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Last Updated on August 15, 2021 by Jella Erhard

13 Best Litrpg Books For Adults & YA Readers

Explore some of the best LitRPG books for adults and YA readers who just can’t get enough of unique gaming universes. You’ll find here funny LitRPG books, the best LitRPG audiobooks books, and LitRPG light novels to read when you crave an adventurous twisty tale.

Our list has all kinds of LitRPG book recommendations so no matter if you prefer, sci-fi or fantasy you’ll find here something that’ll be hard to put down.

We also wanted to help out newbies who are completely new to the genre so added lighter novels and even GameLit options. Don’t worry, even if you’re already a fan of the genre and can’t wait to read great psychological horror LitRPG books, or to go on your next epic adventure we got some great novels and book series on our list for you too.

In case you love unique stories, diverse writers, and books that will help you travel around the world check out our book nook.

Best LitRPG Books That Will Make You Laugh, Scared, & Take you on Epic adventures

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top LitRPG books

13| Ready Player One: A Novel by Ernest Cline, Dystopian GameLit, Published: 2011

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Dystopian LitRPG, Published 2011 (Small)

Ready Player One is a great GameLit book for beginners who never read anything in the LitRPG genre and want something fun, without a bunch of stats like leveling up skills but want to read something set in a game universe.

It takes place in a massive multiplayer online world, where players have to create characters for themselves and complete challenges to increase their scores and win the game.

We follow Wade, a young boy whose only goal is to find the hidden eggs and win the game so he can finally have a good life. After Wade finally finds the first clue in OASIS he also finds out that many people are ready to kill to win this game.

It’s worth noting that Ready Player One book is not a LitRPG novel because while the characters do have to collect points in a multiplayer environment it doesn’t include the traditional leveling and skill-raising stats that every LitRPG novel should. This puts this novel into the GameLit genre rather than LitRPG. GameLit is a pretty new term some readers even consider it as a LitRPG subgenre.

Ready Player One is a fast-paced, fun dystopian GameLit novel for beginners.

12| Changing Faces – A LitRPG Adventure by Sarah Lin, Fantasy, Published: 2018

Changing Faces - A LitRPG Adventure by Sarah Lin, Fantasy, Published 2018

Changing Faces is an adventurous LitRPG fantasy story about Bloodwraith, a powerful necromancer.

Bloodwraith was the second most powerful warrior in his lair. His world turns upside down once they’re attacked by a seemingly unstoppable enemy who kills everyone including Bloodwraith. However, he somehow switches bodies with this mysterious traveler and soon realizes that Alien gods use his world as a game.

He has to embark on this journey and fulfill his role as a heroic adventurer in a new world where he struggles to learn how things work.

Changing Faces is a fun LitRPG novel for beginners since the reader can learn everything from scratch with Bloodwraith. So, it’s not a problem if you know nothing about stat boxes, missions, or power level-ups.

The world-building is interesting and Bloodwrath has a pretty great character development too. He starts out as a villain but as he finds out more about his own world, and learns to play nicely with others and he eventually grows into the role of a hero.

Changing Faces is one of the best dark fantasy LitRPG books with a pinch of humor for adults and YA readers.

audible plus

11| Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer, Contemporary fantasy, Funny LitRPG Novel, Published: 2013

Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer, Contemporary fantasy, Funny LitRPG Novel , Published 2013

Off To Be The Wizard will be one of the silliest and funniest LitRPG novels you’ll ever read. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking for something you can enjoy together with your kids.

The story follows Martin who’s good with computers. One day he discovers a file that lets him manipulate the world around him and even time itself. Just before his abilities would cause too much trouble Martin decides to go back in time to Medieval England to become a wizard.

There he’ll start wizarding training, makes some new friends, and have to deal with some evil wizards too.

Off  To Be The Wizard is one of the funniest LitRPG books that’ll surely make you smile.

10| The Wandering Inn: Book 1 by Pirateaba, Young Adult fantasy LitRPG Book, Published: 2018

The Wandering Inn Book 1 by Pirateaba, Young Adult fantasy LitRPG Book, Published 2018

The Wandering Inn is a cozy fantasy LitRPG novel for those who love long stories (1000+ pages) decent character development, and tales about charming places where all kinds of creatures and wanderers can gather together.

It’s not going to be the most epic, adventurous, or scariest story you’ll ever read but this book series certainly has its charm. Although, there are wars, monsters, and plenty of deaths throughout the novel.

The story is about Erin who suddenly finds herself in a magical medieval fantasy land. She has no idea how it happened or why she’s there. Erin soon realizes she’ll have to figure out how to level up if she wants to stay alive.

She ends up taking over an abandoned inn far away from everything. As she soon starts leveling up and improving her skills as she improves the inn. Her world opens up as she discovers how this new world works with all the creatures, races, and monsters. So, if you enjoy epic fantasy books you should check out The Wandering Inn.

The Wandering Inn is a charming fantasy LitRPG book for YA readers and adults who enjoy longer stories, unique creatures, and tales that warms the heart.

9| sufficiently advanced magic by andrew rowe, Fantasy LitRPG, Published: 2017

sufficiently advanced magic by andrew rowe, Fantasy LitRPG, Published: 2017

Are you into side quests and stories about characters who have to level up to get stronger magical powers? Then Sufficiently Advanced Magic is for you.

We follow Corin who enters the Serpent Spire, a magical but dangerous tower to meet the Goddess who will grant him magical powers. Corin wants to find his brother who went on this quest years ago but never returned.

Now, Corin has to fight monsters, get out of traps in a tower where rooms are ever moving and where something is always lurking in the dark. As Corin gets stronger he has to learn how to gain allies and we get to know other characters more intimately as well.

There is also a really fun magical school they have to pass to advance to higher levels.

Sufficiently Advanced Magic is an exciting fantasy LitRPG book series about brotherhood and a fascinating magical world.

8| Dungeon Lord by Hugo Huesca (The Wraith’s Haunt Book 1), Fiction LitRPG, Published: 2017

Dungeon Lord by Hugo Huesca (The Wraith's Haunt Book 1), Fiction LitRPG, Published 2017

Are you into dungeon stories? Then Dungeon Lord might be the best choice for you. It’s the first book of a pretty humorous and exciting LitRPG book series where bloody battles in the name of dark and light demand thousands of deaths.

The story is about Edward who’s Dark’s most powerful servant. However, Edward doesn’t believe that neither side is good and decides to forge his own path.

Things happen fast in the book since Edward does not wait around and waste his time but goes ahead and tries to level up as much as he can in the shortest amount of time possible.

Dungeon Lord is a fun quick read about Edward who goes rogue and chooses power over servitude and is one of the best dungeon LitRPG books for fans of the genre.

7| Survival Quest by Vasily Mahanenko, Sci-fi Cyberpunk LitRPG novel, Published: 2015

Survival Quest by Vasily Mahanenko, Sci-fi Cyberpunk LitRPG novel, Published 2015

Survival Quest is the first book of The Way Of The Shaman series. It’s mainly set in a VRMMG (Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Game) where most players prefer Barliona’s world.

In Barliona players can spend months without the need of returning to their real-life home. The best part is that in Barliona players can pretty much do whatever they want. They can become wizards, mythical heroes, and even assault other players.

However, it’s not as great for inmates. In the future prison works very differently and prisoners are sent to Barliona for mining. That’s exactly what happens to the story’s main character, Mahan. The biggest problem is that when inmates are thrown into the full immersion capsule their sensors are turned on without limits. This means they do feel pain during attacks.

Thankfully, Mahan doesn’t waste any time and starts leveling up. Soon he figures out a way to change his life and the real adventure begins.

Survival Quest has a fascinating and unique VRMMG world, great quests, fights, and thrilling characters and is a great choice for those who love cyberpunk LitRPG books.

6| NPCs by Drew Hayes, Adventure fantasy, funny LitRPG book, Published: 2014

NPCs by Drew Hayes, Adventure fantasy, funny LitRPG book, Published: 2014

NPCs is a really humorous D&D-type adventure where nonplaying characters go under the spotlight.

It’s also a great choice for those who are new to the genre because the author does a great job explaining how the world works while also keeping the reader engaged and entertained. NPCs has a lush fantasy world with fun characters like gnomes, princesses, kings, and warriors.

The story starts when four players fail their trip to the bar and the four NPCs realize that they can’t just get rid of the bodies. Since the dead adventurers have some sort of connection to the cruel King who rules the kingdom they have to find another way.

To protect their village the four NPCs decide to take on the challenge and go on the adventures the four dead players should have. They leave their homes for the first time and along the way, they not only experience a whole new world but learn a lot about their worlds within.

NPCs is a unique and surprising twist on the LitRPG genre with lots of great characters and fun surprises.

5| The Land: Founding: A Litrpg Saga by Aleron Kong, Fantasy, Cyberpunk LitRPG novel, Published: 2015

The Land Founding A Litrpg Saga by Aleron Kong, Fantasy, Cyberpunk LitRPG novel, Published 2015

Looking for an epic fantasy LitRPG novel? Then pick up The Land. It’s the first book of the Chaos Seeds series and is a great introduction to this fascinating world filled with demons, bansihed gods, magic, and all kinds of fantasy creatures.

We follow the protagonist; Richter who attempts to forge his own kingdom in this thrilling but dangerous world. He has to learn how to make powerful allegiances in this ancient land where many wish for his destruction.

It’s a thoroughly enjoyable light read about challenges, discoveries, and enhancing one’s skills.

The Land is a fun fantasy LitRPG book with great world-building and interesting characters.

4| Rule of Cool: A LitRPG Novel by Matthew Siege, Sci-fi/ fantasy LitRPG, Published: 2021

rule of cool by matthew siege, fantasy LitRpg novel, published in 2021

Rule of Cool is one of the newest LitRPG novels out there and its audiobook was narrated by the one and only Felicia Day.

The story is set in a dystopian world where noob Heroes rule the world while Non-Participating Citizens can’t make opposed rolls against Heroes.

Our main character is Raze who works as a Gearblin in the only arcade in town. While she hates her job she keeps her head high and does her best to survive in an unjust world.

One day everything changes when her crush  and best friend, Patch dreams about an ancient code that helps them resurrect the ancient order ‘The Rule of Cool’. That’s when the real adventure and epic battles start.

Felicia did such an amazing job at narrating the book and all the characters. The story is interesting and is filled with all the great LitRPG elements fans know and love.

If you prefer well-narrated audiobooks you should put this thrilling LitRPG on you TBR.

Rule of Cool is a fun sci-fi LitRPG novel set in dystopian world where the week finally finds out how to get some power for themselves.

3| Dungeon Born by Dakota Krout, High Fantasy LitRPG novel, Published: 2016

Dungeon Born by Dakota Krout, High Fantasy LitRPG novel, Published 2016

Dungeon Born is the first book of The Divine Dungeon series and it is an exciting ride filled with majestic beasts and epic battles.

The story follows Cal who’s a powerful character in this dangerous world where he knows pretty much everything there is to know about how this land and creatures operate.

He is a Dungeon Core, a soul that’s forced against its will into a magical stone. The story follows him and his best friend trying to level up and grow the dungeon.

When a new and more powerful enemy appears and threatens Cal’s life he has no choice but to start devouring the adventurers who enter his dungeon.

Dungeon Born is an exciting fanatasy novel with great world building and thrilling story.

2| Barrow King (a LitRPG Adventure) by C.M. Carney (The Realms Book 1) Cyberpunk, Dark Fantasy LitRPG, Published 2018

Barrow King (a LitRPG Adventure) by C.M. Carney (The Realms Book 1) Cyberpunk, Dark Fantasy LitRPG, Published 2018

If you’re into spooky but not too scary dark fantasy books then you’ll probably enjoy the Barrow King. It’s the first book of The Realms series with epic battles and a great set of characters in a well built world.

The story starts off with a non gamer who has to learn everything about the world and how it works making this book a great read for those as well, who are new to LitRPG novels.

However, the story doesn’t drag, we quickly see our main hero, Gryph’s, and other character’s experiences and life skills grow while escaping a sentient dungeon by defeating the all-powerful Barrow King.

Barrow King is a spooky dark fantasy LitRPG book that’s a great choice for beginners of the genre.

1| Catharsis by Travis Bagwell, Sci-fi, fantasy LitRPG novel, Published: 2016

Catharsis by Travis Bagwell, Sci-fi, fantasy LitRPG novel, Published: 2016

Catharsis is the first book of the Awaken Online series and it opens with a bang for sure. If you love psychological horror stories then this scary LitRPG horror novel will be your new favorite.

The story’s main character is Jason, who’s life looks pretty normal for an outsider. However, nothing is as it seems especially in this novel. You’ll have to wait a little before the novel’s game part begins, but later on Jason’s real life will have greater importance than you’d think.

After Jason escapes into a new virtual reality game he quickly finds himself becoming a great villain. Soon he starts to suspect that something weird is going on with this new game and that’s when things really turn bloody good.

Catharsis a scary LitRPG book for adults who love thrilling stories and don’t mind adult language or graphic violence.

best LitRPG Books

Thank you for reading!