Anime Underground

The 15 Best Anime Visual Novel Games You Should Be Playing 

Ashley Glenn
Updated February 20, 2019 722 votes 241 voters 6.7k views 15 items

Anime visual novels are an interesting means of gameplay that seems to incorporate the joys of reading a manga with the thrill of watching anime; all while making choices that will affect the outcome of a story. It’s essentially a choose-your-own-adventure game that gives you tons of content and hours of gameplay. While some may find this a little boring, since many of these games are dialogue heavy, it’s the writing that will always give you a thrill. 

Anime-style games tend to do very well in the visual novel genre and there are tons to choose from such as Danganronpa, Doki Doki Literature Club!, and Clannad. Whether you’re looking for romance or horror, there’s a variety at your disposal to read and play. Some of them even come with interesting game mechanics to really have your mind delve into the game. Here are 13 you need to add to your wishlist right now!

Danganronpa is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 15 Best Anime Visual Novel Games You Should Be Playing
Photo:  Steam/Steam

The Danganronpa series has multiple games that we're sure you'll love; each one just as twisted as the next. A classic series, this game follows the stories of Hope's Peak Academy's top student. Selected students will be considered fortunate, but not until they realize what exactly they've been placed in. In the first game, Makoto Naegi finds himself in such a position where a remote-controlled bear named Monokuma tells him and several other students that they will be trapped in school forever. The only way to graduate? To attack another student and succeed in getting away from it. 


Release: 11/25/10

Developer: Spike Chunsoft

Genres (Video game): Adventure

Platform: Window, OSX, Linux, Android, IOS, + more

Is this game worth playing?
Doki Doki Literature Clu... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 15 Best Anime Visual Novel Games You Should Be Playing
Photo:  Steam/Steam

The freaky visual novel that's been scaring everyone with its adorable high school girls and the twisted plotline is a must-have for your gaming list. Monika, the leader of the adorable Literature Club, is so excited to have you join. She hopes that you'll enjoy the everyday life of each club member and the thrill of writing. However, things don't seem to be as they appear; could it be that Monika's wish is something extremely dangerous? How much of your regular dating game is this really? A horrific storyline shrouded in adorable pastels and smiling anime girls, this game is downright terrifying and certainly not for those easily freaked out. 

Release: 9/22/17

Developer: Team Salvato

Genres (Video game): Visual Novel

Platform: Windows, OSX, Linux

Is this game worth playing?
Steins;Gate is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 15 Best Anime Visual Novel Games You Should Be Playing
Photo:  Steam/Steam

If you could change the past, would you? A team of students has found a way to change the course of history using mail and a microwave; yes, you read that right. Conducting their own experiments to see just how far this can go, they realize that their web of changing events may, in fact, be creating a web from which they cannot escape. Using a phone to give you communication from characters and the option to make choices, your decisions will change the outcome of the game, making it exceptionally thrilling. 

Release: 3/31/14

Developer: 5pb

Genres (Video game): Visual Novel

Platform: Windows, OS, PS3, PS vita

Is this game worth playing?
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Phoenix Wright: Ace Atto... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 15 Best Anime Visual Novel Games You Should Be Playing
Photo:  Steam/Steam

If you've been a fan of either video games or anime long enough, there's no way you haven't heard of the famous attorney, Pheonix Write. While this game has had its fair share of memes made out of it, it's actually a very good game and with good reason. The gameplay is fairly straight forward; as a defense attorney, your job is to do everything in your power to prove your client's innocence. The thrill of this game comes from figuring out what are truths and what are lies. A thrilling adventure-style visual novel game series, it's a classic you simply must play. 

Release: 2001

Developer: Capcom

Genres (Video game): Adventure, Simulation video game, Visual novel

Platform: Mobile phone, Game Boy Advance, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Wii, + more

Is this game worth playing?