Whether it’s games inspired by anime or games directly adapted from great anime shows, the PS4 has more than its fair share of excellent anime titles to check out. Fighting games, open-world RPGs, Soulslikes, and more can all be found on Sony’s console, so no matter what kind of genre you’re into, you’ll find something anime-related to love on your PS4. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the 15 best PS4 anime games you can play right now!
We’re starting with a game that isn’t directly adapted from an anime, but that has aesthetics clearly inspired by the clean visuals and bold colours of Japanese animated shows anyway. Genshin Impact is an open-world gacha RPG that gives you a massive land to get lost in, plenty of environmental puzzles to complete, and a deep elemental combat system based around combination attacks featuring different characters. The story is also well worth experiencing, and what’s more, it’s all free!
2. Code Vein
Again, Code Vein isn’t directly inspired by any particular anime, but it’s easy to see how it could be. The aesthetics are incredibly anime-influenced, and the overall storyline feels like it could slot easily into any sci-fi fantasy anime from the last twenty years. This is a Soulslike with some pretty satisfying combat and a wide variety of builds to try out, and while it doesn’t reach the same lofty heights as the series by which it’s clearly inspired, Code Vein is still well worth your time if you like action games.
The Dragon Ball series finally gets the fighting game it deserves. This 2D fighter perfectly translates the visuals of Dragon Ball into a video game; there are few ways to more effectively feel like you’re actually a Super Saiyan laying into your enemies with Kamehameha projectiles. The roster on offer here is also impressively extensive, spanning multiple beloved Dragon Ball characters and replicating their fighting styles with perfect verisimilitude. The online scene is also bustling for this one.
Arc System Works are legends in the fighting game space, and you only have to play Guilty Gear Strive for a few seconds to realise why. The animation is absolutely gorgeous in this anime 2D fighter; the camera whizzes and pans around characters in an incredibly satisfying way, and each character is animated with huge charisma and personality, so you know exactly who they are and what they’re about at a glance. If you’re a fighting game aficionado, you need to play this game right now.
Level-5 and Studio Ghibli’s collaboration resulted in an absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful RPG, with incredible music by Joe Hisaishi and a surprisingly in-depth storyline. The combat might not be particularly special, but the world and characters on offer here should easily sustain you through its gargantuan running time, and there’s a huge amount of side content to check out as well. Don’t bother with the sequel, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, though, as it’s a compromised mess.
If you’ve never played Persona 5, then you should definitely start here as opposed to the vanilla version. Persona 5 Royal packs in a huge amount of content; it’s not uncommon for playtimes to clock in at around 100+ hours, and that’s assuming you’re a fast reader. This RPG-life sim hybrid boasts stylish presentation, an unmissable soundtrack, and emotional pathos for days, and since the whole aesthetic is strongly anime-inspired, we’re including it on this list (but also because you should play it!).
Akira Toriyama’s artwork lends itself perfectly to yet another excellent Dragon Quest game. This series has become famous for never reinventing the wheel; while Final Fantasy constantly innovates and moves further away from its roots, Dragon Quest moves in the opposite direction, which is to say that it doesn’t move at all. This is a steadfastly traditional JRPG, complete with turn-based battles, a town-overworld gameplay loop, and a relatively predictable story (that you’ll love anyway).
Again, Tales of Arise isn’t directly based on any anime, but it does belong to a long-running and well-respected JRPG series. Tales of Arise reboots the franchise to some degree, doing away with many of the trappings of recent controversial instalments like Tales of Xillia and Tales of Berseria in favour of something more streamlined. This is still very much a Tales game, though, so you’ll still be engaging in action RPG combat and exploring a massive anime-inspired world.
The PlayStation Vita was an unfairly overlooked console, so it’s a good thing some of its games are getting the chance to shine again via remasters. Gravity Rush Remastered is one such game, telling the story of Kat as she makes her way through a somewhat elliptical narrative by leaping around buildings and dispatching shadowy enemies. The sequel, Gravity Rush 2, is also well worth a look, once again combining anime aesthetics with visuals inspired by French artist Sylvain Chomet.
If you love visual novels like the Ace Attorney series, you’ll be right at home with the heavily anime-inspired antics of the Danganronpa series. You are a high school student (which is already a strong start for an anime game, right?), and you must solve the mystery of why your fellow students are being murdered one by one. There are also a couple of sequels and side games worth checking out in the Danganronpa franchise, so if you get along well with this one, there’s more of the franchise to check out.
Another great anime visual novel-style game, Zero Escape packages in two different titles for one electrifying experience. Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors kicked the series off with its tightly-written intrigue, and Virtue’s Last Reward was a worthy sequel. Both games are remastered here, brought out of the relatively humdrum confines of their DS origins and given a visual makeover. The third game in the series, Zero Time Dilemma, is also available on PS4, so make sure to give it a look if you like these two.
Anime visual novels and adventure games are seemingly commonplace on the PlayStation Store, but it takes something special to get them right. This game, from the author of the aforementioned Nonary Games series, does just that, presenting a gritty, murky anime murder mystery to untangle. The fanservice here is rampant, though; you’ll need to get through a lot of gratuitous cheesecake in order to find the solid mystery adventure game at the core of AI: The Somnium Files. It’s worth it, though.
Consider this a blanket recommendation for any Disgaea games you can get your hands on. Disgaea 6 Complete, much like its predecessors, offers an absolutely embarrassing amount of content, with hundreds of potential hours of strategic combat and character min-maxing to enjoy. If you love games like Fire Emblem and you want something that’s strongly inspired by classic comic anime, then Disgaea 6 will more than scratch that itch; it’ll likely make sure you never itch in that particular spot again.
Speaking of great anime strategy games…Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is an anime tactical RPG with a difference. It’s set in a thinly-veiled analogue of mid-20th-century Europe, and you must battle your way through what are essentially anime Nazis in order to liberate your country, and your continent, from their oppressive and menacing empire. Everything is obfuscated enough to make this one enjoyable, though, so don’t worry; you won’t be playing through any harrowing repeats of history here.
We remember back in the playground, when kids would have heated debates over whether Digimon or Pokemon were better. These debates were, of course, ridiculous, as there’s room for both in the gaming landscape. Hacker’s Memory proves that to be the case by being a really rather good RPG; it offers over 300 Digimon to collect and use in your team, as well as a choice of partner Digimon to team up with and a range of environments to explore. If you love turn-based JRPG battling, you should check this out.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of great PS4 anime games to try out, and we didn’t even mention most of the licensed fare out there. The sad fact is that many PS4 anime games don’t quite make the cut; it’s usually the ones based on original IPs and inspired by anime that manage to transcend and become worthwhile gaming experiences. With offerings from franchises like One Piece and Seven Deadly Sins on the way, too, the anime gaming landscape is only going to get better. What’s your favourite PS4 anime game? Which ones did we miss on this list?