The MMORPG genre came on the gaming scene back in the late 90s and went through many forms and metamorphoses and created a specific gaming niche. Nowadays the genre is a bit past its prime but still has much to offer to gamers worldwide.
Are you looking for a new MMORPG in 2023 or have you never played one before and you don’t know where to start? This article will be your starting point as we will let you know which are the best MMORPGs available and are mostly still worth playing.
1. World of Warcraft
Starting with this classic that Blizzard brought to the world back in 2004, World of Warcraft has, in fact, two versions at the moment. One is the classic version with its old-school feeling and gameplay that goes all the way to the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. On the other hand, we have the official retail version that recently got the latest Dragonflight expansion set which is pretty much accepted as one of the best add-ons so far.
World of Warcraft is still alive and kicking, having the same ground-breaking numbers it had from way back in the day. It still has a lively community, and you will have no trouble spending any time looking for people to do raids, explore dungeons, complete quests, and so on. WoW has a cross-realm integration, so it is not difficult to get in and do a huge number of things.
After 9 expansions and a huge source material coming from all other games in the franchise, WoW is now carrying expansive lore, plenty of class and race combinations, and is overall the best MMORPG to get into. Despite Blizzard having several hiccups in recent years, their most popular game in the face of WoW is still keeping its standards high and will warmly welcome you in!
2. New World
World of Warcraft? Why not get an entirely New World?! Are you ready to colonize new lands in the mid-seventeenth century, just as it happened with the Americas? New World will grant you that chance!
New World launched to an insane hype that quickly dropped off but the game continued to bring plenty of surprises in its one year of existence. There were massive updates, enormous changes to the gameplay, and system overhauls that cemented the game as an MMORPG with huge potential. But even so, there are still some hiccups that should (and might be) fixed soon.
One such issue is the amount of content being added to the game regularly. It feels like it is still not coming as quickly as it should be. But if you are starting from scratch there is a lot of stuff that will keep you invested in the New World for a long time!
The original Runescape was released back in 2001 and has continued to be a staple in the MMO genre since it was born. Runescape is a simple, yet complex game. Starting as a web-based game, then having its own client in 2016, there are a lot of things to pursue and do in Runescape, until your character reaches max level.
In Runescape, you will be roaming the world of Gielinor and not follow a linear story but rather set your own goals and objectives. Trading, chatting, participating in mini-games, completing quests, PVE or PVP battles, and so much more – Runescape has it all! Being the oldest MMORPG on our list, you can imagine how faithful its current fanbase is.
If you are into graphics, Runescape is not your thing. If you want a simple, cozy, and yet deep MMORPG game, Runescape is your thing, if you can get over the fact that it is not a modern game.
4. Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn
Do you enjoy JRPGs? Do you enjoy the Final Fantasy franchise? You found the one and only MMORPG for you!
Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn replaced the failed 2010 game with the same name that the PS3 housed. It is an MMORPG that will allow you to do things that other games in the genre may not. Here you take just one character and explore all the available options. You can pick a character, level it to the max, then pick a different class and level it up the same way. That way you are playing one character in all aspects of the game.
In-game FFXIV is a beautifully crafted MMORPG that will offer you pretty much the same as any other quality MMORPG game and even though raids are not as large as they might be in games like WoW if you enjoy the anime style of graphics, Final Fantasy world, and lore, you’ve found your righteous place.
5. Elder Scrolls Online
Elder Scrolls Online is great when it comes to graphics even though it’s been years since it came out. Of course, it is based in the world of the Elder Scrolls series, so if you played Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim then you will feel at home here.
Keep in mind that even though things might feel familiar, it is not the same game as the single-player games we just mentioned. This is simply because it is an MMO and some things have to be changed to have great PVP, exploration, PVE, quests, and so on.
ESO never did have the same impact as Skyrim or Oblivion, but it still houses the same deep lore, great voice acting, lots of great stories, and consistent expansions. It is a title that is worth exploring in 2023 if you are a fan of the franchise or even if you just want to experience what the hype is all about.
6. Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is one of the most underrated MMORPG games of all time and hardly got any of the recognition it deserves. Being a successor to the original Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 saw a lot of success in 2022 with its expansion End of Dragons. It added new zones, new specs for every class, and a new type of mount (which WoW copied shamelessly).
Guild Wars 2 has great solo content, exploration, zone completion, and one-of-a-kind world events where more than a hundred random players come together to hunt down a huge Dragon. Almost no other MMO has anything like this!
Guild Wars 2 is free-to-play until level 80, after which you will have to buy the DLCs in order to continue. Guild Wars is far from being a modern game, but it is updated and new content makes the game feel fresh even in 2023, hence, make sure to give it a try!
7. Star Wars The Old Republic
If you are a Star Wars fan, look no further! Star Wars The Old Republic feels like a single-player RPG because everything stays true to Star Wars, making it not another generic MMO. The dialogue, the voice-over, and the quests are true Star Wars canon.
Despite mentioning the single-player feel, don’t worry, the game still has a decent player base and all the things you would be looking for in a great MMORPG are there – PVP, PVE, dungeons, a good number of classes and so much more.
Being a spiritual successor of the long-gone Star Wars Galaxies, SWTOR is a great way to immerse yourself in the Star Wars universe if you don’t expect top-notch graphics as it has been a while since it came out.
8. Lord of the Rings: Online
We were all sad when Amazon’s LOTR MMO was cancelled, but considering how much their TV show Rings of Power flopped it might have been the better outcome. If you are still looking in 2023 for an MMORPG set in Middle Earth, then brace yourselves! You have had it since 2007!
Lord of the Rings Online is still kicking today with more and more updates, expansions, and content. Just as in SWTOR above, you won’t be getting the latest graphics but an amazing world true to Toklien’s source material.
Despite carrying the name of Tolkien’s most popular book and the movies based on it, this game will take you beyond the movies and delve deeper into the origins of Middle Earth. The community of LORTO is not huge, but it is what you will definitely call dedicated.
Neverwinter came out in 2013 and it is still holding on in today’s MMORPG scene. Its fast-paced action combat is fun and engaging. As the game is set in the Forgotten Realms Dungeons and Dragons setting, it has a rich world with plenty of well-known locations for fans to explore. So, if you are into D&D, you will find your place in this game.
Every few months new DLCs are dropped with new challenges for players to face, so you won’t get bored easily with Neverwinter. This D&D online game is free-to-play and one of the few games on this list available not only for PC but consoles as well.
10. Black Desert Online
Being one of the more recent entries in our list, Black Desert Online is huge. After a heavy pre-release marketing campaign the game brought a lot of hype and reached new heights as it got to a huge number of active players. One of the reasons for this would be the fact that just like Neverwinter, it is available on both consoles and PC.
This Korean MMORPG is mostly famous in Asia and South America with its ultra-fast-paced combat system that was almost unseen before in the MMO genre. You will spend a lot of time in mob grinding, PVP with other players for your grind spot, levelling your life skills, castle sieges, boss challenges, and dungeons.
Just don’t expect the best monetization balance because sometimes BDO might feel a bit pay-to-win for you. If you are fine with that, you can expect modern-day graphics with the usual great stuff in any other MMORPG.
This concludes our top 10 MMORPGs that are worth playing in 2023. This is an extensive list where there should be something for any kind of taste out there, but if we missed this and that, please let us know in the comments which MMORPG should be added to this list in your opinion. Also, what is the most important thing for you in such a game? Let us know in the comments below.
Anyways, be sure to grab a Nexon Game Card, previously known as Karma Koin from OffGamers here if you are looking to top up some of your MMORPG currencies.
I am a junior content outreach writer for OffGamers. I foster relationships between gaming enthusiasts and gaming developers to create relevant content for gamers worldwide. I also happen to be a passionate writer and a certified night owl.