Anime truly is for everyone. There's an anime for music fans, horror fans, action fans, even fans of the mundanity of everyday life. In life and anime, one of the ways to break up this mundanity is by playing games, and aren't we lucky, there are anime about games as well. Covering common real life games as well as imaginary games, anime about games cover quite an expansive range. Games and anime both offer a quick reprieve from the stress of life, so their combination is a match made in Heaven.
Unless you're used to playing RISK, Monopoly, Dungeons and Dragons, or The Campaign for North Africa, however, you're most likely not ready to set aside hours to enjoy an entire series about games. Fortunately, movies don't require you to have an entire day set aside for watching. Here are 10 anime movies about games!
- Duration: 40 min
- Aired: Oct 19, 2012
Usogui follows the Bak Madarame, known as Usogui, the Lie Eater. In a world where gamblers go so far as to bet their own lives, a neutral party, Kagerou, is needed to moderate these games. Bak Madarame makes his way through the dangerous world of deadly gambling, with his eyes set on gaining controlling the violent Kagerou. Usogui captures the essence of the dangerous world of illegal gambling. With the assortment of games played including classics like hangman and old maid, Usogui is sure to be a hit with any fan of games.
9. .hack//GU Trilogy
- Duration: 93 min
- Aired: Dec 22, 2007
Probably the original Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Game (VRMMORPG) anime, the .hack series focused on the MMORPG series, The World. In the original .hack, dying in the game causes the player to fall into a coma.
.hack//GU Trilogy tells the story of Haseo, an extremely skilled player, who is searching for Tri-Edge, a Player Killer (PK) who killed his friend's avatar, and left her real-world self in a coma. After getting his character level reset to zero, Haseo must level back up again to challenge Tri-Edge and save his friend once again. Its outdated graphics might make it a bit hard for some, but .hack//GU Trilogy is a must watch for fans of shows about online games like Sword Art Online, Log Horizon, or Overlord, as this series is perhaps the pioneer of the genre's modern iterations.
8. Accel World: Infinite∞Burst
- Duration: 82 min
- Aired: Jul 23, 2016
Accel World: Infinite∞Burst is an original story follow up to Accel World. Accel World tells the story of Haruyuki Arita, a victim of bullying who uses his online games as a means to escape the cruelties of the world. After being introduced to an augmented reality fighting game, Brain Burst, Haruyuki's world changes as the game helps him to learn to face his problems and grow. In Brain Burst, Haruyuki also gains the skills to become one of the best players. Half of Infinite∞Burst is dedicated to giving a recap of the original series, to help viewers get caught up. The movie then introduces a new character before moving on to action-packed battles that may have the future of the Accelerated World on the line.
Infinite∞Burst serves as a good continuation for fans of the series and serves well as an introduction for those new to Accel World. With great characters and action that makes you wish Brain Burst was a real thing, Accel World: Infinite∞Burst is a great film for fans of games.
7. Selector Destructed WIXOSS Movie
- Duration: 89 min
- Aired: Feb 13, 2006
Selector Destructed WIXOSS Movie tells the story of Ruko Kominato, who upon receiving a deck for the popular card game WIXOSS learns that she'll be playing more than just a card game. Finding a girl trapped in her avatar card, she learns that she and many others are "Selectors" who can play WIXOSS in order to have their deepest wishes granted. Things aren't that glorious, of course, as while victory will lead to their truest desires, defeat could come at the cost of their lives.
Selector Destructed WIXOSS Movie is a retelling of the series' two seasons, Selector Infected WIXOSS and Selector Spread WIXOSS. Selector Destructed is more than just a retelling, however, as it features new scenes that expand on the characters' stories and better pacing. Selector Destructed is a fun combination of your standard death game and an interesting card game. For those who have wanted to get into the Selector WIXOSS series, but couldn't find time for the investment, Selector Destructed WIXOSS does more than enough to help clue viewers into the game of WIXOSS.
6. Kuroko no Basket: Last Game
- Duration: ??
- Aired: Mar 18, 2017
Last Game show's why basketball is one the most popular and well-known sports around the world. The combination of skill, coordination, and teamwork required makes almost any game exciting to watch. Add in the special skills and techniques found throughout anime, and you're definitely in for a thrilling game of basketball!
Kuroko no Basket: Last Game is a story of revenge, redemption, teamwork, and determination. After Team Jabberwock, one of the world's most famous street basketball teams absolutely destroys Team Strky and insults Japan, it's up to The Generation of Miracles to show them what Japan's made of. With drama and action on and off the court, Last Game shows why Kuroko no Basket has remained a constant in sports anime. This time, Kuroko's and his teammates' game could land them a spot on the biggest court! Those who have been following Kuroko no Basket or just want a good basketball anime, be sure to check out Kuroko no Basket: Last Game!
5. Hikaru no Go: Journey to the North Star Cup
- Duration: 77 min
- Aired: Jan 3, 2004
In March 2016, deep-learning AI AlphaGo defeated Lee Sedol in a best of five series of Go, one of the oldest and most challenging games. With the major implications that came with the victory, Go quickly found itself in the spotlight of pop culture. A decade and a half before AlphaGo's victory, Hikaru no Go introduced many young anime fans to the game of go. Journey to the North Star Cup follows Hikaru Shindou as he battles some of the best Go players in Japan for a spot on Team Japan for the Japan/China/Korea Junior's Tournament. Hikaru earned his place as one of Japan's best Junior Go players with the help of the spirit of Fujiwara no Sai, but now he must prove his own skill as he battles old friends and new rivals.
Hikaru no Go: Journey to the North Star Cup is a great anime movie for those wanting to witness the world of Go. Unfortunately, it serves more as a sequel to the 75 episode series than a stand alone film and, as a result, may be a bit hard for newcomers to follow. For that reason, it falls a bit short of the higher spot it truly deserves.
4. Yu☆Gi☆Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions
- Duration: 135 min
- Aired: Apr 23, 2016
Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions is the latest film in the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, a first for many anime fans. Taking place after the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, The Dark Side of Dimensions revisits all of our favorite characters from the original series. Seto Kaiba, unable to accept his constant defeat at the hands of Atem, attempts to rebuild the Millennium Puzzle, hoping to settle the score once and for all. Things never go as planned and, as a result, Kaiba, Yugi, and a new opponent, Aigami, are forced to go at it in a series of duels.
The Dark Side of Dimensions is a great movie because it brings back characters and a game that many anime fans have come to love. With action packed battles, the introduction of Dimension Summoning, and new cards, Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimension is a must watch for Yu-Gi-Oh! and game fans alike.
3. Death Billiards
- Duration: 25 min
- Aired: Mar 2, 2013
In Death Billiards, two men find themselves in the mysterious bar, QuinDecim. At the bar, they are told that they are trapped in the bar with no means of escape and must play a game where they will risk their lives in order to get out. A quick game of roulette determines that the two men will risk their lives over a game of pool. What follows is an exciting match between two pool sharks. Anyone who's seen a WPA tournament knows how exciting it is to watch two skilled pool players go at it, and that proves true here as well. With their lives on the line, this is more than just a standard game of pool.
With its beautiful animation, philosophical undertones, and skillful billiard play, it makes us wonder why there aren't more anime about pool. Death Billiards proved to be such a success as a standalone film, that the anime series Death Parade was made to follow up and expand on the world introduced.
2. Summer Wars
- Duration: 114 min
- Aired: Aug 1, 1009
OZ is a virtual reality world that connects everyone across the world over the internet. With its assortment of online activities, strong encryption, and connection to some of the world's most crucial functions, it has become more than just a game, but a second world for many of its users. When OZ is hacked by a rogue program, Love Machine, math genius and OZ moderator Kenji Koiso comes up with a plan to save OZ and the world. In Summer Wars, the world's reliance on OZ has turned the most basic of daily transactions into a game, and now with Love Machine on the loose, mankind can't afford to lose.
Mamoru Hosoda's look at our reliance on technology is an instant classic (as all his films are) for anime fans, and a must-watch anime about games.
1. Sword Art Online the Movie -Ordinal Scale-
- Duration: 119 min
- Aired: Feb 18, 2017
2012's Sword Art Online and its sequel took the world by storm. Combining the best that game anime have to offer –virtual reality, death games, skill and action– Sword Art Online became the new golden standard for game anime. Much like the original VRMMORPG series, .hack, Sword Art Online sees its players trapped in the virtual world, with their only escape being found in the game's completion.
Ordinal Scale, the latest in the Sword Art Online series, gives us a look at the series' characters after the events of Sword Art Online II. Here we are introduced to the new advancement in online gaming, Virtual Reality MMORPG. Kirito, Asuna, and the others find that the many skills they used in Sword Art Online, ALfheim Online and Gun Gale Online transfer to the new ARMMORPG. It's not only their skills that transfer, as they find that Ordinal Scale has its own problems for them to deal with.
Whether you're a fan of sports or gambling, there's a game out there for everyone. Just as there's a game for everyone, there's an anime about games as well. Check out the anime movies on the list and let us know which anime movie about games is your favorite!