The Best Web Serial Worth Reading in 2021
By: Preston Simmons | Written: 24 June 2021
Web serials have existed almost as long as the internet has been around. It’s no wonder. People love to tell stories, and they want others to read them. Writing a web serial is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to do that.
Without exaggeration, there are probably more web novels in existence than actual published books. Anyone can write and upload their story online. With that being the case, it’s not hard to imagine there being millions of different web novels to choose from. However, when quantity outweighs quality, finding what’s worth your time to pursue can be challenging.
Do you want to find the absolute best ongoing or completed web serials for free? Do you want to read stories that compete with some of the greatest published fantasy books out there? Luckily, we’ve got just what you are looking for.
Here are the best web serials that are worth reading in 2021!
#10 – Super Minion by Gogglesbear
Super Minion by Gogglesbear is an incredibly well-written ongoing web serial in the superhero genre. Where Worm by Wildbow is a super dark and gritty take on the superhero genre, Super Minion is the opposite. This is a light-hearted and fun read that will not fail to put a smile on your face. The main character, Tofu, is very entertaining, especially considering he’s not human. It’s an awesome story that many people now consider their favorite piece of superhero fiction. This is one of the best ongoing web serials worth reading. But, of course, it is up to you to check it out for yourself!
Super Minion Synopsis:
Fortress City has Super Villains, who have evil lairs, and in them they make super weapons. But when a bioweapon is granted super powers of its own, will Fortress City be able to handle the Super Minion?
Where to Read: You can read Super Minion for free on royalroad.com by clicking here!
#9 – Delve by SenescentSoul
Delve by SenescentSoul is probably one of the most subtle of web serials worth reading. It’s a slower-paced isekai that is strictly focused on the main character learning more about the world he finds himself in. It’s about learning to make the best out of a new situation. A fish out of water story. This is also a progression fantasy web serial, but not just about gaining the most strength. It’s about the people met on the journey, the lessons learned, and the knowledge gained by exploring to the utmost. It’s a slow but well-written and fun read.
Delve is an isekai litrpg that follows an average guy who just happened to wake up in a forest one day. He wasn’t summoned to defeat the demon lord or to save the world or anything like that, at least as far as he can tell. The only creature there to greet him was a regular old squirrel.
Soon enough, he meets other people, only to discover that he can’t speak the language, and that not everybody immediately trusts random pajama-wearing strangers they met in the middle of the wilderness. Things generally go downhill from there, at least until the blue boxes start appearing.
Delve is a story about finding your way in a new, strange, and dangerous world. It’s about avoiding death, figuring out what the heck is going on, and trying to make some friends along the way. It’s not about getting home, so much as finding a new one.
Did I mention that there will be math?
Where to Read: You can read Delve for free at royalroad.com!
#8 – Twig by John C. McCrae (Wildbow)
Twig is the third web serial by Wildbow, the author of Worm (number 5 on this list). It is a story about characters and their growth. It is a coming-of-age novel set in a dystopian world. Immortality, human experimentation, monsters, and biological warfare are part of everyday life. Like Worm, Twig is a story with consequences and little to no plot armor, so anything the characters do could have dire results.
If you like stories with high stakes, great action, and even better characters, you’ll have a great time reading Twig.
The year is 1921, and a little over a century has passed since a great mind unraveled the underpinnings of life itself. Every week, it seems, the papers announce great advances, solving the riddle of immortality, successfully reviving the dead, the cloning of living beings, or blending of two animals into one. For those on the ground, every week brings new mutterings of work taken by ‘stitched’ men of patchwork flesh that do not need to sleep, or more fearful glances as they have to step off the sidewalks to make room for great laboratory-grown beasts. Often felt but rarely voiced is the notion that events are already spiraling out of the control of the academies that teach these things.
It is only this generation, they say, that the youth and children are able to take the mad changes in stride, accepting it all as a part of day to day life. Of those children, a small group of strange youths from the Lambsbridge Orphanage stand out, taking a more direct hand in events.
Where to Read: You can read Twig on the author’s official website here!
#7 – Worth the Candle by Alexander Wales (cthulhuraejepsen)
Worth the Candle by Alexander Wales is a rational fiction LitRPG web serial that is still ongoing. The isekai formula has been done thousands of times in Japanese and Western literature. Worth the Candle takes that formula and puts a twist to it. What if the world the main character has been inserted into is an amalgamation of his own creations?
WtC is about how who you were in the past can shape the person you become in the future. It starts slow in the beginning, but it just gets better and better as you learn more about the world, the characters, and the magic. If you like D&D and meta deconstruction of RPG tropes, you will like this web serial.
Worth the Candle Synopsis:
From the age of nine, Juniper Smith began filling notebooks with his worlds, at first places of fantastical imagination, but later with each as an expression of some theme or idea that momentarily grabbed his interest. Over the course of eight years, he shared these worlds with his friends through twice-weekly sessions of tabletop gaming. Now at the age of seventeen, he finds himself in Aerb, a world that appears to be an amalgam of those many notebooks, stuck trying to find the answers to why he’s there and what this world is trying to say. The most terrifying answer might be that this world is an expression of the person he was back on Earth.
Where to Read: You can read Worth the Candle on royalroad.com by clicking here!
#6 – The Gods Are Bastards by D.D Webb
The Gods are Bastards by D.D Webb is one of the largest epic web serials worth reading in 2021. TGAB can be described as part high fantasy and part western, with sci-fi and mystery, all wrapped up in a greek style epic. What really makes TGAB stand out, though, is its massive cast of characters. The characters are all fleshed out, with their own motivations and opinions on the world. Not all the “good guys” are good people, and not all the “bad guys” are strictly unlikable.
In addition, similar to Harry Potter and Methods of Rationality, this web serial is rational fiction. Do you like your stories to give you hints and plot threads without being too on the nose? Do you like to be rewarded for thinking while you read? If so, The Gods are Bastards is one of the best web serials worth reading in 2021.
The Gods are Bastards Synopsis:
Evil is rising.
In an isolated frontier town, a group of new students arrive at the University which will train them to fulfill their heroic destinies. Unfortunately, they quickly prove to be more of a threat to each other than the machinations of the resurgent Demon Queen.
In Tiraas, the Imperial capital, that same queen’s schemes spark off confrontations between the powers of the Empire, the Universal Church, and multiple other factions, each plotting for a slice of the pie. Where all these powers meet, one man is positioned to be crushed beneath them, or to seize the ultimate advantage–if he proves capable.
Evil is rising, and no one is ready…
Where to Read: You can read The Gods are Bastards on the author’s website for free here!
#5 – Worm by John C. McCrae (Wildbow)
With the recent release of Invincible, dark superhero stories have been proven to be pretty popular amongst many. There is another superhero story that is much darker, more realistic, and arguably better, than most superhero fiction out there.
Worm by Wildbow is a completed dark superhero web serial that breaks from the mold of the classic good vs. evil story. The heroes aren’t all perfect individuals, and some of the villains can be quite sympathetic. But what really makes Worm stand out is just how addicting the story is. This web serial has 1,680,000 words but not once does it get boring. Web serials are released in a chapter-by-chapter format. The author wants the reader to come back for more by the end of each chapter. Worm encapsulates that structure to the fullest. Each chapter makes you want to come back and see what happens next. This is one of those books that will make you lose sleep. Why? Because you refused to put the web novel down.
If you are a fan of superheroes, dark fantasy, or good storytelling in general, you should read Worm.
An introverted teenage girl with an unconventional superpower, Taylor goes out in costume to find escape from a deeply unhappy and frustrated civilian life. Her first attempt at taking down a supervillain sees her mistaken for one, thrusting her into the midst of the local ‘cape’ scene’s politics, unwritten rules, and ambiguous morals. As she risks life and limb, Taylor faces the dilemma of having to do the wrong things for the right reasons.
Where to Read: You can read Worm for free from the author’s website here!
#4 – A Practical Guide to Evil by ErraticErrata
A Practical Guide to Evil by ErraticErrata is another ongoing web serial worth reading. What makes the story interesting is that the lines between what constitutes as good and evil are blurred. The story follows Catherine Foundling as she joins the evil empire to rise in the ranks. Except, she’s not evil. She wants to change the empire from the inside out.
It’s an intriguing concept that challenges the notion of the greater good. Questions like “is it right to kill 10 people to save 100?” or “should you destroy a small town to save a nation?”. If you like the study of morality, this web serial might be right up your alley.
A Practical Guide to Evil Synopsis:
Catherine Foundling has a plan.
She’ll join the Legions of Terror that occupy her homeland and work her way up the ladder until she can effect the kind of changes the former Kingdom of Callow so badly needs. Yet after a night gone from bad to worse she is offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by the right hand of the Empress, the infamous Black Knight: to become his apprentice and learn the business of villainy from one of the most dangerous men in Creation. It’s probably a trap, but when has that ever stopped her? For the sake of the land of her birth, she is more than willing to get her hands dirty. They say the first step on the path to the Tower is the hardest.
Considering the amount of people already trying to kill her, ‘they’ might have a point.
Where to Read: A Practical Guide to Evil can be read for free from the author’s website right here!
#3 – Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky
One of the most well-known young adult fantasy series is Harry Potter. To this day, Harry Potter has captivated the lives of adults, teens, and children worldwide. So, it should not be a surprise that fans would take it upon themselves to continue the Potterverse with their own fanfictions once the series ended. One such fanfiction that stands above all the rest is Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.
“What ifs” fill the story of HPMOR. What if, instead of being obsessed with magic, Harry Potter was obsessed with rational thinking, science, and philosophy? Instead of being raised by abusive, uncaring adoptive parents, what if Harry was raised by loving and intelligent people who cared for him like he was their own son? But, of course, that doesn’t even scratch the surface of this parallel universe Yudkowsky has written.
Overall, HPMOR is one of the best completed web serials worth reading, even if you aren’t a Harry Potter fan.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality Synopsis:
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is a work of alternate-universe Harry Potter fan-fiction wherein Petunia Evans has married an Oxford biochemistry professor and young genius Harry grows up fascinated by science and science fiction. When he finds out that he is a wizard, he tries to apply scientific principles to his study of magic, with sometimes surprising results.
Where to Read: You can read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality free at hpmor.com!
#2 – The Wandering Inn by Pirateaba
The Wandering Inn by Pirateaba is one of the most beloved web serials with the most loyal fans. It is an incredible series, so it’s no surprise it is one of the most read and well-known serials on the list. The Wandering Inn is a comfy, slice-of-life web serial with litRPG elements. Imagine playing a videogame where you are an innkeeper in a fantasy world. You would meet characters from all different backgrounds and probably go on a sidequest or two with them. Now, put that concept into a literary format, and you’ve got this web serial.
The Wandering Inn is an extremely captivating story from start to finish. It might take you a while to get there, considering there are 7 volumes, and it is still ongoing. If that seems intimidating, don’t worry. Maybe the audiobook will make things easier. I can’t recommend the audiobook enough. Andrea Parsneau truly manages to bring the world and its huge cast of characters to life.
The Wandering Inn Synopsis:
“No killing Goblins.”
So reads the sign outside of The Wandering Inn, a small building run by a young woman named Erin Solstice. She serves pasta with sausage, blue fruit juice, and dead acid flies on request. And she comes from another world. Ours.
It’s a bad day when Erin finds herself transported to a fantastical world and nearly gets eaten by a Dragon. She doesn’t belong in a place where monster attacks are a fact of life, and where Humans are one species among many. But she must adapt to her new life. Or die.
In a dangerous world where magic is real and people can level up and gain classes, Erin Solstice must battle somewhat evil Goblins, deadly Rock Crabs, and hungry [Necromancers]. She is no warrior, no mage. Erin Solstice runs an inn.
She’s an [Innkeeper].
Where to Read: You can read it free by going to wanderinginn.com!
#1 – Mother of Learning by Domagoj Kurmaic (Nobody103)
Mother of Learning by Nobody103 is an amazing progression fantasy webnovel that has time loops, loads of different magic, and great characters. There are also tons of little details that at first seem inconsequential but then, later on, are revealed to have a significant impact on the plot. This is one of those stories which rewards careful attention from the reader. Mother of Learning is a completed webnovel, with around 2,882 pages and 861,718 words.
This webnovel is all about learning from mistakes and improving upon yourself through hard work and dedication. If you like reading about intelligent characters with incredible work ethic (and results to match) you’ll love this serial.
Mother of Learning Synopsis:
Zorian is a teenage mage of humble birth and slightly above-average skill, attending his third year of education at Cyoria’s magical academy. He is a driven and irritable young man, consumed by a desire to ensure his own future and free himself of the influence of his family, whom he resents for favoring his brothers over him. Consequently, he has no time for pointless distractions or paying attention to other people’s problems.
As it happens, time is something he is about to get plenty of. On the eve of the Cyoria’s annual summer festival, he is killed and brought back to the beginning of the month, just before he was about to take a train to Cyoria. Suddenly trapped in a time loop with no clear end or exit, Zorian will have to look both within and without to unravel the mystery before him. And he does have to unravel it, for the time loop hadn’t been made for his sake and dangers lurk everywhere…
Repetition is the mother of learning, but Zorian will have to first make sure he survives to try again – in a world of magic, even a time traveler isn’t safe from those who wish him ill.
Where to Read: If you’d like to read Mother of Learning for free, you can find it on royalroad.com by following this link!
These are the top 10 web serials that are worth reading in 2021. No matter which one you choose to read, you are sure to have a good time with it. What are your favorite web serials? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!