I’ve been hesitant to write a best otome games list, since they tend to get outdated fairly easily, and with the influx in new otome releases in the west the chances of that happening are pretty high. At Anime Expo 2019, Aksys Games announced quite a few otome game releases between now and 2020, and that’s just one company. Not to mention all the mobile game releases we get each month (sometimes weekly)… But, even with that said there are some game titles that are universally liked by members of the otome community and those that most agree suck.
I tend to be a bit behind the rest of the otome community, since I take my sweet time getting around to playing new game titles, but I’ve been making good progress and I wanted to go ahead and throw in my two cents. So, I broke down and compiled a list of what I consider to be the best otome games available in English…
This is solely for English localizations of Japanese otome games, so there won’t be any OELVNs or English Otome Games on this list. If you guys want that list, I might do one later on down the line (though, it’ll be hard to narrow down that particular list).
So, without further ado, here’s my list of the best otome games available in English… to date!
Available for PS Vita & Nintendo Switch (2020)
I will never stop gushing about this game, it’s THAT good! Collar x Malice is my favorite of all the otome localizations to date and I am so glad to see that it will be getting a second life on the Nintendo Switch! CxM tones down the romance in favor of it story driven narrative, with more than enough mystery and suspense to keep you entertained. In fact, there are times when the game feels more like a detective adventure game as Ichika questions witnesses and explores crime scenes in a search for clues about the terrorist organization Adonis and the various X-Day cases. This game has everything you need: a badass heroine, interesting love interests, a thrilling plot, action, suspense… I could go on!
How could I have a list of the best otome games without mentioning the Hakuoki franchise? This was the first mainstream Japanese otome franchise to really make a splash in the west and it’s popularity has only grown over the years. The game features historical figures from the Shinsengumi re-imagined as hot guys (granted the real Hijikata was quite the looker), and while it highlights quite a few events from Japanese history, there’s a rather interesting supernatural element thrown in for extra spice. The most recent titles to make their way Stateside are Kyoto Winds and Edo Blossoms, both boasting improved graphics, and expanded story, and even more character routes! Even for the OG Hakuoki fans, these two games are totally worth picking up if you have the chance!
This is an oldie but a goodie! Sweet Fuse was one of the first otome games I ever played and I still have fond memories of it to this day. I will be the first to admit that this game has its issues, but those are easily overlooked in favor of the fun premise, the dynamic cast, the PUZZLES, and let’s not forget Saki Inafune! She is one of my top 5 favorite otome heroines and it’s worth playing the game for her alone! Saki gives no fucks and knows how to get the job done, with or without her harem of love interests. The romance can be a bit hit or miss for some people, but honestly the romance isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things, it’s surviving the villain’s traps! Sweet Fuse is just an all around fun game that is totally worth tracking down!
Have you already played Hakuoki? Looking for another historical otome to fill the void? Look no further than Nightshade! This game trades in hot swordsman for hot ninjas and bumps up the time period from the Bakumatsu period to the Sengoku. There’s plenty of action and adventure in Nightshade to keep you on the edge of your seat and history buffs will enjoy the references to key historical figures and events. Not to mention the gorgeous artwork!
7’scarlet was my favorite game to come out of Aksys Games’s Summer of Mysteries lineup (though, Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk is a close second). I am a sucker for a good mystery and 7’scarlet manages to keep the momentum going, holding off on the big reveals until the very end of the game… though there are some heavy hitters sprinkled throughout. This is another game where the romance takes a backseat to the story, but there were still quite a few moments that will get your blood pumping.
Sometimes you really just need a good laugh and Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome more than supplies the humor, which I wasn’t expecting in an R18 game. So, I thought long and hard about which game I wanted to round out this list and Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome seemed like the best fit; it’s got a fun heroine, hilarious dialogue, and two solid love interests… oh, and the 18+ scenes don’t hurt either. Now, there are a few people out there that don’t care for this brand of comedy, but in a sea of heavier otome game titles FLML is a breath of fresh air…
So, that’s my list! It’ll probably change in a few months when more games are released, but as it stands, these are the best otome games available in English. Oh, and for anyone wondering why Code Realize isn’t on this list, I suggest giving this post a read. Of course this isn’t a definitive list, I’m just one lone reviewer and these are the games that I thought were the best of the best. You don’t have to agree with me at all, in fact I welcome you guys to challenge my picks.
There are so many great otome games out there and more on the way in the coming months so definitely check out all the titles available in English. Show publishers that there is a market for otome games in the West!
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