If you're looking for anime similar to Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, you might like these titles. All recommendations are made by Anime-Planet users like you!
One day, a flood of magical cards rained down from the sky and were collected by unsuspecting children. Unaware of the great power of the cards, the children created an exciting new game called Bakugan Battle Brawlers - but once they began to play it, they discovered that the monsters were real! Now Daniel and Drago must try to save Vestroia, the home dimension of the monsters in their new game. To make matters worse, they also have to contend with the mysterious player known as Masquerade, who has been taking other players' Bakugan from them.
Young kids using monsters controlled by cards battling each other your kind of thing? Then Yu-gi-oh and Bakugan are so very similar by the fact they are both pretty dreadful. Both having suffered from the export across the ocean, they will definitely appeal to the younger audience. I think fans of one will probably enjoy the other.
Tachibana Riku is an orphan who lives with his adoptive grandfather. Other than school and homework, Riku has to put up with lessons from his grandfather, teaching him seemingly meaningless hand signals and signs; meaningless, that is, until Riku is violently introduced to the world of 'shikigamis', fighting beasts with human owners. After witnessing his grandfather defend against a shikigami assault on their home shrine, Riku obtains his own Drive device to summon his own shikigami, Kogenta, and it turns out the hand signals give the shikigamis special powers. With his newly obtained powers, and a shikigami as a companion and friend, what adventures await Tachibana Riku? Do his powers have any relation to his parents' disappearance?
If you like one, you will like the other.
They also share the same kind of feel to the main villain, being some kind of huge evil corporation. And the fact that they utilize "monsters" to do battle.
Kimimaro Yoga could use a break. At nineteen years old, he's not only a student at Heisei College of Economics, he's also a part time employee and flat out broke. So when an eerie man offers the boy a special ATM card and an exorbitant amount of cash, Kimimaro gives in to temptation – but there's a catch. In exchange for his good fortune, Kimimaro's very future is put at stake, held as collateral by the Bank of Midas and tied to the amount of yen in his bank account. In addition, he must participate in a special battle every week in the mysterious 'Financial District' – a battle where losing against one's opponent can mean bankruptcy, a fate that carries an unthinkable cost in the normal world...
Some time ago, Jin Makata lost his memories when battling against Count Pythagoreas. Now that the Orpheus Order has been defeated, Kaito, Nonoha and Rook are determined to restore the man to his former self by bringing him to familiar locations, and soon arrive at the Fool’s Puzzle from their past. But things escalate when a mysterious girl named Raetsel ambushes them in the puzzle’s chambers; she works for an organization called Master Brain, and she’s come to steal Jin away. And not only does Jin recognize the girl, but she also claims that Master Brain’s goal is to rid the world of puzzlers at Jin’s request! Now, it’s up to the Children of Phi Brain to discover the truth and put a stop to the organization’s nefarious plans.
These are both shounen anime where the characters get involoved with games they enjoy on a much larger and more dangerous scale. Phi Brain is about solving puzzles and Yu-Gi-Oh is about a card game, but at their heart they are both shounen anime with all the usual cliches and character archetypes. Both anime have characters matching wits with villains through either puzzles or the card game.
In both these shows there is at least some attempt to have strategy and tactics play a role in the puzzles or the games, but don't expect anything too complicated from either of them. If you are looking for a stereotypical shounen anime then either of these should suit your needs.