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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    68 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.

  • 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.

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    34 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.

  • 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.