12 Thrilling Anime Where They Play Games To Survive 

Anime where they play games to survive is undoubtedly the most interesting. They entertain the viewers with thrill, suspense, action, and strong characters.

Luckily, there are plenty of such anime, and I will enlist the best picks out of them!

12. Btooom!

Ryouta is a game lover whose life revolves around a game called Btooom! The more he is successful in the online world of games, the more he is unsuccessful in the real world. Apparently, he is jobless, but he never thought that this reality would change one day. 

The day comes, and he finds himself in the avatar of his game character, only to find that Btooom! is a reality. To return home, he needs to accomplish threatening and deadly dangerous missions.

These challenges may mean “kill or to be killed, so there is no in-between. The suspense will definitely keep you spellbound throughout the end, so have a good watch.

vrmmo anime show

11. .hack//Sign

Imagine waking up inside a game without a single memory of the past! Nothing would be more horrible than it, but trust me, you will enjoy watching it happen to Tsukasa. Soon after waking up, Tsukasa learns that some crimson knights are after him, so he tries to run for his life. 

He doesn’t know how to log out and, even worse, has no memory. Things make sense with time, and he adjusts to the new reality he never expected to be a part of.

Meanwhile, he finds a magical item that transforms into a Guardian who vows to protect him no matter what. .hack//Sign is definitely worth watching in anime, where they play games to survive.

10. Log Horizon

Shiroe is the anime’s main character who, along with 30k Japanese gamers, finds himself in the game world called Elder Tale. They all were on the same mission to survive, which didn’t seem easy to them. Having no choice, they all begin to explore this new reality to learn about its limitations. 

There he meets multiple other gamers like him and befriends them. To sum up Log Horizon in a few words, it’s adventure, action, and fantasy packed into one. The rules and regulations are quite a cliche, as they are the same in almost every game-themed anime. Well, it is overall typical, but it’s not a waste of time either.

log horizon overlord

9. Phi Brain: Puzzle Of God

Kaito is the main character who is extremely talented at solving puzzles. One day he was offered to solve a puzzle where he finds himself trapped. The villain created the puzzle and left no chance to make the maze a deadly trap. 

If one fails to complete the task, one will eventually die. After successfully completing the first task, he must solve multiple riddles with others like him. Defeat is another world for failure; you can expect some difficult challenges for the survivors. Watching Kaito’s intelligence and way of solving the puzzle will impress you.

8. Future Diary

Yukiteru Amano is the male lead who habitually writes a journal on his phone. He is an introvert but has an imaginary friend named Deus Ex, to whom he speaks on a daily basis. One day, he realizes that some future events are written in his diary. 

To top it off, whatever is written takes place in the future. The story progresses, and he learns that Yuno Gasai, his classmate, is experiencing the same, so the duo teams up to solve the mystery. However, things become challenging when they find that they must play a survival game to win. It has gore, psychological, and supernatural themes, so make sure you watch it for the thrill.

7. Death Parade

This is the anime where they play games to survive, but the idea is slightly different from the rest of the anime on this list. The ones who play games are not alive but actually, the dead people who are sent to hell or heaven based on the results of the games they play. 

The dead ones enter a limbo, a bar run by a person known as Decim. Decim makes them play deadly games and makes a decision based on the results. Each person brings a new story; thus, you will see different characters with different stories in each episode. Death Parade is a must-try if you like thrillers, suspense, and anime with episodic stories. 

death parade

6. Trapped In A Dating Sim

An ordinary man was trapped in a dating sim game, forced to complete tough challenges to survive. After countless struggles, he finally was about to escape this deadly reality. Unfortunately, his luck was not in his favor, and he fell unconscious, only to find that now he was reincarnated as a game character. 

The game he wanted to escape is his only reality, and there is no denial. The boy must face the odds if he wants to survive and trust me, it’s not easy for him. Watch it to experience the challenging reality of a dating sim!

5. My Next Life As A Villainess

Catrina Claes is the female lead that we follow throughout. Actually, Catarina is the reincarnation of an ordinary girl who used to play a game called Fortune Lover. One day, she opened her eyes to the reality of this game only to learn that now she is Catarina, the villainess. 

It was a thrilling realization for her; she was aware of the bizarre and deadly treatment the villainess receives. Of course, she can’t sit waiting for her death, so Catarina starts planning to survive to avoid the death she is destined for as much as possible. 

Let me give you a surprise! In this anime, you will find extremely hot and gorgeous male leads, so keep your heart in place while watching it. If you like reading romance manhwa, then there is a high possibility of you liking My Next Life As A Villainess.

no game no life Anime like Slime and Overlord

4. No Game, No Life

Disboard is a unique world filled with 16 different races, and the lowest ranked is the race of humans. This world is ruled by Tet, who is the god. On the other hand, we have Sora and Shiro, the siblings Tet summoned into his world. 

The siblings used to be extremely good at playing online games, and they never once imagined that their life would become a game one day. Tet makes them understand this world’s rules and regulations, and the duo must survive in Disboard. 

The story keeps getting intriguing with time and especially when the duo decides to help a girl named Stephanie on a mission. No Game No Life is worth watching, especially if you are searching for anime where they play games to survive. 

Romance Anime Where They Get Married

3. Darwin’s Game

Have you ever thought about what will happen if suddenly a snake pops out of your mobile screen? I know it’s thrilling to even imagine, but Darwin’s Game is more scary than that. Kaname Sudou experiences the same when he opens the game to play it but falls unconscious soon after the snake bites him. 

Kaname takes the experiences lightly, thinking they may be in his head. The naive boy tries to play the game again, only to see the opponent standing before him, all set to kill him. That’s when he realized that the game challenges can become a reality, and defeat means DEATH!

2. Danganronpa

Makoto Naegi is the main character whose life takes a 180-degree turn after he gets enrolled in the Hope’s Peak Academy. He joins the academy with no idea of what awaits him. Soon after his joining, weird things start happening with him and the others, and they finally get an answer. 

The school’s principal, a teddy bear, welcomes the kids by revealing that all of them are trapped inside the school. The way to survival is not easy; if one wants to escape, one must murder their classmate without being doubted. 

There you go; the thrill begins. Everyone is in danger as they can be killed at any moment, while the idea of killing a classmate doesn’t sound appealing. There is mystery and suspense, so make sure you binge-watch this anime where they play games to survive.

sword art online

1. Sword Art Online

Whenever we talk about anime, where they play games to survive, SAO can not be missed. Thanks to this masterpiece, many anime creators touched on this genre and themes afterwards. SAO revolves around a boy named Kirito who gets stuck in a virtual reality game with thousands of others. 

At first, it felt like a dream come true to experience the game reality, but it soon turned into a nightmare, realizing that they were trapped in this reality. Losing hope was never an option for the boy because losing hope means death. 

Yes, one mistake, and you are gone forever. There is a lot of action, and watching Kirito cope with the game’s challenges and threats is absolutely fun.

Conclusion on Anime Where They Play Games To Survive 

Oh yeah, this is all about the anime where they play games to survive. Try watching all of them for a good and thrilling experience and then come back later to inform me about your opinion. Till then, bye!