Top 10 video games that can easily become anime

The World Ends With You

Honestly. You know, despite how horrible or loose video game adaptations tend to be… Within hundreds of video games, there are those certain gems that are pretty much playable anime. They would have no problem making the transition from one medium to the other. And then, of course, there are those games which actually have better stories than what you would discover in a lot of anime…

(Numbers hold no importance, although #1 is the most wanted one. Also, happy 4th of July!)

It's Wonderful World

10. The World Ends With You

Otherwise known as Subarashiki Kono Sekai: It’s a Wonderful World in Japan. Being a pretty stylish RPG developed by Square Enix, it takes place in the real life city of Shibuya with a not-so-real life story. There are two parallel “dimensions” in Shibuya, the Real Ground (the normal Shibuya) and the Under Ground (the same Shibuya, only with a twist…). You take on the role of Neku Sakuraba, an anti-social Japanese boy that likes to isolate himself from other people (hence the symbolic headphones in his character design!), as a “Player” playing in a “game” run by the Shinigami/Reapers in the UG. This game is essentially played by dead people (Neku is dead, as well as everyone else in the game) in a competition to see who deserves a second chance at life, fighting against the Noise (yes, the “Noise”). The catch? An entry fee, something that you hold dear. The catch for Neku? The rules requiring him to partner up with someone in order to get his memories back (memories being the entry fee, partnering up being a fucked up concept for him).

Normal people can’t see the Players and the Noise, of course, aside from certain areas.

The game is linear as with most Japanese RPGs, however, the story is filled to the brim with plot twists and character development. In other words, the shit is good. The story, setting, and characters all seem like something that could very well be in an anime. The combat system, equipment (which generally consists of real-life apparel that are powered-up by “trends”), and setting (which is very accurate to the real-life Shibuya) are things that don’t have any of that RPG-weirdness tacked onto them, keeping them from being properly adapted into an anime. Basically, these are all the qualities that this game is praised for, and can very well contribute to a good anime if a studio were to pick this up and adapt it.

Wait, don’t forget the music! Another reason why this game is so widely praised. An anime version of this game would have one of the best god damned OSTs ever. Since this is one of my favorite DS games, jizzing of the pants will be a given.

Also, see: Sh15uya for a similarly-styled Japanese drama that should similarly recieve the same anime treatment.

Tales of Hearts

9. Tales of Hearts

I know what you’re thinking. “Tales of the Abyss anime had terrible pacing and Tales of Symphonia OVA takes liberties with the story itself and completely skips the exploration!”

Well, the problems with both of the above-mentioned anime is that… the games they come from makes use of those World Maps you find in a lot of Japanese RPGs. You know, the ones where your avatar character turns into a giant and goes from town-to-town in less than 30 seconds? That place where you grind levels like a whore? Yeah, that place.

From what I’ve seen so far (English patch demo ftw), Tales of Hearts is pretty different from all the previous Tales of games I’ve played. Instead of a World Map, you actually transverse fields in actual-size to get from one city/town to the next.

And like every other Tales of game, the story and characters are obviously inspired by anime! It could easily become an anime without all the pacing problems caused by backtracking on the World Map like in every other JRPG game.

You could probably place “Tales of Graces” in its place too, since it ditches the World Map entirely in favor of full exploration.

Disgaea New Anime

8. Makai Senki Disgaea

Yes, I realize that Disgaea already has an anime. Albeit a terrible one.

Disgaea certainly deserves a second chance at becoming an anime. The events that happen in the game, in sequence, can easily be translated into an anime that parodies the RPG genre of the video game medium and anime tropes in general. It’s a fun game, with a lot of humor that pokes fun at itself, and has a story that’s actually quite heartwarming.

(Some other Nippon Ichi games deserve a shout-out too!)

Gyakuten Saiban

7.  Ace Attorney

RECOMMENDED! Already explained, in a previous post.

An Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright anime would blow Detective Conan out of the water. :3


6. Zero

Otherwise known as Fatal Frame and Project Zero in other parts of the world.

A horror anime that’s actually scary? Yeah, I’ll take it. I’m a big J-Horror fan, so I wouldn’t mind a live-action adaptation, either.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni got pretty creepy at times, but it wasn’t really scary at all. I’d be worried about how much scariness we’d lose by transitioning it from 3D survival-horror game to an anime, but as long as they keep the eerie atmosphere and have a reasonable animation budget (do it Shigurui-style!), everything would probably be alright.

The story isn’t something you would typically find in an anime, given the scarcity of suspenseful horror anime. The background and the unsettling air of mystery each installment delivers would make for an intriguing narrative in an anime, though. Not for an anime that airs on television, weekly, but more for an anime movie, released in theaters.

Devil Survivor

5. Megami Ibunroku Devil Survivor

Otherwise known as Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor in other parts of the world (ah, the confusing naming convention in localized MegaTen games…)

In the same vein as #10, Devil Survivor‘s setting, story, and characters can easily be translated into anime form. And seeing how well they did with producing the Persona ~Trinity Soul~ anime (spin-off to Persona 3), I honestly don’t see how a Devil Survivor anime produced by the same studio could be bad.

That being said, there are quite of number of MegaTen games that I’d like to see as anime. These are excellent games that can become excellent anime.

Heavy Rain

4. Heavy Rain

I know, I know. Strange choice. It’s American-made, uses overly-realistic 3D graphics, and takes place in Philladelphia.

Graphics aside, the story is fit for an anime much like Baccano!

Four “main characters” with their stories tying together as the story unfolds? American setting? Bring it on.

Despite the major plot twist bothering the hell out of me with all the plot holes it induces, Heavy Rain would make a pretty good action/thriller/mystery anime. It being an interactive movie also kinda’ helps.

I don’t mind it making the move to 2D at all, as long as it uses the right art style.

Silent Hill

3. Silent Hill

For the same reasons as #6, only less-Japanese and with a little more body horrors. Also, this applies mostly to the first three games.

Character hallucinations and nightmarish manifestations of a person’s psyche only make for a better horror anime. Pyramid Head + Madhouse Studios = win.


2. Okami

You honestly deserve a slap if you’ve never heard of or played Okami before.

Stylized artwork with a delicious blend of Japanese folklore and mythology – that’s what Okami is. One of the most memorable action/adventure games to debut on the PS2. With the right animation studio (*cough*Studio Ghibli*cough*) and good production values, an anime based off of Okami would be a masterpiece. Simple as that.


1. Shenmue

If you’ve lived between the years 1998-2010 and still haven’t owned a Sega Dreamcast and Shenmue, you seriously haven’t lived.

Shenmue was part of some of my fondest memories of Sega, with its interactive world and engaging storyline, stretching from the original game to its sequel, Shenmue II. The production values were huge, and the money used to make the game surpasses the sales of every Dreamcast console combined (the amount of Dreamcast units sold was 10.6 million). No wonder it was a masterpiece! I could honestly say Shenmue was one of the best and revolutionary games I’ve ever played. Unfortunately, due to some bad marketing decisions by Sega, the story remains yet unfinished and Shenmue III is just a shred of hope in this fan’s heart (and many others).

It would be nice if we get something to wrap up the storyline. Like an anime, manga, novel… ANYTHING. I wouldn’t mind an anime of Shenmue. Its story was one of its most defining points and would be a welcome addition to any anime. I don’t mind if they remake the two Shenmue games into anime form (the story would be pretty easy to adapt into an anime, largely being a story-driven game), I just want some conclusion to the series! Maybe an anime could help garner even more demand for Shenmue III? I don’t know, but it’s worth a try!

Love live QTE and darts at the “YOU Game Arcade”! =D

8 thoughts on “Top 10 video games that can easily become anime”

  1. I actually thought the Persona series would be a good addition to the list, even though they did have that Trinity adaptation a while back. That one wasn’t anywhere close to being awesome as the Ps2 games were so a proper adaptation would have been great.

    Shin Megami Tensei would be freakin awesome though, especially if they keep that same art style

  2. ^ I actually thought they would have made a good addition to the list too, but there were so many games I could think about in a top 10, I only had room to give honorable mentions to related games.

    Direct adaptations of the Persona series would be awesome, and the atmosphere would be perfect for an animated series (doesn’t help that they tease with the anime cutscenes in Persona 4!). I would totally like to see that.

    And yeah, it would be nice to see the main Shin Megami Tensei games animated as well.

  3. Not to mention the excellent character designs of the Persona series. They can spin it so many ways. Horror/Supernatural, romance, slice-of-life….the possibilities are endless haha

  4. @Bass: lol The different gameplay elements of Persona are asking for an anime.
    Wonder if they’ll keep the soundtrack for any of the games if they ever adapt them. The music is pretty damn awesome.

  5. dude detective conan will lose to Ace Attorney? in ur dreams bro detective conan is more better.
    my reason why:
    1. he a kid and make it easy for him to find the criminal because people won’t suspect him.
    2. this is rare but best part is when he and the FBI vs the black organization, and the black org don’t no that shinichi (conan) is alive so that makes it for the people around him don’t get involve so he has to lie and say his dead or if he solve a case he tell the police not say he was in the case.
    3. the case are all different and some are easy to solve if listen closely to the clues.
    4. if your into detective and you watch this at night the case will make you fill the chill like someone watching you (sometime happen the me).

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