The reflectance anisotropy effect on albedo retrieval was evaluated using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) bidirectional reflectance distribution functions (BRDFs) product, and archetypal BRDFs. Shortwave-band archetypal BRDFs were established, and validated, based on the Anisotropy Flat indeX (AFX) and time series MODIS BRDF over tile h11v03. To generate surface albedo, archetypal BRDFs were used to fit simulated reflectance, based on the least squares method. Albedo was also retrieved based on the least root-mean-square-error (RMSE) method or normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) based prior BRDF knowledge. The difference between those albedos and the MODIS albedo was used to quantify the reflectance anisotropy effect. The albedo over tile h11v03 for day 185 in 2009 was retrieved from single directional reflectance and the third archetypal BRDF. The results show that six archetypal BRDFs are sufficient to represent the reflectance anisotropy for albedo estimation. For the data used in this study, the relative uncertainty caused by reflectance anisotropy can reach up to 7.4%, 16.2%, and 20.2% for sufficient, insufficient multi-angular and single directional observations. The intermediate archetypal BRDFs may be used to improve the albedo retrieval accuracy from insufficient or single observations with a relative uncertainty range of 8–15%.