It’s no secret that Xbox has never really had that many Anime related games compared to its rival consoles on the market. This is especially true today more so than the 360 era as I find Xbox only tend to get games based on the top Shonen Jump Anime or Manga of the time such as One Piece, My Hero Academia or Dragon Ball.
This is in no way a complaint because the games that Xbox does get are generally great! But I feel many do not consider buying the games on Xbox over other consoles because there is this lack of support for the console in Japan. This is strange to me because some of the first games I got with my Xbox 360 were Anime related with Dynasty Warriors: Gundam and Naruto: Rise of a Ninja.
Honestly these games only boosted my love, not only for these specific Anime but also Anime in general. Because of this I feel a great affinity towards these type of games on Xbox and I would like to see the console continue to get increased support from Anime or Manga titles so perhaps others can feel as I did and find their gateway into the genre opened.
I want developers to know they don’t just have to put their games on the Playstation 4 or Nintendo Switch because these consoles are arguably more popular in Japan. They should already be aware that Anime is huge worldwide and I want them to know that if they bring their games to the fans on Xbox One they won’t be disappointed. Because of my feelings towards this I wanted to share a short list of Anime related games I personally feel are great for old and new fans alike, so in no particular order let us begin!
Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom
Attack on Titan is a series that has taken the world by storm in the last few years and has also been an entry point into anime for a number of people. So it was inevitable that we would soon start getting games based on the series and who better to take the reins than the team at Koei Tecmo?
Now I’ve been a fan of the Dynasty Warriors Anime spin off games for a long time, specifically the Gundam series on the Xbox 360. However I was hesitant to try out this title at first because I really didn’t know how well the context of the show would translate to the gameplay of a typical Dynasty Warriors title.
Dynasty Warriors style games are known to have hundreds of enemies on screen at a time but here you would only have maybe 20 or so enemies’ tops. I felt this was not like the Dynasty Warriors I already knew and wondered if it was just a cash grab due to the popularity of the show. However over time I finally gave the game a shot and I was blown away by it. Koei Tecmo did an amazing job at tweaking the DW gameplay we’re familiar with just enough while still remaining faithful to both their core fans and new AOT fans.
In terms of adapting the Anime this game does so really well, the story mode is just like the first season of the Anime which, while short is bolstered by enough side missions and tasks that would not feel out of place if they were presented in the show.
Rather than following the typical DW style of having hundreds of enemies on screen at one time, the game makes sure you focus on one huge enemy and take them down via attacking their weak points. Fans of the show will know is the only real way to stop a Titan for good. Perhaps my favourite aspect of the game is the use of the ‘Vertical Maneuvering Gear’ which allows you to dart around the level at great speed while also giving you the chance for stronger attacks if you time your momentum just right.
While the game is slightly repetitive I never actually got bored of it, the maneuvering gear made me feel like I was playing Spiderman 2 again and just I was having a blast going as fast as I could while trying to take out Titans as fast as I can, it was immensely satisfying. AOT: Wings of Freedom is definitely one of my favorite recent Anime games and I would recommend it to any fan or anyone looking for a short but great time.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
The Xenoverse series of games have been a great addition to the Dragon Ball franchise at a time when the series has been given new life through the recent movies and a new TV show. Like many of us in the UK who are into Anime, Dragon Ball was my entry into the world of Japanese animation and has remained a huge part of my life ever since. The Playstation 2 era of Dragon Ball games gave us a number of enjoyable titles but I felt the Xbox 360 era was always struggling to match that same level.
The release of the first Xenoverse is what totally changed this and presented a title that gave the fans exactly what they wanted for so long. From a decent character creation mode, an interesting original story and a bunch of ‘What-If?’ scenarios we were entering a new golden age of Dragon Ball games.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 does exactly what the former did well but only adds onto a decent foundation. The scenarios were just as, if not more interesting, the character creation options were expanded upon and the gameplay was much tighter. Currently I feel this is the best Dragon Ball ‘simulator’ on the market which is now joined by Dragon Ball FighterZ for the fighting game fans and is soon to be joined by Dragon Ball: Kakarot for the RPG fans.
The new Golden age is about to hit its stride and accommodate fans of each genre but what is it that makes Xenoverse stand out in its own right? It not only focuses on aspects the fans have wanted for some time but it makes sure to learn from what worked in that past.
I say this because the Xenoverse series feels like the perfect mix of the now closed Dragon Ball Online and the Tenkaichi series from the Playstation 2 and Wii era. It is the first Dragon Ball game in which I’ve truly had a great time online, from teaming up and taking on random players across the world with our original characters, to taking on boss missions with close friends you’ve discussed the Anime with for years.
It is clear that the developers are fans of the series and want to continue to give the players as much engaging content as they can, from added events and raid missions to a steady amount of both story and character DLC which is still being released today. Xenoverse 2 is a title for the fans, by the fans and is so stuffed full of content you’ll be sinking a lot of your time into it but I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
I could not complete this list without mentioning perhaps the nicest looking Anime related game on the Xbox One. Dragon Ball FighterZ was released in 2018 and is a 2.5D 3 on 3 fighter from the team at Arc System Works who are known for their excellent work on the Guilty Gear and Blazblue franchises.
When this game was announced we were already well into Xenoverse 2 so it felt strange to be excited about another Dragon Ball title so soon, but the more I saw of this game the more nostalgia I had for the PS2 era of Dragon Ball games like the Budokai series. These were the games that along with Tekken and SoulCalibur, got me into the fighting game genre.
This game is an absolute must have for any fan of the series and the fighting game genre. The graphics are amazingly well crafted and look as though you’re playing out scenes from the show, but better! The combos use specific moves from the show and Manga rather than just generic kung fu, The special attacks are as accurate as possible and even the little things like having specific characters on your team effecting the special move you pull off all come into one to create a fantastic experience..
What I love about this game is that it doesn’t just use the strongest characters, it puts so much care and detail into every single one of the playable characters, even those considered weak by comparison to the main cast. Arc systems drew from all four Dragon Ball series and the movies to present arguably the greatest Anime fighter we’ve ever seen.
I will say the single player is not particularly outstanding however it does present an interesting original story and has some fantastic interactions between characters who otherwise may never have met. I’m happy the developers are still supporting this game with more DLC characters and I hope to see them take on some more Anime series in the future.
Overall I think this is one of the best examples of an Anime game on the Xbox One. It gives me such hope for the future of fighting games in general at a time where classic franchises are withholding huge amounts of staple characters behind season passes it’s refreshing to have a title like this come along and blow them away as well as be included in fighting game tournaments like EVO. It really feels like this was a small step in Anime games gaining more recognition in the wider gaming world.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
Naruto was a series that I got into around 11 years ago during the summer holidays of high school. I remember hearing it was the ‘new’ Dragon Ball and decided to give it a try but little did I know at the time that this would be my gateway into the wider world of Anime and that I’d marathon the series up to its then latest episode and Manga chapter.
Now today I still see it as a great series that is bogged down slightly by the amount they were able to stretch the show out with filler content, it’s a reason I struggled to want to ever rewatch it. However when the Ultimate Ninja Storm series started to come out I found myself wanting to give them a go as a way of reliving the series without the need to sit down for countless episodes and to perhaps experience it from a new perspective.
Cyberconnect2 are the team behind this series and are also known for Asuras Wrath and the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure games on the PS3 and PS4. If you’re familiar with these titles then you know they look absolutely stunning with the latter capturing the art of the Manga perfectly and the Ultimate Ninja Storm series is no different.
They are gorgeous examples of developers having attention to detail and perfectly adapting an art style from the page to the 3D world. From the colours to the backgrounds it’s all accurate to what fans are familiar with and I think this is one of the main reasons I found this to be a great form of rewatching the show.
The gameplay is simplistic and quick but that in no way means it is not enjoyable. I love the amount of characters, team options and special moves that are available to the player from the get go as well as the amount of unlockable content along the way. I feel that this game uses quick time events to its advantage in that it really feels like you’ve got to complete your Ninja art quickly and accurately or you’re done for.
The story mode this particular title is also a nice example of not overstuffing a game for the sake of it, this game only follows the last arc of the Anime and presents enough battles from both sides of the conflict without feeling like it’s overdoing it. I will say if you’re the kind of person who enjoys DLC then you also will not be disappointed in this game.
The DLC features story content from the Boruto movie and acts as a great little epilogue to the main game. The story is given just as much care as the main game and the battles are fantastic. I had not watched the movie when I played this DLC but I found that I easily understood exactly what was going on. Now that I have since seen that film I can confirm that, much like the rest of the game, it is an accurate representation of what it portrays.
The Ultimate Ninja Storm series is now over but you can still get every game on the Xbox One if you’re able to track down the Legacy collection. I am so impressed with Cyberconnect2 and the care they put into this series that I almost wish they would come back and continue to do it for the Boruto series and perhaps in time they will. If you’re like me and you are a fan of Naruto but don’t have the time to reread or rewatch it all I would argue this is now the best way to get your fill, seriously give the games a go!
Blue Dragon feels like a slight cheat as it was a game before it was an Anime, however it’s a great little turn based RPG from early on in the Xbox 360’s life that is available on Xbox One via backwards compatibility. When thinking of this list Blue Dragon helped me realize that there are barely any Anime related 360 games that you can actually play via backwards compatibility at this point and I hope that changes in time.
This game stood out to me quite early on in my time with the Xbox 360. I have never been a huge fan of turn based RPGs but as soon as I saw a trailer for this game I found it reminded me of Dragon Ball Z. This is because the character designs are by the author and artist of that series, Akira Toriyama, who is also known for his work on the Dragon Quest series and Chrono Trigger.
While this may be a silly reason to want to try out a game to some I’m glad that it gave me that push to buy it. It is such a charming game with a lovely Toriyama-esque story and simple but fun gameplay. I found myself enthralled by the environments and loving every minute of it.
I’m ashamed to say I never beat this game because other games took me away from it at the time but now that I have it via backwards compatibility I won’t have to worry about having to switch discs and can get on with it!
I would say this game was a slight gateway for me into the RPG genre and certainly was a big factor in me trying out Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger due to their similarities. I would say if you’re a fan of Toriyama or the other RPGs I mentioned you should really give this a go.
So there you have it, 5 fantastic Anime related games you may have missed on the Xbox One. Writing this list has really got me thinking about how Xbox is lacking in Anime games department and only gets a slither of what other consoles have been getting. I do hope that this changes in the future, but perhaps if we continue to play the ones that are available then Japan will take note. Let me know what you think!