a fortress of the same name perched atop a rocky outcrop. This strategically vital castle played a crucial role in Persian history due to its commanding views, enabling those within to detect enemy movements, much like an eagle spotting its prey. Intriguingly, the name “Alamut” is believed to originate from “Aluh āmū[kh]t” (اله آموت), translating to “eagle’s teaching” or “nest of punishment.”


Are there any video games based on books? Of course, these games also demonstrate the successful intersection of different spheres: books and games. The realm of literature offers unparalleled creative freedom, far beyond the constraints often found in cinema, television, and video games. This makes it an ideal medium for storytelling. While it’s true that well-crafted narratives can exist in video games, it’s crucial to acknowledge the unique strengths and limitations inherent to each medium when adapting stories across these different platforms.