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. Also, I'm going to state my favourite love interest from each one, but I won't give away any spoilers!
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 two other mobile games I sort 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.
My favourite love interest from this one was definitely Saeran because of spoilery reasons, but I also loved Jumin because I could actually relate to him quite a bit, even though on the surface we both seem quite different.
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
This game has more micro-transactions than Mystic Messenger, as well as chapter tickets, avatar dress up and gacha, but I think the story's quite interesting. As of writing this, I'm still in the middle of my first route. The plot is that you play this blogger girl who ends up going back in time and entering a mansion full of famous historical figures... except they're vampires. Oh yeah, you can date them too. If you forget about the real life counterparts of these love interests, you can actually have a good time. It is a bit cheesy, as mobile otome games usually are, but I like it.
The music in this game is amazing though, it's not what you'd expect out of a mobile game. The soundtrack is full of such relaxing piano pieces that make me feel nostalgic for some reason. Click here
to hear for yourself. The artwork's decent too. There's a gacha where you can win cards that have exclusive artwork and voice clips. I've never spent money on it, but I must admit that I do try it often to see if I can get the rare cards.
My favourite character from this one is Dazai, even though I know next to nothing about him. I'm currently working through Napoleon's route, but I'm not really enjoying him as much as I thought I would.
IkeVamp just came out in English so as of August 2019, there are only three routes available. They'll translate the other routes soon, I'm sure. It's just such a shame that the character I'm most interested in doesn't even have a route in the Japanese version...
Official Website Walkthroughs
This game is also super popular, especially in the west. It's made by the same people who did Ikemen Vampire. I completed one route then uninstalled it because I disliked the free-to-play stuff, but recently I've reinstalled it again because I just love it. It's not as generous with the free stuff as Ikemen Vampire, but you can still get through the game quite well. The plot is that this girl from the future gets magically sent to the Sengoku period, where there's a lot of hot guys who all seem to like her. It's not really historically accurate, but it's a blast to play. I absolutely love all of the interactions between the characters. I'm not the biggest fan of the MC at times, but when I self-insert I tend to forget about her anyway. The translators also seemed to put a lot of effort into this, like they did with IkeVamp. There is also a PS Vita version of the game but it's only available in Japan. I'm still going to buy it one day, no matter how hard it is to read. Sometimes this game can get a bit cheesy, but all mobile games are like that.
My favourite character right now is Ieyasu, probably because I'm currently working on his route. I also like Ranmaru, but I'm really sad because his route's only available in the Vita version.
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 Favourite Otome Game: Psychdelica of the Black Butterfly
I'm actually re-writing this after re-playing it. This game is my favourite otome because... it's just awesome. The story, the characters, the art, the music and the voice acting are all absolutely stunning. They come together to form one absolutely wonderful game, that I'm a bit nostalgic for even though I only completed it earlier this year. The game gives me a cosy feeling of being in bed, sitting under the covers with my Vita in hand. That's probably because that's how I played my favourite route in PotBB. Even after playing it once and knowing all the twists, this otome still manages to blow me away. The story can get quite sad, both times I almost cried during it. I don't want to give any spoilers away, because it's best to play it how I did: not knowing anything. It's not really good as a first otome game since it's quite diffrent from most of them, however. People say that there's not much romance, but I actually think there's quite a bit. That's coming from someone who believes the romance to to be the most important factor in these games. There's also a "sequel", except it's not really a continuation of the same story, it's just set in the same universe. A spin-off would be a better word to describe it. It's called Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk. I would tell you about that game, but I haven't played it yet. Just play Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, because it's awesome and I love it so much. I just wish that it was more popular, because there's hardly any merchandise available for it... I think it's available in around four languages too, Japanese, English, Korean and (I'm not entirely sure on this) Chinese.
I can't pick a favourite character from this game! From the start I liked Yamato, then I fell in love with Monshiro, but then I also really liked Hikage! I like everybody in this otome! Some people might not like a few of the love interests, but that's always going to happen with these games.
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, and a Japan-exclusive fan-disc I enjoyed but could barely understand. The original game got remade for the Vita and Steam in 2017. 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....
My favourite character from this one is Kazama, but I really like everybody. My least favourite character at the start was Harada, but his route made me really appreciate him. In the fan-disc, I couldn't understand much until I played his after story, and it was absolutely beautiful. I don't know why, it just was.
Since there are so many different versions and spin-offs, I'm not going to put any purchase links down. There's an anime and some films you can watch too. Also, it's worth looking up clips of the stage musical on YouTube, because it's just really good.
Code: Realize: Guardian of Rebirth
This game was originally a Vita exclusive, but then in came to the PS4, and soon it'll be on the Nintendo Switch as well. 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. I know that the Switch is getting an English version of this game, but I don't know if the sequels will come over too. If you can't play the game though, there's also an anime that follows the main plot. It's probably on Crunchyroll.
This game makes me feel quite cosy inside. I love the friendship between each member of the main cast, they have such wonderful interactions with one another. I love how everybody treats Cardia so nicely, which is a nice thing to see after some of the games I've played. The setting of Code: Realize, while not very much like England in real life, seems like such a cool place. As you can probably tell, I really like this game.
Oh yeah, my favourite character from this one was Van Helsing, from the moment he appeared on my screen. I also liked Finis, partly because he was awesome, partly because I love his voice actor. Like most of these games, I love every single love interest!
Vita Version Purchase PS4 Version Purchase
Collar X Malice
This game was a Vita exclusive (actually, there was a mobile version in Japan too) but soon, it's going to be localised to the Nintendo Switch, along with the fan-disc that I'll never get to play, because I only Nintendo handheld I have is a DSi XL. There is quite a lot of plot stuff in this game, 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 localisers 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! :)
I have two favourite love interests from this game. The first one is Okazaki, he was the first LI I ended up with. He's quite sweet, and also rather interesting. My second favourite LI is Sasazuka. He's not exactly everybody's cup of tea, but I like him and his seaweed hair.
You can purchase the Vita version here if you're interested.
Oh, Otomate have announced an anime for it too, so expect that to come sometime soon. When it releases, I'll probably forget to update this post.... :(
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.
My favourite LI from this one was Wakasa, because he's just cute and he's played by Yuki Kaji. Meoshi was also a character I really enjoyed, because he sort of reminded me of a light novel character I used to obsess over in the past.
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.
My favourite boy from this one was Shin. He was the first one I ended up with. It's funny, I usually end up liking my first LI the best. I did enjoy the other characters too, though.
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