Updated November 26, 2020: New entries added



Would we even have a video games industry without Japan? It seems doubtful.

Imagine an industry without Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Sonic, Mario, or Zelda. No Final Fantasy, Metroid, or Resident Evil. It doesn't really bear thinking about.

Indeed, you could argue that Japan single-handedly rescued the struggling video games industry in the '80s with its deeply accessible, deeply COOL games consoles.

Think of all the iconic Japanese consoles that would follow in the wake of the NES. The Game Boy, the Mega Drive/Genesis, the SNES, the PlayStation, the Wii, the PS5.

And that's not even mentioning the huge impact that Japanese arcades have had on the wider medium. If you weren't ploughing coins into Japanese machines as a child of the '90s, well, you were probably doing something more constructive instead. But we bet you weren't having as much fun.

Japan's influence has extended into smartphone gaming, even if it's perhaps not quite as pronounced as elsewhere (perhaps because the two big smartphone platforms are American).

Why, one of the most on-trend mobile gaming mechanics of the moment, gacha, has its roots in the land of the rising sun.

Here are 25 of our favourite Japanese Android games on the Google Play Store.