Top 10 MMORPGs to Play Right Now in 2021

  • Post published:April 18, 2021
  • Post category:Articles

MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) is a video game genre combining aspects of MMOs (massively multiplayer online) and Role-Playing Games. MMORPGs are played online with a large number of people, often hundreds and thousands, on the same server. Usually, these games feature a massive open world with a fantasy or Sci-fi setting in which the player assumes the role of a character and takes control over many of that character’s actions.

Table of Content

  1. World of Warcraft​
  2. Destiny 2​
  3. Final Fantasy XIV​
  4. The Elder Scrolls Online​
  5. Old School Runescape​
  6. Black Desert Online
  7. Guild Wars 2
  8. Star Wars: The Old Republic​
  9. Warframe
  10. Neverwinter

MMORPGs are designed to be played for many years with new content being added regularly. Aside from PvE (Player vs Environment), PvP (Player vs Player) is also a very important aspect of an MMORPG. Solo, small group, and large group PvP battles are an important part of endgame mechanics that allows players to play the game long after completing the main campaign.

Here is our pick of the best MMORPGs that you can play right now.
Note: Active Player data has been taken from mmo-population.com

10. Neverwinter

Release Date: June 2013
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Price: Free to Play. 10$ for 1 month VIP membership. (Link)
Active Players in 2018: 120,313
Active Players in 2021: 163,697

Story & Setting: The game is based on the acclaimed Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) tabletop fantasy roleplaying game. It is based on the fictional Forgotten Realms city of Neverwinter from D&D. Players can become one of eight D&D character classes and form groups of up to five player characters. There are plenty of dungeons and monsters to battle through in the game. The main campaign takes around 55 hrs to beat.

Endgame:

  • Dungeons & Skirmishes: PvE instances which are balanced for groups of five characters, involving exploring some kind of structure and facing several bosses.
  • Epic Trails: PvE instances that are balanced for two groups of five characters to fight a Boss.
  • Heroic Encounters & Hunts
  • Guild Stronghold: Join a guild. Farming stronghold currency helps your guild obtain access to more powerful boons, consumables, and professional items.
  • Open world solo PvP
  • Domination: PvP 5 vs 5 match 
  • Gauntlgrym: PvP 10 vs 10 match
  • Strongholds: PvP 20 vs 20 match

Minimum System Requirement: Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz, 2 GB RAM, graphic card 512 MB (GeForce 8800 GT or better), Windows XP(SP3)/Vista(SP2)/7/8

9. Warframe

Release Date: March 2013
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Price: Free to Play (Link)
Active Players in 2018: Not Available (131,766 Peak Concurrent Players as per Steam Stats)
Active Players in 2020: Not Available (81,798 Peak Concurrent Players as per Steam Stats)

Story & Setting: Warframe is an MMO with RPG elements based in a future world in which players control members of the Tenno, a race of ancient warriors who have awoken from a century-long cryosleep. They find themselves at war with the Grineer, a matriarchal race of militarized and deteriorated human clones built upon metal. Tenno uses bio-mechanical suits, Warframes, which give them incredible offensive capabilities. Modification and development of weapons and armor are an important part of the gameplay. The main mission and endgame are intertwined in the game, you cannot just rush through the main campaign to reach the endgame. The main story campaign takes around 30 hrs to beat but there are plenty of side activities along with PvP & PvE aspects that will keep you hooked for years.

Endgame:

  • Sorties: Once a day set of missions
  • Arbitrations: Hourly missions
  • PvP Duels
  • Conclave: large scale PvP missions
  • Wide variety of PvE missions: Arena (Defeat particular number of enemies in the arena), Archwing (Combat in space), Empyrean (Combat enemy spacecraft), etc.
  • Try various available wireframes
  • Collect Cosmetics

Minimum System Requirement: Core 2 Duo 2 GHz, 2 GB RAM, graphic card 512 MB (GeForce 8800 GT or better), 2 GB HDD, Windows XP(SP3)/Vista/7/8, Internet connection

8. Star Wars: The Old Republic

Release Date: December 2011
Platform: PC
Price: Free Play base game and 2 Expansions. 14.99 $/ month subscription to access 3 more story expansions. Paying 1 monthly subscription will unlock the expansions for a lifetime. (Link)
Active Players in 2018: 159,148
Active Players in 2021: 422,413

Story & Setting: The game is based on Star Wars fictional universe shortly after the establishment of a tenuous peace between the re-emergent Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, more than 3,600 years before the events in the Star Wars films. In the game, players can choose to play as a Jedi or a Sith, but players may possess a morality at any point along the light/dark spectrum. Players can assume one of many races through their character, pilot spacecraft, visit multiple planets, utilize advanced in-game dialog options, recruit NPCs who’ll aid them in combat, and more. It is one of the most story-driven MMORPG in the market with around 150 hrs of the main campaign.

Endgame:

  • Flashpoints: Heavily scripted instanced areas where a group of up to four players will have to fight their way through waves of enemies in order to accomplish an objective and gain superior equipment and unlock achievements.
  • Operations & Uprisings (raids): Instanced areas where groups of players will have to fight their way through waves of enemies in order to accomplish an objective and gain superior equipment. The group consists of either 8 or 16 players.
  • Ranked and Unranked PvP
  • Warzones: PvP instances where two teams with 8 players fight each other. There are 8 different Warzone Maps in SWTOR.
  • Arenas: PvP instances where two teams with 4 players each fight each other. There are 5 different Arena maps.
  • Collecting Gears and decorations

Minimum System Requirement: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ 2.1 GHz, 3 GB RAM, graphic card 1 GB GeForce GT 610 / Radeon HD 7450 or better, Windows 7

7. Guild Wars 2

Release Date: August 2012
Platform: PC
Price: Free to Play Base Game, 2 Purchasable Expansions at 29.99$ (Link)
Active Players in 2018: 644,990
Active Players in 2020: 533,055

Story & Setting: Guild War 2 is set in the Fantasy world of Tyria in which elder dragons have woken up. Other races are taking control over large portions and the Human race is in decline. The game allows a player to create a character from a combination of five races and eight professions. Guild Wars 2 uses a skill-based combat system, whereby players must select only 10 skills from a much larger pool, introducing an element of strategy. The game has rich lore and will take around 130 hrs to beat the main campaign.

Endgame:

  • Raids & Strikes: 10 players squad-based PvE instances
  • Dungeons: Optional party-based PvE instances, each with its own story. There are currently nine dungeons.
  • Fractals: Special type of dungeon that consists of an array of mini-dungeons called fractals, where each fractal has its own story and environment.
  • Conquest: PvP instances in which players are placed in two teams, and must capture objectives and important locations
  • Team Deathmatch: PvP instance in which the objective is to defeat enemy players as quickly as possible.
  • Stronghold: Structured PvP with the goal to find and kill the enemy’s Lord in their stronghold
  • PvP tournaments and leagues
  • WvW (World vs World): Big battle with a combination of PvP/PvE game mode where players from three different worlds (which can involve 6+ servers) fight.
  • Getting Legendary Gear through raids or Legendary crafting (Fashion Wars)

Minimum System Requirement: Intel Core 2 Duo 2 GHz, 2 GB RAM, graphic card 256 MB GeForce 7800 or better, 25 GB HDD, Windows XP/Vista/7, Internet connection

6. Black Desert Online

Release Date: December 2014
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Price: 9.99$ for Base Game, 39.99$ for Base Game plus all expansions (Link)
Active Players in 2018: 418,866
Active Players in 2021: 891,579

Story & Setting: Black desert online has a high fantasy setting in which the story revolved around two rival nations. the game has arguably the most advanced character customization among the MMORPGs. Combat is fast-paced with manual aiming and free movements similar to third-person shooters. You’ll be fighting along with friends in a guild to siege nodes and region castles, hunting monsters and huge bosses, getting life skills such as fishing, trading, crafting, cooking, and much more. The main campaign will take around 90 hrs to complete.

Endgame:

  • Guild wars: PvP instance in which two guilds go to war (consensually or non-consensual) , paying a set amount of silver from the guild bank to fund the war.
  • Sieges:  Guild versus all other guilds PvP, participating in the attempt to occupy a major city, castle, town, or node. 
  • Town Arenas: Used for dueling, practice combat, and small scale friendly skirmishes
  • PvP tournaments
  • Rob caravans of other players
  • Dark Rift: PvE instance where you fight bosses.
  • Level up Gears and skills

Minimum System Requirement: Intel Core i3-530 2.9 GHz, 4 GB RAM, graphic card 512 MB GeForce 9800/Radeon HD 6770 or better, Windows 7/8 64-bit

5. Old School Runescape

Release Date: PC (February 2013), Mobile (October 2018)
Platform: PC, Mobile
Price: Free to Play, 10.99$/month membership to access a much larger map and a multitude of skills, items, quests, and activities that are unavailable to free-to-play users (Link)
Active Players in 2018: 1,152,952
Active Players in 2021: 1,994,217

Story & Setting: Graphics may create doubt in your mind but once you see past that Old School Runescape is a great MMORPG as evident from its huge active player base. Runescape is set in a fictional medieval fantasy realm divided into kingdoms, regions, and cities. RuneScape does not follow a linear storyline; rather, players set their own goals and objectives. Players can choose to fight monsters, complete quests, or increase their experience in the available skills. Players interact with each other through trading, chatting, or by participating in mini-games and activities, some of which are competitive or combative in nature, while others require cooperative or collaborative play. 

Endgame:

  • Solo Bosses
  • God Wars Dungeon: Group activity in which you’ve to fight many big bosses
  • Raids: High-level group activity in which players have to make it to the end of a set number of encounters, where they fight an extremely powerful boss.
  • Pet hunting
  • Inferno: A solo PvE Minigame in which the player has to survive 69 waves of enemies.
  • Variety of PvP Modes: Solo, Clan Wars, Castle Wars, Battle Royale

Minimum System Requirement: 1.5 GHz Processor, 256 MB RAM, 128 MB 3D Graphics Card

4. The Elder Scrolls Online

Release Date: April 2014
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Price: Base Game (19.99 $), Base Game+All Story Expansions (59.99 $), 14.99$/month to gain access to DLC Packs that gives access to additional dungeons, zones & game modes with faster progression (Link)
Active Players in 2018: 461,185
Active Players in 2021: 994,702

Story & Setting: The Elder Scrolls Onlive is set in the fictional world of Tamriel set 1000 years before the events of the best-selling RPG, Skyrim. The player can choose to be part of any one of the three factions, whose ultimate goal is to conquer the empire’s capital. Players also get to choose from 10 races and 6 classes. Combat and core game mechanics are similar to the single-player installments of the series, which makes it perfect for those who have never played any MMORPG and are worried to make the transition. The game starts with the Elder Scrolls tradition of a player being a prisoner. The main campaign takes around 100 hrs to beat.

Endgame:

  • Trails (Raids): Repeatable PvE quests. There are 6 Trails for a group of 12 players.
  • Collecting Achievements titles and skins.
  • Dragonstar Arena: 4-player PvE instance. You and three other players face off in an arena with 9 different stages and a final boss.
  • Maelstrom Arena: Solo PvE instance similar to Dragonstar Arena, where you face through 9 different stages
  • Undaunted Pledges: Repeatable group dungeon quests.
  • The Alliance War: Players can access the Cyrodiil area and engage in solo/duo, small group, and large group PvP and compete for special rewards and titles, as well as temporary bonuses.

Minimum System Requirement: Intel Core i3-540 3.06 GHz / AMD A6-3620 2.2 GHz, 3 GB RAM, graphic card 1 GB GeForce GTX 460 / Radeon HD 6850 or better, 85 GB HDD, Windows 7 64-bit

3. Final Fantasy XIV

Release Date: August 2013
Platform: PlayStation 4, PC
Price: Base Game + All 3 Expansions (59.99$). In addition, a $14.99 monthly subscription is required (Link)
Active Players in 2018: 925,212
Active Players in 2021: 2,297,506

Story & Setting: Final Fantasy XIV has the deepest stories among the MMOs with around 200 hrs long main campaign with very rich lore to explore. Set in the fictional land of Eorzea the game feature a wide variety of climate and biomes. After character creation, the game starts from one of the three cities based on the class chosen by the player, which cannot be changed until chapter 10. Typical gameplay includes completing quests, exploring instanced dungeons, participating in Full Active Time Events (FATE), and slaying monsters that exist in the game world.

Endgame:

  • Wolves’ Den: Structured PvP 4 vs 4 Arena Battles
  • Frontlines: Strategic PvP 24 vs 24 battles
  • Large scale battles of up to 72 players
  • Rival Wings: Pvp battle arena mode where players manipulate minion waves and pilot mechs to destroy enemy objectives
  • Dungeons: PvE instance teeming with bosses and enemies fought by a party of 4
  • Raids: 8 or 24 players PvE activity in which players will be tasked with proceeding through the area whilst completing various objectives.
  • Trials: High intensity 8 player cooperative battles against a Boss
  • FATEs: Dynamic events with the objective to kill mobs or collect a certain item
  • Clan Hunt: Its a form of bounty hunting
  • The story is the main selling point in FFXIV, so the developers put the story almost everywhere as a reward for completing each content.
  • Housing: Housing in FFXIV is a big thing with at least 1,500 furnishing options in the game.
  • Fashion Wars: The game has a huge collection of 1,000+ clothing and accessories pieces.
  • Triple Triad and the Gold Saucer Mini Games. Every week you can join the Triple Triad tournament in the Battle Halls where you can play with other players, get ranked, and earn a bonus card.
  • Collecting Mounts

Minimum System Requirement: Intel Core i5 2.4 GHz, 3 GB RAM, graphic card 2 GB GeForce GTX 750 / Radeon R7 260X or better, 60 GB HDD, Windows 7/8.1/10

2. Destiny 2

Release Date: September 2017
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Price: Free to play Base game and Year 1 content. 74.97 $ to access year 2 & 3 Content (Link)
Active Players in 2018: Not Available
Active Players in 2021: 907,883

Story & Setting: Destiny 2 is an MMO with RPG Elements set in a futuristic world where humanity’s last safe city has fallen to the evil Red Legion and survivors have been forced to flee. You will venture to mysterious, unexplored worlds of our solar system to discover an arsenal of weapons and devastating new combat abilities. To defeat the Red Legion you must reunite humanity’s scattered heroes, stand together, and fight back to reclaim your home. The main campaign including the three expansions will take around 75 hrs to beat.

Endgame:

  • Rumble (PvP): six-player free-for-all. The first person to get 20 kills wins.
  • Clash (PvP): Two teams of up to 6 players compete for most kills.
  • Breakthrough (PvP): 2 teams of 4 players each compete to capture a designated point on the map
  • Control (PvP): 6v6 king of the hill. Claim and hold 3 zones.
  • Countdown (PvP): Two teams play series of rounds take turns alternating between attacking and defending.
  • Elimination (PvP): 2 teams of  3v3 fight each other. The team that survives win.
  • Supremacy (PvP): 6v6 instance in which killed opponents drop crests that you have to collect.
  • Survival (PvP): 3v3 Clash with limited lives. Your goal is to run the enemy team out of lives and eliminate them.
  • Strikes (PvE): Strikes in Destiny are specialized fire-team missions that revolve around a group of players clearing an environment that culminates with a boss battle, similar to a dungeon.
  • Bounty Hunting (PvE)
  • Nightmare Hunt (PvE): Mode in which players will take on old Destiny bosses that have been resurrected by the Hive on the Moon in Shadowkeep.
  • Raids (PvE): It’s a complex 6 player team cooperative instance where the goal is to explore and clear large areas complete with bosses and puzzles.
  • Gambit: Combination of PvE and PvP in which two teams of four players per side compete against one another while also taking on computer-controlled enemies

Minimum System Requirement: Intel Core i3-3250 3.5 GHz / AMD FX-4350 4.2 GHz, 6 GB RAM, graphic card 2 GB GeForce GTX 660 / Radeon HD 7850 or better, 105 GB HDD, Windows 7/8.1/10 64-bit

1. World of Warcraft

Release Date: November 2004
Platform: PC
Price: Subscription fee of $14.99/month. The latest expansion ‘Battle for Azeroth’ needs to be purchased separately at a one time cost of 49.99$ (Link)
Active Players in 2018: 3,153,806
Active Players in 2021: 3,240,714

Story & Setting: World of Warcraft is the Crown Jewel of MMORPGs with unparalleled longevity and an active player base. The game is set in fantasy Warcraft Universe consisting of steampunk and Sci-Fi elements. The game contains dragons, elves, and similar fantasy elements along with steam-powered automata, time travel, spaceships, and alien worlds. 

While creating character players must choose between the opposing factions of the Alliance or the Horde. The player also has to select a race based on the faction they have chosen, such as orcs or trolls for the Horde, or humans or dwarves for the Alliance. Places also have to select from 12 unique classes, most classes being limited to particular races. The main campaign will take around 110 hrs to complete but the game offers enough content to keep you holding long after that.

Endgame:

  • Dueling (PvP): One versus one combat in a controlled environment. 
  • Arena PvP System – Matches that take place in instanced controlled environments between players of the same faction as well as the opposing. Available in 2v2, 3v3, and 5v5 formats. 
  • Battlegrounds (PvP): Horde versus Alliance combat in a competitive environment
  • Dungeons & Heroic (PvE): 5 man instances 
  • Raids (PvE): The most challenging PvE experiences in the game, with up to 25 players facing off against mighty adversaries
  • Build Reputation with in-game factions for unique rewards
  • Wide variety of daily quests
  • Improve existing gears
  • Mastering or picking up new professions to possibly expand one’s role in the real economy
  • Collecting Mounts
  • Collecting Battle pets

Minimum System Requirement: Intel Core i5-760 2.8 GHz / AMD FX-8100 2.8 GHz, 4 GB RAM, graphic card 2 GB GeForce GTX 560 / Radeon HD 7850 or better, 70 GB HDD, Windows 7 64-bit

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