Watching anime has become one of my favorite pastimes. My first experience with anime can be traced all the way back to the original season of Pokémon, but it was in 2015 that I decided to watch Dragon Ball Z and discovered the shonen genre. Since that fateful day, I have fallen in love with shows such as My Hero Academia, Tokyo Ghoul, Noragami, and my personal favorite, One Piece, in addition to comedies and anime with deeper narratives. And just like anything popular these days, anime is no stranger to the world of video games, including on Nintendo Switch.
There have been countless titles based upon popular and even obscure anime. Nintendo Switch has become home to a variety of these sorts of games, as well as games with a more general anime aesthetic, such as The World Ends with You and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. If you’re hankering for one of these titles, here are 10 anime games and games with an anime aesthetic worth playing on Nintendo Switch!
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is the best Naruto game by far, in my opinion. The story follows the events of the later story arcs of the series, throwing you into some large-scale battles just like in the manga and anime. With a varied roster of characters and fun fighting game mechanics, Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is definitely worth your time.
With over 900 episodes, One Piece is a huge undertaking but worth it in the end. Likewise, the popularity of One Piece means it has a lot of video games, and One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is the best one on Nintendo Switch.
Pirate Warriors 4 will feel familiar to Nintendo fans, as it is another Koei Tecmo “Musou” game, a fast-paced hack-and-slash set in the One Piece universe. You can play as a variety of characters, including the likes of Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat gang. The story is set between the Alabasta arc and the currently ongoing Wano arc of the series. As the arc is currently unfinished, Pirate Warriors boasts a unique storyline with an original ending. If you’ve yet to play One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, you can also grab that on Nintendo Switch!
Catherine: Full Body is one of the strangest games that I have played. It follows the story of Vincent Brooks, who battles literal supernatural nightmares while also struggling with his love life. The gameplay is split into two sections, simulation in daytime and puzzle action at night. During the day you watch the events of Vincent’s daily struggles, while also interacting with the game’s various characters. Nightfall is where things get more interesting. Vincent is required to climb vast block towers in the hopes of escaping terrifying nightmares. It ultimately amounts to an exploration of Vincent’s desires and what he wants out of life, if he can survive long enough to obtain those things.
Before diving into Catherine: Full Body, I would recommend avoiding spoilers. I would also advise you to determine whether or not you’re comfortable with extreme imagery. The game deserves its 18+/M rating, so take caution before playing it. Read our review for more info.
Fairy Tail has a charming world filled to the brim with colorful characters. Japan had a few Fairy Tail games on the PlayStation Portable (PSP), but western territories didn’t see a fully fledged title until last year. Fairy Tail is a JRPG from Koei Tecmo and Gust that mixes traditional turn-based gameplay with a grid-like system. The story takes place shortly after the Tenrou Island arc, with it following the events closely. It would’ve been nice to have seen more creativity, but the narrative itself is just as good as it was in the anime/manga.
Every Dragon Ball fan probably wished that they could create their own character. This dream was realized back in 2015 with the original Dragon Ball Xenoverse, but Nintendo Switch owners get the definitive Xenoverse experience through Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. The game follows the iconic events of Dragon Ball Z with some twists along the way. There’s time traveling and all sorts of ridiculousness going on. However, the gameplay is where Xenoverse 2 shines. It is an action brawler with some RPG elements and a ton of customization, plus a huge and still-growing roster. You can play as a human, Saiyan, Namekian, Majin, or even Frieza’s race.
The player can equip a variety of skills to enhance their character and can be taught unique attacks from iconic Dragon Ball characters across the franchise. There is a lot going on in Xenoverse 2, and being able to play on the go is really exciting!
With films such as My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away under its belt, Studio Ghibli has created some of the most critically acclaimed anime of all time. One anime game you can play on Switch that has gotten a lot of attention for its art created by Studio Ghibli is Bandai Namco’s Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Ni no Kuni follows the tale of Oliver as he embarks on a quest across a fantasy world in the hopes of bringing his mother back to life in his own world. It is a heartwarming story with beautiful visuals and emotional moments. Experience JRPG battles that are easy to learn but hard to master, as you command your army of familiars collected in a Pokémon-esque manner. If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli and whimsical adventures, then this is a must-play!
The World Ends with You was a Square Enix classic on Nintendo DS, but it slipped under some people’s radar. It was developed by some of the Kingdom Hearts team with series director Tetsuya Nomura taking on a producer role and designing the characters. The visual style is probably one of the most striking aspects of the game.
The World Ends with You: Final Remix delivers a fun story while also introducing players to some of the most unique gameplay elements I’ve seen in a game. The Switch version of the game uses Joy-Con motion controls and also allows you to use the touchscreen in handheld mode. Critically, no version of the game has been as embraced as the original Nintendo DS version, but the Switch version has additional content and is still perfectly functional. Plus, a sequel is on its way to Switch as well.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a must-have for Nintendo Switch owners, as is the remaster of its predecessor, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, which had a more western look on Wii but leaned heavier into anime on Switch. Both titles are open-world action RPGs with a pseudo-real-time combat system and continent-sized creatures that everyone else lives on. The player utilizes a multitude of skills to deal different types of damage and status effects. Whether you decide to follow the adventures of Shulk in the original or Rex in the sequel, both games are worth playing.
There is a lot going on in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. In my opinion, Three Houses is the culmination of everything that worked so well in past games and much more. You take on the role of a professor at Garreg Mach Monastery. It offers deep customization and meaningful advancements of the players army. Fire Emblem: Three Houses also encourages multiple playthroughs with its titular Three Houses: the Blue Lions, Black Eagles, and Golden Deer. Combine all of this with an engaging storyline and memorable characters, and you have a masterpiece worthy of your time.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is a master class in fighting game design from Arc System Works and Bandai Namco. It is a fast-paced 2.5D fighter where you battle various Dragon Ball characters in iconic locations. (FighterZ Pass 3 introduces even more characters!) You select three characters to control that can be swapped among at any given moment. There is a ton of strategy involved in character selection, as they have different fighting styles that can be used in dynamic ways. Playing the game online provides a high level of competitive play, but it is also fun to experience it with a friend. I’m sorry for winning so many times, my friends from University. (I get really competitive.)
Each of these Switch anime or anime-influenced games has something different to offer, and Nintendo’s hybrid has even more choices where that came from, since we didn’t even get into the many visual novel offerings like Steins;Gate. What is your favorite anime game or game with that aesthetic on Nintendo Switch?