While many argue that the golden age of MMO RPGs has passed, the genre is still popular with a large die-hard fan base. There is something about a fantasy world that keeps drawing one back to it.
From space-age to magical medieval settings, these worlds can be all that the real world isn’t. For a genre renowned for its grind, the loyalty elicited from a dedicated player base across decades is proof that the grind isn't real if it's enjoyable for a gamer.
Such gamers have banded together to form well-thriving communities where one would always find partners to play with. Though many might prefer going solo, the MMO RPG genre is always better with friends, just like the real-life that it tries to mimic.
MMO RPGs you need to explore in 2022
5) Lost Ark
Initially released exclusively in 2019 for South Korea, Lost Ark was made available globally only in 2022. It is a free-to-play action MMO RPG with an isometric, diagonal, top-down camera view — similar to Diablo.
Though most of the game is primarily focused on a player vs environment theme, the game also includes PvP elements which the average MMO RPG fan looks forward to. The playable area is massive, with seven unique continents filled with adventures and quests to explore.
With five different archetypes and 15 advanced classes, each player gets a lot of ways to customize their character as they see fit.
The fact that the game is playable for free adds to its appeal and is why it became the second most played game on steam within 24 hours of its release.
4) Elder Scrolls Online
One of the most iconic, story-driven action MMO RPGs, Elder scroll Online transports players to the mystical world of Tamriel. Fans of Skyrimwilld be enthralled by the combination of multiple settings from the various iterations of Bethesda’s single-player RPG.
The combat is more engaging, and the ability to bend the game’s classes to a specific combination of two classes allows each player to craft a unique character. The game imagines PVP differently by tying it into the main storyline as Alliance wars, where three factions vie for control over Cyrodiil.
Elder Scrolls Online should be high on any MMO player's list because of its low entry price, generous subscription model, and welcoming community.
3) World Of Warcraft
A game that formed the backbone of this genre and made MMORPGs popular, World of Warcraft needs no introduction.
Released in 2004, the game is a testament to the level of polish Blizzard boasts and still attracts players to this genre even today. Set in a fantasy world filled with orcs, elves, and dwarves, players experience eight total expansions where they partake in dungeon raids, duels, and battlegrounds.
Often considered to have the highest grind, the World of Warcraft manages to keep players engrossed with a seemingly never-ending supply of mysteries and stories to explore. Players new to the MMO RPG genre would welcome the simpler-to-follow lore too.
2) Final Fantasy XIV
Initially released in 2010, the 2nd MMO RPG from its franchise failed to learn from the lessons of its predecessors and was a total failure. It was taken offline and redesigned from the ground up to be rereleased in 2013.
It hasn’t looked back ever since and has only improved with time, unlike many others in the genre. Thanks to a story-focused narrative, each expansion brings something new and exciting for fans, and the game is considered by many to have the best final fantasy story ever.
Though the start may feel slow, the game is deep and complex with no impositions on switching character classes, which makes the grind rewarding.
1) Eve Online
The joy of watching space empires rise and fall is one of the primary draws of free-to-play Eve Online. Considered by many as the king of sandbox MMO RPGs, the game places you in a massive galaxy filled with cut-throat pirates, starships, and even player-created corporations!
Often compared more with social experiments than a game, it dumps you into a world where you interact with many potentially backstabbing users. Learning who to trust and joining guilds to cooperate with many players is key to survival.
Though the learning curve is pretty steep, the gameplay and progression seem equally rewarding as it is awe-inspiring.
Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the writer’s opinions.
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