Last Life by Alexey Osadchuk
This brand new series is not in a video game but nonetheless uses many gaming tropes. “Gifted” career criminal Jack finally messed with the wrong guy and landed himself a life sentence in his world’s cruelest prison. Fortunately (or not) for him, his stay doesn’t last long, and he quickly finds himself confronted by a mysterious disembodied voice telling him he is about to be reborn into a new body. When he opens his eyes again, Jack finds himself in a medieval world in the soft, flabby body of a spoiled nobleman, Max Renard, who has thus far squandered his life. Jack quickly finds his footing and kicks things into high gear, brawling his way to the top in this action-packed progression fantasy.
Underdog by Alexey Osadchuk
A completed series with eight entries, Underdog follows Eric, a character cursed by the malicious Bug to forever remain at level zero. After losing his family to a tragic accident, he finds himself sold into peonage to cover the medical debts his father incurred to keep him alive. Put to work in a mine deep beneath the Crooked Mountains, Eric finally finds the upside to his unfortunate handicap and uses it to great effect. His subsequent adventures take him all over the world of the “Great System” in a quest to find his lost brother and uncover the secrets of his ancient bloodline.
Reality Benders by Michael Atamanov
This series, comprising nine books so far with a tenth on the way follows Gnat an intrepid former Geology student at Moscow State University. After being caught by the police for operating an underground videogame gambling ring, he is presented with a choice – either get sent off to a work camp or test a mysterious new virtual reality system. But it soon becomes clear that he’s gotten more than he bargained for and his actions in the game will have serious consequences for the real Earth. A blend of cyberpunk and science fiction elements, this fast-paced series has long been a fan favorite
The Sublime Electricity by Pavel Kornev
This four-book series of magical steampunk mysteries is a bit of an enigma. To put it shortly, it’s a detective fiction that takes place in a steampunk world where magic exists, but it’s rare and few believe in it. It chronicles the life of a destitute aristocrat and Detective Constable named Leopold Orso as he grapples with an ancient curse and repeatedly saves his native city of New Babylon from supernatural threats.
The Dark Herbalist by Michael Atamanov
This fantasy series is set in a near-future virtual-reality game. The main character, Timothy, finds work testing video games, but not in the usual sense. The developers are disappointed that their players stick to a few tried and true game and race combinations, so they hire a batch of gamers to try out new ones and popularize them. Tim is assigned to play a goblin herbalist by the name of Amra, and though it’s not easy, with his finely honed instincts and more than a little help from his precocious sister, he smashes everyone’s wildest expectations, eventually discovering more about the game than he ever wanted to know. This series has four books and has been a smash-hit in the LitRPG genre.
Perimeter Defense by Michael Atamanov
My first series of novels, the plot here follows a hardcore gamer from Moscow who is tricked into leaving his old life behind in favor of what he is led to believe is a highly-immersive secret video game only for the elite. His mission is to improve the standing of a game avatar for a rich guy who wants to impress his friends, but is himself untalented. After a series of increasingly high-stakes adventures, he learns there may be more to this world that he was led to believe. A prototypical space opera with plenty of science fiction elements, this series has all the aliens, androids and space battles a fan of the genre would expect.