Anime comes in a visual format, allowing viewers to watch from the safety of their couches when characters fight off dragon gods or a shinigami punching a hollow in the face. This can be good for many reasons, because it allows the animators to provide structure to their story and appropriately pace the anime to deliver a thrilling yet well told experience.
That said, there comes a time when we all start fantasising about being able to do what anime characters are able to. With the advent of video games as a storytelling medium for anime, we can do just that. Viewers are now able to drive in the front seat of anime characters, allowing them to shoot a getsuga tenshou or blast a kamehameha.
10. Yu☆Gi☆Oh! Online
Initially made to promote the trading card series, Yu☆Gi☆Oh! has claimed international fame all over the world partly due to its well done anime dub. With multiple seasons following the evolution of the card game following the changes to its rules, Yu☆Gi☆Oh! has gained one of the largest communities that still continue to play the card series to this day.
But cards can be cumbersome to carry, collect and it’s entirely possible that some players have lost their prized decks as the years have gone by. The solution comes in the form of games. Despite the usual high price tag that can come with games, players are able to build virtual decks however they want using in game money.
With the first in its series for PC, Yu☆Gi☆Oh!Online allows players from all over the world to pit their mettle against fellow players from the comfort of their own home without the cumbersome need to carry a physical deck. With the convenience it provides and the ability obtain some usually ultra rare cards, Yu☆Gi☆Oh! Online definitely earns it’s place on this list.
9. Dragon Ball XenoVerse
Dragon Ball is famous for reviving Krillin over and over and having planet destroying warriors. The whole show thrives on the high speed action and ramped up destruction caused by the saiyans and the other aliens. Is it any wonder that viewers want a chance to bash some skulls in or throw a spirit bomb at Vegeta?
With the latest DBZ game XenoVerse, players can pick and choose any characters to pit against in a death match, and control one of them to boot. Light attacks, heavy attacks and even supers can be executed, and they vary from character to character. Of course, that means that the fighting is pretty much standard fare for the DBZ games in general.
The feature that sets the XenoVerse apart from the rest is the Create Your Own Character. With this feature, players are able to create their own custom character with multiple customisable options like race, gender, size, shape or voice. This provides a unique spin on the series as it allows players to self insert themselves into a whole new character and personally pummel iconic characters of the series into pulp. Doesn’t it feel a thousand times more gratifying to beat up Goku yourself?
8. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3
One Piece is one of the longest anime/manga series and is well known even by those who aren’t anime fans. It boasts a cast of characters that wreck the place with their signature moves, and it’s a definite that all fans have their favorites. However, it can be hard to translate the raw destruction that embodies the series while keeping the beloved story in place.
The makers of OPPW came up with the brilliant solution of making a One Piece themed Dynasty Warriors game. The story is told in visually brilliant cut scenes that summarise the plot points of story arcs in a succinct manner while allowing the player to dish out in incredible attacks such as Red Hawk or Shishi Sonson.
It’s incredibly hard to translate the OP series into game form, but they did it.
7. Final Fantasy 7
While Final Fantasy doesn’t live up to its title of being final, FF is a long running series that has reached its 15th iteration at the time of writing with fans all over the world. There are many who will claim their favorite game of the series, whether it be the heart stopping terror of Sephiroth or the simple Black Mage and White Mage.
With such rampant popularity, it’s a small wonder that the game series has been adapted to anime format multiple times and has had a few movies to its name as well. Love it or hate it, FF is here to stay and will continue to be present for a long time.
One of the mainstays of Final Fantasy is 7. Everyone remembers the signature fight of Cloud against Sephiroth and for many it's their first game in the series. With its classic turn based system, Final Fantsy 7 and its predecessors serve as an example to follow for many future turn based games as well as inducting many fans into RPGs in general.
While each game has its own merits and flaws, Final Fantasy 7 is on this list because of how many people it drew into the series and the genre.
6. Bleach: Dark Souls
Taking place between the point where Aizen betrays soul society and when Ichigo leaves soul society, the game follows the story of soul society and its struggles against the mod souls and hollows left behind by Aizen to wreak havoc.
While significantly outdated at the time of writing, it was a powerhouse visually at the time of release, and for the non-japanese gamers, that release came more than half a year later due to localisation issues. This visual ability is definitely important for gamers to fully enjoy the sheer scale and awe that the massive Bankais of the series evoke.
Players can choose between multiple characters to fight in a fighting game format to wield their favorite zanpakuto in the hands of their owners. The sheer joy of shooting an ice dragon at a hollow cannot be emphasised enough. Much like the previous game, it's pretty standard fighting fare for bleach games like dashes, air dashes, guarding, slashing, dodging and special attacks. The difference is, it's standard fare done well. That, in combination with the ability to use Bankais places Bleach: Dark Souls heads and shoulders above the games of its generation.
With the ability to utilise so many reiatsu attacks to cause collateral damage, why wouldn’t fans of the series enjoy this game?
5. Tales Of Abyss
The Tales Of Series is a long running one that boasts a large array of games that follow a similar combat and UI system with unrelated stories for the most part. Each game is named Tales of XXX, with examples like Tales of Abyss or Tales of Zestiria, with ToZ being the latest.
The visuals of the game are very anime in nature, with a side scrolling 2d combat system (somewhat 3d in later iterations), that allows players to fight strategically in real time combat with a cast of characters. Most games give the ability to switch the controlled characters as well, allowing them to be used in a more tactical manner.
An iconic game of the Tales of Series is Tales of Abyss, in which players follow the story of Luke Fon Fabre, the son of an esteemed noble. He seems to be amnesiac and totally clueless about the world in general, allowing the game to utilise exposition more naturally. Abyss also presents a slight deviation in tone for the series in general, going a more sci fi route over magic. In terms of gameplay, Abyss does it “the same but better”, choosing to improve on aspects of the gameplay rather than changing it drastically.
The story of Abyss was so interesting that it sparked an entire anime about it, giving it an even wider appeal to audience over multiple mediums. With its engaging gameplay and story, Tales of Abyss definitely earns a place on the list.
4. Pokemon: Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
Who can forget Pokemon? Well certainly nobody can remember all of the Pokemon beyond the original 151 because the cast of Pokemon has been expanding ever since the first generation. With multiple system changes since gen 1, like the physical special split in gen 4, Pokemon has never remained stagnant throughout the years and has managed to retain its fanbase throughout the years.
The latest game(s) in the series is a remake of the gen 3 games, Ruby and Sapphire. This particular entry does something similar to what Soul Silver and Heart Gold achieved, the nostalgia of older generation games while retaining the more advanced systems of later generations. It is basically the best of both worlds.
With some of the most fan favorite games remade to be on the 3DS, how can it not be popular?
3. Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
One of the most popular anime fighting games to exist is the NUNS series that allows players to experience the story of Naruto from pre shippuden to the end of the manga itself whilst playing from the point of view of multiple characters like Naruto, Hidan, Itachi or even Shikamaru. With each sequel, the story continues ever onward to the conclusion of the manga and thus the cast of characters continues to expand more and more, allowing players to play even the most minor characters in the latest game in the series.
As an adaptation of the anime, the game does a good job of sticking close to the source material with its beautiful cut scenes and visually gratifying jutsu that represent the original quite well. From Rasengan to Baika no Jutsu, players can execute any jutsu that the character can in the show. Any fan of the anime will certainly enjoy the game as well.
2. Clannad (Visual Novel)
With After Story being ranked at #9 on myanimelist, it’s undeniable that Clannad as an anime is widely enjoyed by audiences everywhere. Boasting a sad story told in a romcom format, Clannad is able to evoke the emotions and tears of even the most stone hearted individual. The truly die hard fans will know that the anime Clannad is actually based on the visual novel of the same name.
Clannad the visual novel follows the same story of the anime in a VN format, except the player is able to pursue the routes to their romantic conclusion. Basically put, if you enjoyed the anime, you’ll enjoy the VN.
1. Persona 3
A spin off of the notoriously difficult Shin Megami Tensei series, the Persona series has received anime adaptations that have reached high acclaim to the point that Persona 4 has an entire season of omakes for it. The anime closely follows its source material as well as it can within their limited time.
Of the entire series, Persona 3 is particular popular amongst gamers and anime fans. The gameplay off the entire series stays mostly true to the formula, but Persona 3 presents a turn in the way the series is known to the general public. The Shin Megami Tensei games were well known to be inaccessible to the regular gamer because of its high difficulty, and Persona 1 and 2 were similarly presented as such.
However, Persona 3’s updated graphics on the Playstation 2 provided an easier to follow presentation that allowed players to find the game easier to get into, despite retaining its previous difficulty. Persona 3 is not that much different from the other games, it just appears to be more “friendly” in general. By the time difficulty strikes, it's too late for players as they are already sucked in.
This popularity carried over to the sequel, Persona 4 as well. With a 5th game being teased, Persona will continue to be a staple in the game and anime industry.
Whether it be from anime to game or game to anime, there are a huge amount of anime games for fans of a particular series to enjoy. Fighting games, strategy games and even mobile games are available if you know where to look. Is there a particular anime game you enjoyed a lot? Share it in the comments below!