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Best Anime Videogames on the PC

Updated on May 25, 2015

For a long time now, the PC platform has been devoid of anime-based videogames. The Japanese videogame industry leans more towards the console side of things, so Japanese game developers who produce anime-based videogames tend to forego porting many of their products to the PC, even if there are a lot of anime fans who are primarily PC gamers. Even Bandai Namco chose to publish games that they felt were more suited to PC gamers tastes, such as racing games, FPSes and action games.

Things have changed over the past couple of years, though. We’re not exactly sure what opened the floodgates, but right around the time when they tried their hand at porting formerly console-exclusive fighting games to the PC, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst kind of snuck in. Since then, we’ve seen a number of ports of anime-based games as well as indie offerings that can hang with their AAA brethren. If you’re in a hankering for some anime-based mayhem from behind your keyboard, here are the best anime videogames on the PC right now:

Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae

Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae is a 3D hack and slash game that puts you in control of a brunette high school girl wielding a magical samurai, who has to cut a bloody swathe through a bunch of monster fodder and the occasional boss monster, until she comes face to face with her blonde counterpart.

The easiest way to describe Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae is that it’s Devil May Cry’s Bloody Palace Mode if you replace Dante and Vergil with schoolgirls, and changed the gritty, hellish setting with a fictionalized version of sunny urban Tokyo.

Why You Need to Play It

  • It’s one of those tight hack and slash games that is easy to learn but difficult to master, with a learning curve that hand-holds casual players while rewarding hardcore players who want to explore all the nook and cranny of the combat system.
  • Really gorgeous visuals for an indie title. There’s not a lot of fanservice involved (if at all), but the characters do look beautiful and are complete waifu material.
  • It’s cheap and well-optimized. It’s a $10 game that will run well on a $50 videocard. What’s not to like?

Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds

A 2D arcade style beat ‘em up that features chibi women fighting chibi monsters and gangsters. The game uses 2D sprites that are intentionally designed to look low-fi, yet has enough detail and gloss to look visually appealing even if you’re not into pixel-based artwork.

Why You Need to Play It

  • If you cut your teeth on old 2D brawlers like Double Dragon, Final Fight, or Sengoku Warriors and are looking for a modern game that has the same charm and nostalgic feel, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds is right up your alley.
  • The visuals are cute and colorful, and it’s honestly good to look at. The pixilated look is present but you can tell that the art style is for flavor and not used as a short cut like many faux retro 2D games from indie devs these days. It’s not AAA, but it’s definitely not something that you can claim to be something that your grandma can program on her spare time.
  • The game has light RPG elements – your characters can level up and gain new powers or increase stats. Add the fact that there are a number of different characters to choose from and you have a game with a lot of replayability.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is a turn-based 3D JRPG that satirizes the videogame console war by turning it into an actual war and popular gaming consoles into human characters. It was originally a console exclusive, but when it made its way to Steam, it brought a bunch of nifty stuff such as increased visual fidelity and of course, Steam’s bells and whistles like trading cards (which you can collect or sell on the market for a few cents) and “cheevs.”

Why You Need to Play It

  • If you feel like most popular JRPGs are too stuck up and take themselves too seriously, you need to give Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 a try. It’s lighthearted, funny, full of trope-defying dialogue but it still plays as tight and fun as a modern AAA JRPG.
  • It may be a port of the console title, but the PC port takes advantage of available hardware capabilities so if you got a proper gaming rig, you will end up with visuals that put its console counterparts to shame.

Magical Battle Festa

Magical Battle Festa is a 3D Arena Fighter that focuses on TEOS, an agency of holy mages that hold a tournament in order to find the best magic users in the world, the winner of which will take on a world-ending threat that’s waiting in the wings.

Why You Need to Play It

  • Unlike many 3D Arena Fighters, Magical Battle Festa has different classes and the differences actually mean something. It’s not just pick a character and then run around and shoot stuff from afar – if you want to succeed in the game, you have to learn the class that you pick.
  • It’s a gorgeous looking game that has bright, colorful visuals and excellent use of cel shading in order to mimic an anime’s look.
  • If you’re a big fan of the Maho Shoujo genre, this game will give you your fix.

Dragonball Xenoverse

The first Dragon Ball game on the PC, Dragonball Xenoverse is a 3D fighting game that’s framed by a light RPG that requires you to design your own character – a time patroller – that will be injected in key moments in the Dragon Ball story.

Why You Need to Play It

  • The multiplayer might not be in a good place right now, but as a single player game – it’s one of the best Dragonball game experiences right now, PC or console.
  • Dragon Ball isn’t exactly the anime that you go to if you’re looking for a deep, engrossing plot with lots of twists and turns, but given the source material, Xenoverse’s story is decent and will give you an alternative take on the canon story.
  • The PC version is a port of the console versions, but it takes advantage of the extra hardware capability so you’re getting the best version of the game – 60 fps instead of 30, additional lighting effects, and 4K resolution support. It’s also well-optimized and will run fullspeed on even mid-range gaming PCs.

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst or Revolution

I’m lumping these two games together because there’s not a lot of changes between the two aside from extra characters and gameplay tweaks, but basically it’s a 3D fighting game based on the massively popular Naruto franchise, featuring over a hundred characters between them. As for choosing which one to get, if you like an actual story mode with gigantic boss battles, get Full Burst. If you want more playable characters and a more competitive-oriented combat mechanics, choose Revolution.

Why You Need to Play It

  • The closest you’ll ever get to a simulation of the action-packed fights in the anime and manga: from earth-rupturing taijutsus to screen-filling attacks and even the ability to change into Tailed Beasts.
  • Tons of replayability. Dozens of characters to unlock, new accessories to equip and buy, and in-game cutscenes that could be mistaken for actual anime episodes.

One More Reason to Play These Games

The floodgates seem to have been opened, and Japanese devs and publishers are now aware that there are a lot of PC gamers who are willing to throw money at them if given a chance to do so. Playing these games encourages the devs to bring more games and sends them a clear message that can be understood by any company regardless of language barriers, purely because it uses the one language they universally understand: profit.

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