As with a lot of nerdy pastimes, video games and anime have a long and heathy relationship. If you like one you will most certainly find yourself looking into the other at some point. But there are thousands of separate anime series and games out there, of every type, niche, genre and quality. It can be really hard to find a single game and show that pair perfectly. So where should you start? Below are five popular anime (shows or archetypes) and some video games you could look into which pair well with them.
Some of the most popular anime shows, from .Hack or Sword Art Online to the new and incredibly popular Recovery of an MMO Junkie, all revolve around Massively Multiplayer Online games, or “MMOs”. These games often feature a wide and immersive world set in a myriad of settings from fantasy to sci-fi, or the wild-west to the post-apocalypse.
For this, you’ll want to consider games like World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls Online, Black Desert Online, Runescape or Warframe. Each game focuses on different aspects, but most are free to try out, so you can easily find the game that’s right for you.
If you’re more a fan of Shounen anime, such as Bleach, Dragon Ball or Naruto, fighter games are perfect for you. Naruto and Dragon Ball fans have it easy, as they can jump into Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, or Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, which are both based on the respective anime. Otherwise, side-scrolling fighters like Street Fighter or the BlazBlue series offer incredibly in-depth gameplay with rewarding contact and combo systems. If you don’t like side-scrollers, 3D orientated hack-and-slash games like DmC: Devil May Cry (which is surprisingly good) might be closer to what you’re after.
Lots of anime fans watch shows to chill. Shows like MMO Junkie or Clannad work their way slowly and serenely towards pivotal plot points, which make them a pleasure to watch. “Chill” games can really be anything, as long as they are not too intensive. Games like Minecraft or Stardew Valley offer sandbox gameplay based on creating or managing your slowly progressing virtual world.
If you’re a fan of slow anime that feature common bursts of action (Kaiji, Rio: Rainbow Gate or No Game No Life) you might like casino games, which can feature a variety of themes such as sports betting, and even operate through Bitcoin trading. You can always try a game in demo mode to see if you like them.
Lastly, if you like deep and immersive plots and stories, without a heavy emphasis on gameplay, visual novels, or Telltale Games are for you. Clannad is a visual novel, so if you don’t know where to start you can pick it up on steam. Otherwise, Telltale games offer a variety of story-based adventures such as Tales from the Borderlands, The Walking Dead or even Minecraft Story Mode.
There are too many more recommendations to make, if the shows or games you are interested in aren’t covered here, you could always try considering specific anime games (as the genres do cross). If you have a friend that likes gaming or anime, recommendations from them will be invaluable. Otherwise doing a bit of research on Steam or Google should reveal at least a couple of games that are right for you.