The 8 Anime Like Darwin’s Game Fans Will Love

Darwin’s Game premiered in Winter 2020 with an over 40-minute episode dragging us into the dangerous world of battle royale. Packed with action, a dark aura, and a beautiful yandere heroine we would die for, fans seek more anime like Darwin’s Game in hopes to recreate the feeling.

Suou Kaname is invited to test out Darwin’s Game, a new mysterious mobile app game, but quickly discovers that there is no way to exit the game.

I must confess that it was entertaining to see, and I’m now hooked and anxious for the next season (should there ever be one).

This anime reminded me of a few anime I have already watched and so I decided to make a list of 8 anime like Darwin’s Game. 

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8. Death Note (2006-2007)

  • Genres: Police, Thriller, Psychological, Supernatural, Shounen
  • Episodes: 37


Both of them contain a lot of fighting scenes, dark themes, and a bit of gore. The main protagonists are trying to outsmart their foes. Which is the police in Death Note’s case x game system in the case of Darwin’s Game. They both get a lot of help from the romantically invested female heroines.

Synopsis: High school student Light Nagami, who is super intelligent, finds Death Note, a supernaturally powerful notebook. It was laying on the ground at the school’s premises after Ryuk, a Death God, dropped it into the realm of mortals. Death Note gives the owner the ability to kill any person whose name and face he knows.

Light becomes consumed with the idea of eradicating evil from the world and starts obsessively using the deadly notebook. But nothing comes without a price…

7. Deadman Wonderland

  • Genres: Action, Sci-fi, Horror, Shounen
  • Episodes: 12


The male protagonist of each series is drawn unwillingly into a dangerous world where his life’s at stake. Luckily, they both acquire a special ability that makes them powerful and capable of fighting their opponents. They also have a pretty girl at their side who is willing to help them.


Middle schooler Ganta Igarashi had been leading a life that appeared to be normal until one day a man in red showed up in the middle of class and massacred all of his classmates, leaving only Ganta unharmed. Following the disturbing occurrences, Ganta is unjustly found guilty of the murder and given the death penalty in the prison known as Deadman Wonderland. The prison is built to look like an amusement park for visitors and a nightmare for convicts. He is given a deadly collar that can only be slowed down by engaging in brutal games that all of the prisoners play.

Although Ganta’s life is in danger, he also needs to clear his name and discover who the Red Man is.

6. Log Horizon (2013)

  • Genres: Action, Game, Adventure, Magic, Fantasy
  • Episodes: 25


Like Darwin’s Game, Log Horizon is a game anime that includes players who are forced to participate in a game with no way out. The protagonists of the series fight other players and protect their comrades.


A massively multiplayer online role-playing game called Elder Tale traps 30.000 Japanese players and hundreds of thousands of other players worldwide. What was once a game played solely for enjoyment is now their new reality.

5. Overlord (2015)

  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Game, Magic, Supernatural
  • Episodes: 13


The male protagonists are very strong and the plot of both is full of action scenes and battles. They are both games, just one is located in real conditions and the other is in an actual game.

Albedo from Overlord is obeying Momonga blindly (+ is loyal), similarly to Shuka’s promise to obey and operate under Kaname.


The final hour of the popular virtual reality game Yggdrasil has come. However, Momonga, a powerful wizard and master of the dark guild Ainz Ooal Gown, decides to spend his last few moments in the game as the servers begin to shut down. To his surprise, despite the clock having struck midnight, Momonga is still fully conscious as his character and, moreover, the non-player characters appear to have developed personalities of their own!

Confronted with this abnormal situation, Momonga commands his loyal servants to help him investigate and take control of this new world, with the hopes of figuring out what has caused this development and if there may be others in the same predicament.

(Source: MAL)

4. Sword Art Online (2012)

  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Romance, Fantasy, Game
  • Episodes: 25


SAO and Darwin’s Game are all about surviving the game without dying. Each anime also has a couple who are partners (romantically and fight-wise).

The male protagonists are kind and despite being very strong they don’t want to hurt anyone – they attacc, but most importantly, they protecc!


Imagine that you could control your game character with your mind. This is what happens in the SAO Universe in the year 2022.

Kirito is one of the players that already beta-tested the famous Sword Art Online game. So now when the game launches worldwide, he is all fired up.

But after 10 000 players log in to the game, their initial excitement quickly changes into terror when they realize that they can’t log out. What is worse, if their health bar in the game drops to zero, they also die in reality. The only known way how to get out of the game is to beat all 100 floors of Aincrad, a floating castle filled with monsters on each floor. Kirito and the other players must now make the greatest effort to survive the game since they have no other options.

3. No Game No Life (2014)

  • Genres: Police, Thriller, Psychological, Supernatural, Shounen
  • Episodes: 12


No Game No Life is a game anime like Darwin’s Game. The duo of siblings in No Game No Life are conquering the new world by playing and winning random games.


A duo of NEET siblings that is practically undefeatable at any game ends up isekaied in a world that resolves everything by playing games.

2. Btooom! (2012)

  • Genres: Action, Sci-fi, Romance, Psychological, Seinen
  • Episodes: 12


The main protagonists of the story are forced to participate in a survival game in real life, using predefined weapons. The male protagonists of both these anime also meet a pretty girl and they become partners, trying to outsmart others.


Ryta Sakamoto is an isolated neet leading a pathetic life. And he doesn’t plan to change his online-only lifestyle any time soon. Furthermore, he is regarded as one of the best players in the game Btooom!, giving him a sense of pride.

But when Ryta and a handful of random strangers are selected for the real-life Btooom! adaptation, everything dramatically changes. In order to survive on the remote island that follows the game’s logic, they are forced to participate in fighting and even killing others.

1. Mirai Nikki – Future Diary (2011-2012)

  • Genres: Psychological, Mystery, Thriller, Romantic, Supernatural, Shounen
  • Episodes: 26


Mirai Nikki is the most similar anime to Darwin’s Game. A high-stake game where your life’s on the line and a yandere girlfriend willing to die for you, what could go wrong, right?


Mirai Nikki follows the journey of two middle school kids and their love for one another as they compete in a survival game to succeed as the new God of Time and Space.

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Mia Milanová
Mia Milanová

For years, I've been writing about anime & digital marketing, fusing my academic background (psychology) with my love for writing and anime (200+ shows devoured!). At 9 Tailed Kitsune, I share my love for anime and create a space for fans to connect. ✨

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  1. I’ve seen a few of these shows! I will admit I don’t really like the trope where the MC gets sucked into an MMORPG, and then forced to survive and figure out a way to actually leave or win the game. I was half expecting that with Darwin’s game, but it seems as if Kaname is still visibly in a place that he recognizes. Too bad he still has to play the game. I don’t really understand why civilians didn’t notice all too much that he was running away to avoid getting killed. RIP to that security guard. I just found that rather interesting. It’s still giving me Isekai undertones, because I’m really just expecting him to be whisked off somewhere. But I hope the game is explained further, in regards to why non players can’t really “see” what’s going on. Maybe it’s just me, but if I saw a kid running, screaming for help I’d be rather alarmed!

    • I am actually into that genre but I love the battle royale theme as well. I also found it kind of ridiculous that no one is intervening really, the masked panda guy was legit running after him with a knife, trying to stab him. It made little to no sense to me, but well… they might elaborate!

      • its because no one knew that the panda bear was there. It’s a game so no one in real life was supposed to know what was happening.

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