Anime RPGs offer a captivating fusion of immersive storytelling, vibrant visuals, and strategic gameplay mechanics. These games draw inspiration from the expansive world of anime, infusing its distinct art style and narrative themes to craft compelling gaming experiences. You can expect engaging narratives filled with intricate character development, expansive missions, and compelling plot twists within their realms. The art styles encompass a range from exquisitely detailed hand-drawn cartoons to visually stunning cel-shaded or 3D graphics, all contributing to the wonderful anime aesthetic.
Within this genre, there is no dearth of notable titles that have emerged over the years. The best anime RPGs have withstood the test of time through sequels, remakes, and spin-offs, captivating gamers with their unique gameplay mechanics, imaginative landscapes, and unforgettable characters.
15. Scarlet Nexus (2021)
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Bandai Namco Entertainment has produced a plethora of anime RPG gems and Scarlet Nexus adds to their ever-expanding world of anime RPGs with the futuristic world of New Himuka which serves as the setting for this sci-fi-themed game. Here, players must protect themselves from brain-hungry aliens known as Others. These mysterious animals present a serious threat to human life and appearence-wise they’ll remind of you of the clickers from The Last of Us.
Upon stepping into the shoes of the protagonist, you can choose between two characters: Yuito Sumeragi or Kasane Randall. Each character’s story takes dramatically different paths, offering players a unique and enthralling perspective on the world of Scarlet Nexus. The choices made throughout the game shape the narrative and determine the ultimate fate of the characters and the world they inhabit.
Combat in Scarlet Nexus is a highlight, as players engage in fast-paced battles similar to the ones in shonen animes, using an array of weapons specific to each protagonist. While their weaponry may differ, both Yuito and Kasane possess the extraordinary ability of psychokinesis, enabling them to manipulate objects with the power of their minds. This unique mechanic adds an interesting element to combat encounters, allowing you to unleash devastating attacks and unleash your strategic prowess to overcome formidable foes.
14. Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans (2009)
Platform: Nintendo DS
This ten-year-old masterpiece, which was created solely for the Nintendo DS, is still regarded as the best Dragon Ball RPG. It delivers a distinctive and captivating journey that perfectly captures the spirit of the adored anime series while offering players an astounding degree of customizability and strategic nuance.
The ability to completely personalize your squad of six fighters in Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans is one of the game’s most impressive features. If you are a fan of the show, you already know Dragon Ball Z’s cast of diverse and complex characters, each with their own special skills and levels of strength. In this game, you have the option of selecting your favorite fighters to build a strong lineup for your side. You can also create your own team, thanks to this degree of personalization. And that guarantees a unique and immersive experience from the outset.
13. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (2020)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, the latest addition to the constantly evolving family of Dragon Ball anime RPGs, stands as a beloved gem for fans of the iconic Dragon Ball Z series. From the moment you step into the shoes of Goku, soaring on the Nimbus cloud, nostalgia floods your senses, transporting you back to those cherished moments of eagerly awaiting the next episode. This free-roaming action RPG invites players to immerse themselves in the vibrant and action-packed world of Dragon Ball Z, assuming the roles of Goku and other beloved characters from the universe.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot vastly differs from Attack of the Saiyans as the game transports players on a voyage through some of the most iconic arcs in DBZ history. The game accurately recreates these famous narratives, allowing players to relive the moments that defined the series. From the epic Saiyan Saga through the decisive fights of the Frieza Saga, the heated encounters of the Cell Saga, and the cataclysmic showdowns of the Buu Saga, you get to experience them all in this anime RPG.
12. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (2022)
Platform: Nintendo Switch
The latest installment in the beloved Xenoblade series transports players to the world of Aionios. Set amidst the ongoing conflict between the nations of Keves and Agnus, the game follows the journey of protagonists Noah and Mio, alongside their loyal companions Eunie, Taion, Lanz, and Sena. Together, they must unite their factions to face an unimaginable threat that threatens to engulf the land.
As an anime RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 weaves a wonderfully well-written narrative that captures the essence of the genre. While the game references previous entries in the Xenoblade series, it stands on its own, allowing both long-time fans and newcomers to appreciate its captivating story without feeling lost.
11. Genshin Impact (2020)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android
Genshin Impact is a worldwide phenomenon at this point. Although it follows a gacha monetization model, the game has evolved into an open-world game that lets you embark on an epic anime RPG journey like no other. Drawing inspiration from the vibrant and immersive world of anime, this free-to-play game introduces players to a beautifully crafted universe filled with intrigue, magic, and the quest for a reunion.
Even though Genshin Impact includes an in-game store and a freemium approach, it delivers an exceptional amount of content and depth that matches the best anime RPGs. The vast world of Teyvat is continually changing due to frequent upgrades and expansions that bring in new locales, missions, and characters. Genshin Impact is a game that never ceases to amaze and enthrall thanks to this continual support, which guarantees you have a variety of content to explore and enjoy.
10. Final Fantasy 14 (2013)
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 (2021), Microsoft Windows, OS X
Although technically an MMORPG, this game’s story arcs, developed over years, puts single-player narratives to shame. Created and released by Square Enix, Final Fantasy 14 whisks players away to the stunning world of Hydaelyn, where those who dare to set out on an epic quest will find it. Here, you are treated to anime-inspired graphics, beautifully rendered sceneries, and painstakingly sculpted characters. The game offers a wide range of races, each with its own distinct charm and style, from the delicate features of the Miqo’te to the towering grandeur of the Roegadyn. This variety lets you design unique avatars that give life to your anime alter egos.
Final Fantasy 14 offers a wide variety of classes and jobs to pick from, each with its own unique playstyle and skills, as in every RPG worth its salt. There is a class to fit every playstyle and inclination, whether you like to wield a gigantic greatsword as a Warrior, conjure potent spells as a Black Mage, or heal your allies as a White Mage.
9. Tales of Arise (2021)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Microsoft Windows
The Tales series has captivated fans since its debut in 1996. With a captivating blend of immersive storytelling, vibrant characters, and an anime-inspired visual style, it has created a truly enchanting experience. This combination weaves together an intricate tapestry of thrilling adventures.
For those of you interested in the Tales series, deciding which game to play can be a challenge. Tales of Arise is the latest in the franchise of 16 titles and thanks to its modern control and gameplay refinements, it is the best choice to get into the series.
One notable aspect of Tales of Arise is its familiar anime-style storytelling and JRPG gameplay, which in tandem, makes you feel at home. The game successfully strikes a balance between an intriguing narrative and thrilling combat. The snappy combat system lets you unleash powerful attack chains and combos, resulting in a fast-paced and satisfying gameplay experience.
8. Pokémon Legends: Arceus (2022)
Platform: Nintendo Switch
The best anime RPGs feature a fast-changing world, engrossing players with compelling stories, eye-catching graphics, and exhilarating gameplay. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a game that celebrates the spirit of the genre, while bringing a novel spin to the Pokémon series.
Pokémon Legends Arceus takes you to Hisui, a large and uninhabited area that was modeled after feudal Japan. You take on the role of a Pokémon trainer charged with compiling the area’s first-ever Pokédex. The unique visual design of the game, which is reminiscent of traditional Japanese animation and art, gives the Pokémon universe an extra touch of charm and authenticity. You get to truly immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Hisui through the beautiful landscapes, tranquil villages, and old ruins, which inspire a sense of wonder and adventure.
7. Kingdom Hearts 3 (2019)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
Fans who have followed the franchise since its beginning have a special place in their hearts for Kingdom Hearts 3, which is another masterpiece from the gifted team at Square Enix. The debut of Kingdom Hearts 3 was a long-awaited dream come true for devoted fans after a long wait of 14 years since the release of Kingdom Hearts 2, and it did not disappoint.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is the twelfth game in the Kingdom Hearts series and the third chapter in the main plot, referred to as The Dark Seeker Saga. It continues Sora, Donald, and Goofy’s epic journey. Together, they set out on an exhilarating journey through a number of Disney-themed locales, such as the enchanted Kingdom of Corona from ‘Tangled’, the chilly Kingdom of Arendelle from ‘Frozen’, and the swashbuckling Caribbean from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.
6. Persona 4 Golden (2008)
Platforms: PlayStation 2, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Persona 4 Golden is not only cited by many as one of the best Persona games, but it also undoubtedly makes the list of the best anime RPGs ever, courtesy to its excellent plot and endearing characters.
Characters that are likable and sympathetic are the foundation of any memorable anime, and Persona 4 Golden has a ton of both. You are introduced to a group of high school kids who are exploring a strange world that is concealed on the other side of the TV screen in the game’s rural town of Inaba. You set off on an exciting trip with your new companions in the small Japanese town, developing strong ties and learning the truth about a string of unexplained killings afflicting the community.
5. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (2011)
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Ni no Kuni, developed by Level 5 Studios has a unique place in the hearts of RPG fans thanks to its alluring combination of an engrossing plot, stunning visuals, and an unmistakable anime look. The fact that Studio Ghibli, a renowned animation studio famed for its brilliant storytelling and gorgeous animation, collaborated on Ni no Kuni makes it distinct from other RPGs.
The story at the center of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch feels like it could have come from a Studio Ghibli film. You are treated to a visual feast that embraces the peculiar charm for which Studio Ghibli is recognized. The game’s magnificent hand-drawn art style, brilliant colors, and attention to detail create a world that feels alive and magical.
4. Nier: Automata (2017)
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
One game that stands out among the best anime RPGs available as a true masterpiece that expertly combines nuanced story with tight gameplay is Nier: Automata, a follow-up to the cult favorite Nier and a subseries of the famed Drakengard series.
Nier: Automata differs from its parent franchise in that it changes the genre and thematically. In contrast to the core Drakengard series, which immerses players in a sinister fantasy setting, Nier: Automata boldly ventures into science fiction, offering a frightening and interesting post-apocalyptic setting. The game takes place in a far-off future where mankind has been reduced to almost nothing and androids—created by humans—now serve as the last line of defense against alien machine colonists who have invaded Earth thousands of years in the future.
3. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy (2014)
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Android, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox One
People might remember Ace Attorney from the famous meme – “You are not a clown. You are the entire circus.” However, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is more than just a meme. It allows you to step into the shoes of a courtroom star. You assume the role of rookie attorney Phoenix Wright as you navigate through captivating courtroom dramas. The objective is to gather evidence by meticulously scouring every inch of the case and then presenting that evidence in a trial setting.
The game’s core mechanics revolve around engaging in verbal battles with opponents, where you must use your acquired knowledge and incisive arguments to refute their opponents’ claims. With dramatic courtroom showdowns reminiscent of a fighting game, players can experience the joyous melodrama of Phoenix’s trials.
2. Dragon Quest 11 (2017)
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
Dragon Quest, an RPG developed by Square Enix, has gathered a devoted fanbase over the years. The game’s character designs, expertly crafted by renowned manga artist Akira Toriyama, have captivated fans who appreciate the seamless blend of storytelling and aesthetics reminiscent of Dragon Ball.
The latest installment, Dragon Quest 11, has been praised for its grand scale and unwavering commitment to traditional gameplay mechanics. All these aspects are beautifully highlighted through its gentle cel shaded art style. The game transports players to a captivating world called Erdrea with a multitude of diverse locations, each boasting its own unique visual aesthetic. The cherry on top is the vibrant cast of characters the game offers.
Dragon Quest 11 pays tribute to the beloved series, embracing its rich heritage and presents a visually captivating and nostalgically irresistible experience for fans of traditional JRPGs.
1. Persona 5: Royal (2020)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft Windows
Persona 5 Royal not only lives up to its predecessor but surpasses it in many aspects, solidifying its place as a shining star in the list of the best anime RPGs. It revolves around a Japanese high school student who is wrongly accused of a crime resulting in a tarnished reputation. Along his journey, he forms unlikely friendships with fellow delinquents and discovers their shared ability to force corrupt adults to confess their wrongdoings by confronting their monstrous alter egos.
Persona 5 Royal retains the core gameplay elements from its predecessor where players spend half their time engaging in everyday activities such as studying for exams and working part time jobs while dedicating the other half to battling supernatural creatures and recruiting additional allies.
With the inclusion of two new characters and an entire third semester with its unique storyline, the Royal version feels like a substantial DLC addition to an already captivating game. The game’s story resonates deeply as it captures the essence of being a misunderstood teenager and depicts a heartfelt journey that you can relate to on so many levels.