Winter Wolves has a ridiculously huge library to choose from of wildly varying quality, but their best stuff really sticks out. Right now, I’d highly recommend Loren the Amazon Princess and Seasons of the Wolf, RPG VNs set in their Aravorn fantasy setting. I’ve also heard good thing about the most recent entry in that line, Cursed Lands.
On the less impressive end of the spectrum is Chronofire Games. They’re mostly known for Highschool Romance, which is a crossdressing themed VN that’s not nearly as gross as that would imply yet surprisingly dull, and a fantasy themed follow-up with a gender bending premise called Magi Trials I haven’t played. I bring them up because I have been enjoying their latest game, Starlight Drifter, which tries to mix in space adventure scenarios alongside dating sim stuff. Absolutely none of it is fleshed out, but the art is fantastic (their main artist did some animation work for Skullgirls, apparently) and playing from event to event is still fun enough in the moment that the lack of polish isn’t a huge issue. Just be warned if you wanna play the game as a lesbian, there is an unskippable early scene where you and a future member of your crew get drunk and end up sleeping together. They could have made this a event based on choice but instead it seems to be mandatory and I have no idea why. It’s normally $20 so I would wait for a sale.
I feel like VA-11 Hall-A goes without saying. Same with We Know the Devil, Heaven Will Be Mine, and most everything Christine Love has done (especially now that Ladykiller removed a really awful scene in the harem end with the president).
I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but Starlight Vega looks really promising for a yuri VN, it’s about some girls accidentally summoning a demon. The art work is really nice, it looks like it was colored with colored pencils.
Scar of the Doll is a JVN, but one from 1999 that was only recently translated. It was written by the guy who would later become the scenario writer of Folklore and is extremely fascinating, even if playing it feels a bit weird. Has a cool use of photos, play the PC version and not the iOS version with new, less interesting art. It’s difficult to really get into why it’s so interesting, but the premise is that the main character is trying to find her sister, who was working for a lab that seemingly has no record of that sister ever existing.
If you want something a bit saucy, it’s worth looking into Lupiesoft, a small queer VN studio who made the extremely horny but very enjoyable Mutiny! (a ridiculous amount of monster girls), though you do have an option for something less explicit with Toko the Reject Demon. Only a sort of prologue is out, but it’s a really fun read and extremely gay. They have a new game coming out soon called Dizzy Hearts also worth looking into, it will involve elf princesses.
While I can’t offer up Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme because it is a complete mess (thougth one of the most entertaining messes I have ever seen, it is wild), I can at least say the team’s follow up, Max’s Big Bust, is actually funny on purpose and has hugely improved art.
Hanako Games is another studio with an extremely rocky record (they stepped on their own feet constantly when people were frustrated with them using the t-slur in the title for one of their games based around a crossdressing main character, though they did eventually change it and seem genuinely sorry), and Long Live the Queen seems to be their only real hit and I kind of hate it? The gimmick is just that you die all the time, it’s not that interesting. Now I have enjoyed Magical Diary, an otome game with a few lesbian paths and even an additional class and grades system. You can make your own character, which is neat, and the writing is pretty fun and filled with all sorts of teenage angst I don’t seem often. I think they released another game in this series recently too.
Kindred Spirits on the Roof is the most lesbian game that has ever existed, a genuinely huge JVN that got pulled off of steam briefly because school uniforms (Steam is goddamn ridiculous) but is back up now.
Highway Blossoms is also very gay.
The Cherry Tree High series is more a sort of roleplay/sim thing, but the second game in it, I! My! Girls! is a straight up kinetic novel that reuses the sprites from the first game for a really well done character drama/comedy sort of thing.
There’s also the work of ebi-hime, who does a lot of VNs, mainly about gay girls (write what you know), though she’s also done some horror stuff, plus some melancholy, slice of life stuff. Oh, and one het VN that seems to be about dating a single mom (the main character is 23, and it genuinely looks like a cute game).
I would also say look out for two up-and-coming VNs currently in development, Vengeful Heart (a cyberpunk drama about a water corporation and a quest for revenge) and Coffee Talk (an urban fantasy themed VA-11 like). Both are extremely promising.
OH! I almost forgot that Kotaro Uchikoshi has a new game out! He did the Zero Escape series, which includes 9 Persons 9 Hours 9 Doors, one of my favorite games ever. It’s called AI: The Somnium Files, and it recently started getting attention because there’s a scene in it where one of the main characters talks about how cool she thinks the LGBT+ community is (as in you can literally hear her say LGBT in the Japanese audio). The game itself is a sci-fi murder mystery.