After spending an obscene amount of time binge-watching a whole season of your favorite anime, chances are you’ll want to play out that show’s epic adventures yourself. And doing so usually becomes a reality when you do it in video game form. Many of the most popular anime properties known far and wide have their own quality video game adaptations. You can get embroiled in some fast-paced arena fighters, go adventuring & vanquish foes in a turn-based/action RPG, and even destroy hundreds of foes within a Musou beat ‘em up. Besides the anime shows you watch, there are games out there that adopt the Japanese medium’s signature art style to attract anime fans. If you own a Nintendo Switch and want to scratch that anime game itch, then the 23 following games are worth their weight in gold (Golden Frieza FTW!).
The One Piece: Pirate Warriors series has steadily been expanding since its grand debut. And with the latest entry, it ends up offering the best installment of anime-based Musour brawls to date. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 features an original storyline of its own, plus it lets fans play out the biggest moments from the anime/manga’s memorable story arcs. The number of playable characters you can take into battle is massive, which means you have the opportunity to clear out battlefields full of rival pirates with all their amazing signature abilities.
Anime arena fighters are a dime a dozen these days. But if you’re looking for the best-looking and mechanically sound games within the popular sub-genre, then look no further than the Ultimate Ninja Storm series. This compilation brings together the first three entries in the series. If you’re in the mood for some wonderfully animated ninja-themed struggles and jaw-dropping boss encounters, then make sure you give this Naruto fighting game collection a shot.
Once you’ve made your way through the story modes for the first three Ultimate Ninja Storm games, it’s only right that you see it through to its full completion with the fourth and final game in the series. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto lets you play out the final events of the Naruto Shippuden story arc and even enjoy the early missions tied to Naruto’s son Boruto. And as always, the team-based ninja combat is as fun as ever and refined to near perfection.
This is THE greatest Dragon Ball fighting game (and Dragon Ball game period!) of all time. Arc System Works are master architects when it comes to putting together a beautifully animated and mechanically solid anime fighter. With the iconic roster of Dragon Ball FighterZ mashed up with those two factors, you just can’t go wrong with it. The 3v3 team battles that take place in this game are the definition of hype as beams are thrown, air combos are dished out, and cinematic finishers come into play.
Creating your own superpowered Dragon Ball warrior ended up being a smashing success in the first Dragon Ball Xenoverse. The sequel magnifies that addictive game concept by adding new character class transformations, a larger hub world to explore, an ever-expanding roster to use, more special moves to attach to your custom character, etc. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is jam-packed with things to do and people to see/battle/team up with. You’re going to love saving the universe as an all-powerful Time Patroller in this one.
If you’ve played Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, then you know just how disappointing that game ended up being. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a fully realized version of that action RPG that adapts the entirety of the anime’s sagas in playable form. You can dish out defeat to baddies such as Frieza, Cell, Majin Buu, and even some movie villains such as Goku and the Z Fighters squad. This game’s incredible battles play out just like the ones from the show – Ki blasts, energy beams, and flashy martial arts techniques come into play. And simply flying through the game’s massive open world is a simple joy you have to experience for yourself.
Sure, you already have the Pokémon RPGs to enjoy on your Switch. But if you’re open to enjoying a game that features a different pair of creatures that fight by your side, then this Digimon game compilation is worth a look. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition lets you explore the real world and digital world as you try to get to the bottom of a crazy caper. And in order to solve that cyber mystery, you’ll have to rely on the abilities of your chosen Digimon and engage in turn-based skirmishes against other users, wild monsters, and even internet viruses.
This two-pack is an essential pickup for anime fighting game aficionados. The Guilty Gear 20th Anniversary Edition comes with the very first game in the franchise, plus it offers one of the best entries in the series in the form of Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R. So not only do you get to see how the game played at the very start, you’ll get to enjoy one of the most polished and tournament ready entries in the long-running series.
You’d be forgiven for thinking this Fairy Tail game was nothing more than a cheap cash-in title that offers nothing but fan service. But you’d be wrong. This JRPG offers a clever twist on combat that emphasizes proper spacing and elemental weaknesses. The massive amount of guild warriors you can bring into battle and upgrade adds a lot to the game’s replay factor. Plus getting to experience the anime’s story arcs while building up the main guild at the heart of the game over time makes Fairy Tail far better than one would initially expect.
PLUS ULTRA! That phrase should instantly concoct images of the superhero contingent that fights for good from the My Hero Academia anime. My Hero One’s Justice 2 improves upon the superpowered hero vs. villain clashes of the first game by allowing character assists to pull off their own super moves and giving everyone even more impactful Plus Ultra attacks. The roster gets expanded to include even more beloved characters from the show, plus you can participate in the insane clashes that transpired during the Shie Hassaikai Arc.
Noted Japanese animation film studio Studio Ghibli entered into a working agreement with game development studio Level-5 for this grand JRPG project. The fruits of their labor ended up being one of the most heartwarming and heartbreaking games Bandai Namco has ever published, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. You’ll take on the role of a young boy named Oliver, who taps into his magical prowess and the assistance of his friends in an effort to revive his beloved mother. Prepare yourself for a whimsical adventure that features fun combat scenarios, gorgeous graphics, and a deeply affecting storyline.
Once you’ve completed the first Ni no Kuni, you’ll find yourself fully immersed in the series as a whole. With that newfound fandom in tow, you’ll need to jump into the equally amazing sequel. Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom features two important political personalities from two different worlds. They eventually find the will to team up with their allies and unite warring nations during a crusade against a great evil. The action RPG combat, fort-building mechanics, and magical Higgledie present some welcome changes to Ni no Kuni’s strong gameplay formula.
This former PS3 exclusive has made its way onto a wealth of other consoles in an improved form. Of course, you can enjoy its clever mix of third-person active combat and strategic unit placing on your Nintendo Switch as well. Valkyria Chronicles will pull you in just based on its striking art style. But it’ll keep you enthralled thanks to the constant progression that comes with upgrading your beloved troops. Taking down tanks, pulling off clean headshots, and managing to complete a stage with all your units intact are some of the many joys you’ll derive from this Sega classic.
The second and third entries in the Valkyria Chronicles franchise are pretty hard to come by since they’re PlayStation Portable exclusives. Thankfully, you can get back into the series proper by checking out the fourth game. The same aspects you adored about the very first game are kept intact here. As far as new stuff goes, Valkyria Chronicles 4 features the explosive new Grenadier class and battle adjustments that give your soldiers a fighting chance when they’re on the verge of death. And the visuals are even more gorgeous than their predecessors.
PlatinumGames have a knack for producing high-octane action games that never seem to slow down. Astral Chain is one of their original IPs and it’s a must-play for Switch owners everywhere. In it, you take on the role of a special police task force member who has the power to control otherworldly creatures called Legions. You’ll have to master controlling your onscreen officer and their chosen Legion simultaneously during frenetic skirmishes and major boss encounters. The music is top-notch, the art design is splendid, and the many ways in which you can work in unison with your Legions are truly gratifying.
You know the deal if you’ve been in for the long haul ever since Pokémon made its debut – you set out into a vast world full of varied biomes, capture different pocket monsters, train them in battle, and attempt to become the greatest Pokémon trainer of all time. A host of new trainable creatures come into play here as you freely explore the Wild Area, participate in the Gym Challenge, hop into tough raid encounters, and complete a bevy of Poké Jobs. Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield offers more of what fans loved before.
There’s a bunch of visual novel-based games out on the market that is worth seeking out. One of the finer ones that’s available on the Switch is Steins;Gate Elite, which is a much-improved remake of the 2009 original. The striking anime visuals and sequences from the original game get a boost in this portable classic. As you make your way through this mind-bending story, you’ll be treated to a memorable cast of characters that get wrapped up in a world of science-fiction madness. Your choices matter here and put you on different branching paths, which means there’s a lot of replay value here.
If you’ve been to Japan and seen those conveyor belt restaurants in the real world, then the mechanics within the zany puzzler should instantly be familiar to you. Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido is pretty much you versus a bunch of offline/online opponents in a bid to match as many sushi plates on a conveyor belt as humanly possible. You’ll quickly find yourself entering a zen-like state as you make big combo matches to throw your rivals off balance.
If the River City beat ‘em ups still hit you right in the nostalgia whenever it’s mentioned, then this modern-day spin-off will instantly become your new fave. River City Girls switches things up by letting you and a buddy play as the boyfriends of the series’ longtime protagonists. After they’re kidnapped, Misako and Kyoko step up to the plate to dish out their own form of street justice and rescue them. That means you’ll be
Vincent, who’s the lucky/unlucky dude at the center of this trippy game, finds himself in quite the predicament. Instead of making the decision to get married to his girlfriend Katherine, Vincent steps out on his relationship with a sultry lady named Catherine. His acts of infidelity force him into a nightmare realm where he’s forced to navigate intense block-pushing/pulling puzzles and stay ahead of vicious night terrors. Catherine: Full Body features all of the DLC from the original game and retains all the major decision-making & wild puzzle playthroughs fans celebrated during its original launch.
Persona 5 Strikers is pretty much a sequel to the highly celebrated JRPG. This time around, Joker and the rest of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts find themselves in a new alternate realm called “Jails.” Taking down the Shadows that harm humans within those Jails means you’ll get to hop into some wild Musou battles with the aid of multiple Persona demons and a wealth of slick special moves. If you want an action RPG that will keep you enthralled during a long flight, look no further than Persona 5 Strikers.
At one point in time, Arc System Works moved away from the Guilty Gear series for a bit to produce an equally great spiritual successor. That game was BlazBlue, which ended up getting a series of system and roster updates that further improved its formula. The final installment in the series is the best one of course. BlazBlue Central Fiction Special Edition is a flashy fighter with a roster full of characters that come with their own gimmicks tied to a single button. And once you find your main, you’ll come to adore just how chaotic fights unfold in this game.
This anime fighter offers a battle royale full of beloved characters from Arc System Works’ many IPs and even a popular anime. BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle’s roster brings together the very best from BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, RWBY, Arcana Heart, Senran Kagura, and Akatsuki Blitzkampf. The 2v2 clashes you’ll be treated to in this 2D fighting game gem explode off the screen and are just as hyperactive as you’d expect.