A visual novel, often abbreviated as VN, is a form of digital semi-interactive fiction. While most video games feature some amount of text, visual novels are unique in that they more closely resemble a written work. Instead of telling major parts of the story through gameplay, cutscenes, or context clues, you read a lot of dialogue and other text to advance through the narrative.

If you are looking for a good story, Visual Novel is one of the best genres out there. In this article, Gurugamer is going to showcase the top 5 best visual novels to play on Steam in 2022. If you want to purchase some of these games, check the best deals for PC games on GG.deals.

1. Baldr Sky

Baldr Sky is a unique experience. It is definitely one of the best visual novels ever made. The gameplay in Baldr Sky is something you can't explain with words. It's made by people who understand how to make solid game mechanics. Unlockables in this game are something you always look forward to; each weapon or attack you unlock is interesting and useful in its own way. You can make unique and strong combos by using different weapons in tandem as they have proper connection and timing. Freedom of choice. Progression in Baldr Sky feels so good because you unlock more plugins, UI, weapons, attacks, and power-ups. Each type of enemy is unique. The best part is that each one of them has different behavior patterns, attacks, and stats. Some are easy to kill, some not, and some... well, you'll see for yourself. Timings, combos, decisions, min-maxing, leveling, interesting enemies, unlock, and awesome progression, in general, is what you can expect from this game.

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I highly recommend starting Dive 1 on Hard difficulty, then doing some grinding to unlock and level most of the weapons, and after that start Dive 2 on Very Hard difficulty. It's gonna be tough, but in my opinion, it's worth it. You'll notice Dive 2 has a different background in the main menu.

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Storywise it's a solid sci-fi world experience. Characters are likable and distinctive, and although some of them were too caricatured for my personal taste, they are great in general. The story is good and everything makes sense at the end. Still, there's one problem I have to talk about. You're gonna face story parts you've already read over and over again, without the ability to auto-skip. In new routes, the game detects those parts as "non-read" so you either have to read it again or skip manually while trying not to miss out on new content which can be kinda annoying. When it comes to problems, there are very few moments I can remember or nitpick.

The overall experience from this visual novel is definitely one of the best I ever had in my life. I can see why some people might rate Baldr Sky as 8 or 9 out of 10, but personally, for me, it's 10 out of 10. A combination of mechanics and solid gameplay with so much freedom experimenting and great storytelling makes it very special and fun. One of the reasons why I recommend playing it on higher difficulty is that you have to push your limits to get through tough fights. It can be very frustrating, but at the same time, it's so rewarding once you get it done.

2. Summer Pockets

Summer Pockets is an ode to summer vacation, where the days are inexplicably long and full of nostalgic and wonderful memories. Takahara Hairi arrived on the Torishirojima island seeking to heal old wounds, and cleaning after a dearly departed grandmother's possession is merely a thin excuse, but perhaps he could find connections with many new friends on this somewhat magical island; where he could fall in love, challenging islamon battle champions, and playing table tennis to his heart content, and not necessarily in that order.


Presented in the way that only Key-produced visual novels can tug at our heartstrings at any possible moment, Summer Pockets was such a great read for me. I enjoyed a lot of its settings, and Hairi's numerous interactions with all the main heroines are both lovely and funny at the same time. There is a lot to enjoy in its mini-games as well, although to be honest, I didn't complete either of them. I'm simply too engrossed in reading Hairi's month-long stay on Torishirojima island.


As with any of Key's past VNs, I find myself having a hard time choosing my favorite endings. They all have their unique personalities and quirks. And some are more poignant than others. But, if I have to pick one, Ao's route is possibly the one I like the most. Perhaps because I feel it seems such a waste to spend your summer vacation sleeping, rather than making new memories. If that sentence didn't make sense, you simply have to play her route to understand it.

Overall, Hairi's stay on the island was unforgettable, and I am sure looking forward to Reflection Blue, whenever Visual Arts decided it was time to bring it to the west. Prospective players beware: the game in its current stage still contains numerous misspelling and grammar errors, as well as some rather curious vocabulary choices. Nothing too offensive and detracts from the experience too much, but it is definitely there, and this is something to consider.

3. Muv Luv Alternative

150 combined hours and over 1.3 million words. This has been the most emotional experience I have ever had in a video game series. I tore through Fate/Stay Night. I delved through Steins;Gate. I immersed myself in Umineko. I wept through Clannad. But I have never been as broken as I am now having finished reading the Muv-Luv trilogy.

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What started out as a cute high school romantic comedy visual novel slowly subverted the entire genre and format. It ran me through the gamut of emotions. There were times when I was ecstatic that Takeru found love with his friends. Then it quickly dissolved into confusion. It would bring me back up, only to cut me down. And it cut deep, hard, long, and thorough. It twisted the blade several times. This was the first time I nearly vomited after certain scenes. It would numb me, make me feel again, and then cut me down even further. But among it all, the amount of despair I have witnessed and partaken in could only be lifted by the sheer joy I felt when I partook in the finale. When all of the questions were answered. When everyone’s lives mean something.



Where do I even begin? Steins;Gate has to be one of the most captivating, tear-jerking, awe-inspiring stories of all time and the most amazing piece of media that exists today with one of the most interesting concepts of time-travel you've ever heard of. The best part? There's absolutely no plot-holes like in virtually every other time-travel story out there and everything wraps up neatly leaving you completely satisfied.

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Steins;Gate is a time travel sci-fi set in the real world and uses real life laws of physics; meaning that science and scientific theories are used and explained for time travel: no magic or extraterrestrials present. Steins;Gate also uses real-life phenomena and conspiracies such as the forum posts from the time-traveling John Titor in the year 2000 and the CERN conspiracy surrounding their ability to create mini black holes and integrates these into it's plot to make it work seamlessly.


The writers of Steins;Gate had obviously put lots of research, thought, and planning when creating it, and that dedication and attention to detail really makes this story so... timeless. The writers even go so far as to explain (in depth) all of the scientific theories behind time travel, black holes, advanced technology, and so-on. This VN will give you a lot to think about and reflect on.

5. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

This game is incredibly silly. It is cartoonish. The legal rules and courtroom proceedings are entirely illegitimate and are a horrible indicator of how court works in the real world. For example, prosecuting attorneys will insult the judge, commit assault and battery in the middle of court very often without punishment, and you collect evidence yourself without any police chain of custody and without registering the evidence with the court ahead of time. Characters even have cartoony non-serious names that just scream "this game isn't taking itself seriously."

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However. I absolutely LOVE this trilogy. The silliness - though a bit over-the-top at times - fits in well with all the emotion and "heart" of it. It's so peculiar because the game is all about applying logic and reason to solve mysteries and/or bring the truth out, but if just solving a murder was all it was, then this series wouldn't be as great as it is. I quickly began to care for each of the important characters in the game, and although some cases are less important to the overall storyline, even those "lesser" cases are enticing and introduce new characters whom you will actually see pop up again later as witnesses and persons of interest in later cases and games in the series! I actually found myself getting misty-eyed every case or so, depending on the events.

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Despite the goofy qualities of the Ace Attorney Trilogy, the investigations and trials are no joke. I actually had to use a walkthrough on at least half of the cases at some point. I wish I didn't need to, but it did not make me like the game less as it is just so good. Each discovery you make as you go along and the way the investigations and trials play out, I found myself sometimes actually gasping in surprise and going wide-eyed at the revelations. Oh, and this is coming from someone who played all the Danganronpa games, watched every episode of Sherlock, watches movies and shows with plot twists, murders, whodunnits, etc., often guessing what happened before the big reveal. In the Ace Attorney series, however, I was shocked by something in almost every investigation/trial except for the first trial in each game, which tend to be pretty easy and more about the plot than blowing your mind or anything. Some cases will show you exactly who killed the victim - much like on some crime dramas - but the trick is getting to the truth with your characters and proving who did it, and it's usually incredibly entertaining.

>>> Read more: Top 5 Best Open World RPGs To Play On PC In 2022