Key takeaways from Gacha Games with Good Stories:
- Gacha games often receive criticism for being predatory cash grabs, but some offer compelling stories that rival full-priced games.
- Games like Azur Lane, Girls Frontline, Arknights, Fate/Grand Order, and Hoyo’s games have well-crafted narratives, rich world-building, and potential for anime adaptations.
- These games deserve recognition and appreciation for their storytelling efforts, providing engaging experiences beyond their gacha mechanics.
Gacha games often get a lot of hate for being predatory cash grabs. While I agree that gacha or lootboxes are a predatory practice, some gacha games offer up some amazing stories and are not just lazy cash grabs. These days, even full-priced, 60-70$ games are introducing lootbox mechanics. So why not cut gacha some hate and try these for their stories?
In fact, in most of these games, you don’t even need to engage in the gacha if you just want to experience the story. And I promise the stories of these games are better than a lot of full-priced games. Although, they may not be as engaging because most of these use a visual novel style presentation, which everyone may not like.
All of these games deserve a proper anime adaptation to showcase their stories. Some of them already have anime, and some of them don’t. Also, the games I am going to list are solely based on what I have played. So I may be missing some stuff here. We will start with the weakest and make our way to the strongest games. So let’s get started.
Yes, I agree that Azur Lane is a fan-service game first and foremost. But what most people, don’t realize is that this game actually has a good story. In Azur Lane, ships are transformed into humanoid forms to combat the sirens. The story centers on ships attempting to evade siren control and the impact of World War II, during which many ships were lost.
Not only that but there is a lot of multi-timeline and time travel stuff in the story, It is cool to see how the story takes inspiration from real naval history and then puts its spin on it. Then there is the whole thing with the Captain and Mind Cubes adding to the world-building. One of the more underrated stories in gacha games for sure. AL does have an anime but the anime was garbage.
Girls Frontline does have an anime but I haven’t watched it so I won’t comment on it. The story of this game leans more toward the political side. The complex dynamic between all the different factions in this game and how things change between them throughout the story is really well done. The story is also pretty well written which makes it pretty engaging.
The base plot is good but for those who want, there is a whole bunch of lore and world-building to bite into as well. This game also takes place in an alternate history like Azur Lane.
The Arknights anime expertly showcased the game’s impressive narrative and introduced many people to it. Unlike Azur Lane and Girls Frontline, Arknights takes place in a completely fictional world, making its world-building even more impressive. Almost everything in the game is jam-packed with lore and stuff.
The anime in many ways is a better way to experience the story as the game just has those VN-style dialogs. But in the anime, you can acitally see things going down. But the anime can’t cover everything from the game because there is a lot. So take your pick, 2nd season of anime is coming soon~
This should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever watched the Fate series. The most annoying game to play on the list has one of the best stories among gacha games. Not only that, the story keeps getting better and better in every arc. The 2nd part of the story is just amazing, as the story took a really dark and unexpected turn in the 2nd part.
They adapted Camelot, Babylon, and Solomon arcs from the first part into some really good anime. I hope one day they adapt Part 2 of the game into anime as well. An engaging story combined with characters we know and love from different parts of the Type/Moon-verse really makes F/GO fun. Only if the gameplay side of things was just as good as the story man, as I said, FGO is the most annoying game to play on this list lol.
“Hoyoverse” Games (Genshin Impact, Honkai Impact 3rd, and Honkai: Star Rail)
I put 3 games under one entry because they’re all from the same developers and they all are part of a single big universe. HI3 genuinely has one of the best stories among all the video games I have played. It is really hard to think of another game that has made me cry as much as Honkai Impact 3rd. It is the oldest game among the 3 so it has the most story content to access. They’re adding more story still with almost every update and it is amazing.
Genshin is a more mainstream game so the story is pretty tame in comparison to HI3 but the main story is still really good. Genshin has a massive budget too so its presentation is just on another level. The main story continues to improve and all the side content in the game has some amazing lore and world-building to offer. It also has a confirmed anime adaptation in production and it will be made by UFO Table.
Star Rail just came out a few months ago so there isn’t a lot of story in it yet but its world is already interesting with all the different planets that worship different Aeons and their different cultures. It has a more approach to storytelling than Genshin but the god-tier presentation is still there. Curious to see what the future holds for HSR.
Also, the soundtracks of any of these three games are good enough to give a AAA game a run for its money. Hoyo does not miss when it comes to soundtracks.
That is all for now. I know that was long but I really needed to get this off my chest. Not all gacha games are lazy cash grabs. Some of them really do put in a lot of effort. Let me know what you think in the comments. I will take my leave here. See ya!!
Also, check out this week’s anime recommendation here!