Loved 'Ready Player One'? Check out these 8 Books

Posted by Cybil on March 28, 2018
Before Steven Spielberg's shiny new adaptation of Ready Player One hits theaters this weekend, we thought it would be a fun game to round up eight more highly rated books for people who loved Ernest Cline's dystopian science fiction debut.

Set in a rather bleak 2045, Ready Player One centers on a young Wade Watts who's searching for the ultimate Easter egg in a global 1980s-themed virtual reality game—and the chance to win an outrageous inheritance from the game's creator. The book has become beloved since its 2011 publication, with more than a half million reviews on Goodreads and a very robust 4.30-star rating from the community.

With such talented competition, we made sure that every sci-fi book in this roundup also has at least a four-star rating. And we looked at what books people who highly rated Ready Player One also read…and loved.

Let us know which books you'll be adding to your Want-to-Read shelf.

Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
What books would you recommend for Ready Player One fans? Let us know in the comments.

Check out more recent blogs:
7 Buzzy Books Hitting Shelves This Week
Actor (and Debut Author) Sean Penn Recommends Some of His Favorite Books
The Contenders for the Best Audiobooks of the Year

Comments Showing 1-39 of 39 (39 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Cayla (new)

Cayla Cory Doctorow's Little Brother and its sequel, Homeland, are other books set in the not too distant future that could have been on this list. Even though his books are aimed at YA, Doctorow's books are smartly written, fun, and thought-provoking.


message 2: by Kenya (last edited Mar 28, 2018 09:00AM) (new)

Kenya Starflight ...wow. What does it say about me that despite loving "Ready Player One," I disliked two of these books (Red Rising and Altered Carbon), DNFed one (Warcross), and two are by authors I cannot stand (Ender's Game and Snow Crash)? Was RPO just a fluke for me?


message 3: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth What about Play to Live (AlterWorld series Book 1) or the Alpha World series? I could name a few others but I think I'll stop at two.


message 4: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra I'd suggest Erebos.


message 5: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra Kenya wrote: "...wow. What does it say about me that despite loving "Ready Player One," I disliked two of these books (Red Rising and Altered Carbon), DNFed one (Warcross), and two are by authors I cannot stand ..."

Nah, these suggestions aren't that great. I did enjoy Warcross ok, but it wasn't on the level of RPO IMO. Have no interest at all in Red Rising - and have no clue why it's on this list. Snowcrash bored me.


message 6: by Shaft (new)

Shaft Definitely Little Brother and Homeland, Cayla knows what's up


message 7: by Kenchiin (new)

Kenchiin Cayla wrote: "Cory Doctorow's Little Brother and its sequel, Homeland, are other books set in the not too distant future that could have been on this list. Even though his books are aimed at YA, Doctorow's books..."

Taking note of this right now


message 8: by Brandon (new)

Brandon If you really want something like Ready player one I think you'll have to start writing. While I would consider it to be a Lit RPG lite series, it really have any overtly similar piers. Ready Player one sits in this in between place where I haven't found any other books going yet.


message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy LOVED RPO! I haven't read these books yet, but this list looks pretty solid.

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/8...


message 10: by Ziggy (new)

Ziggy Nixon I can personally vouch for Dennis E. Taylor's "Bobiverse" trilogy. A fun scifi jaunt that covers all kinds of topics including first contact/prime directive issues, intergalatic war, abandoning a self-destroyed Earth and more!


message 11: by Bruce (new)

Bruce The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

If you enjoy the parts of Stranger Things and Stephen King's It where the boys are together without all the monster/sci-fi stuff this one's for you. It's a bit of Ready Player One mixed with John Green too; great for those children of the 80s to reminisice about growing up...


message 12: by Krista (new)

Krista Ivy Alexandra wrote: "I'd suggest Erebos."

I second the suggestion of Erebos.


message 13: by Asier (new)

Asier Saez-cirion The Player of games by Iain Banks. Trully worthy


message 14: by Deidre (new)

Deidre I'd suggest "Otherworld" by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller. It's very similar.


message 15: by Christos (new)

Christos I loved Daemon, it's so much better than RPO


message 16: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Markham Definitely recommend We Are Legion and the entire Bobiverse trilogy. Clever, funny, human... imagine you’re hit by a car crossing the road and you wake up 130 years later as AI, destined to be part of a war effort you don’t agree with for people you despise...


message 17: by Laura (new)

Laura Dam I read several of these. I didnt like Ender´s Game that much but loved Snow Crash (and it is authored by one of my favorite sci fi authors). I think RPO is entertaining but copies a lot from several other books and tv shows.


message 18: by Meg (new)

Meg Kenya wrote: "...wow. What does it say about me that despite loving "Ready Player One," I disliked two of these books (Red Rising and Altered Carbon), DNFed one (Warcross), and two are by authors I cannot stand ..."

Try All You Need is Kill. They turned that one into the movie Edge of Tomorrow, and it is inspired by video game play. Fast read and fun


Fel, LitRPG Devotee Kenya wrote: "...wow. What does it say about me that despite loving "Ready Player One," I disliked two of these books (Red Rising and Altered Carbon), DNFed one (Warcross), and two are by authors I cannot stand ..."

Search for books under the 'LitRPG' keyword. The books listed here are a bit out of touch in regards to this emerging genre.


message 20: by Oisin (new)

Oisin Muldowney Conor Kostick and Epic. He's recently written about Epic, LitRPG and Ready Player One here: https://www.writing.ie/interviews/rea...


message 21: by Tawnee (last edited Mar 28, 2018 06:13PM) (new)


message 22: by Jorge (new)

Jorge Rafael We are legion trilogy was amazing


message 23: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Blanchard Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kristin Miller


message 24: by Ralph (new)

Ralph William Hertling's Avogadro Corp and the other books in the Singularity series are quite good as well as the standalone Kill Process


message 25: by Campbell (new)

Campbell Bedlam by Christopher Brookmyre. It's funnier, swearier and Scottisher. Also the final resolution is better and more satisfying than RP1.


message 26: by Alex (new)

Alex Christman I would personally suggest Alex Rider: Strombreaker, because it involves a computer virus and an evil plot. Great book!


message 27: by Gabriel (new)

Gabriel In addition to these great suggestions: Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer :)


message 28: by Sonny (new)

Sonny Loved Red Rising and RPO both but for very, VERY, different reasons. Having trouble seeing any connection between the two.


message 29: by Chris (new)

Chris Evans Ready Player One is a LitRPG, yet you don't have any LitRPGs on this list O_o seems like people who like Ready Player One would be most likely to enjoy books like Dungeon Born, The Land, or Survival Quest.


message 30: by J (new)

J Kenya wrote: "...wow. What does it say about me that despite loving "Ready Player One," I disliked two of these books (Red Rising and Altered Carbon), DNFed one (Warcross), and two are by authors I cannot stand ..."

No. I'm not sure I would recommend these to people who've read RPO. Try The Reckoners series by Sanderson, and The Martian by Weir. Similar, snarky sort of main character that's an underdog.

Also, as others have said, Little Brother by Doctorow is also a good read-a-like. For something a little offbeat, Redshirts by John Scalzi might also work.


message 31: by Duke (new)

Duke Winchester Julie wrote: "Kenya wrote: "...wow. What does it say about me that despite loving "Ready Player One," I disliked two of these books (Red Rising and Altered Carbon), DNFed one (Warcross), and two are by authors I..."

The Reckoners Series by Brandon Sanderson!


message 32: by Robert (new)

Robert In a similar but slightly different vein, I would add the novel "You" by Austin Grossman to this list.


message 33: by Bree (new)

Bree Jason Segel's "Otherworld" reminded me of RPO sooo much


message 34: by Franklin (new)

Franklin Wood "Redshirts" by Scalzi


message 35: by Saul (new)

Saul Escalona Having read some books of the above, I would say RPO and Daemon are the closest thing together. They have common backgrounds such as; virtual worlds, computer game players of highest skill and the games creators are dead people that when alive, were geniuses in computer gaming.


message 36: by Michael (new)

Michael Alderete I've read five of the books on this list (missed Warcross, Red Rising, and Nexus). I'd say the following about them:

- All of them are enjoyable books, with some of them being outstanding. Most are better written than Ready Player One (which I loved, but acknowledge its limitations).

- We Are Legion is probably closest in tone, a serious story told by a smartass. (The other two books in the trilogy are similarly enjoyable.)

- Demon is probably closest in theme: a brilliant game designer dies, and that sets world-shaking events in motion, with the video game becoming as important as the real world. (Demon is perhaps best thought of as the first half of a veeery long novel, which concludes in the sequel. You'll want the second book immediately after finishing the first.)

- Snow Crash is my favorite of the books on this list (including RPO).

- Altered Carbon is an outstanding book (I literally just finished re-reading it a month ago), but I don't know what it's doing on this list, since it's nothing like RPO. It's a gritty noir novel that happens to be science fiction. (The other two novels in this trilogy have a less noir, more SF flavor.)

- Ender's Game is a great, influential novel, but I gave up reading Orson Scott Card for real-world reasons.


message 37: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Gagner Otherland series by Tad Williams


message 38: by Sheryl (new)

Sheryl Kenya wrote: "...wow. What does it say about me that despite loving "Ready Player One," I disliked two of these books (Red Rising and Altered Carbon), DNFed one (Warcross), and two are by authors I cannot stand ..."
I'm not interested in any of these, but you might like Dark Matter. That's what I would have recommended.


message 39: by K.L. (new)

K.L. Beckmeyer Kenya wrote: "...wow. What does it say about me that despite loving "Ready Player One," I disliked two of these books (Red Rising and Altered Carbon), DNFed one (Warcross), and two are by authors I cannot stand ..."

Nope, these books are all wildly different. A list of science fiction dystopian novels that appreciate technology doesn't have to have anything in common with their tone. Dark Matter is also darker than Ready Player One, but I second Sheryl, it's a better bet than any of these.


back to top