There are literally hundreds, maybe even thousands, of free-to-play MMORPGs out there in the world. Each and every year more and more get released which makes it harder and harder to keep track of which games are truly worth your time. Add onto this the fact that many subscription-based or buy-to-play games wind up switching to free-to-play and you’re faced with a near-endless supply of games to choose from at any given time. Well, have no fear, because as a sequel to my similar list from last year, I have decided to once again rank the top 5 free PC MMORPGs to play, this time in 2014. You can even find a nifty video I put together right up at the top of this post with some clips and explanation of each choice as well – video is often more effective than just pictures!
The Lord of the Rings Online is not only one of the oldest free-to-play MMOs on the market right now, it’s also one of the best. Based on the classic Tolkien lore from the books and movies of the same name, this is classic MMO done right. If you haven’t heard of this game yet, then you need to do yourself a favor and read up on it over at their official website.
The Exiled Realm of Arborea, or TERA is another previously pay-to-play MMORPG. In February of 2013 in Europe and North America, the game made its transition to free-to-play and hasn’t looked back since. Unlike many other more traditional MMOs, Tera, or Tera Rising as it is known now, features action-based combat and even functions adequately when using a gamepad or controller. It also sports some of the absolute best visuals that the genre has to offer. It would be higher on the list, but the quests are frankly just very bland across the board and many people struggle to keep playing after the initial shine wears off. However, if you’re after something different and fresh, this may be the game for you. Check out the official site for more details.
Rift, previously known as Rift: Planes of Telara, is a fantasy-themed MMORPG that originally released back in 2011 as a pay-to-play subscription based game, just like the past two picks. This game was seen as the top contender against World of Warcraft for a short while and actually caused a relatively significant deep in WoW’s subscriber base. The game features a faction based system, which plays directly into the stories and gameplay of any given character. Rift was also highly regarded for its extremely unique class building system which dealt with equipping and customizing various souls, which is a far cry from the linear progression of most MMORPGs. The game also has a robust dynamic event system with rifts that open in the game world, leading to impromptu mini raids. This is definitely a top pick for currently available f2p MMOs and a game that continues to thrive under its new business model. For more information on this established and growing MMORPG, click here for the official rundown.
Bless is my #2 pick for no reason other than how simply breathtaking and intriguing it looks. We know next to nothing about the game at this point, as almost all official trailers and materials have been in Korean, but the footage truly speaks for itself. The game has entered closed beta testing and is aiming at a Q4 2014 global launch, so hopefully that happens, but I have my doubts. The game will have a dual-faction system and has been in development for coming up on 5 years, since 2009. With a team of tons of the most talented developers in the industry, it has every chance of turning out incredible, and I have my fingers tightly crossed waiting to see more on this beautifully artistic game. For more insight into this strikingly gorgeous upcoming MMORPG, you can click over to their official website.
Neverwinter, if you have ever visited The Koalition at some point over this past year, you probably saw a video of mine, an interview or preview or something else that I produced about this game. Dating all the way back to GenCon Indy 2011, I have been looking forward to this and it did not and has not disappointed. Since its launch in mid-2013, the game has already delivered two great free content expansions that have included new races, a new class, new zones and just tons of additional content. With an incredibly dynamic aciton-based combat system and that trademark sense of Wizards of the Coast / Dungeons & Dragons influence, Neverwinter was my MMO of 2013 and looks to continue that trend into 2014. Unlike other large persistent world games, Neverwinter employs a hub-based system with lots of instanced content for small groups. Also, the best feature of all is the Foundry which allows players to make and upload their very own quest content – it truly makes this game never-ending. I highly recommend that you check out Neverwinter, or at least read my Neverwinter review for more details. The game’s official website is right here for a download link and account setup details.
Surely you are a diehard fan of a game I left off my list, aren’t you? There are so many to pick from, I had a lot of trouble narrowing it down to just these 5, so I would love to see which games you think deserve a spot in any top 5 discussion. Leave a comment down below with your suggestion and maybe you’ll convince a new player to come join your world of choice!