Adult Game Anime Feature Visual Novel

Top Visual Novels Of 2022 / Upcoming Visual Novels Of 2023

2022 has seen quite a few visual novels released in English. While we can’t claim to have played every single one, we have checked out quite a few! As we finish off 2022 and start 2023, the NookGaming team wants to take a look back and highlight some of our personal favorites. KuroKairin, Wes Playfair, and I (Thomas Knight) have worked together to put together a number of the top visual novels of 2022 and chosen some we’re looking forward to in 2023.

As always with GOTY lists (or VNOTY in this case), these choices are subjective and based on the visual novels we have personally played. It may later be updated to add in a few more titles, particularly for the later releases of 2022 that we haven’t completed yet.

Feel free to let us know your choices for the best visual novels of 2022 by pinging us on Twitter or our Discord.

Top Visual Novels of 2022

Renai X Royale - Guide Image

5 – Renai X Royale – Love’s a Battle

Renai X Royale – Love’s a Battle is almost pure comedy and had me constantly laughing as I played. Outside of Yuna’s route, the romance isn’t the strongest, but that’s not why this visual novel stands out.

The heroines are all terrible people to some extent, which is on clear display as they all fight for your attention and love. Seeing their jealousy, cattiness, or stupidity escalate the conflict keeps things entertaining throughout. It doesn’t even stop when the protagonist chooses someone, with the other heroines clearly not giving up. The character interactions are great here, and it has a particularly great set of secondary characters who all get their moments to shine too.


A full review of Renai X Royale – Love’s a Battle can be found here and it can be purchased here.

Otome Domain - Featured Image

4 – Otome Domain

Otome Domain is a crossdressing romantic comedy, but has some surprisingly serious and touching moments, along with serious themes on views on femininity, keeping up appearances to fit into society, and more. This is all while keeping the tone light most of the time and fitting in plenty of lewd jokes and moments where the main character almost gets discovered naked.

Having to pretend to be a girl in a girls’ school is a fun concept, and I was impressed at how it was handled. With some great characters, and great comedic writing, it’s certainly worth picking this up.


A full review of Otome Domain can be found here and it can be purchased here.

3 – Digimon Survive

Digimon Survive is a great visual novel, though it falls short of excellence when considering the SRPG elements and is rather slow-paced. Interestingly enough, it’s inspired by one of our former Visual Novels of the year, Utawareremono, which is amazing but has similar weaknesses.

Despite this, it has an incredible story that older Digimon fans in particular will appreciate. It uses a particularly dark take on the Digimon Adventure 01 formula of being trapped in another world, with plenty of character focus and how their traumas affect them. The way it handles subsequent playthroughs is very time-consuming but really highlights the difference that supporting each other can make.


A full review of Digimon Survive can be found here and it can be purchased here.

2 – Hello Lady! – Complete Edition

With an excellent mystery story, Hello Lady! Complete Edition was one of the best titles of 2022. How each route was used to build up the tension and slowly reveal more of the plot was done particularly well.

Fitting into the ‘chuunige’ type of adventure story, this story would suit anyone who enjoys power fantasies and the idea of mysterious powers and secret organizations working in the shadows. With a particularly elaborate writing style and an extremely strong protagonist, it kept me hooked throughout the entire story. Unlike many visual novels, this follows the pattern of romance and routes, but the focus is very much on the protagonist and his mission here, with the heroines having their parts to play in his story.


A full review of Hello Lady! – Complete Edition can be found here and it can be purchased here.

1 – Chaos;Head NOAH

Before there was Steins;Gate there was Chaos;Head. The first entry in the Science Adventure series finally got an official English localization this year, and it came in the form of Chaos;Head NOAH, an expanded director’s cut of the original. The story follows Takumi Nishijou, a socially maladjusted borderline shut-in who after witnessing a gruesome murder finds himself entangled in a web of paranoia, delusions, and conspiracy.

Chaos;Head NOAH stands out for its powerful themes and bold vision. It’s willing to make surprising and subversive choices but they’re not just for shock value. Everything that happens has a purpose, whether to build the slow-burn mystery or, more importantly, to bring Takumi and his character arc to life. Even if Chaos;Head NOAH is marred by a few technical issues and some of the new content being lackluster, it’s still my top visual novel of 2022.


A full review of Chaos;Head NOAH can be found here and it can be purchased via Steam or your local Nintendo eShop.

Honorable mention – Amatsutsumi

What is said cannot be unsaid. Words have power, quite literally for Makoto, a wielder of the mystical Kotodama. Kotodama users can compel others to follow verbal commands, and because of this power, live in isolation in the mountains. Makoto, remembering the words of his mother, feels an intense longing to see the outside world. Thus, he escapes to a modern village to begin a normal life in the outside world and learn to interact with others.

Amatsusumi can be frustrating in its tendency to fall back on tired ecchi tropes, and the early routes can plod a bit depending on how you feel about the heroines. That said, Amatsusumi hits where it counts with an emotional and thematically satisfying true route, and it’s one of the most memorable visual novels I played this year.


A full review of Amatsusumi can be found here and it can be purchased here.

Honorable mention – Reimei no Gakuen

Of the few indie otome visual novels I have managed to play this year, Raikon Kitsune’s Reimei no Gakuen certainly impressed me with its huge cast of memorable characters and well-written action scenes. While the plot focusing on Sheryl Shiganori and the cohort of Shin bearers at Aurora Academy was not always full of sunshine, Reimei no Gakuen incorporated both platonic and romantic relationship development beautifully into the story. It took me nearly 80 hours to finish playing this original English language visual novel, and it was well worth the time.


A full review of Reimei no Gakuen can be found here.

Honorable mention – OPUS: Echo of Starsong – Full Bloom

Technically OPUS: Echo of Starsong is a 2021 release, but 2022’s Full Bloom edition, which adds voice acting, makes now a great time to check out this gem. I’ve heard OPUS: Echo of Starsong described as what you might get if Makoto Shinkai made a visual novel. And honestly? It lives up to the hype. The pacing and dialogue blow away those of anything else I’ve played this year. Join Jun and Eda on an interstellar odyssey full of romance, adventure, and emotion. I really can’t recommend this one enough!


Read more here

Honorable mention – Aokana – EXTRA 2

Coming in just before the end of 2022, Aokana – EXTRA2 is a fun-filled fandisc, following our Top Visual Novels of 2019 winner, Aokana – Four Rhythms Across The Blue.

The premise of Aokana – EXTRA2 directly follows Misaki’s ending from the original so it’s only for fans, but if you played that and loved either Misaki herself or flying circus, it’s worth picking up.


A full review of Aokana EXTRA 2 can be found here and it can be purchased here.

Upcoming Visual Novels of 2023



The Science Adventure series consists of some of the visual novel medium’s best work, particular in science fiction which is one of my favorite genres. I’m sure I’m not alone in being excited for the upcoming release of the next main entry in the series, Anonymous;Code. The digital themes around saving and loading look cool, and you can always count on Science Adventure to bring strong, memorable characters to its intriguing settings.


Read more here

Winter's Wish Spirit of Edo

Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo

One of publisher Aksys Games’ upcoming games, Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo is a historical fantasy otome visual novel developed by Otomate, Idea Factory. Slated for release in Spring 2023 for the Nintendo Switch, Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo tells the story of a girl who can foresee when a disaster will occur. The supernatural plot, however, was not what intrigued me at first. I fell in love with the opening song the moment I heard it from the trailer, and now I’m expecting the story to hold as much feels as well.


Read more here



Ok, I admit it. I’m a Yuzusoft fan. They have just the right mix of silly fun with a sprinkle of drama and plenty of heartwarming moments for me. I liked both Sanoba Witch and especially Senren Banka, and I’ve heard good things about Dracu-Riot! from the Japanese-reading crowd, so I’m definitely hyped for the English release of Dracu-Riot! scheduled for 2023.


Read more here

UPDATE: This appears to have been delayed to 2024 in favor of working on Angelic Chaos RE-BOOT! according to NekoNyan staff on Discord

The Future Radio and the Artificial Pigeons

The Future Radio and the Artificial Pigeons

Though I don’t have much experience with Laplacian, the developer behind The Future Radio and the Artificial Pigeons, the premise quite intrigues me. A broadcast from the future, a fate sealed–or is it truly to be? The Future Radio and the Artificial Pigeons certainly promises an interesting mystery, and no doubt with the opportunity to meet some colorful characters along the way. That’s enough to get me excited for the planned 2023 release.


Read more here

UPDATE: This game has now released

Our review can be found here and it can be purchased here.

Love Love Burnin In My Heart

Love Love Love, Burning in my Heart!

Tentatively releasing in the first half of 2023, Love Love Love, Burning in my Heart (Baka Moe Heart ni Ai o Komete! / BakaMoe) seems hilarious. Taking place at a school that actively teaches students about relationships and encourages them to find someone, the hot-blooded Shoutarou faces off against the Normie Resistance Brigade in his quest to find a girlfriend.

Watching the opening video shows events like breaking down a door on horseback, being tied to a cross, and training under a waterfall. It feels like it’s going to be a completely off-the-wall visual novel and one that I’ll love.


Read more here

Clover Day's

Clover Day’s

Having featured on our 2022 Upcoming list, Clover Day’s was unfortunately significantly delayed due to a technical issue. NekoNyan has since stated they expect an Early 2023 release.

I always appreciate a good moege/comedy, and Clover Day’s looks like it won’t disappoint. It seems to be a sweet romance story, full of fun tropes like reunions, promises, and childhood friends. Plus it has twins.


Read more here

UPDATE: This game has now released

Our review can be found here, our guide here and it can be purchased here.

LoveSick Darlings

I took a look at the demo of Lovesick Darlings back in 2019, and at this point, it’s a NookGaming tradition to add it to our upcoming list. While it has been delayed a few times and isn’t officially confirmed as a 2023 release, the developer consistently provides updates and occasionally shares new scenes.

While the story just follows a normal group of friends in school, LoveSick Darlings stands out with brilliant character writing and how much it changes based on your actions.


Read more here

What did you think of these choices? Are these what you would you choose for the Top Visual Novels of 2022? What are you looking forward to in 2023? As always, feel free to let us know your choices on Twitter, or our Discord.

Want to see our choices for the other years? Check out the full list here:

Top Visual Novels of 2023 / Upcoming Visual Novels of 2024

Top Visual Novels of 2022 / Upcoming Visual Novels of 2023

Top Visual Novels of 2021 / Upcoming Visual Novels of 2022

Top Visual Novels Of 2020 / Upcoming Visual Novels Of 2021

Top Visual Novels Of 2019 / Upcoming Visual Novels Of 2020

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