Given that anime originated in Japan and is a huge part of their culture, you'd think a lot of anime inspired MMORPGs or Anime MMORPGs would originate from Japan, but that isn't the case. In fact, Japanese game developers aren't big on the MMO genre and aside from a few games like Final Fantasy 14, most people can't name more than a couple Japanese developed MMOs. Most anime MMORPGs out today and on the horizon are developed in places like Taiwan, South Korea, and China.
I mention Taiwan first, because most people are familiar with games like Eden Eternal and Aura Kingdom. Both are developed by a Taiwanese company called X-Legend Entertainment and feature crisp anime inspired visuals. In fact, all of X-Legend's games are inspired by anime. Those interested in Anime MMORPGs can see the list below of some of the most popular anime MMORPGs.
Popular Anime MMORPGs
Aura Kingdom is a 3D fantasy MMORPG with incredibly detailed anime graphics developed by X-Legend and published by Aeria Games. It launched through Aeria Games on January 6, 2014 and features a unique gliding system that lets players soar through the air.
Considered the spiritual successor to Grand Chase in a way, Elsword Online is a 2.5D side-scrolling anime MMORPG by KOG Games (previously known as KillerCombo). The game featured brawler style combat and linear gameplay as players fight their way through various stages.
One of the few Japanese developed Anime MMORPGs on this list. Onigiri is an action oriented fantasy MMO developed by Cyberstep that features a unique classless system. Players can switch between classes on the fly simply by switching weapons.
Developed and published by Nexon, Mabinogi offers a unique MMO experience where players are free to raise animals, compose music, build a house, and more. The game's hand-drawn character art, although dated, has a unique charm to it. Since the game's U.S. release on March 27, 2008, it's been in service for over 7 years.
ELOA (Elite Lord of Alliance)
Elite Lord of Alliance, or just ELOA, is an action anime MMORPG from Webzen with a unique 3 weapon system. Every class has access to 3 different weapons, each of which has multiple unique skills.
An older MMORPG, but still a popular one. Fly For Fun is an anime MMORPG from Webzen which launched in the West on December 25, 2005. Fly For Fun is one of those games that became popular on private servers, which means players have the option of playing on official servers or private ones.
A new sleek looking anime MMORPG from X-Legend Entertainment with action oriented combat. Aeria Games is the Western publisher. The game is known as Astral Realm in Asia, but for some reason it was localized as Twin Saga in the West. The game launched into open beta through Aeria on September 1, 2016.
Luna Online is a cute anime inspired MMORPG from Suba Games with chibi graphics. The game originally launched in 2009 though Beanfun but was shut down. SubaGames revived Luna Online in 2016.
A cute anime MMORPG developed by X-Legend with a unique multi-classing system. Players can switch between classes at will and unlock more advanced classes. No need to make alt characters when you can level everything on one character! On a slightly unrelated note, this bear race in Eden Eternal (seen above) actually reminds me of Lala Hiyama from Knights of Sidonia.
Scarlet Blade (Shut Down)
Also known as Queens Blade Online in Asia, Scarlet Blade released through Aeria Games in the U.S. and Europe on March 27, 2013. The game is been on the Queen's Blade ecchi manga. This game unfortunately shut down and is no longer available.
Spirit Tales (Shut Down)
A cute anime-inspired MMORPG published by KoramGame and also developed by X-Legend. The art-style here leans towards super cute chibi rather than more traditional anime. The game is known as Glory Destiny Online in Asia. This one shut down as well.
These are just a few of the many anime MMORPGs available on the market. Games like Ragnarok Online, Tree of Savior, and Asda 2 are also anime inspired. Anime inspired graphics are easily one of the most common art styles in MMORPGs.
What Anime MMORPGs have you played in the past? Which games do you like? Let us know in the comments below!