The best MMORPGs to play in 2023 are very different, but they all give you free control over a beautiful digital world.
We have everything you need, whether you want classic games like Old School Runescape and World of Warcraft, newer games like Lost Ark, or something a little easier to get into if you’re new to the genre.
The games we talk about here can be played on Xbox, PC, and PS5, so there’s something for everyone on this list.
Check out our list of the best new games of 2023 if you’re looking for new games and MMORPGs that are coming out soon.
Most of the games on this list, if not all of them, can be found on Steam, so new PC games is another good place to look if you want to play more PC games this year.
For now, though, keep reading to see our list of the best MMORPGs and MMOs you should play right now, if you have a few hundred hours to kill.
- 18. Blade & Soul
- 17. World of Warcraft
- 16. Warframe
- 15. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
- 14. Runescape
- 13. Lord of the Rings Online
- 12. Destiny 2
- 11. New World
- 10. Fallout 76
- 9. Lost Ark
- 8. Black Desert Online
- 7. Star Wars: The Old Republic
- 6. Guild Wars 2
- 5. Eve Online
- 4. Old School RuneScape
- 3. The Elder Scrolls Online
- 2. World of Warcraft
- 1. Final Fantasy 14
18. Blade & Soul
Blade & Soul came out in 2012, but it’s still one of the best free MMORPGs you can play right now. It has a great story that keeps you interested, deep character creation, and high-octane action-based fighting with lots of cool combos to pull off.
With a mix of martial arts and magic, the story starts with your character as a student. Then, you are thrown into a world of darkness where you try to get revenge for those who lost.
You can choose from 4 different races and 15 different classes in Blade & Soul. The most recent class, the Musician, was added in October 2022 with the Symphony of Destruction update.
Even though each class is locked to a certain race, you can still choose from a lot of different ways to play.
In September 2021, the game also got a long-awaited update for the Unreal Engine 4 engine. Since the game has been brought up to date, there has never been a better time to try Blade & Soul.
17. World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft has been the best MMO since it came out in 2004. Azeroth is one of the biggest and best MMO worlds.
You can go from one colorful place to another while fighting demons, monsters, and other fighters for the Horde or the Alliance.
WoW is one of the easiest MMOs to get into now that Blizzard has changed the starting area for new players and made changes to how you level up.
In the newest update, Dragonflight, your heroes will go to the Dragon Isles, which is where the dragonflights of Azeroth came from.
If you’re a returned player who misses the good old days of World of Warcraft, Blizzard also runs World of Warcraft Classic, which is like the game when it first came out.
The fun action-RPG made by Digital Extremes has changed a lot over the years. What started out as a continuous online game with missions has grown into a lot more.
It now has open-world settings like Destiny, where you can ride a hoverboard across the surface of a planet or fly through the stars on a Railjack spaceship.
Because Warframe is free-to-play, it takes a lot of time and money to level up and get the best Warframes.
Still, there are 50 million people in the Warframe universe, so you’ll definitely find a few dedicated partners.
15. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
The bad thing about The Division 2 is that its story seems to be based on real-world events.
After the Green Poison spread, society was thrown into chaos, and a secret group called The Division had to step in to bring order back to the world.
You play as a member of the Division, a group whose job is to restore New York and Washington, D.C. to their past glory.
This MMO might be for you if you like to play war games.
Runescape is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that has been around for over 20 years and is still going strong.
Even though it’s been around for a long time, Runescape is still very famous, and it gets updates often to keep long-time fans happy and interested.
The game got its start before tank, DPS, and healing became popular MMO character archetypes, so it uses a rock-paper-scissors system in which melee beats range, range beats magic, and magic beats melee.
The game is mostly played by pointing and clicking, but there are also battles, social exchanges, quests, and minigames.
Runescape is easy to get into, and its casual style and old-school look might make you never want to stop playing.
13. Lord of the Rings Online
The Lord of the Rings Online is a good MMO if you want to play in a fantasy world with a lot of history and more than 15 years’ worth of material and support.
You make a character based on Tolkien’s hugely famous fantasy books and go on adventures that are similar to the ones in The Lord of the Rings books.
Major characters show up in the main storyline, but you can also go on a lot of smaller adventures in each of the game’s highly detailed and recognizable areas.
You can’t go wrong with this game if you want a friendly, free-to-play experience in a classic fantasy world with a fun story and things to do.
12. Destiny 2
You and your team play as Guardians, who are immortal warriors who move through the solar system to stop threats from other planets.
This sci-fi shooter has changed a lot since it came out in 2017. It is now free-to-play, the Destiny Content Vault has been added, and the number of planets has gone up.
Destiny 2 is one of the PC MMOs with the most action, so if you like Call of Duty, it might be your thing.
11. New World
The New World MMORPG from Amazon Game Studios is about the people who came to America and settled it. Players go to a mysterious land to find out what’s going on there.
Due to its setting in the 1600s, the world has unique weapons and styles. It also has a high-fantasy feel, which makes it a truly unique place to play.
You fight against NPC Humans who have been corrupted by the island of Aeternum’s mysterious, dark power source.
As you learn about the world’s history and lore, you can take part in dungeons, PvP content that pits 25 to 50 people against each other, and even a PvPvE mode where you fight for control by killing enemies and gathering resources for your team.
New World has a lot of skills related to both fighting and other parts of the game. This gives you a lot of freedom to try out different weapons and traits.
10. Fallout 76
There’s a good chance you’ll have to wait another 10 years to play Fallout 5, so why not fill the time until then with a walk through a wasteland that’s always online?
Since its release in 2018, Fallout 76 has been through a rough time, but Bethesda Game Studios has worked hard to give its smaller-scale MMORPG a new start on life.
The 2020 ‘Wastelanders’ update was a turning point for the post-apocalyptic open world of Appalachia. Now, we have a fun co-op action-RPG that can be easily played solo or with a group of friends.
9. Lost Ark
Lost Ark is a free-to-play MMORPG that was made by Smilegate and Amazon Games and will come out in 2020.
The game, on the other hand, has quickly become one of the most exciting ones on the market. Lost Ark is a great MMORPG that you won’t regret spending time on.
It has action combat and smooth growth systems, a lively fantasy world, and chaotic dungeons.
Even more amazing is the work Smilegate has done to keep adding new things to the endgame, so that both new and old players have plenty to see and do.
It’s not as polished as some of the older MMOs, but it’s definitely a breath of fresh air.
8. Black Desert Online
Pearl Abyss’ Black Desert is known throughout the MMO community as being arguably the best-looking MMORPG on the market.
That envelope was pushed even further in 2018, when Black Desert Remastered brought in even more visual fidelity and audio improvements.
Black Desert is truly open-world, giving you complete freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want.
The game’s story, while entertaining, is muddled and hard to follow – but the vast array of other features means that you’re never lacking for something to do.
That being said, the game is incredibly grindy, and casual players may often feel overwhelmed at just how much of one particular feature there is to get through.
With tons of life skills to pick up outside of typical combat, players can adopt the life of a farmer and hire workers to do all of the hard work, purchase properties, or fish, and become a merchant by transporting their goods through different trade routes to make that big sale.
Character customization in Black Desert is also limitless, letting you truly mold every aspect of your adventurer, even down to the texture and length of their hair.
New classes are regularly being released, too, with the latest arrival being that of the Maegu, a ranged, melee-based attacker that uses a Foxspirit Charm to attack her foes with.
Black Desert also gives away free goodies through the use of redeemable codes, meaning you can stockpile items to go toward
7. Star Wars: The Old Republic
Fans of Bioware games like the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises will feel right at home with this free-to-play MMO.
Featuring everything from romanceable companions, to fully-voiced NPCs (including your own character!) SWTOR provides RPG features that some of the other best MMORPGs on this list could only dream of.
Anyone looking for an immersive story set in space will love this as you explore the Galaxy, with interactive cutscenes and even decision-making.
Able to be fully played up to level 60 for free, and with the ability to also experience the first two expansions completely free, too, there’s a lot of content to get through before you’d even need to consider signing up to their subscription model. There are some restrictions of course, but despite that, there’s plenty to do.
With the game’s 8 classes, each one has a completely different storyline to explore, and it wouldn’t be a Star Wars game without the option to commit to either the Light Side or the Dark Side, complete with visual changes as you err closer and closer to either end of the spectrum.
6. Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 has always been in World of Warcraft’s shade, but after a decade of growth and change, it’s easy to see why ArenaNet’s MMORPG has stayed so popular.
Its design has a depth and scale that is still amazing to this day, whether you come for the living world that changes based on what you do or for the different story campaigns that will keep you busy for hours.
Guild Wars 2 is an MMO based on exploration and discovery, and it’s impressive that ArenaNet hasn’t let it fall apart under the weight of too much material.
This is a refined RPG that values your time, energy, and attention.
5. Eve Online
People often say that Eve Online is the most interesting MMORPG to read about but one of the most boring to play.
Most of what they say is nonsense, but they are right about one thing: Eve Online is without a doubt one of the most interesting video games ever made.
This is mostly because the community has been able to rally around the complicated sandbox of real-time space combat and stats management and grow within it. Eve Online can only be fully understood by playing it.
It has a player-driven economy, rulesets and faction hierarchies set by a real-life council of players, and battles that have led to some of the most amazing stories in gaming.
4. Old School RuneScape
Jagex continues to do great work in the MMO area, with Runescape 3 continuing to impress.
But that’s not the version we want to feature in our list of the best MMORPGs. Instead, we want to draw your attention to the giant that is Old School RuneScape.
If you have fond memories of putting off schoolwork and work to play the legendary MMO in a small browser window, then this is the version of RuneScape for you.
It’s basically a time capsule of the 2007 version of the game, though it continues to get key quality-of-life changes and new content patches chosen by the huge community of players who still gather around its servers.
3. The Elder Scrolls Online
The only MMO in the best-selling Elder Scrolls series comes from Zenimax Online.
Set a thousand years before Skyrim, ESO lets you visit beautiful places from the series’ history and take part in famous events.
You can visit the swamps and strange places in Morrowind, the sunny island of Summerset, and the snowy peaks of Skyrim.
Elder Scrolls Online is one of the best MMOs when it comes to the stories it tells. The characters are well-written and there is full voice acting.
2. World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is still the most popular type of MMORPG. When it came out in 2004, it changed how video games were made, and Blizzard has kept pushing the limits ever since.
World of Warcraft has been changing and growing for almost 20 years, so it’s only natural that some parts aren’t quite as smooth as they could be.
There’s also a tension between the need to attract new players and the need to keep old players who aren’t interested in World of Warcraft: Classic.
But WoW has an underlying brilliance that is hard to ignore, especially since Blizzard keeps adding new content and making important changes to the game’s quality of life.
1. Final Fantasy 14
How is it that World of Warcraft isn’t at the top of our list of the best MMORPGs to play in 2023? It’s very famous and has been around for a long time.
In reality, Square Enix has done an amazing job of making this experience better. It used to be dead on arrival, but now it’s one of the best MMOs on the market, a “realm reborn,” if you will.
Even though FF14 has a new way of putting together classes, great development pacing, and beautiful graphics, it’s the story mode that really makes it stand out.
Square Enix has kept adding large-scale adventures to this MMORPG, which is shown by the fact that four really great updates have been released.
If you want to play a new MMO this year or have been thinking about going back to Eorzea for a while, now is the best time to start Final Fantasy 14.