The Only Anime MMORPGs & MMOs Left Worth Playing In 2022.
A good Anime MMO is about as elusive as a girlfriend. You’re in a perpetual state of searching for the perfect one to dedicate your life to.. only to be rejected repeatedly. Yet we strive onwards, ever looking to the future, for that one moment of reprieve.. only to never find it.
And that’s where I come in.
I’m about as big an Anime fan as anyone. I love Anime, I love Anime games. I’ve been enamored with this genre since I was a kid. And while I’m still one mentally.. physically, I’m responsible for doing adult things now. At least that’s what the Mrs Stix tells me.
Every year it seems as though we have less and less of a selection. But that by no means means there aren’t any good Anime MMOs to play. Quite the contrary, that just means the titles left are titles that have stood the test of time, and are the best our genre has to offer.
And while you might argue some of these don’t belong here, I do want to note that these are what I believe are the current best Anime MMOs to invest your time into.
Now with that outta the way..
Let’s start this off with Aura Kingdom. This is the most recent title from X-Legend remaining online, as Twin Saga shut down last year. Meaning it’s the most updated traditional Anime MMO left. Aura Kingdom released back in 2013 and has retained a community of loyal players.
Aura Kingdom follows the traditional Anime MMO formula: The world is segregated, meaning that each zone has a loading screen separating it from other areas, much like Guild Wars 2 or Final Fantasy XIV.
You take and complete quests, moving from hub to hub, leveling, unlocking new features.
The combat is a simple tab-target system. Abilities look decent overall. The game feels pretty fluid given it’s almost a decade old now, and given its age, it’s still pretty damn aesthetically appealing.
Its population is on the lower end of the spectrum, though, not as low as the vast majority of Anime MMOs.
Dragon Nest is an MMO that has shifted publisher more times than I can count. And every time, players have followed. Because at the end of the day, if you enjoy a game, you’ll continue playing it regardless of who publishes it.
Dragon Nest released way back in 2010, and went on to be considered one of the greatest Anime MMOs of its generation, even today, many players consider this game to have not only some of the best action combat, but also PvP of any Anime title.
While I never got to experience it first hand, during its prime, I did get to stream it recently. And I’ll admit, its action combat system is definitely better than most Anime MMOs but its PvP scene wasn’t active during the times I played.
Unlike Aura Kingdom, Dragon Nest is more of an instanced, hub-MMO, with hundreds of unique dungeons to run, a surplus of different town hubs, and a plethora of different classes to choose from. This means, however, that you can’t run around an open-world and meet other players, but you can still group up and tackle content with them.
Unfortunately its population is also fairly low. But that doesn’t stop people from enjoying the game as there are enough people left playing to keep things active.
This is arguably one of the newest titles in this list, releasing in 2019. And while it’s a newer release, it’s also one of the more unique titles, as while this launched recently on PC, it is also available completely cross-platform on mobile devices too.
There are very few decent cross-platform MMOs, and Dragon Raja is one of a small handful.
Dragon Raja utilizes an interesting hybrid combat system, with very flashy special effects. It has a segregated world, but the world itself is enormous.
It has a strong narrative, given the type of game it is. Typically, Anime MMOs – or rather, MMOs in general have an abscence of story. That isn’t the case here, and with a fully voice-acted narrative, this game definitely comes out on top.
It also has one of the larger populations of all the titles included, but that’s thanks to its cross-platform functionality.
Dungeon Fighter Online
Dungeon Fighter Online is by far the most populated game in this list, with tens of millions of active players within China alone, and millions of players spread throughout the world. By those numbers alone, this is also the most played MMORPG spread across the entire globe. Which is crazy.
Dungeon Fighter Online launched all the way back in 2005 – back during the Golden Age of the genre. When new titles were coming out every month. When everyone wanted a small piece of the genre to capitalize on.
Dungeon Fighter is an interesting title, though, in so that unlike your typical over-the-shoulder third-person graphical style, this game utilizes a horizontal side-scrolling perspective, with players moving our character horizontally – left to right, to not only move, but also fight.
Speaking of fighting, the action combat in this game is crazy. The further you get through the game, the crazier things get. You start flying all over the screen. Your attacks grow larger in scale. Taking up more and more of the screen. It’s gorgeous.. unless you dislike mass quantities of special effects taking up your entire screen.
Like Dragon Nest, this is a hub-MMO. Meaning you’ll see players in towns, but outside of towns you’ll be running a plethora of different dungeons – thus its name.
Elsword released back in 2007. Yes, quite a few of these released back before 2010, but don’t worry – we have a couple newer titles towards the end!
Elsword is also one of the handful of horizontal-MMOs, with the only other games off the top of my head being MapleStory, Dungeon Fighter, Closers and Grand Chase.
Unlike Dungeon Fighter, however, which has various town-hubs where you can see and engage with other players, Elsword, while it features a variety of different dungeons to run and has the same general gameplay loop, allows for you to navigate outside of towns and cities, between different zones, engaging enemies and participating in content with other players.
So technically, this is both a segregated-MMO and a dungeon-crawler combined. The combat is action-oriented, and is of a pretty decent quality, honestly. Which is kind of a must, given that’s the bulk of the game.
I believe the population is also still doing fairly well given how long this game has been available, and given who the publisher is.
FlyFF is an MMO released back in.. holy crap, I actually no-lifed this game for an entire year, but man, 2004? Are we serious? This game doesn’t look or feel like it was released almost 2 decades ago, but here we are. 2004. Geez.
FlyFF is a very traditional Anime MMO. Much like Aura Kingdom, the game world is pretty large, but it utilizes segregated zones. Meaning there are small loading screens between each area. You take quests. You move between hubs, and you level.
At one point you unlock flying as well, which allows for an entirely new method of transportation – I remember when I unlocked it for the first time. It was the single coolest moment of any MMO I’d played up until that point, flying around on my little broomstick.
Combat is tab-target, and abilities and animations are honestly pretty basic. Nothing great, but not boring by any stretch of the imagination.
When I last played this – just last year to acquire some footage, there were hundreds of players around the beginning town. So I’d say there are still enough people playing to warrant you downloading it if you so desire.
Mabinogi should realistically be the king of the Anime MMO genre. But.. it isn’t. Even though it is by far the most unique MMO I’ve had the pleasure of playing. Mabinogi released back in 2004, and along with FlyFF, is the oldest MMO in this list.
This game is gorgeous. Not in the traditional sense – where you look at something like Black Desert and you’re like “man.. the graphical fidelity of every particle transcends my understanding.” But where it looks so unique, that you’ve never seen another game like it.
Adding to its unique style is its combat, which can only be described as rock-paper-scissors point-and-click. I think I’d need several minutes to explain the system in detail to make sense of it, but this is as close as you’ll get.
The world is enormous, and given the slow speed with which you traverse its segregated zones, it can take a very long time to get around.
Even though it released almost 2 decades ago, it still retains quite a few players – enough where whenever I log in to stream it, I have groups of people stalking me everywhere I go.
PSO2 New Genesis
PSO2 New Genesis is one of the newer titles in this list, releasing back in 2021.
This is arguably one of the best looking, best playing Anime MMOs in this list. There’s only a single other Anime title that looks and plays as well, and that’s coming up shortly.
Unlike its predecessor, PSO2, New Genesis takes the hub-MMO style and turns it on its head, transforming the game into a segregated-world. This means that while you can see players in the towns you’ll find, you’ll also be capable of seeing large numbers of them out in the world too.
PSO2 New Genesis utilizes some of the fastest, most fluid action combat of an Anime title in this genre. Character creation is highly extensive, and they have an emphasis on the plot – something that I think is missing from a lot of games these days.
There’s a narrative present, but unfortunately it’s spread out and gated behind an arduous level grind.
There are tens of thousands of active players at any moment of the day, so the game is far from inactive.
SoulWorker is my favorite Anime MMO. It always has been, and likely always will be. This game was released back in 2016, and I’ve been playing it ever since.
This game is gorgeous. It has some of the best looking character models in the sub-genre, a ton of story to make your way through – even if at times it gets repetitious, and some of the greatest action combat I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with.
I’ve always enjoyed the combat in SoulWorker. It’s fast, it’s flashy, it’s fluid. Abilities feel impactful. Everything looks and feels so perfectly crafted.
Unfortunately, it is a hub-MMO, meaning players that don’t find enjoyment in running dungeons repeatedly will find themselves bored relatively quickly.
After finding its way back to its original developer, the game has found quite a bit of success with thousands of active players playing every day.
Tower of Fantasy
And finally, Tower of Fantasy. This is an MMO that held its Closed Beta last year, and launched just a couple months ago within China. The game is releasing this year in English, and will easily become the #1 most populated Anime MMO.
This game is stunning. The world, the environments. The characters and the extent with which you can craft your ideal, perfect avatar. The world itself is large and open.
The action combat is incredibly fast and is perhaps some of the flashiest I’ve seen in the sub-genre. The game is full of voice-acting, and has quite a strong narrative.
Tower of Fantasy is also completely cross-platform compatible between PC, Console and Mobile devices, much like Genshin Impact. Increasing the population exponentially.
I cannot wait for the rest of the world to get to try this game out.
And that’s it – those are 10 Anime MMOs I think everyone should play if you’re looking for something Anime-inspired to waste your time in.
If you’re looking for a list of the most populated MMOs, though, ’cause these aren’t large enough for you, then I got a list for that as well right here.