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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is proof that you can take one cool idea and combine it with another event to create something memorable.
In this case, they took Roadside Picnic (written by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky), a book about an alien event, and asked "What if this was about Chernobyl instead?"
Think of the game as a soft reboot of the book and enjoy the ride.
2. The Witcher
Between the success of Witcher 3 and the Witcher Netflix series, there are more fans of Geralt of Rivera than ever before.
These fans will likely enjoy the Witcher novels and stories written by Andrzej Sapkowski, all while getting a crash course in Polish mythology.
3. Spec Ops: The Line
Spec Ops: The Line, like the movie Apocalypse Now, is based on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
The final result is the rare video game that asks players to consider the costs of war and violence on man’s soul.
4. Metro 2033
Metro 2033 is based on a book by the same name written by Dmitry Glukhovsky.
It’s a fun read whether or not you like the original game, though fans of the game might be surprised at how much the book sticks to a sci-fi focus.
5. Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII
All of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games are loosely based on a story of the same name written by Luo Guanzhong.
It has become a gaming franchise with a life of its own, but even later games still show the influence of the original text.
Bloodborne isn’t based directly on a novel. Instead, the game’s storyline is like someone went through an H. P. Lovecraft buffet and grabbed whatever looked neat.
While the game is great on its own, knowing your Lovecraft helps really take that enjoyment to the next level.
7. Assassin’s Creed
The Assassin’s Creed games have been doing their own thing for many games now. But the inspiration for the original game comes from Vladimir Bartol's novel Alamut.
Interestingly, the book provides a much more realistic view of the famous assassins and their role in world history.
8. Parasite Eve
The PSX Parasite Eve game is different from most titles on this list. Not only is it based on a book of the same name (written by Hideaki Sena), but the game serves as a sequel to the book.
As a bonus, it was a very successful translation of the novel’s characters and themes.
Suikoden is a beloved RPG and it’s based on the beloved tale Shui Hu Zhuan by Shi Nai'an.
While the game moves around certain characters and settings, it is hilarious to see all of the characters from the book become characters in the world of the game.
10. The Old Man Club
The Old Man Club is part adaptation, part homage to Ernest Hemingway and his novella The Old Man and the Sea.
You play a series of insane mini-games while learning about masculinity and life on the ocean. Come for the great art and stay for the hilarious literary references.
11. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is actually based on a Ming Dynasty-era classic Journey to the West.
You can enjoy the connections to book characters like the Monkey King or just enjoy the engrossing game on its own merits.
There are many Lord of the Rings games, with some being better than others. But the best game based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels is one you may have never heard of: Angband.
It’s a roguelike with a lot of fun and charm, but understanding your character’s fight against Melkor (the Big Bad before Sauron) makes it even better.
While BioShock is loosely inspired by Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, it is more accurate to say that this game is a refutation of that book’s ideas.
Whereas Rand championed a world where great men could do whatever they wanted, BioShock shows how such a world quickly descends into chaos and madness.
14. I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream takes its inspiration from the Harlan Ellison novel of the same name. But many gamers have never encountered this original story.
Reading it will help this game make sense, and you’ll have new respect for HAL 9000, GlaDOS, and other famous evil computers.
15. Dynasty Warriors
The Dynasty Warriors series is another take on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms written by Luo Guanzhong.
But if you’d rather fight than read, you’ll probably enjoy this hack-and-slash romp through wave after wave of historical foes.