What Are Some Classic Top Visual Novels?

classic-top-visual-novels Credit: Len Kagamine/CC-BY-2.0

Classic top visual novels include "Corpse Party," "Clannad," "Hotel Dusk: Room 215," "Sayo No Uta" and "Sweet Fuse: At Your Side." Visual novels are works of interactive fiction that are similar to mixed-media novels. They use graphics, including live-action stills and anime art, to tell a story, and they are usually read on computers rather than game consoles.

Visual novels originated in Japan, and most of them are only available in Japanese. Outside of Japan, the term "visual novel" includes adventure games that incorporate problem-solving tasks, but in Japan, these works are not considered visual novels.

Genres of visual novels include horror, romance and science fiction. In addition, many visual novels contain erotic or even pornographic elements. "Corpse Party" and "Sayo No Uta" are both examples of horror visual novels. "Sayo No Uta" contains erotic elements that some find disturbing because it features a very young girl.

Romance visual novels are also known as "nakige" or "utsuge," which translate literally to "crying game" and "depressing game," respectively. Romance visual novels follow a formula designed to make the player cry. The genre began in 1997 with the release of "One: Kagayaku Kisetsu e." One of the most acclaimed romance visual novels was "Clannad," released in 2004. "Clannad" became the basis for an entire franchise, which included an anime series and an animated film.