gaming

25 Games Like 'World of Warcraft' All MMORPG Fans Must Play

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Blizzard Entertainment

Sports might be returning to television, but it doesn’t appear that life in the U.S. will be fully back to normal any time soon. With fewer options popping up for socialization in day-to-day life, massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) are becoming a go-to method for spending some safe time interacting with people. If you’re tired of having nowhere to go with your homies, just boot up World of Warcraft, call some friends, and start raiding Azeroth.

 

When it comes to MMORPGs, no title can compete with World of Warcraft. Originally released in 2004, Blizzard has released numerous expansion packs and even released a classic server that allowed long-term fans to return to a version of Azeroth unimpacted by years worth of subsequent stories. In case choosing between the Alliance or the Horde doesn’t sound too appealing, consider spending some time with one of these 25 games like World of Warcraft.

1. ‘DC Universe Online’

One of the best ways to comfortably fall into a massive roleplaying game is to find one set in a universe you are already comfortable with. Fans of orcs and fantasy can turn to World of Warcraft, but fans of caped crusaders and superheroes have DC Universe Online. Whether you create an identity that is closely associated with characters like the Joker or Wonder Woman is up to you and players get to spread cheer or chaos alongside some of DC’s best characters. The game’s scope is truly massive, taking gamers across the cosmos with the Green Lanterns to the bottom of the ocean with Aquaman.

Buy

2. ‘Age of Conan’

No, Age of Conan won’t let you control a virtual Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it does allow players to compete and try to make their mark in Hyboria. With multiple classes, races, and archetypes to choose from, players have a lot of control when it comes to forging the ultimate warrior capable of helping Conan protect his newly seized throne from ancient evil forces. The game has an enjoyable hack/slash combat system that allows players to act in real-time more than many traditional role-playing games.

Buy

3. ‘Crossout’

If you’re a fan of Mad Max but think the actual people are extraneous to what makes it so entertaining, Crossout is the video game for you. The free-to-play game switches out humans and monster characters for customizable monster trucks equipped for extreme combat in harsh environments. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, players join different factions and try to find unique items that will help them adapt their vehicles and excel in the harsh environment.

Buy

4. ‘Rift’

Similar to World of Warcraft, Rift sorts players into two factions- the Guardians and the Defiant- as they struggle for dominance and survival in the insatiable world of Telara. Rather than just battle each other, players also have to worry about the deadly creatures that emerge from the elementally insatiable rifts across Telara. Follow your class calling to become the ultimate warrior or mage, among other classifications, and team-up in groups to take on raids in the dangerous dungeons to unlock some of the best items available in the massive world.

Buy

5. ‘Tera’

Released in 2012, The Exiled Realm of Arborea (TERA) helped solidify the action combat’s role in MMORPGs. For the first time in an MMO, player skills were amiable and dodgeable, giving gamer’s more control over their fantastical gameplay than ever before. Similar to World of Warcraft, players create unique characters and run off into the world to craft items, complete quests, and takedown online opponents. With a unique karma style that incentivizes noble gameplay, the game will actually restrict certain gamers for a period of time if they knock off too many players significantly weaker than them.

Buy

6. ‘Elder Scrolls Online’

If games like Morrowind and Skyrim only scratched the surface of your interest in the affairs of Tamriel, Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls Online is the game for you. Instead of creating your own character, leveling up, and forging items in a solitary world, players get to experience Tamriel as an online environment for the first time. A fantastical setting filled with warriors and mages going about their business, players join various guilds and embark on missions as they struggle to recover their soul from the Daedric Prince Molag Bal.

Buy

7. ‘Lord of the Rings Online’

If everything about Elder Scrolls Online sounds fun but you wish it was set inside author J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantastical series, Lord of the Rings Online is just the game for you. Explore Middle-earth as either a dwarf, elf, hobbit, or human, players are free to create their own fellowships of up to six characters to complete group quests with. Classic characters like Aragorn and Gandalf appear to help introduce characters to the larger affairs of the recognizable settings, but players quickly take control over the action and choose their own path as they set out to complete various missions to help keep the realm safe and stable.

Buy

8. ‘Sea of Thieves’

A Microsoft exclusive, Sea of Thieves is an adventure game that allows players to stretch their sea-legs and sharpen their swashbuckling skills. With a deck underneath your legs and wind at your sails, players explore an open-world via their pirate ship in Sea of Thieves and complete various missions along the way to becoming a legendary pirate. The massive world is also shared, meaning there are countless pirates and posses darting across the open oceans racing to find the biggest and best booty.

Buy

9. ‘Final Fantasy XIV’

Final Fantasy XIV may be the 14th title in the seemingly never-ending franchise, but it’s actually the first MMORPG of the bunch. Released in 2013, gamers create their own character and become either a student of war or magic in the world of Hydaelyn. Regardless of which road you choose, gamers ultimately become an adventurer, join a Free Company guild and start building a reputation for themselves. With a dense story that touches on the franchise’s long history, this game is definitely easier to recommend to long term fans of Final Fantasy than people who are completely unfamiliar with it, but any fans of World of Warcraft looking for a similarly fun experience should consider checking it out.

Buy

10. ‘Skyforge’

Skyforge is an entertaining mixture of mythology, science-fiction, and fantasy all rolled into one. Players control an immortal being who, through your actions throughout the game, is constantly laboring to become a god. Rather than being locked into your class for all of eternity, players can choose between any one of the 17 options at any point, allowing them to gain prestige in various different manners to ultimately help them unlock more gear and followers along their long journey. Team-up with friends to take on missions or stand as a monotheistic being as you take on the world by yourself.

Buy

11. ‘City of Heroes’

Instead of taking place in a pre-established superhero universe like DC Universe Online, developer Cryptic Studios' City of Heroes let’s players participate in a brand-new caped universe. Create a superhero or supervillain to your liking, with the perfect powers and ultimate codename, and start performing missions as you either save or terrorize random citizens across Paragon City. Technically, the game is no longer available from publisher NCSOFT, but in 2019, an open-sourced server of the game popped up online that has been attracting players and is still online today.

Buy

12. ‘Destiny 2’

Bungie changed the gaming world when they released the original Halo and they continue to break new ground with the uber-successful Destiny 2. Create your own Guardian and craft his armor and weapons to your liking as you set-out to keep Earth’s Last City safe from a collection of destructive aliens. Set in a huge world full of other players running-and-gunning their way through missions, Destiny 2 is a highly interactive title with a lot of skill progression and item customization to keep players in control of their own experience.

Buy

13. ‘Planetside 2’

If living in a world where two factions are fighting it out for control sounds too familiar and exhausting, maybe Planetside 2, a game where there are three factions duking it out for control of the planet Auraxis sounds more entertaining. The real draw to this game is the massive size of the player matches. While World of Warcraft may pack countless players onto a single server, Planetside 2’s open-world system, combined with its capacity to handle battles with more than a thousand players, makes it one of the largest and most chaotic multiplayer experiences on the market.

Buy

14. “Star Wars: The Old Republic’

An even longer time ago, in a galaxy far far away, the Jedi and Sith battled it out in Star Wars: The Old Republic. As good and evil battle across the universe, players choose from eight classes and start making their impact on the world. It’s up to players to choose whether they want to ally themselves with Sith or Jedi and monitor their actions to make sure they aren’t lured to the opposite side of the force.  With hundreds of players zipping around and doing their part to assist either the rebels or the empire, The Old Republic is the ultimate game for any World of Warcraft fans who happen to love Star Wars.

Buy

15. ‘EVE Online’

Forget a sandbox, I want a skybox. EVE Online is a space-based MMO where countless unique ships zip across the sky and traverse a tense universe controlled by four primary empires. As a capsuleer players control immortal pilots who are able to control their ships neurally. Rather than actually customizing the capsuleer though, players choose from hundreds of ships with different perks and advantages to face the vastness of space. Whether you want to perform routine trade missions or explore the unmapped areas of the universe, EVE Online has a useful skill-training structure that allows for quick advancement so you can try out various roles without feeling like you’re draining too much time into any one skill.

Buy

16. ‘Neverwinter’

A Dungeons & Dragons spin-off based on the titular city of Neverwinter, the game has players select from classic D&D classes while creating their character. After the Lord of Neverwinter disappeared, the city devolved into factional chaos as different groups struggled for dominance in the power vacuum. In Neverwinter, gamers are thrown into an online world where they are tasked with trying to figure out how to stop certain villainous groups and uncovering the secrets of the Crown of Neverwinter.

Buy

17. ‘Grand Theft Auto Online’

The Grand Theft Auto campaigns are already massive affairs that gamers can spend countless hours exploring, but the online world takes things even further. While players don’t participate in raids as they do in World of Warcraft, players can create their own avatars and unleash chaos in an interactive world. There are a lot of group missions and heists to participate in, but it’s also a lot of fun to simply take on the world alone and see just how much mayhem you can spread before finally being taken down by the law or another online player.

Buy

18. ‘Black Desert Online’

A fantastical game that follows the warfare between the Republic of Calpheon and the Kingdom of Valencia after a deadly plague ripped through the world, Black Desert Online is a globally played MMORPG that started on PC in 2015 and has since spread to mobile devices and game consoles. The game has exciting action mechanics and addictive large siege events reminiscent of group raids in World of Warcraft. Now is particularly a good time to try out this game, as the developer Pearl Abyss just announced an in-game event based on the new Netflix series Cursed.

Buy

19. ‘RuneScape’

Nearly 20 years old and free-to-play, RuneScape is probably the most notorious MMORPG aside from World of Warcraft. There’s no linear story in RuneScape, instead, players explore the fantastical world of Gielinor and set their own objectives as they complete quests and gain experience points at their leisure. Whether you want to get up close and personal with some melee skills or hang back for magic and ranged attacks, RuneScape players have to hit the battlefield and take down opponents to find some of the best items available in this online world.

Buy

20. ‘Warframe’

In Warframe, players become a Tenno, an ancient race of warriors who suddenly awaken from a centuries-long cryosleep to find themselves in the middle of a hectic war. As players create their Tenno, they also create a Warframe unit, a Biomech armor suit for combat. Taking on various missions that can be played solo or in groups of up to four players and exploring new planets across the universe, gamers level up their armor and weapons as they traverse the seemingly never-ending conflict.

Buy

21. ‘Guild Wars 2’

First launched in 2012, Guild Wars 2 still holds up as one of the most absorbing, entertaining MMORPGs ever released. Players create their own unique character with a set profession and journey out into the world of Tyria to unify the world’s distinct groups in preparation for the battle against Zhaitan, the Elder Dragon. Part of what makes the game so unique is the inclusion of a responsive storyline that changes with the player's actions, a feature that is typically included in single-player rather than online games.

Buy

22. ‘Defiance 2050’

Rather than plop gamers down in a fantastical world like World of Warcraft, Defiance drops players in the middle of a futuristic, run-down Earth. Players join one of four groups—veterans, outlaws, machinists, and survivalists—and head out to explore and survive the San Francisco Bay Area roughly 15 years after Earth was engaged in a war with a group of alien species. As an “Ark Hunter,” players are tasked with searching for and tinkering with advanced alien technologies in the hopes that the tide in the fight for humanity’s survival can finally be turned.

Buy

23. ‘Star Trek Online’

The stars may appear peaceful from the ground, but Star Trek Online drops gamers in the middle of intergalactic chaos. Set thirty-years after Star Trek: Nemesis, the game takes place right after the alliance between the iconic United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire has fallen, unleashing another brutal war. Captain your own ship, beam down to the ground, and do everything you can to halt the deadly conflict. The game is still going strong on PC and it became available on PS4 and Xbox One in September 2016 for all console owning Trekkies out there to enjoy.

Buy

24. ‘AION’

In Aion, gamers try to restore order in the chaotic world of Atreia. With dragons overhead and powerful lords trying to push back against their carnage, gamers must choose from six subclasses and dive right into the action. There are numerous group quests to choose from and countless items to craft and improve along the journey, giving players an enjoyable experience akin to the collaborative experience of World of Warcraft.

Buy

25. ‘Red Dead Redemption Online’

Like Grand Theft Auto, the main dish in Red Dead Redemption is the single-player campaign, but the interactive online world gives gamers a whole lot of entertaining content to discover. Both Red Dead Redemption titles feature a robust online world, but the newest iteration is constantly putting out updates to fill the west with even more activities. Whether you want to participate in matchmaking modes or join a gang and attack the town, players have a whole lot of options to choose from once they lace up their cowboy boots.

Buy
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