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Well, here we are. 2017 was an excellent year for the Western visual novel community. More than a few VNs found mainstream recognition and success. Some even were interwoven into the larger gaming sphere: like Doki Doki Literature Club. However, in the end, it will not surprise anyone that through the year, I played some VNs that were heads and shoulders about the typical and deserve recognition for being the best in their class.

Now, usually we have a much larger awards ceremony here at VNs Now: the Best Ofs. I’m not completely putting the idea to the side just yet because there are so many awesome games that did not make the cut for various reasons. However, after missing the chance to recognize some great work in 2016, I didn’t want to risk the same happening in 2017. Hence, my completely subjective list that will end with my pick for Visual Novel of the Year!

And with the pleasantries out of the way, let’s get started.

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Founder of VNs Now.com. Long-Time Reader, Amateur Writer and Chef and Gundam Enthusiast. Opinions are Steve's, Facts are Mine.

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    Almost half of those aren’t even VN… Story rich isn’t doesn’t always mean VN you know. Some of this are way closer to a point & click or just and adventure game than a VN. Though there’s still debate over what a VN really is, I don’t think A Mortician’s Tale, Herald, Detention and Old Man’s Journey are even close to being visual novels. Maybe they’re great games, but not of the VN kind.

    • Hello! While I understand your point-of-view, I clearly disagree with it. If your argument is simply that there is more gameplay involved with those titles in particular than just a static image and narrative, I would remind you that the following games are marketed and accepted as visual novels that feature similar gameplay elements:

      – Danganronpa
      – 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors
      – Hotel Dusk: Room 215
      – The Silver Case
      – Symphonic Rain
      – Policenauts
      – Sakura Wars

      Now, outside of that, all I can tell you is that on this site, we have seen both Japanese and English creators evolve the formula. You may not see them as VNs and that is fair enough. However, none of them are without precedent and, if anything, should be commended for not sticking to a strict formula and giving us something still in the visual novel medium, but also uniquely their own thing.