Massively multiplayer online role-playing games, better known as MMORPGs, is a genre of video games that gives players the opportunity to traverse vast virtual worlds in a customizable avatar and interact with thousands of other players with whom they can take down gargantuan mobs in PvE modes or put their skills to the test against each other in PvP modes. There are a bunch of really great MMORPGs that you can play, but in case you’ve never tried one before, it would be best for you to try a free one first before moving onto even better paid ones. So, if you’ve been meaning to try an MMORPG and don’t know which one to start with, here are some of the best free MMORPGs that you should try:

Note: The games on this list are not arranged in any specific order because even though they’re all free MMORPGs, each of them offers something a little different than the rest.

Best Free MMORPGs You Should Try (2020)

1. World of Warcraft

I know what you’re thinking, World of Warcraft isn’t a free MMORPG, so why is it on the list? Well, even though the game isn’t free to play in its entirety, you can play the first 20 levels for free and when it comes to World of Warcraft, 20 levels mean a lot of play time. That is why we’ve included it on the list.

World of Warcraft

For those of you who aren’t familiar with World of Warcraft, it’s a game that is synonymous with the MMORPG genre and offers players a vast, ever expanding universe, full of content that you can explore. The game allows you to experience all elements of a good MMORPG, including character customization, a persistent open world, an engrossing storyline and massive raids. If you haven’t played World of Warcraft before, I would suggest you to get on it ASAP. This game isn’t one worth missing.

  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS
  • Pricing model: Free for the first 20 levels; requires monthly subscription thereafter
  • Download World of Warcraft

2. Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 is another free MMORPG that you can begin your MMORPG journey with, offering a unique storyline that evolves depending on the decisions you make in the game, something that you won’t find in most other games in the genre. The game includes all the quintessential features that you’d find in other MMORPGs, including character customization, an expansive crafting system, along with some great PvP and PvP elements.

Guild Wars 2

Set in the fantasy world of Tyria, the game offers players a massive persistent world which they can explore by their lonesome or with a couple of their friends. Along with that, Guild Wars 2 also has a number of different instanced environments that are crucial to the main storyline. Compared to World of Warcraft, which may seem like a grind at times, levelling up in Guild Wars 2 is much more fun thanks to the dynamic action-based mechanic. The game is a must have for anyone who doesn’t like the monotony of levelling up in other MMORPGs.

  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS
  • Pricing model: Free-to-play with in-game purchases and paid DLCs
  • Download Guild Wars 2

3. Star Wars: The Old Republic

If you’re a Star Wars fan, then you should definitely give Star Wars: The Old Republic a shot. The game is based in the expansive Star Wars universe, offering players a different puzzle-like combat mechanism that differentiates it from other MMORPGs. Much like Guild Wars 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic also offers player-choice driven progression and along with that, a social gameplay factor that serves to bring players together in the virtual universe.

Star Wars The Old Republic

Players also have the opportunity to explore the game as a single-player quest in its entirety, which is a great option for players who don’t want to depend on other players to progress in game. This overcomes an issue that most new MMO players face as they aren’t able to complete certain quests/raids without the help of other players levelling up along with them.

4. MapleStory 2

MapleStory 2 is another great MMORPG that differentiates itself from other games in the genre with its unique low-poly graphics and colorful design scheme. As with most other MMORPGs, MapleStory 2 also allows players to venture out into a vast open world with their customized characters and interact with other players from all around the world.

MapleStory 2

On top of that, the game also offers players a ton of different mini-games, some of which are developed by other players using the in-game editor, which really sets it apart from other games on this list. And even though the game might look cartoonish, MapleStory 2 has a rather interesting storyline which will take you on an epic adventure full of epic boss battles, a variety of side quests and a crafting system that plays a crucial part in the overall progression.

5. Star Conflict

If space exploration is your jam, then you should try out Star Conflict – a free MMORPG that puts players in the role of an elite space pilot who’s on a quest to locate and find alien treasures scattered throughout its expansive universe. In Star Conflict, your main aim is to collect a variety of different space ships, ranging from swift fighters to massive ones akin to floating satellites.

Star Conflict

The game’s PvE quest line takes you on a variety of different quests and raids, in which you have to face alien squadrons or space pirates, while PvP remains a constant threat while you’re floating around in your space ship in the vast emptiness of outer space. The game also offers a variety of different customizations that are organized in a tech tree and includes a variety of weapon types or ship modules that you can use to upgrade your space ship. Another great thing about Star Conflict is that it comes with Oculus Rift support, allowing players to experience the game in VR.

  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS
  • Pricing model: Free-to-play with paid DLCs
  • Download Star Conflict

6. DC Universe Online

Fans of the DC universe should definitely check out DC Universe Online – a free MMORPG that allows you to create your own superhero, with custom abilities, and play alongside other legendary heroes from the DC multiverse, including Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman.

DC Universe Online

The game features a unique tab-targeting system for combat that differentiates it from other games on this list and plays a major role in making the game more player friendly. Furthermore, DC Universe Online has a very engrossing storyline, cool collectible gear, and leveling options that allow players the freedom to choose how they want to progress in game.

  • Supported platforms: Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Pricing model: Free-to-play with paid DLCs
  • Download DC Universe Online

7. Lord of the Rings Online

Medieval fantasy lovers and fans of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Universe should definitely try out The Lord of the Rings Online – an MMORPG based in the impeccably detailed LOTR universe. The game takes players on an adventurous journey across Middle earth, in which they fight alongside familiar characters from the books and explore locations made popular by the movie franchise.

Lord of the Rings Online

When it comes to the gameplay, Lord of the Rings Online is much like any other MMORPG on this list, save for one small exception. In LOTR Online, all characters in the game are on the same side, meaning there aren’t any large scale PvP opportunities. Instead, the game offers a Monster Play mode in which players can create a monster at level ten and battle other players in the Ettenmoor region.

8. Blade & Soul

A Korean fantasy martial arts MMORPG – Blade & Soul differentiates itself from other games on this list with its unique combat mechanics. The game’s martial arts approach to combat makes it far more challenging than any other game on this list, requiring players to stay on their toes at all times, blocking, countering and executing combo chains to take down enemies.

Blade and Soul

The game offers players four unique races and ten classes to choose from, which will allow you to completely customize your character according to your play style. Blade & Soul also has a variety of PvE dungeons which require you to team up with other players to take down bosses and it even has PvP skirmishes in which you can test out your combat skills against other players. Try out Blade & Soul for a unique MMORPG experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

  • Supported platforms: Windows
  • Pricing model: Free-to-play with optional premium subscription model
  • Download Blade & Soul

9. Eve Online

Eve Online is another great MMORPG that will interest those of you who have a liking for space exploration titles. The game is based in a futuristic space age setting, allowing players to choose from four different races and design their characters from the ground up, thanks to the game’s in-depth body and head sculpting character creator.

Eve Online

It’s worth noting, however, that Eve Online is a painfully slow game which will require you to devote a lot of time at first to get to the intense action in the later stages. This might turn off players who are accustomed to games that offer instant gratification. Mining and crafting in the game are slow processes, so unless you’re ready to invest a lot of time in a single game, I’d suggest you to stay away. If you do manage to stick around, the game will reward you with some epic space battles that are worth the wait.

  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
  • Pricing model: Free-to-play with optional premium subscription model
  • Download Eve Online

10. Neverwinter

Fans of Dungeons and Dragons, the original role-playing board game that set the scene for most modern MMORPGs, is the inspiration for Neverwinter – a game based in the fictional Forgotten Realms city of Neverwinter. Much like other MMORPGs, the game allows players to choose from one of eight different character classes, with the gameplay based on a modified version of the 4th edition rules set for D&D.

Neverwinter

Neverwinter’s Foundry feature is its most unique aspect, allowing players to create their own custom stories and quests in the game. On the downside, however, the game doesn’t feature any zones with a large number of people playing together, depending on story-based progression for the same, which doesn’t bring players together as often as other MMOs. While this might put off some players, it might also appeal to players who don’t enjoy this aspect of other MMORPGs.

  • Supported platforms: Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Pricing model: Free-to-play with in-game purchases
  • Download Neverwinter

11. Dungeons and Dragons Online

Dungeons and Dragons is also available as a free MMORPG called Dungeons and Dragons Online which is based on the revised rule-set fashion introduced by Dungeons and Dragons 3.5. Unlike the table-top version of the game, which relies on a turn-based combat system, D&D Online features a real time combat system that is far more immersive.

Dungeons and Dragons Online

Progression in D&D Online is quite like other MMORPGs on this list and requires players to embark on quests to level up and skill their customized characters. What differentiates D&D Online from other MMOs, however, is its healing mechanic that requires players to visit specific locations to heal up their characters, instead of their characters healing up automatically over time.

12. Skyforge

A common theme you’d find across all MMORPGs on this list is that they aren’t all that pretty to look at, with Skyforge being a pleasant exception. The game is based on a sci-fi fantasy themed planet called Aelion which looks quite impressive, especially considering the fact that it’s completely free. But that’s not all that Skyforge has to offer.

Skyforge

Unlike other free MMORPGs on this list, which have a varied but rigid gameplay, Skyforge is a bit more fluid. The game doesn’t lock players to a particular class, allowing them to switch between classes in an instant and opening up all the different combat styles that promotes experimentation and mastery. So while you might have to make a completely new character to try out a different class in most other games, in Skyforge you can do that on the fly.

  • Supported platforms: Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Pricing model: Free-to-play with paid DLCs
  • Download Skyforge

13. Star Trek Online

Based on the popular television and film franchise, Star Trek Online is a good MMORPG for beginners thanks to its unique and varied gameplay. Unlike other MMORPGs on this list, Star Trek Online features some elements you’d more commonly find in third-person shooters and space exploration simulators, which really adds on to the immersive experience.

Star Trek Online

The game even features a variety of familiar elements from the television and film franchise, which will definitely appeal to fans. Furthermore, the game receives new content quite frequently, meaning that you’ll always have something new to check out in game. Star Trek Online is a must try for all players who want an MMO experience that isn’t limited to the tenets of the genre.

14. Rift

Rift is another great MMO that packs in all the elements of a successful RPG with a unique twist. For instance, leveling skills in game has been divided into three skill trees or souls, giving players the option to choose which skill they want to level up and specialize in.

Rift

Death of NPCs and quest-givers is another interesting tactic in the game, something that’s also found in some areas in Warcraft, which has a significant impact on the way you play and how the story progresses in game. Try out Rift is you’re looking for a free MMORPG that offers an authentic MMO experience with a subtle twist.

  • Supported platforms: Windows
  • Pricing model: Free-to-play with in-game purchases and an optional subscription model
  • Download Rift

15. Runescape

Rounding off the list is Runescape, an evergreen MMORPG that is one of the most updated and popular games on the planet. Boasting of over 250 million accounts, Runescape offers players an opportunity to indulge in all aspects on an RPG, with some subtle differences that set it apart.

Runescape

For example, Runescape takes a very open-ended approach to the traditional questing model adopted by other MMORPGs, which means that instead of having a linear storyline, the game offers players the freedom to choose their own path to progress in game. On top of that, Runescape also allows players to specialize in skills, which means that everyone gets the opportunity to pick up something they like and play in accordance with their skill progression.

  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Web
  • Pricing model: Free-to-play with an optional subscription model
  • Download Runescape

16. Defiance 2050

If a massive co-operative online shooting game excites you to the core, chances “Defiance 2050” can win you over in the very first round. What gives this game an edge over several online shooting games is the solid collection of fully customizable weapons. So, it doesn’t matter what sort of weapons you like to use to destroy your enemies, it has got enough variety to live up to your billing. And with several challenging missions at the disposal, this fast-paced shooter combat game can keep you hooked for hours of a shooting spree.

Defiance 2050

Along the way, you can also explore the amazing world and collect unique items to stay ahead of your rivals. Beyond gaming, I find Defiance 2050’s graphics pleasing to the eyes. Despite being on the heavier side, it runs quite smoothly. As for pricing, the game lets you go for a shooting spree for free. However, you will have to shell out a few bucks if you want to take all the goodies for a ride.

  • Supported platforms: Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
  • Pricing model: Free, in-app purchases available 
  • Download Defiance 2050

17. TERA

There are very few games that feature as dynamic a combat system as TERA. So, if you are hunting for a game with an adrenaline-fuelling combat system, it can just be the answer to your needs. With diverse characters, the game offers you enough flexibility to choose the sort of character that fits your combat style. From the mighty Amani to the fascinating Popori, the game has got enough variety to appeal to your taste. Not to mention, it’s also up to the task when it comes to graphics. And with a futuristic world to explore, you will never get tired going after your enemies or showcasing your heroics.

Tera

But what has called for my attention in this game is the option to indulge in a myriad of fleet-footed maneuvers which bring a lot of fun into the play. Not just that, I have also liked the group dungeons and eliminating the big-ass monsters. Things like open-world PvP and in-game elections ensure the gameplay remains exciting. On top of all, the addition of red refuge, guild-versus-guild combat, and all-new leaderboards in the latest iteration have further enhanced its reputation as gaming colossal.

  • Supported platforms: Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
  • Pricing model: Free, in-app purchases available 
  • Download TERA

18. ArcheAge

Developed by Korean developer Jake Song, ArcheAge is one of the best fantasy sandbox MMORPGs out there. And, should you wish to go for an epic battle wrapped into a fascinating story, it can be a great contender. As for the gameplay, it has a zoneless world with first and third-person views. Apart from some traditional combat settings, the game also features naval combat where players can engage in the nerve-wracking sea-land battles or secure trade routes.

ArcheAge

As a player, you are tasked to build massive ships and fully equip them with advanced weapons. Depending on your wish, you can choose to fight with other players or sea monsters. Since players can freely attack their rivals, you’ve got to be very cautious and move ahead with the killer strategy. Also, never fail to make the most of the “Bloodlust” mode that can turn the game on its head in a flash.

  • Supported platforms: Windows 
  • Pricing model: Free, in-app purchases available 
  • Download ArcheAge

19. Aion Online

What stands Aion apart from other MMORPGs is the unique combo of PvP and PvE which NCSOFT calls PvPE. Probably the most fascinating part of this role-playing game is the fantasy-driven environment. The PvPE gameplay is set around the battles within the Abyss and Balaurea (aka PvP zones). Inside these zones exist mighty fortresses which you can control by showcasing your valor. Aion features six subclasses and eleven main classes. To get started, you have to choose from one of the primary classes such as the scout, priest, muse, mage, warrior, and technist.

Aion

Moreover, the game offers three types of quests: ordinary quests, campaign quests, and work orders. In the ordinary quests, you will need to complete a certain task to grab rewards. While the campaign quests are geared for a story and play a vital role in player progression, the work orders are key for enhancing skill in a chosen profession. Based on your performance, the game will rank you on the leaderboard. Considering the stiff competition, you will need to go your all out to claim the top spot. To strengthen your might, you can purchase coveted items like the high-end armors and powerful weapons.

  • Supported platforms: Windows, iOS, and Android  
  • Pricing model: Free, in-app purchases  
  • Download Aion 

20. Secret World Legends

If you have a penchant for unraveling the secret of the legends, look no further than “Secret World Legends”. With a ton of unique missions and quests, the MMORPG has got everything covered to entangle you in a series of mysteries as you set out to fight with the supernatural forces that are hell-bent on destroying the world along with the humanity’s existence. To help you fight the secret war of the supernatural with the desired flair, the game offers an impressive collection of weapons that can enable you to wreak havoc in the rival camps in the blink of an eye.

Secret World Legends

Not just that, Secret World Legends also equip you with superhuman abilities so that you can fight fire with fire on a long mission to eliminate the sinister evils. One of my top picks of this epic MMORPG is the dramatic storytelling that doesn’t allow boredom to creep into. And with the top-notch voice-acting, you never feel like turning your eyes off the deadly battles. Aside from indulging in the hard-fought battles, the game also offers you a chance to travel to many places like Seoul, New York, and London to explore amazing things, which may light up your globetrotting fantasy.

Try These Free MMORPGs Today!

Now that you’ve got a fair idea of which MMORPGs you can play for free, which one do you intend on trying out first? I would personally recommend you to pick up World of Warcraft which, although not completely free to play, is one of the best MMORPGs out there. The game will give you a fair idea of what MMORPGs are like and it offers a boatload of content that you can play once you’re done with the free levels. If you like this list remember to check our lists on best building games, best sandbox games, best FPS games, and more. Anyways, that’s all from us, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Comments


  1. To add insult to injury, Eve Online is solely P2W because PLEX can literally move you from Point A to Point Z in a matter of 3 seconds. Also, the community is highly toxic due to it being populated by people I like to call “Basement Dwellers”. The subscription also adds the final icing on the cake, the cake that was taken from a Pennsylvania garbage can during soccer games.

  2. GREAT article! Two thumbs up and 5/5 stars! Thanks for sharing your wisdom with regards to the best MMORPGs available to play free in 2020. I play GW2 mainly right now, but played WoW from around 2007 and many other MMOs, including Defiance and Defiance: 2050 as you mentioned above—of course the original Defiance isn’t *necessarily* an RPG. Well, just wanted to thank you. I’ll be looking for more articles from you! =)