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8 Animes that have a Turn-based Game

Written by Charlie Norris

8 Anime Turn-Based Games

With Bandai Namco One Piece’s turn-based RPG, I thought about what other anime have had turn-based games, and it was more than I thought. Some anime like Pokemon, Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh have countless turn-based games based on the property, while others like Dragon Ball Z have but a few games based on them, but with this list, I will try and give at least one game from the property; in most cases the most recent entry.

If you love anime and turn-based games, you may just find your new favorite game.


Okay, I know, technically, the games came first, but Pokémon is so big in the anime world that it deserves a spot on this list regardless of it being a game first. Also, for most audiences in the West, the series came out first before the games, and unless you are a hardcore fan and looked up the history, your first experience in the world of Pokémon would be the anime.

Needless to say, almost all the games based on Pokémon are turn-based one way or another, besides a few spinoffs. If you are a fan of Pokémon and turn-based games, you will be spoilt for choice, but only for Nintendo consoles. The latest release was Pokémon Legends Arceus, with a new title (Scarlet and Violet) coming at the end of the year.


When it came to anime and monsters in the 90s, you fell into one of two camps on the school grounds: Pokémon or Digimon. If you were like me as a child, you would have fallen into the Digimon camp because you thought it was cool and edgy. After all, they could die, and the show seemed more mature at the time.

I can’t be sure how many Digimon games are turn-based, but I know the most recent one available on Steam, Cyber Sleuths is a turn-based RPG. The series may have more as it does share characteristics with Pokémon. There is meant to be a new Digimon game coming out soon, too, that is also turn-based for those that still enjoy the anime.


Yu-Gi-Oh is basically an anime about card battling with cards that summon monsters. Basically Magic, but anime if that makes it easier. Honestly, I would be surprised if Yu-Gi-Oh had a game that wasn’t turn-based, as the whole concept of the show is taking turns to battle and strategize. Yu-Gi-Oh still proves to be popular among both the anime and the gaming crowd that a new anime and game have come out this year, with the game even being free-to-play.

Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball isn’t an anime one would associate with turn-based games, which holds true for most games in the series. With the show being all about fighting, the games have also taken that same approach. There are exceptions, and they come in the form of the card battling games released for various consoles, mainly for portable consoles like Gameboy Color.

The card games have been here and there for fans but provide lots of fun to those who enjoy the series and card battling games. While they are few and far behind when it comes to card games, the most recent release was Dragon Ball World Heroes for Steam and Switch.

Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon was an anime ahead of its time with female superheroes, LGBTQ themes (not present in the English dubs) and more that would have been unheard of in the 90s. What you also may not know about the series is it had a handful of games released only in Japan, and one of those games was a fun turn-based RPG set in the universe of Sailor Moon released on the Super NES.

While the game was never released in the West, there are a few ways to play it (mostly through emulation). I assume if you are an old Sailor Moon fan, you have already played the game, but for those new to the series, it may be something to look for and campaign to get released on the Switch’s SNES catalogue?


Depending on where you stand with the Transformer series as a whole, it is either anime, not anime or both. Still, if we are going to be technical, anime does mean animation, which means Transformers qualifies as anime. Like Dragon Ball, Transformers is another series one wouldn’t think of having a turn-based game, but it does have one—a quite recent one, too.

Based on the most recent Transformers series, Transformers Battlegrounds is a turn-based tactical game similar to the X-Com games but for youngsters. Whether you are a fan of the new series or not, Transformer fans should give this a go, only to see what X-Com for kids could look like.


Gundam is a lot like Transformer as it is another anime series about giant robots battling each other. Like Transformers, the series has been going on for years and has had countless games based on the series. Once again, it isn’t a series one associated with turn-based as most games in the series have been shooters. Although it has had at least one game to come out that is turn-based, and it is one of the more recent games to come out, SD Gundam Generations Cross Rays.

One Piece

Finally, the reason I thought of this article, One Piece. This is another series that never seemed like a turn-based RPG would be a right fit for it. Up until now, most games based on One Piece have been Warriors-like games or fighters, nothing in between. That is all about to change with the newest One Piece game which takes the series into the JRPG genre. The genre change seems to excite fans, and hopefully, this can be a new direction for the series.

There may be more anime turn-based games, but I assume most of them are on mobile, and that is a whole different ball game. I am also sure there was a Shoen Jump RPG that was turn-based, but I can’t find any existence of it. It may have been a dream or a mobile title; not quite sure. In the end, these were the eight games based on anime I found, but if you know more, let us know. Which turn-based anime game is your favorite?


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Charlie Norris

Charlie Norris is a lover of games, especially RPGs. When he isn't playing games, he is most likely thinking about games and which ones he wants to play next. Some may say it is an obsession, but he says it is a way of life.

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