Top 10 Video Games Based on Anime and Vice Versa
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Top 10 Video Games Based on Anime and Vice Versa

By Elizabeth Gibson for The J-Pop Exchange

Video games based on anime are extremely common, although the alternative isn’t necessarily true. But one thing is true: video games and anime series/films have a way of inspiring each other. So here are five animes based on video games and five video games based on animes.

Anime Based on Video Games

Pokémon XY&Z
The first Pokémon game, Pocket Monsters Red and Green, was released in 1996 in Japan for the Game Boy. It’s regarded as the most successful video game adaptation of all time. The whole franchise, including the animated series and its revivals, of course, are hugely popular. The animated series has over 1,000 episodes broadcast and adapted for international television markets, concurrently airing in 169 countries worldwide, and one of the most widely watched shows on Netflix. Pokémon XY&Z is the widely-loved 19th season of the Pokémon animated series, and it introduces new beloved characters and pokémon.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete
Many consider the Final Fantasy series to be one of the very best franchises in video games. But after the success of the gaming franchise came the anime film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete. Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, Advent Children received the Honorary Maria Award at the Sitges Film Festival on October 15, 2005. The film was also awarded "best anime feature" at the 2007 American Anime Awards.

Kirby: Right Back At Ya!
Kirby: Right Back At Ya! is a Japanese anime series based on Nintendo's Kirby franchise. Though largely aimed at a younger crowd due to its childlike characters and battle scenes, the series also includes allegorical stories about environmental issues, serious stories, social satire, and other various elements and parodies that can be appreciated by adults.

Valkyria Chronicles
A bit of a slow burn and only somewhat loosely based on the original Sega video game, Valkyria Chronicles’s plot focuses on the Gallian Front fought between the Empire and The Principality of Gallia. The anime version differs from its source in that the main characters have slightly different motivations and narratives. The anime also introduces a character that wasn’t in the video game, Ramal Valt. While retaining elements of the video game’s style, the characters were redesigned for the anime series by Atsuko Watanabe.

Castlevania (TV Series)
Based on the popular video game series of the same name, Castlevania was made into an anime series by Netflix. The first two seasons adapt the 1989 video game Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse and follow Trevor Belmont, Alucard, and Sypha Belnades as they defend the nation of Wallachia from Dracula and his minions. The second and third seasons borrow characters and elements from the 2005 game Castlevania: Curse of Darkness. On March 27, 2020, Netflix announced they have renewed the series for a fourth season.

Video Games Based on Anime

Attack on Titan 2
The game covers the plot of the first 50 chapters of the Attack on Titan manga, (also covered by the first two seasons of the anime adaptation), allowing the player to create an original character and interact with the characters of the series. When Attack On Titan 2 was released, fans of the original series were more than happy to witness what was undoubtedly a noticeable improvement over the video game’s first installment.

Dragon Ball FighterZ
Due to the success of the Dragon Ball franchise, it’s no wonder a fighting-style video game based on the anime was a success in itself. Developed by Arc System Works — the developers behind the excellent Guilty Gear series — Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the best fighting games out there.

Astro Boy: Omega Factor
This beat ‘em up video game published by Sega in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance was a sleeper hit. The game stars the titular character going through situations from the entire canon of the Astro Boy series. In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book “1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.”

Naruto: The Broken Bond
The Naruto franchise has a plethora of video games under its belt, but what most people don't realize is that Naruto games were good even before CyberConnect2's franchise. A fighting game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and made for the Xbox 360 in 2008, Naruto: The Broken Bond is a sequel to the first Naruto video game, Naruto: Rise of a Ninja. The game takes place between episodes 81-135 of the anime. The game received favorable reviews, more so than its predecessor, which makes sense as The Broken Bond had many improvements to the art style, gameplay, and a new ranking system.

Bleach: The Blade Of Fate
Made in 2006 for the Nintendo DS, Bleach: The Blade Of Fate took the cast of characters from the Bleach anime and set them in a 2D fighting style game. The Nintendo DS’s wifi connection could be utilized for this game, allowing players to connect and play against others from all around the world. The game was also awarded Best Fighting Game of 2007 by IGN.

Bonus: Digimon
For those who don’t know or aren’t old enough to remember, Digimon originally started as a Tamagatchi-type toy game marketed to boys in 1997. The anime began with a short film released in theaters in 1999, which was turned into an anime series. The plot follows seven children in summer camp who realize they are “DigiDestined” to save the Digital World. A video game for the PSP was released in 2013.


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