Halo TV Series Season 2

Top 10 Xbox Franchises We Want to See Adapted Into a TV Show

What's on the (X)box, tonight?

Microsoft clearly has an interest in adapting their game franchises for television; with the success of Amazon Prime’s Fallout and Paramount Plus’ Halo series. With the ever-growing number of IPs under their belt, we’re ready to list the 10 Xbox franchises we’d love to see adapted for TV.

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Even with the ridiculous sales of Bethesda’s video game franchise, no one could have predicted the unprecedented success of the Amazon Prime Fallout television series. The series’ critical and commercial success has translated into an all-time high in players of the series.

However, not all of Microsoft’s adaptations have reaped such bountiful rewards. Apart from some weapon charms and helmets based on the show’s characters, Halo: Infinite hasn’t benefitted from the Halo series’ broadcast. However. while not as critically revered, the Halo television series from Paramount has garnered its own passionate defenders.

That’s not to say that Microsoft is solely focused on live-action adaptations. It may not be a Microsoft property, but Cuphead has become synonymous with the platform. Mostly due to Xbox’s help funding the project, and the temporary exclusivity of the title. In keeping with the 1930s Disney-esque aesthetic of the game, The Cuphead Show was a faithful interpretation.

Microsoft and Netflix clearly saw significant success from the adaptation. That was seen from the fact that the streaming service has partnered with them again to create a Minecraft television series.

10. Diablo

A screenshot of a cutscene for Diablo 4's Season of Blood 2nd season
Image Source: Blizzard

Its success was almost guaranteed due to the title’s quality and the franchise’s passionate fanbase. However, Diablo IV has gone on to achieve great things for Blizzard.

Now that Microsoft has its hands on the franchise due to its 2023 acquisition it has more active control of the series’ momentum. I have no doubt they want to nurture the series to its fullest potential. Especially considering that Diablo IV has become the best-performing launch on Game Pass,

While it may not be Microsoft’s only fantasy franchise – lest we forget the Elder Scrolls, Fable, Hellblade, and Avowed – Diablo has the potential to be something Xbox has so little of in its first-party offering. It can actively capture a feeling of pure horror.

In the world of live-action, the fantasy genre has had no shortage of great adaptations and original content. However, Diablo could wade into something that so few have consciously dipped their toe into.

For the sake of transparency, let’s make comparisons between the mediums. If Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls is The Lord of the Rings, then Diablo is The Witcher – crossed with the horror work of Mike Flanagan.

9. Forza Motorsport

Cheering spectators on a grassy knoll witness hgih-performacne racing cars speed past them in the foreground.
Image Source: Xbox Game Studios

I understand the confusion at the prospect – “a Forza Motorsport series, what would that even mean?”

The concept of a racing-related television series is, at first, a little daunting. However, the idea is a little less silly when you consider the overwhelming success of Xbox’s racing franchise. Beyond that, just think about all the other live-action car-faring projects which have raked in millions at the box office.

Since its 2001 cinematic debut, the Fast & Furious franchise has gone on to become a billion dollar movie franchise. So, when Need for Speed made the pulpy, overacted jump into live-action, the action-racing genre already had a top dog. As such, attempting to compete with Universal’s behemoth franchise is a fool’s gambit.

As a result, I propose the Forza series should take a leaf out of rival console manufacturer Sony’s book. Forza could be lovingly adapted similarly to the 2023 Gran Turismo film. Based on Sony’s insanely popular Gran Turismo series, the movie stays away from the realm of fiction. Instead, it pitches itself as a biographical racing drama based on the real-life story of the GT Academy initiative.

While the lack of a fictional basis would require the Forza series to react to real-life details rather than acting upon new storylines, similar initiatives exist for Microsoft.

The upcoming Forza Motorsport ‘Bridgestone Rivals: Race to the Top’ tournament, for example.

8. Banjo Kazooie

The protagonists of the Banjo-Kazooie series chase a collectable jigsaw piece in the foreground.  In the background, the imposing figure of the evil witch Gruntilda reaches for the pair.
Image Source: Nintendo / Xbox Game Studios

While it hasn’t seen a release in 16 years, the Banjo-Kazooie series is one of Microsoft’s most beloved franchises.

The series is clearly something Microsoft is curious about playing with. From the characters’ inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, to the release of the original 1998 title on Nintendo’s Nintendo Switch Online service, there’s clearly interest there.

The Rare duo are sarcastic and funny through their game’s writing. Those personalities, along with the much-revered characters of the series, could make a solid foundation to build a television series on. While live-action adaptations have proven successful for Microsoft in recent years, an animated show would better fit with the tone, market, and aesthetic of the franchise.

It may at first seem like a shot in the dark for Microsoft and Rare to push for an animated series of one of their intellectual properties, but there is precedent.

It wasn’t received with much enthusiasm, however, a children’s television series based on the Viva Pinata games was produced and aired from 2006 to 2009.

7. State of Decay

A young woman in outdoor weather clothes looks off to the side, melancholically.   An image of her crossing a stream via a downed log is imposed on her chest.
Image Source: Xbox Game Studios

State of Decay has spent a long time at the back of Microsoft’s mind. However, Undead Labs has slowly but surely been working away on the third entry in the series. With State of Decay gameplay footage finally shown at Microsoft’s 2024 Game Showcase, Xbox’s zombie survival franchise is a perfect playground for a new post-apocalyptic television series.

State of Decay’s permadeath mechanic is a defining feature of the title. As such, every character you play as is a new person roaming the devastated world. Through its systems, the game funnels the player into taking stock of the smaller victories, and the individual steps you can make along the way to humanity’s survival.

While the Walking Dead live action television series was a disappointment to many in its last seasons, in its stride it was the quintessential piece of zombie media.

Following a small group of survivors as they scrabble through the corpse of human society, or taking each episode as an individual character’s story, could shine a light on a more intimate zombie survival tale we’ve been missing.

6. Psychonauts

Psychonauts series protagonist Raz runs towards an imposing figure with a singular eye in place of their head.   Trees and shrubs bearing eyes surround the scene.
Image Source: Xbox Game Studios

Psychonauts 2 is a platforming tour de force, unlike anything we’ve seen from Microsoft for a long, long time.

Its tone and gameplay betray it as a game of its own time. However, the self-confidence of the developers at Double Fine and the title itself is utterly commendable.

As such, it seems fitting to adapt it in line with shows of the time. From its position as a collectathon action-platformer from the genre’s peak in the 1990s and early 2000s, its soul is rooted in that period.

Looking at the psychedelic mind-jumping of the title would be the perfect breeding ground for storytelling. Delving into the subconscious could produce some extremely creative animation and plot developments in fitting with the episodic storytelling of television.

Classic animated shows of the time, such as The Ren and Stimpy Show and Adventure Time could provide an awe-inspiring backdrop. As such, the show could present itself as a child-friendly narrative, while treating the audience with a level of maturity rarely seen in children’s animation.

5. The Elder Scrolls

An armored character in medieval attire gazes at a coastal town in the distance from a waterfalled clifftop
Image via ZeniMax Online Studios

The world of Tamriel has never been as narratively dissected as it is today, and that’s a good thing.

The Elder Scrolls Online is celebrating 10 years of play this year. Alongside the Elder Scrolls VI being announced six years ago, Bethesda’s fantasy action-role-playing game series has never been in such a strong position.

Compare that to HBO’s diminished returns, from its previously ultra-successful adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s work into Game of Thrones. Although its later seasons left a bad taste in many fans’ mouths, the appetite for such a series clearly exists.

A high fantasy world, with political unrest and a Western-inspired medieval setting? A passionate fanbase for the original work, who would love to see their favorite fantasy continent brought to life in live-action?

With all the similarities, it’s no wonder Game of Thrones continues to be put onto our screens time and time again. Yet a clear question as to why Microsoft hasn’t given an Elder Scrolls series the green light already.

4. Perfect Dark

Joanna Dark, the Protagonist of the Perfect Dark series, races out from an exploding vehicle - handgun raised and firing.  Two soldiers are seen in the background, with rifles raised toward her.
Image Source: Xbox Game Studios

With a new title on the way, and fresh gameplay revealed at June’s Xbox Game Showcase 2024, the Perfect Dark series is the most culturally relevant it has been in nearly 15 years.

Since the Xbox Live Arcade remaster of the original cyber-espionage first-person shooter title, it has enjoyed modest success. It has been ported to the Xbox One through the Rare Replay collection and Nintendo’s Nintendo Switch Online service.

A series based on Perfect Dark could be the meeting of Mr Robot, James Bond, and Homeland we didn’t know we were looking for.

While Joanna Dark’s series wouldn’t be as high-octane as your classic Bond affair, the focus on espionage and the politics of spy work could set it apart from other works in the genre.

Place alongside that, an undercurrent regarding the moral use of intrusive technology and you have the recipe for one heck of a spy series.

3. Hi-Fi Rush

The Hi-Fi Rush team take on action poses in the foreground.   A technological and colorful world inhaibits the background.
Image Source: Tango Gameworks

Hi-Fi Rush‘s success is something of a bittersweet sentiment.

Since the dissolution of its creators Tango Gameworks in May 2024, the title can’t be mentioned without some reminiscing.

However, with the overwhelming critical success of 2021’s Arcane: League of Legends on Netflix (it won four Emmys, for goodness sake) there’s no doubt a similar animated venture could be achieved by Microsoft.

The more mature audience of Riot Games’ animated adaptation wouldn’t be appropriate for Hi-Fi Rush’s project. However, its success in an art style not dissimilar to Tango Gamework’s title is evidence that the audience is there.

While Hi-Fi Rush’s future as a Microsoft video game IP is completely up in the air, there’s no need to waste the overwhelming potential of the series. A light-hearted action romp, with a killer soundtrack and take-no-prisoners attitude, would no doubt be another success for Microsoft.

Here’s hoping it’d be enough to keep it on the air for longer than 16 months before canceling.

2. Fable

The Fable protagonist sits on an excessively large pair of spectacles, in the background.  A field of flowers inhibit the foreground.
Screenshot by Twinfinite via Microsoft and Playground Studios

Microsoft’s Fable series hasn’t seen a new entry since 2017’s free-to-play card game Fable Fortune. However, with the upcoming release of a new Fable title coming in 2025, it’s touted as Xbox’s next killer app.

The action RPG franchise has always differentiated itself from the crowd. There is no other fantasy franchise like it, with its varied combat, excessive proportions, and quintessentially British sense of place and humor.

With Fable’s stunningly rendered in-engine trailers, we’ve had the unique opportunity to see the AAA franchise interacting with British television legends.

Through Microsoft’s 2023 trailer for the game, we see The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade who portrays Dave the Giant – a vegetable enthusiast with a hatred of the protagonist. In the recent June 2024 Xbox Game Showcase, we received another trailer that shows Peep Show star Matt King playing Humphry, Albion’s greatest (retired) hero.

The high production value of the trailers has been highly successful at spurring gamers’ excitement regarding the new title. However, they are also potent at showcasing what a Fable television series could look like.

Perhaps taking inspiration from other British comic drama properties such as the beloved Blackadder series, the heart of these trailers could bear fruit with some other British acting talent in the fray.

1. Gears of War

The Gears of War team are lined up against sandbacks while bullets fly past their heads.   Assault rifles in hand, they are having a conversation before they return fire on their attackers.
Image Source: Xbox Game Studios

Gears of War has always been a franchise that is laser-focused on the idea of forged brotherhood. Be that through the casual banter between characters, or the harrowing loss all members of the team experience.

This core is what has long differentiated the Gears of War series from other ‘macho’ third and first-person shooter franchises. While the obscene proportions of every man’s muscles are comically Hollywood, the stories the games tell can be much more intimate.

As such, a series following a singular group of COG soldiers through the ruined streets of Sera would represent the franchise much more accurately than a Michael Bay-style action flick.

Other television projects, such as 2001’s Band of Brothers, shared this focus on camaraderie. As such, a similar series would provide the franchise with the breathing room to tell the mature, emotionally nuanced story it’s always hinted at.

With the announcement of Gears of War E-Day, it’s clear Microsoft is also looking to tell this style of narrative. However, who can say that seeing a live-action Gears of War series open with a melancholy ‘Mad World’ rendition wouldn’t bring a tear to your eye?

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Image of Connor Wright
Connor Wright
Connor is a Freelance Writer at Twinfinite. Hailing from the east coast of Scotland, with experience in the development and retail spaces of the industry, he uses his passion about games and Scottish charm to write features and guides. When he's not writing, Connor loves dissecting his favourite fictional worlds and plundering on the virtual open seas.