Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- #15 Doki Doki Literature Club
- #14 Hooked on You: A Dead By Daylight Dating Sim
- #13 Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
- #12 Zero Escape: The Nonary Games
- #11 Our Life: Beginnings & Always
- #10 The House In Fata Morgana
- #9 The Song of Saya
- #8 Bustafellows
- #7 Everlasting Summer
- #6 Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
- #5 AI: The Somnium Files
- #4 Steins;Gate
- #3 Coffee Talk
- #2 Digimon Survive
- #1 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Visual novels sometimes get bad raps because they’re “reading games” versus combat titles or something of that nature. But as you’ll see in these 15 titles, they’re always more than meets the eye.
#15 Doki Doki Literature Club
We’re going to start with a title that is tricky to discuss. Yes, Doki Doki Literature Club is a visual novel game; there’s no denying that. But talking further about the title will spoil what’s to come and possibly traumatize you.
We’ll be upfront here. This is not a game to take lightly. It may look like a “cute anime girl” title, but it’s a horror game that’ll make you regret playing it if you’re not in the right mental state. So dive deeper and deeper into this tale and figure out the truth of it all.
Remember, we warned you about this title.
#14 Hooked on You: A Dead By Daylight Dating Sim
Oh, you thought we were done with all the weird titles on this list? Not even close. Hooked on You: A Dead By Daylight Dating Sim is exactly what it sounds like. You end up on a beach with no recollection of who you are. Nearby are four of the killers from the main games, but they’re looking much prettier than before, and they’re playing volleyball. So what could possibly go wrong with what happens next?
The game is unapologetic in its comedy and desire for you to fall in love with a killer. So try this out if you’re looking for a game to completely take your mind off things. Just remember, things can go south when characters like these 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 puts you in an academy full of students who are meant to be the “hopeful future” for your country.
Naturally, things go horribly wrong when they are trapped in the school and put under the watch of the being known as Momokuna. He offers the students a chance to survive, but only if they kill one another and don’t get caught.
Now, you must work through each case and find out who the killers are so 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 somewhere they don’t know and forced to play a game. Why should they do that? Because they’ll die if they don’t.
Zero Escape: The Nonary Games brings the Nintendo 3DS classics to life on the PC and will let you enjoy the tension 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 together with them to make it through? Who is Zero? The only way to find out is to play.
#11 Our Life: Beginnings & Always
One of the reasons that many people play visual novel titles is that they like the experience and the depth the story can bring. They can also have a focus that allows the player to feel beyond what they’re “meant to.” Our Life: Beginnings & Always is an excellent example of that.
You’ll create a character in the game and begin your life alongside the boy next door. You’ll advance the story and your lives through your interactions and witness how it all unfolds. Even the smallest of things can affect how you and your friend grow and act with one another.
#10 The House In Fata Morgana
If you’re looking for another 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 a maid is there. She tells you that you’re 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 that you should join her on journeys to see the truth behind the deaths of previous tenants of the mansion.
Experience multiple periods of history, and then see if you’re brave enough to continue the tale.
#9 The Song of Saya
The Song of Saya is yet another visual novel that loves to test your sanity with a dark story and theme. This time, you’ll play as a young man who awakens to find himself not in a nice place but a place of nightmares. Despite the well-wishes of his friends, his soul is cold, and nothing seems to help. That is until he meets the girl known as Saya, and things take an even darker turn.
The game will push you and your character to see how far you’d go for love, and the results might be horrifying, depending on what you do. So, where will your choices lead you?
Next up, we have Bustafellows. The game puts you in the role of a young journalist with a unique ability. She can go back in time briefly by inhabiting other people’s bodies. Through them, she gains information that she uses to help people in the present.
After moving to a new town, she witnesses the death of a lawyer. Now, she’s determined to find a way to go back in time to save him. But can she do that? Play as the journalist and find out, and you might just find other things along the way. By that, we mean you can romance people in the game. So go and see who might be your perfect match!
#7 Everlasting Summer
Everlasting Summer stars Seymon, an ordinary young man in every way that counts. There is nothing special about him. However, one day in the middle of winter, he falls asleep on a bus. That wouldn’t be much of a problem, except when he awakes, it’s summer. Plus, there’s a nearby camp that he’s invited to join, and he has no idea where it is.
Now, he must go through the camp alongside the others there and attempt to figure out what happened to him. Who will he meet on his journey? What dangers are in the camp? Will Seymon get back to his life? Will he even want to? Dive in and find out!
#6 Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Told you we’d 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 back Monokuma, class warfare will begin once again. You’ll have to solve the cases and survive the tribal councils to get to the root of the truth. But as Monokuma watches on, you’ll have to ask yourself if the truth is something you really need to find or whether you were better off without it. Only you can determine which is the right way to go.
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. Not only does he recognize the woman killed, he soon finds a young girl who happens to have an ice pick in her hands, one that has the blood of the victim on it.
But there’s much more to this story than meets the eye. There’s a mysterious serial killer out there, and Detective Date has to work through both the real world and the dream world to figure out the truth behind it all.
Who really killed that woman? Who is this young girl? Dive in and solve it yourself.
While many visual novels have stories that end up in a specific place, Steins;Gate puts you in a position to experience a non-linear story where your choices can lead to many different outcomes.
You’ll play as a group of students who find a way to change the past and, thus, the future. But when things get out of hand, they’ll have to save the world from an organization that’s behind all this. Between your choices with main plot points and how you interact with your fellow classmates and friends, you affect the world on every level.
So choose wisely. The fate of everyone depends on it.
#3 Coffee Talk
Have you ever been a bartender or coffee shop attendant? If so, you know that the person behind the counter can be the one you confide in when things go wrong in your life. Coffee Talk brings that to life in gaming form, but with a fantastical twist.
Instead of regular people at the shop, it’s 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 great conversation.
Learn what their favorite brews are, learn new recipes, and help them out with their day. Be the friend they need in this time, and learn more about the world outside your shop.
#2 Digimon Survive
Digimon Survive came out not too long ago, and it significantly impacted players whether they realized it would 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 won’t be alone there, as you’ll have a Digimon partner and others stuck there with you. Now, you’ll have to weave your way through the story and RPG gameplay to survive.
We don’t mean that metaphorically. There are choices in the game you’ll make that will affect everything around you. That includes your life and the lives of the others in your group.
#1 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Call us biased, but the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is easily the best visual novel game we’ve ever played, and we’ve played quite a bit. Oh, and for the record, we feel the whole saga is legendary, but some of the series are a bit hard to get now, so start here.
You play Phoenix Wright, who must work his way through the unique Justice System of the land to clear his clients of crimes they didn’t commit. Part lawyer drama, part detective story, each game has twists and turns you’ll need to endure and overcome to get the “Not Guilty” verdict you want.
Seriously, try this series out. You won’t regret it.