Anime has never been more popular, with live-action Netflix remakes and multi-million-dollar video games.
Anime board games are no exception: from long-running classics like Dragon Ball to more recent contenders like My Hero Academia, many of the best and most successful anime series has found a comfortable home on the tabletop.
When you consider the engrossing characters and stories, fast-paced action, and incredible visual style that has become trademarks of the genre, it’s no surprise.
Many of the best anime board games highlight the elements that first drew fans’ interest and adoration, as well as providing a new way to share their worlds, characters, and stories with others.
When you love an anime, you will like to integrate it into a board game, and it becomes even more thrilling. You will enjoy the incredible artwork when playing against other players in an anime-themed universe.
Here are some of the best anime board games available, and they include;
1. Naruto Boruto Card Game
It is considered to be one of my favorite animes. This card game combines the original Naruto, Naruto Shippuden, and Naruto Boruto into one game, allowing players to create their own ninja team from the cast of characters from the anime, including Team 7, the latter Boruto generation, and the Uchiha clan.
The Chrono Clash system, which allows players to drive a central track back and forth by investing ‘time’ to play cards and execute spectacular attacks and combos, is at the heart of the game’s battles.
More powerful cards take longer to play, allowing their opponent to play more powerful cards during their turn.
It means that, rather than having to build up resources like MTG’s mana, any card can be played from the first turn, allowing players to get right into the action.
It is a fun game that allows players to summon fearsome fighters by discarding cards from the field and working their way through their opponent’s guardian cards, which are exposed and cause effects as they take damage.
The card game is divided into two sets: Shippuden and Boruto, which can be played separately or together for a complete set.
The anime boxes are known to be compatible with other Chrono Clash games, allowing you to compare Naruto, Boruto, Sasuke, and other characters to Godzilla if you so wish. This game is available on Amazon.
2. Dragon Ball Super Card Game
It is a series filled with characters who are both immensely strong and a little quirky, and it’s known for its violent fights, planet-destroying attacks, and giant, glowing hairdos.
The Dragon Ball Super Card Game is a head-to-head card battler in the vein of Magic: The Gathering that brings the fast-paced battles and memorable roster of Dragon Ball’s new series to the table. The numbers are much, much larger here, so brace yourself for a lot of “It’s over 9,000!”
Players build a deck of 50 to 60 cards with characters from the game, including several versions of fan favorites, including Son Goku, Vegeta, and Trunks, before pitting them against each other in a fight to reduce their opponent’s health to zero.
The card game also features the ability for the leader of a deck to awaken, gain new strength, and fight back against a tough foe, similar to Dragon Ball’s Super Saiyan and Ultra Instinct styles.
Another unique feature of the game is the ability for multiple characters to perform combos together to boost their strength. This game is also available on Amazon.
3. My Hero Academia: The Card Game
My Hero Academia: The Card Game is one of the best anime board games. Players take charge of hero agencies trying to recruit superpowered students from U.A. High School in My Hero Academia: The Card Game, which is based on the hugely popular anime.
Players will send their students on missions to gain their reputation as the best hero organization in the world by selecting students with the right quicks – their strong skills, for those unfamiliar with the game.
Every agency will be able to complete their task cards and gain points by using attacks, movement, and other action cards, ranging from passing the school entrance exam to actually joining their team to taking on mighty opponents and more.
The game features vibrant graphics and images from the anime, making it an ideal way to learn more about the world and its characters.
If you’re a fan of My Hero Academia and have been looking for a way to continue your enjoyment of the series on the tabletop, you’re in luck because I’m here to help!
4. Cowboy Bebop: Space Serenade
Cowboy Bebop: Space Serenade is among the best anime board game. This board game will be music to your ears if you like Cowboy Bebop’s distinct style – including its excellent soundtrack – and blending of sci-fi and western action.
Up to four players will join the crew of the Bebop as bounty hunters Spike, Jet, Faye, and Ed, who travel the galaxy in search of goals to win prestige and outperform their opponents – the other players.
The game is a deck-builder game, with players adding new abilities and characters to their personal stack of cards each round.
The cards allow players to travel between planets by fueling their spaceships and moving their character miniatures between Earth, Mars, and Ganymede in order to seek their bounty.
The community must attempt to apprehend Vicious in a final boss battle after capturing criminals through investigation or direct confrontation – but there’s always the risk he’ll escape.
Cowboy Bebop: Space Serenade is a great homage to the series for fans, with a semi-cooperative feel amid the players’ rivalry and artwork that matches the anime’s punchy look. Space cowboy, I’ll see you at the table.
5. Death Note: Confrontation
Death Note: Confrontation is one of the best anime board games. Death Note is a grim, twisted tale of deceit, mystery, and murder as a manga and anime.
It’s only natural that the board game, in which two players take on the roles of killer Kira and detective L in a cat-and-mouse chase to outwit each other, will be similarly tense.
L is attempting to entice Kira into goals in order to figure out the killer’s whereabouts – and the true identity of the ruthless killer.
Meanwhile, Kira must elude L as he attempts to remove those on his hit list to avoid being apprehended. The killer wins if Kira receives enough victory points by writing the names of the goals in the notebook until L deduces his identity and catches him.
Confrontation allows you to write in a notebook when playing the game, with both players secretly running around a map during the day, selecting between possible positions when attempting to escape or corner their opponent.
The characters can use special abilities as the game progresses, such as natural intelligence in the case of the legendary detective or Ryuk’s god-like ability when Kira bribes the shinigami with apples, which keeps the tensions high during the game’s short half-hour play period.
Players can purchase this game on Amazon.
6. Attack on Titan: The Last Stand
It is a no-brainer that Attack on Titan has one of the best anime board games. The titans are frightening in both the manga and anime series Attack on Titan.
They tower over humans, wreaking havoc and inflicting untold carnage.
Rather than losing any of that terrifying scale in a stack of flat cards and tiles, Attack on Titan: The Last Stand features a titan who rises up from the table, giving the board game’s action an incredible sense of 3D verticality.
Even better, one player gets to command the titan itself, fending off attacks from the other players in order to stop it from destroying a supply depot.
Every round, the titan players must choose between cards, which they must match with dice rolls to avoid losing.
The other players aren’t left out of the 3D fun, thanks to a castle on which they can strategically place familiar characters from the anime as they defend against the titan, hoping to weaken and eventually destroy him.
The Last Stand’s gameplay was created by Antoine Bauza, the developer of 7 Wonders, and Ludovic Maublanc, the designer of Cash ‘n Guns, giving it some substance behind its impressive presentation. It’s an anime board game that holds its own in every way.
7. Pokémon Trading Card Game
Pokémon is considered to be among the best anime board games. It continues to be massive, thanks to Pokémon Go, Detective Pikachu, and the new video games for the Nintendo Switch. Not bad for a series that began with a yellow electric mouse nearly 30 years ago.
While the world of Pokémon began with Game Boy video games, its popularity soon expanded to include a long-running anime series and the Pokémon Trading Card Game, which has kept up with the series overall with new sets, gameplay features, and, of course, hundreds of new Pokémon to capture (or collect).
If you started with the TV show or the video games, the Pokémon card game perfectly captures the thrill of putting together your own team of pocket monsters and competing against other trainers in a war of elements, evolutions, and eliminations.
Players can evolve their Pokémon, power them up with energy cards, and unleash powerful moves to knock out their opponent’s team in this card game that combines everything wonderful about Pokémon into a single match.
If you’ve ever played video games or watched anime, you’ll find that learning to play the Pokémon Trading Card Game is a breeze, thanks to the simpler rules compared to other card games, including Magic: The Gathering and the allure of filling out your Pokédex.
Tag Team cards, Pokémon EX and GX cards with even more powerful variations, and new VMax cards supersizing Pokémon identical to the Gigantamax models seen in Pokémon Sword and Shield, are among the cards accessible.
Best of all, you can try out the Pokémon Trading Card Game for free using its online app before investing in a physical deck of cards – and with nearly 900 Pokémon to capture, you’d better get started as soon as possible if you want to catch them all.
8. Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game
Yu-Gi-Oh! has one of the best anime board games. It has the unique distinction of becoming the first card game to appear in an anime before being a real game, with Duel Monsters first appearing in the manga and TV show before becoming a real game.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, along with Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon, has arguably become more well-known than the anime and is one of the few collectible card games from the 1990s that is still going strong more than 20 years later.
That’s due to the game’s design, which captures the anime’s excitement of summoning powerful monsters to fight on the field – as well as the enduring fun of exclaiming, “You just triggered my trap card!”
Players summon monsters using a variety of strategies, some of which also include sacrificing cards already in play and then using spells and traps to reduce their opponent’s life points to nil.
With attack and defense values in the thousands and card names like Nefarious Archfiend Eater of Nefariousness, the numbers and monster names are all part of the appeal, much like in the anime.
Although the main Yu-Gi-Oh! Card game continues to please long-time fans by keeping up with new summon techniques and monsters from the anime. The game has also seen several beginner-friendly spin-offs in recent years, including the five-minute Speed Duel.
9. Sword Art Online Board Game: Sword of Fellows
Sword Art Online is a full-immersion anime. Kirito discovers the terrible secret of the virtual reality massively multiplayer online roleplaying game – or VRMMORPG for short – that gives the original novels and anime their name in this critically acclaimed series.
What’s the shocking news? If you die in the video game, you die in real life, and the only way to log off safely is to complete the game’s 100 challenging floors.
With SAO’s emphasis on total immersion – to the point of tragedy – it only makes sense that the board game based on the anime follows the story’s atmosphere and suspense so closely.
It is a similar social and high-stakes experience for anime fans, with gameplay from Seiji Kanai, designer of the beloved party game Love Letter.
Up to four players can team up and join the virtual world of Aincrad in the co-op game, or a single player can go it alone. Assuming the roles of anime characters, each player will need to use a specific combat style to beat enemies and stay alive.
Players use dice to execute attacks, forming combos by combining their sword skills and abilities in order to deal enough damage to defeat their opponents. If they make it all the way to the end of the game, they’ll have to battle one final boss to make it out alive.
The dice-based gameplay in Sword of Fellows is simple to pick up, but the game’s tough complexity means there’s plenty of space to learn how to interact with your friends and use your character’s special abilities to eventually triumph.
It’s a difficult, stressful board game that captures the anime’s against-all-odds feel. It also only takes 30 minutes to play, so you can always go for another run with your mates in the hopes of actually winning this time.
10. Tokyo Ghoul: The Card Game
This is a deck-building strategy game in which two or more players fight to survive using cards representing different ghouls from the Tokyo Ghoul universe.
The game’s plot revolves around a turf war in which players try to recruit new allies and inflict enemies on their rivals.
Tokyo Ghoul’s dark fantasy offers chilling art, and the game mixes traditional deck building with direct combat to keep things interesting. It is known to be one of the best anime board games.
This competitive turn-based game includes 140 ally cards, 34 enemy cards, and 28 strategy cards. This wouldn’t be a bad date idea, particularly if you intend on revealing your true identity as a beautiful ghoul at the end of it. Players can purchase this game on Amazon.