Highlights from Best gaming Anime

Gaming animes has always been one of my favorites because most of them are very smartly written and always keep their viewers engaged in the storyline. 

This post will be featuring animes where games remain the central plot of the show for the most part. I have tried to keep the list as diverse as possible, it does not just stick to characters playing online games.

Here is the list of 15 Highly Rated Gaming Animes that’ll make you wanna try those games for yourself. If you find this post helpful, then please be kind enough to share it with your friends.

15. Ryuuou no Oshigoto!

  • Logline: A story of a guy who is the greatest player of Shogi in the world.
  • Year: 2018
  • Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
  • Studios: Project No.9
on number 15 with a likability score of 70 is Ryuuou No Oshigoto
Ryuuou means The Dragon King

In the world of Shogi, a game similar to Chess, the person who reaches the top of the competitive shogi is given the title of Ryuuou. Yaichi Kuzuryuu became the youngest Ryuuou ever which brought a lot of backlash from the Shogi community who considers Yaichi the worst Ryuuou ever.

Yaichi Gets a Disciple

 Ai Hinatsuru, a little girl enters Yaichi’s life and reminds him that he promised to train her in the shogi. Thus begins a new life Yaichi where he and Ai work together to get better at the game and have fun on the sides.

Why on This List?

In the 15th position, we have a very an anime that’s smart and dumb at the same time but still enjoyable to watch for the most part. The show is filled with lolis so watch with caution. It’s a light-hearted anime that you can watch when bored.

Where to Watch This Anime?

Available on Crunchyroll.

14. Log Horizon

  • Logline: Shiroe and thirty thousand other gamers get trapped inside a game.
  • Year: 2013
  • Genre: Game, Fantasy
  • Studio: Satelight
on number 14 with a likability score of 70 is Log Horizon
Trapped inside an MMORPG

The story follows the chronicles of the players trapped inside e MMORPG, Elder Tale. Some 30 million players who installed the 12th extension pack found themselves trapped inside this game.

Life Inside a Game

Shiroe is one of the video gamers who are trapped inside Elder Tale. 

The world inside the game is exactly what it looks like on the screen, except the monsters look more frightening than ever. Shiroe is an introvert but now he must open up to fellow players in order to survive the ruthless gaming world.

Why On This List?

On the surface, it looks like a similar “trapped in-game” trope but deep down, Log Horizon more than that. The characters adapt to the original avatars. If you want more shows like Sword Art Online, this is the anime for you.

Where to Watch this Anime?

Log Horizon is available on HuluNetflix, and Crunchyroll.

13. March Comes in Like a Lion 

  • Logline: Rei’s story of overcoming obstacles, building relationships, and bettering himself in his gaming. 
  • Year: 2016
  • Genre: Slice of life, Game
  • Studio: Shaft
on number 13 with a likability score of 75 is March Comes In Like a Lion
Story of An Extraordinary Player Suppressed with Responsibilities

17-year-old Rei has a tough time dealing with responsibilities and life conflicts. He is a brilliant shogi player but loneliness and insecurities have kept him under tremendous stress. 

A Break From Tragedies

When Rei moves to Tokyo, he is lucky enough to find three kind sisters support him in his gaming career. The story progresses through narrating Rei’s struggle of developing himself through the phases of life and exceeding in his shogi career.

Why On This List?

Five minutes into the show, and you can’t get away before finishing it. This show is one of the best slice-of-life anime that incorporates the concept of gaming into it. Highly recommended to all readers.

Where to Watch this Anime?

Watch this anime on Netflix.

12. Phi-Brain ~ Puzzle of God 

  • Logline: Kaito is a master at solving puzzles and this talent leads him to crossing paths with bad people.
  • Year: 2011
  • Genre: Action, Mystery
  • Studios: Sunrise
on number 12 with a likability score of 72 is Phi Brain Puzzle of God
Kaito is a Pro at Solving Puzzles

Kaito Daimon is an average boy but he becomes a beast when it comes to solving puzzles. He is approached by a sinister group POG who tests Kaito with a deadly puzzle that Kaito solves and passes the test.

Dangerous Puzzles to be Solved

Kaito is then pushed into a new life where he is made to travel the world solving life-threatening puzzles along with other people who are just like him.

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Why on This List?

If you like gaming animes where the stakes are too high and also enjoy puzzles then this anime will perfectly fit your taste. The sole focus of the anime is put on solving the puzzles, so there’s hardly anime time spent on other stuff.

Where to Watch This Anime?

Available on Crunchyroll.

11. Chihayafuru

  • Logline:  Three friends dream of becoming the best Katura players in japan.
  • Year: 2011
  • Genre: Drama, Game
  • Studio: Madhouse
on number 11 with a likability score of 76 is Chihayafuru
What is Katura?

The show is based on an ancient Japanese game called the Katura. Katura is prominently a memory game. Players need to memorize hundreds of poem cards. As a reader starts to recite a poem, the next player is expected to quickly take out the card that has the next phase of the poem. 

The Katura Trio

The story revolves around Arata, Taichi, and their tomboyish friend Chihaya Ayase. Chichaya is introduced to the wolrd of Karuta but Arata. Having a sharp skill of memorizing things, Chihaya is immediately fascinated by the game and joins Arata and his friend Taimichi to play Karuta professionally.

Why on This List?

Don’t judge this show by the boring-sounding game it follows. It is more about the relationships and personalities change the characters go through as they climb up their professional gaming careers.

Where to Watch this Anime?

Chihayafuru can be watched online on Crunchyroll.

10. Cardfight!! Vanguard

  • Logline: A story of a timid kid competing with great players of Cardfight!! Vanguard
  • Year: 2011
  • Genre:  Action, Adventure
  • Studios: TMS Entertainment
on number 10 with a likability score of 75 is Cardfight!! Vanguard
The craze of Cardfight!! Vanguard

In a world where every person is crazy about the trading card game, Cardfight!! Vanguard. The cards hold powerful creatures and players fight them with one another in battles that sometimes take place on other planets too called Cray.

Aichi enters the Gaming World

Aichi Sendou is a timid kid who was given a rare card when he was small. He doesn’t play the game but kept the card safe with him until it gets stolen. To win the card back he challenges the thief for a game of Cardfight!! Vanguard and thus beings his journey in the gaming world.

Why on This List?

This anime has one of the highest episodes on this list with over 3 seasons and each season has over 30+ episodes. The anime is laid back at the start and you just enjoy the game. The concept of this anime is nothing new but still, gaming anime like these provide a lot of entertainment.

Where to Watch This Anime?

You’ll find this gaming anime on Crunchyroll.

9. High Score Girl

  • Logline: Haruo and Akira always compete with each other to find who is the better gamer.
  • Year: 2018
  • Genre: Comedy, Romance
  • Studios: J.C.Staff
on number 9 with a likability score of 76 is High Score Girl
Haruo was Undefeatable Until Akira Came

Haruo Yaguchi is a young boy who dreams to become a professional gamer. He is considered a champion in the local arcades and he takes a lot of pride in that. But one day all his pride is shattered when he is defeated by a fellow classmate Akira Oono. 

Birth of a Beautiful Rivalry

Akira is a rich and pretty girl who studies with Haruo and is considered a perfect girl. After being defeated by Akira, Haruo despised her but at the same time is trilled to fight someone on the same level. 

Why on This List?

The anime is set in 1991 and kinda brings back the nostalgia of gaming of that period. Even though the animation might be a little disappointing, the overall story and characters make up for it and we get a gaming anime that will stay in your memory for a long time.

Where to Watch This Anime?

Streaming on Netflix.

8. D-Frag! 

  • Logline: Daily life of Kazama in a game development club.
  • Year: 2014
  • Genre: Comedy, School
  • Studios: Brain’s Base
on number 8 with a likability score of 78 is D-Frag
Kazama Vs Game Development Club

Kenji Kazama along with his friends was putting out the fire in the game development club of their school. But the members perceived otherwise and attacked Kazama and forced him into joining the club as punishment.

Life At the Club

Kazama now has to spend his time in the club with four eccentric club members who are girls. Every day at the club is a new shenanigan and over time Kazama realizes that he’s actually having fun.

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Why on This List?

D-Frag is the kind of anime that doesn’t take itself seriously and that’s the best part about it. The whole show revolves around Kazama playing board games and throwing goofy punchlines at his club members which will make you laugh hard. 

Where to Watch This Anime?

Watch it on Hulu.

7. Accel World

  • Logline: Two gamers decide to win the game of “Brain Burst”
  • Year: 2012
  • Genre: Action, Sci-fi
  • Studio: Sunrise
on number 7 with a likability score of 82 is Accel World
The Imperfect Protagonist

The story follows an overweight otaku gamer, Haruyuki Arita. Because of his heavy built, he gets bullied in school. Bored of his life, online games are his only source of joy and comfort. He tops rankings in almost every popular game. However, one day he noticed that another player from his school surpassed all his scores. 

The Brain Burst Program

Kuroyukihime is the deuteragonist who beats Haruyuki’s high score. She introduces Haruyuki to an online augmented reality MMO game called the “Brain burst.” If won, the game could drastically improve one’s brain performance. Played in a team of two, Haruyuki and Kuroyukihime set on a mission to not just win the game but to find the reason why it was built. 

Why On This List?

 If you don’t have a taste for nerdy shows there is very little chance you’ll like it. But since you have scrolled this long I assume you are one yourself. Even with a simple story and a not-so-good-looking MC, the show is able to expand its premise impressively through its episodes. 

Where to Watch this Anime?

This anime is available on Hulu.

6. Hikaru no Go

  • Logline: Hikaru is possessed by a ghost who was a master Go player of his era.
  • Year: 2001
  • Genre: Comedy, Supernatural
  • Studios: Studio Pierrot
on number 6 with a likability score of 81 is Hikary No Go
Hikaru is Possessed by a Ghost

Hikaru Shindou is a young kid who comes across a Go Board possessed by a ghost named Sai Fujiwara who was a genius Go Player of ancient times. After coming in contact with Hiraku, Sai plans to fulfill his ultimate goal is to master a divine go technique with help of Hikaru.

Hikaru Becomes a Go Player

Hikaru reluctantly agrees and follows orders of Sai while playing Go. But when he comes across young Go prodigy Akira Touya, Hikaru’s passion for Go rises and he decides to enter the world of Go himself.

Why on This List?

Initially, I was not interested in watching Hikaru No Go because it is a 75 episode long series about a board game. But once I started watching, it gripped me completely. Every game’s sharp and makes you click on the next episode. Although I agree, this anime might not suit your taste but do give it a try first. 

Where to Watch This Anime?

Watch it on Hulu.

5. Kaiji: Against All Rules

  • Logline: Burdened with heavy debt, Kaiji has no choice but to survive a gambling arena on a cruise ship.
  • Year: 2017
  • Genre: Psychothriller, Gaming
  • Studio: Madhouse
on number 5 with a likability score of 86 is Kaiji Against ALl Rules
The 10 Million Debt

Kaiji Itou is a lazy brat who spends his days dozing off and drinking beer. His fate meets a drastic turn when he is tricked by his friends and all of a sudden he found himself burdened with a heavy debt of 10 million yen. What follows next is a life of hell for Kaiji. 

Gaming for Freedom

Within no time, Kaiji is bought to his knees by evil moneylenders. He now has to unwillingly take part in an ill-reputed underground gamble battle on a cruise. Constantly paranoid by the fear of thrown out of the ship, winning is not the only thing he needs to worry about. 

Why On This List?

It is a suspenseful masterpiece by Madhouse. If I have to rank psychothriller anime, I would probably rank it right after Death Note. Season 2 was a letdown for me. However, as a whole, the story and narration is intense and will keep you hooked throughout the show.

Where to Watch this Anime?

Kaiji: Against All Rules can be streamed on Crunchyroll.

4. No game No Life

  • Logline: Two undefeated video gamer siblings are invited to live in a fantasy world where everything decides over games.
  • Year: 2014
  • Genre: Fantasy, Game
  • Studio: Shaft
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on number 4 with a likability score of 70 is No Game No Life
Undefeated Sibling Gamers

Shora and his sibling sister Shibo are two of the best gamers in the world. Tora, a God from another realm, challenges the siblings for a game of chess. Maintaining their win streak Shora and Shibo come out victorious.

A Peculiar World of Games

Tora then offers them to live in a fantasy world where everything from war to win is decided over a game. Mistaking it for a joke, the siblings agree without thinking about the consequences. 

Why On This List?

As a hardcore anime viewer, I must have watched hundreds of anime shows and No Game No Life find its place among the top 50s best gaming animes I have ever seen. Flashy overbright anime with lots of fanservice is okay but the real gems like this one are disguised in average-looking loglines and posters.

Where to Watch this Anime?

This fantastic anime can be streamed on Netflix.

3. Kakegurui

  • Logline: Yumeko Jabam is a gambling prodigy who joins the High School of casino gaming.
  • Year: 2020
  • Genre: Gambling, Gaming, Thriller
  • Studio: Madhouse
on number 3 with a likability score of 94 is Kakegurui
A Bizzare High School

Being book smart is not an option when you are studying at Hyakkaou Private Academy. It is a school of the riches. Here, the students are trained in the field of gambling. Art of reading minds, manipulation, and dealing are included in the main curriculum. 

A Gambling Prodigy Joins Hyakkaou Academy 

Yumeko Jabam was raised and bought up by her gambler father. Living with him gave her an extraordinary hand at casino games. With her talent, she gets enrolled in the Hyakkaou Academy. Unlike others, she is not focused on winning but on seeking a thrill. 

Why on this list?

The show has a peculiar theme. This in itself is the unique point of this anime. A schoolgirl seeking thrill over money indeed corresponds to the madness of the show. Its continuous madness amongst characters is what makes this show an enticing watch.  

Where to watch Kakegurui?

Famous for its cosplays, Kakegurui is available on Netflix.

2. Death Parade

  • Logline: After dying, two random people compete against each other in a random game to fight for a place in heaven.
  • Year: 2015
  • Genre: Mystery, Psychological
  • Studio: Madhouse
on number 2 with a likability score of 96 is Death Parade
Real Game Begins After You Die

According to this anime, the day of judgment is not about evaluating your past sins. When someone dies, he/she gets welcomed to the Quindecim Bar. This mysterious bar organizes random games that a dead person must pass to reincarnate back as a human on earth. 

Arbitrator of Death Questions his Existence

I don’t want to spoil the show for you, but I can’t stop myself from disclosing that this show isn’t actually about a human who’s gets involved with the system of judgment. It is about the arbitrator of the afterlife, Decim himself. 

Why On This List

Each episode comes with unique compulsive stories that highlight the lack of morality, humanity in humans. Decim’s change of perception is what makes this show more and more intriguing. Art and animation are bang on! I Highly recommended it if you love fast-paced anime with moral directions.

Where to Watch this Anime?

This fantastic psyco thriller gaming anime is available on a free trial of Hulu.

1. Mahjong Legend Akagi 

  • Logline: A story of a natural-born gambler who likes high stakes.
  • Year: 2005
  • Genre: Psychological, Thriller
  • Studios: Madhouse
on number 1 with a likability score of 98 is Mahjong Legend Akagi
A Game played by Bad People

Mahjong is a popular card game where people ofter bet their own life in hope of winning big. While playing a game with the mafia to settle his debt, Nangou is losing. In utter desperation, he hands his card to a strange boy named Akagi.

Akagi, A Natural-Born Gambler

Akagi sits at the table to play while everyone laughs. But they don’t know the kind of guy Akagi is. He has an imposing personality and doesn’t even fear death. He is a guy who is destined to become great.

Why on This List?

It is anime where the MC is a badass and he rises to power and fame by taking dangerous bets. This anime made me fall in love with the game Mahjong although I am still a noob. I highly recommend you to watch it.

Where to Watch This Anime?

All episodes streaming on Crunchyroll.