Are you looking for the best anime about gaming?
Well you’ve come to the right place, because that’s exactly what we’ll be going over.
Some of these shows are about being trapped in a video game with a fantasy setting. Some of these shows are about the online video game coming into real life where you have to compete in a death battle.
And we’ve even included a slice of life video game show.
So there’s something here for everyone…
Table of Contents
1. Sword Art Online
A new virtual reality multiplayer game called Sword Art Online has been released. Everyone’s playing having a good time when suddenly, an announcement has been made. Players are unable to log out of the game. They’re trapped!
The only way they can be released from the game is to reach the 100th floor and defeat the final boss.
You follow a young introverted boy named Kirito. He was a beta tester for Sword Art Online so he has an advantage over other players. Not to mention he’s a hardcore gamer.
If you die in the game, you die in real life. After going at it alone, Kirito realizes he needs a group/party to join. He teams up with Asuna, a skilled player. Not to mention she’s an amazing cook.
There is romance between the two and I think the romance is done well. The world of Sword Art Online is beautiful and cruel, just like the real world.
You’ll have a blast watching this show. And it’s personally my favorite anime serious about gaming where the players are trapped.
If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen this show, give it a shot!
2. The Rising of the Shield Hero
I had a really tough time deciding which show deserved the number one spot. The Rising of the Shield Hero just missed it by a hair. So know this is an epic show…
You follow Naofumi Iwatani, an easy going young Japanese guy. Whilst reading a book, he’s suddenly summoned into a different kind of world. Like a video game coming to life but it’s just as treacherous as the real world…
…he’s joined by 3 guys that come from a different world also.
Naofumi was summoned by the King so these 4 young men would become heroes of the Kingdom.
They’ve been summoned to fight hordes of monsters called Waves. Then these Waves occur, there’s an astronomical amount of devastation.
There’s a sword hero, spear hero, bow hero, and shield hero. Unfortunately, Naofumi is the shield hero which is considered the weakest. He can’t even pick up a weapon.
Naofumi is stabbed in the back, he doesn’t realize but there are others involved.
A disgusting lie about Naofumi spreads across the kingdom and he becomes the most hated in the kingdom. All the way from royalty to peasants. He can’t even walk the streets and has to hide his face.
Because of this, Naofumi has no one to help him.
But how is he supposed to fight if he can only use a shield?
Naofumi has decided to go to any means necessary to progress in this cold world.
This may be one of my favorite shows of all time. Yes, it’s that good.
This is a show where the main character is actually the villain.
You follow Momonga, whose in-game name is Ainz Ooal Gown. The servers for this fantasy game are about to shut down so he’s saying his last and final goodbye… or at least he thought so.
Momonga realizes he can’t log out and is trapped inside the game. And for some reason, the NPCs aren’t acting normal. They have a mind of their own. What on Earth is going on?
Momonga sets out to learn if anyone from the real world is also in this game world with him.
In order to try and quickly figure out if anyone from the real world is in the game. He attempts to make his name known all through the game world.
Everyone will know the name Ainz Ooal Gown.
It’s a really fun show to watch. The only downside is, after season 1 the animation quality takes a dramatic drop. The CGI is awful. But you get used to it so I personally am not too fussed.
4. No Game No Life
You follow Sora and Shiro. Two hermits that never leave their room, introverted doesn’t even begin to describe them.
They’re actually very famous in the online gaming world. Known as “Blank”, they have never lost a game.
One day, they were challenged by the game God in a game of chess. The two are victorious and are offered to live in a video game world. They both accept thinking it’s just a joke but end up being transported to a different reality.
In the new world they now live in, it’s impossible for people to attack each other. The only way you can attack someone is by beating them at a game. And the loser will hand over what they gambled no matter what.
However, players are allowed to cheat as long as it’s not acknowledged by the other player.
Sora and Shiro traverse to Elkia, a nation ruled by humans. However, they’re the weakest nation in the world. They lost almost all of their land because they suck at games.
Learning about the decline of the humans, Sora and Shiro participate in a tournament to determine the next ruler. They win the tournament and become the rulers of the kingdom.
Their goal is to conquer all sixteen species and conquer the world so they can challenge the gamer God.
5. Log Horizon
Suddenly 30,000 flustered Japanese gamers were trapped in a game due to an update.
You follow Shiroe, an introverted college student who’s decided to explore this world he is now trapped in.
He must learn to live side-by-side with others. Shiroe wants to bring peace and stability to the virtual city of Akihabara. He is joined by his friend Naotsugu who has only logged into the game recently after years apart.
Shinro is also accompanied by Akatsuki, a fierce assassin who labels Shiroe as her master.
It’s an epic story of fantasy, adventure, and politics. You’ll definitely love it!
6. KonoSuba – God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World
You follow Kazuma Sato, a teenager that dies an embarrassing death. He meets a goddess named Aqua, who offers to reincarnate him in a parallel world with MMORPG elements.  This is a place where he can do things like battle monsters.
Aqua accompanies Kazuma only to find out she’s a bit clumsy and not what you’d expect a god to be like. Aqua can’t return to the afterlife until the Devil King has been defeated.
They decide to form a party and go on an epic quest to destroy the Devil King.
It’s a weird premise but super fun. It’s not the average, “Oh my God! I’m trapped in a video game world!” Instead, you get there in the afterlife. Is that what we can wish for if we die? Who knows.
Either way, it’s a must watch show.
7. Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World
You follow Subaru Natsuki, a guy who’s unemployed and not in education. One night, he’s doing a bit of shopping and is suddenly transported into a different world.
I know, super original but keep reading…
He soon becomes friends with Satella, a half-elf girl and her companion Puck.
Satella mentions that something was stolen by a thief named Felt. Satella and Subaru are mysteriously killed.
Subaru awakens and discovers that he’s acquired the power to respawn. He keeps dying these painful deaths and is trying to figure out why.
This show covers a variety of different plots and I don’t want to spoil anything. Just know this show is one Hell of a rollercoaster ride.
8. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls In a Dungeon?
This show takes place in a world where RPG elements are a natural part of it. As if God created the normal world like that.
Exploring dungeons in this world is basically a full time job. It’s tough, you work long hours, and you get paid.
You follow Bell Cranel, a young man who wants to become the greatest adventurer in the land.
This is an adventure show. It’s all about exploring dungeons, fighting monsters and becoming stronger.
9. Accel World
You follow Haruyuki Arita, a short, overweight middle schooler that gets bullied. He uses video games to escape the torment of life and find solace. One day, Haruyuki finds that all his high scores have been beaten by Kuroyukihime, a girl in the school who’s also the vice president of the school council.
She invites him to the student lounge and introduces him to “Brain Burst”. It’s a program and when you enter that program, it’s as if time has stopped. This is due to Brain Burst accelerating your brain waves. Brain Burst is also a virtual reality fighting game.
And in order to keep the acceleration of your brain wave going, you must win points. You win points by achieving victory in duels.
If a player loses all their points, they get kicked out of Brain Burst and never allowed to enter again.
It’s definitely a unique spin on the video game anime genre.
The reason why Kuroyukihime introduced Haruyuki to this program is because she needs his help. She wants to meet the creator of the program and the reason why it was created.
But in order to do this, she must defeat the 6 faction leaders of the game called the Six Kings of Pure Color.
So what’s in it for Haruyuki? Why should he help her?
Because she stops Haruyuki from being bullied.
Again, this is a unique spin on this genre and kinda refreshing. I highly recommend it.
In this show you follow Ryouta Sakamoto, an unemployed young man that lives with his mother. The only thing that he does is play Btoom! A popular online game in Japan and he’s the top player.
One day he wakes up and finds himself stranded on an island. He can’t remember how he got there or the purpose behind him being there. Ryouta begins shouting for help and ends up getting a bomb thrown at him.
At this point, he realizes he’s in a real life version of Btooom! There are others on the island but everyone is a participant in this death game.
Each player has a green crystal and you have to kill them to collect the crystal. After you’ve collected all the crystals, you’re able to regain your freedom.
At first, Ryouta refuses to participate in this death battle but soon realises it’s either kill or be killed.
If you love arena type shows where you have to battle to death, you’ll love Btoom!
11. Himouto! Umaru-chan
So I’ve included this show at the bottom of the list because it’s not simply based on a video game…
You follow a girl named Umaru Doma, a high school that lives with her brother. When she’s at school, she seems perfectly normal. Umaru gets top grades, is talented, and she’s an attractive girl, but…
…when she gets home and shuts the door, she turns into a full-on otaku. She transforms into a kid in a simple “poof”. And she’s reading manga, eating chips, and playing video games.
When she puts on her hamster hoodie, Umaru becomes lazy and just starts eating a bunch of junk food. Leaving all the housework to her brother.
It’s a series where each episode tells a story in a day in the life of Umaru.
This show is the embodiment of the crazy otaku living within us all. A relaxing slice of life anime.
So those were the best anime about gaming.
Some of these shows are people being trapped in a video game, some are based in a fantasy setting, and some shows are death battles. We’ve even included a slice of life video game show.
You’ll definitely enjoy these shows, even if you don’t agree with the order we put them in.