There are a lot of video games out there and in this era of mobile and home-based gaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic?
Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest, and unforgettable games through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best video games, our attention this time turns to games about school life. From hilarious college antics to mind-numbing school-themed mysteries, you have a lot of games to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
At one point in time, Rockstar entered an experimental phase. They churned out titles like Midnight Club, Manhunt, and Bully to see if they could capture peoples’ attention. Bully is a wonderful game many fans want Rockstar to explore again due to the game having a compelling atmosphere, hilarious dialogue, and realistic take on rambunctious academy students.
In it, players follow Jimmy Hopkins. He’s a delinquent forced to attend Bullworth Academy. You’ll explore the game’s campus, meet colorful students, and hope to resolve the issues that crop up on and around the campus. Players can look forward to participating in numerous activities from bicycle races to fighting problematic students.
The game’s weapons are childlike and amusing. Instead of guns like in Grand Theft Auto, you’ll be using stink bombs, slingshots, and marbles to cause harm to everyone in Bullworth. Bully is a wild game that’s not for everyone, but those who admired GTA for its boldness will enjoy what this quirky title offers.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a compelling installment in Nintendo’s Fire Emblem series. It features great visuals, enticing tactics-based gameplay, and multiple story routes for you to get lost in. It takes place in a medieval land called Fódlan. You’ll play as a professor who’ll help his/her students win battles and excel at their academic studies.
The twist for this game involves you choosing between three different houses. Each faction holds intruiging characters with gripping backstories and personalities. The storylines for each house differ but revolve around themes like drama and romance. Like in other modern Fire Emblem titles, you can determine who ends up with whom.
Three Houses’ tactics gameplay isn’t too different outside of visual improvements. You’ll move characters across a grid and have them fight numerous foes. It’s significant to have your units fight enemies that have a disadvantage to your character’s preferred weaponry. Each battle delivers astonishing visuals that’ll fill you with exhilaration. If you’re searching for a tactical RPG with romance elements, check out Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
The Fruit of Grisaia
While it’s not everyone’s favorite gaming genre, visual novels provide players with memorable characters and emotionally-gripping narratives. The Fruit of Grisaia will take players 70+ hours to complete. To continue, you’ll advance the story by reading its text by tapping away at your keyboard.
The story revolves around Kazami Yuuji and his daily school-themed adventures. He’ll spend his time befriending numerous girls. Each girl has a sparking personality and challenging obstacles to overcome. The story starts slow but gets more enticing as you continue reading. Some jokes fall into the sensual territory and will make some readers feel uncomfortable.
Nonetheless, the story includes several plot twists to keep you hooked. If you’re looking for a fabulous visual novel that will surpass your wildest expectations, check out The Fruit of Grisaia.
Lost Judgment is a great follow-up to Judgment. In it, players control detective Takayuki Yagami as he goes undercover at a high school to solve a myriad of bullying cases. This game blends its investigative and action-centric elements superbly, leaving viewers with something memorably charming as a result.
The game touches upon mature subjects like suicide and bullying. The instances Takayuki gets involved in will make you question your love for children. He’ll go to many lengths to solve the cases occurring in this school. From using high-tech drones to spy on suspects to tailing them via building rooftops, you’ll be left questioning what other tricks Takayuki has up his sleeve.
Lost Judgment’s combat is vastly improved but the difficulty curve isn’t as high as some would like. Many enemies you encounter won’t stand a chance against Takayuki’s excellent martial arts techniques. If you’re okay with the game not being as challenging as Judgment, then I recommend giving this one a try.
White Day: A Labyrinth-Named School
This Korean Horror game is a cult classic amongst indie gaming fanatics. It takes place in Yeondu High School and has players control a new transfer student named Hee-Min Lee. He enters his school during the White Day holiday to store some candies away. However, the school shuts its doors, leaving Hee-Min Lee trapped overnight.
To make matters worse, he must escape the clutches of an evil janitor and the souls of the dead. This game introduces several mind-numbing challenges for you to conquer. While hiding from this merciless janitor, you’ll uncover hidden secrets concerning Yeondu’s past and what led to its terrible upbringing. The game boasts multiple endings to entice players to revisit the game several times.
Corpse Party (2021)
Corpse Party is a psychological horror game that’ll make you shiver inside. It follows a group of high schoolers who get transported to a haunted elementary school. This school carries many hidden secrets and bone-chilling imagery. If the original game was already creepy enough for you then the 2021 remake should help you relive those experiences.
It has better 16-bit graphics alongside gruesome descriptions and heart-pounding sound bites. Nonetheless, the game will make players experience grief and sorrow after finding out what happened to the people who perished at the school. The game features two Extra Chapters that delve into Ayumi and Yoshiki’s relationship more.
It introduces new characters named Miku and Ryoka, who serve a purpose in elementary school. If you’ve played or never touched the original game before, the remake will satisfy you.
Another school-themed game with a horrid atmosphere is Detention. It harbors a gripping narrative about two students who get trapped inside a high school overrun by monsters. The students must complete several puzzles and bypass the monsters if they hope to escape. This game harbors great cultural nods to Buddhism, Chinese mythology, and Taoism.
It mixes them together to form a tale that’s refreshing, mind-numbing, and terrifying. The gameplay’s simple and follows the point-and-click adventure formula. You’ll help these students navigate the school’s corridors, hide from beats, and interact with artifacts to learn more about the school’s history. It’s an interactive experience you don’t want to miss.
Danganronpa is a popular franchise developed by Spike Chunsoft and Abstraction Games. It has a gripping murder-mystery plot, superb visuals, and memorable characters. The plot revolves around several high school students who must follow the orders of a robot teddy bear named Monokuma. The game adopts some dating simulation aspects but is more loved for its detective-themed gameplay.
You’ll find yourself collecting clues and conversing with students to obtain information surrounding the game’s multiple cases. You’ll present your evidence during the game’s Class Trial segments to determine the culprit. Some characters will share contradictory statements that will force you to expose them for their lies.
Pointing out their fallacies will help you deal damage to your opponent. It’s an enticing gameplay loop that gets more intense the more your advance through Danganronpa’s plot. If you’re looking for a stellar murder-mystery game with a gripping narrative, check out the Danganronpa franchise.
Persona started off as a spin-off series of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise but evolved into its own powerhouse franchise. Some fans argue that it’s outclassed the Shin Megami Tensei games to a degree. Regardless, one of the franchise’s best entries is Persona 5. This game harbors stylish graphics, incredible storytelling, and riveting gameplay elements.
It follows a group of high school students who participate in heinous activities at night. Deemed the Phantom Thieves, their journey provides them with numerous obstacles. Some activities include: fighting numerous monsters, exploring dungeons, and fighting a powerful boss at the end of each chapter.
This game has a lot of content for players to tackle. You’ll find yourself devoting a lot of time to the game’s side quests. The game can feel sluggish at times, but it offers enough satisfying twists and gameplay mechanics to pull you in. If you need a beefy JRPG to play that revolves around charismatic high school students, check this one out.
LEGO Harry Potter Collection
The LEGO Harry Potter Collection is an amazing reimagining of the Harry Potter universe. It offers compelling humor, fun gameplay, and numerous missions to complete. You can expect to participate in all types of activities. In it, you’ll wield magic, solve puzzles, craft potions, and interact with the game’s cast from Harry to Dumbledore.
Like other LEGO titles, you’ll explore each chapter of Harry’s adventure through Hogwarts. From the Philosopher’s Stone to the Deadly Hollows, you’ll be able to relive your experience with the franchise from a childlike and humorous point-of-view. This game kick-started LEGO’s approach toward a new hub system and was praised for its amusing jokes and well-designed puzzles.
The game’s boss battles aren’t too challenging, though. Furthermore, the game doesn’t harbor any online functionality and lacks voice acting. However, if you can look past these missed opportunities, you’re in for a great time with this LEGO collection.
So, there we have it, our pick for the best video games about school life through the years!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!