Light Novels are taking the otaku community by storm. The hype they create becomes the stepping stone for many popular manga and anime adaptations of several series. All, in turn, benefits the loyal otaku as they get more of their beloved characters in different adaptations.
Sword Art Online is an era-building series that started from a light novel. Gradually it became a sensation that took over the otakudom. It is one of the highly praised light novels, manga, and anime series with gaming, romance, suspense, hair-raising action sequences, intriguing adventures, and much more to offer.
The novel presents a world inside a game. Sword Art Online is a multiplayer roleplaying game that allows thousands of users to play a unique and entertaining life. But, the first release will only take 10,000 players. Our protagonist Kazuto Kirigaya is a lucky member, perhaps an unlucky one, who enters the game under the name of Kirito as soon as it is released.
However, things take a turn that becomes a nightmare for everyone. All the players are stuck in the game till they clear all 100 levels. The novel strictly follows Kirito and his struggles in clearing all levels. Asuna, the powerful female protagonist, is another enthusiastic player like Kirito. The plot also covers their love story as they encounter each other and ultimately become a team who will reach the top.
Now, suppose you enjoyed these adventurous love birds’ thrilling, emotional, and sensational badass romantic tale. In that case, you will undoubtedly have fun reading the below-mentioned. Here we go then!!!
10. Log Horizon
If SAO is a mixture of suspense, action, adventure guilds, and trials, then Log Horizon is a bit more. Considering that you will need a brain that can keep up with the strategic tendencies of the lead character, this one surely adds to the fun. Plus, it always urges your brain to think out of the box. Resonating with SAO, Log Horizon also brings a world of a multiplayer game on display and is a Light Novels very similar to Sword Art Online.
Elder Tale has been the ruling multiplayer game with millions of players. Its popularity led to its 12th update. However, with this recent update, a universal event took place. The game is updated to the next level when thousands of its players are transmigrated into the world of Elder Tale. Among them is our protagonist named, Shiroe as well. Yeah, like always!!! With no rules and laws and all kinds of players in action, people started to make guilds and show their power.
Similar to real-world things, we’re going a darker path with rowdies and dons doing their things. However, shiroe is a sharp-minded person. He decided to teach law to the lawless of the Elder Tale and formed his own guild Log Horizon. Now luring people in with tasty food, Shiroe is up to reform the world in a better way. This light novel is a ton of fun if you enjoyed reincarnated as a slime.
Being isekai-ed in a gaming world is a tradition these days, especially if you read Light Novels like Sword Art Online. It is among the best isekai lives unless you drop into a game without power. Then, you are dead before you even begin. Anyways, Overlord is one famous series that started from a light novel. There is nothing new in this one here: a gaming world, a protagonist, some adventures, and deadly threats.
However, Overlord strictly follows the game world of YGGDRASIL, an MMOPRG that has been running for 12 years. With its server shutting down, many players are sad, and undoubtedly our lead Momonga had to be among them. Trying to have a sentimental goodbye to his favorite game, he stayed there till the last minute.
Well, now he is stuck there for good; what tough luck! So our protagonist takes the name of his guild Ainz and looks for others like him. And that is how the historical adventures of Momonga, the leader of once the biggest guild, begin.
8. No game, no life
While looking for light novels like SAO, I found this gem. It shines like a gem with all its cheeky, attractive, and chivalrous characters. This one is full-on gaming and gaming and does justice to its name. The novel begins by portraying Sora and Shiro, gamer siblings.
Surely they aren’t the goody two shoes who follow all rules. They are famous for being unbeatable and strong because they never follow the rules. They were losers in the real world but are untouchable in the virtual world. But that didn’t last long. When an unnamed person code name God summons Sora and Shiro to another gaming reality, things change.
War is forbidden, the so-called peace is like a prison for humans, and they are forced to live under restrictions. Plus, we have monsters. Now then, the brother-sister duo begins their quest of saving mankind, followed by trials and whatnot. This light novel features magic and monsters and is a must-read!
7. 1/2 Prince
If the name sounds odd to you, then isn’t it only natural? Because the more bizarre the name, the more intriguing the story, that’s how it works here. So 1/2 Prince is yet another famous light novel based on gaming. It might be cliché, but it’s different at the same time.
The novel showcases a modern world packed with magic, technology and VR games in trend. There is a super strong and famous player named Feng Yang, but he isn’t our concern. Our lead this time is a cute young girl Feng Lang, Feng Yang’s twin sister.
She took a challenge from her brother to play the Second Life VR game. So, on the spur of the moment, she says yes and jumps into the game with a male elf swordsman’s avatar. And hence begins the life of Feng Lang as a gamer. But, of course, there is more, but for you to discover, I’ll be spoiling it if I say more.
6. Rising of the Shield Hero
The rising of the shield hero is one of the best light novels I have ever read that is similar to Sword Art Online with a sensible name that resonates with the story. Once again, we have a somewhat gaming world, a hero, fights, and adventures. The exception is our hero named Naofumi. He is numb to gaming. He has zero ideas about any game and has no interest in them, but he is a manga addict.
So, one day he is summoned to the gaming world of one of the most popular games of which he has zero ideas, and the worst, he has been given the role of a useless hero. “What exactly can a shield hero do?” Buddy, if you had this thought, then buckle up cause Naofumi is gonna show you in detail what a shield hero can do and gain skills.
His journey begins with hardships from the bottom, making it more intriguing and gripping. He raises step by step, which is logical, and it feels like we are growing with him. But, with constant thrills, all sorts of adventures, and a sea of power-oriented fights, magic, and monsters, did I miss something? Why don’t you find out yourself?
If you enjoy rising of the Shield Hero, here are a couple of watching tips.
5. Kino’s Journey
Okay, my buddies, let’s bring a light novel similar to sword art online but different to the list this time. SAO is an adventure, thrill-packed, and suspense and sometimes gets teary. But, on the other hand, Kino’s journey gives adventure a reality touch. It is severe and highlights some sensitive topics in the real world. For instance, how every person is different also shows that the world is not about yes or no only.
Everyone has their own choices. The light novel begins with a person named Kino in a futuristic world where robots are abundant compared to humans. Not that I am spoiling you, but Kino is a girl. Yeah, normally, it takes about 3 or 4 chapters to find Kino’s gender, so you have to thank me later.
Moving forward, she is a nonchalant girl. She goes from place to place with her bike…aha the best part; is it’s a talking bike. That’s a first, right? Yup, she travels without any special agenda, but for some reason, you are attached to Kino and her bike until the end. Try this adventure and Sci-fi novel for a change of pace.
4. Accel world
Aha! How could I forget this one? Accel World is another hit-light novel written by the same writers of SAO. Just so you aren’t confused, this one isn’t a spinoff of SAO. The story, however, is set in the same timeline as SAO. Action, adventure, and suspense are the same with added Sci-fi.
Breaking the stereotypes, Accel world introduced Haru, an overweight and chubby guy, as the protagonist. He lives in a world of technology, but his personality is that of an introvert and nerd. One day his boring life changes when a player named Kuroyukihime offers him a deal in a game. The said deal is to bring the real world and the gaming world together. The question is, how?
Well, you have to read through the chapter because I don’t want to spoil the fun for you. Anyways, Haru sets on a quest followed by trouble and action. He wears an avatar of a handsome young man similar to Kirito. So, you might get a feeling of twins. Yet, his character development is something you will find intriguing and unique.
3. Skeleton Knight in another world
Let’s get this real with Skeleton Knight. SAO is all good with action and adventure, but Skeleton Knight is much more. As its name says, this one makes the fight more real than SAO. The plotline is basic and has an OP MC like overlord that is also a skeleton. A gamer in the gaming world!
However, unlike others, he gets the avatar of a skeleton. The scary, deadly strong skeleton Knight named Arc is in action. He starts powerful and has deadly weapons and the skills of a knight, so things should be easy.
Yet, this Skeleton guy has no place and no one to confide in. Who would accept a skeleton? Isn’t it obvious? Thus begins the adventures of the lonely Skeleton Knight to find a place in this new world. Ah! Such a poor soul! Or is it just me? Nonetheless, power-oriented action, thrills, and surely an adrenaline rush are coming your way. The style and story progression of the light novel is very similar to Sword Art Online.
2. Everyone Else is a Returnee
Let’s break the trend of our MCs isekai-ing into the gaming world dominating this list of light novels similar Sword Art Online. Hats off to the writers for thinking of this hilarious yet creative idea of teleporting everyone on earth to another world, leaving only our Mc. Ha-ha! Yeah, this one’s a first.
So here is what happens. Our MC Yu is Mr. Nobody. Everyone ignores him like he doesn’t exist; eventually, even God doesn’t bother about him. All humanity is teleported to another world to train for the upcoming monster apocalypse. Yu, as usual, is ignored and is left behind. However, with a whole world to himself, stopping himself from getting insane and lonely, he decides to train alone. If you like this premise, you might enjoy anime like the misfit of demon king academy.
Yu makes use of the unlimited books and the knowledge stored in them. He learns whatever he could (much more than normal) for more than 100 years and when everyone returns. Boom! Yu stands as the strongest among them and our MC becomes a powerful mage. For a real-time adventure, read this one. It’s a package with all your favorite themes sealed in it.
At first, it might be a typical light novel; however, it is entirely the opposite. Similar to all other gaming novels, we have a protagonist Ryota. He is a failure in life as of now. Ryota is a 22-year-old jobless person who only seeks pleasure and serenity in playing games. Unfortunately, his real life isn’t much of a happy one.
So, when he is suddenly trapped inside his favorite game one day, he doesn’t dislike it at first. Instead, for him, it’s a way to run from reality. But running from reality is temporary, one has to face it someday, and that day came for our Ryota. He encounters a player named Himiko, and they fall in love.
Now, Ryota has a reason to go back to live his life with the girl he loves. But, if it was that easy, anyone could do it. There are a lot of trials and troubles, yet the newly formed couple is all set to conquer this new world with a belief to return.
Light novels like SAO (sword art online) conclusion
Now, let’s stop by only making and reading a list of light novels. But, since I recommended to my dearest buddies a few interesting and akin to SAO novels, it is about time you should start reading one.
If you have already read some from the list, I would be delighted to know your thoughts. Also, let me know if you got the chance to read their manga or watch the anime adaptations of those as mentioned earlier.
If your here, you will most likely also enjoy light novels like Jobless reincarnation.
If not, I’ll return with something tempting soon, till then!