Video games and anime have always crossed over, whether it’s through their own respective mediums or via interests of the fandom. It’s common to find gamers that enjoy anime and vice-versa, and being an avid gamer myself, I’ve always been interested in anime that are based on video games. Unlike the horrible job that is often done to adaptations on the big screen to some of my beloved gaming franchises, anime often does it right and even adds to already well-done games.
In fact, I’m sure if you are an anime fan, you’ve either encountered an anime based on a game, or seen anime in video games. A lot of Japanese games have characters drawn in an anime style, or are literally just games like visual novels. This got me thinking of all the different anime over the years that I’ve seen and which ones fall into this category. I also wanted to share why I feel the video games associated with the anime are fantastic, and why you should check them out.
1. Tales of the Abyss
The Anime: My first recommendation is Tales of the Abyss, another entry in the Tales Of series of games by Namco Tales Studio. Twenty-six episodes tell the tale of Luke fon Fabre, a spoiled rich kid and aspiring swordsman who becomes the target of a military organization, the Order of Lorelei, that believes he is the key to a prophecy that will change the world. Available for purchase on Amazon.
Why you should play this game: If you have never been exposed to this series before, it’s a treat in the JRPG scene. The action and growth you see from the characters are done so well. The story is deep and has some great twists, so you won’t be bored at all. Available for purchase on 3DS through Amazon.
2. Persona 5
The Anime: For fans of the Persona series, Persona 5 follows the video game but removes a lot of dialogue, some details, and gets straight to the point. The music and visuals are great, but it can be a little confusing at first for those that haven’t played the game before. Stream it on Crunchyroll.
Why you should play this game: I am a little biased and love JRPGs, and this one received the RPG award of the year for 2018 so you know it’s good. The music is super jazzy and fun, while the characters have a lot of depth as does the story. It is NOT a short game though and has a lot of dialogue, so keep that in mind. Available for purchase on Amazon (special editions abound as well!).
The Anime: What’s great about the Pokemon anime is that every season is tied to the games. So for those who keep up with each new release (Sword and Shield are coming soon), you will enjoy the anime counterpart. I highly recommend the movies as well! Stream it on Netflix.
Why you should play this game: These games have always been about one thing, the Pokemon! Sure, there’s a story and some memorable music, but going through the adventure to catch each of these unique creatures is what it’s all about. If you enjoy the thrill of finding rare treasures, then you should give this one a try. The Sword and Shield double-pack is available for pre-order on Amazon.
4. Sonic X
The Anime: This is the Sonic the Hedgehog anime we never knew we were watching. I watched it as a child and thought it was an American cartoon, not an anime until l figured out what an anime was! It follows the adventures in Sonic Adventure 1 & 2, along with its own filler and arcs. It’s not a serious show—it’s a lot of fun and great for younger audiences. Stream it on Hulu.
Why you should play this game: If you have not played Sonic the Hedgehog, it’s a fast-paced game with lots of different kinds of entries in the franchise. Personally, I recommend picking up Sonic Mania, which is the culmination of what made Sonic such a fun game packed with tons of nostalgia, new takes on old stages and it’s own plot. You will have a blast! Sonic Mania Available for purchase on Amazon.