Looking for new dating RPG games to play is kind of like buying a book; just like how we don't want to judge a book by its cover, we don’t want to judge a game by its art. However, without potentially spoiling ourselves, we have no idea if the story, characters, or gameplay are worth our time, effort, and money.
Luckily, we'll be going over 9 of the most popular dating games available in English, and I'll give a short description of each game's premise, characters, gameplay, replayability, and story so you can go straight into dating some cuties.
In Hakuouki, you play as Chizuru Yukimura, who has traveled to Kyoto to look for her father, but ends up in the company of the Shinsengumi! Hakuouki features up to 50 hours of gameplay with multiple endings, six pursuable characters, and beautifully done CG art.
Each character route offers a significantly different story, and the characters are each endearing in quite different ways. Although the only interaction in the game is through text choices, you can fast forward through text (after finishing the game at least once) to get to the defining moments for each character path.
Rating: We rate this game a 9/10 for the sheer amount of story and how immersive this game is. Hakuoki is currently available on multiple platforms, such as the Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Portable and Vita, PlayStation 3, as well as on iPhone and Android.
Amnesia: Memories is a story-heavy game that features up to 50 hours of gameplay, five character paths, and multiple endings, some good and some bad.
Having lost your memory, you must make your choices carefully to hide your amnesia; the game features status bars that show how close or how suspicious characters are of you and what you decide to say and do.
The game has an intricate art style and interesting characters that’ll keep you guessing with each route you take. The story has some interesting twists, which makes playing each boy's route worth your time.
Nameless is another story-heavy game that has characters based on real ball-jointed dolls made by Crobidoll. With around 40 hours of gameplay and five character routes, there are a lot of stories to go through with this game. The character art looks great, but some of the backgrounds and UI elements feel cheap and overdone.
Each character goes through significant development throughout the story, with potential tearjerkers. So, if you're looking for a dating experience that has themes that are more intense and has some possible bad endings, Nameless is a title you may want to get.
The game has an interesting storyline that shakes up the usual situation, but as a result makes the content much more mature and sexual. I don’t recommend playing this game at work. The quality of the story is mediocre at best, but the art is undeniably beautiful and well done.
When it comes to dating the characters, they are diverse and offer different stories, but the protagonist, despite your choices, often lacks in common sense. Still, each route is peppered with racy situations that’ll get your heart beating.
Everyone is familiar with the world of Oz, but sometimes a girl doesn't want to go home. Transported to a fairytale world, a girl finds herself under the protection of a mafia called Oz.
OZMAFIA!! is one of the newest dating games released this year, with 12 routes with more than 20 possible endings. The art is quite beautifully done and fits the fairytale theme of the game, and the characters, who are all based on fairytale personas, each promise different stories per route.
After winning an invite to the exclusive Annual Valdemar Halloween Extravaganza, you find yourself teamed up with three handsome guys to win this year’s event.
Halloween Otome has three characters you can date and nine endings. Although the gameplay is shorter than other games on this list at around 2-10 hours, it features optional mini-games as well as a CG gallery.
If you’ve never actually played dating games before, this is a grand way to ease yourself into the genre, as there aren’t too many routes and the stories aren't too complex. However, it may leave you wanting for more.
You play as the lonely Cardia, a girl who lives alone at the edge of London because her skin is poisonous. One touch rots and destroys, making her a monster in the eyes of the locals. But as she's about to be caught by the queen’s men, a thief breaks in and helps her escape!
From the get-go, Code:Realize has a beautiful steampunk aesthetic and presents characters pulled from famous literary works. Like most of the games here, the art is superb, and the UI feels clean and polished.
Although the characters tend to fall into predictable archetypes (with five dating routes to follow), each course presents a different path with its own merits. Cardia as a protagonist is likable and fights against the trope of the defenseless, helpless girl who needs saving all the time. The story is fairly well developed but can be a bit confusing at times.
Don’t let the art fool you; in Hatoful Boyfriend, these boys are a flock of different types of birds. The game has nine character routes to follow and many fantastical endings. If you think dating birds is ridiculous, it is, and that's the main draw of this game. You have no idea what to expect, and it's a lot of fun seeing where your text choices and stat allocation takes you.
The drawback is that the story often gets lost in its own craziness, and the scenarios can be fairly short, so this isn’t the game for you if you want an intricate, serious, or longer experience. The game also recently came out with a new horror DLC, so Hatoful Boyfriend is something of a wildcard for a dating game.
Unlike most of the games mentioned before, Fire Emblem: Awakening is a strategy RPG first and a dating game second.
The story has multiple chapters and is well-crafted. Gameplay is mostly in the form of tactical battles, and you build relationships with other characters by fighting side by side. Much of the story revolves around the people you recruit into your army.
The game has a lot of characters, and while it may be overwhelming at times, you can pair these other characters with each other, and not just your main character. You also get to see how these relationships unfold in short dialogue scenes. This game is perfect for you if you’re looking for an experience that has dating elements rather than a game that’s completely about romance.
Rating: We’d rate Fire Emblem: Awakening as a solid 9/10, but I’ll only give it 8/10 because it’s not as available as the other games on this list. You can play Fire Emblem: Awakening on any Nintendo 3DS handheld.