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The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time 

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Updated May 11, 2019 27.3k votes 7.2k voters 417.4k views 113 items

List Rules Visual novel video games only.

This is a list of the best visual novel games of all time for any console or system, including cover art pictures when available. These highly rated visual novel games are ordered by popularity, so only the greatest visual novel games are at the top of the list.

Visual novel games are easy to play and are great for people that prefer to read rather than shoot enemies. Many visual novels have adult themes, though a few visual novel games such as Phoenix Wright are meant for players of all ages.

Spanning the entire history of the genre, these visual novel games are considered the best in the genre. This list includes all challenging visual novel games that have ever hit the shelves, so it doesn't necessarily have all the more obscure or new visual novel games.

This list below has everything from Katawa Shoujo to DNA Media Comics. This list answers the questions, "What are the best visual novel games?" and "What is the greatest visual novel game of all time?"

list ordered by
1
Steins;Gate is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
remplamKai added
Steins;Gate is a Japanese visual novel developed by 5pb. and Nitroplus and released for the Xbox 360 on October 15, 2009. It is the second game in 5pb. and Nitroplus' Science Adventure series ...more
2
Katawa Shoujo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Katawa Shoujo is a bishōjo-style visual novel by Four Leaf Studios that tells a story of a young man and five young women living with varying disabilities. The game uses a traditional text and ...more
3
Phoenix Wright: Ace Atto... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Released: 2001 (Capcom)
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, released in Japan as Gyakuten Saiban Yomigaeru Gyakuten, is a visual novel/adventure legal drama video game published and developed by Capcom in Japan, North ...more
4
Danganronpa is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Silvachief added
5
Fate/stay night is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Released: 2004 (Type-Moon)
Fate/stay night is a Japanese visual novel developed by Type-Moon, which was originally released as an adult game for Windows. A version of Fate/stay night rated for ages 15 and up titled ...more

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6
999: Nine Hours, Nine Pe... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Released: 2010 (Chunsoft)
999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is a graphic adventure game/visual novel developed by Chunsoft for Nintendo DS. It was first released in Japan on December 10, 2009, and then in North ...more

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7
G Senjō no Maō is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
G Senjō no Maō is a Japanese adult visual novel developed by Akabeisoft2 and first released for the PC as a DVD on May 29, 2008, in limited and regular editions after many delays. The gameplay ...more

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8
Zero Escape: Virtue's La... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Released: 2012 (Chunsoft)
Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, also known as simply Virtue's Last Reward in Europe and Australia, is a 2012 Japanese visual novel adventure video game developed by Chunsoft for the Nintendo ...more

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9
Rewrite is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Released: 2011 (Key)
Rewrite is a Japanese visual novel developed by Key, a brand of VisualArt's. It was released on June 24, 2011 for Windows PCs and is rated for all ages. Rewrite is Key's ninth game, along with ...more
10
The Fruit of Grisaia is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
WilliamReeves added

Yūji Kazami transfers to Mihama Academy, a school with only five female students and prison-like features. Every student in the school have their own "circumstances" for being there, but Yūji is not required to do anything about their situation as he asked for a normal student life

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11
Phoenix Wright: Ace Atto... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Released: 2004 (Capcom)
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations, released in Japan as Gyakuten Saiban 3, is a visual novel adventure video game developed by Capcom. It was originally released for the Game ...more
12
Dangan-Ronpa: Kibou no G... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
13
Phoenix Wright: Ace Atto... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Released: 2002 (Capcom)
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice for All, released in Japan as Gyakuten Saiban 2, is a visual novel adventure video game developed and published by Capcom for the Nintendo DS video game ...more
14
Umineko: When They Cry ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Umineko: When They Cry is a Japanese murder mystery dōjin soft visual novel series produced by 07th Expansion. The first game in the series, Legend of the Golden Witch, was first released at ...more

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15
Ever 17: The Out of Infi... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Released: 2002 (KID)
Ever 17: The Out of Infinity is a Japanese science fiction visual novel produced by KID. It was originally released on August 29, 2002 for the PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast. A Windows version, ...more
16
Saya no Uta is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Saya no Uta is a Lovecraftian horror visual novel by Nitroplus with erotic content. The original plot is written by Gen Urobuchi. In 2009, an English fan translation patch was released. Later, ...more

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17
Apollo Justice: Ace Atto... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Released: 2007 (Capcom)
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, released in Japan as Gyakuten Saiban 4, is a visual novel adventure video game developed by Capcom for the Nintendo DS handheld game console. It is the fourth video ...more
18
If My Heart Had Wings is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
bmmitchell98 added
If My Heart Had Wings is a Japanese 18+ Visual Novel produced by Pulltop. It was released on 25 May 2012 and an English localization that was given a Teen rating was released by MoeNovel on 28 ...more
19
DNA Media Comics is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Clannad is a Japanese visual novel developed by Key and released on April 28, 2004 for Windows PCs. While both of Key's first two previous works, Kanon and Air, had been released first as adult ...more
20
Tomoyo After: It's a Won... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Released: 2005 (Key)
Tomoyo After: It's a Wonderful Life is a Japanese adult visual novel developed by Key released on November 25, 2005 for Windows PCs. Key later released versions of Tomoyo After without the ...more

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21
Sharin No Kuni, Himawari... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
22
Doki Doki Literature Clu... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
MartinHünermund added

 

22 Sep, 2017

23
Time Hollow is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Released: 2008 (Konami)
Time Hollow is a Japanese-style adventure video game developed and published by Konami for the Nintendo DS video game console. The game was released in Japan on March 19, 2008, North America on ...more
24
Muv-Luv Alternative is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
taklung31 added
In the year 1973, alien species known as BETA (Beings of Extra Terrestrial origin which is Adversary of human race) came to invade earth. During the next 30 years, they have conquered most of ...more
25
Little Busters! is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Visual Novel Games of All Time
Released: 2007 (Key)
Little Busters! is a Japanese visual novel developed by Key. It was released on July 27, 2007 for Windows PCs and is rated for all ages. Little Busters! is Key's sixth game, along with other ...more