The 16 Best Anime Based On Video Games, Ranked

Voting Rules

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.

Photo: Cyberpunk: Edgerunners / Trigger

  • 1
    186 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.

    186 votes
  • 2
    116 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.

    116 votes
  • Nier: Automata Ver1.1a
    Photo: NieR: Automata Ver1.1a / A-1 Pictures

    NieR: Automata Ver1.1a is a dystopian anime based off of the game NieR: Automata, created by Square Enix. NieR: Automata is an open world action RPG game with impressive visuals and themes released for PS4, Windows, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The game features a compelling storyline following the journey of human-created androids that must fight alien machines in hopes to reclaim Earth. The story of android protagonist 2B was developed into an anime in 2023.

    In connection to well-established games like NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... and the Drakengard series, NieR: Automata was met with lots of love by fans. Considering the game already garnered enough popularity to earn stage plays, a novel and downloadable content expansions, the anime was a long awaited but expected addition.

    9 votes
  • 4
    128 VOTES
    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.

    128 votes
  • Angels of Death
    Photo: Angels of Death / J.C.Staff

    Hoshikuzu KRNKRN created the video game version of Angels of Death using RPG Maker and released it for free via the Den Fami Nico Game Magazine website. It was adapted into a manga, a series of novels, and an anime. 

    So, what's the plot of this independent effort? Rachel Gardner wakes up in a mysterious building with no idea of how she got there or how to get out. The one thing that she does know is that she doesn't want to be alive anymore. She teams up with Zack, a serial killer who promises to end her if the two of them work together to make it out. But that's easier said than done, because the two of them keep running into people who are even weirder and more dangerous than they are, and the building doesn't seem to have an exit.

    65 votes
  • Danganronpa: The Animation
    Photo: Danganronpa: The Animation / Lerche

    Danganronpa began as a series of video games about students forced into a survival game by a terrifying teddy bear named Monokuma. The games feature a panoply of game styles, including adventure, visual novel, detective, dating sim, and more. It ended up being Spike Chunsoft's most popular and lucrative series, but it almost didn't get made - initially, it was rejected for being too gruesome. Eventually, it was accepted after reworking some of the more sensitive material. 

    Rather than being direct adaptations of the games, the Danganronpa anime series serve as prequels, sequels, and side stories to the main video game story. So if you really want to understand the world of Danganronpa, you have to watch it and play it.

    70 votes