Valkyria Chronicles has a gorgeous hand-drawn anime art style, that makes it look likes it’s almost ripped straight from a storybook. It tells a desperate tale of Squad 7 defending its homeland of Gallia from the militaristic Empire. Despite its bright and beautiful look, it tells a surprisingly dark story that would be right at home in a World War II style anime.
Ni No Kuni is about as close a video game can get to being an anime. The talented team at Level-5 partnered with the legendary animators at Studio Ghibli for this project, with the studio helping with visuals and anime cutscenes. Ni No Kuni really does feel like a Ghibli movie, giving you a fantastical world to explore, packed with interesting creatures and heartfelt storytelling.
Conception II has a premise that you’d only see in an anime. Basically your hero is a student at a high school that also doubles as a training center for demon hunters. Because of his high amount of ether the protagonist can create Star Children by “class-mating” with his classmates to fight the demons. Besides its ridiculous concept, Conception II has some surprisingly good Persona-esque elements, that have you combing dungeons and spending time with your party members outside of battle.
Pokemon is of course one of the most successful video game franchises of all time, that also spawned one of the most successful anime series of all time. Something about capturing its many creatures and battling it out with other trainers is so appealing. The journey in Pokemon is always unforgettable, whether you’re experiencing your own or watching Ash Ketchum’s.
Tales games specifically employ anime tropes and storytelling, on top of each entry having incredibly anime-like visual designs. These lengthy JRPGs have characters that can usually fall into one anime stereotype or another, but more often than not end up becoming well rounded and diverse. Fast pace battle systems with flashy moves, only help the series feel even more anime like.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions screams anime at every glance. The art style is bright and vibrant, and the game itself even has a story that revolves around the Japanese entertainment industry. Anime cutscenes of musical performances play at critical points in the story as well. This game that started out as Fire Emblem x Shin Megami Tense is gloriously Japanese, and it revels in it at every moment.
Like Tokyo Mirage Sessions, the Persona series is about as anime as you can get with a video game. The games each focus on a group of teenagers, in two different respects. On one side you have the day to day life sections, that see your protagonist living high school life, working, and learning more about their friends personalities and pasts. The other side has you exploring dungeons and using the power of Persona to battle shadows and save the world. Complex, multi-layered characters are definitely the strength of the series though.
This strategy-RPG series has more in common with anime than visual design. Each game tells a sweeping tale of massive wars, conspiracies and world ending schemes. As the series has progressed, one of the most appealing factors of each game has become the relationships you can build between characters. Awakening and Fates allows you to build their relationships and watch scenes between them, sometimes even resulting in a child and eventual new unit.