Video game recommendations for reading Japanese?

I think the single best starting game is probably Yo-kai Watch 1. It has lots of everyday vocab in a present-day Japanese world, full furigana, and is targeted to a younger audience which makes it really accessible from a difficulty standpoint. It was still enjoyable for me as an adult, and I really think it’s the perfect starter game.

But don’t just take my word for it:

That video is from the Game Gengo YouTube channel, which also has other recommendations!

A little higher difficulty would be the newest Pokémon games (older ones had you select between kanji-only or kana-only modes). Harder language, but still for a younger audience target and full furigana.


Visual Novels are also fantastic, especially if they have language learner-friendly features like being fully-voiced, having a log with voice replay or even language switching on the fly or dual language settings! It’s such a fun mix between reading and listening practice, without the downside of other audio media (having to manually stop and repeat when you cannot follow).

And if you want to read them in company and be able to ask questions: We have VN Reading Clubs both on the Natively forums and here on these forums.

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