Another year means another slate of upcoming MMORPGs to keep an eye on. Last year, my top 5 free MMORPGs of 2014 list had a few games on it that had been around for a while, but this year I decided to take a look at only new and upcoming games on the horizon. That means no Lord of the Rings Online, no Neverwinter, no TERA, and no Rift. This list is all about the future and which MMORPGs you need to have on your radar – as well as some recent releases with great potential as well.
For this article, I’ve taken a look at 5 upcoming MMORPGs that are confirmed to be free to play without a required purchase or subscription fee. How the optional payment tiers will be structured, whether or not it will be a buy-to-play experience, and the true longevity of each of these games is obviously unknown. However, each of these games looks incredibly promising and has the potential to be some of the best free-to-play MMOs on the market. Let’s take a look!
Full-loot PvP sandbox MMORPG experiences have been a bit of a dying breed as of late. However, with the resurgence of ultra-hard games with series like Dark Souls gaining popularity, the age of the “do or die” mindset is back in full force. Albion Online, while far less hardcore than that game I’ve mentioned, is of similar ilk. Taking heavy inspiration from Diablo 2 and Ultima Online in its presentation and gameplay, Albion Online hopes to return MMORPGs to the days of hardcore, skill-driven experiences. It’s not about your levels, it’s about your skill and the loot that you’ve earned over the course of the game. Look out for this one if you’re the competitive type.
SkyForge is an ambitious upcoming MMORPG from Allods Team and My.com – it’s aiming to have a bit of everything for everybody. You take your character on the path from an immortal warrior to a mighty God, gaining followers along the way. It sports some absolutely gorgeous visuals, great action combat, and a really flexible and unique class system. Their aiming for a balanced approach to PvP, and the combat looks like it would only get better against other players. Employing an Observatory approach that reminds me a bit of Destiny, SkyForge looks primed to make a splash later in 2015.
This is the only entry on the list for an MMORPG that’s currently available to the broader public. ArcheAge is the kind of game that caters heavily to people that love owning land, building houses, taking ownership of an area, participating in trading and crafting, and generally getting involved in the economy of the game. But don’t fool yourself – there is a lot of action in this package as well. Combat is fast and furious, players can murder each other and become pirates, the world is crisp and beautiful, and it has one of the fastest growing communities in the industry right now. While free players do suffer from some annoying limitations, you can easily download this game right now and jump right in!
You had to know that this MMORPG would make the list. Black Desert Online made headlines on several major gaming outlets last year for its absolutely astounding visuals – and rightfully so. The game is simply gorgeous. Just look at it! Visuals aside though, Black Desert looks poised to take on the role as the go-to action combat MMO on the market. Everything is incredibly responsive and the combo system is unlike anything in the industry right now. Crafting, housing, fishing, PvP, NPC-hiring, parkour movement, castle sieges, trading – from what we’ve seen, it basically looks like a more robust version of ArcheAge on steroids. Hopefully a US beta is announced for 2015 – we want our hands on this game as soon as possible!
Here’s the big one. I’ll be the first to admit that a full 2015 release is incredibly unlikely, but an open beta, or at least closed beta, is what I am hoping for here with this MMORPG. EverQuest Next is, undoubtedly, one of the most hotly anticipated games in recent memory. While Landmark has piddled around in its user-generated content niche for a while, it’s time for Sony Online Entertainment to show us what they’ve really been working on. They need to show everyone I wasn’t wrong when I claimed EverQuest Next is the evolution of the MMORPG genre back in 2013. Fully destructible environments and one of the most strikingly artistic graphic styles I’ve ever seen lay the foundation for this game that’s been kept under wraps for almost 2 years. We are entering a new year, so it’s time for the year of EverQuest Next. Keep an eye on this one, it’s bound to be great!
Which Free MMORPG Are You Most Excited to Play?
What do you think of this list? Are you excited for any of these games? Do you think I missed some games that are coming out in 2015 that you’re looking forward to? Let us know down in the comments below what you think and maybe we can give those games some attention in a future feature.