When you think of the term MMORPG, it is hard not to think about World of Warcraft, the prominent example of the genre. There is no doubt about it, Blizzard has seen a tremendous amount of success over the years with their infamous MMORPG.
What also comes to mind with the term MMORPG, is the idea of a subscription based game. That is, to keep playing and investing more time into the game, you have to pay a specific fee at the end of every month. In turn, your player account remains active, and you can continue to experience all the game has to offer.
Despite the added fees and costs of maintaining an active account, MMORPGs are awesome. It is certainly a rewarding experience to invest time into individual characters and watch them grow into something legendary. Slaying wild beasts, and dawning incredibly beautiful armor is not exactly something we can do in our ordinary lives. In MMOs, however, we can do that every day.
Not every MMORPG requires a subscription though. In fact, there has been a sudden increase in free to play, or F2P, games. In an effort to raise more money, free to play MMOs often include premium content or cosmetic items which can be purchased for real money. So, while the game remains free to play, there is content that players can purchase.
Several games that have recently made the jump to a F2P model, or are going to in the near future, include Star Wars The Old Republic, Ultima Forever, Everquest, and Aion. Of course, there are quite a few more games that have gone free to play recently, but it shouldn’t be difficult to seek them out.
The Best Free to Play MMORPGs
Since the list continues to grow, we thought it would be an appropriate time to highlight some of the best free to play games that are currently available. Again, this is not an exhaustive list but it will contain enough games that at least something should match your tastes.
DC Universe Online
DC Universe Online is a superhero based MMORPG, if you couldn’t figure that out already by the name. You can create either a hero, or a villain and fight alongside famous DC characters like Batman, Superman, Joker, and Wonder Woman. In addition to a distinct character creation system, DC Universe also includes PVP and PVE gameplay with lots of content!
Forsaken World was originally designed as a free to play game, which means that it always fit the model. Forsaken World has lots and lots of polish and has a combination of design styles and gameplay mechanics which are reminiscent of World of Warcraft. FW features a large selection of unusual races like, dwarves, vampires (Kindred), elves and stonemen.
Perfect World International
Perfect World is one of the most original, and well known free to play games available. The developers actually modeled their most recent titles, including Forsaken World, after PW. It does contain lots and lots of grinding, as well as a considerable amount of repetitive gameplay. Still, it manages to provide plenty of content, satisfying gameplay and beautiful worlds to explore.
Allods online is a mashup between sci-fi and fantasy genres, yet it still often gets compared to World of Warcraft for its similar art style and design. Allods Online stands out in the later portion of the game when players are of a higher level, it becomes almost necessary to link up with other players to progress. Don’t let that cast you away from Allods though, it’s a fun game even when you’re playing solo.
Age of Conan
Age of Conan was originally released as a subscription based model. It’s entirely based in the brutal, and often visceral, world of Conan. AoC is, and always will be, a mature themed MMORPG as it includes plenty of violence and sex related material. One of the best features of AoC is the general PVP servers which are reminiscent of old-school Ultima titles where anything goes. You can execute and plunder other players in a relatively unforgiving, yet gorgeous, world.
MORE of The Best Free to Play MMORPGs!
Don’t think the list above is enough to satisfy you? Don’t fret, because we’ve got plenty more free to play MMORPGs to share! Keep reading.
Aion is another title that remained subscription based for an extended period of time, and was only recently converted into a free to play model. It features grand scale PVE and PVP and loads of content to experience. Aion is different thanks to its flying action and travel elements which allow players to fly with a personal set of wings, in particular areas of the game.
Vindictus is an action based RPG with online co-operative play elements. The game itself has won numerous awards, and it has garnered plenty of success. Vindictus was created entirely with Valve’s Source Engine, the same that spawned the Half-Life 2 series and Team Fortress 2. Vindictus features incredibly fun action combat, various characters and classes and a wide variety of enemies to kill.
Runes of Magic
Runes of Magic offers a genuinely refined yet slightly generic MMO experience. It does feature a custom, cartoonlike art style that has also been compared to WOW in the past. It includes the three basic fantasy races, dwarves, humans and elves. In addition to PVE environments and gameplay, Runes of Magic does offer PVP. Unique features included in Runes of Magic are player housing options, a regular helping of content updates, and an in-depth pet and mount system.
Dungeons & Dragons Online
We shouldn’t have to tell you what D&D is, we kind of trust you know by now. Even if you have never played the first D&D, the online MMO dedicated to the game is worth checking out. As you would expect, with any D&D game, there are tons and tons of character classes to choose from, and if you can’t make up your mind about just one you can make a multiclass character!
Lord of The Rings Online
Do we actually need to introduce the concept of the Lord of the Rings Online? We’d sure hope not. LoTR Online offers the same MMO based experience with recognizable characters and a basic plot that is similar to the novels and movies. LoTR Online features player housing, crafting elements, PVP and PVE gameplay and of course large group raids.
Dragon Nest is an incredibly specific action based MMO that includes five basic character classes and expansive dungeons to complete.
Fallen Earth is an MMORPG set in a post-apocalyptic future. The world was desecrated by a pandemic before it was finally destroyed and maimed by war. The wilderness is radioactive and hazardous, and lots of mutated creatures walk the earth. Fallen Earth was originally released as a subscription based model, but then was converted to free to play. It offers plenty of content, character customization options and a unparalleled world to explore.
Get Your Game On!
There you have it, we’ve listed some of the best free to play MMOs out there today. Now it’s your chance to pick a few to try out and start playing. Everything on the list is totally free to play, with options to purchase in game items and premium content with real money. For the most part, no credit card is required to sign up for an account so you should be all set!
Hopefully we’ll see you in game.