Gaming is a fascinating pastime and exceptionally fast-growing industry, attracting millions of gamers. As in any entertainment niche, games need fresh ideas, often borrowed from a film, TV series, and even a book. Some of the most iconic and the best video games based on books are already popular among gamers and the press.

It might just the right time to get to know more about the titles inspired by books, which feature events envisioned by literary masterminds. If you’ve always wanted to track characters from a plot of your favorite author’s story, trying out a game adaptation in the form of an adventure game is a must. Check out an exclusive list of video games based on books, as follows.


One of the most outstanding references to literature can be found in Bioshock, an iconic game trilogy highly influenced by a literary domain. Video games are masterpieces that often represent trends and influential ideas of real life. Gamers who’ve tried playing Bioshock at least once will recognize a direct reference to Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

Being called a great classical novel of capitalism studies, Rand emphasized individualism and isolationist capitalism in her trilogy. Bioshock best represents possible negatives of living in a domain like this, a terrain full of terrors caused by massive experimentation on living creatures. Even though Bioshock does not explicitly mention Rand’s book series, all references to her ideas are evident for all gaming fans.


Andrzej Sapkowski is a writer of numerous literary pieces dedicated to a setting of a fantasy world with mythic creatures, mutations, and monster slayers. A narrative of Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher, was a cult for Polish readers for most of the time since Sapkowski’s novels weren’t translated into English until 2007. It was just about the time to translate them since it coincided with the first game’s release, a truly astonishing title.

Right now, Witcher is a trilogy, with the third installment often called the most fantastic video game based on fantasy. Witcher games’ release and popularization became the best representation of how gameplay can popularize writers’ written pieces that deserve worldwide attention.

The Binding of Isaac

When it comes to one of the greatest references you can try out in games, the case of The Binding of Isaac deserves your attention. This game is not related to great classical novels of a specific genre. Instead, this story relates to The Bible and one particular biblical narrative.

Specifically, in the game, God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son named Isaac, whereas this game takes this narrative to a whole new level by adding unique fantasy elements to it. In The Binding of Isaac, you take Isaac’s role, who tries his best to escape his insane mother, who believes that God told her to hill her son after sparing her husband. After Isaac flees to the basement to escape, real gameplay begins, with the main character trying his best to escape from his mother through a series of randomized dungeons. This is one of the best titles related to literature you should try out right now by offering a unique gameplay experience.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

This game is one of those titles you’ve probably never played before. Although this title is quite entertaining, with detailedly imagined narrative arcs and unique gameplay features, it was not heavily marketed. Only the fans of this title know that it references to Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en, an epic revolving around the pilgrimage of Xuanzang and his three disciples.

While the main heroes intended to resolve the sacred texts in the book, this adventure takes quite a different turn. Unlike in The Crucible play, they combine their efforts to recover mechs in a common hope to reinvent their civilization. For such an ancient narrative interrelation with a fresh gameplay style, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a title worthy of your time and attention.

Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth

Are there any Tolkien fans around? Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth is a real-time strategy title developed by EA Games back in 2004. Not only is it grounded on the events of Tolkien’s creations, but it also has elements included in the movies directed by Peter Jackson. Even though this title hasn’t achieved any outstanding results concerning game awards, it represented how brilliantly real-time strategies can be placed in a pre-existing narrative. Thanks to Tolkien and his The Lord of the Rings, we now have a chance to play such an intriguing title developed by one of the leading companies.

American McGee’s Alice

Have you read Lewis Carroll and his literary pieces before? This writer gave birth to dozens of literary masterpieces, including Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. All fans of his creations have probably played American McGee’s Alice, a unique title that represents the narrative of Carroll’s creations in a psychological horror environment. Thanks to impressive level design and unforgettable soundtrack, players commonly agree that this title is a decent addition to Carroll and his literary legacy.

Metro 2033

It would be inadequate to wrap up this list without referencing Dmitry Glukhovsky and his Metro 2033 creation. The original story was released in 2005, attracting an audience to the environment of a post-nuclear fallout. Unable to live on the Earth’s surface, survivors have no other choice but to live in the underground of Moscow’s Metro tunnels. In an adaptation of Glukhovsky’s fantasy, you take one of the survivors’ role, trying to survive in an extremely unfriendly tunnel environment. Unlike in the books, you can make the decisions that are different from the narratives created by Glukhovsky.

Final Remarks

It is no surprise that modern games are often attributed to being a cultural phenomenon. Much like movies or literature of the contemporary time, games attract new audiences willing to try out the earlier unimaginable experiences. For that sole reason, one will agree that games that grasp inspiration from literature and vice versa are a natural state for exchanging fresh ideas.

One of the greatest examples of when games gave birth to books is Warcraft or Dragon Age, a loved by thousands of fans worldwide. It is vital for the cultural world to exchange ideas, inspire each other, and give birth to the content ordinary people enjoy and share.

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