10 Best Virtual Worlds In Anime, Ranked

Virtual reality has become a big deal in sci-fi anime, and it’s only getting bigger. In these shows, there are these make-believe worlds that are like dreams come true, and people really love them. These pretend places have become just as famous as the anime shows themselves. Fans really dig them because they’re super imaginative and have their own cool stories.

These made-up worlds show up in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You’ve got the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) places like in Sword Art Online, where people get stuck in the game, and it’s a real adventure. Then there are the futuristic cities that mix real life with this virtual world, like in Ghost in the Shell. These places are so well-made that they feel real, and they stick with you long after the show is over. They’re some of the best ones ever.

So, yeah, when you watch these anime shows, it’s like stepping into a whole new world, and that’s what makes them so awesome. They’re not just shows; they’re like journeys to these amazing places that you wish you could visit for real. And that’s why people can’t get enough of them.

10. Elder Tale (Log Horizon)

Let’s dive into the exciting world of Log Horizon, an anime that takes the popular isekai concept and turns it into something special. It’s all about this virtual game called Elder Tale, and the story is all about players who get sucked right into it without any warning.

Now, Elder Tale might seem like your typical isekai world at first, where people get transported into a fantasy game. But what sets it apart is the incredible attention to detail. It’s like they’ve taken a real RPG game and brought it to life on the screen.

The battles in Elder Tale are not your run-of-the-mill fights; they’ve got unique strategies and tactics that keep you on the edge of your seat. And the game world is vast, with all sorts of cool places to explore, just like a real RPG.

But what really makes it stand out is the strategy part. It’s not just about swinging swords and casting spells; there’s a lot of brainpower involved too. Players have to think strategically to survive and thrive in this virtual world.

So, if you’re into gaming and love the idea of being inside a video game, Log Horizon and its detailed Elder Tale world are definitely worth checking out. It’s like stepping into a real RPG adventure, and that’s what makes it so awesome.

9. The Wired (Serial Experiments Lain)

Let’s talk about The Wired, a mind-bending information network from the cult classic Serial Experiments Lain. It’s like this super advanced place where people can do all sorts of things. You can chat with others, play games, and a whole lot more. But here’s where it gets really wild – some folks can use fancy technology to actually dive headfirst into this virtual world.

Now, unlike the usual virtual worlds you see in anime, The Wired is something else entirely. It’s like a crazy, abstract dream. When you log in, you might find yourself in a dark, empty space, or maybe you’ll come across some weird and surreal stuff that doesn’t make much sense in the real world. It’s like stepping into a wild, unpredictable, and sometimes scary place.

See, the thing about The Wired is that it can be pretty risky. You never know what you’ll encounter or who you might bump into. It’s like a virtual rollercoaster ride through the unknown. But that’s also what makes it super creative and fascinating.

So, if you’re into mind-bending, out-of-this-world experiences, Serial Experiments Lain and The Wired are right up your alley. Just be ready for some seriously weird and mind-boggling adventures in this virtual world. It’s not your typical anime world, but that’s what makes it stand out.

8. New World Online (Bofuri: I Don’t Want To Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense)

Let’s talk about Bofuri, I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense. It’s a cool show from 2020 that’s all about this player named Maple, and she’s having a blast in the magical world of New World Online. Now, this virtual world might seem like your average isekai setting, but a lot of fans think it’s one of the best portrayals of an MMORPG in anime.

What makes it stand out is the love and attention they put into making New World Online feel just like a real game. They really went the extra mile. The game world is super detailed, like every nook and cranny is thought out. The rules and mechanics of the game make sense, just like how they work in real RPGs. And let’s not forget about all the quests and side quests. It’s like stepping into a real RPG, and it’s loads of fun.

So, when you watch Bofuri, it’s not just some run-of-the-mill virtual world; it’s like you’re actually in the game. You can feel the excitement and adventure. If you’re into gaming and love the thrill of diving into a game world, this anime nails it. It’s got all the things that make RPGs awesome, and that’s what makes it one of the best in the genre.

Also Read: Top 10 Most Anticipated New Anime of Fall 2023

7. The World (.Hack)

Let’s take a journey back to the classic anime series, .Hack. It’s an anime that’s been around for a while, even before the whole isekai craze took off. In the world of .Hack, there’s this iconic virtual place called The World, and it’s one of the most unforgettable virtual realities in anime history. Players simply call it The World.

Now, The World might seem like your run-of-the-mill MMORPG fantasy world, with all the usual stuff you’d expect in a game like that. You can hop in, meet other players, team up for quests, grind to level up, and score some epic loot – just like in real RPGs. It’s got all the ingredients for a good time in a virtual world.

But here’s where it gets interesting. The World isn’t just your typical game world. It’s got this mysterious vibe to it, a depth that makes it almost feel like real life. It’s not just about slaying monsters and completing quests; it’s about uncovering the secrets and mysteries hidden within The World itself. There’s something more to it than meets the eye.

So, if you’re into classic anime and love the idea of exploring a virtual world that’s more than just a game, .Hack and The World are a must-see. It’s a place where fantasy meets mystery, and it’ll keep you hooked from start to finish. It’s a reminder of the rich history of virtual reality in anime, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

6. Noah’s Virtual World (Yu-Gi-Oh!)

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to the original Yu-Gi-Oh! series. In the third season, there’s this special part that’s all about a virtual world cooked up by Gozaburo Kaiba. And in this digital realm, there’s a mysterious kid named Noah who seems to be running the show. The twist is, Yugi and his pals get stuck in this virtual world, and they’re basically at Noah’s mercy.

Now, here’s the thing – this story arc isn’t actually part of the main story. It’s like a bonus adventure just for the anime. But fans really love it because it’s different. In Noah’s virtual world, they shake things up with some new game rules that make duels more exciting. And what’s really cool is that some characters who don’t usually get to be duelists, like Téa Gardner and Tristan Taylor, finally get their time in the spotlight to show off their skills.

So, even though it’s not officially part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! timeline, this arc is like a hidden gem for fans. It’s a chance to see our favorite characters in a whole new light, in a virtual world where anything can happen. It’s like a little detour on the Yu-Gi-Oh! journey that adds some extra fun and surprises. If you’re a fan of the series, it’s definitely worth checking out, just to see how things get shaken up in this digital adventure.

5. Cyberspace (Ghost In The Shell)

Let’s step into the world of Ghost in the Shell, where technology and cybernetics are just a part of everyday life. It’s a future where the line between the natural and digital worlds has blurred. People can enhance themselves with cybernetic parts and even become one with the internet.

Now, when it comes to virtual reality in anime, Ghost in the Shell has its own unique take. See, in most virtual worlds, you get this feeling like you’re in a real place, even if it’s all digital. But in this series, the internet isn’t like that at all. It’s not a world of lush landscapes or bustling cities. Instead, it’s like being inside a computer, where everything is made of numbers and data swirling around.

Imagine being in a place where you can see the very fabric of the digital world, where information flows like a river of code. It’s a bit mind-bending, really. But that’s what makes Ghost in the Shell’s cyberspace so intriguing. It’s not about exploring a virtual world; it’s about delving into the very essence of the digital realm.

So, if you’re into tech and love the idea of a virtual world that’s more about the inner workings of the internet, Ghost in the Shell is a must-watch. It’s a futuristic journey where reality and virtuality collide in a way that’s totally unique and thought-provoking. It’s not your typical virtual reality, and that’s what makes it stand out in the world of anime.

4. Aincrad (Sword Art Online)

Let’s dive into the world of Sword Art Online, a virtual reality anime that’s super famous. This anime is a big deal because it helped make the whole virtual world craze even more popular, especially the isekai subgenre. And when we talk about iconic virtual worlds, one that stands out is Aincrad.

Aincrad is where it all begins in the SAO series. It’s the very first world in this VRMMORPG adventure, and it sets the stage for some serious competition. Now, what makes Aincrad special is its unique design. Picture this: a massive floating castle made of iron and stone. It’s like a fortress in the sky, and it’s huge!

But here’s the twist – Aincrad isn’t just a pretty castle. It’s got multiple floors, like a giant tower with each level being a new challenge. Players have to climb their way up through these floors, and it’s not just about winning battles; it’s about outsmarting the game itself.

Aincrad isn’t your typical virtual world you see in anime. It’s like a puzzle, a challenge waiting to be conquered. And this unique twist is what got fans all excited about virtual reality in anime. It kicked off a trend where people wanted to explore more virtual worlds and experience epic adventures.

So, if you’re into virtual reality and love a good challenge, Sword Art Online and Aincrad are a must-watch. It’s where the whole virtual reality trend really took off, and it’s a world that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat as players climb their way to the top. It’s iconic, and it’s what made virtual reality anime even cooler.

3. U (Belle)

Let’s step into the mesmerizing world of the anime film Belle. In this remarkable tale, we’re introduced to a virtual reality sensation called U, and it’s taken the world by storm. U is not your ordinary social media platform; it’s a whole new reality where people can reshape themselves into their dream version.

Imagine this: you create an avatar that embodies your ideal self. It’s like crafting the person you’ve always wanted to be. With these avatars, you can live entirely new lives. You can be anyone, go anywhere, and do anything. It’s like having a second identity, but in a digital world.

What’s incredible is how quickly things can change in U. People who were once regular folks, just like you and me, can suddenly become virtual superstars. It’s all about going viral – catching the world’s attention with your beauty, your talent, or just your unique self. And when that happens, your life can change in the blink of an eye.

U isn’t just a platform; it’s a global phenomenon. With over 5 billion users worldwide, it’s a part of everyone’s life, no matter where you’re from or what culture you belong to. It’s become woven into the very fabric of our societies, impacting how we perceive beauty, fame, and self-expression. U’s influence even spills over into the real world, blurring the lines between the digital and physical realms.

Belle’s portrayal of U isn’t just a story about virtual reality; it’s a reflection of our own digital age, where the possibilities seem endless, and the allure of reinventing ourselves is stronger than ever. It’s a thought-provoking journey into a world where who you are and who you want to be can collide in the most extraordinary way.

2. The Digital World (Digimon)

Let’s dive into the Digimon universe and explore the fantastical Digital World, or simply the Digi-World, where incredible adventures unfold. In this world, things are usually separate from our human reality. But there’s a special group known as the “DigiDestined” who have the extraordinary ability to travel between these two realms, and they do it with the help of their trusty Digivices.

Now, what makes the Digital World so captivating is the Digimon themselves. These are extraordinary creatures, coming in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and power levels. They’re like our buddies on this incredible journey through the land. Each DigiDestined has their very own Digimon partner, a loyal friend who’s always there to lend a hand.

For those of us who’ve been fans of anime for a while, the Digimon franchise is like a blast from the past, bringing back fond memories. It’s a classic take on virtual reality, and it’s got this nostalgia factor that’s hard to resist. It combines the excitement of collecting cool monsters with the adventure of stepping into another world, making it a truly unique series in the world of virtual reality.

So, if you’re into monster collecting and love the idea of being transported to a whole new world, Digimon is a must-watch. It’s a journey that’s both old-school and timeless, and it’s filled with incredible creatures and unforgettable adventures. In the realm of virtual reality anime, Digimon stands out as a true classic.

1. New World (Overlord)

Let’s step into the thrilling world of Overlord, where the boundaries between a beloved MMORPG and reality blur in the most unexpected way. It all starts with a game, Yggdrasil, that many players cherish. But when the game servers finally shut down, something extraordinary happens – the world of Yggdrasil transforms into a brand-new reality, known as the New World.

Now, in this brave New World, we meet our protagonist, Ainz Ooal Gown. He’s not just powerful; he’s all-powerful. He becomes the master of this fresh realm, with the fate of the land firmly in his grasp.

What makes this New World so intriguing is that it’s an exact replica of the Yggdrasil game world, right down to the tiniest details. The map, the power levels, and even the non-player characters (NPCs) – everything is just like it was in the game. But there’s one major twist: Ainz is the only player who’s crossed over into this reality. He’s like the ruler of a kingdom where he’s the only citizen.

Ainz uses his knowledge of the game, along with his high level of skill, to assert his dominance over the NPCs and the world at large. It’s a concept that turns the typical virtual world trope on its head, and that’s what makes Overlord’s New World such a standout in the world of modern anime.

So, if you’re into mind-bending twists and love the idea of a virtual world where the rules are entirely different, Overlord is a must-watch. It’s a journey into the unknown, where a game becomes reality, and one player’s power knows no bounds. It’s a virtual world that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.


Anime has an extraordinary ability to transport viewers to fantastical realms and imaginative worlds, and among these, virtual worlds in anime stand out as captivating and immersive experiences. These virtual worlds have the power to evoke a sense of wonder, taking us on journeys beyond the boundaries of reality. In this article, we’ve explored the 10 best virtual worlds in anime, each with its own unique charm and appeal.

These virtual realms offer more than just escapism; they are a testament to the boundless creativity of anime creators. Whether you’re a fan of action-packed adventures, mind-bending mysteries, or thought-provoking dramas, these anime virtual worlds cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. They serve as canvases for storytelling, where characters face challenges, build relationships, and grow as individuals, all within the backdrop of these enchanting digital landscapes.

As you dive into these immersive realms, you’ll find yourself not only entertained but also deeply engaged with the themes and emotions they explore. From the life-or-death struggles of Sword Art Online to the introspective musings of Serial Experiments Lain, each virtual world offers a unique perspective on the human condition and the role of technology in our lives.

Anime virtual worlds are a testament to the limitless possibilities of storytelling and world-building. They remind us that the human imagination knows no bounds, and through the lens of animation, we can explore the far reaches of our creativity. So, whether you’re a seasoned otaku or just beginning your anime journey, these virtual worlds are waiting to be explored, offering a taste of adventure, mystery, and wonder that can only be found in the world of anime.

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