The MMORPG genre does not live by World of Warcraft alone! There are quite a few titles that are worthy of competition for the barely panting king, and we will try to present them. Here is a list of the best virtual worlds!
The year 2021 was extremely important for the MMORPG genre that has been stagnating for a long time. It is in the last few months that we have received a lot of interesting alternatives to existing games – just to mention New World, Elyon, or Bless Unleashed. This time, however, we will not look at them! After all, MMORPGs are judged not by how they start, but by how they finish. That is why we created a ranking of productions that have stood the test of time and can boast of regular updates and an active community – you can simply rely on them.
10. Phantasy Star Online 2
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
We’ve been waiting a long time for Phantasy Star Online 2. This title has been available in Japan since 2013, but only from 2020, it can be played in the United States and Europe. Thanks to this, however, we got the full content right away, i.e., all the updates released so far with new products. This in turn makes Phantasy Star Online 2 enough for dozens of hours of fun. Provided, of course, that you do not mind the graphic design in the style of Japanese animations.
The problem with Phantasy Star Online 2 was that for a long time the game was only available through the Microsoft Store, and it was not fully functional. But since you can have fun on Steam as well, things are much better. There is no shortage of players, as well as items to obtain or unlock. Especially if you like to min-max your character – there are plenty of opportunities to acquire and upgrade equipment here. Added to this is an extremely dynamic combat system, as well as opponents covering the entire screen, so there is no question of boredom!
9. Neverwinter Online
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Neverwinter Online is another product that has come a long and turbulent way. For some time, this title was available in Polish, but the support for the version for our market was eventually dropped. Recently, it was even decided to make a small revolution, in the form of reducing the maximum level from 80 to 20! The creators want players to get to the right content faster, instead of wasting time on long experiences. As a result, some of the content of this MMORPG was removed, which ultimately turned out to be good for the game itself.
Who should you recommend Neverwinter Online to? A player who is focused on a lonely adventure, and not necessarily on interaction with others, and who describes himself as a casual guy. Most of the content here can be done by yourself, although the more difficult ones are focused on cooperation. The game also offers a really dynamic combat system where you have to keep moving! Standing still will end in death quickly, so be careful what you do.
8. Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of those MMORPGs that I recommend not because of the MMO aspects, but RPG elements. I know only one production of this genre, which puts the same emphasis on the plot and actions of our character. In this respect, SWTOR is simply something that is difficult to pass by indifferently. Especially since the dialogues have been voiced, and the very history of our Jedi or Sith is simply absorbing in the world.
The combat system is not the strongest point of Star Wars: The Old Republic, but the game makes up for it with its diverse character classes with different specializations. Each of them is responsible for a different role in the team and provides different opportunities. Interestingly, you also do not have to be prepared to play with foreign players, because Star Wars: The Old Republic allows you to engage in many activities with artificial intelligence. The game itself could use a graphic facelift – time has left its mark on it.
7. Old School RuneScape
Platforms: PC, AND, iOS
Old School RuneScape is an unusual case of the original version of the game that went its own way. Classic servers have been in fashion for some time in MMORPG, but Jagex decided to take a bolder step. At the players’ request, it brought back the original RuneScape and took it a completely different path! This is how Old School RuneScape was created, which differs from its predecessor, receives separate updates and news, and has a separate community.
Old School RuneScape is simply a classic MMORPG focused on character development, skills improvement, and acquiring better equipment. Interactions with other players play a significant role here, be it in the form of trade, cooperation, or PvP. The latter aspect is an essential part of Old School RuneScape, which is something to keep in mind. This title is also available on mobile devices, and it supports cross-play!
6. Albion Online
Platforms: PC, AND, iOS
PvP and crafting players must know Albion Online and need no introduction. This inconspicuous production is a real combination when it comes to the sandbox aspect of fun. There are no character levels here – instead, there are skills that define our specialization in a given field. The abilities, in turn, depend on what equipment we have with us, and competition is inherent in the nature of the game.
Albion Online is a title created with group entertainment in mind. It offers various risk zones where we come across better-quality raw materials. The problem, however, is that if we die at the hands of another person, we may, for example, lose all the things we are currently traveling with. Therefore, you must always calculate the risk with the potential profit and also act for the guild. These are the core of the game and influence the situation in the game, occupying territories and benefiting from it.
5. Black Desert Online
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Black Desert Online is just a grinder. Of course, apart from killing mobs in bulk, it offers, for example, breeding horses, sailing a ship, or practicing other professions, but in its basis, this title puts emphasis primarily on the grind. There is no maximum level in it, only the so-called “soft cap” with which the real fun begins. Everything up to this point is a kind of tutorial in which we learn the outline of the plot, the abilities of our class, and the systems and laws that govern the game.
So, what distinguishes Black Desert Online from other games in this genre? First of all, two elements: graphics and the combat system. The graphics by MMORPG standards are simply stunning. It is true that in order to enjoy the highest details, you need quite a lot of equipment, but it is worth admiring. The combat system, in turn, turns out to be simply sweet – you will not find such dynamic gameplay anywhere else. Different classes provide different styles of play, and the animations are so well executed that everyone is happy to pounce on mobs to shorten their lifespan and loot them.
4. Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is an extremely controversial production. The creators cut themselves off from their first game and decided to lead the continuation in a revolutionary way. It has not yet happened in this genre that the character experience mainly consists in participating in events on the map. The combat system stands somewhere between the tab-target and the non-target. However, has to abandon the usual patterns turned out to be profitable? This makes Guild Wars 2 unique, but definitely not for everyone.
On the one hand, the authors have developed the best mount system in the genre, which has a real impact on fun, not only being a means of transport. On the other hand, they offered a horizontal character development, in which our hero ceases to grow in strength at some point – acquiring better equipment does not matter, it is just your own skills that count. It is supposed to be something really interesting, but in practice, there is no reason to chase a bunny when nothing comes of it.
3. The Elder Scrolls Online
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, XSX
The Elder Scrolls Online may not be Skyrim Online, but it does the trick too! It is true that I regularly complain that the creators focus more on the RPG and multiplayer aspect than on the MMO, but in the end, this title comes out unscathed. Especially since it offers a really huge world, a nice story, voiced dialogues, and scaling the environment to our level.
In this way, we can actually travel across Tamriel without fear that any region will be beyond our reach. Assuming we bought the right DLC, of course, and there are plenty of these. Another characteristic of The Elder Scrolls Online is the combat system, which consists in performing quick and heavy attacks, as well as using skills. It does not sound bad on paper, but in practice, not everyone will like the proposed solution.
2. World of Warcraft
We have no compelling evidence that World of Warcraft is no longer the king of the MMORPG genre. Nevertheless, I cannot honestly consider this title as “number 1” and recommend it as such. It’s still a good production, offering a lot of content that tempts its world. Shadowlands may not be the best expansion and has not stood the test of time at the moment, but all is not lost yet. And to be clear – it’s not that bad with WoW, it should just be much better.
Despite all the complaints, World of Warcraft is still a game worth recommending. Regardless of the old tab-target combat system, it was possible to maintain a certain dynamic, and the skills just felt. Although the development system seems to be currently overcomplicated, and the multitude of options is overwhelming, nevertheless, it is not worth complaining about the lack of opportunities. It is a pity that it all looks not fully thought out.
1. Final Fantasy 14
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5
With Final Fantasy XIV I have such a problem that this game is first an RPG, and then an MMO. Nevertheless, it is impossible to deny that it is a really good production. However, I shake my nose at the extremely stiff combat system, adapted to the PlayStation rain, and therefore very limited. While at higher levels there is no shortage of clicking skills, and therefore your fingers will not have a rest, it is not necessarily something pleasant, let alone dynamic. Of course, there will be people who prefer just such a solution, and players hoping for something calmer can confidently reach for Final Fantasy XIV.
The advantage of this MMORPG is primarily the plot. It is the core of the fun and basically guides us from the first to the last level. At the same time, it is a mandatory element to complete if you want to have all the attractions in Final Fantasy XIV unlocked. Classes that specialize in collecting resources and creating items also deserve attention. Dedicated skills and quests have been assigned to them, thanks to which they are practically a separate part of the game.
Conclusion: Finally, I will just mention that Final Fantasy XIV is constantly being developed by developers, and updates with new products appear so regularly that absolutely no one has the right to complain about the lack of attractions. I would like every MMORPG on the market to be treated in this way by its creators.