Visual novels came out decades ago and even in 2020 show no sign of slowing down. As we desperately await some popular Visual Novel games this 2020 season—such as Root Film and Robotics; Notes Elite—our minds remember the 2019 VN season. There were several big visual novels that had us crying, laughing and getting addicted to our gaming consoles. Here are our favorites in our aptly titled Best Visual Novel Games of 2019!
5. Our World is Ended.
- System: PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC
- Publisher: PQube
- Developer: RED Entertainment
- Release Dates: April 18, 2019
Our World is Ended. has players assuming the role of Owari who has gained a powerful new AR device but things go astray quickly when the game within said AR device bleeds into his own. Players will need to guide our young programmer as he tries to stop the world around him from shattering. Our World is Ended. truly was an amazing VN with some stellar art/music and a unique narrative to keep you engaged throughout. If you somehow skipped out on Our World is Ended. then you better rectify that mistake and play it as soon as humanly possible!
4. World End Syndrome
- System: PS4, Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: Arc System Works
- Developer: TOYBOX
- Release Dates: May 2, 2019
At first glance, World End Syndrome—besides the creepy name—seems to have beautiful anime girls just waiting for you to romance. Ironically, when the game boots up an anime-like OP plays in the backdrop and you’re probably going to get excited to see where love will take you. Then the OP has a strange image burnout—like a horror film—and you begin to realize…this isn’t a simple dating visual novel. World End Syndrome is deceptive and that deception is what pulled us in immediately. You’re going to want to learn what is going on in this strange little town you decided to move to and what will happen when you choose one girl over another.
3. Tokyo Chronos
- System: PS4, PC
- Publisher: Sekai Project
- Developer: Sekai Project
- Release Dates: August 26, 2019
Have you ever wanted to get up close and personal with your favorite VN? Tokyo Chronos lets you experience a visual novel in a way never before realized…via a VR Headset. Whether you use the PSVR system or an Oculus Rift, Tokyo Chronos puts you behind the wheel of young Kyosuke Sakurai as he tries to figure out why he—along with seven others—has been trapped in a closed reality that resembles Shibuya, Tokyo. In this murder/mystery themed VN, you have to try and piece together who you can trust and who might be the one causing this strange world to appear before you. Time is against you, though, as the killer has already taken one life and might take another next! Explore this brilliantly done visual novel game via the VR realm and hope more companies like Sekai Project create future VR visual novels.
2. Aokana - Four Rhythms Across the Blue
- System: PC
- Publisher: HIKARI FIELD
- Developer: Sprite
- Release Dates: September 27, 2019
Aokana - Four Rhythms Across the Blue took us by surprise here at Honey’s Anime. Not too often does a sports-themed visual novel release and even more intriguing is the fact it’s an original sport. Based on a Manga and originally released in Japan in 2014, in the tale of Aokana - Four Rhythms Across the Blue, Flying Circus has become a popular new-age sport thanks to the invention of anti-gravity shoes called simply Grav Shoes. Taking control of a coach, you have to lead your bevy of beautiful players to win a Flying Circus tourney and possibly find a future girlfriend! Aokana - Four Rhythms Across the Blue wasn’t talked about my many gamers in 2019 but those who played it—like us—knew people were missing out! Don’t be one of those VN fans who miss out on a truly impressive—and original—visual novel! And check out the 2016 anime if you get the chance too!
1. Steins; Gate Elite
- System: PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: Spike Chunsoft
- Developer: Mages.
- Release Dates: February 19, 2019
Without a doubt, one of the biggest wishes we’ve had as VN fans is that more titles looked like anime. Steins; Gate Elite takes our wishes and makes them into a reality. Using animated scenes, Steins; Gate Elite almost feels more like watching an anime play out right before your eyes! Making this even better is the fact that White Base—the studio that originally animated the visual novel adaptation—worked alongside developer Mages. to make this game even possible! Steins; Gate Elite is easily the best VN of 2019 and even now we keep replaying it to see all the possible scenes and how they look now versus the original Steins; Gate visual novel.
In our hearts, we doubt visual novels will ever not release to gamers across the world. 2019 had some truly incredible titles and 2020 will have even more. Are there any visual novels catching your eye in 2020? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to keep stuck to our hive as we continue to cover anything anime, manga and video game related here at Honey’s Anime!