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I want to spend 2019 reading the most incredible visual novels ever written,

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I am hoping to compile a list of people’s favorite VNs regardless if they are JVN, EVN, etc. The ones that made them wish they could go back in time just to go read them for the first time again. The ones that left a lasting and beautiful impression. 

Help me have a phenomenal year!

 

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1 hour ago, iamnoob said:
 

Yup, following the VNDB by rating is actually not a bad idea. To make it more doable, it's a good idea to filter by length, for example prioritizing the shorter classics to not get stuck on some giant for the next 5 months, and only very carefully approaching the really long ones.

I'll also add the EVN VNDB listing... There are some Japanese and Korean games with simultaneous English releases on it, but they're easy to identify. 

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Little BustersSteins;GatePrincess Evangile, and Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception (and Mask of Truth after that) 

All of these have left a long and lasting impression on me, and I wish I could go back and read them for the first time without knowing anything about them. Admittedly they are all higher-recognition titles, but IMO that does speak for itself some and they shoiwcase some of my favorite things about the medium: great art, different styles and stories, memorable characters, great music, and a story that takes a bit to get started, but once it hooks you makes you want to do nothing but read and read. 

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Now that I noticed, all of my favorites are horror VNs and start with S. All of them have a special place in my heart, even if some aren't "masterpieces":

  • Shingakkou ~Noli me Tangere~ (JVN, untranslated, long): characters, plot, horror, everything was just so good.
  • Saya no Uta (JVN, translated, short): awesome atmosphere and soundtrack, I'll take these gruesome descriptions over gruesome CGs.
  • Sweet Pool (JVN, translated, medium): this shit was so tense, I was on the edge of my seat all the time the plot was moving forward.
  • Soundless (EVN, short): the one VN I read the fastest and the only one I read twice. I was really invested.

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Komorebi no Nostalgica

Hapymaher

Nanairo Reincarnation

Semiramis no Tenbin

Dies Irae

Vermilion Bind of Blood

Kikan Bakumatsu Ibun Last Cavalier

Evolimit

Bullet Butlers

Chrono Belt

Tiny Dungeon series

Devils Devel Concept

Akeiro Kaikitan

Houkago no Futekikakusha

Silverio Trinity and Silverio Vendetta

... and the list goes on and on

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Here's some of my top favs.....

 

Grisaia no Kajitsu . The VN that got me hooked on the genre. Funny comedy and dark psychological themes galore. Probably has the best writing I've seen in a VN.

Kono Oozora . My 2nd VN. I really liked some of those flying scenes. Pretty lighthearted.

Fureraba . If you like cute waifus, and want something lighthearted, with lots of comedy and fanservice.

Clannad . This VN taught me how to cry again......

Little Busters . Similar to Clannad. It's soundtrack is so powerful. I also loved the minigames (RNG was able to script some awesome battles and dramatic victories).

ef - a fairytale of the two . Pretty funny ..... and yet utterly emotionally devastating at the same time.

Muv-Luv and Muv-Luv Alternative . Extra has really nostalgic music and loveable characters. Then Unlimited flips the setting and gets interesting. Then Alternative ...... is as action packed as it gets.

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I'm still relatively new to visual novels but so far my favorite has to be Ever 17. Good characters, and the premise is pretty interesting too. It's hard to find since nobody has the rights from what I've heard, but a ripped version is floating around somewhere. 

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The one VN you absolutely must read is Tsuma no Niku Ana ni Homestay Suru Macho Ryuugakusei ~Shucchouchuu no Sono Ura de, Tsuma wa Kurobikari Bou kara Afureru Hodo no Hakudaku o Sosogare, Yorokobi ni Michita Acme-gao o Sarashiteita~. It's simply an amazing work that left me absolutely floored after reading.

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The only VN I could probably give a perfect 10 and a must play would be White Album 2, it's a VN adept at playing ripping apart your emotions. Best love triangles in all fiction I have ever read. The other VN I gave a perfect 10 is Fate/stay night but I'm probably completely biased to it just because it was my first VN.

Games I give a 9/10 in my VNDB are also must plays. I recommend:

KimiNago for it's darker atmosphere and awesome characters.

Otome ga Tsumugu Koi no Canvas for probably one of the best charage I have played (Although I played only two of the routes)

Steins;gate I think almost everyone in Fuwanovel has already played this. It's just a rollercoaster of emotions, ignoring the boring first chapters aside.

Making Lovers is an upgraded version of Fureraba IMO. Adult characters and SMEE knows what it does best and it's creating funny scenarios and attractive characters and they do it well in this game.

For an EVN, Lucid9 is a pretty solid game and currently has a pending sequel

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The only VN I have ever justified rating 10/10 is Yume Miru Kusuri. It has, arguably, the best "your actions have consequences" theme I have ever seen. I am probably a little biased as depression has been a very prevalent topic throughout my teen and adult years but it's the only VN I have ever felt a genuine connection to while reading. It has both depressing and happy sides, but definitely preys on a guilty conscience for picking one heroine over another. I wasn't even able to play any VNs for a good while after finishing it. I definitely can't recommend it enough.

(That's not to say there isn't mistakes in some route branch choices but the story made me overlook that fact entirely.)

Edited by Naterocks2000

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Honestly, if you want to have a good 2019, learn Japanese and read all the great unTLed stuff out there like Kusarihime, Kami no Ue no Mahoutsukai, and Umi Kara Kuru Mono. 

But if you're too unmotivated to do that, here's some that should tide you over.

  • Himawari
  • Dies Irae
  • Subahibi
  • Fata Morgana
  • Myth
  • Enigma
  • Kara no Shoujo series
  • Chuusotsu
  • Soundless

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The Devil on G-string.
Novel criminal setting and my favorite OST, which is heavily based on famous pieces of classical music. Awesome story that does something I've never seen before.
Sharin no Kuni.
Dystopian story from the same developer which is also quite good, sharing some of it's best plot devices with the above mentioned. Worse branching structure as it makes you spend time skipping stuff to see the side routes. Not on steam yet though.

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Well since the OP didn't specified anything, I guess I'll just promote post the link to my blogposts here. Note that most of the lists here is charage so you may dislike that and some of those were already recommended, so you can treat the repeated recommendation as seconded here.

https://forums.fuwanovel.net/blogs/entry/2180-samurai-no-shoujo-review-top-10-best-rated-vns-translated-in-2015/

https://forums.fuwanovel.net/blogs/entry/2172-fata-morgana-0-review-top-10-best-rated-vns-translated-in-2016/

https://forums.fuwanovel.net/blogs/entry/2612-chaotic-everyday-review-top-10-best-rated-vns-translated-in-2017-v2/

https://forums.fuwanovel.net/blogs/entry/2579-angraecum-scramble-review-top-10-best-rated-vns-translated-in-2018/

I don't know though if those VNs will make you want to reread it like the first time after you finished it, but at least you should be able to find one of your favorite from the list (Might be Shibuya Scramble, and yeah I know that you already read both of Subahibi and Kara no Shoujo 2). Outside of that I think you can wait for Hoshiori here if you'd interested in more charage, seeing that the translation for that is almost finished. I hope that the list would be helpful to you.

Edited by littleshogun

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