What are the best free MMORPG games?
Choosing the best free-to-play MMOs isn’t easy, since so many great games fall into this category.
However, some games stand out from others in terms of quality, engagement, and long-term playability.
Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work, so you don’t have to.
The Best Free MMORPG Games
Our ranked lists are created by researching and rounding up information from the most reputable web sources.
Here’s our list of the 25 best free MMORPG games:
25. World of Warships
World of Warships is a tactical gamer’s dream, and it trades in the fast-paced action shooter mechanics that other MMOs rely on for a slower, more strategic method of naval combat gameplay.
With each warship being exceptionally powerful, every move counts, and the tension is real.
Although it may not have a complex storyline or excessive character customization, World of Warships is cinematic, engaging, and makes you feel like a warfare genius when you strategize your way to victory.
This game is regularly updated, ensuring continued playability so that players won’t get bored anytime soon.
24. Aion Online
Created by NCSoft, the same developer that gave us Guild Wars and City of Heroes, this game is a stunning MMO that immerses players in a post-apocalyptic world which has been torn apart by warring races.
This MMO really shines in its balance of Player-vs-Environment and Player-vs-Player interactions. The combat is fast-paced, with distinctive mechanics and creative chain attacks.
The world itself is beautifully designed, and with an ample number of seasonal events that take place. If you’re a fan of post-apocalyptic games, this is one MMO you don’t want to miss out on.
23. Path of Exile
Path of Exile is a free MMORPG that appeals to fans of the Diablo series.
Set in a dark fantasy world, this game features surprisingly compelling gameplay and combat mechanics, along with a huge array of abilities, gear, and upgrades that continually give players something new to work toward.
If that wasn’t enough, this free-to-play MMO is randomly generated so that every dungeon you experience will be completely different no matter how many times you go through it.
Best of all, fans have Path of Exile 2 to look forward to, which will bring a load of new equipment, skills, classes, and story.
22. World of Warplanes
Although you may not think that a warplane MMO would be very compelling, this game is surprisingly customizable and features a considerable amount of action.
While you can choose from five air vessels, there are over 4,000 customization options across them, giving players a lot of control over how they create their unique craft.
It also helps that the map is gorgeous, and flying over it is an experience that any MMO lover should try at least once before they knock it.
If being a WWII pilot isn’t for you, maybe piracy is more up your alley.
Sometimes hailed as one of the best pirate games for the PC, this MMO is chock full of things to do on the high seas, and if you ever get tired of sailing, you can always mount up on one of the games many dragons.
Yes, the pirate game has ridable dragons.
Although the game is completely free, there is also an optional subscription or ArcheAge: Unchained, which gives players access to all locked content instantly for a one-time fee.
If you try the game out and find yourself falling in love, it may be a worthwhile investment since there is so much content to explore.
20. World of Tanks
The creators of World of Tanks weren’t messing around when they named the game, as there are over 400 tanks in this game, with that number constantly growing.
While fans of military history and military games will find a lot to love in this game, you don’t have to know a single thing about tanks to find something to enjoy.
Taking more of an arcade-style approach to the tanks, you don’t have to worry about knowing which tanks were historically the best or which have the best armor and hitting power to be the best in this game.
19. League of Legends
League of Legends is one of the most well-known free MMORPGs, and with 67 million players, you’ll be in good company if you choose to jump in yourself, especially considering how well updated this game still is.
Unlike other games, which can sometimes feel intimidatingly established by veteran players, League of Legends is super friendly for newcomers.
Because it is constantly expanding, even players who have logged in for years still find new things to do and learn.
Initially released in 2009, LoL is free to play but does feature some buy-to-play options, such as additional character customization options, which require players to pay for in-game currency if they wish to purchase unique skins.
While purchasing cosmetic enhancements isn’t necessary to experience the entirety of this game, players did spend $1.75 billion in 2020, which makes sense given no one could show off their style in the real world that year.
Unlike many MMOs, Tera approaches combat from a whole new perspective, allowing players to even use a controller if they wish.
Because this third-person combat is so smooth and action-focused, it attracts players that aren’t extremely fond of the traditional turn-based combat system that other games often use.
The character classes are also well balanced; each race has unique advantages and is animated for class skills. It really makes choosing your race and class feel meaningful, as opposed to just an aesthetic difference.
When most people think of free-to-play games, they usually don’t imagine the same gorgeous graphics that many $60 pay-to-play titles can deliver.
However, Skyforge takes this preconception and completely blows it out of the water.
The graphics in this game are absolutely mind-blowing, and it stands out as one of the most gorgeous MMOs on this list.
This game gives players the ability to quite literally become a god, tasked with protecting the planet from dangerous invaders.
Once players reach godhood, a new progression system kicks in to ensure that the gameplay doesn’t lose its appeal.
16. Secret World Legends
Secret World Legends is the 2017 update to The Secret World, which saw its initial release in 2012.
Featuring locations based on those in our real-world, Lovecraftian monsters, and an incredible narrative, this MMORPG is arguably one of the most story-driven that you can play for free.
In-game, players of Secret World Legends can don modern attire, equip themselves with assault rifles, and take on big-ass monsters in a way that sort of feels like a mix between Dark Souls and Resident Evil.
It definitely is one of the best free MMORPGs that you can jump into today.
15. Champions Online
This superhero action MMO is incredibly action-oriented, with a great deal of emphasis placed on skills and stats.
Instead of armor pieces giving players additional stat bonuses, the damage is calculated based on stats.
That said, aesthetics are often important to players, and this game does provide a lot of different costumes to choose from — even the ability to add bits and pieces to set yourself apart.
Although there are only 24 framework powersets, which may not seem like much, this game isn’t lacking in ways to make your character your own.
14. Adventure Quest Worlds
Adventure Quest Worlds is incredibly unique, and it stands out immediately due to its 2D anime-style graphics.
Since being released in 2008, this game has been a favorite of many fans, and there is so much progressive freedom that it’s literally impossible to get bored.
Giving players the ability to play as a hero to battle the forces of Chaos, this light-hearted game is worth giving a second look if you’ve passed it up before.
While it may not be as graphically amazing or as serious as some of the other free MMORPGs on this list, it is by far one of the most entertaining free-to-play games you can jump into at any time.
13. Blade & Soul
Using a real-time battle system, Blade & Soul combines martial arts-inspired combat and qinggong — a Chinese jumping technique from the art of Baguazhang — to create some really engaging combat situations.
The vast world that enables PvE and PvP combat is gorgeous, and there are so many dungeons to play through that you won’t have to worry about running out any time soon.
For fans of custom characters, you’re also in luck — this game features the ability to tailor a lot of your character’s aspects, including their facial structures, hair, height, body, and markings.
Although this game was originally released in 2011, it is still going strong a decade later.
As the name suggests, rifts open throughout this game, spawning enemies and towering bosses across the map.
This mechanic forces all the players to work together to take out the legions of enemies.
That said, this game isn’t all about beating down enemies, it contains some of the best and most flexible class systems in any MMO, and the variety of builds that players can make is incredible.
No matter your preferred playstyle, this game caters to it and ensures that you get to play as a character you are comfortable with.
11. Eve Online
Much beloved for its complexity and scale, this game has even broken world records, with Eve Online playing host to what is considered to be the largest battle in gaming history, lasting 21 hours and involving thousands of players.
It was even featured in the Museum of Modern Art, highlighting the accomplishments of its players.
Now that is something that not many other games have achieved.
Taking place over 20,000 years in the future, this game focuses on the colonization of the galaxy and the large corporations that now lord over it.
These corporations consist of thousands of players, and the main goal is to petition them into hiring you so that you can rise through the ranks to become more influential.
The universe itself is beyond massive, with over 5,000 star systems and 2,500 accessible wormholes.
Suffice to say, you can spend years exploring this game and still have areas that you have never seen before.
10. Dungeons & Dragons Online
For fans of the classic tabletop game, Dungeons & Dragons Online offers the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the game, even if you can’t play the game in person.
Based on the ruleset from D&D 3.5, this game allows players to choose from a huge range of races and 14 classes, though players can advance multiple classes and take levels in up to three different classes.
While you may not have to roll the dice in this game, the gameplay is highly action-based and features real-time combat and an optional first-person perspective.
To level up, players must complete quests, all of which are narrated by a Dungeon Master, which helps make them feel more authentic to the franchise.
9. Star Trek Online
If you have fond memories of watching Star Trek reruns and consider yourself a Trekkie, this game is for you.
Aside from the thrill of jumping into the Star Trek universe, where the game plays out like some of your favorite episodes, the character creator in this game is simply astonishing.
Players can choose from any of the 30 available races and tweak almost everything you can think of to make their characters uniquely their own.
If you’re ever worried about running out of things to do, it’s worth keeping in mind the four large expansions that have been released provide so much content that you’ll definitely have trouble speeding your way through it all.
Taking place in the Forgotten Realms city of Neverwinter from D&D, this game enables players to choose one of the eight Dungeons & Dragons classes and form groups of up to five.
Unlike Dungeons & Dragons Online, Neverwinter is much more story-driven, and it has been compared to Dragon Age Origins and Elder Scrolls Oblivion rather than other action-based MMOs.
Numerous additional modules have been released for this free MMO, further expanding this immersive world to make it one that anyone can enjoy.
It is worth noting that this game is unrelated to Neverwinter Nights, another great game that takes place in Neverwinter, which is different but also worth playing if you can’t get your fill of D&D.
7. Lord of the Rings Online
If you have ever wanted to journey to Tolkien’s Middle Earth, you’re in luck. Lord of the Rings Online is your free-to-play ticket to this magical place, and LOTR fans would be remiss to pass this game up.
In this game, you can play as one of four races and seven classes as you explore this rich world’s lore.
Although this game is free to play, it does have a subscription plan for fans that want it, as well as an in-game shop and in-game purchases.
While completely optional, it’s worth keeping in mind in case this game becomes something that you want to invest in for additional content and items.
That said, if paying isn’t for you, this game offers plenty of free content to keep you occupied for hours upon hours.
6. Star Conflict
Tossing players into the pilot’s seat, this space MMO acts as an expansive sandbox where players can spend hours fighting for alien treasures and collecting more and more ships.
Through PvE combat and raids, you can take on legions of aliens and space pirates to take what they have and make yourself stronger.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, the open world PvP combat is something to keep an eye out for, as you can both take on other players and be taken on yourself.
Between a load of missions, ships to collect, enemies to fight, and the constant threat of player-on-player violence, this game doesn’t get boring quickly, and it can easily eat up hours of your day if you’re not careful.
5. Lineage 2
As a prequel to the first game, this massively multiplayer online game has become staggeringly successful since its first release in South Korea in 2003.
Along with being able to take on interesting monsters, players can also take on each other with the PvP modes that allow them to apply different settings to their characters, such as Peaceful — meaning you will never attack others, or Bloodthirsty — meaning you will attack anyone outside of your party.
If you want to jump into this game but are afraid there isn’t enough to do, keep in mind that new features and add-ons are released every six months, ensuring that you will literally never get bored.
4. Star Wars: The Old Republic
If Star Trek isn’t your favorite fandom, Star Wars: The Old Republic might be more your speed.
Although it started off requiring a subscription, today, it is one of the best free MMORPGs you can play.
Although some find it starts off a bit slow, it definitely picks up and gives players loads to do and loads of paths to venture down.
Whether you pick the light or the dark side is completely up to you.
3. Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars is an MMO that most gamers are familiar with, even if they haven’t played it.
This installment takes place after the events of the original Guild Wars, and the story progresses through environments that are specially generated for each player or group.
With a story that reacts to the actions of the player, it fits neatly into the RPG genre, something that can be difficult for most MMOs to achieve.
By August of 2021, over 16 million player accounts have been created for this game, proving that it stands out as one of the most popular.
Holding the world record for the world’s largest and most-updated free-to-play MMORPG, RuneScape is legendary among fans of massively multiplayer online games.
Once you start playing, you’re going to need a comfortable gaming chair, because you’ll get sucked in for hours.
Although the first instance of this game was released in 2001, it is still insanely popular today, even as the game’s engine underwent rewrites to produce RuneScape 2 and 3.
At the same time, Old School RuneScape was released in 2013, and despite having a smaller development team and slower update schedule, it currently has more players than RuneScape, even receiving a mobile version in 2018.
1. World of Warcraft
You may have guessed that World of Warcraft would take the top spot when it comes to the best free MMORPG games, but it is for good reason.
Even non-gamers have heard of this game, and terrible movie aside, it lives up to the hype with many players spending considerable amounts of money on their characters.
While this game isn’t entirely free to play like the others on here, it does have a free-to-play trial that allows play for free until level 20.
This can be a great way to introduce yourself to this enormous game without having to commit money if you’re not sure you’ll like it.
That said, there’s a reason it has 12 million subscriptions currently, and with the constantly growing expansions, it can take years before you get through all of the dungeons, cities, and regions that this MMO contains.
When it comes to ranking MMORPGs, some titles stand out more than others, either for their own stories, combat mechanics, graphics, or gameplay.
Because of this, ranking them is no easy task, but we’ve certainly done our best!
While some of these may be more surprising than others, they are all exceptional games that every MMO enthusiast should try out at least once.
After all, they are free!
Here’s a quick recap of the 25 best free MMORPG games:
- World of Warcraft
- Guild Wars 2
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Lineage 2
- Star Conflict
- Lord of the Rings Online
- Star Trek Online
- Dungeons & Dragons Online
- Eve Online
- Blade & Soul
- Adventure Quest Worlds
- Champions Online
- Secret World Legends
- League of Legends
- World of Tanks
- World of Warplanes
- Path of Exile
- Aion Online
- World of Warships
What’s the best free MMORPG game, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
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