The fact that the PlayStation 2 era was thriving with some of the best anime titles ever made, was a strong reason for developers and publishers alike to make more titles based on the source material. And while it’s kind of difficult to find games that do justice to their anime counterpart, the system provides a myriad of memorable and fun to play experiences.
It’s not easy to emulate the feel of the anime or the manga, and fans know that. Expectations can be pretty daunting when one’s expecting the game to be perfectly faithful to its anime counterpart. When those expectations are not met, the result is a displeased anime fan with the developer for not meeting those expectations.
It is true that an abundance of titles out there can be considered disappointing, or to put it bluntly, horrible. However, not all of these titles belong to the dumpster. In fact, some titles even inspired the anime show. Here’s a list that will tackle the best PlayStation 3 anime games you can play.
Zone of the Enders is one of the best anime games you’ll ever experience. The fact that this one is only popular among mecha fans just goes on to show how underappreciated the series is. Originally created by Hideo Kojima, Zone of the Enders HD Collection features the first game and its sequel.
The game is a mecha hack and slash third-person shooter similar to titles such as Armored Cored and Daemon X Machina. It has you controlling an orbital frame (sort of a robot) known as Jehuty, and battling waves after waves of foes. Jehuty possesses several deadly arsenals under its belt, and with each boss you obliterate or a certain stage you accomplish, the game rewards you with new enhancements.
The best thing about Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is the fast-paced action and the ability to pierce through waves of enemies using your equipment or just shoot them up to pieces. Seriously, even if you aren’t a fan of Kojima, you will certainly adore this game in case you’re looking for something fun to play.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm follows the epic adventures of Naruto and his friends, while perfectly emulating the vibes and the core elements of the source material. The best thing about the storm trilogy is that any newcomer who’s unfamiliar with Naruto can dive deep into the games without any issues. However, it’s often recommended that you watch the anime or read the manga for the full experience.
The former is a prime example of how anime games should be treated. The developers have treated the manga with care to deliver one of the best love letters to the franchise. The impressive character roster, arousing cel-shading art style, and epic soundtracks were all executed perfectly.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is the third entry in the franchise, and it takes place from the East Blue Saga until the Dressrosa Arc along with an original ending. The game’s story follows Luffy’s legendary adventure to fulfil his ambition of becoming the king of the pirates. Along with his pirate crew, they’ll quake the entire world and carve a name for themselves.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 features characters from previous titles and introduces new combos, finishing moves, and enhanced cel-shaded graphics that fit well with the source material.
J-Stars Victory VS is a crossover fighting game that incorporates heaps of renowned characters from the Shônen universe that many are familiar with. The game quickly turns into a mess (in a good way) when one character is fighting another. One time you’ll be seeing Goku launching a Kamehameha on his opponents, and the other time you’ll be seeing Ichigo just spamming Getsuga Tensho like there’s no tomorrow.
Despite being five years older than Jump Force, J-Stars Victory VS is one step above the latter. The decision to opt for a cel-shading art style instead of the highly-used Unreal Engine left a fantastic touch on the game. Additionally, J-Stars Victory VS includes over 52 characters to choose from, including beloved characters such as Goku, Gon, Kenshiro and Naruto.
This game is the go for every anime fan, and we can only hope that Bandai Namco will one day reconsider making a game similar to this one if the foreseeable future.
Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2 and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 are one of the most highly recommended titles to every Dragon Ball fan. Back then when it launched, Budokai Tenkaichi 3 looked both graphically and conceptually impressive. Raging Blast 2 is an attempt to improve the formula in its own way.
Raging Blast 2 is a one-on-one 3D fighting anime game developed by Spike and published by Bandai back in 2010. The game boasts over 100 characters to choose from, with other unique ones that aren’t present in previous Dragon Ball games.
Fans argue over which is the better game, and while Budokai Tenkaichi 3 remains the best choice, Raging Blast 2 isn’t a bad game at all. Sure, it suffers from several flaws like any other game, but if you can’t find Budokai Tenkaichi 3, pick this one up.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle kind of makes me wish we got a beat ‘ em-up adaptation with the same visuals and charm of the former. While there exists a japan-only title named JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood, it may not please everyone.
Similar to other showcased anime games, All Star Battle is a one-on-one 3D fighting game set in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure universe. The game’s story is based on the first eight-story arcs from the manga and features popular characters like Jotaro, Dio and Avdol. Fans of the original Jojo game will find All-Star Battle an enjoyable ride.
Afro Samurai is a badass hack and slash take on the manga of the same name by Takashi Okazaki, and an honest attempt to emulate the vibes of the source material The game’s story puts you in the sandals of our Black Afro Samurai in his quest to take revenge on the man who took the life of his father. It’s a tale of revenge, humour and (*gasp*) adult material.
As Afro Samurai, you go on a killing spree slicing and dicing waves of goons left and right. You possess certain deadly moves under your belt, but what makes the game memorable is its hip-hop music and the unique vibes surrounding the atmosphere. With each swing you perform, you sync to the incredible music which plays a significant role in immersing the player. Granted, you’ll have a hard time not humming with the music.
While yes, Afro Samurai suffers from certain flaws like the lack of a lock-on mechanic, fans of the hack and slash genre will feel right at home. It is quite tragic that the sequel did not live up to fans’ expectations.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Full Boost is one of the best games based on the Gundam universe alongside Federation vs Zeon. But the fact that it was released exclusively in Japan, was disappointing. Thankfully, you can enjoy it without knowing Japanese.
The gameplay is pretty reminiscent of the previous Gundam Vs. series, with improved fluidity, visuals, and most importantly, the effects that were ripped straight from the source material. Players go through a series of arcade battles with each team having 6000 points. The team to hit 0 points loses the battle. There exist a few missions too where you can fight highly powerful bosses with better mobile suits, and that’s where the game tends to be unbalanced. However, since this game is a step above its predecessors, you won’t be having a hard time finishing off those bosses. Just make sure you obtain the best mobile suit available for you.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse is an interesting take on the Dragon Ball universe including over 11 story arcs. Both of which consist of eight-story arcs from the manga and two original takes on the series. Compared to previous instalments, Xenoverse refines some aspects from its predecessors but fails in others. The graphics are a step above, the soundtracks, and the animation as well. However, featuring only 47 playable characters may disappoint many.
The game sees you creating your own customizable characters, travelling through timelines to save galaxies from the brink of decay. The more enemies and bosses you fight, the better your character becomes. If you’re into action RPGs, and you’re a big fan of Dragon Ball Z, give this one a shot.
Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Battle is nothing like its predecessors. This one is actually a beat’em up adaptation of the manga with one-on-one fighting sequences against bosses here and there. The game’s story is surprisingly faithful to the manga as it is based on the 12 Golden Saints Story Arc. In the beginning, players go through the Sanctuary Saga that sees you controlling Seiya, battling waves of enemies using several destructive combos, and learning about the background of each character in the game. Upon progressing, you get to play as other main characters, with their own powers, and stories.
Once players finish the first saga, they can unlock other sagas, including Aiolos Saga, Aiolia Saga, Shaina Saga, Marin Saga and Ikki Saga. These sagas are in order just like the anime and the manga. Be ready to feel some crazy goosebumps when playing through those sagas if you’re familiar with the show.
Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Battle has been treated with care. The developers have excelled at emulating the manga by opting for a beat’em up approach. What’s more, the music is ripped straight from the original anime which goes on to show dimps treated the manga with love. Granted, if you love the Saint Seiya franchise, you’ll fall in love with this one.
The Fist of the North Star (Aka Hokuto no Ken) has enjoyed its fair share of video game adaptations. From mere side-scrolling beat ’em ups, and fighting games to full-blown 3D experiences, there exists one particular game that has probably flown under your radar. Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage is a Musou beat’em up game based on the Hokuto no Ken manga by writer Buronson and illustrator, Tetsuo Hara. In fact, the writer and illustrator were heavily involved in the making of Ken’s Rage, making sure that the game is faithful to the original roots.
The game is based on the Hokuto no Ken manga and follows the events of Kenshiro until his fight against Raoh. As you would expect from a Musou title, you fight waves after waves of enemies using your Hokuto and Nanto techniques. Of course, Kenshiro isn’t the only playable character here. There are 10 playable characters to choose from, with their own techniques and powers.
While being similar to other Warriors games, it feels incredibly satisfying to bash and smash your enemies until they explode to pieces. The developers’ attempt to incorporate the same effects seen in the original show is worthy of praise. Granted, any Musou fan should get their hands on this one when they can.
Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting is the best video game adaptation of the series to date, and the tragic truth? it’s stuck in Japan. Thankfully, you can play it without knowing Japanese, but there’s another issue. The game is not newcomer friendly at all. So if you haven’t watched the anime or the manga, you’ll have difficulties understanding what’s happening.
Unlike previous instalments, The Fighting is a full-drawn cel-shaded game with fully coloured cutscenes drawn in the Hajime no Ippo style. Matches are incredibly immersive thanks to the smooth controls. Players fight another boxer in the ring, and the first to lose all of their health loses. There’s a stamina bar that depletes each time you throw a punch, but it regenerates instantly. Spamming the punch button can lead the character to lose breath, therefore making him vulnerable to destructive blows.
Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit is what Raging Blast is to Budokai Tenkaichi, except Burst Limit is an attempt to improve on the Budokai formula. Graphics-wise Burst Limit is much more polished than its predecessors. What’s more, the game features over 21 playable characters compared to 11 characters on Budokai 3.
Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit features an enjoyable strong combat system that is both simple and deep. The difficulty is okay, but later opponents will definitely put your skills to the test. Granted, if you’re a fan of Dragon Ball Z, Burst Limit should definitely please you. Thanks to a large number of characters to choose from, an immersive story mode, and the awesome special attacks with all their effects, Burst Limit is one you should try anytime soon.
Just your average gamer who enjoys hunting hidden gems and underrated games - but is still open to any game in the industry if you ask him. His love for Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is like a truck and whenever he meets a new friend, he can't help himself but recommend it to him.