Looking for a story-driven Steam game where your choices matter? Well, we’ve got you covered with this guide about the top 10 best visual novels on the platform. Whether you like playing detective or living out a simple life, this list can help you find the right one for you. Here is a list of all highly-regarded games that are available on Steam.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Everyone’s favorite attorney at law, Phoenix Wright, had to be the first on this list of the best visual novels. As a player, you’ll take on cases to defend innocent people and collect enough evidence to win the game’s notable “Courtroom Battle.”
Since 2001, the Ace Attorney franchise has gained a loyal fanbase and sold over a million copies due to its fun gameplay and quirky characters. By obtaining this trilogy on Steam, you’ll be able to see the journey of Ace Attorney, Justice For All, and Trials and Tribulations.
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
After the success of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Spike Chunsoft took the story in a new direction with Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. On the surface, the second installment follows the standard storyline of the franchise, where the player must participate in a dangerous murder game controlled by an evil bear named “Monokuma.”
Like the previous storyline, the only way out is to kill someone and get away with it by convincing fellow students in the game’s many class trials. But, what makes the second installment different from its predecessor is the shocking plot twist that changes the flow of the entire franchise and has even developed more in the anime adaptation.
Doki Doki Literature Club!
When looking around Steam’s various collections, you may have noticed the cute girls of Doki Doki Literature Club! However, you shouldn’t be fooled by this adorable artwork, especially when the description states, “This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed.”
The story’s beginning presents itself as a simple visual novel, including mini-games to showcase your English skills and conversations to build relationships. Yet, things take a dark turn when the overall tone of Doki Doki Literature Club! changes dramatically.
Without revealing too much, we’ll leave this matter up to your imagination, and you can find out what happens by playing the game on the platform.
AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES – nirvanA Initiative
As another Spike Chunsoft exclusive, AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES – nirvanA Initiative tells the story of Special Agents Mizuki and Ryuki as they embark on a new investigation. Alongside this team are their AI partners, Aiba and Tama, who seek to help them in the mysterious “Half Body” serial killings.
This particular case first started six years ago when someone discovered half a body with no possible suspect in sight. But, just when you think the case has gone cold, the second half of the body appears in the present day perfectly intact without any signs of decay.
Our Life: Beginnings & Always
If you want a story that isn’t filled with despair and murder, then you might enjoy the calmness of Our Life: Beginning & Always. In this free-to-play game, you’ll customize your character and live their life from childhood to adulthood based on your decisions.
The player starts as an eight-year-old when Mr. Holden asks you to befriend his son, Cove. As time goes on, your choices will heavily influence your relationship with him and other characters while you experience the highs and lows of everyday life.
BAD END THEATER
BAD END THEATER is a unique visual novel where you are the director of a tragic play. During the initial playthrough, you’ll decide between the roles of Hero, Maiden, Underling, and Overlord. Each character has specific characteristics that correlate to their persona, including the Overlord, who is an antisocial tyrant.
Every choice you make in one storyline will affect the next one, which always seems to end badly. Furthermore, the game’s primary goal is to see if you can get a “good” ending for the cast, despite all the mishaps and crazy scenarios.
Once the main character, Semyon, sleeps on a bus in the dead of winter, he wakes up to find himself in a sunny pioneer camp called “Sovyonok.” To figure out what has happened, he strategizes a mission to search for a way back home by gaining the trust of the locals.
While on this adventure, he will develop friendships and romances that eventually cause Semyon to rethink his goal. So, will you decide to go back home? Or, will you stay to live out this new life in Everlasting Summer?
Senren＊Banka is a famous Japanese visual novel set in the small remote village of Hoori, the home of the divine blade Murasamemaru. The story begins when Arichi Masaomi breaks the weapon after he tries to pull it out from a stone.
The only way he can make up for this unfortunate incident is by marrying the village’s shrine maiden. But with all the other girls in the area, Arichi must decide if he wants to keep his promise or set his sights on the one he truly loves.
The gameplay and narrative of STEINS;GATE gained a widespread fanbase, producing variations of a manga series and an anime. In this sci-fi visual novel, you’ll dive into the story of a tech-savvy group that discovers the secrets of time travel.
While they further their research, they stumble upon the work of the organization SERN, a company that has also acquired a prototype time machine. As a player, you must select choices in the game’s “phone trigger” system and see how your decisions affect the ending.
Aokana – Four Rhythms Across the Blue
In the world of Aokana – Four Rhythms Across the Blue, flying around the sky has become the norm thanks to anti-gravitons technology. As a result, this future advancement generates the Flying Circus, a sport where teams must compete in the air.
The main protagonist, Masaya Hinata, was a former contender in the sport but left after a tragic loss. However, his passion reignites for the game once he becomes a coach for a talented group of girls.
Aokana – Four Rhythms Across the Blue allows the player to decide the choices of Masaya as he develops friendships and a romance with Asuka.
That does it for our picks on Steam’s top 10 best visual novels. If you want to see more of the popular platform, you can check out the latest news on Stray taking over God of War’s title of the highest-rated Steam game in 2022. Be sure to also look at the relevant links below for additional content.