10 best anime like Kuroko's Basketball you need to watch 

Ace of the Diamond, Haikyuu, Baby Steps
Ace of the Diamond, Haikyuu, Baby Steps (Image via Madhouse, Production I.G, Pierrot Plus)

Kuroko's Basketball has made a lasting impression on viewers thanks to its thrilling basketball plays, superpowered talents, and emphasis on teamwork.

For fans looking to relive the high-octane tournaments between Seirin and the Generation of Miracles or to discover new anime that capture sports drama and passion, the anime on this list focuses on basketball and other popular sports.

Beyond the court and field action, these series also spotlight growth, friendship dynamics, and rivals pushing protagonists to exceed perceived limits in ways reminiscent of Tetsuya Kuroko's journey in Kuroko's Basketball.

Disclaimer: This article reflects the writer's opinion and is not ranked in any particular order.

10 must-watch anime like Kuroko's Basketball

1. Ahiru no Sora

Ahiru no Sora (Image via Diomedea)
Ahiru no Sora (Image via Diomedea)

Short teen Sora Kurumatani is known for his aggressive moves, which have earned him the moniker "Brute Rat." Determined to fulfill his mother's wish, Sora joins Kuzuryū High School’s basketball team after transferring from his previous school, aiming to be the first national champions in school history alongside new teammates.

Diomedea Studios fluidly animates hard-fought basketball plays where Sora partners with teammates possessing different playstyles. With camaraderie forged through struggles on and off the court, Ahiru no Sora captures key dynamics beyond exciting gameplay that viewers seeking anime like Kuroko's Basketball will appreciate.

2. Slam Dunk

Slam Dunk (Image via Toei Animation)
Slam Dunk (Image via Toei Animation)

Slam Dunk, a quintessential high school basketball anime classic adapted from Takehiko Inoue’s manga by Studio Toei Animation in the '90s, features delinquent punk Hanamichi Sakuragi, who joins his school’s team to impress girls, only to get drawn into the sports world under seasoned players' tutelage.

Iconic matches pitting Shohoku High against rivals feature tactics and development reminiscent of Kuroko's Basketball's Generation versus Generation showdowns. With Slam Dunk's legacy serving as the foundation for modern basketball anime, no true fan should miss this essential watch.

3. Haikyuu

Haikyuu (Image via Production I.G)
Haikyuu (Image via Production I.G)

Few anime capture volleyball’s intensity like fan-favorite Haikyuu. After short middle schooler Shoyo Hinata watches an expert volleyball team compete, he dedicates himself to honing formidable spikes. He joins his own school squad aiming for nationals, forming connections with new friends and rivals from other teams.

Production I.G adapted Haruichi Furudate’s original manga into four seasons featuring expressive athletic sequences, humor, and emotional storytelling sure to delight fans seeking anime like Kuroko's Basketball with fresh characters and sports dynamics to enjoy beyond the basketball court.

4. Free!

Free! (Image via Kyoto Animation)
Free! (Image via Kyoto Animation)

Kyoto Animation Studio first splashed onto the scene adapting the light novel series Free!, chronicling the Iwatobi High School Swim Club’s revival.

When competitively burned-out Haruka Nanase reunites with childhood friends and rival Rin Matsuoka, their practice laps lead to a rediscovery of why each originally loved swimming. Breathless races showcase smooth animation and muscle movements in ways readers anticipate from sports manga and anime.

Alongside tournament arcs pitting dedicated teams against one another, Free!’s foundations of friendship offer familiar takeaways for enthusiasts of anime like Kuroko's Basketball seeking emotional depth.

5. Baby Steps

Baby Steps (Image via Pierrot Plus)
Baby Steps (Image via Pierrot Plus)

Over-achieving student Eiichirou Maruo practically stumbles into a tennis workshop to impress girls, only to discover a natural knack and passion for the sport in Baby Steps.

Under the wing of experienced coach Natsu Takasaki, he hones skills through diligent studying, practice, and matches to overcome obstacles towards going pro. Pierrot Plus Studio brings the original manga’s grounded approach to the anime through realistic movement and evolving tactics.

With character growth anchored in understanding the value of teamwork, this anime like Kuroko's Basketball delivers motivation in spades.

6. Yuri!!! on Ice

Yuri!!! on Ice (Image via MAPPA)
Yuri!!! on Ice (Image via MAPPA)

Figure skating captures elegant athleticism and artistry rooted in passion, as beautifully depicted in the 2016 award-winning anime Yuri!!! On Ice from renowned studio MAPPA.

Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki’s waning confidence is renewed by his famous Russian counterpart Victor Nikiforov’s mentorship, with the latter taking an interest in coaching him.

Between executing demanding choreography and confronting mental pressure, fully-realized characters like rival Yuri Plisetsky showcase struggles beyond the rink that viewers invested in Kuroko's Basketball’s Seirin squad will appreciate.

Its stunning emotional sequences have cemented this anime's appeal beyond just fans of sports anime like Kuroko's Basketball.

7. SK8 The Infinity

SK8 The Infinity (Image via Bones)
SK8 The Infinity (Image via Bones)

SK8: The Infinity, another anime like Kuroko's Basketball, blends an unconventional sports anime premise with Studio Bones' signature slick animation.

College freshman and skilled skateboarder Reki Kyan befriends Langa Hasegawa, a recent transfer student from Canada still coping with his father’s recent death. Together, they’re drawn into the underground, no-holds-barred 'S' racing battles.

Fantastical secret tracks accentuated by dynamic camerawork showcase each daredevil athlete’s distinctive style and signature moves, not unlike the specialized basketball gameplay seen in Kuroko's Basketball.

8. Tsurune

Tsurune (Image via Kyoto Animation)
Tsurune (Image via Kyoto Animation)

Kyoto Animation adapted novelist Kotoko Ayano's novels into the delicate series Tsurune, offering a more subdued interpretation of self-improvement through sports formulas through traditional Japanese kyudo (archery).

When Minato Narumiya’s lingering trauma from target panic resurfaces, his new high school kyudo club friends support his recovery.

Gentle character writing exploring hardships outside the main leads’ athletic struggles gives episodes weight. Slowly overcoming weaknesses through trust in comrades and one’s efforts mirrors values that resonate with viewers of anime like Kuroko's Basketball.

9. Ace of the Diamond

Ace of the Diamond (Image via Madhouse)
Ace of the Diamond (Image via Madhouse)

Pitcher Eijun Sawamura’s wild throwing form gets polished when he enrolls in school with a top-tier baseball program. Though lacking refinement, his spirit and stamina catch the eye of the aloof Miyuki Kazuya, the team’s star catcher. Through intense practice and bullpen battles, they aim for national championships.

Madhouse Studios faithfully adapts the manga to showcase realistic plays and movements to delight sports fans seeking baseball action. By spotlighting growth and fostering mutual reliance between battery partners reminiscent of basketball cooperation, Ace of Diamond hits familiar notes for fans of anime like Kuroko's Basketball.

10. The Prince of Tennis

The Prince of Tennis (Image via Madhouse)
The Prince of Tennis (Image via Madhouse)

The long-running tennis anime series The Prince of Tennis pits plucky tennis prodigy Ryoma Echizen against elite players on his school’s team and talented rival schools. Ryoma hones an unorthodox playing style blending spins and angles learned abroad from his professional player father.

Veteran Madhouse Studios animated all 178 episodes and OVAs, faithfully adapted from Takeshi Konomi’s manga. Beyond nail-biting volleys,seeing Ryoma integrate with teammates through trust in coaches’ guidance despite initial arrogance offers lessons familiar to fans seeking anime like Kuroko's Basketball.


Part of Kuroko’s Basketball’s legacy lies in captivating a wider audience beyond established sports anime fans through its blend of kinetic matches, camaraderie, and motivation.

The anime on the list includes modern classics like the volleyball smash hit Haikyuu or focuses on unconventional sports such as competitive skateboarding and figure skating, fueling dramatic rivalries. Familiar themes of friendship and overcoming weaknesses persist across these exciting series for Kuroko's Basketball fans.

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Edited by Babylona Bora
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