Long gone are the days when paid subscriptions were a necessity in order to play a good quality MMO. There is a lot of debate on how ethical developers are when offering free to play games, how much of the game are they holding back with add-ons being the big question. If we were to pay a set price then at least we would be able to enjoy all the game and not be left wondering what is left out without paying. That being said there are some wonderful games we can enjoy for free, still enjoy a decent and lengthy experience and not get too crushed without splashing out. Heres our top 5.
1. Planetside 2
The majority of MMOs are MMORPGs, so Planetside 2 is a breath of fresh air. It is a blend of an FPS and MMO and plays like Halo and Battlefield all rolled it to one massive, multiplayer nerdgasm. What impresses me most about Planetside 2 is the sheer scale of the game and the ambition of SoE. You think that 32 players battles are awesome on console? Try 2000 people at once all engaged in a three way battle set over massive continents. Gameplay-wise it does lend a lot from the console shooters we are used to and that is the great thing. The size of some of the battles is immense and with it being absolutely free to play means this is an obvious winner.
2. Everquest II
This game has clocked up some serious miles. Originally released in 2004 as a sequel to the 1999 original it has seen its rival come and go and remained a stalwart in the MMO field. It’s an immovable object for a reason, it has a loyal fanbase and improvements keep on coming. It’s pretty generic in terms of an MMORPG but we must realize that because of it’s age it was the trendsetter many have tried to emulate. Everquest 2 is basically Runescape for grown ups, go give it a try and get lost in it’s free vast lands.
3. Guild Wars 2
Ok, you do have to pay an initial fee but this is quite nominal for what you actually get and its included on this list because of the lack of a subscription fee. Guild Wars 2 is an MMORPG which separates itself from the competition by being so social and the limitations between classes and races are thrown aside here. It makes grinding up your level and attributes a much more enjoyable experience partly due to it’s great design and awe-inspiring attention to detail in the landscape. When I play Guild Wars I feel like I’m in a real world, with real other people. This game expresses that feeling more than any other.
4. Dungeons and Dragons Online
Some may frown at its inclusion, it has kind of got a bad rep with normal non-game playing weirdos. Its nerdy reputation should not discourage you because at its heart lies a very playable and enjoyable experience. This is included because even though it requires a lot of hard work it doesn’t feel laborious and the quests have a very intricate and relevant story behind them. It’s a game which will sit nicely with you regardless of whether or not you play the more traditional pen and paper version. If you enjoy dungeons, monsters and puzzles you need this in your life.
5. Age of Conan
Doesn’t bring much new to the party but is a change of pace from the traditional turn based combat we normally see in MMORPGs. It’s the innovative battle system which initially drew me in, that and the stunning visuals. It has one of the best soundtracks on any game I’ve ever played too and gives you a real sense of being transported away to another time and realm. Dark magic and brutal combat await you should you choose this enticing journey.