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In a grand effort to streamline my original page on otome games, I moved my list of recommended games onto another page so that everything looks a bit less like one massive wall of text. Basically I'm just going to be copying the text from my original recommendations here, adding a few new games and a bit more information. The games listed here are really about 80% of the total amount of otome I've played, but I just had to recommend them all because each one of them is so good!
I'm gonna be separating each title into different categories based on what platform they're on. Please note that I haven't actually played any on the PC except one free one that I never got very far with. If a game from another platform is available for the PC I'll say so. I know that some people really like gaming on the PC so that's why I'm going to have to mention those games. Please note: All of these games are available in English unless stated otherwise!
Please note: All of the purchase links I provided are digital only. Most of the console games will have physical copies available on Amazon unless stated otherwise.
Free-To-Play Mobile Games
While these games are alright to start off on, most of them are just massive cash-grabs with really bad UIs and crappy stories. Not many of them have voice acting or too many CGs. A lot of them give you "chapter tickets" that only let you read the story a few times a day, and make you dress up ugly avatars to pass "love challenges" to continue with the story. Before I got my Vita I played a few of these, but I ended up deleting them not long later. My first otome game was one of these, it was called "Shall We Date? Blood in Roses" and I only played it because I saw it advertised on Facebook. It was rubbish. There's literally only one mobile otome that I truly love, and I'll mention it down below, along with the one other mobile game I kind of like.
This was the third otome game I ever played, and this was what made me fall in love with the genre. I know I really slandered mobile dating games earlier, but this game is nothing like any of those. Yes, it's free to play, but it's the most generous F2P title you will ever find. I managed to unlock the Deep Story, Another Story, loads of after endings and the Xmas DLC all without spending a single penny. Even if you never get any of those, you can still have a lot of fun with the app. It's not actually a Japanese game, it's actually made by this indie Korean company called Cheritz, and they are super generous with the in-game currency.
The image above shows most of the possible love interests you can date. Mystic Messenger is slightly different to your typical otome. It takes advantage of the phone setting by making most of the interactions occur in chat rooms and phone calls as well as the occasional visual novel sequence. There is voice acting in all of the phone calls and important VN scenes. You really need a lot of time to play this game since the chat rooms all occur at fixed times and if you miss some of them, it increases your chances of getting a bad ending.
I haven't even explained what the plot is yet! Basically you install this random app on your phone and meet this one of two really hot hackers who tells you to enter this mysterious apartment belonging to this organisation called the R.F.A, then you get into their private chatroom... I won't tell you the rest of the plot in case I spoil it. But this game is really awesome. I completed most of the routes, and a bit of the DLC. Each love interest has their own little story going on that gives you more details about the plot. There's also a female character whose route you can pick, but there's no romance, it's strictly platonic.
Mystic Messenger is really popular and it's a great game to start your otome journey with. I could talk about it all day but this page is already super long, so let's go onto the next game!
Official Website An online guide with tips and stuff
The One Other Mobile Otome Game I Kind Of Like: Ikemen Sengoku
(I can't really find a good enough image of the game to put here.......)
This game is also super popular, especially in the west. I kind of like this game, but I also don't. I mean, I like the characters, CGs, setting and the plot, but I dislike the F2P stuff, the sprites, and the intense grinding you have to do. It took me like a month to complete a whole route! I only actually played one route, but I still do occasionally look up artwork of it because it's really pretty. (Update: I reinstalled the game and am slowly making my way through another route!!) If you hate the F2P stuff, there is a Vita port of it, but it's in Japanese only. :(
Basically the plot is that you're this girl who is about to become a fashion designer, but OH NO! you get transported five-hundred years into the past and meet a bunch of handsome warlords who are actually based off of real historical figures. There are no bad endings, and you get to choose your route instead of making choices to get one. There's a little bit of voice acting, but only in the voice clips the game rewards you with when you get to certain points in the story.
I really hate the F2P stuff here, but for some reason the game's still really popular. There's merchandise, a stage musical, fan-fiction and even this strange 3D animated chibi webseries that's actually sort of enjoyable? Sometimes the plot can get cheesy but I've only played one route so I can't really say much, but I recommend it because the characters are quite likeable and the MC's not as much of a doormat as most. It's a good game to start off with. Just don't spend any real money on it, because the coins and extra stories aren't worth it. If you speak Japanese, just get the Vita version. You get full voice acting and you don't have to wait for those stupid chapter tickets to replenish. I know I'm slagging this game off so much but it is worth it if you like a more romantic, lighthearted game, and you have a bit of patience.
Official Website An online guide with tips and stuff
Vita/PSP Games (Mostly Just Vita Really)
There are literally only two PSP otomes that got translated into English, so I'm just gonna chuck 'em in with the Vita stuff. You can play the PSP games on the Vita anyway, except I found that visual novels tend to look a bit blurry when upscaled onto the newer console. Oh, and some of these games are on the PC too, just look at the bottom of each description to see if there's a Steam link.
My first recommendation is a bit complicated to explain, so I had to make a whole post about it. Click here to find it!
My Favourite Otome Game: Psychdelica of the Black Butterfly
This game surprised me a whole lot. It's just simply amazing. The art, the romance, the story, the music, everything is just beautiful. People say this title has less romancey bits than your typical otome, but I don't really think that's true. It still does work quite differently to most of them though. Instead of proper routes there's really just a lot of different story branches and alternate endings. The MC also has voice acting, but you can turn it off if you want. The plot is that you wake up with amnesia in this strange mansion. I really don't wanna spoil anything else, so that's all I'm gonna say. It's best to go into it with little to no spoilers like I did. I really recommend this one, but I'm not really sure if it would be good as someone's first otome game because of how different it is. There's also a sequel to this game, called Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk, but none of the characters or the setting from the first game is there so I haven't played it. Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly is very underrated so it would be really nice if there were more people who liked it, because there's a huge lack of discussion and fan art of it online which makes me sad because it's such an awesome game.
Official Steam Page PlayStation Store Page
Hakuoki was the first otome game I actually paid for, and it was one of the first in the genre to be localised into English. It's really popular in Japan and it also has a big fanbase in the West. There are a billion different versions of the game, lots of merchandise and even a high school spin-off. You can play this on so many different consoles, so if you don't have a PSP/Vita, there'll still be a way you can get to play it.
It's a historical story where the characters were actually real people once. There is a lot more plot than romance, but if you're concerned about that, don't worry. I thought that I would get bored because of the lack of romance, but I got so invested in the characters and the plot that I didn't care in the end, and when the romance did finally come, it felt more impactful and well-earned. Basically you play as this girl called Chizuru in 1800s Japan who goes out to find her father but instead runs into a lot of hot samurai men.
I've only actually played the original English PSP version, which got remade in 2017 for the Vita and Steam. The remake is split into two parts (making it more expensive) but has around twelve love interests (compared to the original six), more romance and improvements on the original routes, including scenes from the fan-disc added in. The first game, Kyoto Winds, covers what was the common route of the older game, whereas Edo Blossoms covers the bits after that. If you buy the PS3, 3DS or iOS versions of the game, you're just getting the original version and not the remake. The PSP has two Hakuoki games in English, the actual original story, called "Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom" and another one which is just a fighting game which is apparently really bad and doesn't really have many visual novel bits. If you're new to the game, I'd just get the remake if I were you because you get so much more. If you're not sure about the story, there's an anime of it that you can watch to check it out beforehand. But this game is super awesome and you actually kind of learn a bit about Japanese history from it, so it's technically educational....
Since there are so many different versions, I'm not really sure what links I can put here for it, so just Google it if you want to buy it.
Code: Realize: Guardian of Rebirth
If you have a PS4, congratulations, you can play this game! The only other place you can find it on is the Vita. Code: Realize is a very plot heavy game, but luckily there's a lot of cute romancey bits in it to balance it out. This game was so popular that they made two sequels to it, both of which are available in English. It's set in a steampunk version of London, except it's hard to believe it at times because the translators made everybody speak like Americans. You play as Cardia, this girl who poisons everything she touches. Life's pretty boring for her until she meets a lot of very hot men and ends up getting caught up in a lot of things that I can't talk about because of spoilers. There's also an anime for this one two, I've never seen it but from the looks of it the animation looks really bad. This was my first Vita game so it's quite special for me. I really did enjoy this one. There are also two sequels (One just came out and was one of the last physical Vita releases!), I've only played one of them, Future Blessings, and it was really awesome too, and had so much fluffiness in it! If you like strong willed MCs with personality and cute love interests, you're probably gonna enjoy this game.
Vita Version Purchase PS4 Version Purchase
Collar X Malice
This game is a Vita exclusive. There's no PC version yet. I actually just finished this last week as of writing this. Well by finished I mean I got all of the good endings. There is quite a lot of plot stuff here, but luckily there isn't one massive common route to skip through everytime you want to start a new story path. In this story you play a policewoman in Shinjuku who gets this strange poisonous collar placed on her, and I don't really want to spoil anymore than that. All of the love interests are super hot, and they're decent characters too. There's also a fan-disc for Collar X Malice, but unfortunately it's only in Japanese. Luckily there's a group of people working on translating it! I had really high hopes for this game before playing it, and I'm happy to say that it lived up to all of my expectations. Just keep in mind before playing that some of the translations are a bit iffy here, just because the people working on it weren't given that long to complete them. Don't worry, it's nothing game ruining though! Oh, and if you play it, make sure you play through the Tragic Love ends because they're all really interesting and they come with CGs! :)
You can purchase it here if you're interested.
Sweet Fuse: At Your Side
Even though this is a PSP game, I played it on my Vita anyway because of backwards compatibility. The image looked a bit blurry (the PSP's screen is way smaller than the Vita's) but other than that it worked perfectly. Even though this title isn't my favourite, I still really love it. It sucks that this game is super underrated, not even that many otome fans talk about it. Actually, I think that this was the last physical PSP game released in North America, released in 2013! The plot of this game is super interesting, even though there's not too much romance found here. The MC is this super cool girl called Saki (you can change her name like I did) and she's the niece of this game developer who makes this super cool theme park. But then this weird man in a pig suit ruins everything on the opening day, and.... I don't want to spoil anymore. Sweet Fuse has a very interesting cast of love interests. They aren't just your typical gang of handsome young men, there's actually quite a big age range between them. Saki is not one of those doormat MCs, either. You actually have the power to make her get really angry at everybody, and here's tip, that often gives you more affection points. There's also so much mystery here to keep even people who don't care for romance engaged. The art's not the prettiest in my opinion, but it matches the style of the game. The soundtrack is awesome too, it's a shame they never actually released it on CD or anything. Anyway, I just want more people to play this really unknown game because it rocks.
Purchase Link (PS Store)
Fun fact: the English version of this game has no physical copy available. I literally just finished this game a week ago. I absolutely adored it. It's literally the perfect otome for me: the MC is a blank slate, perfect for self-insertion, most of the LIs are awesome, and the plot mainly focuses on romance. Some people criticise this game a bit and I can understand that, but it's still worth a play if you have a PC or a Vita with a memory card. It's a pretty good game for people who just want to read about relationships and who don't care about some dramatic plot.
As the title suggests, you have amnesia. You also have a boyfriend, but you really don't want him to find out. There's also this spirit inside your head that nobody else can see. It may sound weird, but it's actually quite interesting. I just have a quick tip before you play this though, don't select the Diamond World first. Please. Oh, and I forgot, there's also a iOS/Android version of the game which I believe is pay-per-route.
Vita Version Download Steam Version
There are a whole lot of other otome games that are good too, but I haven't played some of them yet. You're not just limited to playing the English ones, either. A lot of the Japanese ones have been fan translated online. At a later date I'm going to be making more pages on otome games, after I've played a few more. For a complete list of English games, visit EnglishOtomeGames.net.