My choice for the top LitRPG titles (May, 2019)

Discussion in 'All Things LitRPG' started by Conor Kostick, May 20, 2019.

  1. Conor Kostick

    Conor Kostick Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen

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    Recently, I had a go at choosing from the hundreds of LitRPG titles that are available. Having made a top ten list, I found I’d forgotten an important book (Ascend Online) and didn’t have the heart to remove anyone. So I’ve ended up with a top 11!

    There’s a grey area as to what exactly is LitRPG and Ready Player One sits in that area. If I had included it in my top ten, Ready Player One would definitely have been in the top three. It’s a great book. But in the end I decided to exclude it. I think most readers of LitRPG enjoy a sense of progression in the game world, whether of the characters or the town, dungeon, etc. And Ready Player One doesn’t have that.

    It’s subjective, of course, like any list. And funnily enough, I don’t even agree with myself. Ask me another day and I’m sure I’d swap some around and introduce new titles. And this is written at a particular point in time, 20 May 2019. Since there is a new LitRPG book published every few days, I’m sure this will soon be a dated list. Mind you, it would take a really excellent book to get in the top 5. These are classic LitRPG books already.

    So here’s the list. For my reasoning you can read more on the Level Up website.

    11. Hack: A LitRPG Novel (Tower of Gates, Book 1), Paul Bellow
    10. The Land: Founding (Chaos Seeds, Book 1), Aleron Kong
    9. Crota (The Gods’ Game, Volume 1), Rohan M. Vider
    8. Blood Eye (Land of Dreams, Book 1), Morgan Cole
    7. Advent (Red Mage, Book 1), Xander Boyce
    6. The Crafting of Chess: A LitRPG Adventure, Kit Falbo
    5. AlterWorld: Play to Live. A LitRPG Series (Book 1), D Rus
    4. More than a Game (Fayroll, Book 1), Andrey Vasilyev
    3. Ascend Online (Ascend Online, Book 1), Luke Chmilenko
    2. Catharsis (Awaken Online, Book 1), Travis Bagwell

    1. Survival Quest (The Way of the Shaman: Book 1), Vasiliy Mahanenko
     
  2. Gryphon

    Gryphon Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Nice showing, @KitFalbo
    Still a little sad that Dante's Immortality didn't make the list..
    (Or Incipere, but I'm biased on that one)
     
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  3. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member LitRPG Author Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I had to pay $500 to get #11! ;) Just kidding. I'm still not sure I deserve to be on it. Means a lot coming from one of the early pioneers of our genre.
     
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  4. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I'd definitely put Awaken Online at #1, but Way of the Shaman isn't a bad pick.
    As for Ready Player One, I dunno. I've been reading it again lately and it's not really holding up well in my eyes. I just realized that a lot of the pop culture references genuinely are just "references", and the story as a whole really missed a lot of its potential in terms of being a tale of the world becoming nostalgic over someone else's nostalgia, and this was never reflected upon.
    I can't throw stones, obviously, but I feel the majority of litRPG works in your list technically surpassed it.

    At the same time, I read those litRPG works as litRPG, whereas I read Ready Player One as a mainstream bestseller, so it's true that I'm just holding it up to much higher standards.
     
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  5. LelulaGames

    LelulaGames Author Crissy Moss LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I need to read Awaken Online and Way of the Shaman. I hear nothing but good things about it.
     
  6. Conor Kostick

    Conor Kostick Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen

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    You won't regret spending time with the first few books in the series at least. The last one, apparently, is very poor.
     
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  7. Arieline

    Arieline Level 8 (Thug) Roleplaying Beta Reader Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I do believe The Land should be first. Caverns and creatures is hilarious. Viridian Gate, Eden's gate, and Life Reset are also very good.
     
  8. Idyllic Euphoria

    Idyllic Euphoria Level 2 (Initiate) Citizen

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    You appear to have a preference towards the Russian authors lol. Not a bad thing, I enjoy their take on fantasy as it's somewhat fresh when you are used to Western or eastern themes and perspectives. I have read 7 of your top 10 and must say that I stopped following both awaken online and fayroll after 3-4 books each. They started relatively strong but as the story progressed my interest waned. I just felt that the new and unique ideas and perspectives were being worn and new ones that meshed well with the existing story weren't being introduced fast enough, if at all. But that's just my opinion. I was really surprised that most of my top 10 didn't make it into your list? Although ironically aleron Kong also holds my 10th spot as a guilty pleasure. His retail therapy approach to litrpg is my guilty pleasure even if his writing is not objectively good.

    Some great series you didn't mention that you may want to read if you missed them are-

    Eric uglands- the bad guys. The MC is a cat burgular, and he is becoming very OP by the end of the second book. However, this series has the wittiest banter and most dynamic, clever and well written characters out of all litrpg I have read so far, which really is most of everything on Kindle unlimited and audible in the genre.

    Cosimo yap- The Gam3 has a very well written world and an MC with more depth than a toilet which can't be taken for granted in such a new genre. I disliked the deus machina ending of the final book, but the series still holds a top5 spot for me.

    Shemer kuznitz- life reset
    Blaise corvin- delvers LLC
    Dakota krout- completionist Chronicles

    These 3 all make it onto my top 10, each for very different reasons, they aren't very similar to eachother.

    Tony Corden- stork tower
    Michael atamanov- dark herbalist & reality benders.

    These I also really enjoyed.

    Neven illiev- everybody loves large chests

    This had me laughing out loud every few pages, and was possibly the most enjoyed read, even if it's not the best series, objectively speaking.

    Robert harper- pentacle series
    This is the only series I've found that starts the MC off in the litrpg world as an adult stuck inside a baby, which leads to many interesting situations and circumstances. The time skipping is very smooth so he isn't a baby for the whole first book and it's not those jarring 10 year skips that some authors use cause they don't know how to progress a plot without describing how the character is drinking the tea.

    Plenty more too, but I'm over typing and want to get back to reading. Hope I helped somebody???
     
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  9. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member LitRPG Author Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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  10. Thomas Davidsmeier

    Thomas Davidsmeier Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Sadly, I'm not making these lists yet. Maybe just one book in the series isn't enough for people...
     
  11. Conor Kostick

    Conor Kostick Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen

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    This is really helpful. Thanks a lot!
     
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  12. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member LitRPG Author Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Yes, please come back and share more wisdom.
     




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