Drew is a voracious reader and a long-time fan of LitRPG novels. He is also an author of two e-published web serials.
Having read hundreds of novels from almost all genres, I can honestly say that I love the LitRPG genre the most. I first learned of LitRPG novels during the early years of Royal Road and Wuxiaworld—the good old times when translated Chinese web novels from IEatTomatoes and Ergen were booming. Those days all changed when a friend told me about online LitRPG novels.
Curious, I tried parsing through Royal Road and found a random web serial. I immediately knew I'd continue reading this genre for a long time. I can’t remember the title of that first serial, but it was a LitRPG book with an overpowered main character, and I loved it. I can still remember the blue screen character stats accompanying the entire novel.
Anyway, I’ve read too many books over the years, so I might have forgotten some great ones. This list is based on my personal preferences, so you can disagree or agree. It's not ranked in order, since I like them all. Without further ado, here are 13 fabulous book series every LitRPG fan must take notice of.
My Top 13 LitRPG Serials
- Defiance of the Fall: LitRPG Adventure by J.F. Brink (TheFirstDefier)
- He Who Fights Monsters by Shirlatoon
- The Wandering Inn by Pirateaba
- Azarinth Healer by Rhaegar
- Tree of Aeons by Spaizzer
- Salvos by MelasD
- Vanquier the Dragon by Maxime J. Durand (Void Herald)
- Runesmith by Kuropon
- Stray Cat Strut: A Young Lady’s Journey to Becoming a Pop-Up Samurai by RavensDagger
- Primal Hunter by Zogarth
- Beneath the Dragoneye Moons by Selkie Myth
- Blessed Time by Cale Plamann
- Cinnamon Bun by RavensDagger
1. Defiance of the Fall by J.F. Brink (TheFirstDefier)
After getting pushed to gather firewood for camp, Zac discovers himself in the middle of a mysterious wilderness filled with demons, beasts, and aliens. Thus begins Zac's stirring survival adventure as he struggles against a newfound world of systems, skills, and monsters—a world with limitless possibilities where those who could get hold of their fate might hold unspeakable powers.
Defiance of the Fall is a classic LitRPG book series that will get your blood running and pumping. It has a captivating narrative that gives off a sense of discovery as well as the emotions of the character to the readers as the main character struggles to understand where he is and, perhaps, what he has become.
The battle scenes are also well-done without becoming excessively bloody. The details are good enough to fire up my wild imagination.
This is one of the first LitRPG novels I read in Royal Road, and seeing it in book form made me itch to read it all over again. With its refreshing magic system elements, brilliant world-building, and thrilling adventure, this book is nothing but a must-read.
My Rating: I’ll give it 8/10 for the awesome reading experience it gave me as well as the solid adventure the story entails. There isn't any clichéd harem to cringe over, just pure survival adventure.
2. He Who Fights Monsters by Shirlatoon
Shirlatoon's He Who Fights Monsters is an eye-catching fantasy action-adventure series that had me grueling extra hours through midnight. It’s the story of Jason, an Aussie earthling who got accidentally summoned into another world, waking up in the middle of the unknown with nothing, not even his hairs nor his brief to work with.
It is an exhilarating action-adventure book, showcasing gritty character growth and awesome world-building. This LitRPG best-seller also managed to hook me in because of its eye-catching world-building plus interesting magic system I have never read before.
My Rating: As an avid reader of the LitRPG genre, I didn’t regret reading through all its books and couldn’t wait to read more in the future. I’ll give it 9/10 for its heart-thumping magic scenes and the unique world it offers.
3. The Wandering Inn by Pirateaba
As if almost getting eaten by a dragon isn’t enough, Erin finds herself transported to a fantasy world where brutal monsters are normal. The first volume starts with the slice-of-life adventure of Erin the Inn Keeper and her strange clique of friends composed of hungry goblins, talking ants, merchant gnolls, and irritated crocs.
The Wandering Inn is among my top favorites out of all the books I have read. It is also one of the rare series that has multiple main characters. The web series offers characters that have depth, realism, and humanity. Two words to describe it are: stunning and addicting. The entire series caught my attention since it’s one of those rare LitRPG books which used the present tense for its narrative.
My Rating: I’ll give it a 9/10 for its overall enjoyment and the well-paced character growth that made me read through half of the entire web series and soon, all.
4. Azarinth Healer by Rhaegar
Now meet Ilea, your not-so-average kick-boxing fast-food worker with a penchant for being sarcastic, who finds herself transported into a world of magic, monsters, and stats.
Azarinth Healer is one of those rare LitRPG gems with a strong female main character. A fantasy-adventure novel that stood out among all the web serials I have read. I didn’t know why, but I have unexpectedly grown attached to Ilea’s progression and how the author slowly built the world.
Anyway, if you like a battle-junkie mixed with a bit of slice-of-life, then you are going to love this LitRPG serial. The author has yet to release official books, but it is a free read in Scribble Hub and Royal Road.
My Rating: I’ll give it 8/10 for its balanced plot, good pacing, surprising character depth, and Ilea.
5. Tree of Aeons by Spaizzer
What would you do when you’re suddenly dragged into another world only to realize that your arrival was but a mistake? Worst when you’re told that your next life would fall into the hands of a roulette. Well, that’s the story of our unlucky Matt, once a human, but no more as he reincarnates into an unassuming tree.
Tree of Aeons started slow for me but immediately changed my mind as I read chapter after chapter. I never even thought that I would unconscionably read through all of it after telling myself to just read a few chapters.
The entire narrative revolves around the eyes of an almost-eternal tree and his interaction with interesting characters.
It doesn’t have any official book out yet, but just based on its quality and quantity, I can already see ebooks and prints coming soon. Okay, I’m not dead sure if I’m right, but as a fan, let me cross my fingers. It’s currently free to read in Scribble Hub and Royal Road.
My Rating: I’ll give it a 9/10 for its amazing world-building and eye-catching non-human character.
6. Salvos by MelasD
Born in the depths of the dark abyss, our little curious little crawler discovers that to survive, she will need to adapt and evolve. This novel is one of those exciting adventure Monster Evolution LitRPG novels I like. And if you’re tired of humanity’s follies, how about trying a non-human protagonist? Specifically, a battle junkie but still friendly demon named Salvos.
My Rating: Salvos is a good light-read for those who are tired of angst and grim plots most of the LitRPG novel brings. It is not overcomplicated but is the type that always put a goofy smile on me after reading, so I’ll give it 8/10.
7. Vainqueur the Dragon by Maxime J. Durand (Void Herald)
Want a thousand-year-old greedy red dragon who lacks common sense as the main character? Then you have to check out Mr. Vanquier and his always misunderstood manling sidekick as they throw the world into chaos and fun.
How good is this? My workmate had to call me out from too much grinning after I read this in my workplace, making me promise myself I’ll never do it again. Well, can they blame me when this novel’s quality is just top-notch and is perfectly my cup of tea?
My Rating: Vainqueur the Dragon is the only one on my list that I just have to give 10/10 for making me laugh so hard I had stomach cramps. A personal favorite that helped me to plow through my tiresome workplace.
8. Runesmith by Kuropon
Want a medieval fantasy world focused on the art of smiting and magic? Then Runesmith is the novel serial just for you.
Runesmith is a well-done transmigration-reincarnation LitRPG currently available as a free-to-read in Scribble Hub and Royal Road. Although it still doesn’t have a book yet, I’m expecting to see it soon considering its lively fanbase. And damn, I’m willing to spend some bucks once it goes live.
My Rating: I’ll give this novel 8/10 for the simple but magnetic plot. Magnetic enough to make me pull another all-nighter despite the need to wake up early for work.
9. Stray Cat Strut: A Young Lady’s Journey to Becoming a Pop-Up Samurai by RavensDagger
Meet Cat, no, not that cat, but Catherine, an irritable orphan that lucked out during an unexpected monster attack. A bloody monster raid that would drag her life into the world of superhumans called samurais.
Don’t get confused by its witty title. This novel series would pull you into futuristic apocalyptic earth where humans can become mechanized, gun-slinging, flame-throwing samurais. So no, not those samurais you’re currently thinking of, but far better and crankier.
Stray Cat Strut is an absolute must-read, a fresh and exciting cyberpunk world filled with monsters, mysterious heroes, and systems.
My Rating: I’ll give it 9/10 for its witty prose that had me gagging in laughter and its awesome world-building that I just couldn’t get enough of.
10. The Primal Hunter by Zogarth
Jake, a seemingly normal and most-of-the-time boring office worker, finds himself thrown into a danger-filled world where death and opportunity lie together. Amidst the chaotic world and faltering co-workers, Jake thrives and discovers that such a world might just be for him.
The Primal Hunter web series is a brilliant classic LitRPG novels. An eye-catching novel boasting quality and believable combat scenes spiced further with a well-thought system and deep character development. If you like such elements, then you’re going to like Jake and his high-stakes adventure into the unknown.
My Rating: I’ll rate this novel 8/10 for its solid plot, compelling narrative, and immersive world-building.
11. Beneath the Dragoneye Moons by Selkie Myth
Meet Elise, also known as Dawn. Oh no, that’s a spoiler.
Beneath the Dragoneye Moons is the story of a transmigrated lady and her adventures to the unknown as a healer. A promising story of adventure, magic, and oaths. It is very enjoyable and I just can’t help but root for Elise as she progresses from a clueless little girl into one of the best warriors her world could offer.
My Rating: If you’re a LitRPG lover, try and you will never go wrong with this web serial. I’ll rate this novel serial 8/10 for its excellent world-building and eye-catching game-lit elements.
12. Blessed Time by Cale Plamann
Dissatisfied with the blessing he received from the goddess of magic, sixteen-year-old Micah believes he has received a useless blessing, but not for long as a horde of Durghs, a warring underground race crushes their way into his life.
In despair, he realizes that hope is still not lost. With the help of his mythic blessing, he returns five years to the past, hoping to change his fate and of his loved ones. But would it be that easy?
My Rating: Blessed Time is a satisfying time-looped LitRPG novel that I didn’t regret reading. I’ll rate it 8/10 for its interesting magical system that hooked me through the end.
13. Cinnamon Bun by RavensDagger
One not-so-normal day, a young lady gets called for adventure and she squealed yes. So here I am sharing this pure and lovely novel with everyone.
Let’s start with our main character, Broccoli Bunch, whose class is Cinnamon Bun. Confused? So was I when I started. Anyway, she is not a vegetable but a sugar-rushed, adventure-loving bunny whose class skill is cleaning. And wait, she is planning to use it to cleanse the land of evil.
Cinnamon Bun is another great book from one of my favorite prolific LitRPG authors, RavensDagger. The author just filled my eyes with sweet honey, hitting gold again with this unique adventure-filled slice of life novel.
If you like a relaxed female character plus an easy-to-digest novel that is filled with laughs, then this good LitRPG is the one for you.
My Rating: I’ll rate this pure novel 8/10 for its wonderful execution and classic wittiness whilst pushing my endorphins levels to the roof.
This is not the exhaustive list of the best LitRPG novels I have read, but merely the novels that stuck with me through time. In case you have read my bio, I didn't add my novels for fairness' sake.
I will also update and improve this list in the near future. Still, if you have recommendations, just hit me up in the comment section so I can read and review them here too.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Drew Agravante