Cute anime characters, thousands of fashion options galore, damage numbers rising into the millions – why wouldn’t you want to look for games like MapleStory? If you’re checking out our list, we don’t have to remind you of how compelling the game gets. It is one of the top MMORPGs for a reason.
From the charming world to the adorable monster designs and accessible gameplay, MapleStory sits unchallenged as the best free-to-play title in the genre. With its super flashy skills and fast-paced platformer-esque movement, the MMO is instantly addictive.
Combine this with over 40 unique classes to select from, and near-limitless style options, players grinding for hours on end isn’t surprising. The game’s leveling and progression system is also straightforward, which makes it easy for any noob to jump in.
Whether you’re waiting for the game’s next big update or burning event, our list will find you a new world to grind in. Here are the top 8 anime games like MapleStory to keep you occupied.
Available on PC.
Mabinogi is MapleStory’s lesser-known sister, also from Nexon. It came out a few years later, and while the setting and gameplay are a huge change, it’s another anime-style MMORPG.
Instead of the diverse mix of high-tech alien cities to LEGO-like dungeons, Mabinogi is set in the Welsh-inspired world of Erinn.
As the game’s name suggests, it takes from The Mabinogion. The Mabinogion is a collection of stories from the 12th-13th century. It features rich lore and worldbuilding, which the MMORPG draws from and presents wrapped in an anime aesthetic.
For those unfamiliar, this also includes the popular King Arthur. Mabinogi’s tagline is: Live Your Fantasy Life. If you wanted more social and life skill elements from MapleStory, this is your game.
Even now, the crafting and mechanics in Mabinogi blow most modern MMOs out of the water. Crafting and cooking are always relevant, and even have mini-games that tie into the craft quality.
This is also what leads to the game’s player-run economy. You can even run your own shops and sell any gear you craft. Life skills are just as important as combat in this game. Along with that, Mabinogi’s fashion options put MapleStory to shame. It’s why it is popularly known as Fashionogi.
The game’s class system is also just as diverse as MapleStory. It even goes one better – it is free-form. You aren’t restricted to one class and can combine/swap whenever.
The combat in Mabinogi is slower-paced, but takes more skill and strategy. It is still real-time, but has a rock-paper-scissors-like system, where certain abilities will win out against others. Fans of games like MapleStory will get a kick out of this game.
Dungeon Fighter Online
Available on PC.
Want to see numbers climb to ridiculous amounts, and just smash through enemies? This ‘games like MapleStory’ list would have no merit if we didn’t include Dungeon Fighter Online.
If Mabinogi is the younger sister, then Dungeon Fighter is the older brother. It’s also a Nexon MMO and shares a similar gameplay loop with MapleStory, heavily focusing on combat and grind.
This anime Steam game features an anime aesthetic, but it is very different from Mabinogi and MapleStory’s take. It is more mature, with proper proportions for characters.
If you really loved MapleStory’s combat, you’ll be swept up by Dungeon Fighter. It cuts out the fluff and traversing the open world, and throws you right into the heat of battle.
The gameplay loop consists of just grinding dungeons for levels, executing awesome combos on monsters, and finding new gear. It takes everything MapleStory does well, and refines it.
Whilst the game doesn’t feature strong fashion or cosmetic elements, the character designs ooze with personality. Each class in Dungeon Fighter looks stylish, with over-the-top skills. Each character also controls differently and there are currently 16 different classes (characters) to choose from.
Dungeon Fighter’s battles are hands-down one of the most satisfying in video game history. Combat is responsive, drawing from the fighting game and beat ’em up genre.
Every sword slash, punch, and kick is beautifully animated and packs weight. If you want more combat-focused MMOs, you should read our games like Black Desert Online post.
.hack//G.U. Last Recode
Available on PC, PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.
Sometimes, other players in MMORPG games can ruin your experience. They can break immersion, and seeing someone with jetpacks in a medieval world is just ridiculous.
If you want an MMO-style game without other people running amok, you should check out .hack//G.U. Last Recode. This collection features the .hack//G.U. trilogy with enhanced gameplay and graphics.
The .hack series are single-player games that simulate playing in an MMORPG world. //G.U. Last Recode is no different, and when it comes to the plot, think Sword Art Online.
In Last Recode, you are in the role of someone who is playing an MMORPG, known as The World. You control their on-screen player character, Haseo, whose goal is to save his friend Shino who fell comatose after being killed in-game.
This simulation runs as far as being able to “log-off”, and you even get your own desktop. You can check your in-game news, read emails, and even customize it.
If you’re fed up with other players stealing your farming spots in MapleStory, give Last Recode a go. It even has the classic, tedious fetch quests.
Combat in Last Recode is action-based and comparable to games like Final Fantasy—it even has a command menu. If this all sounds interesting, we also feature similar titles in our list for JRPGs like Kingdom Hearts.
The writing in Last Recode trump any of the stories MapleStory has put out. The narrative and themes are comparable to Sword Art Online, but it executes them better.
Available on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
What would you get if you built Frankenstein’s monster with Sword Art Online, SNES-era Zelda, and MapleStory? You’d get the masterpiece that is CrossCode.
It is an RPG with charming retro 16-bit graphics, an engaging story, puzzles, and fast-paced action. While the game is single-player, the story has you playing a fictional MMORPG.
CrossCode has you playing as Lea, a player avatar in a sci-fi MMO called CrossWorlds. Just like in MapleStory or any other game in the genre, you’ll find CrossCode is full of other players.
Except, these players are actually just AI. The game does an incredible job at mimicking the MMO experience, down to the sense of life evoked when seeing players running around, or active towns.
This isn’t the only thing the game does well. The world design is superb, and even the soundtrack is incredible. MapleStory has some iconic music, and CrossCode is on par with that.
CrossCode also does an amazing job balancing the action gameplay with thought-provoking puzzles. This is where its inspiration from Zelda really shines through. Dungeons are full of Zelda-esque puzzles, as well as gear rewards. It even features deep RPG class systems, levels, and skills.
There are over 90 action skills in the game, and then even more passive abilities. It’s also jam-packed with content, with over 100 quests, and 30+ bosses.
Combat is speedy and real-time. If you took MapleStory and changed it to a top-down perspective, you’d get CrossCode. If you’re still not convinced, the game has a free demo. If you love anime games like MapleStory, you’ll adore this title.
Available on PC, PS5, PS4, Android, and iOS.
A huge cast of characters to choose from, a massive world to explore, and heavily stylized anime visuals? Genshin Impact is a must-try recommendation if you want games like MapleStory.
It’s also a free-to-play title, and even features complete crossplay/cross-progression between platforms. You can go from playing on your PC, and then continue questing on your phone.
Genshin features a gorgeous 3D open world to explore. It takes from titles like Breath of the Wild, with a huge focus on just adventuring through the map with no limits.
It is comparable to MapleStory in the way it features combat-centric grinding. While crafting is in Genshin, it definitely takes a backseat to the dungeon and boss battles.
If you loved the variety of classes in MapleStory, you’ll love the characters in this game. Each one feels unique, with their own set of skills, personality, and even quest lines. The developers, miHoYo, put in the effort to bring every character in Genshin to life, and feel individual. Each one brings something different to the game and combat.
Genshin Impact allows for up to four characters in each party. Characters in the game have their own skills, weapons, and even elements. This allows you to min/max for optimal party setups.
The combat focuses on combos and synergy. You could have one party member drench enemies in water, and follow it up with a lightning-based attack for extra damage.
While Genshin Impact isn’t an MMORPG, it shares a lot with the genre. It is an always-online RPG, which allows you to adventure and grind with friends—like in MapleStory.
Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds
Available on PC, Android, and iOS.
Do you know what’s even better than anime visuals? Studio Ghibli anime visuals. Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds draws from the MMORPG genre and combines the gameplay with the iconic art style.
Instead of a 2D platformer-like world, Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds features a vast 3D open world to quest in. The game draws from the single-player titles in the franchise, with a unique real-time pet-based combat.
If you loved the Wild Hunter or Beast Tamer class in MapleStory, you’ll feel at home in Cross Worlds. However, instead of just using animals to fight, you’ll also get to raise and train them.
The creatures in Cross Worlds are called Familiars, and can help with combat or act as a mount. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and imaginative designs. There are little sword-wielding goblins, crown-wearing whales, and even cuddly water bears. They all have their own element type and special abilities.
Combat has you fighting alongside your familiar, and you’ll level up along with them. The game has over four classes to choose from, and the “Swordsman” looks suspiciously like Howl.
You’ll find the Ni no Kuni series is full of callbacks to Studio Ghibli, and Cross Worlds isn’t any different. If you’re a huge fan of the Monster Life mini-game in MapleStory, just wait until you see the Forest of Familiars.
In Cross Worlds, the Forest of Familiars is like a fleshed-out, 3D Monster Life. You get your own personal home, where you can directly communicate with your little buddies, build, and even farm! It’s a stunning game, and worth checking out if you’re a MapleStory fan.
Echoes of Mana
Available on Android and iOS.
Get your JRPG on with Square Enix’s Echoes of Mana. The Mana series was originally developed as a spin-off to Final Fantasy, but grew into its own franchise.
If you want a game like MapleStory with the same beat ’em up, side-scrolling goodness—this is it. Best of all, it’s on mobile, so you can take the action on your train rides or work breaks.
Don’t worry if you’re not too familiar with the Mana series, either. This title is perfect for both newcomers and long-time fans. It features an all-new story, but some older fan favorites do return.
Echoes of Mana doesn’t have character customization like MapleStory. Instead, you choose to play as either the male or female protagonist. You’ll collect more characters as the game goes on, which you can play as and add to your party.
Parties consist of six members, but only three actively participate in fights. You can switch between the three fighting party members whenever you want during battle. Each character will have two skills you can use, and there are also Ultimate Attacks.
As you can expect from the JRPG-legend Square Enix, the monster and character designs are on point. While attack animations aren’t as stylish as MapleStory, it still gets flashy.
Something Echoes of Mana has over MapleStory is its accessibility. The game’s controls and user interface are minimalistic in comparison, and you don’t have to deal with dozens of buttons.
You don’t have to worry about damaging your wrists… Unlike some classes in MapleStory. The gear and level progression is also more streamlined in Echoes of Mana.
Available on PC, PS5, Xbox Series, and Nintendo Switch.
TemTem might seem like an odd recommendation, but trust me—it belongs on a ‘games similar to MapleStory’ list. It offers similar, adorable anime visuals, and MMORPG-styled gameplay.
If you found MapleStory’s familiar system lacking, this is where TemTem delivers. The entire game focuses on catching new monsters, and battling them Pokémon style. The game takes the Pokémon formula and mixes it with MMORPG elements. It is always online, so you’ll always see other players traveling and capturing monsters alongside you.
The combat might not be fast-paced like MapleStory, but it requires more strategy than button smashing.
It also has an easy-to-use party system, which allows you to team up with a friend during battles. You can battle the game’s equivalent of Gym leaders together, collect monsters, and explore.
The game’s story also hits the same cheesy notes as MapleStory does. Its colorful world and music are also very reminiscent of locations like Ellinia in the Maple World.
TemTem places you on a collection of islands known as the Airborne Archipelago. These floating islands are where you’ll go on your journey to become the top TemTem tamer.
Let’s talk cute characters! TemTem features good character customization, with unlockable cosmetics. The selection isn’t as vast as MapleStory yet, but there are still plenty of clothing options.
The game also has a fun housing system. You can decorate it however you want with furniture, and even invite friends.
Bonus: MapleStory M
Available on Android and iOS.
If you love MapleStory, and you’re looking for a game to play on the side… Why not play its mobile counterpart? You’ll be able to take the beloved MMO on the bus, in your office, or in the restroom.
While MapleStory M isn’t a 1:1 copy of the PC version, it condenses the experience and streamlines it for the better. It also features quality of life features for convenience.
If you have to do work or get back to studying, the game has autoplay options for grinding. This can come in handy, however, dungeons and bosses will still require your full attention.
The mobile version also cuts out fluff from its PC counterpart, making leveling and gearing easier to understand. Don’t misunderstand, though, it replicates and offers the same fun MapleStory experience, but makes it more accessible.
The main differences you’ll find are the amount of content available. MapleStory M has catching up to do. It is slightly behind with the number of classes and bosses available.
The world features the same charm MapleStory on PC does. It has the same locations, NPCs, and quests. The community for the game is also just as social and inviting.
You’ll find the Cygnus Knights, people chatting in Henesys, and classes like the mesmerizing Angelic Buster. MapleStory M is also free-to-play, so hurry up and give it a shot!