Games like Maple Story in 2018 – Our Best Alternatives

Maple Story

Believe it or not, I began playing Maple Story back when it was still in its beta. Back then it was a completely different game. You could only play as one of the five original adventurer classes. People spent all day in Kerning or Perion, doing party quests and selling their items. There was no cash shop. It took what felt like forever just to get passed level 30 (unless your name is Vivi) and there was a lot less land to travel.

I still keep up with Maple Story but for me personally, it’s different. Although I do enjoy the game very much and I completely understand why it’s still popular. The game has evolved in a way most other games don’t – by staying true to itself while still managing to do something different. The new classes are awesome. The new lands are beautiful. And I’ve personally spent quite the amount of NX on pets and vanity items.

When someone says to me they are taking a break from the game, I understand. It’s possible to still really enjoy a game but never want to play it. It just means you are just burned out hey, it happens to all of us.

What is Maple Story?


Maple Story is a 2D side-scrolling MMORPG that was first launched in Korea back in 2003 and eventually was given a global release a few years later in 2005. You can choose between one of many characters to level up and advance your class into more powerful forms of itself. You can explore beautiful lands from all different types of settings – from underwater coves to temples in the sky. But the coolest thing of it all is you can completely customize your character and make it as cute or badass as you want and show off your unique look.

You can also do a lot of fun activities with your friends like joining guilds, doing party quests to defeat zones in a certain amount of time and even get married. But don’t be ashamed if you’re flying solo. Some of the best times I’ve had playing Maple Story is just exploring new terrain with my trusty pet Yeti.

Like I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, if you’re burned out from Maple Story I understand, as it happens to me a lot. So what do you do if you’re looking for a game that is similar but will still keep you entertained by offering you something new? Well, look no further!

Top 5 Games like Maple Story – 2018 List

#5 – Mabinogi

Maple Story

First game on our list is another Nexon distributed title called Mabinogi. It was originally released in South Korea in 2004 but four years later it received a localized release for North America. It’s very similar to Maple Story in the way that it’s a free playing massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that comes included with an in-game cash shop where players can purchase unique features to customize their character looks, buy pets which they can use to battle, and other items.

Character selection isn’t even close to Maple Story whatsoever so if a wide variety of classes are what is important to you then I’d suggest looking elsewhere. You can choose to play as a human, a giant or an elf and train in basic combat or sorcery. You’re also very limited in being able to choose what your character will look like. Although this isn’t much of an issue if you’re willing to pay real money to fully customize your character. Free-only users always get the short end of everything when it comes to customizing your character although keep in mind the developers at Nexon do need to make money from this game and it’s much better to have to buy altered looks than character skills.

Although where Mabinogi really shines is its unique combat system. The developers wanted to create a unique combat experience that makes it both fun for the players and difficult for people to set up bots to cheat in the game. They also wanted it to stay true to the core nature of most MMORPGs, as the combat system is the most important part of any game. The player can choose to main in traditional melee combat, magic or ranged combat. Using a combination of any of the three choices you must strategize and pick and choose what skills to use at what time. Your decisions matter as landing the wrong move could result in you getting hit and taking a large amount of damage, resulting in your eventual death. When you die you lose a certain amount of experience points and if you get in the negatives you could wind up being dead until a player revives you. You can also lose some of your items but you are able to get those back – for a price.

Other things to do in the game include making friends, questing, pet battling and doing jobs. Pet battles in Mabinogi are a lot more interactive than they are In Maple Story, and in fact rivals with Pokémon with how in-depth it can be. So a player acquires a pet through the in-game cash shop and they are able to summon them and take them along on their journey. As your pet levels up they are able to age (just like the player) and learn new skills. If you’re going to purchase anything in the in-game cash shop with your real money, I’d suggest purchasing a pet first.

Overall, Mabinogi is a great game that requires a lot of skill to master but is still a game that is friendly for all beginners. If you’re looking for a game that plays like Maple Story does, then might I suggest this one? It’s likely one of the closest you’re going to get.

#4 – Vindictus

Maple Story

I’d like to give attention to another Nexon game, and that game is Vindictus. I have a few friends who absolutely hate Maple Story, but have told me they love Vindictus. Not sure how that is supposed to help but I guess the main thing is that this game is really good. The neat thing about Vindictus is that it’s actually a prequel to Mabinogi. Set several hundred years in the past, Vindictus takes place in the same region as Mabinogi  but really is a completely fresh experience. The plot revolves around your character who is referred to as ‘Rookie’. The human race believes if they defeat the Formos (type of enemy monster) they will be brought to the lands of Erinn which is a literal paradise. The game has your character going through various quests and meeting new NPCs all around the world.

Where Mabinogi  lacks, Vindictus succeeds. The combat and class system is much better in Vindictus and that is mainly due to the fact you have a lot more choices in this game. There are 10 characters you can choose from, and each character has their own specific class. Some characters specialize in melee combat while other characters specialize in ranged combat or magic. Whichever character you choose will ultimately affect the way you play the game. Because each character comes with only one specific class they all pretty much look exactly the same. In the beginning of the game you can only slightly change your characters appearance by altering either their hair or eye color. If you would like to customize your character further then you’ll need to purchase cash shop currency with real money just like Mabinogi and Maple Story. Hey, this is Nexon afterall.

Something new that is introduced in Vindictus is the transforming feature. Each class can choose to transform into a Dark Knight or a Paladin. You can only transform once per hour so you’re going to need to strategize and figure out the best time to transform. Transforming gives a great boost to either attack or defense, depending on what you transform into.

The combat is also slightly different from the other two Nexon games as well. While you will still need to strategize a bit, Vindictus is geared more towards being social and moving quickly. The combat is very fast-paced which in my opinion is better as this is an action MMORPG after all. Another thing is that teaming up and partying with your friends is highly encouraged. While enemy difficulty will vastly increase with the more players involved in fighting it, it will still be easier than playing solo and attempting to win all by yourself.

Vindictus is one of the better free-to-play MMORPGs out there. If you enjoy other Nexon games then I would suggest checking this one out as I’m sure you’ll be very familiar with it.

#3 – Ragnarok Online

Maple Story

Ragnarok Online or RO as some people like to call it, is a free-to-play MMORPG that was originally released in South Korea in 2002 by Gravity Co., LTD. Since its debut fourteen years ago, Ragnarok Online has become one of the most popular and well-received online games in the history of the Internet. It became so popular that it even spawned its very own animated series and there is even a sequel to the game called Ragnarok Online 2: Legend of the Second.

If you are into those old school Final Fantasy games, then you’re definitely going to like Ragnarok Online. The setting of RO takes place on several different nations. The player is able to travel by foot from region to region, taking on jobs and quests all the while defeating monsters and leveling up. The unique thing about RO is how different their class system is compared to most other games of its genre. You’re able to customize your character and from there you can choose which class you are going to specialize in. In total there are close to 50 classes to choose from, so a lack of options isn’t going to be a problem. The player starts off by focusing on one class and leveling yourself up by earning experience points. When you gain enough experience points you are able to advance your job so that you can become stronger and receive better skills. There are two different types of levels you need to focus on – a ‘player’ level and a ‘job’ level. You need to focus on leveling both your player and job level up if you wish to advance to your second and third class.

And just like in the other two previously mentioned games there is indeed an in-game cash shop. Using real currency you are able to buy yourself items to better enhance the look of your character with new hats and weapons that you can’t get with in-game money. The in-game cash shop isn’t anything to get too excited over. Yes, you can better customize your character but it doesn’t really affect the outcome of the game. You are still able to get the same classes and experience the game just like everyone else. There are some games where I wouldn’t mind spending real currency to upgrade my look but this game is very old school looking so it’s kind of difficult to really show off your tiny character.

While I haven’t played RO for a long time I definitely would recommend someone who likes Maple Story to check this game out. The time I did spend on this game was spent with a few of my friends who I played Maple Story with and overall it was pretty fun. I did compare it to Final Fantasy at first but you’ll understand what I mean if you check the game or its sequel out.

#2 – Gunbound

Maple Story

Coincidentally I began playing Gunbound around the time I first started playing Maple Story. Gunbound is a 2D free-to-play turn-based artillery game where you and a randomly chosen group of three other players take turns shooting at the opposite team. When you join a room you are able to choose a vehicle and several items to play during the game. During games you are able to move slightly each round and fire a single shot at an enemy. While there are several modes the general goal is to defeat the enemy team by killing them or by destroying the land underneath them. The different modes are described as follows:

Solo – You are given a single life. Once you die you are able to play a slot machine every few round that can change the weather or earn you gold. If your entire group dies then the other team wins and vice versa.

Tag – Similar to Solo mode but with one main difference: you are allowed to play as two vehicles. At any time during your turn you can swap vehicles. A bit of strategy is involved as life points comes into play. Once you are dead you cannot swap vehicles.

Jewel – The most complex mode of them all. Jewels will random spawn on the map and it’s your job to destroy them. In doing so your team will gain points and whichever team acquires 100 points first, wins. You cannot kill the enemy team in this mode; however you are able to destroy the land underneath them to delay their turn.

Score – In Score mode there is a counter at the top which represents how many lives you have. Once you die you are able to choose a spot to drop and four turns later you respawn in that area. The goal is to kill the enemy team enough times until their life counter reaches zero.

Just like in Maple Story, in Gunbound you are able to customize your character. There is an in-game cash shop where you can purchase vanity items to “dress up” your avatar. There is a wide variety of items to choose from so trying to make your character unique is definitely possible. You can also earn gold from games and use that gold to purchase items from the shop but it takes a long time to save up, since there is no guarantee way to win every game. Using real money is faster but you may not feel comfortable doing that.

There are over 20 vehicles to choose from so if you’ve never played before then choosing a vehicle that meets your standards will take a few games. Each vehicle has its own special way of attacking. Some shoot their attacks high in the air and some shoot their attacks underground.

There are two factors that can greatly affect each game. The first thing is items. Before each game begins you are able to fill 6 slots up of items. Some items will cost 1 slot while others cost 2. Items vary from being able to heal yourself and being able to double your damage. The other thing that affects game play is the weather. Every few turns the wind is able to shift and depending how strong the wind is, it can greatly affect the distance of your shot. There are also forces of energy which can power your shot up if you touch them and even greatly reduce the amount of damage you do to the enemy.

Gunbound is a great game that doesn’t get much love these days. It was a lot more popular when it first began, as it initially received very high reviews when it first launched. But it is still a game you can spend a considerable amount of effort on each day to eat away some time.

#1 – Flyff

Maple Story

Short for Fly for fun, Flyff is a fantasy-based anime MMORPG. Published by Gala Lab Corp., development for Flyff began in 2002 and it was released in 2004. A year later it was released to North American audiences. Of all the games that are similar to Maple Story, I believe Flyff is just about the closest you’re going to get.

You start the game choosing a Vagrant to play as. Once you reach level 15 you are able to choose a class to advance to. From there you are able to advance two more times to second and third job classes. This is very similar to how in Maple Story you are able to choose a class at level 10 and then advance your job at level 30, 70 and 120. Each class focuses on either melee, ranged or magic combat. With your class you do quests and kill monsters known as Masquerpets to gain experience and level up. The higher level you are means the more skills you are able to learn. Once you get high enough of a level you can revert back to an earlier level which is how you advance to higher job classes. It’s a bit confusing but you’ll understand.

The amount of similarities Flyff has to Maple Story is staggering.

You can create your very own guild and customize it any way you want. Other players can join your guild and you can set their ranks/permissions, depending how active they are and how much you trust them. Guilds themselves can level up and the higher level you are the more perks you receive. At higher levels you can create guild cloaks that people can wear with your very own emblem tailored on. But the coolest things about guilds are the siege systems. Each week your guild can fight other guilds in PvP or PvE combat.

Another similarity is the in-game cash shop. Using real life money you can purchase vanity items and pets. Pets are really cool because they are more interactive than the ones in Maple Story. You buy a pet as an egg and after it hatches you are able to take care of your pet. They will further evolve and take on new forms after enough time has passed.

Flyff also has other features, like being able to purchase shops to sell select items to other players, you can marry another player and there’s even a mentor/pupil system where higher level characters are able to help out lower level characters.

There you have the top five games that are like Maple Story. Don’t let the graphics of these games fool you. There is more to being ‘like’ a game than having the exact same graphic style. I took into account the type of gameplay and features that all of these games have to offer.

Maple Story has cemented itself as one of the most popular 2D MMORPGs of all time and it’s no surprise as to why. I haven’t played Maple Story for a while but writing this guide has forced me to log into Steam and start downloading it again.

What is your favorite Maple Story class? Let me know in the comments below!




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David Stewart
David Stewart
I really enjoy learning anything I can about a wide variety of subjects. Other hobbies include playing League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and just generally staying current in the going-ons of todays world, from politics to gaming news.

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