If you are a fan of online video games, chances are the sweet allure of MMORPGs made you fall in love with them. One of the biggest subsets in the gaming industry, MMORPGs are played by millions of gamers everyday, interacting with each other in unique and different ways.
Some MMORPGs can seem way too pay-to-win at times and investing your energy there, especially as a free-to-play player is futile. That doesn’t mean you stop playing as your favorite character, just that you should pick your games wisely.
To help with that, we have compiled a pretty solid list of 10 games that are not only free-to-play, but are the best MMORPGs you can try in 2023. If the first one doesn’t seem like your vibe, try out the others. Soon, you are sure to reach one just right for you.
Secret World Legends
Platform: PC, MacOS
If you love mystery with a dash of adventure, Secret World Legends is the game for you. This game spawns players in a supernatural-infested world where players must wage war against never-before-seen entities. Playing as humans, they must traverse the globe, completing missions, and gathering equipment. Along the way, they can meet up with other players, as friend or foe is up to them.
With a plethora of weapons and abilities at your disposal, you can build your own destiny as you wander farther into the depths of land ridden with evil cults and supernatural horrors. Solving mysteries along the way, you will need more brains than brawns to cover this game. A unique storyline helps keep your focus on the prize but hunting down and killing some beasts will definitely be rewarding for your progress.
Secret World Legends’ developers outdid themselves with the cinematics and dramatic outlook of the game. With innovative scenarios, taken from the real world, to jaw-dropping quests and mysteries, Secret World Legends should definitely pique your interest if you have that adventurous spirit.Try it now!
Platform: PC, MacOS
Developer: Trion Worlds
You may not find this game on all the lists out there but trust me, it gives other MMORPGs a run for their money. Rift came out in 2011 and took the industry by storm with its outstanding graphics and gameplay. Consisting of two competing factions, the entire storyline of the game is built around clearing the world of ‘Rifts’. Each faction has a variety of classes and races, filled with different characters.
Gameplay-wise, players must choose a ‘calling’, which is a character class, when they first enter the game. Playing as that class, they can move around and interact with other players. All over the map, different elemental ‘Rifts’ open periodically, spawning monsters. Players must team-up to enter and clear the Rifts of these monsters, in order to close it.
Different dungeons require different strategies and classes. With good co-operation, any raid can be cleared with ease. Rewards are awarded according to damage dealt inside the dungeon.
Although MMORPGs are all about role-playing, Rift is an excellent example of what a free MMORPG should look like. With minimal P2W features, the game allows players to play to their heart’s content and fulfill all their creative insights. If you like co-op and teaming up with others, take a look at what this game has to offer.Try it now!
Platform: PC, MacOS, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Developer: Cryptic Studios
If you have played the popular turn-based RPG Dungeons and Dragons, you’re bound to love this online classic. Neverwinter is a free MMORPG and one of the few that can be played on PlayStation and Xbox as well as PC. The game consists of eight different character classes, the same from D&D. Players must choose a class and form groups of five.
Unlike most MMORPGs, Neverwinter is not a sandbox game. Rather it follows a fixed storyline where players must progress through completing quests and defeating enemies. It comes as no surprise that Neverwinter’s storyline consists of an antagonist, the Lich Queen Valindra, and protagonist, which is the player themselves.
With unique locations and a vast roster of enemies, each inhabiting a different area, Neverwinter is great for players that look for story-based MMORPGs rather than FFA, sandbox type ones. If you fit into this category, give Neverwinter a try.Try it now! (PC)
Star Trek Online
Platform: PC, MacOS, PlayStation, Xbox
Developer: Cryptic Studios
Star Trek is one of the most popular franchises out there, racking up millions of views and an even greater amount of fans globally. As the name suggests, Star Trek Online is based off of the popular TV show, with a storyline quite similar to it. For Star Trek fans, the game is set 30 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, while for everyone else, it is 2409. The galaxy has been thrown into turmoil and players must strive to restore peace between clans.
Not to worry though as the gameplay shifts from the storyline to the player, centering around you commanding your own ship. The starship has various aspects that need to be controlled including engineering, tactical, and science systems. With access to different interactions, players must navigate their way through tricky battles and fast-paced combat. Research projects and crafting items are another aspect of the game that must be focused on if you want to get ahead.
Needless to say, this game is a must-play for Star Trek aficionados. An entire game built around your favorite show is a hard thing to pass up on. An immensely unique experience that should not be missed, and one of the best MMORPGs in 2023.Try it now! (PC)
Platform: PC, MacOS
Developer: CCP Games
One of the oldest games to make our list, EVE Online is still going strong after 19 years of immersive gameplay. Following a more sandbox-style of gameplay, EVE Online allows players to explore and interact on their own without many restrictions. Entirely community-driven, the game thrives off of its player base. With several actions such as mining, piracy, trading, exploration, and battling, players can choose their own paths of peace or war.
The game is highly applauded for its complexity between player interactions. As everything is player-based, there are sure to be surprises and unexpected twists at every turn. EVE Online is very unique compared to other free MMORPGs in the sense that it runs on a single-server. While it has a different Chinese and tournament server, 90% of the player base plays on the same server. The goal is the same as any sandbox game, grow and conquer others.
EVE Online can be an enthralling experience for players who love to interact with others and are great at playing politics. Not only must you fight with others, but diplomacy would get you to great heights. As there is minimal developer interference, you must fend for yourself with a kill-or-be-killed mentality.Try it now!
Guild Wars 2
Platform: PC, MacOS
Guild Wars 2 brings players into the fantasy world of Tyria. The game is based on a storyline following the original Guild Wars game, where a disbanded guild joins forces once again to take control of Tyria. The game focuses more on character creation and enhancement rather than providing users with pre-set characters like most MMORPGs. Players create their own avatars from a mix of five races and nine professions.
Diving into the skills and abilities of character, developers have left a lot of it up to the players. Being able to decide what skills they want allows for a more diverse and tactical-based experience rather than the stale pre-set ability combination. As players progress, they unlock new skills which they can play around with to get the right set for themselves. The fun part is definitely small-scale and larger-scale PvP, which also includes ‘World vs World’ action.
Guild Wars 2 should be a first pick for players wanting to experiment and not be restrained by pre-sets. Although testing out different skill sets may seem exhausting and futile to some, for those who enjoy it, this game is nothing less of heavenly.Try it now!
Lord Of The Rings Online
Platform: PC, MacOS
Developer: Turbine/ Standing Stone Games
Adapted from the popular novel series of the same name, Lord of the Rings Online is an online MMORPG. Its storyline progresses all throughout the map detailed in the books, from Eriador, Moria, Isengard, all the way to Gondor, stronghold of the orcs. The game saw continuous expansions throughout its development which ended with the 2017 expansion to Mordor, bringing the main storyline to an end. All the while, sub-plots are still being added.
The game is pretty simple as it has a fixed storyline players must complete. Starting from building a character, players have the option to pick from a number of classes and skills to create the ideal Middle Earth avatar. After that, they must venture forth, defeating enemies in packs, or alone if they dare. Players can interact with others for housing and resources, building a positive community.
This game may not be for everyone, especially those that did not enjoy the book series. But for the millions of fans of LotR out there, this game shouldn’t be overlooked with its epic graphics and soundtracks that keep players entranced.Try it now!
Platform: PC, MacOS, Mobile
Developer: Sandbox Interactive
Storyline games can become dull once you’ve gotten to the end, no matter how many side quests you play. That’s why we want to introduce you to Albion Online, one of the biggest online sandbox MMORPGs out there. Albion Online has a player-driven economy, where players can buy, sell, and bargain for prices amongst themselves. Each player starts with no additional class benefits and must farm and battle their way up the ladder.
Albion Online is a class apart when it comes to MMORPGs. There is a significantly high grind factor to it but casual players are also encouraged. As players gather resources and build items, they upgrade their characters’ stats in order to solidify themselves as a class like tank, healer, mage, or assassin. Doing dungeons together rewards each player with loot, but as dungeons get harder, they require specific class combinations.
The main point of the game though, is PvP. Players participate in huge brawls between guilds with over 100+ players duking it out for victory. Items are everything, they define your stats and class. Die and you lose all your items with you. This game definitely requires some time to start getting to the good parts but once you’re there, its extremely fun. Would recommend everyone to at least give it a try. It is also the only MMORPG on our list available on mobile.Try it now! (PC) Try it now! (iPhone) Try it now! (Android)
Blade & Soul
Platform: PC, MacOS
For all you anime lovers out there, we have just the game for you. Blade & Soul in a one-of-a-kind MMORPG that combines martial art-style combat and with qinggong in an open-world environment. Users first need to create a playable character. Using this character, they must journey throughout the map, finding and completing various quests from NPCs. Although you must start off with PvE combat only, the game unlocks PvP at a certain stage which comes later.
Although customization does not include any class-specific perks, you can fiddle around with the particularities of your avatar such as height, facial structure, hairstyle, skin color, etc. This game also received a mobile game adaptation called Blade & Soul Revolution and an animated TV series with the same name. A fun game to try out for those looking for something more casual and laid back.Try it now!
World Of Warcraft
Platform: Windows, MacOS
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Having played online video games and not having heard of World of Warcraft is pretty unlikely. This game’s reputation and popularity speaks for itself. World of Warcraft is an old-school, run-of-the-mill MMORPG that takes you back to the basics. Its reputation precedes it as it has been hailed as the greatest MMORPG of all time while grossing an insane revenue before many other games came out.
World of Warcraft takes pieces from both sandbox and storyline-based gameplay. While the economy is not player-driven, players are free to do as they please. With multiple quests and missions to complete, players can team up to help each other get through difficult stages and complex enemies. While players are encouraged to interact and cooperate with each other, the game can also be played solo.
World of Warcraft is a must-try for players new to the sandbox-style of gameplay. While this game has a level progression system, everyone can progress at their own pace without any fear of missing out. This makes it the perfect MMORPG for casual gamers.Try it now! (Battle.net Launcher)
Best Free MMORPGs in 2023
Every MMORPG has its own unique aura meant to attract a certain player base. Go through the various types of MMORPGs and what they entail before committing to any one, as you’ll find yourself sinking away more time into it than you might think. The most important thing is, all of them are free to play in 2023!