I used to watch a lot of anime series, but it got to the point where it was pretty much impossible to follow 300-episode series, so I stopped. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that my appreciation for the medium disappeared. Not in the slightest. But while I don’t watch as much anime as I used to, I play games based on anime series from time to time. And when I do, I notice that there’s a huge difference between a good title based on an anime series and blatant fan-service. That’s why I decided to work on a list with some of the best anime game ever created.
It’s worth pointing out that the titles included in the list were all released in North America, so please don’t complain that I didn’t include Bleach: Heat of the Soul 6 or Jump Ultimate Stars. Maybe that’s material for an upcoming article. What do you think? As always, feel free to share ideas in the comments down below and if you completely disagree, leave your own list with your favorite anime games and we’ll discuss it. In the meantime, these are some of the best games based on anime series.
5. Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II (Game Boy Advance)
Before playing The Legacy of Goku II, I would have never thought that making an engrossing role-playing game based on Dragon Ball Z was possible. And I’m so glad developer Webfoot Technologies proved me wrong. For the uninitiated, The Legacy of Goku II comprises an entire saga from Dragon Ball Z and transforms it into an action-adventure RPG. You control different characters, fight enemies, level up and perform energy attacks. But the game’s best feature is that it gives the impression that you’re part of the Dragon Ball Z universe. Sadly, both its predecessor (The Legacy of Goku) and its successor, (Buu’s Fury) aren’t as good as The Legacy of Goku II, but if you want to play a title that let’s you play the entire Android Saga, this game’s for you.
4. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Dreamcast)
If you’re going to work on a series that has the word “bizarre” right in its title, it better be weird. The anime series is actually quite over-the-top and it’s great to know that the Dreamcast fighting game retains that particular quality as well. Since this is a Capcom game, many have compared JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure to other Capcom properties such as Street Fighter III and Darkstalkers and to a certain extent, those comparisons are totally valid. In fact, the game’s visual style resembles Darkstalkers and most of the gameplay mechanics (such as power gauges and the Stand mode) were included in older Capcom titles. A high-definition version of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure came out on the PS3 and Xbox 360 as a downloadable title. Apart from graphic filter, the aforementioned version also includes online multiplayer.
3. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 (PlayStation 2)
Whenever you ask a Dragon Ball Z fan what the best game based on the ubiquitous series is, most of them will probably say Budokai Tenckaichi 3. But while while most people tend to say that the Tenkaichi series is better than the traditional Budokai, I think that the former is just fan-service, while the latter can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone. After all, the reason why most people turn to Budokai Tenkaichi is so that they can play as some really obscure character they remember from one of those movies no one watched.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 was the pinnacle of the Budokai series. The 3D fighting game has intuitive controls, as well as some special moves very characteristic of Dragon Ball. Additionally, Budokai 3 has a story, versus, tournament and battle ranking, among other engrossing modes. If you don’t want to track down a copy of this 2002 PlayStation 2 game, you can check out the Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
2. Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (Nintendo Wii)
Crossover fighting games were a trademark of the 90’s, but I think it’s outstanding that Capcom decided to publish such an obscure title in regions other than Japan. In terms of gameplay, Capcom vs Tatsunoko is a tag team fighting game similar to the Marvel vs Capcom or the Street Fighter EX series. A great roster, solid gameplay, variety of modes and a great balance between accessibility and depth make Tatsunoko vs Capcom an anime game that almost anyone can enjoy. What do you mean this isn’t an anime game? Get out of my house! I mean, my site…
1. Astro Boy: Omega Factor (Game Boy Advance)
The PlayStation 2 version of Astro Boy: Omega Factor is pretty good, but the Game Boy Advance version is absolutely amazing. Omega Factor is a sidescrolling beat ’em up that puts you in the shoes of Astro Boy. So you move from left to right, punching enemies and using special attacks from time to time, big deal! But believe it or not, Omega Factor is an extremely gripping title that will keep you engaged for hours and hours. It looks really good on the GBA’s tiny screen and it’s very entertaining. What more could you ask from an anime based title?
Other games that didn’t make the cut include: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, Lupin the 3rd: Treasure of the Sorcerer King, Naruto: The Broken Bond, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Ranma 1/2: Hard Battle, Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2007, Bleach: Dark Souls, Naruto: The Broken Bond, Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front, Fist of the North Star, Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit, Ghost in the Shell, Gundam Battle Assault 2 and Naruto: Rise of a Ninja.