10 Best Isekai Games, Ranked
By Jessica Thomas
Published Jun 20, 2021
The Isekai trope features a “fish out of water” vibe. These 10 games, including Kingdom Hearts, all play into that classic trope.
Isekai has now become one of the most popular genres of anime out there. This genre shows the main character being transported to another world other than their own and getting stuck there (possibly forever). Think shows like Escaflowne, Inuyasha, Samurai Jack, etc.?The genre has everything from dark shows like Re: Zero to comedy-based books revolving around a sentient vending machine.
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The idea of isekai isn’t as new as its recent popularity might suggest.?Quite a few video game franchises have played around with the idea of transporting their protagonists to a different world. The concept appears much more often than fans might think. In fact, fans may not have realized that games from many franchises including Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda?fit into the genre.
Many Pokemon fans consider Mystery Dungeon to be an isekai title. This is because the main protagonist finds themselves turned into a Pokemon and goes on quests through dungeons. The game is a roguelike, and the dungeons are constantly changing to keep things fresh.
At the start of each game, you will be given a personality test to determine which Pokemon fits you best.
The Digimon franchise is also no stranger to the idea of isekai. Several of the games see humans being transported into the digital world. They would then get tangled up in the chaos of digital drama and make friends with Digimon they found around the world to fight with.
Even though the game lets players jump between Earth and the digital realm, it has?key isekai tropes thrown in.
Graveyard Keeper is a comedy simulation game that shows the protagonist being sucked into a medieval world. Once there, they are tasked to operate?the local graveyard by a talking skull.?The player must fulfill various tasks to build themselves up and try to figure out how to get home.
Related:?Graveyard Keeper: A Guide to Getting Started
The game has a lot of dark humor but brings a unique spin to the farming and sim genre. There?are even a lot of parody moments hidden in the comedic dialogue. It’s a refreshing departure from your average experience.
Ni No Kuni is a heartbreaking game that introduces?players to Oliver — a young boy who is taken to another world by Drippy.?While there, Oliver learns that there is a chance to bring his mother back. He sets out to save the woman who is connected to her soul to try and bring his mother back.
The game is a turn-based RPG that gained fame due to Studio Ghibli creating its animated cutscenes. Not only does it directly line up with the isekai setup, but the added layer of Ghibli animation also takes the nostalgia up to eleven.
Kingdom Hearts is literally a game about visiting other worlds with Sora and his crew. In the first game, Sora is stripped from the Destiny Islands by the Heartless and gets dropped off in Traverse Town. He meets?various other characters there who also found their homeworlds destroyed.
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The only thing separating Sora from them is the Keyblade and a chance meeting with Donald and Goofy. As fans know, the whole game is about finding Kairi and saving the realm from the Heartless. As for the rest of the games in the series…it’s complicated.
Brutal Legend is a game about a heavy metal artist who is “isekai’d” away into a world based around metal music. Cameos from famous artists (such as Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath) happen throughout the game. The main character, Eddie,?runs through the world using his music-inspired weapons to defeat enemies.
He must fulfill his role as the chosen one which is one of the biggest isekai tropes a game can have. Eddie is also voiced by Jack Black?and that just makes the game perfectly comedic.
It may be surprising to some that Zelda is on this list, but the series has had quite a few isekai moments. Just look at Twilight Princess’s Twilight Realm for another example. But Majora’s Mask literally sees Link falls into a strange land where the moon has an angry face and everyone he knew in Hyrule has a doppelganger.
The only way in seems to be through the clock tower and no one in town mentions anything about Hyrule. It’s a bizarre departure for the series and that may be why many fans love the game so much.
Final Fantasy Tactics starts out much differently from other games in the series. Four children get transported to a fantasy world that they made up after opening an old tome. It’s here that they must learn that the things they wished for in their previous life are coming true.
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The game?features a tactical battle system, but it’s much different from titles like Fire Emblem. The story is also a bit more light-hearted than other Final Fantasy titles.
Cadence of Hyrule is every Zelda fan’s childhood dream. After Hyrule falls into darkness, Cadence, the game’s main character, is summoned to Hyrule to wake up Zelda and Link. She then goes on an adventure with the two heroes to help save Hyrule.
Unlike other games in the main franchise, Cadence of Hyrule is a roguelike adventure with constantly changing dungeons.
Genshin Impact is one of the newest games that falls into the isekai category. Lumine and her brother Aether are travelers?who hop from world to world. When they try to leave Teyvat, they run into the Unknown God who captures them both and ends up separating the pair.
The story revolves around one sibling’s struggle to reunite with the other and finally go back to their own home. This is definitely not the only anime or isekai trope found in the game, but it’s one of the most direct.
Next:?Ocarina Of Time Or Majora’s Mask: Which Zelda Game is Actually Better?
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The Legend of Zelda
Ni No Kuni
Cadence Of Hyrule
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
About The Author
(597 Articles Published)
Jess has been writing for clients all around the world for years. From companies in Japan to being featured on The Kim Komando Show, Jess has prided herself in expressing her love for gaming. Her favorite console is the Nintendo 64 and she revels in replaying through Paper Mario and Megaman Legends. When not fighting Reaverbots she can be found gushing over the newest JRPGs or watching seasonal anime with her furless cat. Follow her on Twitter at @Genshin_Writer if you love video games and naked cats.
From Jessica Thomas