It’s that time of the year again! That completely random occasion when we decide that the time has come to update the list of our favorite free to play MMORPGs. It’s a bit of a pain, to be honest, but it’s also very rewarding to see when you guys actually agree with our choices. Even if you don’t agree, it’s awesome to hear your opinions and reply to you with a very personal, unique comment that will make us bond and become best friends forever.
Well, perhaps not all of that, but I digress. Games! That’s what we’re here for, so here’s the countdown of our Top 10 Free to Play MMORPG Games 2014!
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At the moment, DC Universe Online is the best superhero MMORPG and while the competition is trying different approaches, such as the loot-driven, clicky-clicky Marvel Heroes, this is our definite pick. If you really want to feel like a superhero, running at super speed or flying like you never did before, this is also your game. It’s all very smooth to handle, the character creation is one of the most in-depth that we’ve ever experienced and combat is a big and very enjoyable part of the adventure. Featuring a hybrid system, it requires quite a bit of skill and attention, and while it can get quite button-mashy, it’s still tremendous fun in PvP. We wouldn’t say that DC Universe Online is a very deep MMO, but it’s extremely enjoyable and makes for a perfect entry point for those who are trying their first MMORPG.
– > Play Now DC Universe Online Free
It’s difficult to find a game with a richer lore than Lord of the Rings Online – this is, after all, the fantasy world that inspired many other fantasy worlds, with characters that everyone is familiar with, even if they don’t really know what all the fuss is about. Lord of the Rings Online launched over seven years ago and turned free-to-play in 2010, with huge success up to this day. It’s a very deep game and while it’s clearly inspired by the gigantic World of Warcraft, it remains immensely enjoyable just to follow the story and meet some of our beloved characters. If you enjoy the game then you’ll probably want to get a monthly subscription since it gives you some very useful options (such as lifting the currency cap) and access to more content.
– > Play Now The Lord of the Rings Online Free
It seems that Aion is getting a bit of a rough time with the bot-mania that pretty much infects most MMO games, but if you happen to be immune to that, you’ll still be able to enjoy a very pretty and addictive MMORPG. Not only it features one of the most incredibly awesome character creation systems, it’s also one of the few games with decent aerial combat. In fact, something about the upcoming Chinese game Revelation reminds us of Aion, so keep an eye out for that one too. Anyway, Aion looks good even after quite a few years, has some large scale battles that will drive you crazy and the huge world will keep you running and flying around for quite some time. Still totally deserves our attention, but let’s see if next year it remains as one of our favorites.
– > Play Now Aion Free
You never expected Neverwinter to be an open world, sandbox, bad-ass MMORPG similar to ArcheAge, right? Because that’s just not what it was supposed to be. What we have is a very fun and addictive MMORPG with fast-paced combat and no-bullshit, straight to the point gameplay. PvP is extremely fun and feels mostly right. Neverwinter can easily entertain you for a long time and if you decide to stick with the Foundry, then you’ll have a virtually infinite number of adventures to play. You’ll easily pick the best experience thanks to the ratings, so it’s doubtful that you’ll play a really stinky creation. This is one for fans of Dungeons and Dragons but also for players who just love a fun, accessible MMO adventure, as long as they aren’t expecting the most in-depth mechanics.
– > Play Now Neverwinter Free
6: DRAGON NEST
Dragon Nest is plain and simply still one of the best action MMORPGs available. Don’t judge it by the cute anime looks; this is one for the most resilient, skilled players. Combat is unique and diverse, depending on the character you pick and how skilled you are in this kind of game. The combat mechanics make for a fast paced and really fun PvP, which is a very valid way of changing from the enticing main adventure and the awesome bosses. If we wanted to compare Dragon Nest to other action MMORPG then it would most certainly be Vindictus. Which brings us to…
– > Play Now Dragon Nest Free
… Vindictus! The sexy, gorgeous, Source Engine-powered action MMORPG from Nexon. This is a game that is standing the test of time and besides the great graphics, it has hands-down one of the most exciting action combat systems ever seen on MMOs. The way you can use plenty of objects to bash enemies never gets old and we wish more games had such a versatile combat system as this one, where your skill and the way you time your dodges actively matter on the outcome of the fights. Despite some outcries, Vindictus isn’t a pay-to-win game; we would say it’s more of a pay-to-get-some-sexy-costumes-for-your-female-avatar game, if you’re into that sort of thing. Now we’re just waiting for the new character, Arisha, to be added to the North American and European versions.
– > Play Now Vindictus Free
MMORPG or not MMORPG? We honestly don’t care. Path of Exile deserves to be on this list as much as other games are, so we’ll just stick to the facts: this isometric online action RPG is the closest thing you’ll ever get to a free Diablo game. The classes are extremely varied and you’re able to come up with some truly different and crazy builds that show just how diverse the gameplay can get, thanks to the awesome skill tree, which we kindly like to call the What-The-Fuck skill tree. It’s a very in-depth RPG that gets plenty of support from the developers and it can suck entire months of your life if you don’t pay attention. It looks really good, plays even better and there’s this great feeling of immersion in the game. Best of all, it’s one of the best examples of how to make a proper free-to-play game – you never feel like they’re trying to reach into your wallet. But do support this game and the developers, they truly deserve it for making one triple-A game that you can play for free, really!
– > Play Now Path of Exile Free
Oh boy, where should we begin with this one? ArcheAge was a highly anticipated sandbox MMORPG and while it had a bit of a rough start in Korea, no one was expecting such a mess during the Western launch. Trion Worlds was widely considered the best publisher possible for such a game, but that didn’t stop ArcheAge from having a chaotic launch. From queues that could reach nine hours to several bugs and even DDOS attacks, it was far from the smoothest launch we’ve ever seen. QueueAge… I mean, ArcheAge is slowly finding its feet with new servers and fixes, so we’re pretty sure in a few months the game will be playable as intended.
And it is quite a terrific game. It’s a pure sandbox, so you’ll have a lot of fun with it if you like living a life full of possibilities. One time you’re tending to your crops and the next you’re on the high seas trying not to get your ship destroyed by the Kraken – if you’re stuck in some part, then go find something else to do. It’s far from perfect and sometimes a bit broken, but that’s the price to pay for all the things that you get to do. Combat is a bit shallow, but that’s not really the focus of the game – you should play ArcheAge to enjoy its world, all the things you get to see and do, not to nitpick on its flaws. It’s also far from your average pay to win MMORPG – sure, those labor points can be a pain in the butt and free players have a harder time getting them, but if you’re playing ArcheAge as a racing simulator, then you’re doing it wrong. Explore it, take your time, find new locations and stuff to do and if you appreciate the game, then you can spend some real money as a thank you to the devs. ArcheAge is a flawed masterpiece and while we’re pretty sure it will remain so, it’s a very inspiring game.
– > Play Now ArcheAge Free
RIFT is the second game from Trion Worlds in our top this year and it was already featured last year. It deserves so, since it’s probably the most polished MMORPG ever at launch – quite the opposite of ArcheAge, but we’re talking about two very different games. RIFT is rock solid, looks great and has some depth to the skill system. The dynamic world events bring some diversity to the gameplay, although they’re not overly dynamic. It’s pretty evident that RIFT launched at a time when everyone was trying to make their own World of Warcraft-killer and while we all know how that story turned out – hell, even Blizzard’s own WoW-killer, Project Titan, just got killed –, RIFT is a damn fine MMORPG. Easily accessible and rewarding, with a mostly fair free-to-play model that doesn’t get in your face and plenty of content to go through, this is still one of the best free MMO games out there. If you can get past the generic fantasy universe and the somewhat bland storyline, then this is a must-play.
– > Play Now Rift Free
1: TERA RISING
Tera Rising is still our favorite MMORPG of the bunch, probably until Black Desert Online launches in the West, or, who knows, Blade and Soul. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves and in the case of Blade and Soul, probably just fooling ourselves. Anyway, Tera isn’t perfect but it’s the best example of true action combat in MMORPGs, the graphics are damn fine and while the quests are somewhat repetitive, the great gameplay and PvP pretty much make up for that. Grouping to take down BAM’s is still a great thing and this year also saw the introduction of the new Reaper class as well as more content for everyone’s pleasure. Tera keeps going strong and there’s plenty more to come, possibly by the end of 2014 or early 2015, with the launch of a new continent (with 5 new end-game dungeons), an increased level cap and more content. Stuff to be excited about.
– > Play Now TERA Rising Free
And so here it is, our highly anticipated Top 10 Free to Play MMORPGs 2014. Quite a bunch of awesome and diverse games, both for fans of action combat or the most classic tab-target combat. We had obviously to leave some other good games out of the equation, and it wasn’t an easy decision. So we want to recommend you to also try C9, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Swordsman Online or Elsword Online, for example. Any other awesome MMORPGs you can think of? What changes would you make to our ranking? Let us know all about it in the comments!