10 Forgotten Games Based on Classic Anime

10 Forgotten Games Based on Classic Anime

There are plenty of anime out there that look like video games. From action adventure stories to epic and powerful battles, characters face each other and evil villains in ways fans love and wish they could be a part of. Video game adaptations of anime allow fans to take control of their favorite characters and invest themselves in these fictional worlds.


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From 2D fighters to shooters and even dating sims, almost any anime can be put into any genre. Modern anime gets regular game adaptations, but there’s nothing like a new idea. Anime games were released on platforms as far back as the Super Nintendo and Sega Saturn, and further back on arcade cabinets. Some of these games are now lost, as some never left Japan, but the hardcore fans who love the anime they are based on remember them.

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Ranma 12 Battle Renaissance fighting game for PlayStation

Ranma 1/2 was an anime and manga that followed the rather funny story of a teenage boy who devotes himself fully to martial arts, but is cursed to switch genders if splashed with hot or cold water. In 1996, Ranma 1/2: Battle Renaissance was released on the PlayStation 2 as a 3D fighting game.

While there are more Ranma 1/2 fighting game out there, this was the first for the PS2 and the only one to feature the characters Ryu Kumon and Rouge. The game has a Story mode, Versus mode and Battle mode. The game is pretty basic and only has eight playable characters, but for fans of the anime it’s a fun nostalgic ride.

9/10 Rurouni Kenshin: Ishin Gekitouhen was basically Tekken, Reskinned

Rurouni Kenshin Ishin Gekitouhen game for PlayStation

Rurouni Kenshin is an anime series set in late 19th century Japan, following a former assassin as he vows to protect the people of Japan without taking another life. In 1996, the anime received a video game adaptation of the first season, released on the PlayStation One.

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The Rurouni Kenshin the game was a 3D fighting game, similar to Tekken, with story and versus modes. In the story mode, players encountered iconic characters, interspersed with cutscenes from the anime itself. Although this was the first game based on the series, several were released on the PS2 and PSP, with the anime characters also appearing in J-Stars Victory Vs.

8/10 YuYu Hakusho Final was the fourth game in the series for the SNES

YuYu Hakusho Final SNES Game

Yu Yu Hakusho was an anime that followed the adventures of Yusuke Urameshi, a boy who was given powers after a car accident, who became a “Spirit Detective” and investigated cases of demons and ghosts. There were several games based on the franchise released on the SNES, but the latest in the series, The YuYu Hakusho Finalstook the best parts of previous games and gave fans a great fighting experience.

The YuYu Hakusho Finalsits players can battle with 13 characters from the anime in versus mode or in a story mode that covers the back end of the anime’s Black Chapter Saga. Combat featured standard moves and powered moves that reflected the battles in the anime.

7/10 Stand against your enemies in Jojo’s bizarre adventure

CapCom's JoJo's Venture game

Recently remastered Jojo the game came out, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R, but there have been several games based on the wild battle-based anime. One of the first was called JOJO’s venture. It was originally released as an arcade game, but was later ported to PlayStation and Dreamcast consoles under the name Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Heritage of the Future.

JOJO’s VentureThe game follows the standard fighting game formula, but included “Stands”, the supernatural beings that the manga and anime focus on. This original game loosely followed the plot of Stardust Crusadersthrough battles from each character’s perspective. It’s not an innovative game, but JoJo fans will probably like it.

6/10 Vampire Hunter D was Resident Evil with vampires

Vampire Hunter D game on PlayStation

Vampire Hunter D follows the adventures of a vampire as he battles supernatural forces in a world where vampires and humans coexist. In 1999 Vampire Hunter D the game was released on the PlayStation. It was a survival horror game, similar to Resident Evilwith fixed cameras, puzzles and combat.

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The game’s story followed the second film, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, where the player must navigate a mysterious castle to rescue a woman kidnapped by a vampire. Fans of the anime will enjoy the game, even if it feels dated. But as one of the few competently executed horror games based on vampire lore, it’s still worth investigating.

5/10 Captain Tsubasa received high praise from fans

Captain Tsubasa SNES Games

Back in 1988, the NES, or Famicom as it was known in Japan, saw the release of the first Captain Tsubasa video game based on the anime of the same name. The anime followed the sporting adventures of a Japanese high school soccer team that participates in a world tournament against other countries.

The game had a unique concept of being a sports RPG/Strategy and cinematic action game that followed the story of the anime. Captain Tsubasa was a hit with fans and released several games in the following years, improving the game’s soccer and strategy mechanics.

4/10 Become the Major or Batou In Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex game for PS2

In 2005, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex released on the PS2 as a third-person shooter, based on the anime of the same name. Players can control either Makoto Kusanagi or Batou through action-packed levels, blasting their way through to the next level. The two characters play differently, Makoto is more agility based, and Batou focuses on heavy weapons.

There was a minor element of hacking involved Stand along the complex game, as Kusanagi can use a “ghost-hacking” ability, but it was little, and overall the game felt like a generic shooter. Still, it’s a fun playthrough for anime fans, with great graphics for its time.

3/10 Neon Genesis: Evangelion Iron Maiden was a dating sim full of emotion

Neon Genesis Evangelion Iron Maiden dating game

Neon Genesis: Evangelion lends itself to a giant mech brawler action game, but thanks to the complexity of the actual characters in the anime, there were actually several Evangelion dating sim game released in the late 1990s. Neon Genesis: Evangelion Iron Maiden ended up expanding the franchise in some strange directions.

Evangelion: Iron MaidenThe story revolves around a new girl, Mana, who transfers to Shinji’s school and the developing relationship between Shinji, Mana, Asuka and Riyoji Kaji. Rei appears, but more as a background character. The game mostly asks players to wander around locations until they trigger the next plot element. Towards the end, players get to choose a character to pursue romantically and can unlock one of three endings.

2/10 Carry that weight in Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop game for PS2

Cowboy Bebop saw two video game releases on PS1 and PS2. The first, Cowboy Bebop, was a third-person flight game in which players controlled SPike’s Swordfish II ship, hunting for bounties. The second game, Cowboy Bebop: Serenade of Reminiscence released on PS2 and gave players a whole new story.

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Players controlled Spike, Faye and Jet as they received missions from Ed, in action, puzzle and vehicle-based levels. There are a ton of extended cutscenes that tell the story with full voice acting. Both games only released in Japan, like the English version of Serenade of Remembrance was cancelled.

1/10 Drift around the mountain pass to epic Eurobeat in opening D

AE86 Trueno from Initial D Arcade Stage.

Initial D is a racing anime that lends itself perfectly to a video game adaptation. The anime has intense drift races down mountain passes, and the video games captured that perfectly. While Initial D games started on arcade cabinets, they also saw several console ports on the PS2, PS3 and PSP.

The Initial D game followed the anime’s storyline, allowing players to create their own characters and then participate in races against major figures such as Takumi and Itsuki, as well as the challenging racing teams, Red Suns and Emperor. The games featured the iconic Eurobeat soundtrack and mimicked the cel-shaded style of the anime itself. They are amazing driving games that focus on car tuning, drifting and epic music.

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