Metacritic is a website aggregates reviews of any kind of entertainment including films, TV shows, music albums, and books. Since its first launch in 1999, it has become a popular site for people who look for trusted reviews. And since Metacritic also reviews video games, it is easier for us gamer to track which one are worth playing. So here are the top 7 visual novel games according to Metacritic.
7. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (Score: 83)
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is a visual novel adventure game developed by Spike Chunsoft. It is the second game in the Danganronpa franchise following 2010’s Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. It was first released in Japan for PlayStation Portable in 2012, with a port released for PlayStation Vita in 2013. A bundle containing the first Danganronpa called Danganronpa 1-2 Reload was released for PlayStation 4 in 2017.
The story follows a group of high school students who are trapped on a tropical island by their high schools’ headmaster Monokuma, a sentient stuffed bear, along with his relative Monomi, a sentient stuffed rabbit. Similar to the first game, students are told to kill one of their peers and not be caught in the subsequent investigation and trial in order to leave the island.
6. Muv-Luv Alternative (Score: 83)
Muv-Luv Alternative is a Japanese visual novel game developed and published by age in 2006 for PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Muv-Luv Alternative is a direct sequel to Muv-Luv Unlimited, and is the grand finale of the Muv-Luv trilogy.
In Muv-Luv Alternative Takeru Shirogane wakes up three years after the end of Unlimited to find himself back in his room. Although he first thinks that everything that had happened to him was a dream, he soon feels something is wrong and leaves the house to find that he has been sent back in time to beginning of the events in Unlimited. He decides to help Professor Kouzuki to complete Alternative IV instead of Alternative V.
5. Clannad (Score: 83)
Clannad is a Japanese visual novel developed by Key and released in 2004 for PC. While both of Key’s previous creations, Kanon and Air, had been released first as adult games (later been censored for younger market), Clannad was released for a rating for all ages. The game was later ported to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.
The story follows the life of Tomoya Okazaki, an average high school student who meets many people in his last year at school, including five girls, and helps resolves their individual problems. The gameplay follows a branching plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the five female main characters by the player character.
4. Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds (Score: 83)
Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds is a remastered telling of the beloved visual novel Hakuoki series that was first developed and released in 2008 by Idea Factory. The game is the first part in a two-part series with new characters, love interests, and episodes. Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds has updated graphics for PC in English, Japanese, and also Traditional Chinese.
You will play as the young Chizuru, who determined to find her father amidst the drama of Kyoto in the Bakumatsu period. In a text-based adventure, you can choose from a variety of narrative choices and branching storylines that unlock 30 different endings. Romance the famous samurai of the Shinsengumi as you uncover their dark secrets and come face to face with the mysteries of your past.
3. Steins;Gate 0 (Score: 84)
Steins;Gate 0 is a visual novel game developed and published by 5pb. It is part of the Science Adventure series and a sequel to 2009 game Steins;Gate. The game was released initially in 2015 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows in 2016, Xbox One in 2017, and Nintendo Switch in 2019.
The story is seen from several characters’ viewpoints, mainly the university student Rintaro Okabe, the time traveller Suzuha Amane, and the neuroscientist Maho Hiyajo. After meeting Maho and her co-worker Alexis Leskinen, Okabe becomes a tester for the artificial intelligence system Amadeus. The player reads the text and dialogue that comprise the story and affects the direction of the plot by choosing whether to answer phone calls from Amadeus.
2. Code: Realize – Guardian of Rebirth (Score: 86)
Code: Realize – Guardian of Rebirth is an otome visual novel game developed by Otomate for PlayStation Vita in 2014. The game features a steampunk aesthetic and a cast of literary and historical figures, including Arsene Lupin, Abraham Val Helsing, Victor Frankenstein, Impey Barbicane, and Count Saint-Germain.
The story tells about a girl named Cardia who lives day to day isolated from the world in a restricted, abandoned mansion due to a deadly poison that rots or melts anything that her skin touches. One day, her quiet solitude is interrupted when the Royal Guards break in to capture her. That is when she meets the chivalrous thief Arsene Lupin who helps her break free and sets out on a journey to find her father.
1. Steins;Gate (Score: 87)
Steins;Gate is a visual novel game developed by 5pb. and Nitroplus. Released in 2009, it became the second game in the Science Adventure series (the first was entitled Chaos;Head). This game was actually released for Xbox, but later it was ported to almost all platforms including smartphone. In 2015, PQube released the North America/Europe version for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.
The story revolves around the life of a self-proclaimed mad scientist called Rintaro Okabe. He is the founder of Future Gadget Laboratory in Akihabara, where he spends most of his time. What is unique about this game is the use of time travel theme, which we usually found only in movies. This game shows good character development of the protagonists, along with the unexpected plot twists.
With its involvement in video games scene, thanks to Metacritic now we are able to find a list of good games in easier method; it even doing as far as ranking visual novel games, which is not as mainstream as the other genre like action or RPG. If I have to choose my favorite, I will go with Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair since I’ve always been a big fan of survival-themed games and movies.
Which one is your favorite visual novel game from above list? Please share your thoughts in the comment below.