About Japanese Games

Sometimes, it can seem like there's virtually no end to the variety you'll find in the gaming landscape, and the realm of Japanese games is no exception to this rule. More than a specific type of game, the term "Japanese games" refers to a broad spectrum of game genres that happen to originate from Japan. Within this descriptor, you'll find everything, from action to role-playing to shooting, puzzle games, and even more. What's more, the category of Japanese games extends beyond just arcade or console games to include computer games, mobile games, and a burgeoning online and social media games scene. The rich tapestry of Japanese games began to be woven back in the 1980s when gaming powerhouses like Nintendo and Sega first emerged. One distinguishing feature of these games is their iconic characters, many of which have become globally recognized through their appearances in popular culture, anime, and manga. Some of the biggest names in this regard include the protagonist from the classic franchises like Pokemon, Dragon Ball, Evangelion, and Naruto.

What types of Japanese games are there?

The beautiful thing about Japanese games is their diversity. They don't restrict themselves to any one particular narrative or theme, serving up a truly wide variety of game genres to cater to every player's taste.

  • Role-playing games (RPGs): As the name implies, these games revolve around players adopting the roles of characters and journeying through a fantasy world. RPGs of note include Final Fantasy and Persona.
  • Action Adventure Games: This genre deftly intertwines the fast-paced, combat-centered excitement of action games with the narrative depth and puzzle-solving tenacity of adventure games. High-profile games in this category include The Legend of Zelda and the Metal Gear series.
  • Horror Games: These games work to instill an unmistakable sense of fear and tension in their players. Leading names within this genre include Resident Evil and Silent Hill.
  • Fighting Games: Known for their competitive spirit, these games involve players dueling each other in thrilling close-combat scenarios. Some of the pioneers here are the Street Fighter and Tekken series.
  • Puzzle Games: These games test players' problem-solving abilities across a variety of situations. Notable examples include Tetris and Puzzle Dragon.

What you can learn in Japanese games

But there's more to Japanese games than mere entertainment. They offer players a rare glimpses into the culture, traditions, and creative storytelling roots of Japan. Many of these games embed important Japanese values like honor, duty, and the perpetual struggle between good and evil into their narratives. As players immerse themselves in these virtual universes, they often find themselves learning about Japanese myths, historical events, and symbols. For instance, games like Okami and Onimusha are steeped in rich Japanese mythology and history.

Best Online Japanese Games

Below, you'll find a selection of some of the most renowned Japanese games that have carved out a unique space for themselves in the gaming world:

  1. Pokemon Series: This franchise completely altered the RPG landscape with its innovative concept of capturing and training a variety of fantastical creatures known as "Pokemon."
  2. The Legend of Zelda series: These games revolutionized the action-adventure genre, inviting players on epic quests in elaborate fantasy worlds.
  3. Final Fantasy Series: With its immensely detailed storylines, profound characters and astonishing visual effects, each installment in this series provides a unique storyline and gameplay experience.
  4. Super Mario Series: This beloved platform game series focuses on the adventurous escapades of a plucky plumber named Mario as he navigates a vibrant world filled with colorful characters and environments.
  5. Resident Evil Series: This collection of games helped to define the survival horror genre, pitting players against zombie hordes and other chilling monsters.

Ultimately, Japanese games are a mirror reflecting Japan's rich cultural heritage, its knack for innovation, and its distinctive creativity. With their diverse characters, intricate storylines, and engaging gameplay, they have captivated audiences worldwide. Whether you want to dive headfirst into the mayhem of a high-octane street fight or prefer to flex your puzzle-solving muscles, Japanese games promise to deliver an entertaining, thought-provoking, and rewarding experience.