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TOP 10 best school games: Bully, Persona, ObsCure and others

 September 1, 2023, is inextricably linked to the early launch of Starfield. While the deluxe editions begin their space travels, and most are still waiting for the general release on September 6, we suggest talking about something more mundane - games about the school.

TOP 10 best school games: Bully, Persona, ObsCure and others

For many, school seems to be a hated place, but sometimes you want to return to that carefree time when the main problem in life was the "swan" in the diary. The theme of school everyday life has not bypassed video games either, but this is not a role-playing game with boring mathematics and chemistry, but adventures with hooligans or students of magical schools. Let's remember together the best projects where the heroes visit educational institutions.

1. Bully (2006)

  • Genre: action adventure
  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, iOS, Android (backwards compatible PS4/PS5, Xbox One/Xbox Series)
  • Developer: Rockstar Vancouver
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games

Rockstar was able to go beyond crime action films like GTA and Manhunt by releasing a satire on the education system. Bully Jimmy Hopkins ends up in one of the worst schools in America, and only his fists and natural ingenuity will help him survive in the “food chain” of this place. The plot is tied to the seasons, so you can see school life in all its glory along with various holidays.

It is worth highlighting the presence of lessons, for skipping which Jimmy can be caught and punished by perfects. The open world, although small in comparison with GTA, is very cozy and with a large number of NPCs, each of which has a name and character. In general, Bully is already a classic that allows you to return to the carefree time of school life.

2. Skool Daze (1985)

  • Genre: action adventure
  • Platforms: PC, ZX Spectrum, Commdore 64
  • Developer: Microsphere
  • Publisher: Microsphere
Skool Daze became a pioneer in the field of games about the school. In it, we play as a bully who needs to steal his testimonial from the school. To do this, you need to knock down several shields with the coat of arms of the institution and collect the letters of the password from the safe. The main character Eric will be disturbed by both teachers and hooligans.

At one time, the game provided a good simulation of school life: lessons, breaks, students did not just wander around the school, but performed certain actions. A number of random events added to the replay value. A special feature was that each character can be given a name. There is a re-release with the subtitle Reskooled and a lot of new content, as well as redesigned graphics.

3. ObsCure (2004)

  • Genre: survival horror
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox Original, PlayStation 2
  • Developer: Hydravision Entertainment
  • Publisher: DreamCatcher Interactive
  • Co-op: yes (local)
Sometimes developers turn an ordinary high school into a survival arena against bloodthirsty monsters. So did the developers of ObsCure, in many ways reminiscent of the classic parts of Resident Evil. Here you need to solve puzzles and look for clues, and sometimes engage in fights with mutants.

A feature can be called a local game for two. There are five students to choose from who want to uncover all the secrets of their school. As it turned out, under the building of the educational institution there are tunnels and laboratories in which experiments are performed on people. There is a continuation of the story, but within the walls of the university. Dilogy is considered a cult in the circles of fans of survival horror.

4. Detention (2017)

  • Genre: point-and-click survival horror
  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Red Candle Games
  • Publisher: Red Candle Games
Continuing the theme of survival horror within the walls of schools, one cannot pass by the indie game Detention. It was created by Taiwanese developers as an art project. The gameplay is primitive - reminiscent of classic point-and-click quests, but with modern mechanics. You need to take turns controlling two characters who find themselves in an abandoned school.

One of the features is the inability to engage in battle with local ghosts. The hero can only run away or hide - and pray that the monster does not notice him. Music and a distinctive visual style work to whip up the atmosphere.

5 Lollipop Chainsaw (2012)

  • Genre: action, hack and slash
  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
  • Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Many people know James Gunn as the screenwriter for films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad, but he also had a hand in the creation of Lollipop Chainsaw. This is a great console game about a cheerleader who became a zombie hunter. She needs to save her classmates, find the sensei, and stop the zombie apocalypse. Not bad for a schoolgirl, right?

The talking head of the world savior's boyfriend is a great accessory for a short skirt, but she also has a chainsaw and a large number of different combat techniques at her disposal. Slasher fans will love the challenges that unlock new content, including heroine costumes. The light tone of the narration contributes to the replayability and allows you to just relax. A remake is expected to be released in 2023.

6. School Tycoon (2004)

  • Genre: simulator, strategy
  • Platforms: PC
  • Developer: Cat Daddy Games
  • Publisher: Global Star Software
If you suddenly want to be "on the other side of the barricades", then you should try School Tycoon. The player takes on the role of a school principal and must increase its authority and the quality of education. It will not be possible to immediately start students in classes: first you need to provide all the conditions and hire teaching staff.

The starting budget, requirements for the quality of education and the conditions created for students depend on the choice in which area to build a school. Yes, this is an average tycoon without any unique ideas, but among other similar games, it is distinguished by an unusual setting that should appeal to those who are already fed up with the classic Tropico or Anno.

7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

  • Genre: action adventure
  • Platforms: PC
  • Developer: KnowWander
  • Publisher: EA Games
But what are we talking about real schools? Just recently, the magnificent Hogwarts Legacy was released , dedicated to the school of witchcraft and wizardry of the same name ( our review ). However, you know about it even without us. We will remind you of another project in the universe of Joanne Rowling - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The action here again takes place within the walls of Hogwarts and its surroundings, so we can see the life of the school, the life of the students, and also independently attend magic lessons, in which we must pass simple tests.

You can play for Harry, Ron and Hermione. Each has its own unique spells, and at certain points you even have to combine the magical skills of the whole trinity. If you've already completed Hogwarts Legacy but still don't want to leave the magical world of Hogwarts, it's worth a try. The picture in Prisoner of Azkaban is, of course, outdated, but the cozy atmosphere has not gone away.

8. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (2019)

  • Genre: tactical RPG
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Co-op: yes (local)
An important feature of Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the choice of your house. A fantastic world with a fantasy bias opens up before the player, where the choice at the beginning of the path affects further events. Some people might not like the game because of the anime style, and the genre is specific, but if you just try it, it will be impossible to break away: Fire Emblem will drag you on for many hours.

The first half of this turn-based RPG is all about the school and interacting with other students, so the skirmishes aren't too big. But after a certain moment, the game will begin to gain momentum and draw the heroes into a bloody war, the alignment of forces in which depends on the player and, as already mentioned, the chosen faculty.

9. Persona 5 Royal (2019)

  • Genre: RPG
  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Atlus
  • Publisher: SEGA
Initially, the fifth part of the Persona series was released on the seventh generation of gaming systems, but in 2019 a re-release of Persona 5 Royal appeared with a lot of new content. This is a Japanese role-playing game about schoolchildren who live ordinary lives during the day, and at night they go to another world that personifies human souls.

The developers have managed to competently combine the two sides of the life of the characters. Attending school classes and interacting with others alternates with dungeon crawls, turn-based battles, platforming and puzzles. Events that happen during the day can affect adventures in the other world.

10 Life is Strange (2015)

  • Genre: interactive cinema
  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS, Android
  • Developer: Don't Nod
  • Publisher: Square Enix
Those who want to be alone and reflect on deep topics should pay attention to Life is Strange. This is a rather personal story that can remind you of the times of youth. The main character discovers in herself the ability to rewind time: superpowers and mystical events can be called a metaphor for the character's internal conflicts.

Unfortunately, the developers only created the appearance of a non-linear plot in this interactive movie. In fact, few actions entail serious consequences. Despite this oversight by the developers, the adventures of Max and her friend in the realities of an American school and a small town can evoke a pleasant feeling of slight melancholy.


School years are one of the most important stages in a person’s life. It is impossible to relive it in real life, but video games provide such an opportunity. It's great that such projects come out and can please gamers with unique mechanics and stories. What games about school do you remember? Write in the comments!