The best MMOs of 2021 to play. Which mmo to play

Planetside 2 is an FPS that focuses on massive wars between thousands of players. You can pilot ground and air vehicles or just run blindly with your assault rifle in battles for interplanetary supremacy.

Top 10 Best MMOs

When we look at video games that have truly stood the test of time, MMORPGs are always at the top of this list. The genre has been around for decades and many of its earliest titles, such as Everquest, are still playable today. So what’s the secret sauce that makes MMO games so popular and durable?

Overall, MMOs offer players a sense of freedom, giving them huge open worlds to explore, dozens of side activities to complete, spooky dungeons to conquer, and epic quests to complete – all accompanied by thousands, even millions, of other players.

These players can collaborate with you, work against you, or do both at different stages of your in-game journey. Best of all, these players can live anywhere in the world. With a few exceptions, the player base of the most popular modern MMOs spans many countries. You can hop onto the World of Warcraft Dungeon queue with players from Germany, Russia, Canada, and France without even realizing it!

However, it is impressive how many MMOs, like most other genres, have always been the survival of the fittest. Minor games have come and gone over the years, long forgotten. Others, on the other hand, have maintained their popularity thanks to great gameplay, unique features and frequent updates. To help you discover some of these games, we present our list of the Top 10 MMOs – in any order.

Watch the videos: You can also watch the video version of the Top 10 MMOs compiled by the TechSpot team. Check them out below on YouTube:

The Elder Scrolls Online

Similar: Tera, Black Desert Online, Guild Wars 2

Until Bethesda makes the Elder Scrolls game with proper co-op or one of Skyrim’s many multiplayer mods under development reaches the finish line, fans of the series have very few opportunities to explore the world of Tamriel with their friends. This is where The Elder Scrolls Online comes in.

ESO took off in a difficult state, but like many of today’s “live” games, the rebound was impressive. The combat system is completely action-based, and it mimics the traditional Elder Scrolls single-player combat fairly well (for an MMO). You only strike what you strive for, and you can block, dodge, and sneak just like in other Elder Scrolls games. All missions are fully voiced and you can make meaningful choices that can change their results. And with tons of expansions for the game, there’s tons of content to delve into, plus an ever-expanding map that one day hopes to cover all of Tamriel.

The Elder Scrolls Online also stands out from the crowd thanks to its free character development systems. You choose your class when creating your character, but this only dictates three of the skill trees available – all other powers at your disposal are unlocked through weapon or armor skills development and faction quests. Moreover, you can mix and match the equipment as you wish, often with great results: play the Sorcerer with a full plate and a great sword or throw lightning with a fancy staff as the Dragon Knight. You can even take your sadistic side and turn into a vampire or werewolf (or just break into someone’s house and steal anything that isn’t nailed down).

There are guilds you can join, houses to buy, and you can marry other players, although it doesn’t get much but gives both of them a bonus of XP when they play together. The game is free, as are many others on this list, so as always, you have nothing to lose by giving it a shot except for a decent chunk of hard drive space – ESO is a pretty hefty game.

Not only is Runescape free, but it is an MMO with a wealth of skills to get stuck in. I am talking about everything from fishing and farming to divination and dungeoneering. Each class has tremendous depth, with money to be earned in the market or by standing in banks and shouting “iron bars for sale.

Final Fantasy XIV

Image via Square Enix

Final Fantasy XIV had a breakthrough year in 2021, and subscriptions skyrocketed after it was hugely successful in the streaming realm. This year, the game was welcomed by a wider audience, mainly because of its distinct uniqueness. The biggest thing that sets Final Fantasy XIV apart from the rest of the MMO genre is the ability to change class on a whim. Alternate characters don’t need to experience every role the game offers. Additionally, thanks to the unparalleled narrative that puts the epic story of the game first, Final Fantasy XIV uniquely combines the intrigue of online multiplayer games with single-player role-playing games.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

Image from Blizzard Entertainment

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands continues to stand out as a genre-defining game, and is well worth a shot in 2021 if you’ve ever had an interest in the most popular MMO game of all time. If there’s one thing that sets modern WoW apart, it’s an endgame experience. High-level raids, dungeons, and PvP matches in WoW are polished, intuitive, and endlessly replayable.

What if myths, legends, and conspiracies weren’t fiction at all? Secret World Legends is just asking that. It is an action MMO game set in the modern world, except that this modern world is full of cults, zombies, ghosts, demons and terrible nightmares.

Star Trek Online

Miss Star Trek on TV? Star Trek Online can only tire you out until Discovery re-enters Paramount Plus. Each mission in this MMO game is like an episode of a series and each mission series is an arc, with the occasional filler episode.

Take a trip to Risa, visit the DS9 in Star Trek Online, land on planets and practice your diplomacy, or engage in fierce space battles against Cardassians, Romulans, Borg and anyone else who spoils. Space combat is tactical, real-time as it is crucial to position your ship to get the most out of your arc of destruction. In each mission that turns into combat, the game turns into a team-based third-person shooter as your skills replenish.

Despite its tough start, STO has grown into a massive, fascinating and free MMO game and one of the best space games ever; is often expanded with huge updates that add entirely new stories, and some time ago the neutral Romulan faction introduced unique missions and ships.

Speaking of ships, this is what distinguishes this game from other MMOs. Not only do you equip and develop the hero, you get the entire crew and spaceship to manage and customize.



Chances are good you’ve heard of one of the many tales of dark bastards that flowed from Eve’s New Eden. It is a game of heartless betrayal, mining, economy, more betrayal, more mining and the occasional battles of a thousand people.

Thanks to the CCP’s hands-free approach, the New Eden universe is one of the most player-driven MMOs there are. Wars last for weeks, if not months, in many systems. Years of conspiracy and sabotage to bring big corporations from within. Huge ship and cargo losses reported, some amounting to thousands of dollars in real value. As you can imagine, it’s not the easiest game to learn in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Our very own Eve Online beginner’s guide will show you how to position yourself in one of the best MMOs available.

The best MMO games - Rift

Rift led a wave of new MMOs early in the last decade and proved to be the most resilient of them. Not only does its original strengths persist – spontaneous events where large groups of players come together against the invasion, and a highly customizable class system – but the Rift has also evolved into one of the best MMORPGs in the last few years.

The Rift continues to be updated with seasonal events, adding delights like a cute mummified corgi companion for Halloween or Fae Yule during the holiday season. In one of the last events, players earn Chaos Shards by completing special daily tasks, and the Budgerigars make a triumphant return.

Free MMO games - Final Fantasy XIV

The story, which is a mixture of martial arts and magic, starts with your character who started out as a student before being thrown into the world of darkness as you try to avenge those who have been defeated.

Final Fantasy XIV Online

Final Fantasy XIV is an MMO game that has overcome adversity and challenge the domination of World of Warcraft. Following its rough launch, the FFXIV got its second life in 2012 with the release of A Realm Reborn. Now the MMO is on the rise, with a fantastic storyline, beautiful graphics, and all the aesthetic embellishments of the long-running Final Fantasy series. It’s a great “theme park” MMO alternative to Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. The base game FFXIV costs $ 19.99 and the monthly subscription starts at $ 12.99.

If you don’t want to follow the path of micropayments or deal with a monthly subscription, Guild Wars 2 might be an MMO for you. You pay a single entry price, which is currently $ 30 for the Standard Edition. With this one-time charge, you not only get a great PvE experience against elder dragons and vile ancient creatures, but also one of the better player-versus-player (PvP) MMOs. Deathmatch and goal-based PvP modes really underscore the excellent, action-focused combat in Guild Wars 2.

Lord of the Rings Online

If a dense fantasy world filled with nearly 15 years of content and support sounds like an MMO to you, take a look at The Lord of the Rings Online. Based on the hugely influential fantasy works of Tolkien, you create a character and experience adventures that run parallel to the events of the Lord of the Rings books.

Sure, the main characters and antagonists appear in the main storyline, but in each of the very detailed and iconic regions of the game, you can also enjoy many smaller adventures. If you want an enjoyable free experience in a classic fantasy world full of fun stories and activities to take, you can’t go wrong here.

tolkien’s Middle-earth world is the perfect setting for an MMO game. It has great characters, a huge world to explore, and everyone is always in a fight.

The Elder Scrolls Online

What is the payment model: It is free with micropayments.

If you can’t get enough of Skyrim or Oblivion, then I think you might like The Elder Scrolls Online. It combines many settings from different iterations of Bethesda’s single-player RPGs, allowing you to explore from Tamriel to the realm of Summerset high elves and the homeland of the Khajit, Elsweyr.

As if knowing its audience, tThe Elder Scrolls Online does a great job of balancing being an MMO and decent single-player gameplay. For those looking for solo or mass multiplayer gameplay, there’s no judgment here, and if anything, more and more offer more of the former. In addition, it upholds some Elder Scrolls rules such as the ability to pickpock each NPC.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

What’s the payment model: it’s free up to tier 60 with two extensions included. You can subscribe for around £ 9 a month to unlock the full experience.

One of the greatest strengths of Star Wars: The Old Republic is its storytelling. This is one of the few MMOs where character development is not just about increasing the number, but about the relationships you create with others. You can make friends and betray, murder or confess your immortal love to NPCs who are not just static quest givers.

Similar to ESO above, the makers of TOR know a lot of people come to it out of love for Knights Of The Old Republic, and when you get to the expansions, you are struck by this episodic structure that frankly feels more like a single player game than an MMO. You are thrown at your own instance and can make many tough decisions that will affect your story, no one else’s. It is definitely one of the best Star Wars games out there.

This one is slightly different from most of the others on the list as its RPG elements are wrapped tightly around weapons and futuristic artillery rather than swords and shields. But make no mistake, Warframe offers amazing character customization opportunities and enough stat management to compete with the best MMOs.

Black Desert

A screenshot of the Corsair class skills in Black Desert MMO

Black Desert has some of the deepest character customization options.

The Black Desert Pearl Abyss is known throughout the MMO community as possibly the best-looking MMORPG on the market. The envelope was pushed even further in 2018 when Black Desert Remastered brought even more visual and audio enhancements.

The Black Desert is a truly open world, giving you complete freedom to do what you want, when you want. The game’s story, while fun, is confusing and hard to follow – but the breadth of other features means you never miss something to do.

That being said, the game is incredibly grinded, and casual gamers can often feel overwhelmed by how much of one particular feature is to go through. Having tons of life skills to gain beyond the typical combat, players can embody the life of a farmer and hire workers to do all the hard work, buy real estate or fish and become a merchant by transporting their goods along various trade routes to make that big sale.

Character customization in Black Desert is also completely limitless, allowing you to really shape every aspect of your adventurer, even the texture and length of his hair.

Black Desert Online key features

  • In-game purchase model (with 30-day free trial period)
  • Available for PC / PlayStation / Xbox / iOS / Android
  • High-quality graphics that are unmatched in the genre
  • Robust character creation and customization
  • 23 activities to choose from (although some are gender-limited)
  • Unique shots of typical classes such as the shipping-based Corsair
  • Complete action-based combat based on your aiming skills
  • Major PvP battles
  • Activities such as agriculture, fishing, sailing and trade

Guild Wars 2

A large group of players fighting the enemy in Guild Wars 2 MMO

Guild Wars 2 is one of the friendliest random MMOs out there.

Released in 2012, Guild Wars 2 is one of the best MMOs available today. While those looking for MMORPGs with the best graphics may be disappointed, Guild Wars’ unique gameplay systems and storyline set it above the rest. The game is incredibly affordable, meaning you won’t be penalized for entering the game in 2022 as a new player or for returning to the game after a hiatus.

Character creation gives you a variety of choices that affect both small and large elements of the gameplay, from the starting armor to the way you learn the core content of the game. Choose to be raised to Nobility as a Human, or you passed out during the celebrations as a Norn (yes, that’s actually a choice!).

In addition to expansions, the game also publishes new content in the form of seasons called “Living World” – they add new quests, stories and areas to the game world. The vivid story of Season 1 was even temporary – meaning new players in today’s game are unable to experience it.

PvP in Guild Wars 2 is incredibly accessible, rewarding and fun to play. World vs World pits you and tons of players from your world against other opponents as you fight for your share of castles and stay in an endless loop.

The game’s combat and classes are top notch, with a strong emphasis on using the dodging mechanics to dance around your enemies and stay alive.

Guild Wars 2 key features

  • In-game purchase model (“base” content is also free!)
  • Fantastic story that unfolds through seasonal content in the form of “Living World’
  • Opportunity to be played by people who have less time to spend
  • Unique races such as the Sylvan “Sylvari’
  • Choose your character’s background through a series of questions and learn the content specific to those answers
  • Ability to collaborate with other players during the game without having to create teams in “Dynamic Events’
  • World vs World gameplay takes PvP even further, pitting hundreds of players against each other as they fight for control of the land
  • Extra open world content such as jumping puzzles to unlock achievements and rewards

What is the payment model: a lot of content is free. You can pay £ 5.25 per month for a 12-month membership which will unlock the entire world map, quests, and more.

Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC)

Believe it or not, The Old Republic has been alive and well all these years. Its developer organizes an in-game event every month and still boasts a healthy player population. However, things improved drastically when the game was launched on Steam in July, and it received a new influx of users.

Of course, it’s not quite as popular as Elder Scrolls Online or Final Fantasy XIV, but for Star Wars fans looking to scratch this role-playing game, there’s nothing quite like it. The game was made by BioWare, so you should already know what to expect – a deep role-playing game packed with complex dialogue options and a twisting narrative where nothing is as it seems.

Path of Exile (MacOS, PS4, Xbox One, Windows)

If the MMORPG and ARPG had offspring, Path of Exile comes out as a sequel to Diablo II that was worth the wait. Some of the talents that helped create the Diablo franchise helped develop Path of Exile.

You will find that the RPG experience is confirmed by the complexity of the skills offered. You can customize your character to the extreme, including unique attributes and various special skills.

It’s worth mentioning that Path of Exile offers some of the fiercest and vicious fights of all games on the market, and you’ll need to immerse yourself in it to develop your powers and improve your skills. Each of the seven character classes has different attributes as well as unique weapons and styles. You can choose a class when customizing your character.

Looting and getting the best weapons and armor to survive are essential parts of the Path of Exile. Looting is crucial to developing your skills as you level up.

You must find and collect skill gems to advance in PoE. Killing multitudes of enemies will help you increase your power.

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