TA Top Five: Franchises That Should Get Telltale'd

By Mark Delaney, 2 years ago
Telltale Games has existed for many years, but not until their take on The Walking Dead did they really become the household name they are today. Throughout their history as a studio they've taken beloved IPs and turned them into great adventure games with a wide cast of characters and intriguing original stories. We've been sitting on this idea for several months, waiting for a new Telltale game to hit stores to coincide with this Top Five. This week, Minecraft: Story Mode - A Telltale Games Series Episode One finally arrives, so we felt that it was time to discuss which franchises -- gaming or otherwise -- deserve a Telltale-ing. We think that these properties would work great in the story- and dialogue-driven format for which the developer is known. Surely there are countless others that fit as well, and that's where you come in. Let us know what you want to see from Telltale in the future.

Honorable Mentions

Sleeping Dogs
Q1 DLC Screens Year of

Telltale has already proven to be capable and comfortable with taking a game franchise and reimagining it with their own point-and-click style. Sleeping Dogs tells a great story of an undercover cop torn between his career and his neighborhood, and that transcends the sandbox formula in which the game was originally presented. An episodic narrative with a similar Infernal Affairs-like tone as the original game seems like a great fit. Walking that line between local friend and dutiful officer would be made even more dramatic with choice-based dialogue and decisions.

Bill and Ted
bill and ted

When I sought suggestions in the staff message boards, TA admin WebChimp UK shot up first with his idea:

Bill and Ted would be most excellent. With their time travelling phone box each episode could focus on a different era with an overarching story.The series is a bit before my time but, knowing what I know about it, I have to agree as well. Telltale has done great things with both comedy and dual protagonists in their take on Borderlands, and the time-traveling basis of the Bill and Ted series allows for nearly endless possibilities.

The Thing
the thing

ChewieOnIce suggested this one, which made me immediately say, "why didn't I think of that?" If you're unfamiliar, John Carpenter's horror/sci-fi masterpiece centers around an Antarctic research team that is being hunted by a shapeshifting monster that claims the likeness of its victims. Paranoia and distrust come in to play greatly with the film, and this translates perfectly to the decision making to which we're accustomed in Telltale games. Who's telling the truth and what happens if you choose the wrong person?

Top Five

5. Doctor Who
doctor who

The decades-spanning series in our world spans both time and space within the narrative of the show. With new Doctors always being introduced, Telltale could pen their own versions of characters, introduce new ones, and still have it all viewed as canon if they want it to. That's the benefit of playing with a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff.

4. Twin Peaks
twin peaks

To the delight of weirdos everywhere, like me, Twin Peaks is actually returning to television soon. David Lynch's surreal, bizarre, WTF-inducing cult classic has never left the hearts and minds of those who've taken the time to experience it. It's full of characters and settings so strange that, no matter where the show goes with it upon its revival, the town is ripe for more exploration. Alan Wake fans are surely familiar with the series' heavy influence on Remedy's game.

3. Batman

Telltale has already announced an upcoming Marvel Comics adaptation and they've shown a penchant for adapting comics, so why not take from the best damn superhero out there? You wouldn't even have to play as Batman. Being anyone in the city of Gotham might make for a fun game. A hero, a villain, or even just a resident dealing with a city so crime-ridden and inhabited by larger than life characters like Batman, The Joker, and Two-Face. There's so much more material here that hasn't yet been explored, especially in games.

2. American Horror Story

The twisted, ultraviolent, ultrasexual FX series is already anthologized. Each season brings a new setting with new characters. So far we've seen such haunts as a "murder house", an asylum, a freakshow, and a Shining-esque hotel. With their own characters and setting in mind, Telltale could weave a similarly dark tale that does the series justice. Any suggestions as to where they or the show should go next?

1. The X-Files

The only thing better than a Twin Peaks revival is an X-Files revival. January kicks off a new season of the show and there's already a lot of buzz surrounding its return. The male-female partner dynamic works great in Tales from the Borderlands and who has better chemistry than Scully and Mulder? The show's "monster of the week" format would be right at home for Telltale's five or six episode story arc too. The dealbreaker for this one would be that Telltale would have to enlist David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as voice actors, however. It just wouldn't be the same without them. I want to believe.

The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Mark Delaney
Written by Mark Delaney
Mark is a Boston native now living in Portland, Oregon. He's the Editorial Manager on TA, loves story-first games, and is one of three voices on the TA Playlist podcast. Outside of games he likes biking, sci-fi, the NFL, and spending time with his fiancée and son. He almost never writes in the third person.