Top 6 Games that You Must Try as an Anime Fan

anime fan

Have you noticed more and more anime-style games popping up lately? From visual novels to JRPGs, the gaming world can’t get enough of anime’s signature aesthetic and storytelling.

Anime games blend the best parts of gaming and anime culture into incredible interactive experiences. In this post, we’ll explore why these hybrid games resonate so strongly and recommend six must-play titles for anime fans. 

Understanding the appeal of anime games

What makes anime games so uniquely appealing to fans? Several key factors come into play. Let’s analyze them in more detail.

Captivating storylines and worldbuilding

Anime is renowned for its ability to construct fantastical yet believable worlds filled with creative magic systems, interesting hierarchies and organizations, and epic heroes journeying through sweeping story arcs.

Breathtaking art styles

From the big, dewy eyes of shōjo anime to the gravity-defying spikes of Dragon Ball Z hair, anime illustration pushes stylistic boundaries with often stunningly beautiful results. Anime games translate the fluidity of animation and these dramatic styles into cutting-edge graphics and visuals. Running around vibrant cell-shaded landscapes makes you feel like you’ve literally entered an anime.

Fan-favorite characters come to life

Anime creates icons. Characters like Monkey D. Luffy, Naruto, Sailor Moon, and more have become symbols of anime fandom worldwide. Getting to play as these beloved characters, level them up, dress them up, and watch them interact with other famous faces satisfies a fan’s desire to be closer to the characters they cherish.

Unique and innovative gameplay

Unlike Western cartoons, anime has attracted dedicated adult fans since its early days, leading to complex stories with mature themes. Likewise, anime games often appeal to an older crowd with experimental or strategic gameplay reflecting the advanced content. Developers mash up gameplay styles from RPGs to dating sims to battle royales, keeping the gaming experience unexpected.

Top 6 Games You Must Try as an Anime Fan

Let’s now have a look at some of the best anime games 2023 has to offer. 

#1 Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles

  • Developer: Aniplex/CyberConnect2
  • Release Date: 2021
  • Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Based on the global mega-hit shonen anime Demon Slayer, this fighting game lets you play as Tanjiro Kamado and other beloved characters from the show with visually stunning results. The sweeping musical score, fluid battle mechanics, and cutscenes rendered in anime style make fans feel plunged into the show’s Taisho-era demon battles. Slashing through enemies with elemental powers and signature moves from the anime is extremely satisfying. With local and online versus modes, there’s plenty of replay value, too. From seasoned Demon Slayer veterans to those just entering the franchise, The Hinokami Chronicles is a slick and appealing fan package.

#2 Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

  • Developer: CyberConnect2
  • Release Date: 2020
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

As one of the most popular anime ever made, Dragon Ball was a prime candidate for the full gaming treatment. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot faithfully recreates iconic battles against legendary foes like Vegeta, Frieza, and Cell in full 3D. Unlike previous fast-paced fighting games in the franchise, Kakarot’s semi-open world RPG format lets you fly around the world, train with mentor characters, and even go fishing like every fan’s favorite Super Saiyan dad, Goku. With its vivid colors, on-point voice acting, and enormous skill trees to unlock, Kakarot scratches that Dragon Ball itch perfectly.

#3 Jump Force

  • Developer: Spike Chunsoft
  • Release Date: 2019
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

For the ultimate clash between old and new anime titans, look no further than Jump Force. This 3D fighter teams up protagonists from across Shonen Jump’s franchises for dream match-ups like Goku against Naruto or Monkey D. Luffy taking on Ichigo from Bleach. The visual style dynamically merges the manga page with the real world for a commemorative 50th Jump anniversary vibe. With over 40 playable fighters from series like My Hero Academia, Hunter x Hunter, and Yu-Gi-Oh!, Jump Force feels like the Super Smash Bros. of anime games, letting 

you pit the most popular series heroes and villains against each other for bragging rights.

#4 Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris

  • Developer: Aquria
  • Release Date: 2020
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Unlike the other established franchises on this list, Sword Art Online originated as a light novel series before being adapted into one of the most popular anime in recent years. Set in the visually stunning Underworld virtual MMORPG, Alicization Lycoris retells Kirito’s journey through the Alicization arc with extra original content. The game perfectly replicates the fantasy VRMMO feel of the anime with lush environments based on real-world locations like Milan Cathedral. Being based on more recent source material, Lycoris also features gorgeous animation and combat flow. Whether you’re up to date with SAO’s complex sequels or playing catch-up, this RPG delivers plenty of anime authenticity.

#5 Persona 5 Royal

  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release Date: 2020
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4

While not explicitly based on an anime, the Persona franchise features enduring anime visuals and tropes that any fan can appreciate. The most stylish installment yet, Persona 5 Royal lets you become the leader of the Phantom Thieves, a group of anime-esque teenagers who enter distorted hearts and minds to reform evil adults. From its smooth jazz soundtrack to menus themed around artistic rebellion, Persona 5 oozes effortless cool. The social simulator sections really lean into anime school life, while the demon collecting and turned-based combat delivers endless customization for your perfect anime RPG fix.

#6 Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

  • Developer: Level-5
  • Release Date: 2019 (Nintendo Switch)
  • Platforms: PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC

For a truly anime-inspired aesthetic, Level-5 enlisted Studio Ghibli legend Yoshiyuki Momose to craft concept art and cutscenes with full Ghibli charm for Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. This heartwarming tale seamlessly blends hand-drawn aesthetics with 3D exploration, following young hero Oliver as he journeys between the real world and a parallel magical realm to rescue his mother. The moving narrative about grief and friendship combines with an innovative creature collecting system, magical battle mechanics, and an unforgettable soundtrack. Brimming with Ghibli wonder, Ni no Kuni radiates beloved anime warmth through your screen.

What to look for in anime games

When selecting an anime-inspired game to play, keep these factors in mind.

  • Art Style – Does it emulate anime and manga aesthetics? Vibrant palette? Distinctive character designs?
  • Story – Are there anime story elements like creative worldbuilding, emotional characterization, plot twists?
  • Gameplay – Do the mechanics capture combat or abilities seen in anime/manga? Is gameplay smooth and responsive?
  • Fanservice – How faithfully is the source material adapted? Will fans of the anime/manga enjoy this?

Focus on games that excel in one or more of these areas when selecting your next anime-inspired gaming adventure.

Final thoughts

Anime games offer a fantastic way to step into vivid anime worlds filled with adventure, stories, and memorable characters. If you want to experience anime narratives from a fresh, interactive perspective, be sure to check out the titles above.

Immerse yourself in these lovingly crafted anime game worlds. You just may discover a new favorite franchise or game genre!

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