Drew is a Fantasy-LitRPG author and a blogger. He enjoys binge reading and writing to fight boredom.
What Are Leveling System Manhwa (Webtoons)?
Leveling system manhwa (webtoons) are Korean comics where game-like features like leveling and stats build the story. If you have ever played games such as Diablo, Ragnarok, League of Legends, MOBA Bang Bang, and Dungeons and Dragons, these comics have similar systems, but they're stories rather than games.
It’s no wonder why these manhwa are so popular. When you combine an interesting system with stunning art, an intriguing plot, and catchy characters, you get a crowd-pleaser. After all, most manhwa fans love kickass dungeon crawling, tower climbing, and overpowered (OP) main characters (MCs).
Still, most hardcore fans (like me) always run out of such goodies eventually. Thus, I have shared a list of the best manhwa with leveling systems I have ever read.
My Top 20 Leveling System Manhwa (Webtoons) to Binge Read
- Solo Leveling
- The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor
- Second Life Ranker
- Skeleton Soldier Couldn’t Protect the Dungeon
- The Gamer
- Solo Max-Level Newbie
- Leveling With the Gods
- I Am the Sorcerer King
- The Tutorial Tower Is Too Tough
- Player Who Can’t Level Up
- Murim Login
- Worn Torn Newbie
- Taming Master
- Dimensional Mercenary
- Seoul Station’s Necromancer
- Quest Supremacy
- Dungeon Reset
- Latna Saga: Survival of a Sword King
- Return to Player
1. Solo Leveling
E-rank hunter Jinwoo Sung is part of the bottom rung. He has nothing under his belt—no money, no connections, and no prospects. But fate plays a mysterious tune, and he soon discovers himself as the only survivor of a dungeon raid. And when he wakes up, he discovers his newfound power—a unique leveling system.
From its great art to its thrilling progression, Solo Leveling is a top-tier manhwa with a leveling system. If you love action-packed manhwa, then this goodie has your back.
My Rating: I’m dead sure most readers know this is a solid 10/10. Despite its lackluster character development, it still kept me tuned in from start to end. And don’t forget the thrilling fight scenes and iconic memes Solo Leveling has given the world. It deserves the top spot for bringing new readers into the manhwa community.
2. The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor
As a debt-ridden breadwinner, Hyun Lee did his best to earn money. But life gets in the way and he just couldn't earn enough. Thus, to support his grandmother and little sister, he enters the famous Virtual Reality MMORPG called Royal Road.
Join Weed (not that weed) in his scrounging schemes to squeeze all the cash he could get, scamming both players and NPCs. I have also read its translated light novel, and it didn’t disappoint. If you like the manhwa of Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, the translated light novel is even better.
My Rating: I’ll rate this manhwa 8/10. The art is superb, a mixed bag of beauty and hilariousness mashed together. Still, the plot is too fast-paced and could have been slower to build the world and the characters. And though it’s not what I have imagined as a light novel reader, seeing this series adapted as a manhwa brings lots of nostalgia and splendid memories.
3. Second Life Ranker
Yeonwoo has always wondered what happened to his long-lost twin brother. But when his brother returned as a stiff corpse, he sets out for the truth. Soon enough, he discovered the gruesome end of his brother through his keepsake—a pocket watch containing his memories.
If you’re into revenge manhwa with an OP MC and leveling systems, then this is one of the top choices to start.
My Rating: Second Life Ranker deserves a solid 9/10 but could have been better. It lacks in the character development department, stunting the plot as well. The growth arc is all about stats, skills, and levels. Still, the art is nothing short of stunning, carrying the entire story with fine art alone.
4. Skeleton Soldier Couldn’t Protect the Dungeon
How to make an innocent soldier skeleton suffer? Put him in a seemingly unending time-loop filled with schemes and murder. Against all odds, Skelly strives to protect all that he cares for. My heart goes to this poor skeleton soldier and his terrible fate.
If you’re tired of OP MCs, then this might be a delightful change of pace. But be warned. Skeleton Soldier Couldn’t Protect the Dungeon has a tragedy tag and can be damn dark. It isn’t for the faint of heart.
My Rating: A hidden gem worth 9/10. Honestly, I expected a little out of this manhwa. But oh boy, this Skelly has tons of surprises. From its amazing art and intriguing plot to its lovable main character, this is a must-read among manhwa with leveling systems.
5. The Gamer
Jee Han loves gaming, spending long hours to power-level his game characters. So guess what happens when a game nerd like him suddenly gets a leveling system ability? You’re right, he turns into a real-life leveling nut job.
But soon enough, he discovers the world isn’t what he thought it is. Superpowers, witches, pseudo-gods, wizards, demons, immortals, etc. Damn, his world has it all.
My Rating: The Gamer’s concept is quite catchy and interesting. Unfortunately, it soon fell into mediocrity, especially in the latter parts. The art nosedived for whatever reason. Worse, the info dumps became annoying while the plot progression turned into pure nonsense power-leveling. The more he leveled up, the more the plot went downhill along with his IQ. Still, the first arcs deserve a thumbs up. I’ll give it a 7/10.
Shin Youngwoo (aka Grid) has always been part of the bottom rung of society. His bad luck and bottom-feeder status even extend to the virtual world. A legit loser. But his good days will soon come after he found an invaluable treasure that will change his life—the legendary smithing class called Pagma’s Successor.
If you’re a fan of Zero-to-Hero trope spiced with virtual reality game systems, then this might be a good choice for you.
My Rating: I’ll rate this leveling system manhwa 8/10. The art is awesome and carried the story well. Still, I just can’t handle the MC’s childish personality (personal gripe). Perhaps it is just not my cup of tea since lots of people like this manhwa.
7. Solo Max-Level Newbie
Known as a dumb and unbeatable game, the Tower of Trials soon crashed with only a few players left. After all, no gamer likes an impossible game. Well, except for Kang Jinhyeo—a gaming streamer who stayed and conquered the game.
But what will happen when The Tower of Trials suddenly pops out of reality? Can Jinhyeo beat the game again when his life’s on the line?
If you like Solo Leveling, then this manhwa might be a good read to sate your hunger.
My Rating: I’ll rate Solo Max-Level Newbie 8/10. A thrilling tower dungeon trope—action-packed, fast-paced, and hard-hitting. The art style looks sleek. But like most manhwas with a leveling system, it lacks character depth.
8. Leveling With the Gods
The gods of the tower thought the top of the tower was supposed to be paradise. They were wrong. Like climbing the tower itself, the top is but a pure hell. One filled with vicious and war-mongering outer gods determined to annihilate the tower’s inhabitants.
Facing a battle of extinction, Kim Yuwon, one of the last survivors of the tower, was tasked with returning to the past. His goal? Climb the tower, power up, and crush the outer gods.
My Rating: Leveling With the Gods is a top-class leveling system manhwa. The world-building is solid and intriguing. And damn, our MC here finally has depth. The plot progression will also hook you deeply. Add those amazing art panels and you’ll get a binge-worthy manhwa. It deserves my rare 10/10.
9. I Am the Sorcerer King
Sunghoon Lee lives day after day like a zombie. Taking on multiple side jobs to pay her mother’s medical bills. Yet, what he earns is still never enough. Risking it all, he takes a dangerous job as monster bait for superhumans called Awakeners.
Soon enough, he hits the rough road in an accident, awakening the slumbering memories of his past life as the Sorcerer King. And Sorcerer Kings doesn’t easily die even in road accidents.
My Rating: Cliched as it is, I Am the Sorcerer King deserves a 7/10. Reading it has been quite enjoyable, especially during the initial arcs, but soon slowed in the later arcs. It suffered from power creep and lacked in the character depth department. The art isn’t a super-tier but delivered well enough.
10. The Tutorial Tower Is Too Tough
When Lee Honjae retired from his pro-gamer career, he fell into self-doubt and depression. Then a mysterious screen flashed before his eyes, inviting him to join the Tutorial Tower. And there were three choices—Easy, Hard, and Hell. Damn his luck, he accidentally chooses hell.
And if you’re into light novels, Tutorial Tower also has a good one. I recommend it.
My Rating: A solid 8/10. The Tutorial Tower Is Too Tough isn’t about some swaggering OP MC out to slap faces and conquer the world. Rather, this leveling system manhwa digs deeper into the human psyche—a big plus, since it adds depth to the characters and plot. And though there are power-ups, it’s well-earned and reasonable. He received it through blood and sweat. And hey, the art looks great.
11. Player Who Can’t Level Up
Every grandma in the neighborhood knows unique-ability players are the world’s future. Well, except for Kim Gigyu. Despite spending five years struggling to understand his unique ability, he just couldn’t pass beyond level 1.
But no secret remains undiscovered. The fateful day arrives, and he soon discovers his power—linking sentient weapons. Can his rare ability bring him to the top?
My Rating: I’ll rate Player Who Can’t Level Up 8/10. Though the story is as generic as my meds, at least the plot’s progression makes sense. Step by step. Enemy after enemy. No sudden I’m-the-MC-so-get-the-hell-out-of-the-way cliché. The art is also up there on the ladder.
12. Murim Login
Jin Tae-Kyung, a low-rank hunter, is poor and has no future. But when he discovers a mysterious virtual reality capsule, his fate changes anew after he accidentally uses the machine.
Transported into the world of Murim, he finds himself in the body of a young man. Worst of all, the old owner’s stinky reputation keeps pushing him into one trouble after another.
My Rating: Murim Login is rare comedy gold. A 9/10. Just remembering the troll meme faces plastered throughout this leveling system manhwa makes my sides hurt. The art is amazing and apt for the Murim theme. And finally, the characters aren’t cardboard cut-outs from dead-tired and overused tropes. Thank goodness!
13. Worn Torn Newbie
Dumping 15 years of his life as a failed gamer, Lee Eojin knew he was in a deep dumpster hole. Then a done-hundred-a-times manhwa miracle happened. He returns to the past—at the very start of the game he spent years. What’s next? He kicks ass.
If you like The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor and Overgeared, then this manhwa might be a great fit for you.
My Rating: Come on now. Can anyone give us something new? One that isn’t a template? Anyway, despite the rants, Worn Torn Newbie is a trope done well. An 8/10. Fast-paced, exciting, and full of hormones. The art also looks stunning. But the characters? Yeah, generic.
14. Taming Master
Jinsung is not playing virtual reality just to chill out. Proof? He is a fearsome level 93 archer in the virtual world of Kallahan. But when a rare class called Tamer suddenly lands on his lap, he is torn and soon makes a crazy decision—delete his character to start anew.
If you like Overgeared or The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, then this might grow on you.
My Rating: Taming Master is just another cliché manhwa with a leveling system. From romance down to plot development, it gives us nothing new. It’s not bad, but meh. The art is quite good, but not among the super tiers. I’ll give it a 7/10.
15. Dimensional Mercenary
Swimming in debt while living a directionless life, Chul Ho Kang knows his future is as dim as a black hole. So when a dodgy site offered him money and a job for his soul, he quickly sold his life off.
Still, he never knew it’d send his soul to hell called other people’s life. And damn, living off the despairing life of other people isn’t easy—he’ll need lots of luck to challenge fate and create new possibilities.
My Rating: Dimensional Mercenary’s concept is a rare original in the world of manhwa templates. The plot is stirring and exciting enough for me to binge-read. Its characters also have depth, unlike their generic counterparts. Then its art turned into one hell of a soggy mess. I don’t need it to tell anybody what it feels like to read inconsistent manhwa. A 7/10.
16. Seoul Station’s Necromancer
Isekaid into Planet Alphen, a world of power and magic, Kang Woojin survived doggedly for years. Striving through tough times, he soon became a fearsome necromancer. One who rules over the living and the dead with fear and an iron fist.
Then, the bastard returns to Earth and starts anew. And you know the drill folks! If you still enjoy isekai duds and their powerful cheats (like me), then Seoul Station's Necromancer will be a good read for you.
My Rating: Seoul Station’s Necromancer offers nothing new in the leveling system niche. However, it’s one of the first English-translated Korean web novels that graced the internet. A great read. The art looks and the plot doles out what we expect. The characters aren’t deep, but also not too dry. I’ll rate this 8/10.
17. Quest Supremacy
Too tired of being bullied, Suhyeon Kim, a wimp, pleaded to heaven for a game system. But who could have thought he’d lucked out and received one? A quest system that would push him into the world of gangsters and bullies.
If you’re into fulfilling revenge spiced up with blood-pumping fist fights, then this is the manhwa to read through.
My Rating: Quest Supremacy is an unexpected 9/10. Though it starts cliched, the plot soon thickens into one intriguing story filled with martial arts and badass moments. The art is also sweet and sleek. The character development is generic, but its light comedic moments make up for it.
18. Dungeon Reset
Cliched. Dawoon, another ordinary guy, finds himself transported into a dungeon world. But as a crafter with almost zero combat ability, he is but a dead weight. Thus, after he fell into a spiked trap, suffering life-threatening wounds, his teammates left him dead.
Twist? He survives and becomes a glitch in the dungeon. One who is unbound by the rules of the dungeon. Plus, he gets a pet, a talking rabbit.
My Rating: Dungeon Reset started promising but became a victim of the mid-slog. And damn, it should have changed its title to Cooking Reset. Too much cooking that it dulled the story until it lost direction. This OP MC’s character development is also so almost non-existent. Still, the art and its funny moments did a lot of heavy lifting. I’ll give it a 7/10.
19. Latna Saga—Survival of a Sword King
Fresh from military service, Hanbin Ryu finds himself transported into another world, forced to train and level up in a desolate tutorial world. But all hell breaks loose when his guideline (leveling system) glitched on him, forcing him stuck at level one. Like forever.
A rare gem where the MC earned everything the right way. All sweat, hard work, and muscles. But thank goodness isn’t another instantly OP MC.
My Rating: I’ll rate this 8/10. From its amazing art spiced with heart-thumping fight scenes, I knew it’ll be epic. The world-building is marvelous. The characters and plot? Intriguing. Hundred plus chapters out and the art didn’t deteriorate like most manhwa with leveling systems. However, its plot development is a super slow burn. I almost dropped it in the middle but earned my interest again seeing its quality.
20. Return to Player
A game for the gods. A death and life struggle for humanity. Ten years passed of merely scrunching out for survival, humanity had no one left except for Sehan Kim. And he had no delusion he’d survive. Not even as the gods’ plaything.
Given a chance to slip back in time, he grabs the opportunity. But is it really a chance to succeed? Or just another ten years of reliving pure hell? Maybe, both.
My Rating: A solid 8/10. Though a little rough on the edges, Return to Player is one trope done well. The plot progression is smooth and not overly draggy. The characters are, yeah, generic, like most manhwa with leveling systems. Yes, the MC is OP, but not a power creep with a genie. The art’s quality isn’t so bad and delivers enough to make a gripping story.
This isn’t everything the leveling system manhwa niche can offer. Based on the popularity of the genre and its capability to bring profits, we can expect more top-tier manhwa and webtoons to come.
It’s looking bright so far; almost every month, I’m seeing new manhwa with leveling systems being released. It's a heartening sight to see! For now, let’s just wait and see while binging what we have.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Drew Agravante