Skip to main content
If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

The best dating sims to play in 2024

Whether you’re looking for a goofy romantic experience or something that’ll tug at your heartstrings, here are some of the best dating sims to give a go.

Image credit: VG247
Update: What better way to get in the mood for Valentine's Day than by expanding our list of the best dating sims?

The best dating sims aren’t always just about romance, or even dating a diverse roster of lovable characters. While they are, obviously, core features of the genre, the best dating sims will be utterly compelling in their own right; providing a personal experience where you get to tackle all matters surrounding life, love, and relationships.

I was once sworn off the dating sim genre, back when I didn’t know any better and my eyes had been scorched one too many times by the tawdry array of NSFW games Steam kept suggesting to me. Alas, after spending time with Doki Doki Literature Club and realising that, actually, a lot of the visual novels and simulations I’d been playing did actually have a place within the dating sim genre, I was thoroughly converted.

And that’s because, as I’ve mentioned, the best dating sims are much more than their core mechanics or gameplay loop. They often invite you into some intense scenarios and situations, navigating sensitive topics with tact and nuance, taking the utmost care (most of the time) to let you be at the centre of your own story. So, to save you from sorrow, let’s pour over some of the best dating sims and discuss why you should let them into your heart!


Obey Me!

The home screen of Mystic Messenger is shown
Image credit: NTT Solmare

Developer: NTT Solmare

Platforms: Android, iOS

In this mobile dating sim, you’re whisked away to a school for demons and devils. As a human exchange student, you’re more specifically sent to live with five demon brothers who all have their own quirks. You’ll also eventually find yourself able to command them as you please, but there’s loads more to Obey Me! than first meets the eye.

While romance is a core conceit of the game, that isn’t all there is to it. You’ll get to know these brothers on more than just a romantic level and witness their relationships with one another, and when being a master is too much, there’s minigames involving the cast of characters to go and unwind with too.

The game also features a lot of gacha elements, given that it’s mobile based, so be wary of that if that’s not for you.

Arcade Spirits

Arcade Spirits character, Gavin, talks about chasing dreams and teaching
Image credit: PQube

Developer: Fiction Factory Games

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Arcade Spirits is a distinct dating sim and visual novel set in an alternate timeline where the 1983 video game crash never happened. As a result, your character eventually winds up working at an arcade known as Funplex, where the arcade spirit is thoroughly alive.

Throughout the game, you’ll meet a total of seven distinct characters who you can develop whatever type of relationship you want with; friends, or something more? That’s up to you. Your relationships depend entirely on your choices, as well as your own character traits. It’s charming, diverse, and its cyberpunk-esque visual style is a real treat.

Tears of Themis

Two characters are shown talking to each other in Tears of Themis
Image credit: HoYoverse

Developer: miHoYo

Platforms: Android, iOS

Tears of Themis is more of a visual novel than a dating sim, but it does feature some dating mechanics that make it worthy of this list. If you’re a fan of miHoYo’s other titles such as Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail, and like many of us, sometimes wish there was the opportunity to date your favourite units, Tears of Themis somewhat gives you the opportunity to do just that.

Set in Stellis, a futuristic city, you take on the role of a defense lawyer as she works her way through multiple cases. Your cases require you to analyse crime scenes, interact with those involved, and ultimately take the case to court and get justice for those involved. And it just so happens that your organisation will consist of four possible bachelors, who you’ll be able to develop relationships with between cases.

So, if you fancy bringing justice to your clients while enjoying a little romance on the side, then Tears of Themis might be perfect for you.

Mystic Messenger

A character in Mystic Messenger dismisses the player character
Image credit: Cheritz

Developer: Cheritz

Platforms: Android, iOS

Mystic Messenger is one of those games that I’ve never quite understood the appeal of, solely because when I play a game, I want to play it and not wait at any point. But if you don’t mind playing the waiting game when it comes to your romantic mobile games, then Mystic Messenger might be for you. Regardless of my fleeting time with it, there’s definitely something about Mystic Messenger that keeps its committed community of players hooked…

After installing a mysterious messenger app, your character is invited to a strange apartment where she ultimately winds up joining a party planning association made up of hot anime men. It’s quite the start to your journey, but what unfolds is multiple relationships - via text message, email, and phone call - and a rather interesting study of isolation.

If you need help getting started with Mystic Messenger, we’ve a comprehensive guide to the game for you to peruse.

Boyfriend Dungeon

The player fights against martini glasses in Boyfriend Dungeon
Image credit: Kitfox Games

Developer: Kitfox Games

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

If you like your dating sims to consist of more gameplay than the usual visual novel format, then you should definitely check out Boyfriend Dungeon if you haven’t already. In this dungeon crawler dating sim, you’ll be engaging in plenty of combat using your powerful, sentient weapon.

And technically, it’s this sentient weapon that you’ll be romancing. Between combat, you’ll be able to go on dates with characters who are capable of transforming into weapons. The better your relationship with a character, the more powerful their associated weapon will be, and so forth.

It’s a unique dating sim that feels a lot like Hades and Hatoful Boyfriend had a lovechild, so if they’re right up your alley, Boyfriend Dungeon almost certainly will be too.

Doki Doki Literature Club

The characters featured in Doki Doki Literature Club are all shown
Image credit: Team Salvato

Developer: Team Salvato

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Doki Doki Literature Club follows the same structure as the majority of dating simulation games. You, a teenage boy, have decided to join the literature club at your school. As a result, you then wind up with a group of lit-loving anime girls fawning over you, and the poems you produce will determine which of the girls you grow closer to.

There’s a hell of a lot more to Doki Doki Literature Club than what first meets the eye, though, and a lot of it is rather sinister. If you’ve been lucky enough to not have the game spoiled for you in the few years that it’s been out, then I highly recommend going into this particular dating sim blind, though it’s not for the faint-hearted!

Doomsday Paradise

Frank speaks to the player character about power tools in Doomsday Paradise
Image credit: Lemonade Flashbang

Developer: Lemonade Flashbang

Platforms: PC

Doomsday Paradise is all about finding love before the end of the world. In this dating sim, which boasts major amounts of replayability, there are 12 characters you can choose to woo. On top of that, there’s also over 100 endings that you can encounter, so you’re getting your money’s worth out of this one.

This game is all about not dying alone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose to friendzone all twelve prospective partners if that’s what you feel like doing. Alas, if you’re a fiend for vampires or monsters, you’ll likely have a tough time turning this cast of wacky personalities down.

What’s better is that Doomsday Paradise can be played in multiplayer, so you and your friends can make plenty of decisions together, or against one another. This makes for some pretty fun scenarios, and overall, a game that is hard to put down and easy to revisit.

Our Life: Beginnings and Always

The protagonist and love interest in Our Life: Beginning and Always is shown
Image credit: GB Patch Games

Developer: GB Patch Games

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, Android

If you enjoy the whole ‘boy next door’ romance trope, then you’ll definitely be a fan of Our Life: Beginnings and Always. In this visual novel dating sim, you’ll be playing out your relationship with your neighbour over the course of fifteen years, spanning from childhood to adulthood.

Our Life: Beginnings and Always also boasts lots of customisation options so that the game can feel as personal to you as you wish; whether you want to romance your neighbour from the get go or take things slowly, change your own identity as you grow up, and more.

And if you prefer your dating sims to be jovial and lacking in darker aspects (see Doki Doki Literature Club or Emily is Away), Our Life: Beginnings and Always describes itself as a ‘feel-good’ dating sim, that explores all the emotions and tribulations that come with relationships in a healthy, supportive manner. It’s also free-to-play, so there’s no excuse to not give it a go!

Monster Prom

Characters in Monster Prom talk about being on a game show
Image credit: Those Awesome Guys

Developer: Beautiful Glitch

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Monster Prom is a simple enough concept. You’re thrust into a school full of monsters who all have their own vibrant personalities; they’re funny, awkward, raunchy, and as monstrous as you’d think. But in this dating sim, the Monster Prom event is quickly approaching, and it’s your job to spend the next three weeks securing yourself a date with one of these creatures.

Playable both in single player and multiplayer (where you and friends can voice-act each character and have a whole lot of fun in the process), you’ll be given various choices to make amidst some hilarious dialogue, but you have to be careful, as your chosen prom date can choose to reject you! There’s also two sequels if you find yourself unable to get enough of Monster Prom.

Emily is Away

An IM conversation between Emily and the player character is shown in Emily is Away
Image credit: Kyle Seeley

Developer: Kyle Seeley

Platforms: PC

Some might say that Emily is Away is more of a visual novel rather than a dating sim, but it rightfully deserves a place on this list either way. Taking place on an old-school messenger app on a PC that’s stuck with Windows XP, you’ll first be charmed by the game's nostalgic style, and later, Emily.

As a high school student, you’ll find yourself getting to know Emily via this chat client, and you’ll see your relationship develop over the course of a few years. It’s difficult to go into more detail without spoiling exactly what makes this game so powerful, but Emily is Away is an incredibly special - yet heartbreaking - game that will stay with you for a very long time after playing it.

And if you’re a fan who’s weary heart can handle more, there’s two sequels to play as well.

Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator

The player character and their daughter speak with another father, daughter, and their dog in Dream Daddy
Image credit: Game Grumps

Developer: Game Grumps

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

If you’ve been dreaming of a dating sim full of delightful DILF’s to romance and befriend, then look no further than Game Grumps’ Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator. Starting out as a single father of one, you’ll have moved to a brand new area bustling with other single fathers for you to get to know.

Inspired by another entry on this list, pigeon-dating simulator Hatoful Boyfriend, Dream Daddy is a short but incredibly charming dating sim to dive into. It plays out as a visual novel, as you’d typically expect, and while I often think Game Grumps could’ve perhaps done a lot more with this game, it’s still a great game to spend an evening winding down with.

Hooked on You

Dwight is shown speaking to the player character in Hooked on You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim
Image credit: Behaviour Interactive

Developer: Psyop Inc.

Platforms: PC

The next instalment on this list of the best dating sims, Hooked on You, is one for all the Dead by Daylight fans out there. In this wacky spin-off, you’ll find that you’ll have a very different relationship with Dead by Daylight’s killers, who are no longer hunting you down and hooking you.

Instead, these previously homicidal characters will actually have some time for hanging out with you. Amidst minigames and dialogue, you’ll be getting to know (and if you’re lucky, romancing) the monstrous Trapper, Huntress, Spirit, and Wraith while enjoying cameos from some of your favourite survivors (namely, Dwight.)

You’ll want to tread carefully though, as your romance with these characters can always turn awry while having fun across Murderer’s Island… or result in you being friendzoned.

Speed Dating for Ghosts

The player attends a date with a ghost in Speed Dating for Ghosts
Image credit: Copychaser Games

Developer: Copychaser Games

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch

If you have ever considered trying to date spirits, ghosts, and phantoms, then Speed Dating for Ghosts was quite literally made for you. In this simple but impactful dating sim, you’ll be able to go on multiple speed dates with a range of spectral beings who all have their own distinct stories to tell.

Some of them might not be much to look at, but regardless of how your dates go, you’ll find yourself enthralled by this dark, comic game and the details your dates reveal to you about their past lives and deaths. With that in mind, Speed Dating for Ghosts can be quite harrowing at times, and not all of your dates will go as anticipated, but you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by just how frank this game is with you.

After spending a lot of time with dating sims that are full of constantly jovial, idealistic characters, Speed Dating for Ghosts was a breath of fresh air. There’s plenty of replayability for this short dating sim, too.

Amnesia: Memories

Character, Orion, speaks to the player character about their amnesia in Amnesia: Memories
Image credit: Idea Factory International

Developer: Idea Factory, Design Factory

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS

With Amnesia: Memories, the clue is in the name. You’ll awaken to find that you have no memory of who you are, and in order to get back to any sense of normalcy, you’ll wind up being whisked away to an alternate universe where you’ll be met with your lover.

Except, with no recollection of your lover or how either of you came to be, you must navigate a complex relationship with them to get to the bottom of what happened to you and hopefully, find love. There’s five different love interests to choose from in this otome game, so there’s plenty of replayability on offer, as well as 20+ endings to experience depending on the decisions you make.

Hatoful Boyfriend

The player speaks with pigeon, Hiyoko, in Hatoful Boyfriend
Image credit: Epic Games/Devolver Digital

Developer: PigeoNation Inc., Mediatonic (remake)

Platforms: PC

Have you ever thought about dating a pigeon? I’d imagine not, but if you have, Hatoful Boyfriend lets you do just that as you’re accepted to be the only human student at a prestigious school for birds.

Hatoful Boyfriend is actually an international remake of the flash game created by Hato Moa in 2011 for April Fool’s Day, so this game doesn’t take itself too seriously and is an incredibly comic yet sincere take on the dating sim/visual novel genre. It’s definitely an oddball of a game, but if you fancy something truly hilarious as a change of pace from the last dating sim that may or may not have broken your heart, then this is it.

Purrfect Date

A 'What should I do today?' screen is shown in Purrfect Date
Image credit: Bossa Studios

Developer: Bae Team

Platforms: PC, iOS

Purrfect Date is a bizarre dating sim that stems from the same vein as Hatoful Boyfriend. In this particular romantic mystery and as Professor Pawpur’s apprentice. you’ll wind up on Cat Island to conduct some research on the feline inhabitants that reside there. Except, things are completely amiss as you go on dates with these cats and strive to learn more about them.

What exactly has your Professor been up to over here? Well, you’ll be getting to the bottom of it as you date these cats in Purrfect Date. A game clad with British humour and boasting 18+ endings, if you fancy a dating sim that has more mystery elements to it and doesn’t take itself too seriously, give Purrfect Date a try.

I Love You Colonel Sanders!: A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator

The player speaks with Colonel Sanders and two other prospective chefs in I Love You Colonel Sanders
Image credit: KFC

Developer: Psyop

Platforms: PC

Another game for those who like dating sims that don’t take themselves too seriously is I Love You Colonel Sanders!: A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator. Ideal for those who are particularly big fans of KFC or those who think Colonel Sanders is quite the DILF, this dating sim lets you play as a budding new student at a culinary school where you’ll strive to win the Colonels heart.

As a game that was created as part of KFC’s marketing campaign, don’t expect anything too ground-breaking here. Alas, you can expect a short, amusing experience that’ll have you frying chicken while getting to know your culinary school counterparts… which also include the Professor’s dog, for some reason.

I Was A Teenage Exocolonist

Two characters speak with the player in I Was A Teenage Exocolonist
Image credit: Finji

Developer: Northway Games

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

I Was A Teenage Exocolonist is a beautiful game that I definitely need to revisit. As a teenager, you’ll find yourself on a strange, alien planet where you are at the forefront of whether or not your colony will survive over the next decade.

It’s a lot of pressure to have on your shoulders, but with the opportunity to get to know such a delightful cast of characters and even romance some of them, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You’ll be able to attend school, explore the world at your fingertips, pick from a selection of jobs around the colony, and determine your future through card-battling and RPG mechanics.

Ultimately, I Was A Teenage Exocolonist is an incredibly fruitful experience; there’s so much to do, and so many delightful memories to form as you make different, impactful decisions each month. While dating is a large aspect of the game, you’ll likely find yourself sticking around because of everything else that I Was A Teenage Exocolonist has to offer, too.

Helltaker

A level in Helltaker is shown, with stones, skeletons, and key items that need to be moved around and collected
Image credit: Łukasz Piskorz

Developer: Lukasz Piskorz

Platforms: PC

‘A short game about sharply dressed demon girls,’ is Helltaker. If you like your dating sims to feature plenty of puzzles, Helltaker and the next addition on this list are likely for you. During each level, you’ll be required to push around items while avoiding traps, monsters, and more, all while collecting other important items.

Following each level, you’ll be tasked with answering a question from one of the aforementioned sharply-dressed demon girls, and you’ll want to answer carefully. If they don’t like your answer, you might find yourself becoming a victim to them rather than being the object of their desires.

It’s a short game with a charming art-style, so if you fancy something brief and puzzling to give you your dating sim fix, Helltaker might just be that.

HuniePop

A match-three game is shown alongside an anime girl in HuniePop
Image credit: HuniePot

Developer: HuniePot

Platforms: PC

If you like your dating sims to be puzzle-based as well as NSFW, HuniePop should be right up your alley. Imagine you played Bejeweled with your dates and the better you did, the higher chance you had of getting laid. That’s basically what HuniePop is in game format.

With eight different girls to attempt to date, as well as dozens more gifts to shower them with and outfits to dress them up in, HuniePop is a relatively customisable, visual-novel, puzzle, dating-sim. It ticks multiple boxes in an attempt to keep its players entertained, and the most keen of players will even unlock some steamy scenes and photos… if that’s what you’re into.

Sucker for Love

Ln'eta smiles warmly at the player in their bedroom and invites them to begin the "invoke the depths" ritual.
Image credit: Akabaka / DreadXP

Developer: Akabaka

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch

We've mentioned some horror-themed dating sims on this list already, but if you want something that really flings you into survival mode while still delivering a surprisingly cute story, Sucker for Love is definitely the game for you. Sucker for Love began life as a one-off short for indie horror publishers DreadXP, who were quick to commission a whole trilogy in the setting.

Sucker for Love sees you performing rituals to impress a series of beautiful women who also happen to be eldritch goddesses. And let's be clear, you will do some nasty things in these rituals, mostly to yourself as you twist your body into a more appealing partner for, say, a curvy Cthulhu girl. But even as you struggle to survive you'll develop genuine bonds with the timeless abominations who've caught your eye, which can lead to some unexpectedly sweet outcomes, even as the end of the universe looms inevitable.

Max Gentlemen: Sexy Business!

Antoine's profile page in Max Gentlemen: Sexy Business, showing his stats and inventory as well as the player's relationship values with him. The main map is visible in the background.
Image credit: The Men Who Wear Many Hats

Developer: The Men Who Wear Many Hats

Plaftorms: PC, Mac

If you've ever wanted to play a highly NSFW and LGBTQ+-inclusive dating sim that's also a fully fleshed-out management simulation, Max Gentlemen: Sexy Business has somehow anticipated your very specific set of needs. Set in a steampunk-esque Victorian London, this game is more concerned with silly fun than historical accuracy. Be any gender, date any gender, and have as many or as few romantic partners as you like; what's important is that you re-establish yourself as the top tycoon in town.

After losing the family fortune to a devious rival, your protagonist sets out to rebuild their business empire with the aid of a dozen attractive potential partners (in both senses of the word). After all, there's no point in being sickeningly rich if you can't enjoy getting closer to your peers by taking them out on fancy dates, right? There's a lot to juggle as you get your work-life balance in check, but once you're in the swing of things this game becomes an unparralleled time sink.

Romancelvania

Drac (male version) stands outside of the neon-lit Gargoyles club.
Image credit: The Deep End Games / 2124 Publishing

Developer: The Deep End Games

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

Never has a one-word title so effectively set out a game's stall as Romancelvania, a Metroidvania/dating sim hybrid that sees you take on the role of a lovelorn vampire. Dumped by their human girlfriend, Drac has been moping about their castle for so long that their minions have rebelled, forcing their buddy the Grim Reaper to step in with the only sure-fire cure for heartsickness: participation in a Love Island-style dating show.

Drac must hack-and-slash their way through their rioting castle in order to meet and mingle with a baker's dozen of monstrous potential paramours, with just about every golden age ghoul trope represented in the mix. Go on dates, give gifts, and resolve requests to win favour with your faves, but remember that at the end of every episode, you'll be giving a black rose to one contestant who then leaves your game for good!

Bustafellows

Shu pilots a helicopter while Limbo leans out the side with an open briefcase, and Helvetica talks on a mobile phone in the background.
Image credit: Nippon Cultural Broadcasting Extend Inc. / PQube

Developer: Nippon Cultural Broadcasting Extend Inc.

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS

Burned out on dating sims where everyone's a bit of a goody-two-shoes? Look no further than Bustafellows to thoroughly mix things up for you. In this otome visual novel, you play as a journalist who is investigating her brother's death in a suspected gang hit when she uses her time travel powers to save a crooked lawyer from assassination. Yes, you read that right: casual time travel has a huge role to play in this romantic noir mystery.

Having drawn a target on her back, our heroine is invited to live in a secret bad boy clubhouse whose residents are the aforementioned dodgy lawyer and his four besties: a hitman, a hacker, a dubious plastic surgeon, and a mortician. These Robin Hood types (they swear) are naturally all more than happy to be romanced. Nominally you'll be unravelling the conspiracy behind everything that's happened, but in practice you'll probably spend a lot of time replaying all the side-stories to see different endings.


Honourable mentions

Of course, I couldn’t fit every great dating sim on this list, so here are some honourable mentions that are also worth checking out. Some of these aren’t explicitly dating sims, either, but games with dating sim mechanics that we think you may also enjoy:

Katawa Shoujo, Life is Strange, Hades, Raptor Boyfriend, Clannad, Persona 4 Golden, True Love, Dandelion: Wishes Brought to You, Harvest Moon, Hakuoki: Memories of Shinsengumi, Stardew Valley, Story of Seasons, Potionomics, ValiDate.

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news