Following the success of ‘Hogwarts Legacy,’ here are 10 other franchises that could benefit from a sprawling open-world game
There are many franchises that have started off as books, movies, or anime and moved into the world of video games. The latest one to explode in popularity was the game based on the Harry Potter franchise, Hogwarts Legacy. But, it is not the first time a game like this has been successful, with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, and many superhero games like Marvel’s Spider-Man and Batman: Arkham Asylum all managing to impress audiences.
So, wouldn’t it be great if companies saw the success of these games and sought out more fantastic franchises to adapt into some awesome open-world games? Let’s take a look at 10 franchises that are ideal for the Hogwarts Legacy treatment.
Game of Thrones
One of the best and most obvious options for a massive game like Hogwarts Legacy has to be one set in the world of Game of Thrones. It’s almost unbelievable that an open-world game set in Westeros hasn’t been made yet. Sure, it would take a number of years to develop, but surely it wouldn’t take as long as George R.R. Martin has to write The Winds of Winter. There are a number of routes a game set in the world of Westeros could take. It could be an original story set during Game of Thrones or Fire and Blood, or it could even adapt those events.
It could be set in any random time period like Hogwarts Legacy and fill out some of the lore. Or, we could play as Ser Duncan the Tall (Dunk) from A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms and play through the tales of him and his squire Aegon Targaryen (Egg). It might even follow a wildling’s adventures beyond the Wall, or Jon Snow’s adventures after leaving for beyond the Wall after the events of Game of Thrones. There was a poorly received Game of Thrones game on the PlayStation 3 that was developed by Cyanide, but a different story in the world would work well.
We have had multiple open-world Star Wars games, and many great linear ones too. But, an open-world game featuring Din Djarin and Grogu from The Mandalorian would be fantastic. It would not necessarily need to follow the events of the series either, just pick a couple of years from their life that hasn’t been covered yet, and follow their bounty-hunting adventures.
It could always not be Din and Grogu, you could explore the galaxy as a different bounty hunter, a new bounty hunter. Of course, there was a similar game in development that was infamously canceled called Star Wars 1313, which would have seen players control Boba Fett before the events of the original trilogy. Imagine being able to pick up bounties, go to different planets and choose whether to bring them back dead or alive.
If there is any Marvel hero that would be suited to an open-world game — that wasn’t Spider-Man — it would be Doctor Strange. Strange can teleport anywhere in the world, which is an excellent skill to have when you are in an open-world game. But, because it’s Doctor Strange, the game doesn’t have to take place on Earth.
Instead, a Doctor Strange game could be an open-world game set in the Mirror Dimension or the Dark Dimension. So, you could use your magical powers as Strange exploring these dimensions battling demons, Nightmare, and Dormammu. It would prove to be more interesting than exploring New York as that has already been done multiple times, and some of the other entries on this list would also take place in New York. But, the Sanctum Sanctorum should still be his base, storing the artifacts you collect during your adventures.
Every DC gamer will agree, it’s about time a decent Superman game was released. With the Man of Steel’s power of flight, one of the only styles of games that could work is an open-world game, although it would be less customizable than Hogwarts Legacy. To accommodate his impressive powers, you could play as a young version of the character, slowly gaining powers throughout the game. Just let us fly around as one of the most powerful comic book characters and do some good.
Either way, the game should be set in Metropolis. The city looks great in Rocksteady Studios’ upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, but it would look even better with a playable Superman in the mix. The most difficult part of a Superman game would be balancing his enemies. That’s why a younger version would be smart because you just don’t want him fighting an army of robots. He could always fight different invading alien species though, which could be pretty cool. Just don’t make it like Superman 64.
There have been many Transformers games, and back when the first couple of movies were released, there were some open-world movie tie-in games. Those were less than fantastic, but they did let you drive around as some of your favorite characters. There were also the series of games by High Moon Studios that took place on Cybertron, but like Transformers: Devastation, they were more stage based.
A truly open-world Transformers game that took place on Earth would have a lot of potential. Like Hogwarts Legacy, it would be awesome if you could pick the direction of your character, choosing either the path of an Autobot or a Decepticon. It would make sense for it to be an action-racing game, with elements of both high-speed chases and cover-based shooting.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The heroes in a half-shell have had many different games over the years, but a game like Marvel’s Spider-Man, where you could traverse the city as each (or one) of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be fantastic. It could work like a better version of Gotham Knights if the traversal was more similar to a Spider-Man game.
The game could be darker or lighter depending on which era of the TMNT is used for the game. It also could introduce other characters who share a universe with the Ninja Turtles like Usagi Yojimbo. It’s kind of wild that we haven’t had a major open-world game set in New York City with these characters. Made with the right tone, it could be a hit. Think of all the sewers we could crawl through and all the pizza we could eat.
Games based on The Simpsons were great during the PlayStation 2 generation, but there have barely been any since then. Imagine how great a Simpsons: Hit and Run style game would be except without different stages and the ability to traverse the entirety of Springfield right from the beginning.
There would be a couple of options for how the game could work. It could be more linear, with you playing as a member of the Simpsons family, playing through the game as if you were playing the best episodes of the show. Or, like Hogwarts Legacy, you could control your own customizable Springfieldian, while going on missions and interacting with zany scenarios involving your favorite characters from The Simpsons.
There has already been a John Wick game released in the past, but an open-world version of the John Wick universe would be amazing. John Wick Hex was a tactical role-playing game that was timeline and grid-based, and while it was a good game that made you feel like the titular hitman, a John Wick title in the style of a game like Sleeping Dogs has the potential to be absolutely phenomenal.
It would be great to play as John Wick, as he’s being hunted down by different assassins set upon him by The High Table. Imagine how cool a game like this would be, as you walk the streets and get targeted by random passers-by who happen to be after you. A John Wick game like this would also work perfectly with the Nemesis system introduced in Middle of Earth: Shadow of Mordor, as you interrogate lowly assassins to find members of The High Table.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Out of all the ideas on the list, this one seems to be the most obvious idea. Avatar: The Last Airbender lends itself to an open-world game as it has a rich map with a rich history, plenty of which remains untold. There have been Avatar games before, but none have really managed to capture the world as much as a massive open-world game would.
They could easily set a game during the events of the show as you play through Aang’s full journey from the iceberg to beating Fire Lord Ozai. Or, you could pick which type of bender you wanted to be in a completely original story set during that era. An Avatar game could even introduce an unknown Avatar and have you play a new story. The hardest thing would be nailing the bending gameplay, but something akin to Hogwarts Legacy should do the trick.
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is the last choice and, frankly, the most frustrating one on this list. We have had more than a few games set in The Walking Dead universe, including multiple shooters, a VR game, and of course, Telltale’s series of games. But, we have never had a truly open-world title where you could roam around and encounter zombies and survivors in the wild.
Fear the Walking Dead is set in the same world as AMC’s The Walking Dead, except it follows new characters in a different city. Why not do the same thing with a video game? Sure, have the game make references to the characters we know and love, but let players see the stories of more survivors by letting them have their own encounters in The Walking Dead world.
What do you think about our choices? Are there any of your favorite franchises that you would love to see be turned into an open-world game? Or are there any franchises that have had open-world games that were either poorly received or not exactly what you wanted that you would like to see be tried again? Hopefully, more franchises will attempt to branch out into quality open-world games in the future, just like Hogwarts Legacy.