There are a lot of video games out there and in this era of mobile and home-based gaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic?
Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable games through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best video games, our attention this time turns to games based on anime properties. From the action-packed Dragon Ball Z to the gaming-centric world of Sword Art Online, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Dragon Ball FighterZ
There have been many Dragon Ball-based adventure and fighting games released over the years. Each game showers players with new experiences that’ll last with them for a lifetime. Nonetheless, some fans wanted to see the series receive a deeper fighting game iteration where strategy and combos were at the forefront. They’d eventually have their wish granted with Dragon Ball FighterZ (FighterZ).
This game was developed by Arc System Works, a gaming studio that’s worked on many fighting game titles like Guilty Gear and BlazBlue. Unlike other Dragon Ball fighting games, FighterZ adopts the traditional approach popularized by games like Fatal Fury and Street Fighter. The game’s visuals are immaculate and fans will feel characters like Goku and Frieza were ripped from the anime.
This game offers fast-paced gameplay that rivals that of Street Fighter’s though. It feels more in line with Capcom’s other fighting game properties like Marvel Vs Capcom regarding speed. Fights can range from one vs one to three vs three battles. Each character has a variety of special attacks they can utilize to deal massive damage. If you’re looking for a more hardcore fighting game experience with Dragon Ball characters than check out Dragon Ball FighterZ.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3
While Dragon Ball FighterZ fulfilled hardcore fighting game enthusiasts’ dreams, many may prefer the classic Dragon Ball titles for their weird gimmicks, fun modes, and iterations of the storyline. One such Dragon Ball gaming series was the Budokai series developed by Dimps and published by Atari and Bandai for separate regions.
In this game, players revisit classic storylines from the Dragon Ball Z series and a few events from Dragon Ball GT. The game’s story mode boasts fun traversal gameplay as you’ll be soaring Earth as Goku and others to reach different locations and enact battles with the series’s iconic enemies. The gameplay is pretty standard and simplistic compared to modern Dragon Ball games.
You have buttons for punching, kicking, and delivering ki blasts at your opponent. The combos aren’t too complex and the game features some special attack commands. Inputting these commands will allow you to deliver iconic and terrifying attacks from Goku’s Kamehameha to his formidable Spirit Bomb.
If you’re looking for a more simplified fighting game to play with an enriching story, check out Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3.
Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm (Series)
Naruto is another Shonen Jump property that has received much praise from fans. Like Dragon Ball, this series spawned numerous games from developers across the globe. One of the franchise’s best gaming series would be the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series developed by CyberConnect 2 and published by Bandai Namco Games.
The Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series boasts incredible cinematic cutscenes, fun combat, and a slew of characters to play as. This gaming series has covered every chapter in Masashi Kishimoto’s beloved storyline from Naruto’s adolescent years to his adult years. Later games included a chance for players to play as his son, Boruto Uzumaki.
The gameplay system improves over time. Like typical fighters, your mission is to deplete your opponent’s health before time runs out. Matches consist of one-versus-one battles with two support characters. Later games introduce a mechanic that lets you swap between characters during battle, though. You have a plethora of attacks to use from the melee to fantastical jutsus.
Later entries introduced ways of avoiding attacks by implementing a substitution jutsu bar. Although the battle system isn’t great from a competitive angle, these games have enough charm, graphical fidelity, and energy to fill you with glee.
Attack on Titan 2
With how popular Attack On Titan became in 2013, it made sense for it to receive a video game adaptation. Attack On Titan 2 was developed by Omega Force and published by Koei Tecmo. The studios worked closely with series creator Hajime Isayama to deliver an experience that would satisfy diehard fans of the series. While it has its issues, Attack On Titan 2 is a fun time.
This game boasts hack-and-slash gameplay equivalent to Koei Tecmo’s other properties. You’ll be soaring through the skies and traversing rooftops to lay waste to the Titans. The game covers the first 50 chapters of Isayama’s manga and allows the player to create a character who’ll get to interact with the series’ iconic characters.
Visually, the game looks decent for an anime title. Fans will adore the game’s sound design. Battles feel as exhilarating as the anime’s interpretation, so fans needn’t worry about the tension feeling lackluster. If you’ve never watched Attack On Titan or want a new way of experiencing Isayama’s survival-horror manga, give Attack On Titan 2 a chance.
Jump Ultimate Stars
With all the fan-cry about wanting Goku in Super Smash Bros., you’d think people would beg developers for another Jump Ultimate Stars game. Not only does this game feature a similar feeling to Super Smash Bros., but it feels like a true love letter to Shonen Jump. This fighting game was developed by Ganbarion and published by Nintendo for the DS in Japan.
It contains 56 playable characters from 41 different Shonen manga series. From the iconic martial artist Goku to the well-crafted trading card duelist Yugi Muto, there are many colorful personalities to play in this brawler. That said, Jump Ultimate Stars’ gameplay offers a unique twist. In it, layers must use manga panels to create decks on a four-by-four grid.
The panels consist of three categories called Battle, Support, and Help. Decks require an assigned leader for players to use. Each panel functions differently but aids the player in combatting foes. You can unlock new panels by completing several challenges in Story Mode. You can evolve panels using gems collected in this mode too. It’s a quirky game that promises to delight players with non-stop fun.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R
Another series that’s gained quite the following in recent years, is JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Created by Hirohiko Araki, this series spans well-written storylines, colorful characters, and epic battles. The series has become so well-known that it made sense for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure to receive a video game adaptation.
Although JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has had many games in the past, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is regarded as one of its best. This game contains a phenomenal combat system and features a slew of characters from the entire series. That includes individuals from Steel Ball Run and Jojolion, two parts that have yet to be adapted into an anime.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is a competitive fighting game. It offers unique combos and super moves for players to use and master in battle. You’re tasked with depleting your opponent’s health bar before time runs out. The game features a fun and original story mode that’s based on all eight parts of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series.
Although the game’s online functionality can feel jarring at times, it gives players a chance to test their skills against others from around the globe. If you’re looking for another competitive fighting game to play starring iconic JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure characters, check out JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R.
Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise
Just because an anime series isn’t as well-known to the mainstream, doesn’t rule it out for a video game adaptation. Fist of the Northstar paved the way for series like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure with its focus on brutal martial arts and storytelling. To garner attention to this series, developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio created Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise.
Lost Paradise is an action RPG that exhibits traits from Sega’s Yakuza series. The gameplay consists of players traversing Eden city and fighting through multiple enemies in a beat ”em-up gameplay and quick time events. The attacks are based on the Fist of the North Star Hokuto Shinken martial arts style and they look as astonishing as you’d expect.
For those who want something more on the wholesome side, the games offer a slew of minigames to play. These range from bartending to baseball, and racing. Fans will adore traversing the area and picking fights with local thugs the most. If you’re looking for an action RPG based on a series that inspired many popular shows, give this one a shot.
Astro Boy: Omega Factor
Many Manga and Anime owe Osamu Tezuka for his contributions to the medium. Not only is he renowned as the Godfather of Manga, but his works went on to influence many well-known creators in the field. One of Tezuka’s most cherished series is Astro Boy, a robotic hero known for putting evildoers in their place.
Although Tezuka’s no longer with us, that hasn’t stopped gaming corporations and anime studios from spreading the word about his legacy. Between 2003 to 2005, the game developers at Treasure and Hitmaker released Astro Boy: Omega Factor (Omega Factor) to the masses. This is a beat-em-up game that features a slew of characters from Tezuka’s best works.
Nonetheless, the game’s star is Astro Boy who must defeat hordes of enemies using his trademark attacks. From high-powered punches to devastating EX gauge special attacks, Astro’s a force to be reckoned with in Omega Factor. There are some sections in the game where you’ll guide Astro through air-born obstacles using his iconic rocket powers too.
The game boasts some challenges but offers some unique ways of building upon Astro’s stats. For fans of beat-em-up games and retro anime, Astro Boy: Omega Factor is a must-play.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution
In the 90s, you were either a fan of Pokemon, Digimon, or Yu-Gi-Oh! These three series contained fabulous monster designs, memorable protagonists, and glorious worlds. While the Pokemon and Digimon focused solely on humans’ interactions with the monsters on a physical level, Yu-Gi-Oh maintained its trading card origins in the anime.
Eventually, Yu-Gi-Oh received multiple game adaptations for fans to play. From Falsebond Kingdom to Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution, it’s great to see the number of creativity developers had with the franchise. That said, many prefer Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution as it feels more faithful to Kazuki Takahashi’s series.
This is a card game simulation title to the fullest. Players can expect to explore the Yu-Gi-Oh series’s various seasons from the original featuring Yugi Muto to the latest entry at the time, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS. Players tackle the game the same way as they’d tackle the actual card game. However, you’ll get new cards by opening booster packs and by playing the story mode. The game’s story mode boasts wonderful retellings from the Yu-Gi-Oh! storyline too.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4
Omega Force is back with another incredible action-adventure title to delight anime fans. This game revolves around One Piece, one of Shonen Jump’s most-beloved properties. The Pirate Warrior series of games spans four solid entries. Each entry has the player control several iconic characters from Eichiro Oda’s beloved pirate manga and has them fight numerous hordes of enemies in Musou combat.
Each character has a variety of moves to use in battle. Many of their attacks were inspired by the actions they’d pull in the manga and anime. From Monkey D. Luffy’s Gear 4th form to Roronoa Zoro’s excellent swordsmanship, there’s a slew of powerful attacks for you to use at your disposal. Unfortunately, these games don’t harbor mouth-watering visuals.
Some assets feel reused from previous entries and some bosses don’t provide as much of a challenge. If you can overlook those issues and appreciate the game’s well-structured combat system, incredible playable roster, and respectable retelling of One Piece’s storyline, you’re in for a treat with this game.
So, there we have it, our pick for the best video games through the years based on anime properties!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!