Who doesn’t love a good massively multiplayer online game? The ability to interact with players from all over the world and team up to accomplish larger goals keeps bringing players back for more and more gaming action.
While you have most certainly heard of World of Warcraft, you may have also been put off by it’s high monthly subscription fee that can easily cost upwards of $300 a year – a ridiculous amount for a game that was released over half a decade ago. This can be difficult for some people to afford and many others simply don’t want to pay to play a video game. Luckily game developers have seen the gap and in recent years, a new model has arisen for MMO’s. This model allows players to install and play the game for free with the option of paying for extra perks and rewards where the game is funded non-essential in-game purchases.
Finding one of these games that fits your style can be difficult,which is why today we have created a list of what we believe are the best free to play MMORPG’s available right now. As all gaming lists, this is highly subjective. If you disagree, let us know in the comments about what game you think should make it on the list and we’ll get on it!
Star Wars: The Old Republic
From the ashes of Sony’s Star Wars Galaxies rose a different MMO that included some of the most epic cinematics ever seen in an MMORPG. Based on the popular Star Wars franchise, players can choose to play a Jedi, Trooper, Bounty Hunter or even a Sith that all come with their very own custom storyline that you can watch unfold as you progress through the game. Your choices mean something in this game as they determine how powerful you are with either the light or the dark side of the force. As you progress, you will meet various companions that will aid you on your journey and interact with you based on your choices. There are some restrictions on the free to play players, such as character limits, PVE and PVP raids and dungeons, but overall the experience is perfect for the casual player that doesn’t have the time or money to invest in an online game.
Star Trek Online
Beam me up, Scotty! Star Trek Online is a free to play MMORPG that puts you in the Captain’s chair on one Starfleet’s iconic starships. Or, if you prefer, you could take the helm of a Bird of Prey and fight the Federation. Players can visit many of the most iconic locations in Star Trek including Starfleet Academy, Deep Space Nine, Qo’noS and more. With a ground game available through Away missions and epic space battles to engage your starship tactical knowledge, Star Trek Online offers a wide variation of gameplay to keep you coming back for more.
Lord of the Rings Online
After seeing the movies, who didn’t want a chance to go on an adventure in Middle Earth? With Lord of the Rings Online, you have your chance to take up arms against Sauron and help defeat his armies of orcs once and for all. For years now, LOTRO has been one of the leaders in free to play gaming models and continues to bring expansion after expansion to this game of epic proportions that give you a glimpse into many of the wonders of Middle Earth. Pay a visit to the Shire or Mirkwood or even Moria to truly immerse yourself in the story of Tolkien one zone at a time.
Another title for the fantasy gamers out their, Rift is an immersive free to play fantasy MMO that features massive invasion battles and attractive graphics. Drawing heavily on inspiration from the likes of World of Warcraft, it features heavy class customization, WoW style dungeons and raids and high intensity large scale open world battles powered by ‘Zone Events’ that occur to bring everyone into the action. Strong points include a great looking in-game visuals and a well polished character system allowing for a high level of creativity and end-game content. Rift has earned a well deserved spot in the top league of fantasy MMO’s over the years, despite being completely free to play. Join the ranks today and experience some of the best free MMORPG content out there.
EverQuest 2 first burst onto the scenes back in 2004 as a traditional subscription based MMO. The sequel to the ever popular EverQuest continues the story of Norrath 500 years after the events of the original game. Since its release, EverQuest has become a free to play game offering much of the features and gameplay you would expect from a fantasy MMO. With many different types of classes such as Fighter, Healer and Mages with a wide variety of races to play, EverQuest 2 offers impressive customization. The addition of housing and a rather in depth crafting experience adds even more layers to this sequel making it one the best choices for fantasy fans.
Dungeons and Dragons Online
The free to play MMORPG is based on classic Dungeons and Dragons play only you won’t need a set of dice for your battles. The game was originally subscription based but has since converted over to the free to play model. DDO puts players right in the middle of the action offering impressive controls of your characters and very fast paced game play. Fans of DD classics such as Baldurs Gate and other infinity engine games will feel comfortable with the familiar gaming mechanics and it may even bring up a pang of nostalgia. Many features found in DDO can also only be found in other pay to play MMO’s providing you with one of the most well rounded free to play experiences available.
Ever wonder what it would be like to survive in a post apocalyptic world? Load up Fallen Earth and find out. Fallen Earth mixes first person shooter, third person shooter and MMORPG elements to create this unique gameplay experience. Fallen Earth’s combat is in real time and is twitch based meaning you will need to be on your toes when you are pulled into a fight. The game takes place in and around the Grand Canyon, which is one of the few habitable places left on the planet. With over 5,500 game missions and 1,000 square kilometers of territory to explore, Fallen Earth has plenty to keep you occupied for hours at a time.
Cabal Online is a free 3D fantasy MMORPG that offers fast paced combat and truly spectacular graphics. As an adventurer you will explore the world known as Nevareth and encounter amazing dungeons and even massive player versus player wars. One of the most unique systems about Cabal Online is the ability to land combo moves for big damage. These combos require precise timing if you hope to deal the maximum amount of damage to your foes. With six distinct player classes, there aren’t as many as in other MMO’s today but they still offer their own unique take on the genre creating interesting gameplay. Another interesting system that has been added is the honor system. You gain honor by defeating monsters and players. Gain enough and your stats will increase making you even more powerful.
Have you ever wanted to be a superhero? C’mon…who hasn’t? Champions Online give you the chance to be the superhero you have always dreamed of being without it costing you a dime. With one of the most unique and impressive character customization processes ever seen, creating your character becomes a game within a game. Customize your look and your powers and even how you will get around. Want to fly like Iron Man? Not a problem at all. As you progress, you can more and more power and access to more abilities to truly customize the superhero of your dreams.
If a traditional MMORPG isn’t exactly to your liking, you could try Firefall, an MMOFPS. Firefall blends many of the best MMORPG features along with a first person shooter to create a great skill based game that will have you running and gunning and jet packing all over the map. Firefall’s strengths are in its team based game play and with a variety of classes to choose from, chances are you will find some part of the battle in which you excel so you can take out the enemy.
While not an MMORPG per say, Second Life is the largest and most popular virtual world in existence. Want to go to a dance party? No problem. Want to try your hand at created virtual goods to make a little money? Go for it. There are endless possibilities in this virtual world aimed at players 18 and over. Currently, there are over 20 million registered accounts with hundreds of different locations, known as sims, to visit. One of the most interesting features of Second Life is its deep avatar customization. Want to be a huge muscled warrior, go for it. Cartoon character? You can do it. You can create almost anything you can imagine and be whatever you want to be in this virtual world.
Neverwinter is an action MMORPG based on the Dungeons and Dragons universe. You take on the role of a mighty hero and must protect the lands from those who seek to destroy it. On your adventures, you can explore creepy monasteries or search through the bowels of the Earth for treasure. With six different races and several hundred unique classes, you will have plenty of customization options at your command to create the perfect character for both you and your play style. Creative players can even create their own adventures and share them with other players in the game opening up an entire new world of customization that is rarely seen in the MMO world.
Originally released in 2001 as a subscription based game, Anarchy Online is now available for free. One of the first Sci-Fi based MMO’s to hit the market, Anarchy Online offers great, unique gameplay with fourteen different classes and four unique races. Be a soldier or an engineer or more in this sci-fi based MMO that will keep you coming back for more. Admittedly, the graphics on this MMO are beginning to age, but the gameplay is still top notch and it is the perfect game to run on older systems.
We hope you enjoyed this list and we hope it helps you find the perfect game to install on that new laptop you just bought! There are so many different games available today that are free to play, it can be hard to create a list such as this and most of them will run even on the most basic gaming laptops. If you think there should be games added to this list, let us know in the comments and we will consider making an addition or even a removal of a game from this list! Until then, happy gaming and may you slaughter all your enemies that come before you on your own adventures.
About the author
Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing for LaptopNinja where he enjoys talking about everything tech.