No matter whether it is anime based on video games or video games that inspired anime, if you like both anime and video games, there are plenty of grand offerings if you want a quality video game to play. The problem is slogging through all the terrible anime game out there to find something that is both a quality game and comes with a quality anime to watch afterwards.
Let’s just get this one out of the way first. Pokemon has been a force of nature since it launched in 1996. It was only a year after the game launched that the anime adaption followed. While the Pokemon anime has gotten a little questionable in quality with its spin-offs, the games are still going strong.
Even if you have grown out of the anime, which, to be fair, is aimed at a younger audience, the games are still enjoyable at any age. Whether it is the original Red and Green versions or the newest Sun and Moon, catching them all has never been so addicting.
Berserk has had a couple of games in the past, and while they were passable, they weren’t anything special. However, the most recent game, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, despite having the stupidest title humanly possible, is finally a Berserk game that fans can be proud of. Instead of making a likely questionable straight RPG story game, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk instead took a Dynasty Warriors-style route that allows you to watch the story play out, but also lets you feel like a complete badass.
As a product from Japan and made for the PSP and then the PS Vita, before the Danganronpa anime series came out, only a handful of people knew about the series. Of course after the anime released, it got a whole lot more popular, and people found out that the murder mystery-style game was actually pretty fun. Soon it made appearances of Steam and the series is getting ready for a bulk re-release on the PS4.
Persona was a popular series of games before it was ever made into an anime series. In fact, Persona 4 was the most wildly popular of all the series. As it mixes a murder mystery, a dating sim, and a dungeon crawler all into one game, it captures some of the most addicting game genres into one time sink that can steal literal months of your time. After the success of the Persona 4 anime series, Persona 3 was also adapted into three movies.
When it comes to the Tales series, Zestiria was not the first game to get a little anime feature. However, Tales of Symphonia, Tales of Vespiria, and Tales of the Abyss were only featured in animated OVAs and movies. However, Tales of Zerstiria was the first Tales game to get an actual anime series, allowing UFOtable to stretch its wings for more than just the openings for those games and a few spare cinematics. As the recently released Tales of Berseria takes place in the same game world (though long into the past) it also has some episodes dedicated to it as well in the Zestiria anime series.
Street Fighter is a beloved franchise for both the casual and hardcore fighting game enthusiast, but it is damn hard to find a decent anime adaption. It is not like no one ever tried either. There are tons of Street Fighter anime adaptations out there, but not all of them are very good. The Street Fighter II: V anime makes the best go at it, but while the anime series lacks some luster, the games are still great even if long time fans nitpick Street Fighter V to bits.
Valkyria Chronicles was a gem for the PS3, and it wasn’t just the tactical gameplay that drew people in, it was the stories. However, if you aren’t a fan of military strategies, it has a great anime adaption. As the anime follows the game story exactly, you don’t need one to enjoy the other. However, if you relieved yourself of a PS3 already, you can also play this game remastered on the PS4.
Dragonball Z is one of the few anime series to both have a good anime series and a lot of good games to go with it. I suppose when much of you plot consists of people fighting progressively stronger people, the games kind of design themselves. From the PS2, through the hand-held’s, all the way to modern consoles, they all have quality Dragonball Z games. Some are story games, some of just bare bones fighting games, and some offer more of an open world. However, they just keep getting better, as Xenoverse 2 displayed.
Like Dragonball Z above and One Piece below, shounen anime are particularly fertile soil for good game material. Well, at least good fighting game material. Some Naruto games are a little hit and miss, but the fighting games , even if they have a story mode, like Ultimate Ninja Storm, are quality games if you want to take on the guise of your favorite heroes or your favorite villains.
Unlike other shounen series, One Piece games are critically underrated. Perhaps because it never had a great dub in the west, but despite this, it has been spawning some exciting games. Like other shounen anime series, most One Piece games are fighting games, but because it has had such a long run with so many characters it makes for an expansive fighting game character list.
Both the .Hack games and the .Hack anime series are all but forgotten now, yet they are still real gems. Unfortunately, unlike other PS2 anime gems, the .Hack series hasn’t been remastered to modern consoles. However, if you are a big fan of series like Sword Art Online or Log Horizon, .Hack’s games can provide the gaming satisfaction you desire.
Sword Art Online may not be the same huge multi-season franchise like Dragonball Z or Naruto, but it became an anime phenomenon. As an anime based in a game world, you’d think that the games for it would practically design themselves. However, the games are a little more lackluster than the anime series itself. Sword Art Online: Lost Song and its sequel Hollow Realization are the most recent and easily the best of the bunch with the battle systems mirroring the MMO from the game.
You can likely name a few more anime based off games or games that spawned some decent anime series, but we were only counting games of some quality. If you got an argument for a series that should be on this list, but wasn’t, then lay it on us.