10 Best Yandere-Focused Video Games

Translated as “lovesickness”, “yandere” is a Japanese character archetype that refers to a person who is so unhealthily obsessed with an individual that they are willing to commit criminal acts for their “love”. At best, the yandere character will track down the object of their affection and make that person the center of their world. At worst, the yandere can kidnap their special self, and even injure or kill them or other relatives.

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Although shows such Mirai Nikki (Future Diary) has been a big part of the trope going mainstream, many great video games have also been featured and in some cases focused on yandere characters in recent years.



The main character and Emi in the game Affection

Created in early 2019 for the “SCREAMWORLD” game jam, Affection is an obscure point-and-click horror game that follows an amnesiac man who wakes up in a strange, almost sterile room. While exploring the dark facility, he encounters several other characters and discovers that they are all trapped. Unlike the protagonist, the other characters remember their past lives, but they also don’t remember how they ended up in this building.

As the days pass, the other characters are slowly brutally killed, leading the last survivors to believe that the protagonist is the perpetrator. It is revealed that a strange creature actually killed the other characters so that the protagonist would end up falling in love with the creature. Each time the scenario fails, the creature erases the memories of the protagonist and begins the whole process again with new victims.

Dear Mariko

A screenshot from the beginning of the Dear Mariko short game

Released in 2015, Dear Mariko is a short horror experience which is one of many interesting horror games from RPG Maker. After meeting two years ago on Christmas Day, Mariko and Darien fell in love and were together. Despite their mutual love, however, Darien dealt with a stalker named Shinku, which put a strain on the otherwise happy couple’s relationship.

Eventually, the stress and fear caused by Shinku becomes too much for Darien, and so he decides to leave Mariko in order to escape from Shinku and protect Mariko. The only thing Darien leaves behind is a letter revealing his reasons for leaving, which is, terrifyingly, found by both Mariko and Shinku. In 2016, the developer released an updated version titled Dear Mariko: Crimson, which adds more knowledge.

Nothing in particular

A screenshot from the game Nothing Special

Released at the end of 2021, Nothing in particular is a short visual novel that joins the many other unique horror games available on Itch.io. As a young female protagonist, the player gets kidnapped by a girl she doesn’t recognize. To “take care of herself”, the girl feeds the protagonist’s maggots and force-baths her while keeping her trapped in a room.

As the girl talks to the player, she reveals that she discovered the protagonist’s art online and became infatuated with his work. After a short and mostly meaningless conversation between the two on Discord DM, she decides to kidnap the protagonist. Depending on the player’s choices, they will receive one of two endings.


Honoka and Hinata in Yanderella game

Created by the three-person development team Charon, who also created several other Yandere-focused games such as Mikoto Nikki and Getaway Shihori, Yanderella is a 2013 RPG Maker horror game about a young man named Yatarou who is caught between two love interests. Growing up, Yatarou had two childhood friends named Hinata and Honoka, and the three were inseparable. But, after Hinata walked away, Yatarou lost contact with her and slowly walked away from Honoka.

Years later, Hinata returns and the group eventually reconnects, but it soon becomes apparent that both girls are in love with the protagonist. Towards the end of the game, the player decides whether to solidify a relationship with one of the girls or just stay friends. If the player chooses one, however, it won’t end well for anyone.

Irisu Syndrome!

A screenshot of a first game screen in Irisu Syndrome!.

years before Doki Doki Literature Club and other similar horror titles that allow the player to interact with the game files as part of the immersive experience, the free horror puzzle game Irisu Syndrome! pioneer of the genre. Although the game was never officially released outside of Japan, there is a fan-made English patch. To play this game, players have to shoot white squares at the different shapes falling from the top of the screen. If two or more shapes of the same color collide, the player earns points.

Despite sharing some similarities with innocent puzzle games like Tetris or Bejeweled, the game’s story centers on the main protagonist, Irisu Kyouko, using the game to try to convince himself not to commit murder. Due to her love for Uujima Satoshi and her own manipulations, Irisu feels compelled to murder him and their other two friends.

Yandere space

Luna talks to Digit in the game Space Yandere

Due to the nature of the trope, most Yandere-focused media usually doesn’t end well, but the RPG Maker 2021 horror title Yandere space is one of the few instances where the player has a chance to create a truly happy ending. Taking place on a spaceship, the player controls a small orange robot named Digit which was created by a young woman named Luna. After an unspecified apocalyptic event ruins Earth, Luna and several other humans now travel to a new planet.

Although she could have stayed to try to save Earth, Luna joined this expedition because she fell madly in love with a scientist named Alex. But, when she discovers that Alex is already in a relationship with another scientist named Eden, she snaps and tries to kill everyone on the ship. Now Digit must try to stop Luna, bring her to her senses, and save the entire crew.


A screenshot of John Blanc and Chase Colt talking near the start of the Mistrick game

Developed by Hatoge, who also developed the mystery horror game Sofia?, Error is a comedic horror title from RPG Maker that was created for Yandere Game Jam 2022. Set after the events of Hatoge’s previous title Misfiction, the game follows a narcissistic ex-convict named John Blanc who is teleported to a bizarre parallel world by serial killer Chase Colt, who was John’s “neighbor” in prison.

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As John tries to find a way to escape and dies in different ways, Chase claims he loves her and wants them to be together forever. But, since John is also a yandere, Chase soon finds himself faced with more than he bargained for.

Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!

Monika in an empty room at the end of Doki Doki Literature Club.

Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! is a 2021 horror visual novel and an expanded version of the popular 2017 free game Doki Doki Literature Club. Like the original title, the game follows a high school student who is invited by his childhood best friend to join the school’s literature club. While writing poems, the protagonist can try to date three of the four girls in the club.

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But, as the game progresses, the characters in the game start dying and the game itself starts crashing. Eventually, it is revealed that the undateable club member, Monika, has gained sensitivity and is trying to change the game so she can date the player. In this expansion there are also new side stories, art and music.

YOU and ME and HER: A love story

A screenshot from the horror visual novel YOU and ME and HER: A Love Story showing Shinichi talking to Aoi and Miyuki, who are his two love interests.

Released in 2013 by famous Japanese developer Nitroplus, YOU and ME and HER: A love story is a horror visual novel that initially appears to be a regular dating sim. Players take control of a high school student named Shinichi whose life changes completely after he befriends his odd classmate Aoi and rekindles his relationship with his childhood friend Miyuki.

In the first game, the player can only choose Miyuki as their love interest. Although the second part allows players to choose Aoi’s route, Miyuki will remember the previous part and won’t let the player go.

Crimson Gray

A screenshot of Lizzie from the game Crimson Gray

Unlike most Yandere-focused stories, the 2017 visual novel game Crimson Gray really addresses mental health. The main character, a high school student named John, is struggling with severe depression. When he’s at his lowest, he meets a yandere girl named Lizzie, and the two decide to try to help and support each other.

While there are evil paths that lead to typical yandere endings, the real path is to help John help Lizzie get medicine to help her deal with her emotions and Lizzie help John overcome his emotional tendencies. self-deprecation.

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