In the vast realm of video games, there exists a subcategory that has captured the hearts of anime enthusiasts and gaming aficionados: anime games. These interactive experiences seamlessly blend the captivating worlds, vibrant characters, and rich narratives of beloved anime series with the immersive gameplay of video games. As we embark on a journey through the virtual landscapes, we unveil the 15 best anime games ever—a collection that not only pays homage to the source material but also delivers engaging adventures, thrilling battles, and an opportunity to dive headfirst into the animated universes we hold dear.
15. Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet (2018)
Starting off this list of 15 best anime games, Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is an action role-playing game released in 2018. It is part of the “Sword Art Online” video game series, which is based on the popular light novel and anime franchise of the same name. In “Fatal Bullet,” players enter the world of Gun Gale Online (GGO), which is a virtual reality MMORPG. The game features an original storyline separate from the main series, with players taking on the role of the game’s protagonist, who can be customized to their liking. The gameplay primarily revolves around gun-based combat, with players able to use various firearms and skills to engage in battles against both AI-controlled enemies and other players in multiplayer mode. The game also incorporates role-playing elements, allowing players to interact with characters from the “Sword Art Online” universe, build relationships, and make choices that affect the game’s narrative. Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet received positive reviews for its engaging gameplay, character interactions, and ability to immerse players in the virtual world of GGO. It’s a must-play for fans of the “Sword Art Online” series and those who enjoy action RPGs.
14. Jump Ultimate Stars (2006)
One of the best anime games ever, Jump Ultimate Stars is a 2D fighting game for the Nintendo DS released in 2006. The game features characters from various manga series published in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. It is a sequel to “Jump Super Stars,” which was released in 2005. In “Jump Ultimate Stars,” players can create teams of manga characters and engage in fast-paced battles across various stages. The game includes a wide range of popular manga and anime characters, allowing players to form dream teams and battle against each other. It features a unique battle system, where players can summon support characters, and the goal is to deplete the opponent’s health bar. The game was well-received for its extensive roster of characters and its ability to bring together iconic figures from different manga series. It remains a beloved title among fans of both manga and anime.
13. Bleach: Dark Souls (2007)
As the follow-up to Blade of Fate on the Nintendo DS, Dark Souls represents an enhanced iteration of its predecessor. It introduces a remarkable expansion of the playable roster, incorporating a total of forty-four characters for players to become proficient with. Furthermore, returning characters have undergone significant improvements, with modifications and additions to their special moves and animations. To add depth to the gameplay, players can harness character cards, which bestow various advantages during battles, including buffs and unique effects. Ever since its debut, Dark Souls has firmly entrenched itself as a cherished gem in the realm of portable anime and gaming.
12. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R (2013)
Featuring a robust roster of over 40 characters drawn from the first eight-story arcs, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R provides players with the opportunity to engage in thrilling battles set in iconic locations inspired by the manga series. As with many other fighting games, the primary objective is to deplete your opponent’s stamina gauge, akin to their health points (HP). The game boasts a diverse array of gameplay modes: Story Mode, where players progress through the narrative via a series of battles; Campaign Mode, an online offering where players can face off against either a computer-generated Vision character or a Boss character (the latter appearing only 7% of the time); and Versus Mode, which allows for local or online battles, including casual matches or ranked competitions. Originally launched for the PlayStation 3, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R received a remastered edition, making it accessible on multiple platforms, including the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Microsoft Windows.
11. Yu-Gi-Oh: Master Duel (2022)
In contrast to Pokémon, where there are notable distinctions between the video game, anime, and trading card game, the Yu-Gi-Oh anime and card game share an intrinsic connection. This is why we’ve chosen to include the latest Yu-Gi-Oh video game release, Master Duel, on this list. While it may not have a direct tie to any specific anime series, it faithfully represents the essence of the iconic children’s card game. Heralded as the definitive digital rendition of Yu-Gi-Oh, Master Duel boasts a staggering array of over 10,000 cards drawn from the extensive history of the trading card game. Yes, this means you can summon Exodia on your very first turn and claim an instant victory, a prospect that’s either deemed overpowered or utterly brilliant, contingent on your perspective. If you’ve ever harbored a desire to delve into the world of Yu-Gi-Oh but were deterred by the cost of collecting physical cards or were simply enamored by the game’s allure in the anime, “Master Duel” stands as the ideal anime game for you.
10. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition (2019)
Bandai Namco Entertainment is undeniably a prominent force in the realm of anime-based video games. Their influence extends beyond that, encompassing the creation of revered classics like Pac-Man, Tekken, Gundam, Soulcalibur, Tales, and Ace Combat. In 2015, they introduced “Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth,” the fifth chapter in the ongoing saga of Digimon Story. This release came after “Digimon World Dawn and Dusk,” “Digimon Story Lost Evolution,” and “Digimon Story: Super Xros Wars Red and Blue,” and paved the way for “Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory.” This role-playing game immerses players in a third-person perspective, guiding either Takumi Aiba (male) or Ami Aiba (female), students living in Tokyo while their mother works abroad. With the ability to select a Digimon partner, players embark on a journey to encounter, engage in battles, and acquire new Digimon. All the while, they unravel the mysteries of the cyberspace network known as EDEN.
9. My Hero One’s Justice 2 (2020)
One of the best anime games, My Hero One’s Justice 2 is a fighting video game released in 2020. It is the sequel to “My Hero One’s Justice,” and both games are based on the popular manga and anime series “My Hero Academia” (Boku no Hero Academia) created by Kohei Horikoshi. The game offers a 3D arena-style fighting experience where players can choose from a roster of characters from the “My Hero Academia” series, each with their own unique Quirks (superpowers), to engage in dynamic battles. It features an array of playable characters from both the heroes and villains, allowing players to recreate epic battles from the series. In My Hero One’s Justice 2, players can take part in one-on-one or two-on-two battles and utilize various special moves and combinations to defeat their opponents. The game continues to capture the essence of the “My Hero Academia” series, offering an exciting and action-packed gaming experience for fans of the manga and anime.
8. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai HD Collection (2012)
The Dragon Ball Z: Budokai HD Collection is a compilation of fighting video games designed for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 gaming consoles. The Budokai games successfully captured the essence of the anime, honing in on the exhilarating combat rather than dwelling on extended Kamehameha charging sequences. This approach resonated with fans worldwide. In reality, any title from the Budokai series could rightfully claim a spot on this list, but we’ve chosen to highlight the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai HD Collection, which offers two fantastic games for the price of one. The collection comprises two Budokai titles originally designed for the sixth-generation consoles: Budokai 1 and Budokai 3. These titles have been skillfully ported to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, featuring a host of enhancements. While Budokai 1 covers the Saiyan Saga to the Android/Cell Saga, Budokai 3 extends its narrative to encompass the Buu Saga, and even ventures into some GT story arcs. Notably, Budokai 3 includes characters like Omega Shenron, a character that FighterZ, another Dragon Ball Z game, does not dare to feature.
7. Initial D: Arcade Stage 8 Infinity (2014)
Initial D: Arcade Stage 8 Infinity is a racing video game released in 2014 as part of the long-running “Initial D” arcade racing game series. This arcade series is based on the popular manga and anime franchise “Initial D,” created by Shuichi Shigeno. The game is known for its intense street racing and drift mechanics, faithfully recreating the thrilling races and high-speed action depicted in the “Initial D” series. Players take control of various cars, including the iconic Toyota AE86, and compete in races on winding mountain roads while executing drifts and other racing techniques. Initial D: Arcade Stage 8 Infinity offers a realistic and immersive racing experience, with a variety of tracks and cars to choose from. It’s popular in arcade centers and among fans of both the “Initial D” series and racing games in general.
6. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 (2020)
Ever since the conclusion of the Naruto Shippuden series, it’s evident that One Piece has emerged as one of the most prominent Shonen franchises. The adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his crew have enthralled audiences around the globe, and the franchise’s video games have consistently delivered enjoyable experiences. While personal preferences may vary when it comes to choosing a favorite One Piece game, “One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4” stands out as a clear recommendation. This game offers a unique blend of the One Piece universe and the gameplay style reminiscent of Dynasty Warriors. Notably, “One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4” features its original storyline, set during an arc that was still ongoing at the time of the game’s release. It’s worth highlighting that the game manages to avoid the kind of ending misstep that plagued the final season of “Game of Thrones.” While Musou-style games may not cater to everyone’s taste, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 unquestionably warrants a playthrough for fans of the series and gamers alike.
5. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles (2021)
Adapted from Koyoharu Gotouge’s manga series, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles places players in the role of Tanjiro Kamado, the main character, in the single-player narrative. As Tanjiro embarks on his brave journey, he joins the Demon Slayer Corps and confronts a multitude of demons in a quest to restore his sister Nezuko to her human form. Originally launched with 18 playable slayers, the game later introduced 13 additional slayers through downloadable content. The enthralling story of the game unfolds through a series of challenging boss battles. Additionally, there is a versus mode where players can form teams of two fighters from the roster and engage in battles against CPU opponents or compete locally or online. Initially released for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S in October 2021, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles became available on the Nintendo Switch in June 2022.
4. Astro Boy: Omega Factor (2003)
Astro Boy: Omega Factor is an action video game released in 2003 for the Game Boy Advance. It is based on the popular manga and anime series “Astro Boy” (also known as “Tetsuwan Atom” or “Mighty Atom” in Japan), created by Osamu Tezuka. The game offers a side-scrolling beat ’em up experience with a focus on action and combat. Players take on the role of Astro Boy, a powerful robot with incredible abilities, as they embark on a quest to battle various enemies and unravel a complex storyline. The game combines elements of classic 2D platforming with fighting game mechanics, allowing players to utilize Astro Boy’s unique powers and engage in intense battles. “Astro Boy: Omega Factor” is highly regarded for its faithful adaptation of the source material, its action-packed gameplay, and the depth of its story, making it a must-play for fans of the Astro Boy series and action game enthusiasts alike.
3. Berserk And The Band Of The Hawk (2017)
Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is an action game based on the popular dark fantasy manga and anime series “Berserk,” created by Kentaro Miura. The game was released in 2017 for various gaming platforms, including PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Microsoft Windows. The game follows the storyline of the “Berserk” manga and anime series, allowing players to step into the shoes of Guts, the protagonist, and engage in intense battles against hordes of enemies. The gameplay features a hack-and-slash style, where players use Guts’ massive sword, the Dragon Slayer, to cut down their foes and unleash devastating attacks. The game also includes cutscenes and dialogues that stay true to the source material, immersing players in the dark and violent world of “Berserk.” Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is known for its faithful adaptation of the manga and anime, offering fans of the series a chance to experience the events of the story in an interactive format. It’s a game that delves deep into the dark and brutal themes that “Berserk” is known for, making it a must-play for fans of the series.
2. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy (2017)
The Naruto anime series has given rise to a plethora of video games throughout its illustrious two-decade history. While individual preferences may lead to differing favorites, there’s an undeniable consensus that the Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm series stands out as the most iconic. Fortunately, for those eager to immerse themselves in the world of the Ultimate Ninja Storm series, Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy emerges as the ideal choice. This comprehensive package compiles all four titles from the Ultimate Ninja Storm series, encompassing the entire Naruto Shippuden narrative across these games. While it doesn’t delve into every minute detail found in the anime and manga, it expertly captures all the pivotal story arcs. With an ample supply of cutscenes and narrative content, it provides new fans with an opportunity to catch up. Moreover, the game’s robust gameplay mechanics make it a standout in the realm of anime gaming, solidifying its status as one of the finest anime game offerings available for purchase.
1. Dragon Ball FighterZ (2018)
Our top pick for this list of best anime games, Bandai Namco Entertainment continues to surge ahead with yet another exciting title, Dragon Ball FighterZ, stemming from a collaboration with Arc System Works, the developer behind Persona 4. Drawing parallels with the Mortal Kombat series in certain aspects, the core concept of Dragon Ball FighterZ empowers players to assemble a squad of three playable characters and engage in battles against AI or human adversaries. The game mechanics bear a resemblance to those employed in the widely acclaimed Marvel vs. Capcom series. Within the game, players have the opportunity to acquire loot boxes, referred to as “Z capsules,” using an in-game currency known as zeni, which can be earned by achieving victories in matches and completing various challenges. Dragon Ball FighterZ offers three great story scenarios: the Super Warrior Arc, centered on Goku; the Enemy Warrior Arc, with Frieza in the spotlight; and the Android 21 Arc, featuring Androids 18 and 21 as the focal characters. We’re confident that this is a game you’ll truly relish!