sothis's avatar


  • Seattle
  • Joined May 22, 2002
  • ? / F

Best and worst High Stakes Games manga and webtoons

High Stakes Games / Play or Die are two of my favorite tags, so I thought I'd compile a list of the best and worst, including reasons and categories. Some categories, like sexual violence, are already tagged onto the manga but are included here for scanning (as I personally hate the gratuitous content that sometimes shows up in these genres)
1 13 Game

13 Game

13 Game is in the Gantz camp: the players have died and are competing against each other to be able to revive themselves. The problem is it's a short volume and not much is available to read anyways, so this one is a pass.


  • PVP
2 Battle Royale

Battle Royale

Battle Royale is a solid manga, I just wish it wasn't so horribly gratuitous on all levels. The violence and gore is over the top (even for me), and it's one of the most rapey manga I've read. So much actual/attempted rape for no reason, except to glorify the idea of 'hurhur there's no rules here I can do whatever I want because I'm a piece of shit human'. Still, there are a zillion manga/anime/real books [cough Hunger Games cough] that rip off BR, so this has to be high up in the list.


  • Battle Royale
  • PVP
  • Sexual Violence
  • Trapped on an Island
3 Battle Royale: Angel's Border

Battle Royale: Angel's Border

Angels' Border being in the list is somewhat controversial as not much of the game is shown - but this was a surprisingly enjoyable read, focusing on the drama/back stories of some of the characters in the core manga.

4 Battle Royale II: Blitz Royale

Battle Royale II: Blitz Royale

Battle Royale II follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, but has probably the worst artwork of anything I've ever read. The characters are a weird combination of Mr. Potatohead dolls and wannabe chibis, and the story feels tired compared to the original. The ending is unsatisfying as well. It's not the worst but imo isn't worth reading.


  • PVP
5 Black Survival

Black Survival

A confusing and hard-to-follow promotional webtoon for a game. Very little of value here - see my review for a bit more info.


  • Battle Royale
  • PVP
  • Trapped on an Island
6 Bokurano: Ours

Bokurano: Ours

Bokurano is one of my all-time favorite anime, and the manga is similarly amazing. 100% all aboard the doom train though, there's nothing happy at all to be found in this series. But it's fantastic all the same. While a bunch of kids are in the game together, they don't battle each other, they have to individually battle external creatures. 


  • PVE
7 Btooom!


Btooom is firmly in the Battle Royale camp. It's a game that becomes real, pitting players against each other while they kill each other one by one. It had too much ecchi for my tastes, plus attempted rape and other nauseating scenes that I could do without. Firmly in the 'meh' category. 


  • Battle Royale
  • Ecchi
  • Game Becomes Real
  • PVP
  • Sexual Violence
  • Trapped on an Island
8 Cock Robin wo Korosu no wa

Cock Robin wo Korosu no wa

Awful. Unexplained game, uninspiring competitors, literally nothing you'll care about at all. Also, a token guy in a wheelchair so I guess there's that. There is really nothing to see here. 


  • PVP
9 Cry Eye

Cry Eye

This one is just terrible. Hard to tell who anyone is, hard to tell wtf is happening at any time anywhere (who just got killed? how did they die? what?). D-

10 Deadman Wonderland

Deadman Wonderland

I'm torn on where Deadman Wonderland should land in this list. I really enjoyed the parts where they're pitted in games against each other. But the series quickly de-evolves into a generic shounen action manga where a single, monologue-heavy one-on-one-totally-not-game-related fight spans multiple chapters (or an entire volume). The anime does this much better and focuses almost entirely on just the games. 


  • PVP
11 Dead Word Puzzle

Dead Word Puzzle

The only reason you should read this is if you really love intestines.


  • Game Master
  • Intestines 24/7
  • PVP
12 Dolls Code

Dolls Code

Lots of people seem to dislike this manga, and while I agree there's ample suspension of disbelief needed and/or some plot holes/weirdness, this is still one of the more entertaining game manga I've read. The ideas are very interesting and horrific, and I liked how the criminals had back stories that made them feel sympathetic. It could just be I've read a whole lot of mediocre game manga, but this definitely was one of the good ones to me. 

13 Doubt (Yoshiki TONOGAI)

Doubt (Yoshiki TONOGAI)

If you're looking for a Werewolf Game-style manga this is one of the more well-known ones. It's middle of the road and 'fine', nothing terribly spectactular here.


  • Werewolf Game
  • Trapped in a Building
  • PVP
14 Fingers


Legit good - I liked the initial game content the best, creepy idea and horrific to have to cut off fingers for clues. Hard to describe without spoiling, but I wasn't as interested in what happened with wider minor cast changes later on, but things definitely weren't cut and dry. A satisfying conclusion and wrap-up.

15 Judge


Judge is another servicable but unremarkable 'trapped in a building and pitted against each other' type. The main reason to read it is that it has a fairly interesting ending, but that's still a stretch reason to read this over a lot of other manga. A bit more info in my review.


  • PVP
  • Trapped in a Building
16 Though You may Burn to Ash

Though You may Burn to Ash

Couldn't get far into this - has a 'someone peeing themselves' unnecessary scene and just seems ehhhh so I gave it up

17 Tomogui Kyoushitsu

Tomogui Kyoushitsu

This is just very, very gross and overly explicit for the sake of being overly explicit. But I noped out of there when I got to an extremely terrible animal abuse scene that I wish I could go back in time to un-read. The info page wasn't tagged with it yet, so, I guess I helped others by doing so ;_;

18 Tower of God

Tower of God

19 Underdog


Virtually nothing redeemable. Only one competitor who's cartoonishly villainous, a decently better last 4 chapters but clearly a rushed/cancelled ending. Random explicit sex for no reasons, a truly reprehensible main character, etc.

20 Your Turn to Die: Majority Vote Death Game

Your Turn to Die: Majority Vote Death Game

Definitely middle of the road or better - some gruesome deaths, more of a majority rules/danganronpa sort of tone than some others.

21 Zanki x 99

Zanki x 99

If rating solely on the high stakes games element it's way stronger than I expected, because it's just completely over the top. Teens try to survive a Soulslike, essentially, and they're all cannon fodder.

Unfortunately the manga really tanks by the end due to other reasons: has an extremely problematic transphobic character/plot point that becomes the driving aspect of the story, and it's super offensive. The driving force behind why the game is happening is also crude and weird and gross. There's also weird fetish stuff added in throughout the manga that is off putting and didn't need to be there. Unique idea marred by all the other aspects.

22 Zero Game

Zero Game

Another I just couldn't get into so it goes low in the list. More of a classic manhua/manhwa theme of a game with game elements (including elemental powers).

23 Zero no Shiniki

Zero no Shiniki

Eh. Wasn't able to read much of this, it's somewhat of a Sword Art Online clone but the characters go in and out of the game, and there's a debt factor. Pretty average on all levels.


  • PVE
  • Debt
  • Die in game, die in real life


You must be logged in to leave comments. or

There are no comments - leave one to be the first!