Video game movies are a fickle genre with most facing warranted criticism for their plots and character motivation changes. The recent Sonic the Hedgehog movie controversy has been a stunning example of just how intense the debate about Video Game movies can get. Luckily, some studios have opted for a solution in the form of animation.
These anime movies are better received than most live-action films based on similar video game franchises. Working in mostly the same medium as the original content, these movies can follow storylines unrestricted by what can be done in real life. Using ratings from IMDB, we have compiled this list of the best anime movies based on video games.
10 Resident Evil: Damnation (6.5)
The Resident Evil movies have been received with mixed reviews, but the animated movies tend to fair much better with fans. The sequel to Resident Evil: Degeneration, Damnation follows Leon S. Kennedy on a special forces mission in the Eastern Slav Republic during a civil war to investigate BOWs (Bio-Organic Weapons). These BOWs are made from similar viruses that caused the Raccoon City Disaster in the games.
As Leon breaks many international laws, he meets up with Ada Wong who is doing her own mission and joins a group of rebels led by Buddy. After being betrayed, Leon still fights his way through hordes of infected beings, eventually making it out alive thanks to help from the US Government.
9 Resident Evil: Degeneration (6.5)
Picking up 7 years after the Raccoon City Disaster, Degeneration follows Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy dealing with another outbreak in an Airport. Claire was at the airport, with a child she was looking after, at the time of the outbreak. Leon joins a group of military personnel who enter the airport to save the survivors, including a senator.
As the groups escape certain death, Claire and Leon investigate WilPharma Corporation who had just made a vaccine that suddenly showed up after the outbreak. While investigating, they meet Curtis Miller who infected himself with the G-Virus turning himself into a monster. They fight and Leon and Claire save the world again.
8 Animal Crossing: The Movie (6.6)
This one was shocking because it didn’t receive an official release outside of Japan. Thanks to fans of the series, there are English Dubs out there, but none are official. This story follows the character Ai as she moves to a city inhabited by Anthropomorphic animals. This film follows a storyline most similar to the gameplay of Animal Crossing: City Folk.
As Ai begins working for Tom Nook, she begins to get involved in the daily lives of her neighbors around her. She also goes on a tree planting bender because of a note she found. Overall, the movie plays like the games with a lot of added drama that you may not have known you needed in your Animal Crossing.
7 Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture (6.6)
Following the characters Terry, Andy, and Joe from Fatal Fury: King of Fighters, Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture features a story where tournament fighters stop a madman from destroying the world. The film is a lore heavy tale of the heroes searching for pieces of the Armor of Mars to stop Laocorn from retrieving them.
Newcomers Mai and Sulia join the heroes for their own reasons. Sulia is a key character as she is connected to Laocorn due to their sibling relationship. Having been beaten, the heroes see no hope until Sulia, whose connection has strengthened with her brother, stabs herself in the heart, killing him. Then Mars comes back to life and the heroes defeat him using Sulia’s soul mixed with a punch.
6 Halo Legends (6.6)
Halo Legends is an anthology that builds up the lore and worlds surrounding the popular video game series of Halo. The first section focuses on the history of the universe as told by A.I. Cortana. One story, called “The Babysitter” focuses on a soldier, O’Brien, whose jealousy of a Spartan sniper who had replaced him, leads to complications in the team and the death of the Spartan. There is also a tale about an Arbiter who refuses to follow the Covenant, and his wife is killed because of this.
Master Chief stages a rescue mission to save scientist Catherine Halsey, though he does lose some soldiers on the way. Following a Spartan named Daisy, the process of the supersoldier program is uncovered to a horrifying effect. Lastly, there is a non-canon parody that features a cocky Spartan 1337 and dinosaurs.
5 Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic (6.6)
Based on the video game that is loosely based on the book, Dante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic follows Dante as he chases Lucifer through Hell trying to retrieve his wife’s soul. Returning home from war, Dante finds his family slaughtered and his wife dies in front of him. As her soul begins to rise, it is snatched by Lucifer and dragged down.
Dante begins fighting through mobs of hellish creatures as he makes his way through the layers of Hell. This journey also sees him fighting his father, being eaten by Cerberus, and freezing Lucifer. He rescues Beatrice and the two live in Purgatory.
4 Air: The Motion Picture (6.9)
Before it gets questioned, technically, visual novels are video games, so the Air series does count for this list. The film follows Yukito Kunisaki as he travels around searching for the girl in the sky from a story that has been passed down in his family. He settles in the town of Kami to make some money and meets Misuzu who is doing a project on the same girl, Kannabi.
Misuzu becomes ill and Yukito abandons her until he realizes that they are the reincarnated lovers Ryuya and Kannabi. The two confess their love, but Misuzu dies shortly after. Yukito promises to find Misuzu in her next life and break the curse that makes her sick every time they meet.
3 Final Fantasy VII: The Advent Children (7.2)
Set two years after the events of Final Fantasy VII, the planet is dying as a disease called Geostigma is ravaging everything. Ex-soldier Cloud Strife and his gigantic sword return with Tifa, Barret, and Vincent Valentine. Cloud, a delivery boy now, is one of the people infected by the disease.
As the plot progresses, the children of Tifa’s orphanage are kidnapped and Cloud is attacked by the Remnants of Sephiroth, a group of white-haired thugs who are trying to bring Sephiroth back to conquer the world. In typical Final Fantasy style, the group fights the bad guys, including a resurrected Sephiroth. After winning, Aerith makes an appearance to tell Cloud that everything is okay again.
2 Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (7.3)
M. Bison, the leader of Shadowlaw, is hunting the best fighters in the world. After leaving Sagat scared and beaten, Ryu continues his journey to train. Chun-Li, Captain Guile, and the US Military hunt for Bison. Bison kidnaps and hypnotizes Ken Masters, having learned that he trained with Ryu in the past. Chun-Li is attacked by Vega, but kills him, not before entering a coma though.
Ryu has been training with E. Honda and when Guile goes to ask for help, Bison follows, attacking the trio. A hypnotized Ken fights Ryu as Guile faces off against Bison losing badly. Ken breaks the mind control but is tossed by Bison, though he heals thanks to his ki. Ken and Ryu destroy Bison with a joint Hadouken.
1 Clannad (7.5)
Another visual novel turned television show with a reinterpretation of the story into a film, Clannad was a mostly well-received film. The story follows Tomoya Okazaki, a third-year high school student, who is going through a rough patch in his life. He meets Nagisa Furukawa, who was sick during the previous school year and has to repeat the grade.
They end up together and stay together after school ends, though Nagisa gets sick again and has to repeat the grade once more. As they get on with their lives, Nagisa dies while giving birth to Ushio. The child goes to Nagisa’s parents and Tomoya becomes depressed. It ends with Tomoya and Ushio being reunited as Nagisa’s spirit looks on smiling.