With major franchises getting in on the act, games like Marvel Strike Force and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes bring the niche gacha game market to the mainstream. Known for its addictive gameplay and loot-based rewards, the gacha genre is one of the most popular in mobile games.
Franchise links like Final Fantasy Brave Exvius to totally original titles like knights, there’s also a fair amount of variety to be found outside of shared gacha mechanics. Representing the large dedicated gacha fanbase, Reddit users took to the site to shout out the games they couldn’t quit.
Guardian Tales (2020)
Making waves on mobile devices when it releases in 2020, the action-based RPG Guardian Tales also recently made its way to the Nintendo Switch. When asked which gacha game fills his schedule, the user Ddeobokki wrote “Guardian Tales hands down. The story is surprisingly amazing and the gameplay is very Zelda-like in 2D.”
Far less obvious with its gacha gameplay elements, there’s a lot of substance to the game outside of just raiding for more loot. As the user mentioned, the visuals are reminiscent of classic action-RPGs of the past, and there’s a comfortable familiarity to the style of the game.
Fate/Grand Order (2015)
Gacha games often come on the market and burn very hot but disappear quickly, but Fate/Grand Order is a mainstay of mobile gaming that seems to have bucked this trend. Speaking of gaming, user Denyzev wrote, “I’ve been playing since day one, but no other gacha game story even comes close to the emotional and morally ambiguous story that is FGO.”
Ranked among the highest-grossing mobile games of all time, Fate/Grand OrderThe Servant System is where it exemplifies the gacha genre. Although it is known as a rather stingy game in terms of drops, the gameplay aspects are rewarding enough without having to spend too much real money in the game.
Punish: Gray Raven (2019)
While the gacha genre certainly diversifies over time, Punishment: gray crow was one of the first games to branch out into new areas of storytelling. User jackatlasrider praised the game for its mix of genres, commenting, “It’s my current favorite gacha because it’s hard to find a good Sci-fi/Cyberpunk-esque game on mobile.”
As more and more great cyberpunk-themed video games hit the market, Gray Raven becomes more relevant to mainstream gamers. Its futuristic post-apocalypse setting is visually appealing, and the gameplay itself is actually quite engaging without the passivity some expect from gacha games.
Epic Seven (2018)
Animated imagery is crucial to many of the most famous gacha series, and Epic Seven has style to spare. The game grew on the user Revenoreand they explained, “I really enjoyed the PvP strategy…better than a lot of gacha games, I would say.”
There’s no getting around the grinding elements of the game, but that’s normal for most gacha titles. The competitiveness of PvP competition is a rarity that games like Epic Seven excel, and while there is a payout component to winning, no amount of money can beat a player with a better strategy.
Bleach: Brave Souls (2015)
Based on the incredibly popular anime of the same name, Bleach: Brave Souls imports many of the series’ most popular characters into the game. Soulkyoko liked the game too much, explaining, “I actually quit because I worked too hard on this game… Bleach is my #1 show and this game felt like it was made for me.”
Even outside of anime fans, brave souls is a simple and engaging hack-and-slash RPG whose gameplay elevates the gacha genre. In-game purchases aren’t the most important thing, and players can have hours of fun without shelling out any cash.
Cantare Hero (2020)
Although most gacha games are moving towards a more active experience, many of the best the genre has to offer are also some of the best idle games. User Eddie_is_wisdom mentioned a specific example, “Hero Cantare – great Idle game and definitely a great game to try especially if you’re a fan of different webtoons.”
Bring your story to the fore Cantarus Hero is a less active game, but it is addictive nonetheless. Being a true gacha title, the game is quite pushy with its microtransactions, but the entertainment value is enough to justify the cost.
In the same way that gacha games emerged with the rise of mobile gaming, so did the hugely popular tower defense genre. User Dragunova1999 mentioned a game that married the two styles, writing, “knights. A pinnacle of gacha games…Tower defense is a genre that I rarely see anymore, so that’s a plus.”
Although more complex gacha games that involve RPG elements are on the rise, knights marries the simplicity of its genres for the ultimate gacha experience. On top of that, the art design is top notch and the game can boast an impressive score for a mobile title.
Genshin Impact (2020)
Considering how far mobile games have come in recent years, Genshin Impact represents a high point for mobile development possibilities. User Agravic gave the game a big compliment saying, “Genshin Impact: feels like BOTW with more story. The character stories are awesome.”
Getting what you pay for is usually what discourages people from playing gacha games, but Genshin Impact rivals even AAA titles in its complexity. The user was not far from comparing the game to breath of the wildand both games share an equally massive universe with intricate storylines that serve to further expand the mythos.
Alchemy Stars (2021)
Balance is key when it comes to creating a great mobile game, and Alchemy Stars hit a perfect blend of combat and collection for a fuller gaming experience. User KeqingisBestGirl had nothing but praise for the game, saying, “The stars of Alchemy… easily took a place in my heart… very fun and generous gameplay.”
Some games go straight to the wallet and are virtually unplayable without purchases, but Alchemy Stars offers a strong experience without immediately begging for money. The combat system is unique, and it is in the character interactions that most of the game world takes place in front of the player.
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius (2015)
The Final Fantasy is undoubtedly one of the most important in the history of video games, and the success was not limited to console games exclusively. User SaiyanGod420 had a special connection with a FF gacha game, saying, “Final Fantasy Brave Exvius…the old school graphics are a plus for me. Being my first gacha, I have a lot of love and loyalty to this game.”
Ultimately, loyalty is what keeps gachas going for years, and associating with established franchises is a good way to introduce new gacha players. Despite, Brave Exvius shines on its own merits and brings back the classic gameplay of oldies FF games for a nostalgic experience that many gamers crave.
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