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The best free MMORPGs

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World of Warcraft, developers have been on a constant search for the best way to monetize massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs).

Rift looks and plays like a carbon-copy of World of Warcraft at its core, but who says you have to reinvent the wheel to make a great MMORPG? The game was one of the most stable and expansive MMOs when it launched back in 2011, bursting with striking environments, superbly crafted character models, and gameplay culled from some of the best aspects of similar titles. Though the early-game quests and lore are drearily dry, the game becomes more interesting as the story dissipates and you begin closing the sporadic, dimensional rifts that unleash a flurry of demonic beings into the game’s sprawling landscapes.

best Star Wars games were a massive undertaking considering the legion of devotees and die-hard fanatics that possess an attachment to the material. Luckily, BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic is both easily accessible and instantly recognizable. The writing and fully voiced dialogue are excellent, bolstered by class-specific narratives and a wealth of contextual backstory that any fan of the franchise will admire. The visuals still hold up fairly well, and users can easily customize graphics settings to fit a broad range of gaming rigs. The gameplay mechanics are rooted in real-time, hotkey-based combat, and offer additional variation in the form of on-rails space combat and PvP warzones.

Star Wars: The Old Republic review

Lord of the Rings Online contains a wealth of content from Tolkien’s work, stuff that Jackson’s films never touched, and its cartoonish visuals color the rich environments of Middle Earth. The places you’ll visit are as diverse and eclectic as they are in the various books, ranging from snow-capped peaks to rolling hills, and the creation tools allow players to tackle the story as a hobbit, human, dwarf, or elf. Classes are as equally diverse, ranging from burglar and hunter to lore-keeper and guardian, but the selection is specific to your race.

Neverwinter, based upon lore from the Dungeons & Dragons universe. The combat system utilizes a computerized version of D&D’s 4th Edition by rolling imaginary dice to determine hits, misses, and damage dealt. The game, initially released in 2013 for PC but also available on Xbox One and PS4, features robust PvE and PvP experiences. Though Neverwinter assumes a linear approach, the fluid, Darksiders-esque combat feels fresh — especially for Xbox One and PS4, where the game’s aversion to social interaction and traditional RPG elements feels less oppressive.

DDO‘s launch woes and flawed beginnings, the sun-dappled city of Stormreach has never been so appealing. Loosely based on the D&D 3.5 ruleset, DDO is a game with extensive customization directly built into the framework. Featuring more classes than any other title on our list, the character creation tools allow players to experiment with a dynamic multiclass system wherein your character can effortlessly combine facets of skill sets. Although the latest updates still heavily cater to group instances and the game’s rooted emphasis in tight-knit teamwork, solo options are becoming exceedingly robust, especially if you can afford to pick up an NPC “hireling” or two to back you up.

DC Universe Online dropped its subscription shortly after launch in 2011, but the game still offers as much action-heavy MMO fun now as it did when it was a “premium” game. Based on the fictional superheroes and villains in the DC Universe, Players begin by either creating a character from scratch or one inspired by famous DC characters such as Superman, Batman, and the like. The rest of the game unfolds in RPG-like fashion, with stereotypical kill-collect quests scattered across Metropolis and Gotham City, and dungeons that break up the standard MMO grind.

Metal Man-Bat. The rewards you get for completing missions offer tons of different ways to customize your hero, so you can always stand out from the crowd.

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

free on PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One.

on Steam.

don’t need a PC to play.

Steam.

Android compatibility giving players a bit of flexibility in how they engage with it.

Steam.