12 Best Visual Novels (Topic)

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12 Best Visual Novels


Last week we told you all about the visual novel genre, and today we picked the best visual novels to play.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

As talented attorney Phoenix Wright, we will need to participate in five lawsuits. Each of them is divided into two parts - the search for evidence and the trial itself. We have to communicate with witnesses, collect evidence and prepare for trial. At the meeting itself, you need to choose the right answer options, and think about what we are saying and what inconsistencies we point out, because it is quite easy to fail the protection.

12 Best Visual Novels

The trial itself is a real show that will make you laugh more than once, and Wright's exclamation “Objection!” has become a meme for a long time. Watching the trial is fun as it sounds like a good detective.

A remaster of the game was released this week, so it makes sense to start with this novel.

Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni / When the cicadas cry

The game takes place in the 80s. Our hero Keichi Maebara moves to the small Japanese village of Hinamizawa to live with his parents. He enters a local school and, like in a classic anime harem, he makes many lovely girlfriends. However, this is only at first glance so. The village and its inhabitants hide something dark in themselves. So, soon the friends will try to kill Keichi both secretly and openly.

12 Best Visual Novels

The game consists of eight chapters. Each chapter starts from the very beginning, restarting the events of the previous one. So, everyone who died before will be alive. In the initial chapters, we will only hint at what is happening in this village, and in the end we will receive all the answers. The story always begins as a sweet everyday life, and ends as a psychological thriller with riddles and mysticism.

This novel is more readable, so it has one ending.

Saya no Uta / Sai Song

After the accident in which Fuminori's parents died, his life changes. He receives a severe head injury, which is why he begins to see the environment in a different way. It seems to him that the whole world consists of scraps or a heap of rotten meat, and people look like disgusting monsters. Fuminori, thanks to the fact that he is studying to be a doctor, understood what was happening. In order not to get into a mental hospital, he hides his illness from people, which is given with great difficulty, because the brain distorts even the sound, smell and taste. He remains trapped in this hideous world.

12 Best Visual Novels

However, a sweet girl Sae appears in his life - she is the only one whom he does not see with a pile of guts. He undertakes to help her in search of her father, and Sae, in turn, tries to alleviate the boy's suffering. A romance begins between them.

This story is perfect for exploring visual novels. It is short-lived [5-7 hours] and is unlike anything else. Everything is mixed in it, from Lovecraft motives, ending with a thriller, really good drama and psychological horror.

12 Best Visual Novels

The novel has three endings and they are all canonical. You are given the opportunity to choose which one will be the most logical outcome for you. However, they are all tragic and will definitely not make you smile, and will drive you into melancholy. Game creator Gen Urobuchi himself became depressed after finishing the game.


Do you think Hideo Kojima can only do mystical action movies? No, two cool visual novels also came out from under the hand of the master, one of which is just Policenauts. The game skillfully balances on the verge of a quest, but is still considered more of a sci-fi anime novel.

12 Best Visual Novels

The game is set in an alternate year 2013. A large-scale colony Beyond Coast was built in Earth orbit. To protect it, a special squad of "Policemen" was created, of which our protagonist John Ingram is a member. During testing of a new model of a space suit, a breakdown occurs and the hero is thrown into open space. The life support system puts the hero in cryogenic sleep for a quarter of a century.

After waking up, John finds himself in a world that has changed a lot: his squad was disbanded, the colony turned into a metropolis, his friends grew old, and his wife, after his disappearance, got married. Ingram returns to Los Angeles and opens his own detective agency. One day his ex-wife comes to him and asks to find her missing husband. John agrees, and the case brings him back to Beyond Coast, and also ties him up with an old partner.

12 Best Visual Novels

Despite its age, the game looks very stylish graphically, and Maestro Kojima, as always, paid attention to details, twists and written characters.


Our main character, Tomoya Okozaki, hates his life and everything that surrounds him. The situation is aggravated by the fact that his mother died long ago, and his father is an alcoholic. Tomoya lives meaninglessly, not thinking about his future. Everything changes after he meets a girl named Nagisa. She dreams of opening a needlework circle at school, and our hero agrees to help her. Soon he gets to know other students of the school, and life becomes brighter.

12 Best Visual Novels

This is a novella of the nagikie genre, which translates from Japanese as "cry". Yes, from the outside the game sounds like a snotty romance, but you shouldn't be biased. Everything you see in the game is justified, in large part because of the living characters and the personal drama of each. According to the novel, an anime was filmed, where the GG chooses Nagisa, in the short story you can choose any girl, and that is why it will take you about a hundred hours to complete the complete passage with all the endings.

Kikokugai - The Cyber Slayer

A wonderful story from the already mentioned Gen Urobuchi, in which cyberpunk and oriental philosophy are mixed. In this world, adherents of martial arts followed two paths: some developed the body, and others the spirit. With the advent of new technologies, the first began to replace their limbs with cyber prostheses. Thus, they cut off their Chi energy, from which strength is drawn. Such people are called gynoids. Our hero Kong Taolo is one of those who adhere to tradition and does not use technology. This led to the fact that he learned the technique of thunder and is able to kill anyone with one blow. So he became the most powerful of the triads.

12 Best Visual Novels

However, his best friend betrays him, arranges an attempt on him, and his sister is killed. Although it is difficult to call it death: her brain is destroyed, her soul is torn into several parts, and the fragments are implanted into sex robots. Kong survives and is about to find out the reason for the betrayal. He is also going to get his sister back. One surgeon creates a gynoid for him, into which all the shards of his sister's soul can be placed.

VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action

And again, in the courtyard of cyberpunk, with all its authentic charms. In the story, we take on the role of Jill, the barmaid, who works in an unremarkable bar. Interesting personalities often come into it for a drink. The entire gameplay consists of mixing drinks for visitors; we chat with clients and sometimes give advice. Depending on what you prepared for them there, further dialogue will develop.

12 Best Visual Novels

In the game, we need to experiment to observe the reactions of visitors, and different situations. We get money for the right drinks, which we will then spend. The most remarkable thing about the game is that this is a select cocktail of Easter eggs to cyberpunk icons. So you'll find references to Blade Runner, Deus Ex, Crisis, Akira anime, Ghost in the Shell, Bubblegum, and Cowboy Bebop throughout the game.

Swan Song

This is a very depressing novel that realistically shows the dark side of human nature. She talks about a group of people who survived an earthquake in a cold winter. The novel shows the edge of how during the apocalypse civilization goes into a regime of madness and lawlessness. People are placed in a desperate environment and all their attempts to keep the usual order of things ends in collapse, violence and madness.

12 Best Visual Novels

The game has many violent scenes and remains true to the realistic concept.

Steins; Gate / Gate of Shatain

We are all talking about horror and thrillers ... Let's change the record. Young student Okabe Rintaro creates a time machine. The funny thing is that the guy is so genius that he created it using a microwave and a mobile. It's not really a time machine, though. Okabe can transmit mobile messages to different eras through the microwave.

12 Best Visual Novels

We will fall into different timelines, depending on the messages. Each of the possible lines leads to the most unusual, both comedic and serious situations on the verge of a thriller. There are seven endings in the game.

Kara no Shoujo / The Shell Girl

In the yard in 1956. There is a serial killer of girls in Japan. Detective Tokisaki Reiji is asked to investigate the case. Reiji notes that he saw a similar killer handwriting in a similar case six years ago. During the investigation, he meets Kutiki's girlfriend Toko, who asks him to help her "find her real self." The further the investigation goes, the closer the connection to Toko's past becomes.

12 Best Visual Novels

The novel is very similar to Western thrillers, so it is easy to follow and is one of the best short stories to get to know. It also has detective elements such as searching for evidence, examining corpses, comparing facts. This is a very interesting detective story on the verge of horror, which can keep the intrigue. There are several endings in it, but each of them can leave many questions. Frankly, without a guide - it's difficult to reach the canon ending. For example, you can have relationships with girls [yes, there is a dating sim element] and learn more about the overall plot, but you’ll likely end up with a bad ending. However, unraveling the whole huge plot of this story does not cease to be interesting over and over again.

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

If you love the work of Agatha Christie, you will definitely like this novel. According to the plot, the creature Monokuma, which looks like a teddy bear, holds fifteen students captive within the walls of the Peak of Hope Academy. All of them are students of this academy, the best and most talented teenagers in the country or children of its elite.

12 Best Visual Novels

The only way to get out is to secretly kill another student. After the body is found, all the hostages gather in the common room and try to figure out who the killer is. The exposed criminal will be killed by Monokuma, and if he can remain unrevealed, he will receive freedom. We take control of Makoto Naegi and try to win this game.

Danganronpa is a pure paranoia simulator where your ally can stick a knife in your back. The game touches with high-quality suspense, as well as analytical dialogues and how everyone calculates the criminal. At times, a novel can ease the tension with calm dialogue so you can take a break from it.

Endless Summer

And finally, we will mention the domestic project. "Endless Summer" tells about a certain Semyon - a loser from the point of view of society. He was kicked out of the university, he does not take care of himself, is interrupted by small work, and does not see much sense in development. One day he is invited to a reunion. He gets on a bus that will take him to the meeting point and falls asleep in it. The hero wakes up in a completely different sunny world.

12 Best Visual Novels

It turns out that the bus brought him under the gates of the Sovenok pioneer camp, and Semyon himself understands that he looks 17 years old. This is how his life begins in the camp, where he draws closer to its inhabitants, especially girls. He will spend only seven days in the camp. In fact, this is an ordinary dating simulator, but the game is captivating with a mystical plot, as well as a whole ton of references to Soviet culture. Over time, the game will make you think more about what kind of camp this is, and how everything in it is connected with the life of the hero.

These were the best visual novels worth checking out. In order not to repeat itself every time - almost every novel has an amazing soundtrack that you want to listen to and finish. Most importantly, they are all translated.

The Topic of Article: 12 Best Visual Novels.
Author: Jake Pinkman