Like close cousins, anime and video games share a bond that often has the two going over to each other’s house. Sometimes anime becomes video games and sometimes video games become anime. This recent decade (2010-2019) seeing quite the number of adaptations trying their best to translate the latter column into a successful series and avoid the pratfalls of other adaptations.
Some succeeding and some others failing, fans on IMDb were given a plethora of video game anime to choose from. The fans online eventually sorting and picking out their favorites from the decade. Giving each of the following a high enough score to make them the 10 best anime based on a video game of the decade, ranked according to IMDb.
Writer’s Note: To not make this list completely about one series or another, only the highest-rated anime of each video game series was considered. In the case of a tie, both will be mentioned.
10 Rage of Bahamut: Genesis (2014) and Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul (2017) 7.4
Cygames has tried to slowly make their way into the anime market. Earning adaptations of several of their mobile games that were highly praised among their fans and other anime viewers. The best of which were both of the entries that follow their Rage of Bahamut franchise.
Each is a swashbuckling tale of adventure that is high on fantasy action as the protagonists navigate their way through the world of Rise of Bahamut. Often having to balance the shaky relationship between the humans, demons, and angels that populate their world and constantly threaten war against each other.
9 Tale of Zesteria: Dawn of the Shepard (2015) 7.5
A rather surprising entry on this list, Tales of Zesteria: Dawn of the Shepard is a television special in Japan and preorder special in the US and Europe for the Tales of Zesteria game. Based on a game mired in controversy for getting rid of one of it’s most advertised heroines early on in the story, it surprisingly did better than the later anime that attempted to fix the story.
Serving as an adaptation of the first few hours of the game, Tales of Zesteria: Dawn of the Shepard chronicles the initial meeting between the Sorey and Mikeleo and the aforementioned heroine, Alisha, which sets in motion the plot of the game. Then again, maybe it is so highly rated because the heroine doesn’t abruptly leave in the middle of the story?
8 Inazuma Eleven Ares (2018) 7.5
Inazuma Eleven Ares is based on the immensely popular Inazuma Eleven video game series in Japan. Developed by Level-5, Inazuma Eleven can be best described as a soccer RPG where the player is tasked with creating a soccer team to try and take them to the championship.
This anime serves as a sort of sequel to the first game. Taking place in a world where the aliens never attacked (yeah, the game gets that crazy), it tells the story of its three protagonists before they all become part of Team Japan in the sequel series.
Art by つな.
7 Hakuoki (2010) 7.5
Based on a visual novel by the same name, Hakuoki is an Otome (read: aimed at girls) visual novel that has heroine Chizuru Yukimura surrounded by the hunky men of the Japanese Shinsengumi. Which is based on a real Japanese organization that acted as a special police force during Japan’s Bakumatsu period.
Chizuru is brought in as an aide to the Shinsengumi. The daughter of the man who invented the Water of Life elixir that turns anyone who drinks it into blood-lusting berserkers called Furies, they use her to try and get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding that strange liquid. All the while, she slowly gets closer to each member of the group.
6 Monster Hunter Stories: Ride On (2016) 7.5
Based on the Monster Hunter series, Monster Hunter Stories: Ride On is a completely different take on the usual formula. Instead of being about hunting monsters, the main character is trying to become one of the best Riders in their world.
Riders are individuals that form a bond with certain friendly monsters. The best of which can use them as a mount for travel and combat. Though they have to keep their relationship a secret because monster hunters consider monster riding a taboo. Meanwhile, the Dark Blight infects the nearby forest and the main characters must then find a way to stop the aggressive monsters it creates without killing them.
5 Persona 4: The Animation (2011-2012) 7.6
Persona 4 is the video game darling that put the Persona series on the map. Taking place in a quiet country town called Inaba, the main protagonist and his friends are caught up in a murder mystery that soon involves the Midnight Channel. Which is a popular urban legend that states that you can see your soulmate at midnight on a particular television channel while it is raining.
Soon figuring out it that the people appearing at anything but, they are dragged into a parallel world where people’s insecurities take the form of harmful specters. The group soon encountering the power of Persona, which lets them fight the specters in the dungeons they create. All the while the main character has to work his social magic to form and maintain relationships with those around him.
4 Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works – Television Series (2014-2015) 8.0
Fate/Stay Night hardly needs any introductions. This entry in the series precedes the incredibly popular Fate/Zero and works as an adaptation of the Unlimited Blade Works route of the original visual novel. The second adaptation following the movie that premiered in 2010 and was animated by Studio Deen who did the Fate route in 2006.
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works features the hero on hero battles the series is known for. All the while being animated by the talented people at UFOTable in wonderful detail to make every scene wows its audience.
3 Little Busters! Refrain (2013) and Little Buster! EX (2014) 8.3
It may have taken a while, but Little Busters eventually did get an anime adaptation in the early parts of the decade. The fans were happy to finally enjoy one of their favorite visual novels in anime form. All three series earning high praise by them, but the latter two winning out against the first by a margin of 1.3.
Then again, the later series are when the plot thickens. It straying away from school life shenanigans and focusing on the deeper plot concerning all the members of the Little Busters. A deeper plot that concerns the life or death of all of its members.
2 Show by Rock!! (2015) 8.5
The dark horse on this list. Show by Rock!! proves that Japan will always have an infatuation with animal girls in their anime.
Based on the musical mobile game, Cyan is sucked into her favorite rhythm game and transported to the world of Midi City where music is king. Those able to perform incredible music also able to control Midi city. Soon she joins a band with Chuchu, Retoree, and Moa to take over the city and defeat the evil that threatens to turn it into a dark place. That is if Cyan can get over her self-esteem issues.
1 Steins;Gate (2011) 8.8
A part science adventure and a part cautionary tale; Steins;Gate is based on a visual novel by the same name that has the main character explore different timelines. Based on the first in a series of visual novels that feature the Future Gadget Lab members and their exploration of time travel.
Steins;Gate is funny, dramatic, and suspenseful, but among them all, it is a series that focuses on its characters and their troubles in interesting and exciting ways. Tugging on the heartstrings of its audience to deliver a sci-fi tale full of superscience adventure and lovely character moments.
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