Whether you’ve just got your first PC or you’ve had one for ages, there will come a time when you’ll want to jump into an MMORPG. The trouble is that many of them have a subscription fee. Worse yet, you might not even enjoy them. So here is a handy guide to the best free MMORPGs. After all, if you aren’t sure about the genre because it’s new to you, or you’ve bounced off before, then it’s a good idea to start with a free-to-play MMO
TERA prides itself on being a very different kind of MMORPG: one that has a more active combat system yet retains much of the depth of a classic game in the genre. In it, you explore a huge fantasy world as one of multiple races and classes to take down massive monsters and even other players. The sheer number of things to do in the game is staggering. There is some truly fascinating endgame at work as well, so it is well worth your time investment. The best thing is that TERA has always prided itself on being a free-to-play PC game.
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is a sequel in name only, at least for the purposes of new players. This isn’t a game you have to play through the first game for. Guild Wars 2 is a titan of the genre and certainly one of the best free-to-play MMORPG games around. With a huge twisting story to play along with, and countless expansions now available you’ll never run out of things to do. While the entire game isn’t free, due to the more recent content drops, the investment is worth it if you like the game. The free content is more than enough to figure out if you actually like the game itself too. With hours upon hours of gameplay on offer it fits a more classical playstyle for an MMORPG and is a quintessential game for anyone with an interest in the genre.
Path of Exile
Path of Exile is a little more in line with Diablo than most free-to-play games, but it is a damn fine example of just how good a free game can be. The depth of character customisation is almost unparalleled in any full-priced game, let alone amongst free-to-play PC games. Loot is the name of the game here, you’ll spend countless hours equipping new items in order to make your exile a god amongst mortals. When you throw in the PVP you have one of the most robust free-to-play MMORPG games around. Plus, they recently released an almost Pokemon-like add-on pack that has increased the amount of content in the game exponentially. It is truly absurd just how much there is to do, and the number of ways there are to do it.
Blade & Soul
Blade & Soul stands out from the crowd by being very heavily focussed on martial arts combat as opposed to the high fantasy of most other free-to-play MMORPGs. It is also an incredibly pretty game with a wonderful visual style and some great animations too. All you have to do is stand against the forces of evil and stop their nefarious plans. All standard stuff really, but the combat is fantastic, the customisation options are incredibly cool, and there is even an anime to go along with it.
You might not remember it, but everyone played Maplestory in secondary school when they were meant to be working. Maplestory 2 adds in a whole new dimension as it makes the leap to 3D, and with it brings more cutesy enemies and ridiculous attacks. You can expect to wear cool bandanas, throw carrots, and fight sentient mushrooms. It is just one of those wonderfully charming games that will give you an immense amount of joy to play. It is also one of the more kid-friendly entries in the genre due to the cutesy visuals. Maplestory 2 builds on what made the original so addictive and turns it into one of the cuter free-to-play MMORPG games around. Well worth a look if you fancy something a little less heavy.
Aion is a sprawling free to play MMORPG that is both gorgeous to look at and fun to play. In it you create one of the multiple classes in order to try and save the world. One of the most satisfying things about Aion is the way the classes progress. Rather than just choosing a class and being stuck with it you get to change as you grow. This lets you really shape your character to be exactly what you want it to be. When you add in the fantastic PvP systems you get an addictive and immersive game that is ready and waiting.
Archeage is another free-to-play MMORPG that is defined by its interesting class system. It is also a lot more freeform than many of the other games on this list and is actually a sandbox. You get to choose a race to play as and then mix three different skill sets together to create one of over one-hundred classes. Your character is unlikely to be like anyone else’s, and the world itself houses an obnoxious number of things to do. If you decide to jump into this one, get ready to dedicate dozens of hours to it.
Everyone wants to be a space pirate, or a space trader, or just in space. Eve Online is exactly the game for this as it allows you to pilot your own vessel around the stars. It is entirely player influenced and contains unscripted events based on how the other players act. This means the in-game federations are genuinely powerful and everything you do really matters. Hell, it even has some world records for the sheer scale of the battles that have taken place in game. How many other games can boast that?