It’s safe to say that anime is a worldwide phenomenon. It has come a long way since it was first shown back in 1907. It’s only natural that the genre, like so many others, would make its way into the video game industry. But the side effect to this is that there are so many that it can be daunting to figure out where to get started. To help, here is our list of the 10 best anime games.
Please note that while all of these games are thoroughly enjoyable and are deserving of being on this list, Two of the games on this list are not appropriate for younger players. If you are considering purchasing Catherine: Full Body or downloading Doki Doki Literature Club! for a younger player, please note the PEGI and ESRB ratings and content descriptors.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Not every game in your collection needs to involve fighting your way to the end. Sometimes you want to sit back, relax, and watch the player character shout at people in courtrooms. Ever since he first yelled “Objection!” back in 2001, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has become wildly popular among fans of anime games and visual novels. The game’s visual novel style lends itself perfectly to the setting, and being able to pour over every part of each case is a delight. The games do a good job of creating a mix of suspenseful and humorous narratives with each case that will keep you interested in the long term. This is an excellent series to pick up if you are new to visual novels or want something to kill time.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
The Dragon Ball series of animes is one of the most beloved ever created, so long as you overlook GT. It is no surprise that since it first entered the video game industry, the series has gone on to have nearly 50 games released across varying genres. Some of these have been good, and some have been terrible, but the one that stands head and shoulders above them all is Dragon Ball FighterZ. When the game was first released, it was heavily criticized for its plot and online capability. However, It has since been lauded for its beautiful graphics and fun gameplay.
Attack on Titan 2
Released in 2018, Attack on Titan 2 is a hack and slash game that tries to make up for some of the failings of the first game. The game allows players to create original characters in the universe of Attack on Titan. The game covers the first 50 chapters of the manga and first two seasons of the anime with a unique ending and DLC available to cover chapters 51 through 90. If you enjoyed the dark fantasy series or just like post-apocalyptic games, you will definitely like the game.
Tales of Berseria
This is the 16th entry in the Tales of series by Bandai, and a 17th is expected soon. Tales of Berseria is an action RPG and acting as a prequel to the previous game Tales of Zestiria. It is an action RPG that focuses on the character of Velvet Crow. Velvet suffers a series of traumatic events that cause her to be overcome with rage. The game’s overarching theme is to explore the constant inner conflicts of emotion and reason, all while beating up bad guys. The story for this game stands on its own, so you do not need to play the previous 15 titles to enjoy this one.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
This game is the sequel to Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, but it is perfectly enjoyable without having played the previous games. It is an open-world action RPG that focuses on the character of King Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum. The King was usurped from his castle and has struck out to build a new kingdom. Evan gains companions along the way that can be controlled during the battle to use melee attacks and magic. Players can also manage the new kingdom to build whatever resources and achieve any goals they wish.
The popularity of the Persona games has been steadily growing despite the series’ rocky start. While Atlus has faced criticism over their portrayal of LGBT+ characters, the games have gained critical acclaim for compelling stories and lovable characters. Many players of the games turn into super fans of the series in response to the high replay value and overall enjoyment. Many of the series’ thematic elements draw from Jungian psychology, and the stories revolve around the exploration of self, which many fans have found interesting. This series usually require multiple playthroughs to achieve either the “true” ending or explore the entire story fully. Your choices make a difference in each game, and you will need to carefully manage their time in the games to fully experience everything the series has to offer.
Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet
If you have kept up with the anime or light novel series, you probably know that like .hack and No Game No Life, Sword Art Online takes place in a game, to begin with. Players can now join Gun Gale Online via Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet. Players can create their own characters and navigate the game with a friend named Kureha. The game is a third-person shooter and RPG that can be played solo or cooperatively. The game features multiple endings that are revealed based on the player’s choices during the main campaign.
Doki Doki Literature Club!
This game is not suitable for young gamers. Doki Doki Literature Club! is a pretty standard visual novel. The player takes on the role of a male high school student that joins the literature club. The player will interact with the club’s four female members as part of normal club activities. While this may sound like the setup to a dating sim, DDLC is actually a psychological horror. The game features themes of suicidal ideation, self-harm, and depression and should not be played by anyone who is easily disturbed or triggered by these themes. This game is free on Steam.
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm
It helps to have some familiarity with the subject matter for most of the games on this list, but with Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm, you really should watch the anime first, or you might find yourself running around wholly lost. If you don’t have the time to watch the anime, there is nothing to stop you enjoying some fantastic action across six titles. All the games are a blast, and something is satisfying about taking Naruto through his life story, one fight at a time.
Catherine: Full Body
This game is not appropriate for younger gamers due to its sexual themes. Catherine: Full Body is a remaster of the original Catherine game. The series was created by the same developers that created the Persona series and does feature many similarities. The story focuses on Vincent Brooks as he navigates the complexities of his own personal love life. Vincent explores commitment, infidelity, love, and betrayal while dealing with nightmares whenever he goes to sleep. The game is a puzzle-platformer, and social simulator that fans of Persona and Life is Strange will likely enjoy. Like most Atlus games, your choices and how you spend your time make a difference in this game.
Neil Gray contributed to this article.