The 12 Best Games Set In School
Video games have always been a great stress-reliever after a hard day of school. So, what better to do with your free time between semesters than fulfill your wildest schoolyard fantasies in video games?
Games set in school will often incorporate character relationships, learning exercises, and plenty of drama.
Let’s take a look at some of the best game set in a school and try to get our gaming diploma!
12. Lollipop Chainsaw
Lollipop Chainsaw is a hack-and-slash game about a cheerleader zombie hunter taking out zombies in a Californian high school.
Developed in part by Suda51, the similarities between several of their other games are apparent (most notable, the No More Heroes franchise).
Lollipop Chainsaw is a high-octane romp with enough style and flash to engage even the most passive of gamers.
Furthermore, renowned voice actress Tara Strong (most known for voicing famous cartoon characters like Timmy Turner, Harley Quinn, and Raven) is the voice of the protagonist Juliet.
Lollipop Chainsaw feels more like a movie at times, likely in part because James Gunn (the filmmaker behind the Guardians of the Galaxy) acted as a co-designer.
Lollipop Chainsaw doesn’t break any boundaries when it comes to storytelling or gameplay, but it is incredibly fun from beginning to end, and that’s pretty much all you can ask of a video game.
11. Yandere Simulator
Yandere Simulator is an anime-style stealth game in which you play as a high school girl.
This protagonist is madly in love with her upperclassmen to the extent that she is willing to take out anyone who tries to confess their love to him by any means necessary.
The term “yandere” often refers to crazy or obsessive love. Yanderes will often turn to violence in order to prove their love for someone or eliminate those that try to obstruct their love.
Yandere Simulator does what it says on the tin as the goal of the game is to take out any rival girls who try to confess to your senpai.
You will need to use the school location to your advantage as you hide bodies, clean bloodstains, and use the various cover opportunities to avoid detection from the school staff.
Yandere simulator is still in development, but there is a demo that is freely available to play.
Hopefully, once the full game releases, there will be plenty more yandere goodness to enjoy.
10. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
If you’re too tired to explore a realistic school, why not try out a Jedi school instead?
Jedi Academy places you in the role of a brand new student who is eager to uncover the many mysteries surrounding the Jedi.
You will learn new skills from Master Luke Skywalker, interact with a plethora of Star Wars characters from the entire franchise, and take on challenging Sith enemies.
The gameplay in Jedi Academy is as you would expect. If you have played other Jedi Knight games, you will know that lightsaber duels, force pulses, and exploration are the name of the game here.
Additionally, you can create your own character, construct your own lightsaber, and choose your own missions and adventures.
What is great about Jedi Academy is the freedom to go down whichever path you choose.
If you connect with the messages of the Jedi, then feel free to follow in the footsteps of Master Luke.
However, if you enjoy playing as the bad guys, you have the ability to turn to the Dark Side.
Jedi Knight, in this regard, is almost like two games in one. The adventure you experience is entirely different depending on which path you choose to walk.
For a game set in a school with more of a fantasy twist, be sure to check out Jedi Academy.
9. Life is Strange
Life is Strange is an episodic graphic adventure game that takes place in a third-person view.
Players will examine and interact with objects while trying to solve several mysteries, complete fetch quests, and avoid danger.
Several visual novel style elements make an appearance here as well. During conversations with other characters, players will have the opportunity to select unique dialogue responses.
These dialogue responses will lead players down a branching path to one of several unique outcomes.
It becomes vital to make the correct decision as something that works out well for you in the short term may come back to bite you in the grander scheme of things.
Every game in the series has a unique mechanic. The first gives you (playing as Max) the ability to rewind time. In the subsequent sequels and spinoffs, players can persuade anyone they want, use telekinesis, or manipulate people’s emotions.
Life is Strange does a great job of capturing the fluctuating emotions of teenagers today. The dialogue in these games is expressive and truly heart-wrenching at times.
For one of the most interactive adventure games of recent years, definitely be sure to give the Life is Strange series a shot.
Detention is a horror game that takes place in 1960s Taiwan under martial law. The game incorporates lots of religious and mythological elements taken straight from Taiwanese and Chinese culture.
Greenwood high school is a mountainous location that has been overrun by evil creatures. Two students must explore their once familiar campus and solve tons of puzzles.
Players will need to survive the onslaught of haunting monsters in order to return safely.
The gameplay here is a point-and-click 2D side-scroller. Players will hide from monsters while interacting with items scattered about the school’s interior.
The main draw when considering playing Detention is definitely the inspiratory material that went into its creation.
Several East Asian elements, including Taoism, Buddhism, and Chinese mythology, all come together in order to tell a truly terrifying narrative.
For a game set in a school that blends the otherworldly elements with the real world, look no further than Detention.
7. Corpse Party
Corpse Party takes place in an elementary school After a group of friends perform an occult ritual, they are transported to another dimension.
There, they come to discover a group of vengeful spirits of young children who threaten their lives.
The only way to make it out safely is to uncover the chilling reasons behind the murders of these children and finally put their souls to rest.
Corpse Party takes elements from psychological horror, RPGs, and visual novel games.
There is plenty of reading here that might turn some people away, but fans of visual novels or games with plenty of tricks up their sleeve will definitely find something to enjoy here.
6. Hogwarts Legacy / Lego Harry Potter Series
Why stick to exploring a typical high school when you could instead explore a magical land of fantasy?
Harry Potter games all take place in the illustrious school of Hogwarts. There have been tons of Harry Potter games over the years, but they all involve returning to Hogwarts after a grand adventure.
It is difficult to recommend only one Harry Potter game considering there are so many standouts. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a cult classic, and many fans will claim that this is still the best game in the entire franchise.
That being said, almost every Lego Harry Potter game is great fun to play through, and the Lego physics make casting spells that much more enjoyable.
Exploring Hogwarts is more like exploring an abandoned castle as opposed to a school. There are lots of things to do on campus, and half the fun is ignoring your main directive to see what can be uncovered.
Hogwarts Legacy is an upcoming title that was delayed until sometime in 2022 but looks like it could be a contender for the greatest Harry Potter game ever to be released.
While we wait for the action RPG to release, make sure to go back and check out some of the older Harry Potter games.
5. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Danganronpa is an anime-style visual novel game in which players must use logic and reasoning in order to discern who among your party is secretly a killer in disguise.
For those unaware, in Danganronpa, you play as Makoto Naegi. Naegi is a student at Hope’s Peak Academy, a school for the smartest of all Japan’s students.
However, things take a turn when a mechanized bear named Monokuma traps the students and forces them to kill each other in order to escape.
Those who manage to successfully pull off a murder without being discovered by their peers will be allowed to go free.
Players will explore various locations to find clues as to who the murderer might be.
Then, when it comes time to debate, you must use these clues to lay the murderer’s sins out in the open.
There are tons of different endings to uncover in Danganronpa games. Furthermore, you don’t need to only rely on clues in order to sway people to your side.
Popularity is a huge factor in gaining allies in Danganronpa (much like it is in real school).
If you want a shocking school experience with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing, Danganronpa is a must-play.
Straight from the labs of Rockstar Games, Bully is a simulation game where you play as, you guessed it, a school bully.
In this game, you will take to the schoolyard as a mischievous school student. You will take on your own bullies, combat school teachers, and try to win the heart of your dream girl.
Bully is a very tongue-in-cheek game and a stark departure from the raunchier Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption games.
Still, a lot of the witty dialogue Rockstar is known for shines through with Bully, making the game a joy to play through from beginning to end.
Most games set in school usually place players in the role of either a student or an educator. Bully is a fun subversion of the typical school game.
3. Doki Doki Literature Club
Doki Doki Literature Club is an anime-style visual novel game that takes place in high school. The game starts out as most typical dating simulators do.
You will play through a typical day of school and meet several potential love interests. However, things quickly take a turn as you become thrust into a suspenseful thriller.
There aren’t many games like DDLC out there that manage to expertly bait and switch their audience to such a degree.
The twists become even more mind-warping when you come to discover that you, as the player, have been the prime target all along.
With excellent writing, a wonderful art style, and several endings to choose from, Doki Doki Literature Club is one of the best modern visual novels to be set in a school.
Visual novel games aren’t for everyone. There is a lot of text that you have to read through, and there is no voice acting.
However, if you want to experience psychological horror like never before, Doki Doki Literature Club is the game for you.
2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem Three Houses is a tactical turn-based RPG set over an educational backdrop. Like most Fire Emblem games, war is abundant, and you must use your wits to navigate tile-based battlefields in order to take out enemies.
However, what is different about Three Houses, is that you play as an educator to one of three groups of students.
The students you choose will become your loyal army and gladly stride into battle under your command.
However, as per the tradition of new-age Fire Emblem games, you will also spend your time interacting with those under your care.
You will comfort your students as all good teachers should. By listening to their worries and offering them advice, they will become stronger when it comes time to enter battle.
Rarely do games set in school let you play as the teacher, but Fire Emblem Three Houses is a great exception.
The best thing about Fire Emblem Three Houses is that the game is essentially three games in one.
After playing through the game with one set of students, you are more than free to go back to the start and play the game over with a different group.
Each student has a unique personality, and half the joy in playing through Fire Emblem Three Houses multiple times comes from discovering the characteristics of each child in your care.
If you wanted to play through a game set in school through the guise of an educator, there is no better game out there than Fire Emblem Three Houses.
1. Persona 5 Royal
Persona 5 tops our list for the best games set in a school for expertly blending a traditional education experience with fantasy gameplay.
For those unaware, Persona games are broken up into two sections. The day portion is often reserved for menial tasks. This includes going to school, working part-time, and hanging out with friends.
Then, at night, you will be transported to a different world in order to do battle with a host of crazy monsters.
However, unlike regular school, the day portions in Persona games are actually very enjoyable and fun.
Spending time with certain characters will increase your relationship status with them, leading to different in-game benefits. Furthermore, thanks to the expert writing of the game, it is very interesting to learn more about the people you spend your days with.
Struggling to study for a test, failing to hit the mark on a certain exam, and fretting over finals and extracurricular activities are all things we can relate to. Additionally, school is such a vital time for us as we develop into adults. It’s easy to become anxious, worried, introverted, and doubtful during this time.
Persona 5 encapsulates these day-to-day worried expertly through its day sections.
This isn’t to say that the gameplay of Persona takes second fiddle by any means. Persona has some of the tightest JRPG gameplay we’ve ever seen. Tons of unique elements are at play here to keep things from becoming too repetitive.
Games like Persona 5 are few and far between, and with this level of polish, it is clear to see why.