Massively multiplayer online games, more commonly known as MMOs, are a genre that has had a dedicated following for several decades. Renowned for needing hundreds of hours to “complete,” if they can be completed at all, they are famously difficult to get into.
That said, there has never been a better time to get into an MMO. MMOs have become a lot more accessible in the past decade, and a lot more varied. As a result, there’s an MMO out there for everyone, even people who prefer to play solo, and they are a gaming experience unlike any other due to the massive player communities and constantly updating worlds.
while The Elder Scrolls series has primarily focused on returning to Skyrim in recent years, Elder Scrolls Online allows a player to explore the near-entirety of Tamriel. With an incredibly well-developed world, engaging stories, and fairly enjoyable combat challenges, ESO is a joy to play.
With a cheap entry price, a pretty generous subscription model to access all the content in the game, and a very welcoming community, Elder Scrolls Online should be high on any MMO player’s list. It is an incredible entry in the MMO genre that still holds true to its action-rpg roots.
9 World of Warcraft Is Still A Classic
Rapidly approaching its 20th anniversary, world of warcraft, also known as WoWis one of the oldest MMOs on the block. World of Warcraft has, time and time again, outlived so-called WoW-killers, proving that nothing can beat the classics.
With a long line of expansions that have continued to broaden the game since its release, WoW is still going strong. While its gameplay may not have aged as well as some other games, World of Warcraft is still worth trying even today. Plus, it’s free up to level 20, so anyone can easily try out this legend of MMO history.
8 Speaking of Classics, runescape
No conversation regarding classic MMOs is complete without mentioning runescape† Released in 2001, it has had a dedicated community since its release, and has held strong for more than 20 years. The original Runescape experience is so unique that in 2013 the original was rereleased as Old School Runescape†
runescape also has several other versions that can be played, such as the more graphically impressive but still equally engaging Runescape 3† The community is incredibly welcoming, and the game is easy to learn but at the same time stunningly addicting.
7 Final Fantasy XIV Shows Just How Polished An MMO Can Be
After a disastrous release and being panned by critics and players alike, Final Fantasy XIV quite literally decided to nuke itself out of existence in 2012 before releasing in 2013 as FFXIV: A Realm Reborn.
since then, FFXIV has slowly rebuilt its reputation, leading up to 2021 when the critically-acclaimed and game-of-the-year-winning endwalker expansion was released. Final Fantasy XIV has developed a reputation for a supreme level of polish and care on the part of its developers. It is an incredibly deep and complex game that, while requiring hundreds of hours to master, is incredibly rewarding.
6 warframe Lets You Be A Space Ninja
warframe, known for its tag-line “Ninjas play free,” is a free-to-play MMO with one of the best movement systems to ever be seen in a video game. It takes the ninja action to the next level with acrobatic super-soldier Warframes, characters with unique abilities and loadouts.
The core of warframe is fully the grind to simply become more and more powerful. Other MMOs are likely to have a superior and much more engaging story, but warframe is worth playing for the combat alone. Combined with the excellent movement systems, the combat is buttery smooth and near-addicting to play.
5 Destiny 2 Lets You Be A Space Wizard
Destiny 2 is an FPS shooter with many MMORPG elements mixed in for good measure. Between the incredible raids, challenging dungeon experiences and frequent random co-op moments, Destiny 2 feels like less like a shooter and more like a proper MMO.
Made by Bungie, the creators of Halo† Destiny 2′scombat is thrilling and has true impact to it, with every weapon being an utter joy to use. With constant new seasons released and expansions every year, there’s always more content to enjoy and new weapons to chase.
4 Lord of the Rings Online Is The Definitive Tolkien Video Game Experience
Lord of the Rings Online, also known as lotRO, is unlike many other MMOs that are still around today. While some draw players in with to their combat, complex classes, or hundreds of hours of endgame content, lotRO has something different. That isn’t to say it lacks any of the aforementioned traits. In fact, it has all of them, and they are all excellent. But the real reason to play lotRO is the story.
The developers have lovingly translated the pages of Tolkien’s fantasy epics into an MMO experience unlike any other. Every story is deep, complex, and incredibly well-written. Players can even experience the entirety of the Lord of the Rings’ story, following the Fellowship through their journey across Middle-Earth and culminating in the battle of the Black Gate. lotRO still actively supported, with the story being continued to this day.
3 Guild Wars 2 Is Still Going Strong
There was a time when Guild Wars was a name known by all MMO players and it was one of the juggernauts of the industry. It had fallen on hard times since those days, at least until the recent release of End of Dragons. for a while, Guild Wars 2 struggled to find a direction for the game as a whole, but the new expansion has been a breath of fresh air.
Considering that Guild Wars 2 is free-to-play, it is easy to try out, and with fun combat and many adventures to be had, players are likely to stick around. There’s a decade of content to enjoy, and a fairly large community to enjoy it alongside.
2 Star Wars: The Old Republic Is A Force To Be Reckoned With
Similar to Guild Wars, Star Wars: The Old Republic is a once-classic MMO that saw its popularity fade away with time. Despite a strong story, later expansions introduced some issues that players are very unhappy with.
that said, Star Wars: TOR is still very actively supported, with the developers saying that they have “no plans to stop anytime soon,” and are optimistic that the game will continue to improve. It’s arguably worth experiencing for the world of Star Wars alone, giving players the chance to world-hop across the galaxy and play as a variety of classes, such as the Jedi, Sith, Bounty Hunters, or Republic Troopers.
1 EVE Online Has All The Space You Need
EVE Online is an MMO in the same way that Destiny 2 is in that it can be a singleplayer experience, but that the world is populated with millions of other players constantly exploring the universe at the same time.
As a result, EVE Online is a unique experience, featuring some of the best starship flying to be seen in video games in addition to some stunningly massive communities. EVE Online even holds several Guinness World Records for the gigantic wars its communities wage amongst themselves.