Where there are nerds, there are books. Accurate in both a literal and market sense, it’s pretty common to see books directly associated with a popular video game series. Whether it’s meant for kids, adults, or somewhere in between, there’s no shortage of good reading material for you to get your hands on if you aren’t ready to leave the fantasy world you saw on-screen just yet. While it may be a different kind of immersion than you get from video games, it can still be captivating, nevertheless.
We’ve picked a few titles below that can help scratch that itch for a good read without the necessity of getting to know a brand-new world. With these books, you likely already know all about the universe you’re dealing with and the characters that inhabit them. If not, then get ready to dive into a whole other aspect of some popular franchises from our top ten lists of video game book picks.
Best Gaming Books of 2023
10. The Silver Eyes
If you told the eager mass of Five Nights at Freddy’s fans in 2015 that over ten or so books would exist containing lore for the series, you’d probably make a few of them faint. Just make sure not to include the part about the separated canon. Five Nights at Freddy’s enjoyers have it made with multiple books about the series, all written for a young adult audience, very much in the style of that genre. The Silver Eyes, written by Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley, is the first book in that series. Set as an alternate canon to the game series. The books cover an entirely new story, with a new main character but plenty of familiar animatronic faces.
9. The Twisted Ones
The Twisted Ones is a direct sequel to the first book in the Five Nights at Freddy’s young adult novel series. Written by the same author pair as the first book, this sequel was highly anticipated and was even more highly rated than the other on Goodreads. It contains the same protagonist, Charlie, following the events of her frightening encounters in the pizzeria. With the ghosts of her and others’ past after her, Charlie works to solve a conflict so that everyone involved can finally be free. If you’re a FNaF fan, it’s safe to say that the first two books in the series alone are practically required reading since the community adores them so much, even respecting them as a beloved alternative canon.
8. Tales from the Pizzaplex
For a set of FNaF books that takes place within an alternate timeline to the first set, consider Tales from the Pizzaplex. This set of canon is different from the originals in that it takes place during the same timeline as Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach. This set of eight books in total features the characters you know from Security Breach, such as the main animatronics and other notable personalities like Sunman and Moonman.
7. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda manga series has been a long-running adaptation, containing alternate versions of the games we know and love. While the manga series isn’t a canon forerunner or sequel to any of the games that they represent, they do have unique renditions of the stories as we know them. For Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, as well as the other installments in the manga, Link is a little less of a blank slate than he is in the games. He has his own personality and demeanor, just as any main character should. If you’re interested in viewing Legend of Zelda as a story to be experienced rather than as an adventure to take for yourself, consider picking up any of The Legend of Zelda manga installments, even ones we don’t list here.
6. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess manga is a standalone manga adaptation that, while it shares the same settings and characters as the game you know, does not share the same kind of story. The plot is actually significantly darker than its game counterpart. This is likely because the manga series acts as its own independent project and therefore far away from the mandates that protect the Link within Nintendo. That being said, it’s definitely written more for a mature audience rather than the age range designed for the Twilight Princess game. There are consequences, serious tones, and great art to be had.
5. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
If you enjoy Assasin’s Creed, then you’ll certainly love the novel. With all the characters at play and a great storyline to build off of from the books, both Brotherhood and Renaissance are great insights for fans of the series. Assasin’s Creed: Brotherhood is the first attempt at turning the beloved games into novel versions of themselves. These books were created by Anton Gill, writing under the name Oliver Bowden. Brotherhood, as you might expect, follows the plotline of Assassin’s Creed II, centralized on Desmond and the Animus.
4. Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance
Both Assassin’s Creed books in this list are written in relatively the same style. Specifically, in Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance, once again by Oliver Bowden, we have a book that takes on the story as if it were historical fiction. It’s written in a relatively realistic style, staying true to the events of the story and to the history that it provides in the game. Both Renaissance and Brotherhood are immersively written, sure to please fans of the game series and possibly even those who are just curious about the series in general. However, it is worth noting that the books are very much written with the games in mind. Certain portions are written like a video game and less like a standalone novel.
3. The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher
The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher is the original story written by Andrzej Sapkowski that inspired the titles of Witcher and onward. Sapkowski began The Witcher books as short stories in the 80s, further populating his world until The Last Wish was conceived. As the first book in the series, you’ll find that it aligns with explaining Geralt’s story, some of his many encounters, taking the reader through an episodic set of stories that loosely connect. It isn’t a complicated fantasy story, but if you like clever swordsmanship, occasional brute shows of power, and just a dash of royal politics (that Geralt shows his innate disgust for), then you’ll be delighted by the presentation that The Last Wish offers.
2. Sword of Destiny
Sword of Destiny is the second book in Sapkowski’s series, right after The Last Wish. Suppose you enjoy simplistic descriptions that don’t overstay their welcome. In that case, more of Geralt being a stick against any royalty figure, and gratuitous amounts of Geralt being a sword-wielding monster, then this second one will be just as enjoyable as the first. Once again, Sword of Destiny is more like a collection of short stories rather than one coherent moving story forward. Each chapter in the episodic novel is different from the previous, putting Geralt in situations that must either be resolved by a sturdy sword or well-placed words. Sometimes, a mix of both.
1. Blood of Elves
The third book by Sapkowski, only has one inherent weakness. It lacks our favorite bard character Dandelion. Despite this loss, however, it takes top spots among those who have read it due to its focus. In comparison to the two books that came before it, Sapkowski takes Blood of Elves in a more straightforward direction, focusing on one big monster rather than a slew of inconsequential ones. And while we do miss Dandelion, the book makes up for it by showing off more of a concise cast of characters, focusing on Ciri, Yennefer, and of course, Geralt.