Best Games for Beginners?


I’m new to the site and I’m trying to learn to read Japanese for playing old video games that never got translated. I recently went to Japan for the first time and picked up some games and I’m excited to be able to play them. I was wondering if anybody had any recommendations on a game that has a decently low level vocab that would be good for somebody starting out.



Welcome to WaniKani and good luck!
Tofugu had an article on this once.
Depending on what level of ‘Beginner’ you are, I’d recommend some of the Wonderswan games such as Digimon Anode/Cathode Tamer. There’s not any Kanji there, but it’s pretty simple Japanese.
Pokemon games are pretty fun too, especially if you’ve already played in English.

Though it also depends on your grammar level.


There are some cool options in there, thank you so much!

My grammar is pretty non existent at the moment, I’m gonna try and grab a copy of Genki when I can afford it–it is weirdly expensive in Canada.

Yeah it’s super expensive in Australia too, so I know the feeling.
I’d recommend Bunpro as a grammar resource as well. It’s like WaniKani but for Grammar.


I would say, if you have a nintendo ds or 3ds, animal crossing in japanese sounds lovely.

Very low stress, and even if you don’t understand much of what the villagers are saying, that won’t stop you from making money and “progressing” in the game.


I do have a 3DS and have never tried Animal Crossing. Do you know if the NA cartridge has Japanese text? Or do I need a Japanese console/cartridge?

Oooo! I will check that out thanks!

That’s a good question, from what I’m reading online the 3ds NA version doesn’t seem to support japanese text. I’ll check my copy when I get home.

I have an old DS with a flashcard, so it can run games from any region.

Animal Crossing is on the Appstore & Playstore, for those wanting to play on their phones (for free) :smiley:

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If you’re talking about Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, it’s more of an AC-light game. There’s no village to explore, you just go to set areas and give the villager there the bug/fish/fruit/flower they want. Still could be fun language practice!

(BTW yes it’s a free game but they do try tempt you into micro-transactions with limited-time items so keep a strong grip on your wallet. :wink: )

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