Top NFT Projects [updated 2023]

Table of Contents

Text Link


The bull run of 2021 marked a transformative year for the NFT space, but after months of downward price action in the broader markets and liquidity drying up, which are the top projects today?

This article examines the top NFT projects of 2023 so far, and thus individual works are non-germane to the scope of this article. The distinguishing factor between projects and individual NFT art is the scale. Independent artists craft NFT art and launch these pieces on their preferred marketplace, whereas larger organizations construct collections often available on native platforms.

This list will be based on Nansen's Blue-Chip-10 Index, which contains the top 10 NFT projects based on market capitalization. While market capitalization is easily calculated for fungible tokens, it's much more challenging to get an accurate number for NFTs as each token is unique and can have drastically different values. Nansen has developed a machine learning model which estimates prices of individual NFTs in a collection and sums up all the NFTs in a collection to get the overall market cap.

This blockchain driven proof of ownership will transform the world and commerce as it is currently understood. To borrow words from Andreas Antonopoulos talking on the significance of the Internet of Money: ‘‘Do not underestimate where this is going.’’

What is an NFT Project?

An NFT or Non-Fungible Token is a blockchain-based certificate that proves ownership. NFTs allow people to own title on their property in a fully transferable manner that is recognized everywhere. These unique cryptographic assets are transfiguring the entire world, and disrupting all sectors beginning with art and finance but steadily working their way through fashion, sports, and beyond. Nansen provides an in-depth guide to NFTs here: Everything You Need to Know About NFTs.

An NFT project is a collection of NFTs released by a group with a finite supply. NFT collections observe stylistic similarity with varying characteristics.

A classic example is Yuga Lab’s Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT project. One of the most recognizable collections in the digital asset space. Prized not only because of their value and social status, but NFT owners maintain the ability to commercially exploit their NFT however they like. This utility case has been leveraged by Universal Music who launched a band called Kingship constituted from Bored Ape NFTs, and Cordell Broadus (Snoop Dog’s Son) used his Bored Ape to market cannabis products.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection consists of 10,000 unique NFT assets, all primates, but possessing different traits. The more uncommon the attribute, the rarer the NFT and thus the more desirable. Investors can use Nansen’s NFT God mode to see an entire project breakdown and even filter by specific traits: NFT God Mode: BAYC.

Their simplicity has, in part, propelled NFT’s growth compared to other applications of blockchain technology such as DeFi. And these non-interchangeable units of data with proof of ownership have provided creators with an alternative way to generate revenue with their work.

NFTs have enabled the play-to-earn model in the gaming sector. But primarily, the larger collections are social currencies; crypto investors utilize NFTs to signal their wealth and status. Colloquially termed ‘‘PFP’’ (Profile Picture), investors display these NFTs on their Twitter as a status symbol.

Investors who want to stay ahead of the majority can utilize Nansen. This blockchain analytics platform combines millions of wallets with on-chain data to deliver market alpha and condenses all this information into visualized dashboards for the investor. Nansen’s NFT Paradise Dashboard gives an overview of the top NFT projects, their floor price updated in real-time, the volume, and shows which projects Smart Money (the most profitable NFT traders) are minting, selling, and holding.

Best NFT Projects of 2023


The OG in the space, CryptoPunks were first launched in 2017 by Larva Labs, has defined the PFP category and formed the basis of what people imagine when they think of NFTs. The collection features 10,000 8-bit style characters, with some of the rarest ones being sold for millions of dollars at Sotheby's. Beyond individual collectors, we've seen, Visa, the payments giant, purchasing a Punk in 2021 as a way to mark their entry into the space. Many of the successful collections today have taken reference from CryptoPunks in someway shape or form. For the longest time, Punks had the highest floor price for a PFP collection but has since been overtaken by BAYC. The historical significance of the collection cannot be understated and as the NFT space grows, the value of a Punk grows alongside it.

Larva Labs CryptoPunks Page

Bored Ape Yacht Club

These iconic simian NFTs are second NFT project by market cap. The collection shot to fame in late 2021 - early 2022, with a growing list of celebrities owning and repping Bored Apes as their profile picture on Twitter. Adidas, The Bored Ape Yacht Club has cemented its place in the NFT space. Minted initially for 0.08 ETH in April 2021, this 10,000 strong primate collection has changed the NFT space irrevocably.

Owning a Bored Ape comes with a string of benefits beyond the social flexing it enables on Twitter. Owners of Bored Apes have received multiple airdrops of other NFT collections, most notably the Mutant Ape Yacht Club. There are real-world events for owners, limited edition merchandise and owning an Ape gives you access to the exclusive community of other Ape holders. However, the intellectual property rights attached to the NFT grant the greatest potential benefits. With the entrenchment of Bored Apes in the NFT sphere, some even argue they can be considered a relatively ‘safe’ investment option. 

101 Bored Ape Yacht Club | Ape in ! | 2021 | Sotheby's
Sotheby's 101 Apes

Otherdeed for Otherside

Unlike the other collections mentioned above, Otherdeed for Otherside is not a PFP collection but instead a metaverse real estate collection. Otherside aims to be a gamified metaverse that comprises of mechanisms from MMORPGs and web3-enabled virtual worlds. The world isn't static though and will constantly evolve alongside input from the players who are also the owners of the world.

The collection has a total supply of 200,000 - 100,000 currently in circulation and another 100,000 will be made available to future players who hold an Otherside and have contributed to the development of Otherside. Holders of Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club were able to claim their Otherdeed for Otherside back in April 2022.

Otherdeed for Otherside OpenSea

Mutant Ape Yacht Club

Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) was the first and one of the most, if not the most valuable benefit given to BAYC holders. The collection comprises of 20,000 mutant apes - 10,000 was given to holders of BAYC in the form of a "Mutant Serum" which they could use to generate a Mutant version of the BAYC that they were holding, the other 10,000 was sold in a public auction. These apes grant holders similar benefits to BAYC - future airdrops, access to merchandise and real-world events and the exclusive community of other holders.

Mutant Ape Yacht Club OpenSea


An anime-themed NFT collection of 10,000 whose nostalgic artwork brings classic shows such as Cowboy Bepop and Samurai Champloo to mind. Azuki remains one of the most successful NFT drops selling out, with a volume of $30 million in just three minutes.

As well as offering a great PFP owning an Azuki NFT grants access to The Garden. An exclusive area where the lines and rules between the physical and digital worlds soften and obscure. Built as a decentralized metaverse brand with a complex roadmap Azuki ownership invites owners on a journey.

Azuki's Official Gallery

Chromie Squiggle

Chromie Squiggle is a fully on-chain, generative art collection created by Snowfro. The art is easily identifiable and is simplistic and the collection has strong historical significance as a first mover in the generative art space. The collection has a total supply of 9,734 NFTs, each with varying sizes, colors, type of squigle.

Chromie Squiggle OpenSea

Sandbox Land

Sandbox Land NFTs represent parcels of land in the Sandbox world, and owners can build games and experiences on those worlds for other users to interact with. The world is playable on both mobile and PC and has been actively used by companies and celebrities alike to host virtual events. The land operates on a similar concept to land in the real world and owners of the land who build experiences on top of it can earn whenever users interact with it and benefit from any price appreciation on the land itself.

Sandbox OpenSea

Clone X

RTFKT and Murakami created this collection of 20,000 avatars. These avatar NFTs are metaverse ready and will play a central role in RTFKT’s digital fashion adventures. Despite a messy launch, this NFT collection remains highly sought after and has seen close to 230K ETH trading volume on OpenSea.

Clone X is merging the metaverse and fashion with its ‘Forge’, turning NFTs into real-world collectibles. With owners gaining access to the RTFKT community and events. Backed by Nike, the potential for RTFKT NFTs and their augmented fashion remains incredible.

Clone X OpenSea


This parliament of 10,000 8-bit owls minted at 2.5 ETH- perceived as expensive for a mint- saw their floor price rise rapidly. Created by Proof Collective, the Moonbirds project pushes utility and is the access point to the Proof Collective.

Owners unlock private club membership and access to Proof’s upcoming projects. A unique feature of Moonbirds is Nesting, a similar concept to staking, with the potency of each Moonbird increasing the longer the investor holds it.

Moonbirds OpenSea


Fidenza is a collection of generative art NFTs created by Tyler Hobbs who designed the algorithm to be highly flexible resulting in unique, varied and eye catching NFTs. Although each piece is unique, they all have a cohesive design language and anyone into NFTs will be able to recognize a Fidenza when they see one. Although Chromie Squiggles were the ones to kickstart the generative art NFT wave in 2021, Fidenza was the collection that took the space to new heights.

Fidenza OpenSea

Special Mentions


A collection of vibrant pastel characters launched by Evan Keast, Scott Martin, and Jordan Castro. Hundreds of variations exist within the 10,000 unique images, and these buoyant PFPs grant owners voting rights in community-driven features.

Doodle possesses a community treasury and requests that owners take an active role in the project’s future. Ownership of a Doodle equates to one vote, and the entire Doodles project can be mentally construed as a large DAO. This collaborative roadmap makes Doodles one of the most interactive NFT projects with founders and investors working together.

Doodle OpenSea

Ethereum Name Service (ENS)

Not technically an NFT collection but a utility application of NFT technology and perhaps a flavor of what the future holds. ENS has seen a massive uptick in volume, and this protocol is a naming service that allows users to register human-friendly domain names to typical blockchain addresses. This process makes the future decentralized web more straightforward and digestible for average users, and this convenience will be essential in driving mass adoption.

Want to learn more about the top NFT projects? Check out NFT God Mode and more with a Nansen plan today!


The bear market has not spared any area of the digital asset space, and large marketplaces such as OpenSea have witnessed a considerable decline in trading volume. Yet the price and volume metrics ignore the growing utility application of NFTs.

Nansen, a blockchain analytics firm, leverages on-chain data and millions of wallet addresses to provide deeper insight into the crypto space. In these bearish times, tracking the activity of smart wallets can be illuminating. These wallets are the best NFT traders on-chain, and seeing what these wallets are minting, selling, or buying offers a different perspective. Smart money wallets minted many of the projects mentioned above, and for investors seeking market alpha to outpace the rest, Nansen offers dashboards to facilitate this information asymmetry.


The authors of this content and members of Nansen may be participating or invested in some of the protocols or tokens mentioned herein. The foregoing statement acts as a disclosure of potential conflicts of interest and is not a recommendation to purchase or invest in any token or participate in any protocol. Nansen does not recommend any particular course of action in relation to any token or protocol. The content herein is meant purely for educational and informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as financial, investment, legal, tax or any other professional or other advice. None of the content and information herein is presented to induce or to attempt to induce any reader or other person to buy, sell or hold any token or participate in any protocol or enter into, or offer to enter into, any agreement for or with a view to buying or selling any token or participating in any protocol. Statements made herein (including statements of opinion, if any) are wholly generic and not tailored to take into account the personal needs and unique circumstances of any reader or any other person. Readers are strongly urged to exercise caution and have regard to their own personal needs and circumstances before making any decision to buy or sell any token or participate in any protocol. Observations and views expressed herein may be changed by Nansen at any time without notice. Nansen accepts no liability whatsoever for any losses or liabilities arising from the use of or reliance on any of this content.

Join 100,000+ Investors Getting Their Trading Edge From Nansen