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Random Top 100, brand new decade edition

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Previous: https://forums.fuwanovel.net/blogs/entry/2871-random-top-100-one-year-later/


Managed to replace one fourth of the list again, which surprised me as i thought i would take at least two years for that. I will probably take 3 to 5 years to replace another fourth, as i read tons of top tiers in the last 14 months. Like before, "not a be-all-end-all list by any means and i care about choice-making gameplay a lot more than other VN fans do, so if some of my placements look ridiculous, that's why."

youtube playlist version: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYFP5FO6EHdqvR4S0KWZDMllPXy3hZjaY (again, will update it along with the list in case one fourth is replaced)

New entries are underlined.


VNs i consider “borderline great”:
100) Kizuato (fun characters, great introductory route, great set of joke endings)
99) Hello, world (overall fun story, great set of normal endings)
98) Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk (great world building and plot twists, good characters)
97) Gekkou no Carnevale (good atmosphere, fun characters and story)
96) Flowers: Volume sur Printemps (great art, charming characters, good use of mystery-solving)
95) Flowers: Volume sur Automne (great art, charming characters, amazing slice-of-life)
94) Dies Irae: Interview with Kaziklu Bey (great art and fight scenes)
93) Baldr Force (good world-building and story)
92) Ayakashi Gohan (favorite prologue in the genre, fun common route)
91) Air (good story and characters, good soundtrack)
90) The Letter (favorite branch system for a linear story)
89) Symphonic Rain (charming art and soundtrack, great at subverting expectations)
88) SeaBed (amazing atmosphere, interesting story)
87) Raging Loop (great ending system and atmosphere, entertaining characters)
86) We Without Wings (fun character interactions, good atmosphere)
85) Narcissu (good story and ending buildup)
84) Monster Girl Quest Paradox RPG (great rpg gameplay and world-building)
83) Machi (amazing production values, fun story and characters)
82) Iwaihime (good atmosphere and production values)
81) Dengeki Stryker (entertaining story, great middle route)
80) Collar x Malice (entertaining story, good set of villains)
79) Chrono Belt (good atmosphere, story and fight scenes)
78) Chaos;Head Noah (entertaining characters and choice-making, great main plot twist, good world building)
77) Caucasus (great atmosphere and ending system)
76) Rui wa Tomo o Yobu (entertaining characters, fun atmosphere)
75) Remember11 (good characters, great ending system, interesting ending)
74) Ourai no Gahkthun (good atmosphere and characters)
73) Nijuuei (fun story, good atmosphere)
72) Monster Girl Quest Trilogy (amazing gameplay, good story and characters)
71) Kusarihime (amazing atmosphere and background usage, good characters and endings)
70) Kurai Nichiyoubi (amazing ending system and atmosphere)
69) Kajiri Kamui Kagura (interesting characters and story, fun fight scenes)
68) Jingai Makyou (amazing ending system, fun story)
67) Battle Goddess Verita (good story, great RPG gameplay)
66) The House in Fata Morgana: A Requiem for Innocence (good story and characters, amazing art)
65) Eiyuu*Senki (great gameplay, fun characters)

VNs i consider “near-classics”:
64) Ayakashibito (good world building, entertaining fight scenes and characters)
63) Ayakashi (amazing production values, fun story)
62) Angel Beats 1st Beat [2/4 routes done] (amazing choice-making, fun characters)
61) Akaya Akashiya Ayakashino (great atmosphere and endings, entertaining characters)
60) Akai Ito (entertaining protagonist, good atmosphere, favorite OP song)
59) 3days (great choice-making, good multiple route mystery)
58) 11eyes (good characters and fight scenes, great atmosphere)
57) Tsujidou-san no Jun’ai Road (entertaining characters, good choice-making)
56) Senshinkan Gakuen Hachimyoujin (fun characters, fight scenes and story)
55) Sekien no Inganock (great art, great atmosphere, good characters)
54) Sakura no Uta [1/5 routes done] (great atmosphere, interesting characters)
53) Saihate no Ima (amazing atmosphere, interesting story)
52) Root Double (amazing choice-making system, good true ending)
51) Planetarian (good pairing, great dialogue)
50) Virtue’s Last Reward (great ending system, good multiple route mystery)
49) 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors (entertaining characters, good true ending)
48) Kira Kira [2/4 routes done] (good characters, fun common route)
47) ef a fairy tale of the two (great story in the second half, good characters)
46) Chaos;Child (good choice-making system, good characters, good story)
45) Bullet Butlers (amazing world-building, fun characters)
44) 428: Shibuya Scramble (fun characters and story, amazing choice-making, greatest production values in the genre)
43) Summer Pockets (fun common route, entertaining characters and story, great choice-making)
42) Sharin no Kuni (favorite single villain, great story, great plot twist)
41) Kara no Shoujo (great atmosphere, good mystery-solving)
40) Aselia The Eternal (great world-building and New Game+ content)
39) Cartagra (great art, entertaining characters, great endings)
38) Aoishiro (great choice-making, entertaining bad ending branches on some routes)
37) White Album 2: Introductory and Closing Chapters (fascinating characters, fun story and atmosphere)
36) The Fruit of Grisaia (entertaining characters, good endings)
35) Code: Realize (amazing common route, entertaining story and characters)
34) Chou no Doku Hana no Kusari [3/5 routes done] (great atmosphere and protagonist, favorite set of bad endings, greatest use of soap opera elements)

VNs i consider “classics”:
33) Taishou Mebiusline (great route variety, good ending system, favorite song in the genre)
32) Rose Guns Days (great story and characters, charming art)
31) Mahoutsukai no Yoru (amazing production values, good story)
30) Kamidori Alchemy Meister (great RPG gameplay, amazing New Game+ content)
29) Battle Goddess Zero (favorite story in a VN-RPG hybrid)
28) Cross Channel (fun characters, great choice-making and ending)
27) Baldr Sky Dive1&2 (fun gameplay, story and world-building)
26) Swan Song (amazing atmosphere, good story and characters)
25) Steins;Gate 0 (good story and characters, great use of true ending)
24) Sengoku Rance (entertaining characters, most replayable work in the genre due to amazing gameplay)
23) Rewrite (entertaining characters, good story)
22) Phantom of Inferno (entertaining story and characters, great atmosphere, great action scenes)
21) Yumina The Ethereal (entertaining story, amazing use of multiple routes for a VN-RPG hybrid, great true ending)
20) Kichikuou Rance (amazing gameplay and world-building)
19) Kara no Shoujo 2 (great mystery, entertaining characters, great true ending, favorite ED song)
18) G-Senjou no Maou (great true route, great soundtrack, favorite set of villains)
17) Song of Saya (favorite atmosphere, amazing use of endings, fascinating characters)
16) Muv Luv Alternative (great action scenes, great sci-fi atmosphere)
15) YU-NO (amazing route system, good story and characters)
14) Higurashi When They Cry + Kai (amazing story, great characters and soundtrack)
13) Dies Irae (favorite fight scenes, entertaining characters and story)

VNs i consider “classics among classics”:
12) Umineko When They Cry + Chiru (favorite story, favorite soundtrack, great characters)
11) Wonderful Everyday (great story, good mystery, good characters, great alternate endings)
10) FullMetal Daemon Muramasa (great fight scenes, amazing protagonist, favorite antagonist buildup)
9) The House in Fata Morgana (amazing story, favorite CG and character art, good choice-making, great soundtrack)
8. Tsukihime (amazing choice-making, amazing atmosphere, great characters)
7) MajiKoi (favorite overall character cast, most consistently entertaining work in the genre)
6) Little Busters (favorite common route, great true route, favorite post-true end content)
5) Hashihime of the Old Book Town [1/5 routes done] (amazing visual/sound directing and atmosphere, favorite protagonist, dialogues, monologues and written route)
4) Ever17 (great story, favorite multiple route mystery, great true ending)

VNs i consider “all-time greatests”
3) Steins;Gate (great story, entertaining characters, favorite pairing, favorite ending)
2) Fate/Stay Night (great story, favorite ending system, favorite overall route, favorite single choice)
1) Clannad (favorite route system, high amount of optional scenes, amazing After Story, fully explores choice-making in a school drama setting)

Top vnstat recommends:
1) Aiyoku no Eustia
2) Rance Quest through 10
3) Baldr Heart
4) Hanachirasu
5) Kishin Hishou Demonbane
6) Irotoridori no Sekai&Hikari
7) Steins;Gate Phenogram&Darling
8. Sumaga
9) Outlaw Django

Closing thoughts: After i finished Muramasa at the beginning of 2020, i seriously thought i could quit reading VNs without a shred of guilt because nothing would even sniff my top 5 again. Then Hashihime blew my mind and made me fall in love with the genre all over again. The fact that a doujin BL that a few hundred people would know about had it never gotten translated managed to get such a reaction out of me made it clear that a masterpiece can come from absolutely anywhere and now i'm on that rabbit hole more than ever in a way that it might take a ton of disappointments for me to get burned out ever again, specially now that i'm reading tons of untranslated stuff.

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