I believe the question speaks for itself, but to elaborate, I cannot think of any video games based on an existing IP that are actually considered canonical. For example, there exists a large library of Star Wars novels that are considered canon by Lucasfilms, but I know of no games - even when the writing is exceptional.

Does anyone know of any games that are considered canon either by the original IP's creator or the fan community at large? It seems like an obvious way to connect with gamers and build a loyal fanbase.

  • I would feel that superhero comic book-based video games would be trivially cannon, as you often repeat the actions in the comics / films. – Joshua Shane Liberman Jan 27 '11 at 18:46
  • Kind of a broad question, and yes occasionally games are canonized. It all depends on IP creator, they can do whatever they want. Some sci-fi universes, like Halo, the games are primary canon, even though there are novels. I have to vote to close, sorry. – Mark Rogers Feb 6 '11 at 3:30
  • @Mark: After extended thought I'm not sure I agree. I believe there are very few universes where games are canon; there have only been four or five suggestions so far. An objectively correct answer which covers them all could be written. – Tynam Apr 27 '11 at 15:07
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    Not to nitpick, but isn't this calling for a list of works? – Jeff Sep 29 '11 at 12:54
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    Technically, all works of fiction are in a canon, just not necessarily the official or main canon. – Rogue Jedi Oct 27 '15 at 18:43

Enter The Matrix was explicitly designed to be canonical; there are scenes in the second Matrix movie that don't really do anything in the movie but are there as crossover points with the game, and scenes in the game that fill gaps in the movie.

(Unfortunately it's not actually that good. But it's definitely canon.)


According to Wookieepedia:

In mission and quest solving, canon is assumed to be the fullest and best outcome possible of each mission/quest available as given in the briefing or scenario. Kyle Katarn, Keyan Farlander, Maarek Stele, Jaden Korr, etc. never failed their quests.

In addition to that:

In side-choosing games such as the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series and Dark Forces saga where the player has the choice between light side and dark side, as of yet, the light side ending has been verified as canonical by Lucasfilm in all games.

  • Fascinating. Given Lucasfilm's stance on books, I can see them deeming KOTOR canonical. Maybe I should get around to actually playing those some day. – Frank Pierce Jan 12 '11 at 16:01
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    Interesting, but I was under the impression that the upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic assumed a dark side ending for the exile in KOTOR II. – Joshua Shane Liberman Jan 27 '11 at 14:26
  • @Joshua: That might be the case, but then that game would be a separate canon (parallel universe / alternate timeline?) to the main line of the films. – Bill the Lizard Jan 27 '11 at 14:33
  • Of course, it's since been relegated to Legends canon, but the answer was correct at that time. – FuzzyBoots Oct 27 '15 at 10:06

I have been informed by a co-worker that the game Star Trek: 25th Anniversary is actually considered canon by Alex Kurtzmann and Roberto Orci.


I am tempted to add The Chronicles of Riddick: Butcher Bay (and possibly Dark Athena) to the list. Vin Diesel's likeness was used extensively, since the game was developed by a game studio owned by Vin Diesel, and offers the origin of the character's distinct abilities.

  • Very true. Also, the games are better than source material. :) – DampeS8N Apr 7 '11 at 11:14

Most giant canon machines are based around older media. Games are typically viewed as marketing. So you see games that appear in these worlds, but normally as advertising for the world.

If you want to find games that generate canon for a universe, you almost have to look for worlds that started with games. Like Halo.

  • I'd largely agree with that. The only examples of "canon" games that I can think of started out as games (Halo, Mass Effect, the Warcraft universe) – Nellius Jan 12 '11 at 15:49
  • This has been my assessment as well. It seems like there should have been at least one giant that would have taken the plunge by now though... – Frank Pierce Jan 12 '11 at 15:53
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    Well, there is a lot of crossover in the other mediums. Game enthusiasts are movie-goers. But not all that many movie-goers are game enthusiasts. Add to that the fact that movie games near-universally suck, and you begin to see why they aren't canon. – DampeS8N Jan 12 '11 at 15:54
  • This creates an interesting situation where a game like Doom is considered more cannon than its resulting box office flop. – Joshua Shane Liberman Apr 7 '11 at 3:13

I can't find a decent reference for it, but I'm pretty sure Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is cannon. It's the official story about how the rebellion started.

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