Best LitRPG and GameLit Novels

Updated Fall 2018

LitRPG (also known as GameLit) is a subgenre of science fiction (and often fantasy) that involves a character entering a virtual reality game world. Here are our picks for the top 10 LitRPG/GameLit books.

 

 


Life Reset: A LitRPG Novel by Shemer Kuznits

 

Shelfbuzz Score: 8.5 (out of 10)

Genre(s): LitRPG, GameLit, Sci-fi, Fantasy,

After being betrayed and cursed by an extremely rare spell, Oren, a powerful and influential player, finds himself as a 1st level Goblin!Without even a fraction of his previous power, he vows to pull through and have revenge on those who betrayed him. His thorough knowledge of the game’s world and his unique ability to immerse himself entirely are his only advantages. But first, he must figure out how to survive long enough playing what is basically a low-level fodder monster! (more)

 


The Iron Veil: A LitRPG OmniWorld Adventure by Randy Nargi

 

Shelfbuzz Score: 8.9 (out of 10)

Genre(s): LitRPG, GameLit, Sci-fi, Fantasy,

Ready Player One meets Westworld in a fast-paced cyber thriller featuring a unique fantasy game world

How far would you go to live the life of your dreams?
Three years out of college, Justin Boone finds himself plodding through a boring existence, with a dead-end Guaranteed Employment job, no real friends, and a life so dull he doesn’t even bother lying about it on social media.

However, all that changes when, against all odds, Justin is chosen to beta test OmniWorld, a shared dream state that resembles an online role-playing game. Along with several thousand other players he voluntarily enters a coma-like sleep and wakes up in Greystrand, a medieval fantasy world that’s like a D&D game come to life.

But almost from the start, the game starts behaving oddly for Justin. Quests rewrite themselves and change as he tries to complete them. NPCs ignore their scripts and seem to take an unusual interest in him. And soon it becomes evident that Justin’s not playing the game; the game is playing him.

Now he must face fearsome monsters, deadly assassins, a diabolical lich, and other players bent on his destruction—as well as a sentient AI game controller who has plans of its own and doesn’t seem to understand the concept of ‘free will’—all while trying to unravel the puzzle within a puzzle that is OmniWorld. (more)

 


Dodge Tank: A LitRPG Novel by Rick Scott

 

Shelfbuzz Score: 7.2 (out of 10)

Genre(s): Fantasy, LitRPG, GameLit, Sci-fi,

There’s only one rule… don’t get hit.” Ryan’s life sucks. His brother is a jerk, his mom is sick, and his legs are next to useless thanks to a neurological disorder. Plus the world ended two centuries ago from nuclear war. Now, what’s left of humanity live below ground, with the only escape from reality being the massive VR world of Crystal Shards Online. But even in the game, Ryan’s life sucks. Unable to play a combat class due to his condition, he works as a miner, earning barely enough to get by and not nearly enough to afford the… (more)

 


Viridian Gate Online: Cataclysm: A litRPG Adventure by James Hunter

 

Shelfbuzz Score: 8.2 (out of 10)

Genre(s): LitRPG, GameLit, Sci-fi,

October, 2042: An extinction-level asteroid, 213 Astraea, is cannonballing toward Earth. Collision, imminent. An international team of scientists is working around the clock to avert the cataclysm — few are optimistic. World governments are preparing for impact with deep earth bio-dome bunkers, but only a select few lottery winners will be saved. Jack Mitchel, a thirty-two-year-old EMT living in a tiny studio apartment on the West Coast, isn’t one of those winners. Still, there might be a way for him to survive Astraea: a slim chance, requiring a radical leap of faith. Through a connection at Osmark… (more)

 


Reboot: An Epic LitRPG Adventure by Domino Finn

 

Shelfbuzz Score: 9.3 (out of 10)

Genre(s): Fantasy, LitRPG, GameLit, Sci-fi,

Tad Lonnerman is having a crappy day stuck in crappy traffic late to a crappy meeting. On the bright side, his game development career is the only non-crappy thing he has going for him, so life isn’t all bad. At least until he dies. Now Tad finds himself uploaded to a beta test of Haven, an unannounced hyper-immersive MMO where the dead have a second chance at life. It’s not virtual reality, it’s digital reality. A true afterlife online. Except Haven isn’t exactly blissful paradise. Tad bumbles into a pagan blood feud, crosses paths with… (more)

 


Awaken Online: Catharsis by Travis Bagwell

 

Shelfbuzz Score: 8.5 (out of 10)

Genre(s): LitRPG, GameLit, Sci-fi,

Are you tired of video games and books where you always hear the hero’s tale? Perhaps it’s time to embrace your evil side! Jason logs into Awaken Online fed-up with reality. He’s in desperate need of an escape, and this game is his ticket to finally feeling the type of power and freedom that are so sorely lacking in his real life. Awaken Online is a brand new virtual reality game that just hit the market, promising an unprecedented level of immersion. Yet Jason quickly finds himself pushed down a path he didn’t expect. In this game, he isn’t… (more)

 


Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko

 

Shelfbuzz Score: 8.2 (out of 10)

Genre(s): LitRPG, GameLit, Sci-fi,

Diving into a revolutionary new video game, Marcus and his friends escape a stagnant society, entering into a world that defies their wildest imaginations. But from the moment that he logs in, Marcus finds himself separated from his friends and thrown into remote village under attack by a horde of goblins. Forced into battle, Marcus rallies the beleaguered villagers and with their help, manages to drive off the invading creatures. With the village in ruins and their supplies spoiled, the survivors desperately turn to Marcus for help in rebuilding the village. Realizing that this game is nothing like he’s ever… (more)

 


The Land: Founding: A LitRPG Saga by Aleron Kong

 

Shelfbuzz Score: 7.5 (out of 10)

Genre(s): LitRPG, GameLit, Sci-fi, Fantasy,

Tricked into a world of banished gods, demons, goblins, sprites and magic, Richter must learn to meet the perils of The Land and begin to forge his own kingdom. Actions have consequences across The Land, with powerful creatures and factions now hell-bent on Richter’s destruction. Can Richter forge allegiances… (more)

 


Dream Park by Larry Niven

 

Shelfbuzz Score: 8.7 (out of 10)

Genre(s): LitRPG, GameLit, Sci-fi,

A group of pretend adventurers suit up for a campaign called “The South Seas Treasure Game.” As in the early Role Playing Games, there are Dungeon Masters, warriors, magicians, and thieves. The difference? At Dream Park, a futuristic fantasy theme park full of holographic attractions and the latest in VR technology, they play in an artificial enclosure that has been enhanced with special effects, holograms, actors, and a clever storyline. The players get as close as possible to truly living their adventure. All’s fun and games until a Park security guard is murdered, a valuable research property is stolen, and… (more)

 


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

 

Shelfbuzz Score: 9.5 (out of 10)

Genre(s): LitRPG, GameLit, Sci-fi,

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines — puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles… (more)


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