We often hear the terms “metaverse” and “NFTs” in the same context, and for good reason–NFTs go hand-in-hand with the metaverse, as they provide a very elegant solution to representing digital items and property.
NFTs captured mainstream attention recently thanks to the sky-high prices wealthy individuals were willing to pay for NFTs from notable collections, most famously Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks. These NFTs essentially just represent a simple picture, and are often used as profile pictures on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
However, when we’re talking about metaverse NFTs, we’re usually referring to avatars, items, wearables, land and real estate in an immersive virtual world. In this article, we’ll be checking out 12 metaverse NFT projects that let you buy, sell and use NFTs:
- Otherside – A metaverse from the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club
- Axie Infinity – A popular play-to-earn game where players collect and battle with magical creatures
- Decentraland – A metaverse where you can buy items and land as NFTs
- The Sandbox – A popular metaverse project with impressive partnerships
- Wilder World – A metaverse with impressive visuals
- Somnium Space – A metaverse that provides a virtual reality experience
- Star Atlas – A metaverse focused on strategy and space exploration
- Voxels – One of the earliest examples of a crypto-powered metaverse
- My Neighbor Alice – A builder and farming game leveraging NFTs
- Gods Unchained – A trading card game with strong gameplay and NFT cards
- Bloktopia – A metaverse catering to cryptocurrency fans
- League of Kingdoms – A strategy MMO with NFT ownership
The top 12 metaverse NFT projects
Now, let’s take a closer look at the 12 metaverse NFTs we selected. Our list covers different kinds of metaverse experiences, ranging from social experiences to gaming-focused metaverses.
Otherside is a metaverse project from Yuga Labs, the team behind the highly successful NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club. The success of the collection has allowed them to fund the Otherside project, which will entail a rich 3D world where players can use NFTs from popular collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks and Nouns as avatars.
The Otherside metaverse is not playable yet, but players have been able to experience it briefly through demos. So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, with participants praising the platform’s capability of smoothly handling a large number of players simultaneously. The tech powering Otherside is provided by Improbable, a company specializing in metaverse technology.
The Otherside metaverse will incorporate NFTs in different ways. As we’ve already mentioned, players will be able to use their NFTs as 3D avatars. Land in the Otherside is represented by NFTs called Otherdeeds. Otherside also aims to implement ApeCoin, a token that was launched on the Ethereum blockchain in 2022.
Once the Otherside is available to the public, it’s likely to be one of the top metaverse projects due to the sheer popularity of the Bored Ape Yacht Club universe.
2. Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is a video game powered by NFTs that allows players to earn SLP tokens by completing quests and performing well in player vs. player battles. The game revolves around creatures called Axies, which are represented by NFTs. Players can also breed Axies in order to create new Axies.
Axie Infinity peaked in popularity in early 2022, when the game had almost 2.8 million monthly players. The “play-to-earn” aspect of Axie Infinity attracted a lot of attention, as skilled players were actually able to earn an income with playing.
However, as the influx of new players reached a critical mass and the value of the rewards began to fall, the popularity of the game declined as well. At the time of writing in January 2023, the game is seeing around 430,000 monthly players, which is admittedly still a very respectable number.
The Axie Infinity team has been very active both in introducing more sustainable tokenomics and expanding the gameplay itself. The game now also features land NFTs, which can be used in Axie Infinity: Homeland. If you’re interested in how NFTs can be integrated into games, Axie Infinity is definitely worth a try.
Decentraland is a 3D virtual world that can be accessed directly from a web browser. It leverages NFTs to represent land parcels as well as avatars and items. The Decentraland world consists of 90,601 land parcels, which can be combined to form larger estates. By using the Decentraland Marketplace, users can buy, sell or even rent land parcels using Decentraland’s MANA token.
Decentraland is one of the earliest metaverse NFT projects, as the project started off in 2017 and opened up its virtual world to the public in early 2020. While Decentraland’s utility token MANA has a market cap of $700 million and land parcels can reach significant prices, Decentraland is yet to find a lot of traction with players. Unless a specific event is happening, it might take you a while to stumble upon another player when exploring Decentraland.
Still, it’s great that you can jump into Decentraland at any time with just your web browser. In addition, don’t need to own any NFTs or crypto to start exploring Decentraland.
4. The Sandbox
The Sandbox is one of the biggest metaverse projects at the moment, and it implements a voxel graphics style that allows for a lot of customizability with the VoxEdit creator software. The project has secured partnerships with several celebrities and brands to offer exclusive experiences in their 3D virtual world.
An interesting aspect of The Sandbox is that users can create assets for The Sandbox using the VoxEdit software, publish them as NFTs and sell them. The Sandbox features its own NFT marketplace where users and brands can publish their own NFT assets. For example, the prestigious fashion brand Gucci has launched a collection of NFT assets that can be used in The Sandbox.
NFTs are also used by The Sandbox to represent virtual land plots. There’s a total of 166,464 different land NFTs available. In addition, The Sandbox has a utility token called SAND, which is also used for staking and governance.
5. Wilder World
Wilder World is a 3D metaverse platform that features high-end visuals thanks to Unreal Engine 5 technology. Wilder World’s impressive graphics have made it one of the most highly anticipated new metaverse projects.
Wilder World utilizes NFTs to represent in-game items such as clothing, cars, houses and land within its futuristic virtual world. The project raised $3 million through a private token sale, which included notable investors such as DCG and Animoca Brands.
The center of the Wilder World metaverse is Wiami, which is inspired by the real-world city of Miami. Of course, the futurism is tuned up to the maximum to align with Wilder World’s overall aesthetic.
The Wilder World ecosystem also features a fungible token called WILD, which is primarily used in governance.
6. Somnium Space
The Somnium Space metaverse is focused on virtual reality experiences, and is supported both on desktop and mobile devices. Players can buy and sell NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain that represent land parcels in the Somnium Space world. Somnium Space land NFTs can be traded on the popular NFT marketplace OpenSea.
Holders of land parcels can build their own world within the Somnium Space metaverse, and customize it with the platform’s scripting capabilities. Somnium Space also provides land holders an avenue for monetization via virtual reality advertising.
Somnium Space also features a fungible token called CUBE, which facilitates in-game transactions between players.
7. Star Atlas
Star Atlas is a virtual world that emphasizes space exploration and strategy. Like Wilder World, Star Atlas is also built with Unreal Engine 5 technology, allowing for high-end visuals. In-game assets are represented as NFTs on the Solana blockchain. Star Atlas players can purchase ships, resources, housing, access badges and more as NFTs. Star Atlas is currently one of the most active projects in the NFT and metaverse sector.
The Star Atlas universe features three main factions called Mud, Oni and Ustur. Players can join one of the three factions and help their faction prevail over the others. The gameplay of Star Atlas is not yet fully fleshed out, as the game is still in the process of active development—this is the case for many other metaverse crypto projects as well. However, interested players can already give Star Atlas a try through demos.
The Star Atlas governance token is called POLIS, and it allows holders to have their input on the development and direction of the Star Atlas metaverse through the Star Atlas DAO. Star Atlas also features a utility token, which is called ATLAS.
Introduced in April 2018, Voxels is among the earliest examples of metaverse worlds incorporating cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. In this virtual world, which was previously known as CryptoVoxels, players can own land through NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. In addition, Voxels players can also adorn their avatars with custom wearables that can be bought as NFTs.
As the name suggests, Voxels incorporates a voxel-based graphics style. While this results in a relatively lo-fi experience, the Voxels world is interesting in its own right and creating assets for it has a relatively low entry barrier. Another strength of Voxels is that players can hop into the virtual world right from their web browser and start exploring, regardless of whether they own any NFTs or not.
9. My Neighbor Alice
My Neighbor Alice is a metaverse game where players build and farm on virtual islands. Unlike many other metaverse worlds, which have a gritty and futuristic aesthetic, My Neighbor Alice has a charming look inspired by cartoons.
My Neighbor Alice utilizes NFTs to represent In-game assets like land, houses and pets. The game uses the BNB Chain blockchain platform for its NFTs.
The game is powered by the ALICE token, which serves as the in-game currency, and is also used in governance and staking. My Neighbor Alice also has a play-to-earn aspect, as players can earn ALICE tokens by completing in-game quests.
In 2021, My Neighbor Alice was featured on Binance Launchpool, and users could earn ALICE tokens by staking BNB, BUSD or CHR tokens.
10. Gods Unchained
While we might be stretching the definition of the “metaverse” here, we feel that we should highlight Gods Unchained due to the quality of its gameplay. Gods Unchained is a trading card game where cards are represented as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain.
The gameplay of Gods Unchained is inspired by the classics of the trading card genre, most notably Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering. Gods Unchained offers tactical and exciting gameplay, which is a breath of fresh air among blockchain-powered games, which often focus more on tokens and NFTs than on the gameplay itself.
The Gods Unchained ecosystem also features its own fungible token called GODS. Token holders can use their GODS to mint new NFTs or purchase packs of randomized virtual cards.
Bloktopia is a metaverse project that uses the Polygon blockchain. The centerpiece of the Bloktopia world is a skyscraper consisting of 21 levels, which is a homage to the 21 million maximum supply of Bitcoin. Bloktopia utilizes the Unity game engine as its underlying technology.
In Bloktopia, users can own virtual real estate through NFTs, and monetize their property through advertising and exclusive events. According to the Bloktopia team, the virtual world will also include a wealth of educational resources for cryptocurrency users.
12. League of Kingdoms
League of Kingdoms is an MMO strategy game that implements NFTs to give players ownership of in-game assets. In League of Kingdoms, players can purchase land as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. The game also features mythical creatures called Drago, which are also represented as tradeable NFTs.
In League of Kingdoms, players start off with small cities and develop them into impressive kingdoms. Players can also band together to form powerful alliances.
League of Kingdoms was introduced to many crypto enthusiasts in early 2022, when the project held a token sale through Binance’s Launchpad platform. The project successfully raised $4 million by selling its LOKA tokens on Binance Launchpad.
The bottom line – There’s no shortage of metaverse NFT games
If you’re interested in NFTs and metaverse projects, we have hopefully introduced you to some of the most interesting NFT-powered virtual worlds out there. Typically, metaverse NFTs follow the formula of creating a virtual world and selling virtual assets such as land, wearables and avatars as NFTs. Players can then freely trade these NFTs on marketplaces, and potentially also earn a profit while doing so.
However, you have to keep in mind that the sector is in its early stages and a lot of the value of metaverse NFTs is based on speculation as their underlying virtual worlds are not fully developed yet. Some of the projects might not ever get off the ground, which could make their NFTs practically worthless.
If you’re looking to keep exploring the metaverse, check out our list of the top metaverse games.