The Best Sword Art Online Watch Order and Guide for New Fans

sword art online watch order asuna
Credit: A-1 Pictures

sword art online watch order asuna
Credit: A-1 Pictures

Sword Art Online is one of the most popular isekai anime of all time. It has received mixed reviews, with some saying they love it and others saying they don't. Regardless, if you're planning to start the series, here's our Sword Art Online watch order and guide for new fans.

What Is the Plot of Sword Art Online?

The story follows Kirito, a Sword Art Online virtual reality MMORPG player, and his peculiar fate. Set in the fictitious year 2022, Kirito, like thousands of other users, is trapped in Sword Art Online after failing to log out.

Kirito has to defeat the 100-level tower boss to regain his physical form and survive. Kirito uses his VR MMORPG knowledge to build alliances, join guilds, and deal with his newfound allies and opponents.

ALSO READ: The Best Isekai Anime with Romance

Sword Art Online Watch Order and Guide

sword art online watch order asuna
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Credit: A-1 Pictures

Since 2012, Sword Art Online has produced series, spin-offs, specials, and films. Because of this, anime fans may find the series daunting, given the number of shows available as of writing.

The good news is that it isn't as complicated as you may expect. While it might seem difficult to follow, the series is best enjoyed and experienced in order of release date.

Sword Art Online Watch Order Based on Release Date

Title
Year Released
No. of Episodes
Type
Description
Sword Art Online Season 1
2012
25
TV Anime
Covers the Ainrad and Fairy Dance Arcs
Sword Art Online: Extra Edition
2013
1
Special
Recap episodes with brand new scenes towards the end
Sword Art Online Season 2
2014
24
TV Anime
Covers the Phantom, Excalibur, and Mother’s Rosario Arc
Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale
2017
1
Movie
A fun and enjoyable movie about new characters and members of Kirito’s club
Sword Art Online Season 3 Part 1: Alicization
2018
24
TV Anime
Covers the Alicization Arc
Sword Art Online Season 3 Part 2: Alicization-War of the Underworld
2019
12
TV Anime
Continuation of the Alicization Arc
Sword Art Online Season 3 Part 3: Alicization-War of the Underworld 2nd Season
2020
11
TV Anime
Final part of the Project Alicization Arc
Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night
2021
1
Movie
New version of Kirito and Asuna’s adventure in Aincrad’s first level
Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of Deep Night
2022
1
Movie
Second SAO Progressive movie

The series has also spawned two related side stories with their plotlines. While Gun Gale Online takes place in the same world as Sword Art Online, Accel World takes place in a separate universe.

Title
Year Released
No. of Episodes
Type
Description
Accel World
2012
24
TV Anime
Takes place 24 years after Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
2018
12
TV Anime
A spin off series following Karen Kohiruimaki

If you have free time to spend watching anime, you might also like to watch Sword Art Online’s specials as follows:

Title
Year Released
No. of Episodes
Type
Description
Sword Art Online: Sword Art Offline
2013
9
Special
Comedy anime not related to the story of the series
Sword Art Online: Sword Art Offline Extra Edition
2014
1
Special
Sequel of the first special

Sword Art Online Chronological Watch Order

sword art online watch order kirito
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Credit: A-1 Pictures

You can also watch the series in chronological order to better understand the sequence of events in the series:

Have you seen Sword Art Online? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and follow us on Facebook for all the latest anime news!

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