20 Best Anime About Video Games & Gamers: Our Top RecommendationsThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
If there’s one group that has received a lot of recognition in anime, it’s gamers.
From once being something nerds did by themselves, to now becoming the thing everyone does and signifying the new alpha male Chads on the block.
Well if you want more gaming in your anime, this is a solid list to check out. We’ll be looking at anime that centers games, gamers, and everything even remotely connected to the gaming world.
It’s difficult to be even more on the nose when it comes to titles. However, this show is far from an extensive look at the gaming industry or e-sports.
It’s a romantic comedy that uses gaming as the central plot device.
Our protagonist is the stereotypical gamer who just likes to stay at home and spend every waking moment on his computer.
This all changes when the popular girl asks him to join the gaming club. Within this club is where most of the romance, comedy, misunderstandings and gaming takes place.
So even though the show isn’t just about gaming, the characters are definitely gamers, and are rather relatable.
19. And you thought there is never a girl online?
Light novel adaptations really love asking question in the title. But at least it gets to the point.
The setup for this show is a tale as old as time: a gamer falling in love with his online waifu, only to later learn that he was talking to a middle-aged man.
Because of this, he grows skeptical of everyone online and just assumes everyone is a man. But wouldn’t you know it, he was playing with hot babes all along.
And they’re all from his school. Can you guess what is going to happen next? Exactly.
18. Sword Art Online
I want to keep the isekai shows to a minimum, but regardless of what you might think of this franchise, there‘s no denying it has some serious representation.
Starting off with the typical MMORPG world, it then branches out to a more fairy tale setting and then even gives some love to FPS fans.
And if you’re a fan of the game genre in question, SAO can actually be really entertaining.
I for one really enjoyed Gun Gale, as the FPS genre isn’t covered nearly as much as the MMOs, so it was refreshing.
This show definitely had quite the unique first episode, as we see a delinquent get bullied by four girls into joining their club.
What club, you might ask? The Game Development club.
And although they won’t teach you a lick of Python or C++, games are a central plot device in the show.
The characters just hang around, play some games to pass the time, and question why the protagonist ever claimed to be a delinquent in the first place.
It’s a pretty chill show and has that golden slice of life feeling to it.
16. Welcome to the N.H.K.
N.H.K. tackles a lot of things, from hikikomoris and low self-worth, to extreme paranoia and how people can peer pressure you into suicide (I’m not joking, the show gets dark sometimes ).
But another central premise is that of creating a game.
And the show actually goes into detail on the creative process and the financial struggles of game developers. For a show that tackles so many topics, you would think that they would just gloss over gaming in a few minutes… but you may be pleasantly surprised.
15. BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.
I appreciate Bofuri because it put its characters into a video game and still managed to stray away from making it an isekai.
That’s right: no one is trapped, it’s just a VRMMO.
That in itself was refreshing. But the fact that the show remembers it’s only a game, and even has a tank main as the central protagonist, was quite the treat.
It does give The Rising of the Shield Hero vibes, but it’s way less bleak and actually has fun with the world.
Just a story of a girl who accidentally became OP and decided to roll with it.
14. New Game!
If you really love games and what goes on behind the scenes, then this anime is bound to be to your liking.
It tackles the entire process of game creation, from conception to art design, coding, and then realization.
The show is beyond adorable, and all the characters quickly grow on you over time, as you can clearly see how passionate they are about what they do.
It’s also quite the realistic take on such a deep concept, especially the fact that they made the head programmer walk around with some real anger issues. Coding leaves no room for patience.
13. High Score Girl
In High Score Girl we have a central male protagonist who’s just the ultimate pro gamer.
Since the show is set in the 90s, arcades are all the rage, and our MC is just setting record after record. Never truly being challenged.
That is, until the female lead comes in and hands him an L with minimum difficulty.
Not only is she an attractive girl, but she’s better than him in video games? Poggers.
So the dude tries to become even better while also maybe slipping in some romantic subtext as well.
Overlord is a pure isekai. However, it does stick to the game format more so than most.
Although the protagonist Ainz is overpowered, he still has to use his game knowledge to secure important victories.
For example, knowing when to use which item, what spell is strong against which opponents, what matchups he’s terrible in, and so on.
And at the end of the day, Ainz was just a typical gamer before he got isekai’d. So he still has that patent awkwardness that we can all recognize and relate to.
11. Summer Wars
In the world of Summer Wars, VR has completely taken over. And everyone choses to spend their time in the virtual world called OZ.
Like modern VR chat rooms, here they can communicate with each other, play games, and even go shopping. But this is where it gets tricky.
OZ is so popular and trusted that it’s even tasked with bringing back an asteroid explorer from space.
Well our protagonist is a math genius, and in an epic gamer fail moment, accidentally puts the world in danger. It will all make way more sense if you watch the movie, which is definitely worth the watch.
10. Magic of Stella
Magic of Stella is another show that deals with game development.
Only instead of creating an MMO or something like that, they’re creating doujin games. Which as you might have guessed is quite the different experience.
Our protagonist is in the art design sector and just tries to breathe new life into the game, while also making some friends on the side.
It’s not the most critically acclaimed show. But if you like the concept, it could easily become a guilty pleasure.
9. Seiyu’s Life!
A big part of what gives games and anime a soul is voice acting. I’m sure that you all have that one line from a video game or anime that just stuck with you because of its excellent delivery.
Seiyu’s Life gets us a closer look at the industry, as a young girl named Futaba tries to get her name out of the door as a voice actress.
There are plenty of ups and downs, and we see sides of the industry that are perhaps not as glamorous. But it’s really interesting to see it all unfold.
Plus, it’s like getting a weird peek into the head of CDawgVA.
8. Eroge! H mo Game mo Kaihatsu Zanmai
I’m putting this show down only for fellow men/women of culture.
As the title hints at, this show is all about creating eroge games.
It stars a dude who knows nothing about drawing, programming, or business, but has an expensive experience in the eroge genre. By chance, he’s invited to join a studio that’s about to go under. And he puts it on himself to save the studio by teaching his female co-workers what a good eroge game looks like.
This goes without saying, but never watch this in front of other people.
7. Recovery of an MMO Junkie
It’s pretty normal to see an anime character that has given up on the real world and just plays video games all day long.
But you will quickly realize that the characters are mostly teenagers who seemingly have an infinite allowance and no real responsibilities.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie takes that basic premise but adds a twist: the heroine is a fully grown woman.
As you might have guessed, money doesn’t grow on trees. And she now has to figure out how to combine her love for gaming, with that absolute drag known as paying your bills.
6. No Game No Life
No Game No Life centres around a dynamic duo that has achieved ultimate pro gamer status: Sora and Shiro.
They’re so good at every game imaginable that a literal god calls them over into his universe where their talents could be fully utilized.
You see, in this world everything is settled through games, be it very complicated chess or a man-hunt FPS team battle.
The two quickly find themselves at home and use their giga-brains to climb to the very top of the ladder and make humanity a meta race once again.
Orelmo is on the slice of life side of things when it comes to genre, with gaming being a central medium for plot progression.
The central figure is a girl who honestly seems too perfect. She has excellent grades, is popular, pretty, literally has no weaknesses.
That is, until one day her brother realizes what kinds of games she’s into.
So he makes an account of his own and tries to troll her, only to get way more invested than he had originally thought. Lots of miscommunication and awkward dinners ensue.
This anime to many fans was the progenitor of the isekai series.
Our protagonist is a dude who finds himself stuck inside of a video game, with little to no memory of how it happened.
At first he freaks out, but then he quickly embraces the change, being that his real life is not all that good.
He meets up with a wide array of colorful characters and they all venture out to find an item called “The Key of Twilight”. While this show was not the best portrayal of the video game experience(that show is in the number 2 spot) but .Hack//Sign is still a classic, and it was a brand new concept at the time.
So I’m giving respect where respect is due.
3. Girlish Number
Girlish Number is the second anime on our list that takes voice acting as its central premise.
However unlike Seiyu’s Life, this show doesn’t really romanticize the whole experience.
Sure, it has some fun with the industry and gives us a few laughs. But it also criticizes and showcases what it really means to be a voice actor.
At times it’s simply mundane or borderline torturous work, just like any other job on the market.
2. Log Horizon
When it comes to the “trapped inside of a video game” genre, Log Horizon is by far the best in my opinion.
This is because instead of just ditching the rules of the game and just making it a typical fantasy world, the game elements are essential to the show.
Knowing how to juggle agro, create a good team comp, manage resources, or even metagame are all key factors in this anime.
There’s no one overpowered character, but rather an array of people with different strengths and weaknesses.
The main character is a support mage who’s just good with a quill, but his game knowledge makes him extremely valuable and powerful! That’s the type of scaling I like.
1. The King’s Avatar
I might be burned at the stake for suggesting a Chinese anime, but hear me out.
If you truly love games and want to see a show that best encapsulates competitive gaming, this is your best shot.
The entire story follows a literal pro gamer who starts smurfing after being banned from his e-team.
The animation is god-tier and the story never forgets its roots. The in-game fighting is extremely polished too, but never feels like it’s going outside of the realm of gaming.
I highly recommend you give it a try and see what you think.