8 Fantastic Anime Based On Video Games You Need To Watch

Hey, hey, fellow anime geeks, welcome to today’s special world-collide list of awesome anime based on video games! Yep, we’re doing it~ the two fandoms are gonna merge today, and everyone’s gonna be the winner. Believe it or not, there are surprisingly deep connections between them, too. Like, take for instance, the late, great Akira Toriyama and his legacy with Dragon Ball and Chrono Trigger. The point is: there’s no need to fight to see which is better.

Why not enjoy both and be content if someone doesn’t? So, with that in mind, if you’re looking for anime adaptations of your favorite gaming series. You’re in the right place, so now, let’s kick things off.

Which Anime Adaptations Based On Video Games Are Worth Watching?

So, true story: when making this list of anime that are based on video games, we were mind-blown. There are surprisingly a lot of these, so naturally we had to cut down a lot of them during the selection process. Silver lining, though, is that the recommendations we’re gonna give you today are all gonna be dope as heck.

So, now that we’ve established our baseline, we’ll mention that the official list has 8 spots, but we’re gonna include two honorable mentions. Cool? Cool! We’re gonna get this party started now

[Honorable Mention 1]

.hack// Roots – Guilty Pleasure

.hack//Roots is one of those anime based on video games that's a guilty pleasure.

Well, so, this is kinda embarrassing, but we’re huge fans of the .hack trilogy games from the PS2 days. They even got a remaster for the current-gen consoles, too. But! Did y’all know that this series has an anime adaptation based on the video games, too? We’re willing to bet not many will have seen it.

We can’t blame y’all for it, though. It’s a niche within a niche. But, ya know what? We still find the anime adaptation serviceable enough. .hack//Roots stars Haseo, the protagonist gamer who logs into an MMORPG (Don’t worry, nobody’s gettin isekaied here). But he witnesses bullies who kill newbies like him in the game.

After receiving a helping hand from a bunch of veteran players, Haseo undergoes another tragedy. An NPC kills one of his new-found companions, and she falls into a coma. To avenge her, Haseo undergoes a dark path to power. Transforming into the ‘Terror Of Death’. It’s a pretty solid anime adaptation that plugs the video games it’s based on, and it’s our guilty pleasure. We’re not dense, though; we can see its flaws, and that’s why it’s not officially part of the list.

[Honorable Mention 2]

Scarlet Nexus – Not Bad, Nothing Spectacular

Scarlet Nexus.

Another case of anime based on video games not quite hitting the mark is Scarlet Nexus. Don’t get us wrong, the anime isn’t horrendous or anything, but it’s just in the vein of, meh, could be better. The biggest Achilles heel of Scarlet Nexus is the cut content and rushed plot pacing. There are hardly any explanations, and most of the time, you get that this anime is struggling to juggle lots of ideas.

So, Scarlet Nexus has dual protagonists: Yueito, a young man who eagerly joins the Others Extermination Force (OEF), and Kasane, a senior member of OEF. If you’re wondering, the Others that OEF is exterminating are extra-terrestrials who feed on humans. Only those with the psionic hormone possess abilities to take out the Others. There are loads of flashy powers and cool fight scenes, but the story is… all over the place.

Much of the criticism for Scarlet Nexus is around this issue. It’s also the reason Scarlet Nexus isn’t on the list, but for our money, we sure had fun watching it, but only after finishing the game. Yeah, it’s much more enjoyable in that capacity. You get a whole bunch of extra scenes that expand on some of the character moments. It’s a neat little touch in this anime based off of one of the more unique video games.

[8/8]

Viewtiful Joe – One Of The Most Entertaining Video Game Based Anime Ever

Viewtiful Joe is one of the most hilarious anime out there based on video games.

Whoa~ we just realized this 2000s anime based on video games is one of the earliest iterations of the Issekai genre. Viewtiful Joe, folks, is one of the most over-the-top and laugh-out-loud series ever. It’s a shame that many gamers, including anime enthusiasts, will be unaware of this gem. Basically, Joe, the main character, along with his girlfriend Silvi, go to the movies, where, get this: Silvia gets abducted by getting warped into the movie.

Naturally, our hero, Joe, goes after her to rescue her. He even gets a plot device that lets him transform into his ideal version of a superhero, Viewtiful Joe. This anime is so witty in its dialogue and still holds up after nearly two and a half decades. It’s a testament to the quality of the writing. Besides, there’s just such a fun and enjoyable vibe in Viewtiful Joe that we absolutely love.

It’s so easy to just find yourself immersed in the story and every kind of shenanigans Joe gets up to. The voice acting and animations are top-notch. The crisp animation of the characters adds a lot of impact to every action scene in Viewtiful Joe. Overall, if you’re looking for anime based on video games that do the source material justice, you can’t go wrong with Viewtiful Joe.

[7/8]

Fate Stay Night/ Unlimited Blade Works – Riveting Storyline And Fantasy Clashes

Fate: Stay Night and Unlimited Blade Works.

Next up, we’re gonna tangle the complex anime adaptation of video games that are based on multiple routes. Yep, the one and only Fate series, with Fate: Zero, Fate: Stay Night, and Fate: Unlimited Blade Works as the focus. There’s the Fate: Heaven’s Feel route, too, but that one hasn’t gotten the proper series adaptation yet. Basically, the Fate visual novels revolve around mages who can make contracts with the spirits of legendary heroes.

Pretty awesome sounding, yeah? Well, that’s when this one goes pretty dark. You see, the purpose of forming a contract with the legendary heroic spirits is for the mages to pit them against one another. Why? Because the last one surviving gets the Holy Grail, a mystical wish-granting chalice. However, with treachery and deception at its core, things get messed up real quick.

Sure, between the three adaptations, there’s loads of repetition, and the dialogue-heavy scenes can feel dragging, like a lot! But if you can stomach that, the anime’s pretty dope. Fate: Zero, Fate: Stay Night, and Fate: Unlimited Blade Works really shine when there are epic fantasy battles. The powerful and flashy visuals of every character’s signature move-set are show-stealers. Look, they’re not perfect adaptations, but really, it’s impossible to top what’s been done in this anime adaptation of massive video games.

Related: If you’re into fantasy, you’ll love our list of games to play before Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.

[6/8]

Granblue Fantasy: The Animation – True Sense Of Adventure And Camaraderie

Granblue Fantasy The Animation is one of the most surprisingly beautiful and breathtaking anime based on video games.

Moving on, our list of anime adaptations based on video games gets some much-needed levity with Granble Fantasy: The Animation. Yeah, this one’s got a serene and peaceful imagery to stir up your sense of adventure. The environments, in particular, are really incredible, full of grand sky islands and colorful cities. You’ll see fantasy mixed with steam-punk elements that make Granblue Fantasy: The Animation stand out.

The story, while nothing to write home about, is decent enough with a cast of colorful characters. Some fit the usual anime archetypes, but then, there are moments where they exceed your expectations, too. Granblue Fantasy: The Animation is more style over substance, no doubt about that. But when put together, it becomes something much more enjoyable than when you break down every facet of the anime.

The titular main character, Gran, while generic and cookie-cutter, does have a level head that showcases his growth. He comes across a beautiful girl whom the empire, a seemingly nefarious kingdom, is after. The two bond quickly as Gran rescues her, and soon, more allies join the cause of rebellion against the empire. When you see the cast members fill up the ranks, that’s when Granblue Fantasy truly shines. The diversity of the world in the anime is very intriguing. So, yeah, this anime that’s based on video games is definitely worth a watch.

[5/8]

God Eater – Killer Action, Rocking Soundtracks And High Stakes Vibes

God Eater.

Maybe happy, fun times and feel-good anime aren’t your thing, right? Maybe you’re the type who prefers dark anime with twists for edgelords. Well, if that’s the case, we’ve got one anime that’s based on video games with a traumatizing story. God Eater will give you serious Attack On Titan vibes but with a more post-apocalyptic dystopian twist with a hint of sci-fi. In the God Eater games, you create your character to play through the story. While in the anime, there’s an original character who serves as the protagonist.

But you know what? It kinda works out really well for the God Eater anime. Basically, the plot revolves around the determined hero who goes through the trauma of seeing Aragami tear apart his family. The Aragami are creatures plaguing humanity, and there’s a sinister conspiracy behind their existence. These creatures are constantly evolving, and their numbers always multiply real fast. To fight back, humanity developed weapons that harm and even destroy the Aragami. Care to guess their name? Yep, God Eaters.

The God Eaters harvest organs, materials, and can even consume Aragamis if weakened. However, mastering them is another thing entirely. That’s where this anime based on the three video God Eater video games does a bang-up job of condensing the storyline. You see other NPCs from the games play their parts to build up a suspenseful narrative. The Aragami are also terrifying, especially when one particularly larger one shows up. We also loved the killer beats in the anime, which got us pumped for the spectacular action in God Eater.

[4/8]

Cyberpunk Edgerunners – One Of The Note-worthy Video Game Based Anime

Cyberpunk Edgerunners is one of the best anime adaptions based on video games.

A relatively new one-hit sensation anime that’s based on video games which everyone’s signing praises of is Cyberpunk Edgerunners. The hype is real, people. Cyberpunk Edgerunners is a thrill like no other, and its high-intensity vibe and colorful visuals keep the action addictive. Fitting, too, since addiction is a huge theme in both, the Cyberpunk 2077 game and in Cyberpunk Edgerunners. Unlike the game, there’s a fully fleshed-out protagonist you get to see the world through.

His outcast status lands him in a whole heap of trouble, which just makes you wanna give the lad a hug. But, through grit, willpower, and a little bit of coincidence, David, the protagonist finds an upgrade and a new purpose. He uses the newly gained ability from the implant to wreak havoc on those who wronged him. Of course, nothing’s without consequence, so naturally there’s trouble. But with trouble, there is also opportunity, too. David finds himself part of a gang and there he truly cuts loose.

The high intensity action sequences feel right at home in Cyberpunk Edgerunners. Those who wanna jam to its beat can do so without judgment from us, too. After all, the music in Cyberpunk Edgerunners is on par with the most iconic video game soundtracks. The romantic chemistry between David and Lucy, another central character, is truly endearing. Hell, we’d even say that like straight out of our favorite dating simulator games with great stories. Cyberpunk Edgerunners is one of the best anime based on video games period.

[3/8]

Nier Automata – A Delightful Watch With Tasteful Homages To The Game

Nier Automata.

For those who wanna know if the Nier Automata anime does justice to the video games it’s based on, rest easy. This wonderful adaptation feels like another one of the mysterious routes of the game. That’s likely because of the involvement of the genius Mr. Yoko Taro, the creator of Nier. That overwhelming sense of dread as the understanding of the world becomes clear to the two Androids, 9S, and 2B is still heartwrenching.

What’s great about Nier Automata the anime is that you don’t need to have knowledge or play the game. It’s entirely its own thing, and you will still get the whole plot. The intentional standalone nature of Nier Automata and its acknowledgement by Yoko Taro means the guy gets us. Plus, the CGI is done so well that the fight sequences, in particular, feel like a spectacle. It helps that the immersive soundtracks from the game are used in the anime, and the same voice actors as well.

Of course, it’s not a 1:1 adaptation, either. Nier Automata changes a few things to make sense of the narrative structure in the anime. These changes are handled pretty well, too. There’s more liveliness in the performances of 9S and 2B. You also get a peek at what’s life like for the humans living, seeing that facet of the games brings a well-roundedness to the anime. Take our word for it: Nier Automata excels as an anime adaptation of video games. It’s a huge yard-stick stick to measure up to.

[2/8]

Persona 4: The Animation – Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, And Funky Vibes All Around

Persona 4: The animation.

Despite Atlas doing an Atlus with Persona 3: Reload DLC, there’s no denying their anime adaptation of video games were a mixed bag. However, Persona 4: The Animation subverted our expectations in the best way possible. Whether it’s the smooth animation, the faithful character designs, and mannerisms, or the intrigue-laden mystery central to the plot, Persona 4: The Animation feels like a love letter to the game.

The companions of the main character, Yu Narukami, interact with each other in a fun way. Their dynamics are cool to watch. Just the banter alone feels refreshing to hear, as well as the soundtrack which exudes the appropriate vibes for every scene. This, along with the high-quality animations, delivers a fantastic story for fans of the game or new viewers alike. Then there’s the story and how it unfolds in the anime. We’re not gonna lie; we were nervous about this part, but thankfully, the way it’s handled keeps things really intriguing.

The mysterious series of murders builds up a suspenseful atmosphere that Yu and his friends investigate. Persona 4: The Animation fantastically invokes the sense of the supernatural shadows in the television channel on rainy nights. Shadows are the mysterious creatures connected to the murders. Rescuing the people trapped in the television realm and building up the posse allows Yu to get to the bottom of the mystery in a satisfying finale. Persona 4: The Animation is well-deserving of its praise as an anime based on video games.

[1/8]

Stein’s Gate – The Gold Standard For Video Game Based Anime

Stein's Gate.

We’re capping off our list of amazing anime that are based on video games with the best of the lot. Stein’s Gate is unrivalled in its faithful adaptation of the visual novel game to the anime medium. Not only is the storyline perfectly incorporated into the anime, but the characters get their time to shine. No one is irrelevant, no matter how much you might initially think that they might be. Also, the personalities of the main leads Okabe, and Kurisu gel so well, that it’s heart-warming to watch.

Stein’s Gate is a sci-fi story but it’s grounded in grittiness, well, as can be in such a setting. Every action and its consequence slowly unravels and will begin a slow descent into madness. The story structure is confusing by design, you’re not meant to understand what’s going on, at least not initially anyway. But when you brave through the episodes, things become clearer. The despair that Okabe, or as he likes to call himself, Hououin Kyouma, the mad scientist, goes through hits you like a truck.

Stein’s Gate is a trial by fire for Okabe, and by repeating his actions with slight alterations, yet not getting the desired result, well, it’s grueling to watch. But that’s when Okabe leans on his close circle of friends for help. This is the main hook of the video games that the Stein’s Gate anime is based on. There are differing outcomes in the games which you get a glimpse of in the anime, but it’s executed brilliantly. You’ll still feel like you’ve got the whole picture by the end. We won’t say more, cause Stein’s Gate is too bloody great to spoil for anyone. Check it out!

Final Thoughts On The Best Anime Adaptations Based On Video Games

Well, that’s a wrap of our list of top-tier anime based on video games, and we’re darn proud of it. We know there are probably adaptations out there we’re missing but either they’re obscure, like too much or they weren’t very good. Either way, the ones we included even the ones in the honorable mentions have some form of exceptional quality. Now, with all that in mind, let’s hear what y’all got to say about our curation, today. Got an absolute banger we’re missing out on? Tell us about it in the comments below.

We’re gonna sign off on a recommendation for y’all that’s gonna appeal to you if anime’s not your thing. Yep, we’ve got a dope list of non-Japanese animated series inspired by anime. It’s got all kinds of awesometacular shows for y’all, so take a look. Anyway, that’s gonna do it for now, so until next time, take care, and happy viewing everybody!

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Rafi Ahmed
Rafi Ahmed
Retro(and modern) gamer, proud comic geek, anime connoisseur, and opinionated peach without a filter. I'm bringing you hot takes, recommendations, and what-if fantasy scenarios and championing the gamer cause against corporate greed. You're welcome!

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