• Button Mash

22 Wonderfully Japanese AF Video Games

List RulesVote up the games that weren't simply developed in Japan, but are so quintessentially Japanese.

A lot of amazing video games (Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, Final Fantasy, Contra, Resident Evil, etc.) were made in Japan. While those games were very accessible to a Western audience, there are some games that are, let's say, uniquely Japanese. These video games are either deeply Japanese in their style and story or they simply don't really translate to other cultures. These are some super Japanese video games here, people.

The most Japanese video games represent a difference in aesthetic, taste, and mindset that reflects the idiosyncrasy of the weird island nation that we all love. Many of these video games find niches in Western markets simply because they are so "Japan." Others make it because, hey, they are really good games. Whatever the case may be, these are some Japanese video games that are well worth checking out.

  • 5
    14 VOTES

    Pocky & Rocky (Kiki Kaikai: Nazo no Kuro Manto)

    Video: YouTube

    A Shinto shrine maiden and her tanuki (an Asian raccoon dog) friend team up to fight a variety of traditional Japanese Yokai in this old-school, cooperative two-person shooter for the SNES. While the Japanese title actually translates to "Mysterious Ghost World: The Enigmatic Black Mantle," the anglicized title allows the cleverly named "Manuke the Tanuki" to become "Rocky the Raccoon." 

    This is the first of the Kiki Kaikai series to be released outside of Japan. It is a top-down 2D game, but you can move at your own pace in all directions. The two-player arcade-style fun make this game widely regarded as the best in the Kiki Kaikai series. The game is difficult, but not so hard that it induces controller-throwing rage. Watch out for Kappa, though!

    Agree or disagree?
    Buy on Amazon
  • 6
    19 VOTES

    Taiko no Tatsujin

    Video: YouTube

    A rhythm game that utilizes taiko drums, this is Japanese squared. The arcade game features two giant taiko drums that you hit in rhythm with the game. It is that simple, and yes, it is a ton of fun to play.

    Agree or disagree?
    Buy on Amazon
  • 7
    8 VOTES

    Super Galdelic Hour

    Video: YouTube

    Certain things in Japan are so bright and colorful that it hurts to think about them. This is one of those things. Super Galdelic Hour involves four animals that are transformed into scantily clad, jiggly women in order to play mini-games for our amusement. The PS2 party game was never released outside of Japan, probably with good reason.

    Featuring pie throwing, giant lollipops, and more, this game makes full use of the "super kawaii" style.

    Agree or disagree?
    Buy on Amazon
  • 8
    22 VOTES

    Hatoful Boyfriend

    Video: YouTube

    Hatoful Boyfriend is a pigeon dating simulator. You are a human girl who dates pigeons because a normal high school dating simulator wasn't enough... not for Japan. There are eight datable birds and multiple endings, good, bad, and weird. Seriously, WTF Japan?

    Agree or disagree?
    Buy on Amazon