Anime and video games share a lot of the same DNA, in the sense that both tend to push the envelope in terms of how much ludicrousness can be depicted in one piece of media. It’s like both sides of the coin are egging each other on to see who can create the most bonkers action possible. Still, this relationship has led to a lot of crossover, with plenty of established anime franchises making the move to video games over the past few decades.
With that in mind, we’re taking a look at some of the greatest anime games ever made. For this list specifically, we’re focusing only on anime games that have been born from a licensed franchise of some kind. While games like Persona 5, Ni No Kuni, the Tales Of series and Asura’s Wrath wear their anime influences on their sleeves, they’re original properties first and foremost. Here are the best anime games of all time.
Given the fact that this PS3 exclusive fighting game never made its way outside of Japan, it’s hard to rank Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting any higher than 20th. Most people won’t have played it, and actually going about playing it in the west is going to be a costly process. Never mind paying for the cost of importing, learning Japanese will take forever too. However, Hajime No Ippo for PS3 is possibly the best version of the franchise ever committed to games, and hopefully spotlighting it will lead to another Ippo game in the future.
Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting is a boxing game that aims to recreate a host of iconic moments and fights from the franchise. However, this PS3 title’s real charm comes from its Best Match mode, which allows the player to create alternate timelines based on the results of matches, such as Ippo actually beating Eiji Date to win the championship.
Considering that we’re not getting a new Fight Night game for a while, a new Hajime No Ippo title wouldn’t go amiss.
19. Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet
Developer: Bandai Namco, Dimps Publisher: Bandai Namco Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
If any anime franchise was going to be a shoo-in for some kind of video game adaptation, it would have to be Sword Art Online. An anime about a video game was always going to spawn video games about the anime about the video games. Are you with us so far? Personal preferences on your favourite Sword Art Online game might vary, but for us, we’re opting for Fatal Bullet.
Fatal Bullet is linked to the second season of Sword Art Online, with the main crux of the game taking place in the VRMMORPG Gun Gale Online. Unlike other SAO games, Fatal Bullet allows players to create their own characters, but you can still find new weapons, upgrade your skills and take down some massive monsters.
If you’re a genuine Sword Art Online fan, Fatal Bullet is a great game to check out.
The Fairy Tail franchise might not have the same level of success compared to One Piece, but that’s no reason to write off such an enjoyable series, especially when there’s a fun turn-based RPG waiting right there for you to play. If you’re looking for an anime game that’s filled with entertaining characters, fun gameplay and plenty of content to sink your teeth into, the Fairy Tail RPG for PS4 is a pretty good shout as one of the best anime games on the market.
The Fairy Tail RPG, like most anime games, retells some of the more iconic arcs in Fairy Tail’s history, with the game touching on the Tenrou Island, Grand Magic Games, Tartaros and Avatar arcs.
As this game is a turn-based RPG, the story and certain events have been retold to fit the game’s structure, but developers GUST Studios brought on the series’ author Hiro Mashima to ensure that the story is properly adapted.
17. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition
Developer: Media.Vision Publisher: Bandai Namco Platform(s): PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch
As much as Pokémon is an anime, the anime and the games don’t tend to have a lot of crossover. Some characters might appear in both, but the two largely remain separate entities. The same cannot be said for Digimon, which has a more involved relationship between anime and video games. It makes sense, considering Digimon as a whole is about monsters in the digital world, so of course it lends itself well to video games in a meta sort of way.
While some Digimon fans might opt for Digimon Survive as the best the series has to offer, we’re going for Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition, which combines both the original Cyber Sleuth and Hacker’s Memory into one massive RPG package. The Complete Edition isn’t natively available on PS4, but both Cyber Sleuth games are on the platform so it still counts.
A turn-based RPG, Cyber Sleuth allows you to become a digital detective, solving mysteries with your little Digimon crew. With over 300 of the adorable little critters to collect, you’ll be playing this one for a long time.
16. Captain Tsubasa: Rise Of New Champions
Developer: Tamsoft Publisher: Bandai Namco Platform(s): PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch
While the world of anime and manga is as varied and diverse as it gets, the franchises that tend to do well in video game formats are those which focus on fighting. You know, the ones with aliens, martial artists, demons, wrestlers, ninjas, pirates and giant mech suits. Depending on the anime in question, you might even tick multiple boxes, but it’s why a game like Captain Tsubasa: Rise Of New Champions deserves to be celebrated. Instead of fighting, we get a football game, with a side of violence for good measure.
Captain Tsubasa: Rise Of New Champions is a football game that recounts one of the more important early arcs in the franchise, while also offering a completely original arc too with your own character, which is nice. As a football game, Captain Tsubasa shares a lot of similarities with old school football games like Redcard Soccer, so expect plenty of bone-crunching tackles and 30-yard screamers.
As football games go, Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions isn’t the most sophisticated, but it’s definitely a lot of fun and worthy of its place among the best anime games of all time.
15. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai HD Collection
Developer: Dimps Publisher: Bandai Namco Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
With how prolific the Dragon Ball series was in the early 2000s, it’s not surprising how many people grew up to be fans of the franchise, but for those who had parents that wouldn’t let them watch Cartoon Network in the evenings, the Budokai series was just as influential. Budokai games replicated the action of the anime and manga, but focused on the fighting instead of the Kamehameha charging scenes, and won fans the world over. In truth, any Budokai game could take this place on this list, but we’ll go for the HD Collection, as it’s 2 for the price of 1.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai HD Collection included two Budokai titles that were originally released for the sixth generation of consoles, Budokai 1 and Budokai 3, and ported them to PS3 and Xbox 360 with a suite of improvements. While Budokai 1 only features the Saiyan Saga to the Android/Cell Saga, Budokai 3 also covers the Buu Saga and even some GT arcs too. FighterZ doesn’t have the courage to include Omega Shenron, but Budokai 3 did.
If you’re looking for a Dragon Ball game that fully re-enacts the main story arcs of Dragon Ball Z, Kakarot is also worth checking out.
14. Initial D Arcade Stage 8 Infinity
Developer: SEGA Publisher: SEGA Platform(s): Arcades
Just the mere mention of the words “Initial D” has probably triggered the sounds of Eurobeat to blast in your head at max volume, and that’s a good thing. That soundtrack is filled with absolute bangers.
There’s been plenty of Initial D games released on a number of platforms over the years, but if you’re looking for the best of the best, you’ll have to travel to the arcades to play one of the Arcade Stage titles, with our pick being Stage 8 Infinity.
Initial D itself is all about the thrill of street racing, with the Arcade Stage series featuring multiple characters and cars featured within the franchise. With plenty of tracks, you’ll have more than enough reasons to keep coming back to the Initial D Arcade Stage 8 Infinity machine, if you can ever find one out in the wild that is. We’ll take an Initial D console game to go, instead.
Dragon Ball Z might have been the star attraction as far as anime on kids TV networks in the early 2000s went, but that doesn’t mean there was just one highlight in those days. People who grew up back then might also remember catching some adverts for Ultimate Muscle, the anime about wrestling that’s exactly as hype as it sounds. The games themselves are also fantastic, with Ultimate Muscle: Legends Vs. New Generation being one of the best wrestling games you can play.
Ultimate Muscle: Legends Vs. New Generation is the definitive Ultimate Muscle gaming experience, compiling the franchise’s biggest characters for one super-sized rumble. That might not sound like the most groundbreaking title, but Ultimate Muscle: Legends Vs. New Generation is powered by the AKI engine, responsible for the likes of WWF No Mercy and Def Jam.
Ultimate Muscle also leans into the anime source material, which just makes the action even more absurd. Yes, that’s a good thing.
12. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy
Developer: CyberConnect2 Publisher: Bandai Namco Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
The Naruto series has spawned lots of video games across the franchise’s two decade-long history, and while some people might have their own personal favourites, there’s no denying that the Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm series is the most recognisable. Fortunately, if you’re interested in getting involved with the Ultimate Ninja Storm series, and Naruto as a whole, Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy is the perfect purchase.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy compiles all four Ultimate Ninja Storm titles into one package, which covers the entire span of Naruto Shippuden across all four games. While it doesn’t feature every minute detail that the anime and manga does, it does showcase all the major story arcs, with enough cutscenes and story content to allow new fans to get up to speed.
It also helps that the gameplay is rock solid, making it one of the best anime games you can buy.
11. Yu-Gi-Oh: Master Duel
Developer: Konami Publisher: Konami Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S, Nintendo Switch, Mobile
Unlike Pokémon, which has plenty of differences between the video game, anime and trading card game, the Yu-Gi-Oh anime and card game are intrinsically linked. This is why we’re deciding to spotlight the most recent Yu-Gi-Oh video game release, Master Duel, as while it doesn’t have a direct link to any of the anime series, it still features the children’s card game in all of its glory.
Touted as the definitive digital edition of Yu-Gi-Oh, Master Duel features over 10,000 cards from across the history of the trading card game. Yes, that does mean you can summon Exodia on your first turn and instantly win a match, which is either as broken or as brilliant as it sounds, depending on your viewpoint.
If you’ve ever wanted to pick up Yu-Gi-Oh and didn’t have the money to collect cards, or just thought the game looked cool in the anime, Master Duel is the perfect anime game.
10. Attack On Titan 2: Final Battle
Developer: Omega Force Publisher: Koei Tecmo Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
It’s no secret that Attack On Titan is currently the biggest anime going right now, but even though the manga and anime have popped off, there’s not been that many video games based on Attack On Titan. What there has been though has been captivating, with Attack On Titan 2: Final Battle being about as close as you can get to actually wearing some omni-directional mobility gear without throwing up every five seconds.
Attack On Titan 2, like many other anime games on this list, sees you creating your own character so you can rub shoulders with the established cast. The main campaign allows players to experience the events of the first two seasons of the anime, while the Final Battle DLC also includes the third season too.
It probably won’t be long before we get an Attack On Titan 3 that includes all of Season 4 too.
9. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles
Developer: CyberConnect2 Publisher: SEGA Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S, Nintendo Switch
The most recent anime to see representation on this list, Demon Slayer has taken the world by storm over the past few years. If you like beautiful sword fights, overwhelming powers and stories with a decent bit of heart, Demon Slayer is a great anime to check out, and the video game adaptation, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles, is a worthwhile starting point for newcomers.
A 3D brawler in a similar vein to the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm titles, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles follows the anime’s first season, along with the plot of the feature film Mugen Train.
You’ll control the series’ protagonist Tanijiro Kamado, who joins the Demon Slayer corps in an attempt to turn his sister from a demon back into a human. Unfortunately, he joined the Demon Slayer corps, not the Demon Converter corps. Silly Tanijiro.
8. My Hero One’s Justice 2
Developer: Byking Publisher: Bandai Namco Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Another modern stalwart of anime, My Hero Academia has quickly risen to become one of the most exciting, must watch franchises of the past decade. Naturally, that level of immediate notoriety was going to lead to some video game spin-offs, and given how the franchise thrives on people knocking seven bells out of each other, a 3D brawler is a no-brainer. Fortunately, My Hero One’s Justice 2 is both a great brawler and a wonderful love letter to My Hero fans.
My Hero One’s Justice 2 gathers together dozens of characters from across the franchise, and allows players to build a dream team of heroes and villains to duke it out both online and in local play.
On top of that, the campaign mode covers different important fights throughout the history of the anime and manga, so if you’re looking for a quick entry into the franchise, you could do a lot worse than My Hero One’s Justice 2.
If we were ranking games based on how much of a mouthful their names are, Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Maxiboost ON would probably sit near the top of this list, just underneath most of those Kingdom Hearts spin-offs. As Gundam is considered the de facto grandfather of the mech anime genre, it’s been no surprise that there’s been a host of Gundam titles over the years, from Dynasty Warriors clones to multiplayer extravaganzas.
Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Maxiboost ON fits into the second genre. Originally an arcade release, Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Maxiboost ON is a 2v2 multiplayer shooter that should appeal to fans of any Gundam series.
With 185 different mech suits from across the decades of the franchise’s history, combined with some nail-biting action, and Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Maxiboost ON deserves its place as one of the best anime games ever made.
6. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4
Developer: Omega Force Publisher: Bandai Namco Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Since the Naruto Shippuden series ended, it’s felt like One Piece has become the biggest ongoing Shonen property right now. The adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and the gang have captivated viewers and readers the world over, and the franchise’s video games have been fairly enjoyable too. You might have a personal preference on what your favourite One Piece game is, but Pirate Warriors 4 is an easy recommendation.
A One Piece flavoured take on Dynasty Warriors, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 actually had its own original story, which took place during an arc that was unfinished at the time of the game’s release. At least Omega Force didn’t bungle the ending of the Wano arc in the way that the Game of Thrones writers did with Season 8.
The Musou style games might not be for everyone, but One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is certainly worth playing.
5. Berserk And The Band Of The Hawk
Developer: Omega Force Publisher: Koei Tecmo Platform(s): PC, PS3, PS4, PS Vita
Okay, so it turns out that Omega Force have adapted their fair share of anime games into the established Musou formula. There was Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage, along with Arslan: The Warriors of Legend, but the best of the best for many was Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, based on a popular anime and manga series that shockingly hasn’t had many video game adaptations over the years. We’ll have to settle for a bunch of Berserk references in Elden Ring instead.
Berserk and the Band of the Hawk adapts the story of the famous anime and manga, with the game’s main campaign covering the Golden Era arc all the way up to Falcom of the Millennium Empire arc.
Considering main character Guts wields a greatsword that’s bigger than most men, Berserk naturally lends itself pretty well to the hack and slash gameplay, making Berserk and the Band of the Hawk well worth checking out.
4. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R
Developer: CyberConnect2, Bandai Namco Publisher: Bandai Namco Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S, Nintendo Switch
The “bizarre” part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is definitely earned, as the anime and manga series is about as outlandish, ridiculous and brilliant as it gets. If you want to get involved in the action, but reading or watching just isn’t enough for you, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is utterly brilliant. With a huge roster of characters, this is the ideal game for JoJo lovers.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R beautifully captures Hirohiko Araki’s iconic art style and translates it to a fast-paced fighting game. Each character has their own fighting style, powers and stand which translates to unique abilities and moves in game.
With a host of modes that pull from the franchise’s storied history, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is undeniably one of the best anime games ever made.
3. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
Developer: Dimps Publisher: Bandai Namco Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Most Dragon Ball games opted to just retell the story of the main arcs of the franchise, just like the Budokai games mentioned earlier, so a game like Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 made for a nice change of pace. Instead of just being a standard recreation of the anime’s biggest moments, Xenoverse played more like Dragon Ball crossed with Doctor Who, as you travel through time to experience anime history for yourself.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 sees players creating their own character, based on one of several different races within the world of Dragon Ball. You’ll then become a Time Patroller, responsible for travelling throughout the timeline and ensuring villains can’t mess with events. As it turns out, events start getting messed with.
While a knowledge of Dragon Ball is helpful to understand some of the missions better, Xenoverse is still an amazing entry point into the biggest anime franchise ever made.
2. Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise
Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio Publisher: SEGA Platform(s): PS4
If any video game developer could be trusted with an anime and manga series as prestigious as Fist of the North Star, it’d be Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio. The creators of the Like A Dragon (formerly known as Yakuza) series, Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise was the first time the developers took that established formula and applied it to an anime adaptation. The results are an action RPG that feels immediately familiar to Like A Dragon fans, while also staying faithful to the original source material.
Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise is an original story that borrows heavily from elements and characters of the first half of the anime and manga series. The game puts players in the shoes of Kenshiro, master of the Hokuto Shinken martial arts. In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, Kenshiro searches for his lost wife Yuria, with Kenny Boy’s search takes him to a city called Eden, a supposed paradise in among the chaos.
However, not all is as it seems in Eden, and Kenshiro has to solve the mystery the only way he knows how: punching dudes and declaring them already dead.
1. Dragon Ball FighterZ
Developer: Arc System Works Publisher: Bandai Namco Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S, Nintendo Switch
When it comes to anime games, Dragon Ball FighterZ is about as good as it gets. Seriously. If you want an anime game that fully embraces the source material, paying homage to iconic moments in a way that feels genuine, Dragon Ball FighterZ is definitely your game. Despite that, it’s also one of the best fighting games available right now, with FighterZ’s 3v3 tag fighting action filling the sizable hole that’s being left by the lack of a new Marvel vs Capcom title.
Dragon Ball FighterZ takes characters from across the different sagas of the anime and manga, and sticks them all together for a slickly made fighting game that’s easy to learn but will take dozens of hours to fully master. Including the DLC, FighterZ includes characters from DBZ, GT, Super and even a couple of original characters from Akira Toriyama himself.
As anime games go, Dragon Ball FighterZ is simply the best anime game ever made.
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