Video games have often been popularized into other forms of media, including anime. Over the years, we have had many of these video games often being turned into anime series. Some of them would continue the story from the games while others would showcase a new story in that same universe.
Most of these shows cater to the same audience from the games as well as bringing in new fans that are unfamiliar with the original source material. We have ranked some of the most popular anime series based on video games, according to IMDb.
10 BLAZBLUE: ALTER MEMORY (6.4)
The BlazBlue video game franchise started out in 2008 with its first title Calamity Trigger. These series of fighting games have grown over the years with their main series of games, including spin-offs and updated versions of their titles. The games also branched off into novels, manga, and an anime series called BlazBlue: Alter Memory.
The series takes place within the continuity of the first two video game titles Calamity Trigger and Continuum Shift. Following the exploits of criminal Ragna the Bloodedge, the show features the main character with a target on his back as a bounty has been sent for his body and the powerful Azure Grimoire on his arm.
9 MEGA MAN (6.6)
The Mega Man games have grown into a beloved franchise since the early days of Nintendo. There have been many variations of the character in different games over the years, but we also had the 90s anime series.
Following the early games, it followed Mega Man working with his creator Doctor Light in their fight against his arch-nemesis Doctor Wily and his minions from taking over the world. It was considered a classic for many people who grew up in the 90s. Capcom produced the series, even though the design for the US release differed from the Japanese version. The show lasted for two seasons, ultimately getting canceled due to budget restrictions.
8 .HACK//SIGN (6.9)
The .hack franchise from Bandai Namco heavily followed an alternate history where new technological advancements have led to the growth of a widely popular MMO game called The World. The entire franchise revolved around the players who have played the game and the mysterious circumstances that happened within the virtual world.
The anime series called .hack//SIGN had a similar story about a magic-user named Tsukasa who gets stuck in the game and suffers from amnesia as he tries to unravel what happened to him and how he can get out of the game. As confusing as the series was for its unreliable narration and character-driven storylines, the reception for the anime series has been positive.
7 DANGARONPA: THE ANIMATION (6.9)
The Dangaronpa video game franchise used a unique style in the form of a visual novel to navigate through the game. It was praised for its characters and tone with its three main titles. The series followed a group of high school students who get forced into playing a killing game. The video games spun off into the anime series Dangaronpa: The Animation, which followed the events that occurred in the video game title Trigger Happy Havoc.
Following the same premise, the characters are also high school students who get threatened by an anthropomorphic bear named Monokuma who gives them one option to leave their school, by murdering another student without getting caught. The series ran for 13 episodes before being brought back in the sequel series Dangaronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak High School to conclude the main story.
6 GOD EATER (7.0)
The action RPG series God Eater depicts a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is in a war against a race of mysterious monsters called the Aragami. A company called Fenrir ends up creating weapons called the God Arc that can kill these beings, but only a select few can wield them. These individuals are called God Eaters and are bestowed by those who qualify as one, either the rich or the less fortunate who live in the Outer Ghetto.
Released in 2015, the anime series, which is based on the games, followed the story of these soldiers from Fenrir who fight against the Aragami. The show introduces a new type of God Arc that can switch between cannon and sword forms, similar to the games.
5 DEVIL MAY CRY: THE ANIMATED SERIES (7.1)
The popular franchise Devil May Cry capitalized on their success with this anime series that launched in 2007. Taking place between the first two games, the show was also based off the manga and novel adaptations. Just like the games, it follows Dante running his devil-hunting business as he struggles to keep it afloat due to financial debt. The series introduced new characters like Dante’s agent Morrison and Patty Lowell, an orphaned girl that Dante saves at the beginning of the series. The show also brings two prominent characters from the games, Trish and Lady.
The show ran for 12 episodes, with most of the storylines being self-contained in individual episodes. The main storyline took off in the first episode before reaching its conclusion in the last three episodes. Capcom produced the show with studio Madhouse in charge of drawing the animations.
4 STREET FIGHTER II: V (7.6)
Following the success of the Street Fighter franchise with the first two games, Capcom looked to capitalize on that with an anime film followed by an anime series. Based off of the popular franchise, Street Fighter II: V followed the adventures of Ryu and Ken, two martial artists who go on a journey to perfect their skills as fighters. In the series, we also get to meet other characters from the games, including Guile, Chun-Li, Fei Long, Sagat, Dhalsim, and M. Bison.
The series does follow closely to the games, but it does take certain liberties from the source material. The designs, back-stories, and personalities of the characters are very different from their traditional counterparts. Most of the characters appear younger than the games since the series takes place in present-day 1995. The only characters that don’t appear in the series are Dee Jay, Blanka, T. Hawk, and E. Honda.
3 GUNGRAVE (7.9)
The action shooter game Gungrave was unique for its style and animation, which was provided by Trigun creator Yasuhiro Nightow and Sakura Wars’ own Kosuke Fujishima. Both of these artist’s creative styles helped give the game a distinct feel, which translated well in the anime series. The game followed the story of Grave, who’s on a hunt for revenge against the man who killed him named Harry MacDowell.
The anime series took place before the game where we were given an origin story of Brandon Heat and how he took on the name Grave as he and MacDowell slowly rose through the ranks of the criminal group known as Millennion. The series has a different feel from the game, but it provides a backstory on the main character and the events that lead to the falling out between Heat and MacDowell as well as Heat’s resurrection into Grave.
2 POKEMON ORIGINS (8.0)
The main Pokémon anime series has coincided with many of the main titles that were released, but none of the game’s story or designs were actually used on the show exactly. The main series mostly focused on the journey of Ash Ketchum in his quest to become a Pokémon master.
In the miniseries Pokémon Origins, it is a more faithful adaptation of the games than the original series by following the story of Pokémon trainer Red from the first Pokémon games Red and Blue. Even the characters and designs of the Pokémon stay faithful to the original setting of the games. Different studios were involved with the making of the series, including Production I.G., Xebec, and OLM. The anime miniseries was split into four parts in 2013 and streamed on Nintendo’s Pokémon TV service and on YouTube.
1 PERSONA 4: THE ANIMATION (9.3)
The success of the video game Persona 4 expanded its storytelling with its 25-episode anime series. Most of the cast from the video game returned for the series, which helped retain the tone of the game during its transition into the show. Just like the game, the anime series revolved around Yu Narukami, a young teen who investigates a string of mysterious murders after moving into the town of Inaba. After gaining the ability called Persona, Yu and his friends try to solve the mystery of these murders while also saving others along the way.
The series has been considered a faithful adaptation of the video game despite some pacing issues and the animation. With the game having a silent protagonist, the series does flesh him out more with his personality. The popularity of the series caused a sequel series to be made to cater to fans of the anime rather than the game itself.
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