From music to video games to movies, Japanese media is popular not only in Japan but around the world, too. It’s hard to tell which have Japanese themes, and which are so Western that you might not even know they were made in Japan!
In need of your fix of games from the Land of the Rising Sun? Here is a list of 25 of the best games that were made in Japan by Japanese game developers.
It’s a well-known name in the world of fighting games. There have always been games for both arcades and home consoles in Tekken since the very first one came out in 1994. Since it was released, Tekken 7 is the first game to be played on a computer since then. Windows only, though. Mac users, I’m sorry!
Continues the Mishima family feud that has been going on in previous games. Tekken 7 is supposed to be the end of the storyline. There have been some crazy twists in the series so far (like being thrown into an erupting volcano), but this game is supposed to be the last one.
For Tekken 7, the game is all about fighting against one another. It has new gameplay elements, like Power Crush and Rage Arts. These make the game easier for people who aren’t very good at it, but it still has a lot of excitement.
Dead or Alive 3
Released in 2001, Dead or Alive 3 was one of the first games for the Xbox. It pushed the console to its limits right away, and it kept going. Because of how good its graphics and animations were back then, the game was a big hit!
People who make Dead or Alive say it’s one of the best fighting games ever made. DOA3 and its predecessor, DOA2, are very well-liked and are thought to be the best games in the series.
DOA, like other parts of the series, is about the Dead or Alive Tournament. The tournament is being held to see how well a human weapon called Omega works. People who are competing with Omega aren’t happy about it. They want nothing more than to take her down.
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
These games were made by Sega as an answer to Nintendo’s Mario. There was even a commercial for the first game in which they said it was true. In the same way, it’s a 2D side-scrolling platformer, but it has a lot of gameplay features that make it very different from its inspiration. In this case, Sonic can roll on a curved surface.
Dr. Robotnik has turned animals into robots and is looking for powerful Chaos Emeralds, so Sonic the Hedgehog wants to defeat him. Sonic also wants to find the powerful Chaos Emeralds. Sonic has to move through levels with slopes, spikes, springs, and robots on his way to stop the Dr. Robotnik from killing him.
The series was a hit from the start, with many publications giving it a 90%+ rating when it came out. A lot of people liked how quickly it progressed. Most platformers at the time didn’t have that kind of speed.
Resident Evil 2 (2019)
In Raccoon City, there’s been a virus that turns people into zombies and other horrible things. It’s not easy to get out of the zombie-infested town that Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield both want to leave.
It is a survival horror game made by Capcom that came out in 1998. It comes after the first Resident Evil game, which came out in 1997. It was very well-received because it built on the foundation of its predecessor, adding a branching storyline.
Take everything that the original did right and make it even better in 2019. It kept the same story and atmosphere as the original, but it had better character designs, a new camera system, and more realistic graphics.
Metroid Dread was thought up a long time before its release; it was supposed to be on the Nintendo DS! There were some technical problems that meant that development had to be halted early on, so Dread didn’t come out on the Nintendo Switch until 2021.
Metroid: Samus Aran, an intergalactic bounty hunter, is the main character in this game, just like in other Metroid games. When she’s in Dread, she has to look into strange transmissions coming from the planet ZDR.
A platform game called Metroid Dread is an action-adventure game that has the same side-scrolling gameplay as earlier games, but also adds stealth elements. A lot of people liked it very much. It was the fastest-selling Metroid game in Japan, America, and the UK. Metroid Prime is also one of the best-selling games in the series, behind only Metroid Prime.
Tales of Berseria
Tales of Berseria is the 16th game in Bandai Namco’s Tales series. This means that each game in this series has its own story and characters instead of just being linked by the high fantasy setting and gameplay they all have.
Velvet is the main character in Berseria. She is a troubled young woman who has just been released from prison. During a disease called Daemonblight, people start turning into monsters. The game is set in the land of the Holy Midgard Empire and takes place there.
When you fight in Tales, you use a system called the Linear Motion Battle System. With this, players can move freely around the battle zone and choose the angle of the camera.
One of the best things about Tales of Berseria and other games in the Tales of series is “Skits.” Between cutscenes and battles, there are short clips that show how characters and the game’s history work together.
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
A group of high school students are stuck in a school. A talking teddy bear tells them to play a “game” of killing each other, but they don’t want to do it. Isn’t it ridiculous and scary at the same time? You can’t help but like Danganronpa because of that.
There are three main Danganronpa games: Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, which is the third one made by Spike Chunsoft. It’s a game that lets you play as a character in a story. The gameplay is very similar to the previous games in the series.
The game is broken up into three parts. In School Life, you meet other students in a dating-sim-like way. Deadly Life has you look into murders and try to find as much evidence as you can before the class trial. When you and your classmates work together to solve logic problems, you’ll be able to figure out who the real killer is.
Shenmue I & II HD
There was a lot of planning and thought that went into Yu Suzuki’s “revenge” game for the Dreamcast. Shenmue is set in an open world that is very real, but there isn’t a lot of attention paid to the small things.
It hasn’t aged well, and d3port t’s is just that: a port. It keeps all the textures, facial expressions, and time to kill the same as they were when it came out in 1999. There are some parts of the game that aren’t very good. When you play as Ryo Hazuki, a smug and recently bereft teenager, you’re walking around his hometown, Yokosuka, in search of sailors and bikers. People in Hong Kong talk about money at every turn, like, “Want to play Lucky Hit?”
It doesn’t matter what you think of it, but it’s an important piece of gaming history that will also help you get ready for Shenmue III when it comes out next year.
The Yakuza games are hyper-masculine, hyper-Japanese, and a perfect mix of everything Sega. They’ve been a PlayStation series for a long time. But just as the series has finally become popular in the West, it also makes its debut on the PC with the prequel set in the 1980s. Yakuza 0 isn’t just the best way to start, but also the most fun.
There’s no game that better reflects Japanese culture than this one. You can play gangster life lessons with your fists, play disco dancing rhythm games, or just look at districts that look like real-life places in Tokyo and Osaka. Kiryu’s life story is about to get a whole lot more interesting for PC gamers. The first game is also getting a remake.