This is probably one of the most difficult top 10 we could assemble. How can you list the best free to play top 10 anime-inspired MMORPG games without leaving quite a few behind? We did our best at reuniting a few classics of the genre and some more recent games in our Top 10 Anime MMORPG, but we’re sure we left some great games out. Without further delay, here are 10 free to play Anime MMORPGs that everyone must play.
10 – Iris Online
Iris Online is a case of an MMO that looks good and plays great. There’s a great twist to the game, with the inclusion of Tarot cards that can be used both for customization or monster summoning. Turning into a monster during combat is good fun, but it’s even better when there’s a fully-fledged MMORPG behind it. Such is the case with Iris Online.
9 – Dragon Saga
Dragon Saga (Dragonica) is one impressive Anime game that breaks from the usual perspective in MMOs. Designed as a side-scroller and blending elements from the MMORPG and fighting genres, the game also scores high on the visual department. The comic touches added to a satisfyingly deep experience turn it into a quality MMO.
8 – Grand Fantasia
Grand Fantasia may seem like a generic fantasy MMORPG with the usual anime graphics, but it is quite a few years old, when the theme still wasn’t over-explored. That also means that Grand Fantasia has a lot of content on offer, the sprite system is an interesting feature and the large world is filled with a lot of fun quests.
7 – Rusty Hearts
Rusty Hearts is a high quality anime-style brawler, featuring some impressive character art and smooth animation. It’s a great fighting game that is only made better by the polished visuals, appealing both to fans of the genre and those attracted by the graphic design. The best of both worlds, we could say.
6 – Mabinogi
Mabinogi is a classic free-to-play 3D MMORPG with cheerful anime style visuals and a focus on the community aspect of things. It’s a relaxed game with a lot of peaceful activities to do, but combat and dungeon exploring are also part of the game. This is a game for every kind of player to enjoy and leave any competitive desires aside. The prequel, Vindictus, however, is a more mature action-MMORPG.
5 – Ragnarok Online
Ragnarok Online sure is one old MMORPG! However, there aren’t many games that can claim to have an original art style such as the one in display here, and those that tried to do it (Solstice: Reborn, for example) are far from receiving the same acclaim. But there’s more to Ragnarok Online than its beautiful and large game world, with regular content updates bringing something new to the table. Ragnarok Online is considered by many the best anime mmorpg anime of all time. A sequel is in development.
4 – Fly for Fun
Fly for Fun (FlyFF) is another long-running popular MMORPG with lots of updates, a level cap that keeps on climbing and, of course, anime graphics that may show their age but have the merit of supporting a game with all the popular features. As the name says, when players reach a certain level they will be able to fly, opening new opportunities such as air combat and races.
3 – Eden Eternal
Besides offering some of the best anime graphics in a free-to-play MMORPG, Eden Eternal has a couple of features to make it stand out from the competition. The most important is the class system, where a player is free to switch between classes, as long as some conditions are met. The clean interface and frantic combat also deserve a mention, but beware of the grind.
2 – Dragon Nest
Nexon is the publisher behind Dragon Nest, an MMORPG with extremely detailed anime-style characters and a world that fits perfectly with the theme. An experienced team comprised of elements who worked on Kingdom Under Fire and Ninety Nine Nights is responsible for the development of this game, a charming blend of RPG and dynamic combats.
1 – Maplestory
Maplestory is a timeless classic and a legend, a free to play 2D Anime MMORPG that is one of the most popular ever. Released in 2005, it still manages to hold an impressive playerbase, boasting figures of over 100 million subscribers worldwide and over 8 million registered users in Maplestory Global alone, as of 2011.
It’s easy to understand why the game is still so relevant nowadays, but it’s almost impossible to replicate that success. First, the regular updates keep the game fresh and interesting – a recent update added PvP; secondly, the cute anime style looked so captivating that players spread the characters all over the web, acting as the best marketing tool that exists. Finally, Maplestory looks like an easy game to play and consequently draws many new players, although it has a lot of features on offer.
Other games tried to imitate the visual style of Maplestory, but there’s nothing quite like the original.
That was our Top 10 free Anime MMORPG. We hope that you just discovered a few great games to try and share your experience with us. Sadly we couldn’t include all the games we wanted, leaving names such as Fiesta Online, Elsword, Lunia, Legend of Edda, Cloud Nine, Asda 2, Ether Saga Odyssey out of the equation, but let us know in the comments section if you agree with our choice and what would be your perfect list.
*This page will be updated from time to time so don´t forget to share your top 10!