• Anime Underground

The 20 Best Japanese Exclusive Anime Games Never Released In America

List RulesVote up the best anime video games that have only been released in Japan.

Today's anime fans have it made. Before the days of Toonami and Crunchyroll, anime fans of the late 80s had to jump through hoops, just to gain access to a hot new anime with fan-translated captions that often veered towards inaccurate. The same was said for video games. So many popular anime series like Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and Mobile Suit Gundam were the subject of so many great video games, but so many of them were exclusive to Japan. While Japanese exclusive games are rarer these days, there are still cases of great Japanese anime games not hitting North America. Sometimes its legal issues; other times it's because the anime series is to niche to guarantee success stateside. 

If you're a collector of Japanese exclusive games, here are 20 you should definitely put on your wish list. Make sure to vote up the Japanese anime games you want everyone to check out as well. 

Photo:
  • 1
    18 VOTES

    Soul Eater: Battle Resonance

    Soul Eater: Battle Resonance is a 2D anime fighting game for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. As you would expect from a fighting game, Soul Eater: Battle Resonance consists of various modes where you go 1vs1 against all the crazy students of Death Weapon Meister Academy. Regarding story mode, the game covers the Remedial Lessons Arc to the A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration Arc from the anime. 

    • Release: 2009
    • Platform: PSP, PS2
    13
    5
    Is this a great game?
  • Before you walk, you gotta crawl. Before Bandai Namco created ambitious fighting games like Jump Ultimate Stars or Jump Force, they took their time by focusing on the big three Shonen Jump series: Dragon Ball, One Piece, and NarutoBattle Stadium D.O.N is a 2D fighting game that plays similarly to Super Smash Bros., but fills its roster with characters from the aforementioned action series. And if you didn't guess it, the acronym "D.O.N." comes from the first initial of the three anime series.   

    • Release: 2006
    • Platform: GameCube, PlayStation 2
    23
    12
    Is this a great game?
  • Photo: Nintendo

    Before Jump Force became the Super Smash Bros. for Shonen Jump, there was Jump Ultimate Stars for the Nintendo DS. Serving as the sequel to Jump Super StarsJump Ultimate Stars is a 2D fighting game modeled after the insane brawl of the Super Smash Bros. series. 41 of the best shonen manga series are represented here, such as Bleach, Captain Tsubasa, and Fist of the North Star. Over 300 anime characters are in the game; 56 of which are playable fighters. What makes Jump Ultimate Stars different from the Nintendo fighter is its manga-inspired deck builder, as it adds a rich strategic element towards every match.  

    • Release: Nov 23 2006
    • Platform: Nintendo DS
    23
    12
    Is this a great game?
  • 4
    18 VOTES

    Yu Yu Hakusho Sunset Fighters

    Photo: Sega

    Yu Yu Hakusho Sunset Fighters is an excellent 2D fighting game for the Sega Mega Drive, or as its known in America, the Sega Genesis. Developed by renowned Japanese game developer Treasure, Yu Yu Hakusho Sunset Fighters takes the Dark Tournament storyline from the anime and uses it as a setting for a four-player brawler. What's fascinating about this game is that a lot of its mechanics were later used in Bleach: The Blade of Fate and Bleach: Dark Souls for the Nintendo DS. 

    • Release: 1994
    • Platform: Sega Genesis
    12
    6
    Is this a great game?