For fans of them, MMORPGs are special because of how attached you can get to them through of the amount of time you spend in that other world. Ranking them is tough, because your memories are so tied to your personal experiences with the community.
Best MMORPGs – World of Warcraft
Best MMORPGs – Everquest
Best MMORPGs – Ultima Online
Best MMORPGs – EVE Online
Best MMORPGs – Final Fantasy XIV
Best MMORPGs – Guild Wars 2
Best MMORPGs – City of Heroes
Best MMORPGs – Final Fantasy XI
Best MMORPGs – Dark Age of Camelot
Best MMORPGs – Star Wars Galaxies
Best MMORPGs – Asheron’s Call
Best MMORPGs – Runescape
Best MMORPGs – The Elder Scrolls Online
Best MMORPGs – Ragnarok Online
Best MMORPGs – Toontown Online
For fans of them, MMORPGs are special because of how attached you can get to them through of the amount of time you spend in that other world. Ranking them is tough, because your memories are so tied to your personal experiences with the community. However, we’ll take a crack at it, and list our top 15 taking into account its influence, and how good it actually is or was.
Toontown Online is FAR from the mechanically best MMORPG of all time, which is why it’s at the very bottom of this list of the “best.” That said, credit must be given to Disney for supporting a MMORPG that was extremely accessible, fun, and family friendly for anyone of all ages and even non-gamers too.
The Ragnarok Online franchise is one of the oldest MMORPGs still going strong and remains incredibly influential and popular all over the world, especially in Asia.
While it got off to a rough start, The Elder Scrolls Online via its One Tamriel Update finally shaped the game up to feel like a truer, more fun Elder Scrolls experience. Its most recent Morrowind expansion is a great example of its storytelling potential as well.
By the time Asheron’s Call closed its doors for good in early 2017, it was certainly rough on the eyes but that didn’t matter to the dedicated fans that were entranced by its gameplay and story for nearly two decades.
Released to critical acclaim but officially shut down by 2011, the MMORPG that Kill Screen called “beautifully boring” has a dedicated and passionate fan-base in SWGEmu that to this day is trying to keep the world alive.
Another one of the oldest MMORPGs still trucking along today, Dark Age of Camelot has kept fans entertained for nearly two decades with its famed realm vs. realm gameplay and more.
Square Enix’s first attempt at a MMORPG was flawed, but still kept many fans playing it for the long haul. It finally dropped PS2 and Xbox 360 support last year, but still receives monthly updates for its PC version.
While the vast majority of MMORPGs stick with a fantasy-like vibe, City of Heroes took on the superhero genre with great success. Its closing in 2012 was a gut shot to fans that didn’t were not ready for the beloved and critically acclaimed MMORPG to go.
Building on the success of the first game, Guild Wars 2 is one of the most popular modern MMORPGs on the market today. It features the high production value of a pay to play MMO, without the subscription fees. It’s a strategy that has worked very well for NCSoft and the Guild Wars franchise.
Final Fantasy XIV was dead in the water until Naoki Yoshida and his team miraculously overhauled the game through its “A Realm Reborn” relaunch, and now it is one of the most popular MMORPGs today not named World of Warcraft and arguably the best story-driven MMO you can find.
To its hardcore players, EVE Online is a way of life. While it may not be the most thrilling MMO to play, the real-world financial cost of its most epic PvP battles continues to make headlines in its world, and ours.
One of the grand-daddies of the genre, Ultima Online not only paved the way for other MMORPGs (and is still played today), it also got its owner Richard Garriott AKA Lord British launched into space! He came back, don’t worry.
Both Everquest games, in their own way, have made a unforgettable impact on the MMORPG genre, and continue to be incredibly popular today. The original Everquest has received an incredible total of 23 expansions with the most recent, Ring of Scale, released in late 2017.
Whether you love or hate World of Warcraft, there’s no question that no other game in the genre has made a bigger impact. Sure, other games on this list might have birthed the genre, but WoW adopted it and put the baby through college at this point. WoW is almost 15 years old as of 2017 and is showing no signs of slowing down. Its most recent expansion, Legion, was well-received by both fans and critics, and another Battle for Azeroth is on the way in 2018.
Top 15 Best and Most Influential MMORPGs of All Time
Ed has been a proud member of the Twinfinite staff since 2014. He plays everything on everything but is particularly fond of JRPGs, MMOs, and sports. He holds a B.A. in history and political science and a M.S. in education all from the University at Albany.