Danganronpa Games & Chapters – Overrated / Underrated

Danganronpa has one of the most active and vocal fanbases of any Japanese videogame franchise I’ve ever seen, with each fan bringing their own unique (and usually controversial) opinion to the mix.

I thought I’d dish out some spicy opinions of my own about the main trilogy, going over which games and chapters are overrated or underrated in my mind. Let’s get to it! But be warned – major SPOILERS ahead!

Before we begin, you can check out some of my related blog posts below:

Trigger Happy Havoc


The very first chapter of the very first game does a brilliant job of both introducing a vast cast of eccentric characters and easing the player into the gameplay and writing style of Danganronpa, but is it a good chapter on the whole? No, not really.

Especially when compared to literally every single other chapter in the trilogy, 1-1 just feels really bare-bones and boring. The whole cast should be tested for brain tumours for not realising that 11037 was Leon immediately.


On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I think 1-2 is one of the most underrated and underappreciated chapters in the trilogy.

Chihiro’s death and Byakuya’s interference in the crime scene are shocking and much more aligned with what I wanted Danganronpa to be, and by this point I was completely hooked on the story and gameplay.


A bit like with Ace Attorney, Chapter 3’s in the Danganronpa series get a bad reputation as being some of the worst chapters in the trilogy. I can mostly agree with that assessment, but the first offender isn’t as bad as people say.

The initial shock of having two murder victims works best here, and every subsequent third chapter felt like it was trying too hard to stick to the tried and tested formula.


I saw the Sakura twist coming a mile off, but the way the writers handled the culprit reveal was excellent.

All of the characters throwing blame at each other is glorious, and the more emotional moments near the end of the trial always land.


1-5 is more of a set-up chapter to the finale than an actual mystery and class trial, but it’s needlessly counter-intuitive and sloppy.

The murder isn’t intriguing yet, and the fake-out ending if you pick the wrong choice with Makoto is a real low point for the franchise. My least favourite chapter in the series.


People tend to hate on Danganronpa finales unnecessarily, but I think the majority of people were satisfied with the first game’s ending.

I absolutely love both the Junko twist and the reveal that the outside world was ruined. Like with the rest of Trigger Happy Havoc, 1-6 has an excellent atmosphere that drew me in.


While some of its gameplay and sprites haven’t aged well, I don’t think people give the original Danganronpa enough credit. It laid the groundwork for the series brilliantly, and told a perfect story that oozed charm and atmosphere.

Goodbye Despair


When I first played Goodbye Despair, I actually didn’t like this opening chapter – the victim felt like wasted potential, and the killer wasn’t as satisfying as it could have been.

In hindsight, 2-1 is a really strong start to the game – not only does it introduce you to a brand new cast of characters, but it sets up an unbelievably engaging mystery to kick things off.


I see 2-2 floated around a fair bit as being the most underrated Danganronpa chapter, but I just don’t see it.

The Twilight Syndrome videogame had so much potential, but the mystery ends up being quite bare-bones – and Peko pretending to be a serial killer really grinded my gears.


2-3 is probably the worst Danganronpa chapter, especially in the fandom’s eyes. I don’t really have any argument to defend it with.

The murders are poorly conceived and executed, it’s riddled with plot holes, the trial isn’t fun, and the killer is easily the most disappointing in the series. Maybe not my personal pick for the worst chapter, but it’s objectively bottom of the bunch.


I think I can hear a score of angry Danganronpa fans outside my door …

2-4 is a good chapter, and Gundham makes for a really interesting killer, but the mystery of the fun-house did my head in. It’s such an oppressive environment to explore, and I don’t care about your stupid octagons!


If pressed for an answer, most Danganronpa fans would say 2-5 is the best chapter of all – as of today, I’d probably agree.

Nagito’s death is easily the most shocking reveal in the series, and I love how the writers toyed with my expectations and emotions to provide jaw-dropping twists time and time again.


Other than 2-5, 2-6 is my favourite Danganronpa chapter for its bombastic finale and the return of some of my favourite characters.

A lot of fans hate on Goodbye Despair’s finale for how it brought Junko back, but I found it to be a great escalation of the stakes.


Widely considered the best in the franchise, Goodbye Despair takes the groundwork of the original and runs with it.

V3: Killing Harmony


The best opening chapter in the series, not only does 3-1 introduce a whole new zany cast of characters, but it also provides one of the best twists in the franchise.

Kaede as the killer was a plot development I didn’t see coming in a million years, and it came at the end of an already legendary opening trial.


I really liked Kirumi’s execution, and Ryoma’s motive video being empty was a real gut punch, but everything else about this chapter fell flat.

The murder is far too convoluted for its own good, and the twist that Kirumi was actually Prime Minister was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen.


People tend to lump all of the third chapters together as being the worst of the worst, but I think 2-3 is the only one that deserves it.

3-3 is far from a great chapter, but it has a lot of things going for it. Both murders are really creepy and atmospheric, and there were some good red herrings in the mix to keep me on my toes. I know the murder see-saw gets a lot of flack, but it’s not that bad!


Like with 2-4, it’s the setting of this chapter that tipped me more towards the “overrated” side.

The virtual world is a cool gimmick at first, but it gets old fast. I also can’t help but wonder if they used it to the fullest potential.


3-5 has probably my favourite class trial of all – trying to work out which character was in the Exisal made for some of the most gripping drama this series ever served.

The murder mystery was no slouch either – Kokichi’s death is complex but not convoluted, and it provides a satisfying send-off for both his and Kaito’s characters.


The most polarising Danganronpa chapter of all, there’s a 50/50 split between people who love and hate this chapter. I’m leaning more towards the side of dislike.

The twist that none of Danganronpa was ever real completely undermines the player experience and the series as a whole, and I was left with the hollowest of feelings once the credits rolled and it wasn’t revealed to be an elaborate trick by the mastermind.


Last chapter and its twist not withstanding, I still think Killing Harmony gets a little too much praise. It mixes the Danganronpa formula up in exciting ways, but at the end of the day it doesn’t bring too many new ideas to the table … at least, not ideas that I could get behind.

Aaaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:

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