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While bishōjo games make up the bulk of dating sims, other types of games exist.
One game series that often includes dating, with the goal of marriage, is the farming sim series Harvest Moon.
The first game that set the standard for the dating sim genre was Dōkyūsei (1992), which relied more on timed events than dialogue choices.
However, Tokimeki Memorial (1994) truly popularized dating sims in Japan, in which the player, a high school student, has the ability to date a dozen different girls.
In a typical dating sim, the player controls a male avatar surrounded by female characters.
The gameplay involves conversing with a selection of girls, attempting to increase their internal "love meter" through correct choices of dialogue.
Below, we’ve narrowed down our favorites based on factors like their popularity, reviews, and pricing (or lack thereof).