The 15 Best Anime Based On Video Games, Ranked

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Vote up the best anime adaptations of video games.

Most anime are adapted from manga, but that's far from the only source. Some of the most exciting anime around are adapted from video games.

Many of these anime are based on mobile games. Princess Connect! Re:Dive, a cute story about a guild trying to help one of its members recover his lost memories, started out that way. Others, like CLANNAD and Steins;Gate, are based on visual novels - video games that focus on telling a story. Pokémon, the beloved childhood classic, is based on a game for an early Nintendo handheld console. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is an animated take on a game that made its way to several consoles and to the computer.

No matter how these games are played, they make for some fantastic anime.

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  • 1
    149 VOTES

    Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

    Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
    Photo: Cyberpunk: Edgerunners / Trigger

    Netflix's new series, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is billed as a standalone series, but it's clearly inspired by Cyberpunk 2077, a 2020 action role-playing game set in a world where people gain enhanced abilities through cybernetic implants. Though the video game debuted with multiple bugs that needed to be fixed, it proved to be a popular series once those problems were fixed. 

    Edgerunners tells the story of David Martinez, a teenage boy who is trying to survive life in a dangerous slum and ends up acquiring a cybernetic implant and teaming up with a Netrunner named Lucy to become a team of criminal cyborgs.

    The series seems to take place sometime prior to the video game timeline, and features several references to it. For example, the characters go to Afterlife, a club that serves as an important in-game setting. There's also a cameo from an in-game character named Wakako.

    149 votes
  • The Fate Series
    Photo: Fate/Stay Night / ufotable

    Fate/stay night is an adult visual novel created by Type-Moon, a gaming company known for their unique style of immersive storytelling by author and co-founder Kinoko Nasu. The game is about a massive war between individuals who want to get their hands on the Holy Grail, an item that can grant any desire. 

    It has spawned not only a direct anime adaptation, but countless spin-offs and light novels. Understanding the world of Fate is nearly as big of an undertaking as watching One Piece, but just like One Piece, the effort is more than worthwhile to its fans.

    86 votes
  • 3
    41 VOTES

    Persona

    Persona
    Photo: Persona 5: The Animation / CloverWorks

    The Persona games began life as a spin-off of the Megami Tensei series of games, which used a high school setting. Due to the games' success, the Persona games had a similar setting. What made them different is that the characters battled using ‘personas’ or physical manifestations of their psyches. 

    Many of the games have been adapted into movies or anime series. Chronologically, the first is Persona 3: The Movie. This one is known for having exceptional art. More recently, the Persona 5 anime series debuted. This series focuses on a group called the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, which focuses on making evil-doers change their ways. 

    41 votes
  • 4
    55 VOTES
    Steins;Gate
    Photo: Steins;Gate / White Fox

    Steins;Gate is frequently cited as one of the greatest sci-fi anime in recent history. The series follows Rintaro Okabe, an eccentric college student who fancies himself as a mad scientist, and his friends as they accidentally discover a way to send messages backwards in time. Toying with history has major consequences, and soon Rintaro's life is dedicated to trying to undo his mistakes before he loses everything.

    The story originated from a visual novel by 5pb. and Nitroplus. The game was created to be “99% science (reality) and 1% fantasy.”

    55 votes
  • 5
    92 VOTES
    Pokémon
    Photo: Pokémon / OLM

    Pokémon is one of the most beloved franchises in history, and it all started with video games. Originally called Pocket Monsters: Red and Pocket Monsters: Green, the first two games were wildly popular in Japan. Then they came to the USA and other markets under the titles Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue. The tie-in anime helped boost the popularity of the games, while getting tons of attention itself. 

    We probably don't need to tell you what Pokémon is about, but just in case, here's a quick run-down. In a world inhabited by a variety of magical creatures called Pokémon, trainers partner up with them to win gym battles, capture every type of Pokémon, and make lifelong friends.

    92 votes
  • Rage of Bahamut
    Photo: Rage of Bahamut: Genesis / MAPPA

    Rage of Bahamut began as a digital collectable card game in which players move around the in-game universe, collecting cards that they can use to battle, form factions, and create a variety of other effects. The series received three anime spin-offs - Rage of Bahamut: Genesis, Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul, and Manaria Friends. 

    Of the three, Rage of Bahamut: Genesis is the most popular. Set in a world in which gods and demons worked together to seal a dangerous dragon named Bahamut, the series follows two rival bounty hunters and a mysterious young woman as the three of them are drawn into an ancient magical conflict.

    32 votes