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Top 8 Best MMOs You Can Play Right Now

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Top 8 Best MMOs You Can Play Right Now

You better have some time on your hands.

WORLD OF WARCRAFT

8 BEST MMOS AVAILABLE NOW

World of Warcraft, Black Temple, Burning Crusade

Right off the bat is the entry to this list that everyone expected. World of Warcraft is the MMORPG; the predecessor to most mechanics found in almost every single MMO to date, and it’s still the king after 13 years at the top. Blizzard originally released WoW in November of 2004, and has since seen six expansion packs released, every time introducing more content into this already vast and boundless world. Set in the fictional world of Azeroth (and elsewhere, depending on how much you’ve played), the game peaked at 12 million subscribers in 2010, setting the record for the most subscribed MMORPG ever made.

WoW allows players to create their character based on a variety of different parameters; gender, race, and class. From here, you’re placed into the world and given a story to follow, but the freedom is mostly yours – you could follow the story and participate in side-quests, or you could head straight into the high-level areas (should you wish to die repeatedly). The community is still thriving, despite not quite being as active as it used to be, and the graphics aren’t the greatest, but its almost a guarantee that you’ll have fun if you make your way into the World of Warcraft.

FINAL FANTASY XIV

8 BEST MMOS AVAILABLE NOW

final fantasy, final fantasy online, stormblood, launch trailer, final fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV, despite likely being the second most successful MMORPG on the market right now (nothing can beat WoW), was once upon a time a complete failure – greatly damaging the reputation of the Final Fantasy series. Originally released in 2009, Final Fantasy XIV shut down in 2012 after a very troublesome three years. Thanks to a myriad of bugs, gameplay problems, and an overwhelmingly negative reception, the development team behind the game publicly apologised for the disaster only a year after the release, and started reworking the title. By 2011, it became apparent that patches weren’t going to fix a game that was fundamentally broken from the very core – the engine – and in October it was announced that the game would be scrapped, and the servers were shut down on November 11, 2012 – in a spectacular way.

The new Final Fantasy XIV, known as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, was released in August 2013 and was met with a universally popular reception. It was the game that the original should’ve been, and grants the player the ability to explore a massive world, kill monsters,  participate in raids against many of the series’ most well-known enemies, and so much more. It has since had two major expansions released; Stormblood, the latest one, was only released in June 2017, so the community is still thriving. If you’ve dabbled in WoW and found it wasn’t your cup of tea, give Final Fantasy XIV a try; chances are you’ll find something to love.

GUILD WARS 2

8 BEST MMOS AVAILABLE NOW

guild wars 2

Guild Wars 2 isn’t quite the giant that WoW or FFXIV is today, but back when it first released everyone was abuzz about the game. A term is thrown around a lot when it comes to MMOs; being a “WoW Clone.” Many MMOs are simply content being a WoW Clone with a few minor changes, but back in 2012 Guild Wars 2’s developers were determined to make their game anything but. The combat system for Guild Wars 2 flows much better than you’d normally expect from an MMO, meaning Guild Wars 2 quickly became a good gateway entry into the genre for people who weren’t quite fans of the massively-multiplayer genre, but still wanted to give it a try. The game also removes the “holy trinity” system that is commonplace these days; a triangle of Tank, DPS, and Healer, all of which sync up perfectly. Guild Wars 2 doesn’t need this – most classes are different flavors of DPS, meaning everyone has the enjoyment of doing damage whilst still helping the team.

On top of this, Guild Wars 2’s efforts to make itself not a World of Warcraft clone also allowed it to stand out from the rest when it was first released, meaning a big community was built up. The community isn’t as thriving nowadays, but there is still a good solid player-base of people in-game every single day. This game is also the first on the list that doesn’t need a subscription to play, allowing you to play the base game completely for free. There has been only one expansion released so far, called Heart of Thorns, but talks have been abound lately about another coming very soon. Now would be the perfect time to give Guild Wars 2 a try, especially if you’re skeptical about MMOs.

THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE

8 BEST MMOS AVAILABLE NOW

Have you ever been playing Skyrim or Oblivion and thought “Wow, this would be even better with friends”?  If so, and we know you probably have, then The Elder Scrolls Online will be right up your alley. Bethesda’s massive universe has been lovingly created in (almost) its entirety in The Elder Scrolls Online, letting us explore more of the world than we’ve ever experienced before in this universe. Essentially, it’s an online version of Skyrim or Oblivion, with beautiful graphics, massive bosses, and almost endless questing to be done. Combat is unique for an MMORPG in that it’s very similar to that of previous entries in the Elder Scrolls franchise, making this game another perfect MMO to play if you’re not a fan of the standard MMO combat mechanics.

The fact that The Elder Scrolls online is so similar to Skyrim means that it’s easy to go from one game to the other, oftentimes without you even realizing that you’ve switched to a massive MMO. As of right now, The Elder Scrolls Online has a huge and dedicated playerbase, so even at the lowest and highest levels you’ll always find some group to go questing with. There are loads of extra DLC packs out for the game, many of which add the guilds that we know and love from previous titles, and a recently released expansion, Morrowind, which lets you explore the vast and alien land originally featured in The Elder Scrolls III.

BLACK DESERT ONLINE

8 BEST MMOS AVAILABLE NOW

Black Desert Online is arguably the prettiest MMO on this entire list – but that’s not all it has going for it. Players will be able to explore a nicely-sized world with many companions at their side, working their way through quests, grinding monsters, or simply fishing away at a peaceful river. Probably the most standout feature, aside from the beauty of this game, is the combat. Black Desert Online utilises a combat system where the player must manually aim at their targets, instead of just being locked on; this makes for some really satisfying and engaging kills, especially when you’re fighting some of the games huge world bosses. Another thing that strikes you about this world is how immersive it feels: you can simply be riding your horse through a city, taking in the bustling life, and really feel like you’re there – just for a moment.

Something that’s definitely worth mentioning is the absolutely stunning character creation in this game. Anyone you create looks almost real, and you can edit every single portion of their body in so many different ways – odds are you’ll spend longer on character creation than actually playing. One thing that this game suffers from right now is a diminished community – but it’s been bolstered immensely by the recent release of the game onto Steam, and the announcement of a console version coming next year means you can play this game with a controller, too, a feat not many MMOs can pull off these days.

TERA

8 BEST MMOS AVAILABLE NOW

tera consoles

TERA Online is getting on in age a little now having been released back in 2011, but that means nothing for this MMO. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the world of TERA is massive, with 20 extremely vast zones to explore, each having a load of locations, quests, and enemies. You can play as one of 11 different classes spread amongst seven different races, meaning you’ve got plenty of choice to make your character almost exactly how you want them to be. It has very anime-styled and cartoon-y graphics, which might not appeal to some, but to many it just adds to the wild fun of this game. The combat system is quite unique for an MMO – it’s similar to Black Desert Online’s system of having to aim where you want to attack, but takes a little more skill in aiming or defense, and places a heavy focus on roles as a part of a group.

TERA’s community is relatively small these days, but the few who do still play are pretty dedicated. There are still well-populated guilds and groups who will happily give you a hand early on. One complaint that many have about this game though, is the excessive and gratuitous use of fan-service. The game’s western release was even censored, but the fan-service is still rampant. If you can look past this, chances are you’ll have a pretty good time with TERA Online.

STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC

8 BEST MMOS AVAILABLE NOW

Star Wars: The Old Republic, Carrie Fisher

Star Wars: The Old Republic is another MMO that’s getting on a bit in age, but it’s still managed to keep going strong. It was released back in 2011 by developer BioWare, best known for the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series these days. However, all the way back in 2003 BioWare was better known for creating what is regarded by some as the greatest game of them all: Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic. One thing that BioWare have always consistently done right (with the exception of Mass Effect: Andromeda, according to some) is storytelling. BioWare has always managed to create brilliant, story-focused games that have a spectacular climax, multiple dialogue options, and branching story-lines. And wouldn’t you know it, they somehow managed it with SW:TOR too. By far, the crowning achievement of this game is its story, which is massive. Every class has its own three-act story for you to play through, giving you vast amounts of information that serves as world-building along the way.

If the fantastic story isn’t enough, picture this: flying between countless planets in the Star Wars universe, on your own ship, as a member of the Sith, Jedi, or Bounty Hunters. If that isn’t enough to convince you, nothing will. There have been six expansions released for the game so far, with the latest Knights of the Eternal Throne expansion dropping at the end of last year, meaning there’s still a strong community of players engaged in the content. To combat the dropping numbers soon after release, BioWare and EA adopted a free-to-play business model, meaning you’re able to play the base game and your wallet can breathe easy. At least until you want to buy the expansion, of course.

EVE ONLINE

8 BEST MMOS AVAILABLE NOW

EVE Online Destroyers

Finally, we’ve got EVE Online. If all of the other MMOs on this list were like a simple game of checkers, EVE is like an Olympic level chess match. This game sees you in control of a spacecraft, and engaging in battles of all different scales, trading, socializing, and exploring. The game is almost as big as World of Warcraft, and has surprisingly been online for longer – you know an MMO must be good if it can stand up to WoW like it has. The game is best known for its complexity, allowing players in the game to engage in complicated trading, deals, wars, and politics. That’s right, politics. And all of this is done right off the back of the players – there are no scripted in-game events that cause these things to happen, they happen because of the players. EVE Online really is an example of a living, breathing, universe, with all the complications that can bring. As an example of these factors having an effect, one can look at  “The Bloodbath of B-R5RB,” one of gaming’s most costly battles. Ships in this game hold real-world value – and don’t respawn once destroyed – meaning the casualties caused by this war between two of the game’s biggest clans costed around $300,000 in real money.

EVE Online is a huge undertaking, if you want to play it, and players in the game will expect you to learn fast or you’ll forever fall into obscurity. If you’re patient enough, it can be one of the best games you’ve ever played with the battles you can engage in some of the most memorable as well.

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