The best anime games for PC are as wildly varied as the Japanese film, television, and manga from which they are inspired. Whether you fancy being trapped in a school with a sadistic remote-controlled bear, defending yourself from gargantuan humanoid monsters, or joining a book club with a dark side, there are plenty of anime games for PC to choose from in 2023.
We’ve got everything from the biggest anime games based on Japan’s hottest export shows, from the finest JRPG games to MMOs influenced by its signature style. Dragon Ball, Attack on Titan, and Naruto are all present and correct, plus a few other gems you may not have heard of before. If you’re a fan of anime, you might consider these entries some of the best PC games available on the platform. Let’s go.
The best anime games on PC for 2023 are:
Genshin Impact is a free-to-play RPG like almost nothing else we’ve seen. It’s got polish, a solid main story, a gorgeous and activity-packed open world, a relatively unobtrusive paywall, and it’s an anime game. It can be considered one of the best open-world games available due to its regular updates that constantly expand the world of Teyvat, introducing new regions to explore and characters to meet.
Its combat system hides a surprising amount of depth, relying upon the elemental synergy between your party members and helped along by equipment that can boost their base stats even further. There are camps of enemies to clear out for chests, puzzles to solve using environmental abilities, and resources you can use to craft and cook. Unlike Breath of the Wild, you can explore the gorgeous world of Teyvat with up to three other friends, too, thanks to cross-play and co-op support. If you fancy something similar on mobile, get started in Eversoul with Pocket Tactics’ Eversoul tier list.
Final Fantasy XIV
If you’re looking to strike out into the world astride a Chocobo in one of the most polished and consistently evolving MMOs of all time, look no further than Final Fantasy XIV. The original Final Fantasy XIV was a disappointment, to say the least, but since the remake – A Realm Reborn – launched in 2013, the game has been praised extensively for its endearing story, visual appeal, and innovative approach to class leveling. Instead of needing to make alts to experience the various classes in the game, Final Fantasy XIV allows you to switch your weapon at level 10 and start levelling a different class, allowing you to inhabit whatever role you feel like while still playing as the same adorable character you’ve grown attached to.
Regular updates, as well as larger expansions like Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, have kept fans entertained for years. The game has a lot more to offer than the standard MMO levelling experience, from in-game wedding ceremonies where you can pledge your undying love to a fellow gamer, to Nier: Automata themed content that does a fantastic job of bringing the haunting atmosphere of Square Enix’s mechanical RPG to Final Fantasy XIV.
Battle Chef Brigade
Battle Chef Brigade is gorgeously realised cooking game that combines 2D brawler combat against various monsters and a puzzler-based cook off. Essentially, you’ll need to hunt and kill your ingredients before taking them back to the kitchen to whip up a tasty feast. This anime fantasy adventure pits you against other contestants, where you’ll ascend through a high stakes tournament, capturing and preparing your ingredients in front of a panel of judges.
As well as a story mode, Battle Chef Brigade has local multiplayer and various daily challenges including free to play and survival mode, so you can experiment and extend your recipe repertoire. Battle Chef Brigade pairs light RPG progression, an extensive range of monsters and maps, a charming story and beautiful art design to create an anime game to test your cooking chops.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
We’ve all sat there helplessly as we watch Making a Murderer or The People vs. OJ Simpson, yelling at our screens as we hunger to see justice done. As defendants and plaintiffs alike perspire in the dock, we can only watch on as a hotshot lawyer finds the tiny scrap of crucial evidence mere mortals would miss. Evidence that can mean the difference between liberty and a lifetime in the slammer.
Now we have an anime game that lets us be that star of the courtroom in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy. As our Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy impressions contends, there’s nothing quite like scouring every inch of the case to gather evidence and testing that hard-earned knowledge in a trial, a coliseum of eyes all around you. The joyous melodrama of rookie attorney Phoenix’s big court showdowns plays out like a fighting game, where your incisive arguments and cries of ‘Take that!’ and ‘Hold it!’ strike your opponent into stunned silence.
Persona 5 Royal
As far as anime games go, Persona 5 Royal is one of the best RPG games and the shining star of the series as a whole. By day, you are a disgraced high school student that recently transferred to Shujin Academy in Tokyo. By night, you are a Phantom Thief, fighting against the corruption that’s taken hold of the city by journeying into the Metaverse (no, not that one). This supernatural realm reveals the twisted desires of others, and the only way to inflict change is by battling through dungeon-like Palaces to steal the manifestation of their corrupted heart, removing the source of that desire and inducing reform. Along the way, you gain access to powerful personas that aid you and your thieves’ den in your journey.
Persona 5 Royal is an enhanced version of the original Persona 5, which introduces new characters and a whole new semester that’s available to unlock. It’s also got a range of visual and platform-specific changes that extend its quality of life and makes it feel as at home on PC as it does on console.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
Taking place long before the era of Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles stars Phoenix’s forefather, Ryunosuke Naruhodo, who sets sail to 19th century England from Japan, and is tasked with uncovering the truth behind a series of mysterious happenings.
On his travels, he meets legendary detective Herlock Sholmes – though he’s based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous protagonist, Sholmes is not quite as shrewd; fortunately, Ryunosuke is there to help him sift through the facts. With all the wit and eccentricity of the original Ace Attorney games, Chronicles is a must-play for visual novel fans and budding detectives.
Dragon Quest XI
In Dragon Quest XI, you play as a young man who discovers that he is the reincarnation of a legendary hero and sets off on a journey to solve the mysteries of his past. For both anime and videogames this is pretty standard fare, but this narrative acts as the bedrock for Dragon Quest XI’s tense turn-based battles and innumerable side quests.
Dragon Quest XI has retained some amazing talent throughout the years, such as beloved manga and anime artist Akira Toriyama, who is known for the Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball series. Toriyama has designed the characters since Dragon Quest’s first release back in 1986, his bright and colourful designs imbuing the magical world of these anime games with personality and character for over two decades now. They’re exceptionally gorgeous games, which is attested by some very high Dragon Quest XI review scores.
Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom
We looked jealously on as our console cousins enjoyed the whimsical delights of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch but, now, all is forgiven. The sequel might be without the original Ni no Kuni’s Studio Ghibli, but the faster Ni no Kuni II gameplay ensures that Level-5 have finally brought one of the best anime games to PC.
This time you don the finery of deposed child king Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum. The devilish rodent that is Otto Mausinger is running the show in the idyllic society of Ding Dong Dell now and you’re going to need a number of ways to take back your Ni no Kuni II kingdom.
Besides overwhelming your foes in large scale Ni no Kuni II RTS battles, the best way to do this is start a new one. This is where Evermore comes in, your new civilisation that you can build from the ground up by recruiting specialists from across this beautiful anime world. And, Higgledies are the cutest little critters in any anime game, don’t @ us.
Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2
We could not put together an anime list without mentioning Dragon Ball. Xenoverse 2 is one of the best anime games for PC, and a fantastic addition to the famous series. If you are looking for an ambitious MMO-lite title with an authentic, fan-service-filled story that slots nicely into the DBZ canon, look no further than this stellar anime game.
Xenoverse 2 sees you flying around expansive landscapes and taking on quests with other players with a view to building your power. Series favourites pluck you out of the sky to engage in frenetic arena brawls, forcing you to experiment with a wide range of special abilities.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Not only one of the best anime games, but also one of the finest fighting games ever made, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a love letter to the characters of everyone’s favourite show. Its fantastic graphical style makes every punch, kick, and spirit ball look like it was taken straight from the anime, resulting in the most authentic-looking Dragon Ball game to date.
The game features a huge roster of characters, which we run down in our Dragon Ball FighterZ character guide. No matter if Piccolo, Goku, or Buu is your favourite, everyone is accounted for here. And with easy to understand controls, there is nothing stopping you from getting involved.
Attack on Titan
The attractive art style of Attack on Titan sits nicely alongside the best anime games for PC. Fans of the manga and the TV show will feel right at home here as they boost and swing around cities, forests, and the game’s titular Titans.
The premise, of course, is decidedly less appealing, at first. Developers Omega Force thrust you into the shoes of Eren as he and his companions scrap legions of massive, but mindless, naked humanoid giants with a penchant for devouring human flesh – Titans, in other words. The story in this anime game fits well with the established canon as you get to slashing some Titan necks.
Tales of Symphonia
Originally a GameCube title, this anime game graced the PC with its charming presence in 2016. Tales of Symphonia is set in the world of Sylvarant, hanging in the balance amidst an overwhelming evil and steadily depleting mana. But legend has it that a Chosen One (in other words, you) will one day rise and bring their homeland back from the brink.
This fifth instalment is not only the strongest in the Tales series, but one of the best anime games on PC. Symphonia’s gameplay is centred on a classic real-time battle system, allowing you to experiment with many and various techniques, spells, and strategies. This is a tale that you will remember long after the end credits.
Doki Doki Literature Club PLUS!
There is little more wholesome than a book club. Hundreds of thousands of words – and the odd knock-off DVD – infinitely expand our horizons, transporting young and old to all sorts of new worlds. The Doki Doki Literature Club!, on the other hand, “is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed.”
Don’t be fooled by the cute exterior of Team Salvato’s band of bookworms as this visual novel has a number of distressingly dark layers hidden beneath. When Doki Doki Literature Club! hit Steam in September 2017, it quickly became a surprise cult hit with over two million downloads, recognised as one of the best anime games for PC thanks to its arresting, emotive narrative – one that’s best not spoiled. The “Plus!” version expands the original with a helping of new content. If you have a free few hours and a hardy disposition, make sure you give this anime game a go.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Danganronpa is a high-school murder mystery like no other. The ill-fated students of Hope’s Peak Academy are subject to the whims of Monokuma, a bizarre little bear intent on pitting the students against each other. In a bid to earn their freedom, Monokuma challenges the students to successfully get away with murdering a fellow classmate.
At times, Danganronpa is a more traditional visual novel, as protagonist Makoto Naegi converses with his classmates for information. However, once a student is found murdered, the tone shifts to compete with some of the best horror games. The disturbingly cheerful Monokuma doles out horrific executions to anyone found guilty of the murder. In one execution, a pitching machine launches a thousand baseballs at a prone student, while another is forced to ride a motorcycle inside a spherical cage until the centrifugal force turns him to butter. It’s both visceral but inherently ridiculous, vacillating wildly between comedy and horror to create an unsettling atmosphere that frequently veers into the psychedelic. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is the first instalment in the series, and it’s widely regarded as the best.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst
Naruto Shippuden is the ultimate manga superhero fantasy, with books, TV, and anime games galore. That said, you’ll have a hard time fully grasping the story of Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst if you don’t have wide knowledge of the canon. But, if you take the time to dive into this sprawling anime series – or just like punching things as an incredibly cool ninja – you’ll find one of the best anime games for PC.
This Bandai Namco fighting game is similar in structure to its predecessor, Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, so you can expect to scrap your way through a 12-hour story that explores classic Naruto themes such as friendship and brotherhood. In an interesting spin on the wider narrative, ‘Ultimate Decision’ moments are forks in the road that allow you to either follow or diverge from events lifted from the canon.
Either side of fighting you can engage in some JRPG-lite objectives like taking on side-quests, shopping, and item collecting. Undoubtedly the most complete Naruto game, this is an anime game that is not to be missed.
And there you have it, the best anime games on PC. There’s plenty in this list to keep you occupied, but it’d be remiss of us not to give you even more games to bulk out your pile of shame. There’s also plenty of crossover between this list and our rundown of the best robot games on PC, so head there for some more picks. That should leave you with plenty to be getting on with – check back in with us when you’re all done a few lifetimes from now.