Best Free MMORPG Games 2020
So your life was smacked around by the Pandemic and you have found yourself with more free time than you are used to.
Another version is that you are one of the many brave front line workers who just finished another long and tiring shift helping out your fellow humans.
Either way you may find yourself wanting to escape the madness of this world and escape into that of another. (Who thought escaping into a virtual world torn apart by war would be a better alternative to the crazy of 2020?
Now with the state of the genre being what it is it may be a list that looks a bit similar to many peoples list from the prior few years.
There is not much we can do about that but what we can do is point you in a direction to let you either discover or rediscover a world to inhabit that is a bit less crazy than our own.
So without further ado, let us begin.
Final Fantasy XIV
This is perhaps the best PvE option not only on the list but perhaps on the market. After a rocky start that required a full reboot of the game Final Fantasy XIV has become one of the best MMORPGs on the market.
FF14 recently made all content to level 60 free to play. That, my friends, is a lot of content. All of the content in the game up through Heavensward. This also includes the Dark Knight/ Astrologian/ Machinist. There is obviously free to play restrictions like joining a Free Company or using the auction house but if you just want to sit back and enjoy a beautiful world and a great story with a free to play MMORPG this is a really good game to do it with.
What it did do though was create a fairly unique world and provided MMORPG players with a fairly large and robust world in which to play in. On top of that the game features public quests in the shape of ‘Rifts’ and a multiclass system that allows for a wide range of freedom in character builds.
Odd monetization aside, Rift still provides a large amount of content for free to all players. With so many options with classes and many varied activities, Rift may just be a game you overlooked and need to discover again.
Everquest 2 had the unfortunate task of launching with in World of Warcraft’s large and all encompassing shadow. Even if it launched a few weeks before WOW the ability to climb out from under the weight of it’s competitor was too much for it to garner the attention some feel it deserved. At launch the game took a decidedly different approach to it’s older sibling Everquest and focused almost completely on the Quest part of it’s name. What they created was a huge world full of amazing content that was held back by ‘weird’ graphics and technical mistakes. When it ran it was a fun game that provided a wealth of content for the MMORPG player.
Today the game is still going and still churning out content for it’s loyal player base. The entire base game is open to all and if you are looking for MMORPGs that provide a ton of content, has rich history and is F2P you would be hard pressed to find a better option than Everquest 2.
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 1 was and is a favorite co-op online roleplaying game for many a fan. Guild Wars 2 went a different direction than the first game in the series and created a full MMORPG game. What we see in 2020 from the game is a huge portion of the game and world free to play for all players. With public quests and a unique take on a fantasy world the game oozes personality and character. The game has struggled at times with content releases but for what is available for players, who have little to no experience with the game, a massive amount of content is there to play and discover. Plus if you do decide to purchase the expansion Path of Fire, to add to your experience, they will throw in Heart of Thorns for free. With the game being Buy to Play with no sub cost this is a great deal for an MMORPG game in 2020.
When we think of a free MMORPG we usually leave out a game that we think is a pretty good one. Albion Online is a game of guild wars and crafting and conquest. With a tiered system for crafting and zones, a player driven economy and a flexible class system, the game provides a deceptively large world with a ton of content to explore. This is a game that is best played with others but even the solo MMORPG player can enjoy the charming world and fun crafting. Sandbox games are rarely new player friendly, sorry Wurm Online, but with Albion Online that is not the case. The game eases you into it’s world with a slight hand and then lets you forge your path from there. If you have never played the game and enjoy PvP and/or a sandbox MMORPG give Albion a try.
Few games have the loyalty or the longevity of Runescape. They practically invented the free to play MMORPG. Since 2001 Runescape has been entertaining millions of fans.
Through the years the game has added more content for free than most MMORPGs ever see in their lifetimes. Runescape’s quests are legendary within the genre. Many MMORPG developers have credited Runescape as a major influence to their own work. Regardless of which version you play old-school or new school the game is a treasure trove of content just waiting to be plundered. Do yourself a favor if you always dismissed this game. Go play it…..now.
Lord of the Rings Online
Lord of the Rings Online is a free to play MMORPG game that never fully lived up to it’s potential. Considering they are sitting on one of the most valuable fantasy IPs ever created, you would think the game would have been the WOW killer that many had thought. What it is, instead, is a charming game that prides itself on a strong community, quality of life (additions that should be copied in other games) and a crafted world that feels alive even to this day.
What the game lacks in ‘punch’ it makes up for in character. From the interesting crafting systems (farming anyone?) to playing in a band LOTRO just may be the best PvE MMORPG for roleplayers.
The game is a free to play MMORPG that provides hundreds of hours of content for all players.
Dungeon and Dragons Online
Some would question whether DDO is actually an MMORPG. If it is not then it earns it’s place on this list for the simple reason that it creates the feel of the old pen and paper games that inspired the genre to begin with. Few games have the ambiance to match Dungeon and Dragons Online. From the dungeon master who narrates the experience to the creepy look and sounds of the crypts and dungeons, the game oozes atmosphere. Best played with a friend (or two) this game unfortunately has gone under the radar for many a gamer. With a ton of content made free to all just recently this is the perfect time to grab the 20-sided and delve deep.
Eve Online is an enigma. What it is, is just as important as what it isn’t. It isn’t a fantasy. There are no dragons. Yet it is a virtual world. Perhaps the best one on the market.
What they have accomplished in making the game is a stunning achievement that to this day, the game released in 2003, has not been duplicated.
The depth and complexity of the game is known through the industry of gaming, not just the MMORPG genre. Eve Online allows players to live the life they have always wanted to with very few restrictions.
If you have the time give it a go.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars fans may have had higher hopes for SWTOR than even Lord of the Rings Online or Dungeons and Dragons Online fans. With so many Star Wars fans in the world ( not to mention online) plus the legendary Bioware behind the creation of the game many gamers were expecting the next great MMORPG that may even move the genre forward in exciting and new directions.
What the world got was……a decent game? The ability to match the hype surrounding the game proved too much for the team at Bioware. The game was decidedly average on many fronts and subpar in others. What they did get right was the class story lines. It is a high budget well made game that deserves attention after all the time the team has had to work on it and add content.
It may not be the game you are looking for (SWG fans) but it is still worth playing through if you never have. It is free to do so after all.
The grandfather of the Western MMORPG. It is still around over 20 years later and is still going strong. The team just released Treasures of Orcish Kin which is a dynamic treasure system. The amount of content in this game is unmatched in the genre. Period. The freedom is overwhelming. The joy is free to experience. This is the game that should have been copied more than Everquest. (Don’t hate, just our opinion)
No game provides more for the money (free) than any other virtual world out there. Yes there is a sub. Yes if you like the game you should sub to it. Yet even with a free account the staggering amount of content will keep you busy for a long long time.
So we have a list. Is it a good list? Maybe. Is it a familiar list? Yes. That is the issue with the genre. Many of the games on this list were once subscription only games. Some or all still do have an optional sub. Yet as the market has shifted, the genre of the MMORPG has shifted with it. For now, these are the best that we recommend.
What are yout thoughts? Any game that you enjoy or suggest that you think the community should know about?