Esme’s Top LitRPG books

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I can see what people search for on my blog, and I’ve gotten several searches for this – so why not make a list? Ask/Search and you shall receive!

  1. Sufficiently Advanced Magic – Although this one is not a straight litrpg, I’m still counting it because the author describes it as a mix of litrpg and epic fantasy – it’s a great way to dip your toes into the genre. There’s awesome world building, the characters weren’t flat, and the plot was fast paced and interesting with a few twists. The book starts with the main character, Corin, trying to receive his Attunement, which is what grants magical abilities in this world. To get his Attunement and go to a magical academy, he first has to pass his Spire test. The Spire is a twisting tower of changing rooms that are full of danger, they are challenges to see if the student is up to the task of being Attuned, and it’s not uncommon for prospective students to enter the tower and not come back out.
  2. Dungeon Born – this one is a straight LitRPG and one of POVs is one of the most unique POV’s I’ve ever read. There are two characters you follow, one is an adventurer who’s trying to loot a dungeon and expand his magical abilities – the other is the dungeon itself. The dungeon is sentient and is trying his best to kill the adventurers that come into his domain to absorb their magic when they die. It’s actually kind of funny, it’s a lighter book despite all the killing – and the audio narration is superb.
  3. Ascend Online – This one follows a group of people going into a video game and try to survive together. It’s a classic fantasy world with orcs, goblins, elves etc. It has decent world building and characters, and if you enjoy games like Skyrim or Wow this one may appeal to you.
  4. Valhalla Online – one of the only litrpgs with a female main character. She was in the military and wakes up in an unknown video game. She doesn’t know how she got there or why – and the AI won’t tell her how to log out. She soon finds out this is a video game people pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to reserve a spot – because it’s for after you’re dead to give you a second life. She doesn’t belong there, so her mission is to find a way to communicate with the outside world to find out why she’s there and if she’s actually dead or not.
  5. Awaken Online – this one follows a younger POV who’s still in high school dealing with bullies. The world building was fantastic, it was such a fun read. The only downside is how 1 dimensional the villain is, the bully who picks on the main character isn’t stellar – but the rest of the book is so much fun I’m counting it anyway.
  6. Fantasy Online – This one is raunchier, and will appeal to people who like South Park’s kind of humor. The main character is a younger kid living in japan, and he witnesses his friend kill herself in front of a train and doesn’t understand what happened, she seemed fine. As it turns out, many people who play the VR game Fantasy Online have been seeing things that aren’t there, and some are ending up dead. He’s trying to figure out what happened to his friend and why. There’s a goblin character that makes up most of the crude humor, referring to his genitals as Chalupa’s, farting, and talking about sex a lot.

I’ve read about a dozen more LitRPG books, however, I found them generic and substandard so they didn’t meet the list – what’ I’ve come to realize is that finding decent LitRPG books can be a challenge, but it’s rewarding when you find a good one. They can be a ton of fun, and great palate cleaners between larger and more complex books. Listening to Sufficiently Advanced Magic was so much fun I’ve listened to all the way through several times, Nick Podehl does an amazing job.


  1. Reading a LitRPG is on my to-do list. I can’t believe I haven’t tried one yet, as I’ve played a fair number of RPGs. Your list gives me some options to ponder.

    1. I would start with Sufficiently Advanced Magic, then move on to either Dungeon Born or Ascend online depending on what interests you more. SAM will ease you into it, and if you like it I think you’d like some of the others on the list.

  2. Cool. I’ve just finished SAM. I liked it but I didn’t love it. I guess the issue I may have with the genre is the fact I never enjoyed games. I’ve mispent my youth climbing trees and swimming and reading books 🙂

    1. I would venture a guess that you wouldn’t like the rest of he list then, they are VERY videogame-ish. I liked books and trees, fell out of a tree reading a book once 🙂 but i also loved video games, perfect for rainy days rather than the same vhs tapes over and over

  3. Haven’t read any LitRPGs yet, but Phil Tucker is working on a new LitRPG series and I’m going to take the plunge with his books first… though I’ve bought Sufficiently Advanced Magic, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  4. Great post! I loved Sufficiently Advanced Magic! Can’t wait for the sequel to come out on Audiobook. Would also recommend the Gam3 series in this list if you haven’t checked it out 🙂

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