Must-watch anime about gaming includes Sword Art Online, No Game No Life, High Score Girl, Accel World, Overlord, and Infinite Dendrogram.
Anime about games captivate their audience, echoing the thrill that Twitch streams offer. There’s an irresistible magnetism in watching others revel in the joy of gaming, sharing a hobby many hold dear.
Whether showcasing card games, board games, or delving into the realm of VR, top-tier gaming anime showcase the allure of these pastimes with undeniable clarity.
Anime Shows about Video Games & Gamers
The influence of gaming culture and storytelling conventions only amplifies this wealth, contributing to an anime world rich with dynamic narratives and a tapestry of engaging storylines.
This fluidity leads to many anime adaptations drawn directly from video games.
1Sword Art Online – Where Virtual Turns Real
First on the list is the iconic ‘Sword Art Online‘ (SAO), a gold standard among anime shows about video games. In this high-stakes MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), players immerse themselves in the game world.
The twist? There’s no log-out button, and death in the game means death in real life. SAO perfectly balances suspense, drama, and captivating character development, making it a must-watch for gaming anime enthusiasts.
2No Game No Life – It’s All Fun and Games
No list of top anime about video games would be complete without ‘No Game No Life.’ It’s about a pair of unbeatable gaming siblings suddenly thrust into a world where games decide every conflict.
With clever strategies and wit, they aim to conquer this new world. It’s ideal if you love mind-bending puzzles, flamboyant visuals, and comedic tones blending with high-risk challenges.
3The World God Only Knows – A Gamer’s Heartthrob
Next up is a treat for those who love anime about a guy playing video games. ‘The World God Only Knows’ introduces us to Keima Katsuragi, a high school student and a god in the world of dating sims.
His gaming skills are tested when he must apply his digital dating prowess to real girls to save their souls. Prepare for a whirlwind of romance, laughter, and gaming quirks!
4New Game! – Game Development, Girls, and Giggles
For those looking for anime about a girl playing video games, ‘New Game!’ is your perfect match. The story revolves around Aoba Suzukaze, a fresh high school graduate starting her career in the gaming industry.
This anime offers a fresh perspective on the world of video game creation, spiced up with a healthy dose of humor, girl power, and the trials and tribulations of a young game artist.
5High Score Girl – A Retro-Gaming Romance
‘High Score Girl’ is a heartwarming tale of a young boy and girl bonding over their love for video games. Set in the 90s, this anime about video games in high school portrays the ups and downs of friendship and first love, wrapped in a nostalgia-inducing arcade gaming setting.
Whether you’re a gaming enthusiast or a hopeless romantic, this one’s sure to pull at your heartstrings.
6Log Horizon – Strategy and Politics in Gaming
If you’re a fan of strategy and MMORPGs, ‘Log Horizon’ should be on your watchlist. It’s an anime about video games where thousands of players find themselves in the popular Elder Tale following a new game update.
Its focus on political maneuvers and group dynamics rather than combat alone sets it apart. Brace yourself for intense gaming politics, intricate strategies, and richly built world lore.
7Accel World – Speed and Power in the Virtual Realm
‘Accel World’ takes gaming in your anime to a whole new level, featuring a futuristic setting where a timid student is introduced to a secret program that accelerates a user’s brainwaves to incredibly high speeds.
With detailed game mechanics, flashy battles, and many emotional undercurrents, this anime delivers an adrenaline-fueled ride that’s hard to forget.
8Btooom! – Survival Gaming at Its Best
How about an anime where the video game becomes a deadly reality? ‘Btooom!’ showcases a professional gamer who wakes up on a deserted island with a bag of bombs – exactly like the video game he excels at.
As he fights for survival, he must face the dark side of human nature and the horrifying reality of his beloved game. Expect gripping suspense, raw action, and intense psychological drama.
9Overlord – When the Game Becomes Your World
Last, ‘Overlord’ features an avid gamer who stays logged in as his favorite online game shuts down, only to be transformed into his game avatar in a new world.
As he explores this realm and seeks answers, he morphs from a simple player into a supreme ruler. Packed with epic battles, powerful characters, and an intriguing plot, ‘Overlord’ is a grand spectacle every anime about video games high school fans will love.
10Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? – Love in a Virtual World
‘Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?’ or ‘And You Thought There Is Never a Girl Online?’ introduces us to Hideki Nishimura, a high school student and online gamer, who proposes to a female avatar, only to find out that she is a guy.
He swears never to trust anyone in the game again until a female player confesses. It’s a comedic and heartwarming anime about video games, focusing on the divide between online and offline identities and relationships.
11Gamers! – High School, Romance, and Video Games
‘Gamers!’ delves into the lives of several high school students who love video games. It navigates their trials, tribulations, misunderstandings, and romantic comedy scenarios.
This anime about video games in high school doesn’t primarily focus on the games themselves but on how their love for gaming influences their relationships and self-discovery.
12Summer Wars – A Family’s Fight in the Digital World
‘Summer Wars’ combines real-world family dynamics and virtual gaming warfare. The story centers around a math genius accused of hacking a virtual world and causing massive chaos, coinciding with his visit to his crush’s large family gathering.
The ensuing action is filled with memorable family moments and epic gaming showdowns, making it an absolute delight to watch.
13Infinite Dendrogram – An Immersive Virtual Reality MMORPG
‘Infinite Dendrogram’ introduces a world set shortly where full-dive VRMMO (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online) has become a reality.
The anime illustrates the adventures of a newbie player in this seemingly infinite game world. Expect a lot of epic battles, cool in-game mechanics, and character progression in this noteworthy anime about video games.
14Selector Infected WIXOSS – Dark and Twisted Card Games
If you love card game-themed anime, then ‘Selector Infected WIXOSS’ is for you. This show presents a seemingly innocent card game with dark and twisted implications for its players.
It’s an exciting and emotional roller coaster, examining the human psyche, friendships, and the high stakes of winning and losing.
15Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation – A Blend of Real and Virtual Worlds
In ‘Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation,’ we see the integration of a popular online game into daily student life. Protagonist Itsuki Tachibana balances school, friendships, and his duties as a student council vice president with his exploration of the game.
This anime about video games in high school uniquely combines slice-of-life elements with virtual gaming adventures, making it relatable and entertaining.
16Recovery of an MMO Junkie – The Beauty of Online Friendships
‘Recovery of an MMO Junkie’ is a heartwarming story of a 30-year-old woman who quits her corporate job to play online games. Through her new persona, she forms a deep connection with another player.
However, their online and offline worlds soon intersect in unexpected ways. This anime about a girl playing video games is a charming romantic comedy and a celebration of online friendships.
17D-Frag! – The Fun Side of Gaming Clubs
‘D-Frag!’ offers a hilarious take on high school gaming clubs. Laughter ensues when a former delinquent is coerced into joining a club filled with eccentric girls with a strange approach to game creation.
From chibi battles to role-playing games, ‘D-Frag!’ is a comedic goldmine, providing endless entertainment for anyone looking for an anime with a gaming touch.
18King’s Avatar – The Glory of Professional Gaming
Last but not least, ‘King’s Avatar’ is an exciting e-sports-themed anime about a professional gamer who is forced to retire but decides to return to the gaming world.
With its detailed game mechanics, beautifully animated gaming scenes, and themes of teamwork and perseverance, ‘King’s Avatar’ serves as a grand finale for our list of top anime about video games.
19Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody – The Unexpected RPG Journey
‘Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody’ is a must-watch for those who love Isekai (different world) genre and role-playing games. The protagonist, a game programmer, suddenly finds himself inside a game he was debugging, living as his younger game character.
Now he must survive and unravel the mysteries of this strange world. This anime provides an enjoyable blend of fantasy, adventure, and RPG elements.
20Darwin’s Game – A Deadly Mobile App Game
‘Darwin’s Game’ introduces a deadly mobile app that pits its players against each other in real life. With intense battles, strategic gameplay, and a thrilling plot, this anime takes gaming to a life-and-death level. It is a stark reminder that not all games are fun and entertainment.
21.hack//Sign – The Dark Side of Virtual Reality
‘.hack//Sign’ explores the darker side of virtual reality gaming. The series revolves around a player trapped inside the game ‘The World’ with no recollection of how he got there and no way to log out.
This anime is renowned for its profound exploration of isolation, identity, and the nature of reality within a video game setting.
22Hikaru No Go – Traditional Board Game with a Spiritual Twist
While ‘Hikaru No Go’ isn’t about video games, it’s worth mentioning because of its unique gaming premise. The story involves a 12-year-old boy, Hikaru, who discovers a Go board inhabited by a spirit keen on playing the ancient game.
With mesmerizing character development and enlightening insights into Go, it’s an anime that’ll draw you into the captivating world of this traditional game.
23Quanzhi Gaoshou (The King’s Avatar) – Esports in Anime
A Chinese anime, ‘Quanzhi Gaoshou’ or ‘The King’s Avatar,’ delves into the world of esports. The protagonist, a professional gamer, is forced into retirement but eventually returns to the gaming world, set on regaining his position.
With high-quality animation, incredible game-based action scenes, and a captivating storyline, this series is a fantastic tribute to esports and gaming culture.
24Net-Juu No Susume
‘Net-Juu No Susume’ follows the narrative of Moriko, a thirty-year-old who chooses to abandon her job instead of immersing herself in an MMO, quickly succumbing to its charm. Within this virtual world, she forms a deep bond with Lily, a healer character, and they become an inseparable duo.
However, a serendipitous encounter with another player in a convenience store disrupts everything.