Anime is one of the most celebrated aspects of Japanese culture, and for good reason. Japanese animation has a unique appeal compared to its Western counterparts. And outside the Dreamworks and the Pixars are studio after studio releasing memorable and interesting anime across a wide range of genres, in a wide range of categories. With such a massive repertoire of anime that go back decades, it’s not a surprise for other industries to pick up on the hype – primarily video games.
And there’s been countless anime video games, some of which are unique concepts, while others are much-awaited adaptations of popular anime. So for 2019, what exactly have been anime highlights? Here’s our list of the Best of Anime Games in 2019.
Dragon Ball FighterZ fulfills any anime’s fans dream for technical DBZ fighting. If we’re talking about anime games, Dragon Ball definitely has a lot to offer. And with games spanning since the 80s, no game has ever achieved technical fighting game prowess as Dragon Ball FighterZ. Unlike the more mainstream Budokai games, Dragon Ball FighterZ goes back to 2.5-dimensional fighting, meaning you only face the opponents in front of your character. One might think the lack of multiple directions might be a disadvantage for the fighting game, but DragonBall FighterZ makes up for the lack of directional fighting with extremely technical fighting. The game gives players the chance to play as their favorite Dragon Ball Z characters and fight each other with signature techniques and extremely fast-paced combat.
- Dragon Ball FighterZ takes players across a journey that explores the Dragon Ball Z mythos, exploring popular storylines across the series’ plot. Hardcore fans will love the overt references, “translations” of popular anime scenes into the in-game cutscenes, and the use of popular catchphrases and techniques. Those new to DragonBall FighterZ can pick up this game and feel as though they’ve watched the anime. For anyone into Dragon Ball, this fighting game is a true game that respects the material.
Another popular aspect of Dragon Ball FighterZ is the fact that its control schemes are extremely easy to learn… but very difficult to master. The game’s controls remain universal throughout the game, making the game easy to pick up for both newbies and vets. The title has an auto-combo system that assists new players in pulling off more complicated moves, but you can’t survive online multiplayer without actually taking matters to your own hands. This means button mashing might help you survive your first few fights, but you can’t beat the best of the best without mastering your controls. This makes DB FighterZ similar to games like Moto X3M 4 Winter, which has easy-to-access controls but difficult-to-master gameplay.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst is the most realistic rendition of a Naruto game yet. If you’re a fan of anime, you’ve likely heard of Naruto – you know, that teenage ninja who wants to become the Hokage. And if you have, you’ll likely be familiar with the series’ ever-popular fast-paced combat, a captivating storyline, and its amazing cast of characters. Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst is one of the series’ many installments in the UNS series, but it’s this game that takes the cake for its simple-to-learn controls but very technical gameplay.
- The game lets you play as one of the many characters in the Naruto franchise, complete with alternate costumes and their signature techniques. And considering the fact that this is a fully-3D game means you can actually dish out extreme combos and awesome finishers while wrecking entire environments in true Naruto fashion. Not to mention, team-based ultimate attacks also allow you to team up with your favorite characters and dish out combos you’ve never seen in the anime before! There’s 88 characters in the game, so you better start experimenting!
- This installment in the series allows you to also engage in light RPG play, allowing you to engage in item collection, shopping, and side-quests. As such, this makes USN 3 Full Burst as perhaps the most “complete” Naruto game to date.
Final Fantasy XIV is a Final Fantasy MMO the way it’s meant to be. A lot of players will already be familiar with FFXIV, especially since it’s launched in 2010 and relaunched in 2014.However, FFXIV remains one of the most popular anime games out there – particularly because the game allows players to travel the world of Hydaelyn with much of the series’ lore intact. This means players can be one of the many classes popular in the game, play with in-series mascot chocobos, explore the expansive mythos that’s been introduced throughout the series’ 15 installments. And despite being a subscription-based game, the regular updates, the strong following, and the very engaging gameplay can hook any new or veteran Final Fantasy player into playing the game.
- Final Fantasy XIV plays like your usual MMO – with quests that have expansive storylines, and a grind that could help you get awesome cosmetic items and powerful items. Perhaps what’s extremely noticeable and sets FFXIV apart from its contemporaries is its gripping attention to detail. Graphics, monster and character designs, and even the details on maps and interfaces were all from recent Final Fantasy entries. And for anyone who wants to be immersed in a game all about Final Fantasy, this is definitely the game for you.
- Subscribers to the game will be treated to a ton of expansions and updates across the years, all with unique monsters, areas, weapons, armor, and even classes to enjoy. For instance, the Heavensward expansion brings in the Dark Knight, Astrologian, and Machinist. Meanwhile, the Stormblood expansion brings in the Samurai and the Red Mage. Aside from these are unique features such as wedding ceremonies, as well as intense dungeons and raids.
Pokemon GO remains the best way to get immersed with Pokemon. Despite conflicts with regards to the reception of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, it’s Pokemon GO that takes the case as perhaps the best Pokemon game of our generation. Why, we don’t have to “go” to imaginary regions and collect unique Pokemon there if we can collect Pokemon and be trainers with the comfort of our own smartphones, right? To the unfamiliar, Pokemon GO is an augmented reality (AR) mobile game released in 2016 which allows players to capture Pokemon with their mobile phone camera. In the game, Pokemon can be “interspersed” with real life, where we can “see” Pokemon floating or “standing” on objects we see with our camera. We can capture, collect, and evolve Pokemon… all 640 of them, across Gen 1 to Gen 5!
- Pokemon GO has been built to support mobile phones all throughout, meaning most of its features have been integrated for the smartphone user. It uses GPS to locate players and their Pokemon, with the main screen featuring the map of the players’ neighborhood. Pokemon appear there, which they can capture or ignore. There are Pokestops that can be visited for items, and Gyms that are controlled by players local to the area. There are even “Teams” or factions that improve socialization and a spirit of community for players. These alone make Pokemon GO quite the feature-full game, which can be a ton of fun for players who want to immerse themselves in a Pokemon game.
- Pokemon GO also allows players to train and fight with their Pokemon, helping them develop new skills and leveling them up when necessary. Players can also acquire new Pokemon using eggs which they can hatch while walking, making Pokemon GO the ideal game to play if you love running around or walking around at home, at school, at work, or even during the commute.
Anime Games in 2019: Capping the Decade With Stellar Works
With the above list in mind, it helps to remember that anime video games in 2019 don’t just end with our personal list of “the best of the best.” What perhaps makes anime video games stand out amongst other types of video games is its capability of connecting with audiences regardless of their style and genre. And the list of anime above proves there’s always something unique and special hidden within each anime video game regardless of their rather bubbly and popping aesthetic.
If you have other anime games you want to recommend, feel free to continue the discussion on our Facebook Page.
Meet our Guest Writer:
John Salazar is a certified techie-at-heart, but he shares a love for all things science and technology, health and wellness, and even a bit of music on the side. As a creative writer, John makes sure to write both informative and entertaining pieces. He loves writing, and he plays the guitar when he has free time.