Despite dominating the shounen manga scene for the best part of two decades, when it comes to gaming adaptations, One Piece has lagged behind the likes of Naruto and Dragon Ball Z. This is not just a matter of quantity, as the beloved anime franchise’s games have run the gamut in terms of quality. It is safe to say that One Piece has yet to spawn a Dragon Ball FighterZ or a Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, although a few titles can rub shoulders with Dragon Ball Xenoverse and Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker.
Even if the lineup is not too impressive, One Piece fans still have access to more than a few games dedicated to capturing the magic of Eiichiro Oda’s pirate manga. That said, which titles are actually worth playing? Here are the best 10 games based on the anime, ranked by their Metacritic scores. Crossover titles like Jump Force will not be considered.
Updated October 22nd, 2020 by Mark Sammut: As Eiichiro Oda’s manga begins to approach its final years, it has never been a better time for developers to adapt One Piece for the medium of video games. 2020 saw the release of Pirate Warriors 4, a highly anticipated title for fans of both the anime and musuo games. Did the sequel extend or derail the upward trajectory that the Pirate Warriors titles were on? For those yearning for something a tad different, it might be wise to look at some One Piece games with lower Metacritic scores.
15 One Piece: Romance Dawn (2014) – 42
One Piece: Romance Dawn should be much better than it is. A turn-based RPG that goes through the manga’s story arcs up until the timeskip, Romance Dawn features a decent combat system that could have served as the basis for a respectable romp through Oda’s world.
Unfortunately, the RPG is let down by its level design and pacing. This is one frustratingly repetitive and lethargic game, with maps seemingly designed to infuriate rather than immerse.
14 One Piece: Unlimited Cruise SP 1 & 2 (2009) – 46 & 49
Although the Wii versions of the Unlimited Cruise titles avoided a trashing on Metacritic by just not being featured on the site, the 3DS ports were not so lucky. Permitting the title does not include “Cruise,” One Piece‘s Unlimited games are generally fun adventures; unfortunately, these two titles represent this series at its worst.
Set in a bland world with little direction and too many enemies to fight using a basic beat ’em up combat system, both Unlimited Cruise SP games are just tedious.
13 One Piece: Pirates’ Carnival (2006) – 49
While an action or adventure game might seem more fitting of a shounen anime, One Piece’s peculiar style of humor and quirky personalities does lend itself somewhat to party games. One Piece: Pirates’ Carnival pits four players against each other (or the CPU) as they go around a board competing in flashy but overly simple minigames to collect belly (money).
Some fun can be derived from the over-the-top insanity of some of the challenges, but they are all style and no substance. Although the minigames might not be great, Pirates’ Carnival’s painfully slow pace is what really kills it.
12 One Piece: Pirate Warriors (2012) – 64
As the first entry in a franchise filled with only better-rated games, One Piece: Pirate Warriors might not seem like it is worth trying. While it is the least polished of all four titles, Pirate Warriors does at least stand out due to its (not great) platforming sections and genuinely challenging boss fights.
For those looking to revisit the early chapters of One Piece, the original Pirate Warriors does a far better job than any of its sequels.
11 One Piece: World Seeker (2019) – 65
The most recent One Piece game just barely scrapes into the top 10, which serves as a testament to the low bar set by the franchise. Now, in all fairness, World Seeker has quite a few positives. The open-world action game follows an entirely new storyline that is completely in keeping with the manga; more importantly, the plot is actually pretty decent!
While quite huge and sporadically breathtaking, Jail Island does waste acres of space on non-descript greenery. However, World Seeker‘s worst offender is its clunky movement, as Luffy just does not feel particularly enjoyable to control or take into battle.
10 One Piece: Burning Blood (2016) – 66
Similar to World Seeker, Burning Blood makes the most of current generation hardware. The fighting game’s cel-shaded visuals do a brilliant job of replicating the anime’s aesthetic, with the animation working overtime to ensure every hit feels suitably impactful.
Retelling the Marineford Arc from multiple perspectives, Burning Blood‘s campaign falls somewhat flat. More damning is the overcomplicated but frustratingly forgettable combat, which grows tiresome rather quickly.
9 One Piece: Unlimited Adventure (2008) – 67
In certain ways, World Seeker is a spiritual successor to Unlimited Adventure, an adventure game that also features an open-world environment and a new story. Unlike the 2019 game, Unlimited Adventure‘s campaign makes all the Straw Hats playable, rather than just Luffy. Each character comes with their own fleshed-out moveset, with new attacks that are unlocked through leveling up. There is even a VS mode that brings in other beloved characters from the series.
Even if the game relies too heavily on repetition and backtracking to pad out its runtime, Unlimited Adventure‘s impressive roster enables the combat to remain fun throughout the majority of the 20+ hour campaign.
8 One Piece: Grand Battle! (2005) – 69
All things considered, One Piece had a pretty decent run during the sixth generation of gaming. Following a string of entries that failed to leave Japan’s shores, in 2005, Grand Battle finally made the journey to the West.
A fighting game with stylized visuals and reimagined character designs, Grand Battle serves as a love letter to Oda’s franchise, one boasting an impressive array of unlockables. With 16 characters and an accessible combat system reminiscent of party fighting games like Super Smash Bros or Power Stone, Grand Battle is a blast to play with friends. Die-hard fans of the series should enjoy this one.
7 One Piece: Grand Adventure (2006) – 70
Grand Battle laid a solid foundation, but the overall game fell short in the “adventure” department, which is a pretty big deal in One Piece. Fittingly enough, Grand Adventure transfers its predecessor’s fun battle mechanics while finetuning every other aspect of the package.
This time around, there is a proper adventure mode that works somewhat like a stripped-down RPG. Even though there isn’t an open-world to explore, Luffy can traverse a world map and take on various fights, earning experience points and new crew members along the way. Grand Adventure also has an additional mode called Grand Battle that is very similar to the 2005 game.
6 One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 (2013) (71)
Musou games are not going to be for everyone, despite the inherent appeal of blowing away potentially hundreds of enemies with a single punch. Typically, a ‘Warriors’ title is only recommendable if a person is already invested in the main property.
For the most part, One Piece has proven a great fit for the Dynasty Warriors formula. Pirate Warriors 2 eliminates the finicky platforming elements from the series’ original entry, opting to just focus on the simplistic but entertaining combat. A brand new storyline is certainly enticing, but Pirate Warriors 2‘s expansive roster steals the show.
5 One Piece: Unlimited World Red (2014) – 75
Spawning from the same line responsible for Unlimited Adventure, Unlimited World Red is the most complete “adventure” game adapted from the manga/anime. Whether experienced on PC, the Nintendo 3DS, or current generation consoles; Unlimited World Red is a visual and vivid delight to behold.
While the story does its own thing, it is mainly used as an excuse to revisit iconic locations from the franchise. Outside of missions that typically end with a boss fight – often a highlight in Unlimited World Red‘s campaign – there is also a hub world where minigames and side-quests can be accessed. As a brawler, Unlimted World Red would have benefitted from expanding the Straw Hats’ moveset, as the seemingly compulsory RPG mechanics amount to little more than improved stats.
4 One Piece (2005) – 76
The Game Boy Advance is surely not lacking in terms of platforms and beat ’em ups, but 2005’s One Piece still manages to stand out from the crowd by merging the two.
Presenting a familiar albeit pleasant experience, Dimps’ One Piece works within the confines of the hardware by limiting the core gameplay to Luffy, although the other Straw Hats still make an appearance as summons. With 12 mandatory and a few optional bosses spread throughout six levels, One Piece is hardly devoid of content.
3 One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 (2015) – 76
The Pirate Warriors series has gone from strength to strength, with the third entry being comfortable the best of the bunch. In fact, Pirate Warriors 3 ranks alongside Hyrule Warriors and Fire Emblem Warriors as the greatest musou spin-off games.
Admittedly, Pirate Warriors 3 is somewhat held back by opting to just recycle the anime’s story arcs rather than delivering anything new. That said, the roster of over 35 playable characters is more than capable of picking up the slack. The 2015 game is also quite visually appealing, especially on the PS4.
2 One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 (2020) – 76
As the fourth entry in Bandai Namco’s musuo franchise, Pirate Warriors 4 throws everything at the wall to see what sticks. Launching with more than 40 playable characters, each with unique skill trees, Pirate Warriors 4 expands upon the gameplay of its predecessors to allow for more versatility.
The story mode rushes through key arcs at such a frantic pace that it might as well be a recap segment, but Pirate Warriors 4 does feature its own take on the Wano arc. At least, there is some new story content for fans to enjoy.
1 One Piece Treasure Cruise (2015) – 79
Along with being the most popular One Piece game, Treasure Cruise also holds the distinction of being the best. As a free-to-play collect-them-all mobile game, Treasure Cruise‘s mere existence is likely to turn off some fans, an understandable reaction considering the market’s predatory nature.
As progression does screech to a halt after a few hours, Treasure Cruise is not innocent of all of the genre’s worst habits; however, there is something enticing about unlocking new cards and building your own crew. The simplistic turn-based gameplay is aided by a timing-based system that keeps battles from being completely braindead.
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