15 best visual novel games of all time

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Visual novels sometimes get a bad rap for being “reading games” versus fighting titles or the like. But as you’ll see in these 15 titles, they’re always more than meets the eye.

#15 Doki Doki Literature Club

We will start with a title that is difficult to discuss. Yes, Doki Doki Literature Club is a visual novel game; there’s no denying that. But continuing to talk about the title will spoil what’s to come and potentially traumatize you.

We’ll be here in front. This is not a game to be taken lightly. It may look like a “cute anime girl” title, but it’s a horror game that you’ll regret playing if you’re not in the right mental state. So delve deeper and deeper into this story and find out the truth.

Remember, we warned you about this title.

#14 Addicted to You: A Dating Sim That’s Dead by Daylight

Addicted to You

Oh you thought we were done with all the weird titles on this list? Not even close. Addicted to You: A Dating Sim by Dead By Daylight is exactly what it sounds like. You land on a beach without remembering who you are. Nearby are four of the killers from the main games, but they look a lot prettier than before and they’re playing volleyball. So what could go wrong with what happens next?

The game makes no apologies in its comedy and wanting you to fall in love with a killer. So give it a try if you’re looking for a game that will completely take your mind off things. Keep in mind that things can go wrong when such characters are involved.

#13 Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

There are two entries from this series on this list, but we’ll start with Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. The game places you in an academy full of students who are meant to be the “hopeful future” for your country.

Of course, things go horribly wrong when they are trapped at school and placed under the watch of the entity known as Momokuna. He offers the students a chance to survive, but only if they kill each other and don’t get caught.

Now you must work through each case and find out who the killers are so that you and the others can survive.

#12 Zero Escape: The Nonary Games

Under the watchful and menacing influence of the being known as Zero, nine people are kidnapped and placed in a place they do not know and forced to play a game. Why should they do this? Because they will die if they don’t.

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games brings the Nintendo 3DS classics to life on PC, letting you enjoy the suspense and mystery of it all as you try to solve everything that’s going on. Why were these nine people taken? What did they do to deserve this? Will you work with them to get through this? who is zero The only way to find out is to play.

#11 Our Life: Beginnings & Always

One of the reasons a lot of people play visual novels is that they like the experience and the depth that the story can bring. They can also have a focus that allows the player to feel beyond what they are “intended” to do. Our Life: Beginnings & Always is an excellent example of this.

You create a character in the game and start your life alongside the boy next door. You will advance the story and your life through your interactions and witness how it all unfolds. Even the smallest things can affect how you and your friend grow and relate to each other.

#10 The house in Fata Morgana

If you are looking for a different spooky experience instead of an introspective one, The house in Fata Morgana will be the one to try.

The title begins with you waking up in a mansion and there is a maid there. She tells you that you are the master of the place and she is at your service. The problem? You have no idea who you are, how you got there or what is happening. Your maid tells you to join her on her journey to find out the truth about the deaths of previous tenants of the mansion.

Experience multiple eras of history and then see if you’re brave enough to continue the story.

#9 The Song of Saya

The Song of Saya is another visual novel that loves to test your wits with a dark story and theme. This time you play as a young man who wakes up and finds himself not in a nice place, but in a place full of nightmares. Despite the good wishes of his friends, his soul is cold and nothing seems to help. Until he meets the girl named Saya and things take an even darker turn.

The game will make you and your character see how far you would go for love, and the results can be terrifying depending on what you do. So where will your choices take you?

#8 bus table lows

Next we have Bus table lows. The game puts you in the role of a young journalist with unique skills. She can briefly go back in time by inhabiting other people’s bodies. Through them, she receives information that she uses to help people in the present.

After moving to a new city, she witnesses the death of a lawyer. Now she is determined to find a way back in time to save him. But can she? Play as a journalist and find out, and you might find other things along the way. By that we mean you can romance people in the game. So go and see who could be your perfect partner!

#7 Eternal Summer

Eternal summer Stars Seymon, an ordinary young man in every way that counts. There’s nothing special about him. But one day in the middle of winter he falls asleep on a bus. That wouldn’t be a big problem unless it’s summer when he wakes up. Also, there’s a camp nearby that he’s been invited to and he has no idea where it is.

Now he must go through the camp together with the others and try to find out what happened to him. Who does he meet on his journey? What dangers lurk in the camp? Will Seymon return to his life? Will he even want that? Dive in and find out!

#6 Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

I told you we would be back for this series. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair brings back students from Hope’s Peak Academy, but this time for a deadly island adventure.

When a school trip to an uninhabited island brings Monokuma back, the class struggle begins again. You must solve the cases and survive the tribal councils to uncover the truth. But as Monokuma watches, you have to wonder if you really need to find the truth, or if you’d be better off without it. Only you can decide which way is the right one.

Do your best or die trying!

#5 AI: The Somnium files

AI: The Somnium files puts you in the role of detective Kaname Date, who is called to investigate a murder at an amusement park. He not only recognizes the dead woman, but soon finds a young girl who happens to be holding an ice pick with the victim’s blood on it.

But there is much more to this story than meets the eye. There’s a mysterious serial killer out there and Detective Date must work his way through both the real world and the dream world to uncover the truth behind it.

Who really killed this woman? who is this young girl Dive in and solve it yourself.

#4 Steins goal

While many visual novels have stories that end in a specific place, Stein’s gate puts you in a position to experience a non-linear story where your choices can lead to many different outcomes.

You play as a group of students who find a way to change the past and, in turn, the future. But when things get out of hand, they must save the world from an organization that is behind all of this. Between your decisions involving major plot points and your interactions with your classmates and friends, you impact the world on every level.

So choose wisely. The fate of all depends on it.

#3 Coffee Talk

Have you ever been a bartender or café attendant? If so, you know that when something goes wrong in your life, the person behind the counter can be the one you can confide in. coffee talk brings this to life in game form but with a fantastic twist.

Instead of normal people in the store, they are magical creatures. Elves, orcs, mermaids and more will grace your shop, and it’s your job to help them feel better through strong coffee and good conversation.

Find out what their favorite beers are, learn new recipes and help them with their day. Be the friend they need during this time and learn about the world outside of your business.

#2 Digimon survived

Digimon survive came out not long ago and it significantly influenced players whether they recognized it or not.

In the game, just like in the anime, you are a kid at summer camp who gets sucked into the digital world. You will not be alone there as you will have a Digimon partner and others with you. Now you have to meander through the story and RPG gameplay to survive.

We don’t mean that metaphorically. There are in-game choices you will make that affect everything around you. This includes your life and the lives of others in your group.

#1 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

Call us biased, but this Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is by far the best visual novel game we’ve played, and we’ve played quite a bit. Oh, and for the record, we think the whole saga is legendary, but some of the series are a little hard to come by now, so start here.

You play as Phoenix Wright, who must navigate the country’s unique justice system to absolve his clients of crimes they did not commit. Part legal drama, part detective story, each game has twists and turns that you must endure and overcome in order to get the not guilty verdict you desire.

Seriously, try this series. You will not regret it.


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