Dragon Ball Z Kakarot DLC 5
Image via Bandai Namco

JRPGs Based on Anime That Are Worth Checking Out

The bond between anime and JRPGs runs deep, with fans often finding themselves drawn into both worlds. It’s only natural that this synergy extends to gaming, leading to the creation of JRPGs based on popular anime series.

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Which JRPGs based on Anime are worth your time today?

We’ll spotlight several standout JRPGs that are born from beloved anime series. However. It’s crucial to note that we’re focusing exclusively on titles where the anime came first. So, while franchises like Pokémon boast exceptional anime series, they’ll sit this one out as the video game came first.

We’re gonna look at a few standout JRPGs based on an anime property. Keep in mind the idea here is to highlight the anime side of things, so the Anime will have to have come first. Sorry Pokémon, you have several great anime series, but you came into this world as a video game, so you don’t count on this specific list.

As we navigate through our selection, we’re prioritizing accessibility, focusing on JRPGs that are readily available for players to pick up and enjoy today. While titles like Sailor Moon: Another Story hold a special place in the hearts of fans, their limited availability outside of Japan poses a challenge for wider audiences. (Find a way to play it if you can, though. It would certainly make this list if it were available worldwide.)

Fairy Tale (2020: PS4, Switch, PC)

Image via Koei Tecmo

Crafted by the seasoned JRPG veterans at Gust, Fairy Tale visually mirrors the enchanting vibe of the anime series. The details of the characters and world design will be absolutely welcomed by longtime fans of the show.

The cinematic turn-based combat allows you to replicate some of the series’ iconic moves. Each character also has a unique feel, giving depth to the combat. If you’re a Gust fan or like the show, this game is a solid pick-up for your collection. The game is out of PS4, Switch and PC.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (2020: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X / S, PC)

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot ‘Plans’ Teased Alongside Goku and Vegeta DLC Trailer
Image via Bandai Namco

I went back and forth on whether I consider Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot a JRPG. I eventually decided that I did, which you may disagree with, but I mean, it’s a fine line with a subject matter like this.

One thing not up for debate? Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot delivers the full-throttle essence of the Dragon Ball Z saga in an expansive, open-world playground. The game’s attention to detail in character progression adds depth and replay value. The roster of playable characters is solid, offering epic team-up moments.

Side quests, exploring, or just flying around in the game further invites you into the strange world of Dragon Ball. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or not, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is worth checking out. You can find Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot on every modern console, including the Switch.

One Piece Odyssey (2023: PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)

One Piece Odyssey Switch Port Arrives in July
Image via Bandai Namco

Developed with a keen eye for the source material, One Piece Odyssey captures the adventurous spirit of the pirate epic. One Piece Odyssey revolves around the bonds forged between pirates, echoing the camaraderie and loyalty showcased in the anime. Players build and strengthen their pirate crew, diving deeper into the essence of what makes One Piece so compelling.

While Odyssey adopts a traditional turn-based combat system, it’s the open-world exploration that truly sets it apart as an anime-esque adventure. Roaming the seas aboard your ship and uncovering secrets evokes the thrill of setting sail with the Straw Hat Pirates. You may want to catch up on the show as the game takes place after the halfway point of the series. However, most of the game is original content. You can find the game on Steam and all modern consoles.

.hack//G.U. Last Recode (2017: Switch, PS4, PC)

Image via CyberConnect2

This is a bit of a cheat because the anime and games are technically the same project. However, the anime came first, so I’m including it here. The .hack universe is all about digital worlds and immersive storytelling. Rooted in the premise of a fictional MMORPG, this series offers a unique fusion of adventure and narrative depth.

.hack//G.U. Last Recode is a remastered collection of the PS2 era of .hack games. Seamlessly blending gameplay with anime, this collection presents players with an opportunity to delve deeper into the mysteries of “The World” alongside its animated counterpart. For fans seeking a comprehensive understanding of the .hack saga, experiencing the games alongside the anime is highly recommended.

Whether you’re revisiting the .hack universe or embarking on a new journey, .hack//G.U. Last Recode delivers an enormous value. You can pick up this collection on PS4, Steam, and Switch.

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (2015: Switch, PS4, PS Vita, PC)

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Image via Bandai Namco

The gameplay in Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth is in a league of its own. The game seamlessly blends traditional JRPG elements with Digimon’s unique monster-raising mechanics. The Digivolution system allows players to raise and evolve their Digimon partners, unlocking new forms and abilities as they progress.

This adds whole new elements to party structure and synergy that aren’t present even in other monster-collecting games like Pokemon or Shin Megami Tensei. When I tell you it’s possible to spend hours, plural, grinding out a perfect party, you’ll maybe understand what I mean. And believe me, there are plenty of your favorite Digimon to choose from.

The game isn’t available digitally on PS4 anymore, but you can still pick up the sequel Hacker’s Memory. Switch and Steam have a Complete Edition available, which includes both games in a bundle.

Whether you’re an anime aficionado or just dipping your toes in from the JRPG side of things, these games offer a great starting point. If you really want to go further, you could also check out some of the many anime-based fighters or brawlers available.

What’s your favorite game adaptation of an anime franchise?


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Author
Cory Dinkel
Cory Dinkel is a freelance writer for Siliconera since 2023. An award-winning digital journalist, he has worked for local and national news outlets for nearly a decade. His favorite genre is the JRPG and he will not be taking questions during his "There is Not a Love Triangle in Final Fantasy VII" speech.