13 Anime MMORPGs You Need to Try Out in 2020.
I know it’s difficult finding an Anime MMO in today’s MMO market. Anime titles are slowly shutting down one by one, and the games that’re left are.. vacant would be a compliment.
At the beginning of this year I did a video on a few Anime MMORPGs we can look forward to in 2020 and 2021. Games like Blue Protocol, Gran Saga and the recently announced Tower of Fantasy.
Yet I am ever plagued by people asking me what “Anime” MMOs they should play nevertheless. Anime titles specifically. And then I realized, I hadn’t done any videos on the best Anime MMOs to play currently – games that are readily available. That was my mistake!
So with this in mind, I feel obligated to satiate that hunger you guys have by offering you a selection of some of the best Anime MMOs to play currently in 2020 while waiting for any of the aforementioned titles. Yes, we’re all waiting on you, Blue Protocol.
Phantasy Star Online 2
It would be asinine to begin this without first talking about the biggest Anime release of 2020, right? Of course.
Phantasy Star Online 2 released back in 2012 in Japan, and just this year in North America. Yes, it really took 8 years to localize the game in the West, and while there have definitely been issues surrounding its launch, players have praised it for not disappointing.
PSO2 utilizes a hub-based gameplay system, with all players residing within a large space station, taking quests from a variety of NPCs scattered about, and departing on instanced missions together with other players or by ones self.
The game makes use of an action combat system, providing players, depending on your class, the ability to equip several weapon types, providing access to a different selection of skills per weapon, drastically changing how you play the game.
Phantasy Star Online 2 is probably the most “Anime-ish” MMO I’ve played.
Blade & Soul
Blade & Soul released back in 2012 in South Korea, and 2016 within North America and Europe.
It launched to pretty critical success over the course of its first year, with players far and wide jumping in to test what was arguably one of the best free MMOs playable back in 2016.
Blade & Soul is a large, open game that features segregated zones. Meaning that unlike an MMO like World of Warcraft or Black Desert Online, zones are divided by loading screens, but are in no way instanced.
You can freely roam, converse with, party up and engage other players in combat. The zones themselves are just separated by a small loading screen.
While some people might argue that Black Desert has the best action combat in the genre, other people might argue Blade & Soul does. Although over time I believe they’ve changed the combat and skill system so drastically that I don’t even really recognize it.
Mabinogi is an old, yet oddly unique Anime MMO that should never be overlooked when discussing the best – or most original Anime titles. The game was released back in 2004 in Korea, and later released in North America in 2008.
This game has retained a sense of relevance for over a decade in the West and was supposed to be followed-up by Peria Chronicles, but considering that was cancelled, Mabinogi is still pretty much the only game of its kind.
While it utilizes a very slow, very dated combat system, its unique graphical style, combat, rebirth system, aging mechanic, and freedom to play in almost any way imaginable makes it a game you always find yourself coming back to.
Yes, it’s definitely nowhere near as popular as it once was, falling almost into obscurity with only a few hundred active players online at any given moment, trust me when I tell you that you will not find a game like this.
Soul Worker Online
Soul Worker Online’s a personal favorite of mine. I was actually one of the people that played the game in its original Japanese incarnation, garnering millions of views and helping expand the Western playerbase pretty significantly.
And while the game had originally launched in Japan in 2015, it didn’t release in North America and Europe until 2018. Yeah, the game’s actually only been available over here in the West for 2 years now.
Much like PSO2, Soul Worker is a hub-based MMO. However, unlike most hub-based MMOs like Kritika, Vindictus, PSO2 and the like, Soul Worker is one of the few games that have a much larger selection of hubs you can move between.
This helps quite tremendously, as there’s nothing more boring than being stuck in the same town for.. the entire game.
While Soul Worker is an absolutely beautiful game, probably one of the best looking Anime MMOs available, it also has some of the best action combat, which is something I’ve noted repeatedly whenever I’ve spoken of it.
Tree of Savior
Tree of Savior is the spiritual successor to Ragnarok Online. If you haven’t played that.. you missed out. The game was released back in 2015 in Korea and 2016 in the West.
This is the only isometric MMO in this list as I’m not traditionally a fan of the game type. However, if you haven’t tried Tree of Savior – at least after the plethora of updates it’s had over the last year or two, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Tree of Savior is one of the most adorable Anime MMOs I’ve had the pleasure of playing. Not only is the graphical style both cute and gorgeous at the same time – with the amazing backgrounds and vistas – it also has incredibly rewarding dynamic gameplay.
Like pretty much every isometric MMO, the game does utilize segregated zones but with how large the game is, you won’t really feel it.
Final Fantasy XIV
I had to include this because whenever I don’t, people start complaining with things like “Why didn’t you include Final Fantasy XIV? You know it’s an Anime MMO!”
While Final Fantasy XIV to me is still probably the best MMORPG on the market right now, I don’t necessarily consider it.. I guess as.. MMO-y as the rest of the titles in this list. But nevertheless, since I know a lot of you do.. here you go.
Final Fantasy XIV, much like most MMOs in this day and age utilizes segregated zones which continue to grow in both scale and complexity as the expansions continue to release.
It employs a tab-target combat system that people complain is heinously slow early-on but becomes much more enjoyable later on in the game’s life.
It’s also an astonishingly beautiful title with more main-title Final Fantasy crossovers than you could ever know what to do with.
Dungeon Fighter Online
Dungeon Fighter Online released originally back in 2005 in South Korea, with the game launching globally in 2009, shutting down due to Nexon’s poor management, and then re-emerging again in 2015.
Dungeon Fighter Online is one of my favorite hub-based MMOs as it has the kind of quality most others don’t.
It has a plethora of characters you can choose, with each character having access to several classes, providing a lot of customization and advancement opportunities that just aren’t present in its competition.
Unlike hub-based games like PSO2 or Soul Worker though, Dungeon Fighter Online utilizes horizontal movement, much like older arcade games, and has incredibly fast, very flashy, fluid combat animations.
Considering with its Chinese, Korean and Japanese playerbase, it has more active players than any other MMO in the world.. it’s definitely worth trying out at least.
If you’ve been watching the channel for a while now, you’ll know I don’t really share any form of positive connection with Aura Kingdom. That isn’t because it’s a bad game, but more because Aeria Games managed it very poorly.
Aura Kingdom released originally back in 2014, and remained with Aeria Games until Gamigo took over.
Aura Kingdom might be one of, if not the most updated, advanced traditional Anime MMORPG you’ll find if you’re looking for something that brings back memories of old.
It features segregated zones, basic class archetypes, simple Anime graphics – which honestly look pretty damn good, don’t get me wrong – tab-target combat, and.. well, Aura Kingdom never did anything innovative with the genre, so it quickly faded into memory.
However, it has remained one of the better quality traditional Anime MMOs still alive.
Much like Aura Kingdom, FlyFF is a large – actually, much larger Anime MMO than almost any other title around currently.
The game was released originally back in 2003 in Korea and 2005 in North America, and has retained an active playerbase of dedicated players for over 15 years straight. If that isn’t impressive.. then I don’t know what is.
FlyFF is one of the few Anime MMOs that actually employ a flight system in-game, something that at the time took me by surprise – so much so that I probably stopped playing for moments after obtaining my first broom purely because I’d never experienced anything like that up ’til that point.
While it, like most MMOs utilizes segregated zones, the game world itself is so large, much larger than your ordinary MMO, that you often forget.
The combat is tab-target, naturally. You didn’t get many, if any non tab-target MMOs in this day and age but honestly.. it isn’t half bad. At its worst, it’s a little slow.
MapleStory is one of a kind. Or almost one of a kind. Wait, no, after Grand Chase closed down.. it’s one of a kind again, right? Right. Anyway, MapleStory is one of the older titles in the list, launching in South Korea in 2003 and North America in 2005.
It retained millions of players for almost a decade, with it slowly beginning to decline in the mid 2010s. However, to date, MapleStory has remained one of the most populated, most actively updated Anime MMOs on the market, and it stands to reason as to why.
The game is packed with hilarious story, likable characters, fast, incredibly flashy combat with skills that often take up the entire screen, and an interesting world to traverse.
Unlike most MMOs, MapleStory utilizes an interesting map with portals leading to different parts of the world, often numbered in parts each with their own unique aesthetic and selection of monsters.
With its ridiculous number of classes, its high level cap and the insane amount of things you can do.. you likely won’t find yourself getting bored anytime soon.
Eden Eternal is one of the first Anime games I played. The game was released back in 2010 in China, and then globally in 2011. I recall at the time being absolutely baffled with its class system, as it provided the option to level every single class on a single character.
Not only that, but by leveling specific classes, you gained access to new, more powerful classes meaning you were required to not only grind monsters, but do enough dailies and dungeons to continue farming XP for each and every class you wanted.
This kept the world feeling alive with people of all levels and skill levels working together to level. And with its fast tab-target combat system that made heavy use of AoEs the combat often felt much faster and more engaging than other tab-target MMOs released around the same time.
Graphically, Eden Eternal still looks incredible to me, especially the abilities. It’s honestly a shame it isn’t more popular. It also uses segregated zones, and features an auto-pathing system which, especially for dailies and repeatables, is actually kind of useful.
This is the last hub-based MMO I swear. Closers is one of the better looking more updated horizontal hub-based MMOs on the market right now, releasing in Korea in 2014 and then in North America in 2017.
This, like Soul Worker, was actually one of the games that I helped build hype for, playing the game in Thai I think? or Korean, I forget, a year before ever releasing in North America.
Much like Dungeon Fighter Online, you move horizontally across the instanced maps, fighting hordes of monsters with incredibly animated attacks and abilities in some of the best action combat in the Anime genre.
And have you seen the characters in the game? Wowza! If they aren’t reason enough to play Closers than I dunno what to tell you.
Temtem is actually an Anime MMORPG that launched earlier this year. Yup – not only was it developed but it was also released in 2020. Unlike other games that were developed years ago and just published this year.
Temtem is also one of the most unique MMOs I’ve ever played. It’s like Pokemon: You begin with your very own Temtem, train it, level it, evolve it, capture other Temtem, fight through Dojos, Dojo leaders, explore a giant open world and.. do what you would in a Pokemon game.
Thankfully, this game is pretty open-world. Each island takes tens of hours to fully explore, and are accessible without any loading screens. However, to access different islands requires you fly via airship, which acts as a loading screen, but the world is tremendously large.
Much like Pokemon, Temtem utilizes a turn-based combat system – something I’ve actually only ever seen in Atlantica Online. So.. yeah, saying Temtem is a unique Anime MMO is the understatement of the year.