We live in a pretty chaotic (and oftentimes depressing) 21st century ‘reality’. So there’s never been a better time to jump into an alternate online world and start afresh there. In such respects, you’ve probably already heard of Second Life – one of the best online virtual world games around that offers you a vast sandbox realm to run amok in. Popular since the mid 2000s, the game (of sorts) is widely known for its huge player base, in-game profiteering schemes, and the many weird and wonderful shenanigans occurring inside. Thanks to this popularity, many online virtual world games like Second Life have since been released, with many older titles also adapting to newer player demands. Here are 5 of them!
Selection Criteria of Our List
- Each game has to allow for exploration of a 3D world. There’s a few 2D virtual worlds out there, like Habbo Hotel. However, we’ll be mostly sticking to games that are closer to Second Life, perspective-wise (note: we made a few exceptions in the Honorable Mentions list at the end).
- Games like Second Life listed here must offer lots of customization options (e.g. avatar tweaks, self-designed homes, etc.). These are what make online virtual world games fun to play!
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Why it’s Similar: 3D environments, 3D avatars and (almost) everything is fully customisable. IMVU is a great alternative to Second Life with much of the same online virtual world features. This of course includes a huge array of clothing options for the fashion-conscious. There’s also a sizable community of emotionally invested players to interact with.
Why it’s Different: IMVU’s avatars are slightly more exaggerated in their proportions compared to Second Life’s defaults. This means you sometimes end up with characters looking more like anime characters than ‘realistic’ humans. An ad by IMVU even invites you to ‘Create Your Own Anime”! IMVU also has less customised modding options than Second Life. This can be a good thing since it means the game’s far less prone to crashes.
Overall: IMVU is one of a few online virtual world games like Second Life in the most important ways. It has a slightly different look to it and has fairly restricted modding tools. However, this can be beneficial to your overall gaming experience.
Why it’s Similar: Like Second Life, there are a ton of different locations to visit in Twinity. Some of these were created by the makers of the game whilst others are fan-made. This online virtual world also targets a more mature audience, judging by what many of the avatars are wearing.
Why it’s Different: Like some other games like Second Life, Twinity doesn’t offer a lot of modding capabilities. Again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing since Second Life’s mods can sometimes lead to in-game breakage. Regardless, there’s still plenty of customization options available in Twinity that’ll appease most players. The game also does not have the biggest user-base around. Yet, those who do play it remain committed to developing this online virtual world community.
Overall: A solid – albeit less populated – alternative for people looking for more online virtual world games like Second Life. Twinity partly thrives on its ‘mature’ themes with lots of friendly social areas to wander through.
3. Entropia Universe
Why it’s Similar: Entropia Universe has quite a lot in common with Second Life, hitting all the right checkboxes. As you’d expect, there’s plenty of shopping, socialising, and avatar / house customising to do. There’s also a decent number of active players to interact with at most given times.
Why it’s Different: The neat thing about Entropia Universe is its range of different virtual worlds catered to specific interests. For example, there’s the sci-fi inspired Planet Calypso, which is a much more ‘traditional’ game than Second Life that’s filled with dangerous creatures and MMORPG-like quests. Treasure-chasers can also enjoy Planet Arkadia, which allows players to hunt and mine as well as explore breathtaking virtual world scenery. Rocktropia, Next island, Planet Cyrene, and Planet Toulan complete the list. All of these worlds share a common theme, namely, encouraging you to interact with others in truly immersive online virtual world environments.
Overall: Entropia Universe unique thematic approach helps this online virtual world franchise stand out from other games like Second Life. The addition of more ‘traditional’ gaming mechanics will also appeal to those wanting more danger and action amidst their friendly avator interactions.
Why it’s Similar: Kitely is strikingly similar to Second Life in many respects. Customization options are plentiful, and there are tons of interesting places to explore. There’s also great support for users to create and sell their own content. Like in Second Life, you can actually earn a small living from participating in the trading system of this online virtual world.
Why it’s Different: Kitely’s basic account actually gives you a free island to call your own. The game is also run by an exceedingly communicative professional team who, even more than Second Life, have built up a solid reputation for being very attentive to their fanbase. You can even host your own virtual kingdom on a private server.
Overall: Kitely is a definite must-try for anyone in search of online virtual world games like Second Life, with an added touch of yet-to-be-unleashed potential.
Why it’s Similar: InWorldz is close to Second Life in its main features. Avatars have plenty of editing potential so you can get the unique look you’re after. Much like other games like Second Life, there are tons of locations to visit in InWorldz, along with plenty of group activities to take part in.
Why it’s Different: InWorldz’s community is notably smaller than that of Second Life. However, it has an exceptionally well-developed art community, with many users creating in-game sculptures that are incredibly detailed in both form and texture. Land is also much cheaper in InWorldz, partly due to a smaller player base.
Overall: The small but lively community of inWorldz serves as a wonderful virtual world alternative to Second Life, particularly for those artistically inclined.
Other Virtual World Games Worth Trying: