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Perfect Video Game
and Book Pairings

Sometimes you play a video game and it reminds you of the intense connection and emotion of a favourite novel. Sometimes you read a book and wish you could wander off and explore the world it created. This is a list of the perfect video game and book pairings.

We're not interested in books that were based on video games or video games that were based on a book. No, we want the deep cuts where a video game has stumbled into the same narrative world as that novel you tell everyone about. Or, maybe, a book that always reminds you of a video game you've played.

While researching the list I even found some articles written on this exact topic. Like this blog "The unexpected joy of pairing books with video games" where the image above comes from (Mica Murphy/Penguin), and Book and Video Game Pairings by Mackenzie Moody on the Colour Me Read.
This list includes 17 games from the last 20 years, with 1,255 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play a game then read a book. We break them down into the following areas:

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We have 32 Educational lists of games, like these:

Book Pairing: Earthsea Saga by Ursula K Le Guin

Fable (Series)

Fable is an adventure role-playing game set in a fantasy world where your interactions with the world and villagers, and decisions about your use of magical power, substantially alter the story and the environment.

Book Pairing: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie


Overboard is a murder mystery narrative game played in reverse. You murder your husband at the start of the game and then try and get away with it. It's played on a ship where the characters are affected by your choices and changes their actions...

Book Pairing: Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden West is a post-apocalyptic action-adventure where you explore an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life. The story of Aloy continues as she sets out to investigate a plague terminating from an arcane frontier...

Book Pairing: The Last Wild by Piers Torday


Bugsnax is a whimsical adventure where you track, trick, catch and eat anthropomorphic food in all shapes and sizes. But as you do, you literally become what you eat. It's silly puzzling fun from the creators of [link to game/Octodad+Dadliest+Catch...

Book Pairing: Moss Flower by Brian Jacques

Cat Quest 2

Cat Quest 2 is an adventure game, the sequel to Cat Quest, about a fantasy realm of cats and dogs. You explore and talk to characters who send you on quests to kill enemies in caves or retrieve hidden items. The addition of two players in the second...

Book Pairing: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

No Man's Sky

No Man's Sky is a space simulation about exploring endless planets and galaxies. It invites you to take your spaceship to explore and colonise a universe rich with diverse planets, creatures and fauna. Facing so vast a space is daunting at first, but a...

Book Pairing: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Stranded Deep

Stranded Deep is a survival game set in the Pacific Ocean. Taking a cue from films like Cast Away, you survive a plane crash and face life-threatening scenarios in a large open world. As the weather and time of day changes with the hours, you explore...

Book Pairing: Republic by Plato

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is an action role-playing game set in the years 431–422 BCE during a mythological history of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. You play as a male or female mercenary fighting on both sides and attempting to...

Book Pairing: Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw

Road 96

Road 96 is a narrative adventure where you play a teenager trying to escape an oppressive, authoritarian country by reaching the border. Through a series of vignettes, you experience the most important and poignant parts on an epic road trip through a...

Book Pairing: Sabriel by Garth Nix

Child of Light

Child of Light is a platform game presented like a fairy tale, where you play a young girl, Aurora, on a quest to save her kingdom from the darkness. Battle encounters break up the adventure and power up your character. To finally make it home, you must...

Book Pairing: Lore by Alexandra Bracken


Hades is a fighting game where you battle your way through dungeons to escape hell and the clutches of Hades. You play as Zagreus, the son of Hades and through the game, you'll meet many recognisable Greek gods like Zeus, Athena and Poseidon who will...

Hades II

Hades II is a shooting action game that takes you beyond the Underworld of the first game to battle the dark sorcery of the Titan of Time. Play involves shooting and fighting your way through waves of enemies until you die (which you do often). It...

Book Pairing: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us is an action-adventure where You play a father, Joel, whose daughter was killed during the early stages of a deadly fungal outbreak. It’s now 20 years later, and he has clearly suffered from the loss. When Joel is given charge of a...

Book Pairing: Meanwhile by Jason Shiga


Reigns is an adventure strategy game where you take charge of a kingdom, one decision at a time. Each choice is presented to you as a playing card with some advice or a question from one of the 38 different characters. Swipe left or right to make a...

Book Pairing: Quarantine by Jim Crace


Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sandscape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other...

Book Pairing: Tower of Babylon by Ted Chiang

Chants of Sennaar

Chants of Sennaar is a traversal and translation puzzle where you play a traveller called to reunite the Peoples of the Tower who are unable to communicate with each other. Play involves exploring the cell-shaded world to decipher the glyph-based...

Book Pairing: The Immortals Series by Tamora Pierce

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a role-play collecting game where you live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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