When it comes to Japan, there are few things in entertainment which can top anime and video games. The country has embraced hi-tech culture, and studios are smart enough to see the crossover potential between the two industries. As such, dozens of video game-inspired anime projects have been pushed out in the past few decades.
Here at ComicBook.com, we’re listing six of the best anime series or films based on video games. It’s time to put down your controllers, pick up your remotes, and get ready to set your streaming queues for the weekend.
Pokemon is blasting off to the top of our list because no one can underestimate the power of the adorable Pocket Monsters. With more than 900 episodes, the Pokemon anime has aired in more than 200 countries and houses several different series like Best Wishes, XY, and more. The show has been instrumental in bringing anime to audiences all over the world, and its childlike humor has brought up entirely new generations of anime lovers.
Tales of Symphonia: The Animation
As it is with many video game-inspired anime series, Tales of Symphonia: The Animation is based off a popular role-playing game first released in 2003. In 2007, a trilogy of original video animations (OVAs) were released which gave further insight into the game’s world and litany of characters. The story follows a boy named Lloyd Irving and his comrades as they the hero’s childhood friend Colette Brunel save their world, Sylvarant. However, the group becomes conflicted when they learn their home threatens a parallel world to theirs known as Tethe’alla.
Street Fighters II: The Animation
Based off the hugely popular Capcom franchise, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie is a full-length entry of thrilling action and martial artistry. The 1995 film follows familiar characters like Ryu, Sagat, and Chun-Li as attempt to destroy a crime syndicate known as Shadowlaw. The animated feature was a hit with fans who clamored over its canonical action, and it spurred Capcom to pursue future anime projects like Street Fighter II V.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Created in 2005 by Square Enix, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was released to the delight of gamers everywhere. The movie, which is based off the developer’s hit role-playing series, acted as an epilogue of sorts to the original Final Fantasy VII video game. Praised for its smooth graphics and complex action sequences, Final Fantasy: Advent Children brought fan-favorite characters like Cloud, Tifa, and even Aerith back to the screen in another jam-packed story for fans to enjoy. Well, that is until Sephiroth and his zealots make themselves know.
Persona 4: The Animation
In the past few years, there have been few video game-inspired anime series who’ve managed to usurp Persona’s popularity. The popular role-playing franchise has been adapted into several successful anime projects, but none have been as widely praised as Persona 4: The Animation. The anime follows protagonist Yu Narukami after he moves to the quiet town of Inaba. However, the city’s charm shatters after the boy learns of a series of murders which recently took place. It’s not long after that Yu and his new friends discover there’s a mysterious, distorted world hidden in a TV channel - and the group soon discover the ‘Midnight Channel’ is related to the violent crimes.
Released in 2011, Steins;Gate is at the top of our site’s list of video game-based anime series because of its precise canon and stunning visuals. The series, which is based off a science-fiction visual novel, tells the time traveling story the mad scientist Rintaro Okabe. The awkward genius and his equally insane friends manage to discover a method of time travel, but their discovery doesn’t bring everything they had hoped for. The group finds themselves hunted by a secret organization called STERN who coveted the technology for themselves, and Rintaro realizes the only way to stop them is to prevent himself from ever discovering the secret to time travel in the first place.