Bishoujo games are often the most underrated type of genre, that gets almost no attention except for hardcore anime fans, or the targetted audiences itself. Since this genre is uniquely Japanese phenomenon, and they form a sizeable fraction of the Japanese market. Most of the games in genre itself are text based (you read the story more than you play), with a little bit of interactivity or gameplay included (except for some other games.), mostly fanservice, and purely targetted for mostly males. But the 10 games that stated below are the ones, I believed, that stands out most from the other typical Bishoujo / Visual Novel games that floats around the Japanese market. If you have no idea on what it is, at least you will know something new! Hop on. But before hand, let me clarify on something, most of the games are in PC platform. Not counting the Dreamcast/Saturn/Playstation/Playstation 2 port-over, these games are generally for 18 years old and older only. Except for some games.

Nocturnal Illusions, when in the early days, it's one great game. A story that gives you a sense of dark and mystery. When the story starts, it starts out really vaguely, than if you managed to get past the start of the story you'll wanna find out the truth about everything when you're trapped into a mansion after you've experience a heavy nightstorm, got seriously injured, and healed. You can't get out, sure, that's where the game begins. The gameplay is little, but you get to actually click around and explore the mansion. When you go to the right place, scene ensures. This is a non cliched, non typical visual novel story that you would actually bother to read out every single scenario and story available in this game.

True Love '95 was my first bishoujo game, and yes, this game has gameplay. Being the classic dating sim game, you start with nothing, but with your actions and decisions to invest points in certain field (studying, sports, working...for what? For the girl of course!), you will get to end up be with a girl that you feel that you're attached to at the end of the game, or if you screwed up, you will get nothing in the end. This game is one example of a good, classic dating sim game. But since it's old, it became a rare product, so to find the game is almost impossible. Ah I missed that game.

This is by far, I could say the sweetest visual novel story ever. When the concept of time travelling meets romance, this is the result of it. The story construction was very well done in this game. What's good about this game is the difficulty of the story branch that is available to you. It's strict, if you don't wanna screw up during the selection you have to be careful of what you choose. So it requires thinking before acting. Kind of cool, considering that most of the visual story games suffers the lacking of such feature, it's nice to have this implemented. I liked it, it's one of the non-cliched romance stories that I've ever read during my earlier days of story reading. Think of it as boys meets girl, but different in process.

The title might sound cheesy and decieving, but when I played it, I was wrong. This is one of the story where it struck me as one of the depressing stories among all the visual novels I've read so far, yet wonderful, beautifully expressed. The story is simple, yet it can bring out the emotion well. There are quite a number of downsides for this game, but I digress. Definitely worth trying it out at least once. Now I wonder if the unnecessary adult scene only being taken out. Will it be better? I can certainly predict. But regardless, the story is the main key why this visual novel game is worth reading.

If you're one visual novel fan, you woud surely recognize Kana Little Sister. Sure, it does have a little incesteous elements in it, but that's only the flaw. People often look down the game because of it, but the whole story will actually make you feel for the characters. For a story, you can actually feel it, as if it's alive. Some people who loved it claimed how the story can make you cry, oh hell it can, prepare some tissues if you happen to pick up this game. When the story talks about how Kana, the sister of the main character goes and fight her terminal illness and you're the brother who needs to take care of this poor little girl, you know it's worth a read.

Tsukihime is one awesome read, that it brings Type MOON to what the anime fans have known today. Aside being set inside a theme where it's your usual school day, boys meets girl, drama... this story goes into the dark and takes the other turn. With average graphics and awesome in depth storyline, it's definitely worth going through a wall of texts like this.

A one awesome, touching visual novel in my book. Granted, it's very short, at most this only last long for 4 hours, but for visual novels that can explain such a wonderful, touching story is very rare in the market. And it can be purchased only online (you have to download the game instead, with a little money paid). But for like $10 paid for this game, it's absolutely worth paying for. The story is depressing, but it does have some message behind it. With only 2 characters featured in this game, you couldn't help but to read the story, and to end it, and left with either sadness, or hate. (hate the story I mean.), but I love the story, because it's very very well written. Not exactly the perfect one, but it's definitely a top notched quality of story telling.

A visual novel game that I'll never forget. Though the gameplay is little that it's a pity. The story is the main key here. The wonderful part of this story would be the construction of the story, it's absolutely well done, and emotional enough to capture audiences heart. If I were to exaggerate it, it can make you cry. What caught my attention the most about this story was the relationship and the wonderful interaction between characters, which the story is filled with enriched dialogues and interesting conversations that you won't ever forget. If you're looking for some good touching story, this would be your pick. A story about searching for a girl in the sky, that comes full with enjoyable experience, and leave with unforgetable memories.

If there is a story about a fictional war can lead into deeper, complex plot and can make you want to read it all to satisfy your curiosity, this would be the game. With the setting about Holy War that happens secretly from the public, this is a well done piece of work. The flow of the story goes out really well and smooth flowing, then come with massive plot twists that you don't wanna miss out during the read. Created by Type MOON. Clean and eye appealing graphics, wonderful story and plot setting, awesome character designs - The design of each characteristics for the character was well suited and it's more than just an eye candy. This is something you don't wanna miss if you're into doujin games. Too bad, It has no voice acting. That's the only downside I can ever give for this game.

From the same creators of Fate/ Stay Night. This is a game where I would consider it the best doujin game ever. It doesn't have any nudity, and it's has elements of visual novel genre mixed with fighting. How good is it? I'm impressed. The story takes place 2 years after the original Tsukihime visual novel game. And it's back with much more in-depth story and awesome plot construction, Tsukihime is always famous with their dark, vampire-ish theme setting. And Melty Blood Re-ACT certainly lives up to the name. The aboslute awesome about this game would be their fighting game feature (it's the main focus of this game anyway), it's fast paced, complex, and aboslutely fun to the point that you'll hook up with this game definitely for long. Think of the pace as Guilty Gear, except ten times more fun. And don't forget to master the combos if you happen to pick up this game! The best doujin 2D fighting game ever, and this is true.

In conclusion, these are the games that I believed that every fans of bishoujo/doujin/visual novel games, if haven't already, should pick up those games and at least give it a try. You may agree or disagree, but that's fine. It's just that been playing this genre for at least 3 years now, those games are still fresh in my mind and I personally felt that there are no other games of the same genre come as close as the 10 games that I've selected.

List by Iluna (12/15/2005)

Discuss this list and others on the Top 10 Lists board.

Have your own Top 10 in mind? Create and submit your own Top 10 List today.

Would you recommend this Top 10? Yes No