What could be better than playing a virtual reality MMORPG? Playing an MMORPG about characters who are playing a virtual reality MMO game! Sounds confusing? We bring you a list of games like Sword Art Online, which is a role-playing game based on a Japanese light novel by the same name.
Battling to the Top!
Despite mixed reviews from fan and critics, the Sword Art Online light novels became the top-selling series in 2012.
On the 6th of November 2022, players from across the globe log into Sword Art Online for the first time (not players like you and me, players within the game). But little did they know that the game they are about to play can slowly turn into a matter of life and death. Once in the game, the players realize that their bodies die in the real world too, in the event that they died in the game. The creator Akihiko Kayaba is an evil genius, and now the players have to cross numerous levels through a myriad of virtual worlds in order to complete the task and save themselves from the ultimate obstacle―death.
Amidst this world of players stuck in the VMMORPG game is a character named Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya, who was chosen as one of the 1,000 beta testers in the closed beta. He thinks that this would be a simple task because he knows how the game works. But along the way, he realizes that to survive, you need friends, and this is how he meets the love of his life, Asuna. Together and along with hundreds of players, they try to tackle the game while staying alive.
Enter the world of Sword Art Online. Written by Reki Kawahara and published on April 10, 2009 by ASCII Media Works, it is a bestselling Japanese light novel that has also been made into video games like Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment, which was released on the PSP and Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment for PlayStation Vita. The best part yet―a third game is set to be released in 2015!
Finding a game with an interface and comprehensive storyline like SAO is tough, but we bring you some alternatives to Sword Art Online that in some way remind us of this classic. So take a look!
GAMES SIMILAR TO SWORD ART ONLINE
THE EXILED REALM OF ARBOREA (TERA)
Developer: Bluehole Studio
Original Release Date: January 25, 2011
Description: TERA is a 3D, fantasy-themed MMORPG game. It is the story of Arun and Shara, set about a millennium ago, who entered into formless voids for unknown reasons and fell asleep. Arun and Shara dreamed about god and humans, and elves and vampires. One’s dream represented the good, and the other, bad. Enter the war of the gods, and from there begins a whole new story. This game has an action-based combat system. It is played from the third-person perspective; and you use a cross-hair cursor to aim your attacks. You can choose from seven races and eight classes, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The amazing combat system gives you the feel of another world and so much more.
Original Release Date: June 22, 2004
Description: This is another South Korean MMORPG with characters created with a mix of skill choices, age, items, physical constitution, and other variables such as user titles; the best part is the lack of limitation and the opportunity to level up any of the attributes based on your choice. With social aspects ranging through the three different continents of Uladh, Belvast, and Iria, the players can choose to be human or a character from any of the 3 continents. If this hasn’t excited you already, the gameplay, exploration quests, and fantasy life settings surely will!
Original Release Date: January 21, 2010
Description: Another mastermind of devCAT, it is an MMORPG, which is the prequel to Mabinogi. It shares the same setting as its sequel, but set a few hundred years before the same. The gameplay follows an episodic format, where new episodes are added every six months. Once an episode is completed, a player can receive gold and/or items for quests, and will also receive extra Health Points. The health increase and items are especially valuable to help one’s chances for later episodes. The classes and characters are one and the same in this version, and players get to choose which one of the eight characters they will play, each of which has different combat skills and abilities.
GUILD WARS 2
Original Release Date: August 28, 2012
Description: Set in the fantasy world of Tyria, the games takes over where its prequel Guild Wars left off. It traces the reemergence of disbanded guild, known as Destiny’s Edge―a Lovecraftian species that takes control of Tyria, and is dedicated to fighting the Elder Dragons. It features a storyline that responds to player actions, something that’s not common in most multiplayer role-playing games. It allows the players to utilize the ripple effect to allow players to approach quests in different ways as part of a persistent world and has a dynamic event system that takes the place of traditional questing. The combat system aims to be more dynamic than its predecessor by using the environment as a weapon, promoting synergy between professions and reducing the complexity of the “Magic”―style skill system of the original game, making this MMO worth a trial run at least.
Developer: Eyedentity Games
Original Release Date: March 2010
Description: When Goddess Althea, creator of the land of Alteria, is poisoned by her evil sister Vestinel, the only hope for cure is ironically hidden within the source of the poison itself, which is a magic grail belonging to Vestinel that has disappeared somewhere in this virtual land. Players act as the heroes of Alteria, on the quest to find the grail, while fighting evil forces on the way, in the hope to wake her and save their world. It uses a non-targeting combat system that ensures the players of complete control over every single one of their character’s movements and also requires users to advance their characters by teaming up and traveling into instanced dungeons. Players can choose from a range of hero classes―characters that are part of the Dragon Nest storyline that can equip customizable gear and weapons. Skills can also be learned which help increase one’s power when defeating monsters in instanced dungeons or defeating other players in PVP.
Original Release Date: January 30, 2013
Description: Based on the classic Wizardry series of games by Sir-Tech, WO is an MMORPG where players can create characters using various combinations of race, class, and attributes. An interesting part of the gameplay is permanent death, known in the game as permadeath, a possibility of permanently losing your character upon death in the game. These chances can be reduced by sacrificing items in your possession. The game has five races―human, elf, porkul, dwarf (male-only), and a gnome (female-only) along with four classes―the fighter, priest, mage, and thief. A new character will receive a random number of bonus points, which they can assign to attributes. Each class has a requirement for a number of points in one or more attributes in order to select that class. Throughout the game, characters will be able to change their class. With death constantly aiming to taunt you, this MMO game is one addictive gameplay!
Developer: MAIET Entertainment
Original Release Date: November 20, 2012
Description: RaiderZ is set in the powerful kingdom of Rendel, which was once prosperous, but is now being overthrown by marauders. The game features elements such as quests, PvP battles, and crafting. Its combat system requires active participation in combat instead of the typical point and click controls in other games. What sets RaiderZ apart from other games is its unique character progression. While creating your character, you can choose from four basic combat styles: Defender (Tank), Berserker (Melee DPS), Cleric (Healer), and Sorcerer (Range DPS). Once you reach level 10, you can choose to learn any skill from any of the four styles, thus, allowing you to develop the character the way you please. If that is the freedom you seek in an MMO, then this is the game for you!
AGE OF WULIN
Developer: Suzhou Snail Electronic Co., Ltd.
Original Release Date: July 18, 2013
Description: Otherwise known as Age of Wushu in the America, Age of Wulin revolves around the tale surrounding martial arts and adventures in medieval China, inspired by Wuxia. Players get to choose from eight factions, later developing characters, acquiring new skills, and engaging in PvP. There is no class system, but the players join one of eight schools, namely the Shaolin, Wudang, Emei, Beggars’ Sect, Tang Clan, Scholar’s Academy, Royal Guard and Blissful Valley. If a player leaves their faction or school, the player loses the ability to use that school’s internal skill. The game includes both solo and party dungeons, an equipment system, crafting and professions, a housing system, and mounts, while the attributes of Chivalry and Guilt determine the player’s reputation and alignment in the Jianghu System. If you are into martial arts and MMO games, you have the perfect game to try out next time.
Though to find one like the master is hard, the pupils (here, these intriguing games) have come close to giving you the feel and excitement that Sword Art Online has thrilled you with for so long. So if you haven’t already, go try some of these awesome MMO games out in your free time!