10 Best MMORPGs To Play In 2019

Final Fantasy XIV Background

Over the last couple of weeks, I have highlighted the best RPGs and ARPGs to play in 2019. This week I will be rounding out the RPG genre with a 10-pack of MMOs to dive into. Whether you’re an MMO veteran or a just now thinking about giving an MMO a try, all of these games have something to offer. So, without further ado, let’s check out the 10 best MMOs to play right now.

10 – Neverwinter

  • Release Date: June 2013
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Payment Model: Free to Play with premium service

Although Neverwinter shares a similar name and setting, it is not related to the Neverwinter Nights franchise. Action combat is the name of the game here, with quests to complete on the world map and plenty of dungeons to battle through. No D&D world would be complete without dragons and Neverwinter brings them along with other iconic D&D settings and monsters.

9 – DC Universe Online

  • Release Date: January 2011
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Payment Model: Free to Play with premium service

DC Universe Online is like playing through your very own comic book. You get to create your own superhero and choose from a wide array of skills and powers as you level up. The story quests are frequently handed out by iconic DC characters so there’s a good chance you’ll get to fight alongside your favorite superhero at some point.

8 – Warframe

  • Release Date: March 2013
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Payment Model: Free to Play with premium service

Ok space ninjas, let’s quit arguing about whether Warframe is an MMO or not (it is) and just focus on how much fun you can have playing it. Warframe is one of those sleeper titles that started out as an unfinished product and then spent the next several years adding new mechanics and systems. Combat is fast and furious with plenty of loot to gather and craft. The original maps were linear and had a handful of objectives, and Digital Extremes finally introduced open world with the introduction of the Plains of Eidolon.

7 – MapleStory 2

  • Release Date: October 2018 (global release)
  • Platforms: PC
  • Payment Model: Free to Play with premium service

It’s time to take a walk on the cuter side. MapleStory 2 is set in the same world as the original, but this time around Nexon is trading out the 2D world for a voxel-based 3D world (think Minecraft but much cuter). Other MMOs focus combat and you will find plenty of fighting in MS2 as well, but the true joy of the game is found in all the other things you can do with your time.

Just like other MMOs, MapleStory 2 has a ton of non-combat activities to engage in. You are also able to build a home with a garden, go fishing, and of course craft items. MS2 takes it to the next level with user-generated content. Whether you want to adventure in the spiffiest outfit or veg out in your home with top-notch decor, if you can imagine it, you can create it. Entrepreneurs can even earn some in game cash by selling their creations in the market.

6 – Black Desert Online

  • Release Date: December 2014
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Payment Model: Buy to Play with premium service

If flexibility during character creation is important to you, then you will be happy with what Black Desert Online has to offer. There are so many sliders and options for both your face and body you should be able to find that perfect look. It doesn’t end with the character creator either, with BDO considered one of the most visually appealing MMOs available. The flashy action combat of BDO will have you dodging attacks and then following up with combos of your own to take out baddies. 

5 – EVE Online

  • Release Date: May 2003
  • Platforms: PC
  • Payment Model: Free to Play with premium service

Sometimes referred to as Spreadsheets in Space, EVE Online has been home to epic player vs. player battles for 16 years. There has always been a steep learning curve in this sandbox MMO, but CCP Games has worked hard over the last few years to make the cold expanse of space more welcoming to new players, starting with the move to a free to play option three years ago.

With the free to play option new players can get their bearings as an Alpha Clone, learning the ins and outs of exploration, merchant trade, and space combat with access to a limited set of skills and ships. Then, if EVE Online seems like a place you want to hang out for a while, upgrade to Omega and get all that EVE Online has to offer with the $10 per month Premium Subscription.        

4 – Guild Wars 2

  • Release Date: August 2012
  • Platforms: PC
  • Payment Model: Free to Play, Buy to Play expansion

Guild Wars 2 forgoes the theme park quest hubs in favor of open-world events along with some story quests. There are plenty of world events going on and the Living World content keeps adding to the story. On the PVP side, Guild Wars 2 brings small team battles as well as the large scale tug-o-war of World vs. World on much larger maps. Another distinction is the absence of a dedicated healing class. All classes have some form of healing so your typical MMO trinity isn’t needed when heading into dungeons or other content. 

3 – The Elder Scrolls Online

  • Release Date: April 2014
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Payment Model: Buy to Play with premium service

Anyone who is familiar with the Elder Scrolls franchise will feel right at home in The Elder Scrolls Online. With mobs scaling to the character’s level you are able to gobble up content in any order you choose, and there is a ton of content to play through. Just like a single-player Elder Scrolls game, your quest list will never be empty and it can be played solo or in a group.

2 – World of Warcraft

  • Release Date: November 2004
  • Platforms: PC
  • Payment Model: Monthly Subscription

Gamers can argue until they’re blue in the face about whether World of Warcraft is the best MMORPG or not, but WoW is undisputedly the biggest of all time. The launch of WoW back in 2004 heralded in the golden age of MMORPGs and with seven expansions has worked hard to keep itself relevant to this very day. Now, following the trend of other MMOs, Blizzard has finally launched World of Warcraft Classic giving players the chance to relive the glory days of Azeroth without all of the ‘carebear’ changes throughout the years distilling the fun.

World of Warcraft is considered to be a themepark MMO, where you go from one quest hub to the next, chewing up content in each area before moving on to the next. Along the way, you will encounter the typical fetch quest (take an item to an NPC, kill 20 wolves and return for a reward, etc), hit up plenty of group-based dungeons, and possibly even try your hand at end game raids. Whether you wish to jump in and run through the base game and expansions or ride the current excitement of the Classic servers, the choice is yours since both options are included in the monthly subscription (the latest expansion, Battle For Azeroth, requires a separate purchase).

1 – Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

  • Release Date: August 2013
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC
  • Payment Model: Monthly Subscription

Unlike many of the big AAA games that have a horrible launch and then try to patch themselves into a good product, Square Enix took a different approach to fixing their game. After being horribly received at launch, Final Fantasy XIV was shut down just two years later, complete with a cataclysmic world-ending event. A year later Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn rose out of the ashes as a complete overhaul of the original game. 

The second launch stuck, and FFXIV: ARR has only gained momentum since. Even as other MMOs of the time period started adopting action-based combat and sandbox worlds, FFXIV stuck with classical tab-targeting and theme park questing. It’s not all old-school, though. Players are able to play all combat and crafting classes on one character by simply swapping out their main weapon and gearset. FFXIV also allows players to level their characters however they see fit – main story and side quests, dungeons, and FATES (open world dynamic events), are all viable paths to max level. Just make sure you play through the main story at some point to soak in all the lore this Final Fantasy game has to offer.

Written by
Old enough to have played retro games when they were still cutting edge, Mitch has been a gamer since the 70s. As his game-fu fades (did he ever really have any?), it is replaced with ever-stronger, and stranger, opinions. If that isn't the perfect recipe for a game reviewer, what is?

1 Comment

  1. Pretty good list. The only thing I would have added was Runescape. The mmorpg everyone always forgets about.

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