9 Awesome Fiction Books About Video Games

If you enjoy watching movies or reading books about video games like I do, read on for my list of the best video game novels (including fiction books featuring virtual reality)!

I’ve been a fan of video games since I was a kid growing up in the 90’s. While I grew up playing Pokemon on Gameboy and Nintendo64 games like Diddy Kong Racing and Mario Party, I also find modern gaming (like virtual reality) fascinating.

So I was inspired to put together a list of some awesome books with video games as a main plot point or setting!

awesome fiction books about video games

*Disclosure: I received the book in the photo above from the publisher – Random House – in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

**Please note, some links on this page are affiliate links. If a purchase is made through an affiliate link, I may receive a commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support!

Best Video Game Novels

Maybe you’re interested in stories that follow characters who love video games and gaming. Or, maybe you’re more interested in virtual reality settings in fiction.

Either way, there are plenty of awesome books about video games to choose from in the list below. They’re all perfect for video game lovers!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One book cover

Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopia

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Synopsis: In the year 2044, a virtual reality called the OASIS has all but replaced actual reality – because the world is in rough shape. Wade Watts has devoted his life to finding and solving a ‘game’ of Easter eggs and puzzles hidden by the creator of the OASIS, which promises massive riches to whoever can complete it. But when Wade finds the first clue, it sets into motion events that he never could have anticipated.

This is such a fun read – definitely one of my favorites! Feel free to check out my review of the sequel, Ready Player Two.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow book cover

Genre: Contemporary/Literary Fiction

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Synopsis: This incredible story is about two passionate video game creators (and friends) who grow into adulthood together as they navigate their creative partnership and build world-changing video games. But their success brings greater challenges than they’ve ever faced.

Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross book cover

Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopia

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Synopsis: This sci fi thriller follows a hacker who also works as a bounty hunter inside a popular virtual reality game called Warcross. When she accidentally enters herself into the Warcross Championship games, she becomes famous overnight – but she also discovers a sinister plot that could have dire consequences.

The Peripheral by William Gibson

The Peripheral book cover

Genre: Science Fiction

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Synopsis: A poor girl living in a rural city scrapes by picking up jobs as a combat scout in a virtual reality game. One day, she and her brother are invited to try a brand new, state-of-the-art game – one that no one has ever heard of. Little do they know, it will completely alter the course of their lives. (This series has been made into a TV show adaptation by Amazon!).

Erebos by Ursula Poznanzki

Erebos book cover

Genre: YA Science Fiction/Thriller

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Synopsis: A secretive computer game begins manipulating teenagers to complete strange, sometimes dangerous tasks. After one boy is banished from the game for refusing to complete a task, he enlists the help of a friend to uncover the game’s mysterious agenda – and it’s creator.

Slay by Brittney Morris

Slay book cover

Genre: YA Contemporary

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Synopsis: A young game developer has to protect the popular role-playing card game she created – a safe community for Black gamers – from threats, including someone who is intent on bringing it down.

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

Insignia book cover

Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopia

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Synopsis: A teenage virtual reality gamer is drafted to virtually man a battle drone in a war over the planet’s dwindling resources. But he soon finds that being a hero has its consequences.

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang

In Real Life book cover

Genre: Graphic Novel/YA Contemporary

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Synopsis: This graphic novel follows a female gamer who loves a role-playing game called Coarsegold Online. One day, she meets another player who finds and (illegally) sells items from the game to rich players, and she learns that what’s considered right and wrong isn’t always so clear-cut.

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

The Impossible Fortress book cover

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

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Synopsis: This coming-of-age story set in 1987 follows a teenage boy and his best friends as they hatch a complex plan to steal a scandalous magazine from a convenience store. Only things don’t go to plan – and the boy finds himself falling for the store owner’s daughter, a fellow computer geek like himself.

What about nonfiction books about video games?

If you want to closer look at the true history of video games, I highly recommend checking out The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon! It covers the whole backstory of how video games became so popular, with vignettes on how Atari, Nintendo, and computer games all got their start.

This book is a great example of how one offbeat idea can explode into something monumental. I found it fascinating!

There’s even a sequel about modern gaming, too, called The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2: Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the Billion-Dollar Battle to Shape Modern Gaming.

I hope you enjoy these books about video games! What’s your favorite game (either nostalgic or modern)? Let me know in the comments!

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