Top 10 Best Manga Adaptations of Video Games

Here at Honey’s Anime, we’re fans of all things otaku—including video games, of course! As readers, sometimes we want to support our favorite franchises even more, or perhaps see our beloved characters take on a different form—and that’s where manga adaptations come in!

Whether it’s a straight adaptation of the storyline, or a spin-off that adds more content to the existing universe, manga adaptations of video games give more time to explore your favorite games in a new light.

So join us today on Honey’s Anime as we discuss the 10 Best Manga Adaptations of Video Games!

10. Zelda no Densetsu - Toki no Ocarina (The Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time)

  • Mangaka: Nintendo (Story), Himekawa Akira (Art)
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Shounen
  • Volumes: 1 (Complete)
  • Published: October 2008

We’re kicking off our list today with one of the most recognizable gaming titles of the past few decades—The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Still the highest-rated video game of all time on Metacritic, at a near-perfect 99/100, Ocarina of Time is a foundational game that changed the gaming landscape forever.

Originally penned way back in the year 2000, just two years after the game’s worldwide launch, the manga adaptation of Link’s story found its way into an English bindup in 2008 (along with an updated omnibus version with extra content released in 2016). There are a few differences between the game’s plot and the manga’s story, but mostly they line up to tell Link’s time-traveling journey across Hyrule.

Although the art is a little dated, there’s no denying that—much like the game itself—Zelda no Densetsu - Toki no Ocarina (The Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time) is still immensely enjoyable and a must-have for any gaming enthusiast. This manga also serves as a direct prequel to the Majora’s Mask adaptation, too!

9. Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days

  • Mangaka: Nomura Tetsuya (Story), Amana Shiro (Art)
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Shounen
  • Volumes: 5 (Complete)
  • Published: November 2013—January 2015

Let’s be honest—Kingdom Hearts is a daunting franchise, made all the more complicated by the various spin-off games that filled the gap between the second and third numbered titles. Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (pronounced “Three-Five-Eight Days over Two”) is a manga adaptation based on the light novel of the same title, itself adapting the 2009 Nintendo DS game.

Set prior to Kingdom Hearts II, 358/2 Days follows the same plot as the DS game, albeit with a slightly more comedic tone. Players take control of Roxas, the “Nobody” of Sora—the series’ main protagonist—as he works with the mysterious Organization XIII.

358/2 Days is a parallel story to the 2004 Game Boy Advance game, Chain of Memories, following Roxas’s awakening as he questions his own identity; Chain of Memories also has a manga adaptation if you’d rather read both stories instead of hunting for the games.

Given how much Kingdom Hearts you’d need to play to understand the whole story, the manga is a great way to catch up!

8. Monster Hunter - Senkou no Kariudo (Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter)

  • Mangaka: Hikami Keiichi (Story), Yamamoto Shin (Art)
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Shounen
  • Volumes: 10 (Complete)
  • Published: May 2016—November 2017

A surprisingly large spin-off at ten volumes, Monster Hunter - Senkou no Kariudo (Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter) is an original story set loosely within the overarching Monster Hunter universe.

This series follows the young hunter Raiga, along with his companions Keres and Torche, as they work together to carve out a living in a world ruled by monsters. Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter is perfect for fans of the series, offering manga-styled battles against fan-favorite monsters like Rathian, Kezhu, and Rathalos.

The series has received praise for expanding on the Monster Hunter universe, showing how humans can co-exist in such a dangerous world, while also telling a pretty heartwarming story about friendship and overcoming odds. A worthy addition to any MonHun fan’s collection!

7. Persona 5

  • Mangaka: Atlus (Story), Murasaki Hisato (Story & Art)
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Mystery, School Life, Shounen, Supernatural
  • Volumes: 8+
  • Published: February 2020—present

A manga adaptation of the acclaimed JRPG, Persona 5 and the Phantom Thieves come to life on the pages in a daring and fun take on the game.

While CloverWorks’s anime adaptation of Persona 5 was forced to fit the game’s lengthy story into just 26 episodes, the manga is able to take a slower pace that better fits the sometimes sedate pacing of the game. Mangaka Murasaki Hisato admirably brings the silent protagonist, Joker, to life, while blending the RPG’s distinctive art style with a more manga-friendly feel.

The result is an excellent companion piece for fans of the franchise, or players that are still waiting for that Nintendo Switch port. Consider this review your personal calling card to read the manga!

6. Sekiro Gaiden: Shinazu Hanbei (Sekiro Side Story: Hanbei the Undying)

  • Mangaka: Hikami Keiichi (Story), Yamamoto Shin (Story & ARt)
  • Genres: Historical, Action, Drama, Shounen, Supernatural
  • Volumes: 1 (Complete)
  • Published: February 2020

The award-winning Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, from veteran developers FromSoftware, released to widespread acclaim in 2019. A few months after its release came a spin-off manga following Hanbei—an unkillable NPC who serves as a training partner in the game.

An unusual character to focus on, perhaps, but the one-shot Sekiro Gaiden: Shinazu Hanbei (Sekiro Side Story: Hanbei the Undying) is well worth your time. With gorgeous illustrations of Sengoku-era Japan and gory battles that feel every bit like the actual gameplay, Hanbei’s story of immortality and warfare is highly entertaining.

The manga maintains a mix of gritty battles along with the mysticism that made the game so unique, while elaborating on Hanbei’s origins prior to turning up in the game. We definitely recommend this manga for fans of both Sekiro and Sengoku-period Japan.

5. Tales of Berseria

  • Mangaka: Bandai Namco Entertainment (Story), Aonagi Nobu (Story & Art)
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Shounen
  • Volumes: 3 (Complete)
  • Published: November 2019—April 2020

One of our personal favorite video games, Tales of Berseria released in 2016 to high praise, starring a crew of anti-heroes who are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their own goals. If that means saving the world in the process, all the better!

The official manga for Tales of Berseria is a direct adaptation of the game’s story. In the span of a single night, Velvet Crowe loses her younger brother and is turned into a daemon, all at the hands of her nefarious brother-in-law. While Velvet wastes away in prison, her brother-in-law gains power and recognition as the all-powerful “Shepherd.”

After escaping jail, Velvet gathers a colorful crew of rogues, including the wandering swordsman Roku, the eccentric witch Magilou, and the devout believer Eleanor. Together, the group set out for individual revenge—and to stop the Shepherd from erasing the daemonic threat by stifling all of humanity’s emotions.

One of the darkest entries in the Tales franchise, Berseria’s manga is an excellent adaptation perfect for fans who want to revisit this excellent story.

4. Assassin's Creed 4 - Black Flag - Kakusei (Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag - Awakening)

  • Mangaka: Ubisoft & Yano Takashi (Story), Ooiwa Kenji (Art)
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Historical, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Seinen
  • Volumes: 2 (Complete)
  • Published: August 2017—October 2017

Amidst the various manga adaptations of Ubisoft’s Assassin's Creed series, one stands out as a brilliant combination of new and existing content: Assassin's Creed 4 - Black Flag - Kakusei (Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag - Awakening).

It’s the Golden Age of Piracy, and a young pirate—Edward Kenway—seeks glory on the high seas, falling in with famous pirates like Blackbeard, Benjamin Hornigold, and Stede Bonnet. After narrowly surviving a hurricane, Edward steals the clothes of an Assassin, taking the dead man’s place during an undercover meeting with the corrupt Governor of Cuba.

Meanwhile, in modern times, high school student Yanao Seijin is abducted by the mysterious Abstergo Industries. There, he’s forced into the series’ famous Animus, allowing him to relive the memories of his ancestor—Edward Kenway. By revisiting his ancestor’s memories, Seijin can lead Abstergo to the fabled “Observatory”—but the longer he experiences Edward’s life, the more Edward’s skills bleed into Seijin’s own body!

This sci-fi plot mixes excellently with the bloody action on the high seas, cementing Black Flag as one of the best entries in the franchise, both on- and off-screen. Awakening’s two volumes are short and action-packed, and a must-read for any Assassin’s Creed fan.

3. Fire Emblem Heroes - Daily Lives of the Heroes

  • Mangaka: Itagaki Hako, Katsura Ichiho, Suzuka
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, School Life, Seinen, Supernatural
  • Volumes: (245+ chapters)
  • Published: 2017—present

Nintendo’s immensely popular mobile game, Fire Emblem Heroes, takes the beloved strategic combat of Fire Emblem and resizes it to chibi-size on your mobile phone. With its own storyline that combines almost every character from Fire Emblem’s long history, Heroes definitely appeals to long-term Fire Emblem fans.

Enter Daily Lives of the Heroes—a genuinely hilarious webcomic that isn’t afraid to poke fun at Fire Emblem tropes or the game’s players! Penned by various mangaka and officially licensed by Intelligent Systems, Daily Lives of the Heroes is a weekly 4-panel comic that’s both funny and endearing.

Take a break from building your teams or grinding for summons, and enjoy these brilliantly illustrated comics that show off the daily lives of your favorite heroes!

2. Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica Gaiden (Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story)

  • Mangaka: Magica Quartet (Story), Fuji Fujino (Art)
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy, School Life, Seinen, Supernatural
  • Volumes: 4+
  • Published: January 2020—present

With both an anime and manga adaptation under its belt, this mobile game has truly embedded itself in the universe of Puella Magi Madoka by introducing lovable new characters and a story that’s equally as gripping as Madoka’s.

Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica Gaiden (Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story) brilliantly adapts the content of the mobile game, with all the absurd imagery and gorgeous magical designs you’ve come to know and love.

Magia Record strikes out in its own direction from the main series, introducing the magical girl Iroha Tamaki, who arrives in Kamihama City to search for her missing sister. A rumor says that magical girls can be relieved of their duty if they visit Kamihama City, but in this strange city, rumors themselves manifest into powerful witches…

An excellent addition to the universe of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Magia Record is a fresh tale of magic, love, and loss—perfect for newcomers to the franchise and long-time fans alike.

1. Fate/Grand Order -mortalis:stella-

  • Mangaka: Type-Moon (Story), Shiaramine (Art)
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Supernatural
  • Volumes: 3+
  • Published: October 2019—present

The sprawling universe of Fate/stay night is complex, and the multimedia franchise of Fate/Grand Order is perhaps the most intimidating of all. The mobile game and its many different films and anime series play around with existing characters a lot, and much like the main franchise, it can be hard to know where to get started.

Thankfully, an official manga has come along that smoothly tells the main storyline of Fate/Grand Order in a linear fashion. Fate/Grand Order -mortalis:stella- is a serialized manga adaptation of the game’s events, easily accessible for series’ veterans and newcomers alike.

Follow the pink-haired Demi-Servant Mash and the final Master of humankind, Ritsuka Fujimaru, as they time-travel to warped historical events that threaten to destroy the future of humanity. From a twisted version of Jeanne d’Arc in the Hundred’s Year War, to King Arthur’s Camelot, and god-king Gilgamesh of Ancient Mesopotamia, Fate/Grand Order shows all of our favorite characters in a new light!

If you want to avoid sinking your time into the gacha-based mobile game, Fate/Grand Order -mortalis:stella- is an excellent adaptation of Grand Order’s story—and a must-have series for any true Fate/ fan!

Final Thoughts

These are just ten of our favorite manga adaptations of video games! From faithful interpretations of the story to extra content in the universe, manga can be an excellent way to get more out of your favorite games.

What’s your favorite video game? Let us know down in the comments below, and as always, thank you for reading!

Tales-of-Berseria-manga-wallpaper-698x500 Top 10 Best Manga Adaptations of Video Games


Author: Brett Michael Orr

I'm a writer, gamer, and reviewer of manga & light novels, from Melbourne, Australia. When I'm not creating a new world, I'll be absorbed in a good JRPG, watching some anime, or reading up a storm!

Previous Articles

Recommended Post

Top 10 Tales Of Games [Best Recommendations]