The Most Popular MMO in Japan: Ranking the Favorites

Choose the MMO you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 26, 2024 06:18
Welcome to StrawPoll, your ultimate destination for discovering and participating in the most exciting polls and rankings! Today, we're thrilled to present a sensational showdown of the most popular MMOs in Japan! Join fellow gaming enthusiasts and cast your vote to crown the ultimate gaming champion. From the enchanting realms of Final Fantasy XIV to the exhilarating battles of Monster Hunter Frontier, we've got all your favorites lined up and ready for action. Can't find your beloved MMO on our list? Worry not, as you can suggest a missing contender and watch it rise to glory. Immerse yourself in this grand celebration of gaming culture, connect with fellow gamers, and let your voice be heard. What are you waiting for? Dive into this epic ranking now and may the best MMO emerge victorious!

What Is the Most Popular MMO in Japan?

  1. 1
    Final Fantasy XIV
    Manuelt15 · Public domain

    Final Fantasy XIV

    Square Enix
    This game has a huge following in Japan and has consistently been one of the top-rated MMOs in the country. It has a rich story, stunning graphics, and immersive gameplay.
    Final Fantasy XIV is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that takes place in the fantasy world of Eorzea. It offers a rich and immersive gaming experience with captivating storylines, breathtaking visuals, and an extensive range of activities for players to enjoy. Players can explore diverse landscapes, battle formidable enemies, undertake challenging quests, and interact with a vibrant community.
    • Release Date: September 30, 2010
    • Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, macOS
    • Game Engine: Crystal Tools
    • Genre: MMORPG
    • Subscription Model: Pay-to-play
    Final Fantasy XIV in other rankings
  2. 2
    This is a free-to-play MMO that has been popular in Japan since its release in 2012. It is known for its fast-paced action combat and customization options.
    Phantasy Star Online 2 is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Sega. It is the sequel to the original Phantasy Star Online and has become one of the most popular MMOs in Japan.
    • Release Date: July 4, 2012
    • Platforms: Windows, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
    • Genres: Action, RPG
    • Game Modes: Multiplayer
    • Player Limit: Up to 12 players in an instance
    Phantasy Star Online 2 in other rankings
  3. 3
    While not technically an MMO, Monster Hunter World has a massive fan base in Japan and offers multiplayer options for up to four players. It is known for its challenging gameplay and cooperative elements.
    Monster Hunter World is an action role-playing game developed and published by Capcom. It is the latest installment in the Monster Hunter series and has gained immense popularity in Japan and worldwide. Players take on the role of hunters and explore a vast open world, engaging in thrilling battles with huge monsters and collecting resources to create powerful weapons and armor. The game features both single-player and multiplayer modes, allowing players to team up with friends to take down challenging monsters. With its stunning graphics, immersive gameplay, and deep customization options, Monster Hunter World has become a favorite among MMO enthusiasts in Japan.
    • Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
    • Release Date: January 26, 2018
    • Genre: Action role-playing
    • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer
    • Open World: Yes
    Monster Hunter World in other rankings
  4. 4

    Dragon Quest X

    Yuji Horii
    This is an MMO based on the popular Dragon Quest franchise. It has a large and loyal fan base in Japan, and its turn-based combat system is beloved by many.
    Dragon Quest X is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Square Enix. It is the tenth main installment in the Dragon Quest series and was initially released in Japan in 2012 for various platforms. The game features a persistent online world where players can create their own custom character and explore the vast fantasy universe of Dragon Quest.
    • Platforms: Nintendo Wii, Wii U, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS
    • Genre: MMORPG
    • Modes: Multiplayer
    • Release Date: August 2, 2012 (Japan)
    • Languages: Japanese
    Dragon Quest X in other rankings
  5. 5

    Ragnarok Online

    Gravity Interactive
    This classic MMO has been around since 2002 and is still popular in Japan today. It has a unique art style and offers a variety of classes and customization options.
    Ragnarok Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) primarily popular in Asia. It was developed by Gravity Interactive and released in South Korea in 2002. The game takes place in the fantasy world of Midgard, where players navigate through various cities, fields, and dungeons, battling monsters and completing quests to level up their characters and acquire equipment. With its visually appealing anime-inspired graphics, a wide range of character classes and customization options, and engaging community-driven gameplay, Ragnarok Online has garnered a dedicated player base over the years.
    • Release Date: South Korea: 2002
    • Genre: MMORPG
    • Platforms: PC
    • Game Engine: Athena Engine
    • Player Base: Millions of players worldwide
    Ragnarok Online in other rankings
  6. 6
    This is a mobile MMO that has gained a cult following in Japan. It has beautiful artwork, a compelling story, and a gacha system that keeps players coming back for more.
    Granblue Fantasy is a highly popular free-to-play Japanese mobile and web-based role-playing game (RPG) developed by Cygames. It was first released in 2014 and has since amassed a huge following in Japan, known for its stunning visuals, engaging gameplay, and compelling storytelling. The game takes place in the mystical world of Granblue, where players embark on a grand adventure as they gather a crew of characters, explore various islands, and engage in strategic turn-based battles.
    • Release Year: 2014
    • Platform: Mobile and Web-based
    • Genre: Role-playing Game (RPG)
    • Gameplay Style: Turn-based Battles
    • Free-to-play: Yes
    Granblue Fantasy in other rankings
  7. 7

    Sword Art Online: Integral Factor

    Bandai Namco Entertainment
    This mobile MMO is based on the popular Sword Art Online anime and manga series. It has a unique storyline and offers players the chance to explore the world of Sword Art Online in a new way.
    Sword Art Online: Integral Factor is a popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in Japan. It is based on the popular Sword Art Online franchise, which includes light novels, anime, and manga. The game takes place in the virtual reality world of Aincrad, where players assume the roles of characters trapped in a virtual MMORPG. They must clear various levels of the game to escape. Sword Art Online: Integral Factor offers immersive gameplay, intense battles, and a captivating storyline that fans of the franchise can enjoy.
    • Platform: Android, iOS
    • Release Date: March 28, 2018
    • Genre: MMORPG
    • Game Modes: Online multiplayer
    • Graphics: 3D
  8. 8
    This is a classic MMO that has been popular in Japan since its release in 2003. It has a charming 2D art style and offers a variety of classes and customization options.
    MapleStory is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by the South Korean company Wizet. It was initially released in South Korea in April 2003 and has since gained immense popularity in Asia. The game takes place in the fictional Maple World, where players embark on quests, battle monsters, and interact with other players in a vibrant and colorful 2D environment.
    • Genre: MMORPG
    • Release Date: April 2003
    • Platform: Microsoft Windows
    • Graphics: 2D
    • Playable Characters: Multiple character classes to choose from
  9. 9
    This MMO has a large following in Japan and is known for its action combat system and detailed character customization options. It also has a strong emphasis on PvP gameplay.
    TERA is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) set in a beautifully crafted fantasy world. It offers a thrilling action combat system and a vast open world for players to explore. With its stunning graphics, intense battles, and unique class-based gameplay, TERA provides an immersive gaming experience like no other.
    • Genre: MMORPG
    • Platform: PC
    • Release Date: January 25, 2011 (Korea), May 1, 2012 (North America)
    • Developer: Bluehole Studio
    • Publisher: En Masse Entertainment
  10. 10
    This sandbox MMO has gained a following in Japan for its open-world gameplay and sandbox-style mechanics. It offers players the chance to explore and build in a vast and immersive world.
    ArcheAge is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by XL Games. It features an expansive open-world environment where players can engage in various activities such as questing, crafting, trading, and PvP battles. The game incorporates a sandbox-style gameplay, allowing players to shape their own destiny and experience a dynamic world.
    • Player Count: Massively Multiplayer
    • Release Date: January 15, 2013
    • Platform: PC
    • Genre: Fantasy MMORPG
    • World Size: Enormous

Missing your favorite MMO?


Ranking factors for popular MMO

  1. Active player base
    The number of active players who log in regularly is a strong indicator of a game's popularity. The higher the active player base, the more popular the game is in the region.
  2. Subscriptions and in-game purchases
    Revenue generated from game subscriptions and in-game purchases can also be an important factor in determining the popularity of an MMO. This metric shows how invested the players are in the game.
  3. User engagement
    The amount of time players spend playing the game, participating in in-game activities, and socializing with other players can serve as a measure of how engaged the player base is, and thus the game's popularity.
  4. Japan-specific content
    Localized content, such as language support, culturally relevant themes and storylines, and in-game events relevant to the Japanese market can significantly influence the popularity of the MMO in Japan.
  5. Japanese community presence
    The prominence of the game's online community, including active forum discussions, fan websites, and social media engagement within the Japanese market, can highlight the game's popularity.
  6. Rankings and awards
    Industry awards, gaming publications and websites that rank MMOs on the basis of various criteria can provide insight into the popularity of the game within the Japanese market.
  7. Media coverage
    The amount and nature of media coverage the MMO receives in Japan, including articles, live streams, and YouTube videos, can be a helpful indicator of the game's presence and popularity.
  8. Professional gaming scene
    The presence of the game in professional gaming circuits, such as eSports tournaments or gaming events in Japan, can contribute to the game's overall popularity.
  9. Post-launch content and updates
    The amount and quality of post-launch content and updates that cater specifically to the Japanese market can help maintain and increase the game's popularity.
  10. Influencer campaigns and partnerships
    Collaborations with popular Japanese gaming influencers, content creators, and celebrities can significantly boost the game's visibility and popularity among Japanese gamers.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular MMO in Japan. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or MMO is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 186 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each MMO once every 24 hours. The rank of each MMO is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular mmo in japan

Japan is known for its love of gaming, and massively multiplayer online (MMO) games are no exception. With a strong gaming culture and a large player base, it's no surprise that Japan has a thriving MMO scene. In fact, Japan has some of the most popular and successful MMO games in the world. One of the most popular MMO games in Japan is Final Fantasy XIV. Developed and published by Square Enix, Final Fantasy XIV has been a huge success in Japan and worldwide. The game allows players to create and customize their own characters, explore a vast world filled with quests and adventures, and engage in battles with other players. Another popular MMO game in Japan is Dragon Quest X. Developed by Square Enix, Dragon Quest X is the tenth installment in the Dragon Quest series and features a unique blend of traditional RPG elements and MMO gameplay. Players can create their own characters, join forces with other players to tackle quests and take on powerful enemies, and explore a vast world filled with magic and adventure. Other popular MMO games in Japan include Phantasy Star Online 2, Monster Hunter Frontier, and Ragnarok Online. With so many great MMO games to choose from, it's no wonder that Japan has such a vibrant and thriving gaming community. Whether you're a fan of traditional RPGs or cutting-edge MMO gameplay, Japan has something for everyone.

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