The best MMORPGS in 2020 – A list of the best games out and about
The year 2020 has been an exceptional one by any measure – and not necessarily in a good way. Between lockdowns and rising social isolation, video games have provided stress relief for many – and MMORPGs especially have seen an influx of players looking to socialize online.
There is a variety of games out there, of course, each with their own advantages and appeal to players. There’s something for everyone. MMORGPs old and new are constantly battling for player attention and play time. Here are the best and most popular ones out there!
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is still the absolute king of MMORPGs. With a constant stream of new features keeping things fresh, this fantasy world is home to over 80 million player characters. Although Blizzard does not publish active player numbers, conservative estimates assume that around 7 million players actively play the game.
The setup of World of Warcraft is well-known – set in the land of Azeroth, the fantasy-world is split into two factions with several races and classes for players to choose from. It’s an incredibly huge world with a near-endless list of activities, dungeons, and more.
There are countless locations, raids, dungeons and quests, not to mention a large amount of lore for players to get stuck in. Some WoW Guilds are pushing their 15th anniversary. Overall, it’s considered the most polished MMO out there, so much so that its considered as one of the premier esports games. Though somewhat niche, the Arena World Championship and the Mythic Dungeon International are attracting thousands of loyal viewers consistently.
The next big content drop for World of Warcraft is called Shadowlands and is set to hit the market later this year.
Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online is one of the more “recent” games on this list. The visually polished and appealing fantasy MMO is definitely one of the better-looking MMORPGs of 2020 – it offers incredibly advanced character creation tools, varied skill trees, and an incredibly gorgeous world to play in.
While the mechanisms of the game can be tacky to grasp at first, players love it for the challenge.
There is plenty of varied content as well, with 19 different classes, explorable oceans, and even taming and breeding of mounts. Estimations say that there are roughly two million active players and over 3 million created characters. Additionally, if you are seeking to sandbox your own property, Black Desert and ArchAge are the best games for such en devours on the market.
Unlike most entries on this list, EVE Online is set in a futuristic sci-fi world. It’s well-known for having a gigantic universe with plenty to explore and do. It features an elaborate systems of mining, manufacturing, piracy, trading, and almost everything a spacefaring citizen might want.
Despite being released in 2003, it still has a decent amount of active players – several tens of thousands at any given time with many more overall playing. Like most of the best MMORPGs, it has a free to play and a paid tier – this is definitely one where you’ll want to pay for the subscription though as you’ll struggle to advance at all in the free tier.
EVE Online is not easy to master and is very costly if you want to delve deeper into galactic politics and conquest. Fleets of ships costing upwards of tens of thousands of real world Dollars are constantly battling for supremacy of the universe. In our opinion, EVE Online also wins the title for one of the hypest trailers on the market.
Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls games have always had an incredible following – while Skyrim alone marked an important milestone in RPG history, many fans have been around since the days of Daggerfall and co – so the addition of an online version of the world excited many.
ESO boasts around 2.5 million active players, with over 15 million copies sold in total. Set in the same world as other Elder Scrolls games, it features the same races, setups, and lore that so many players love – except of course, in multiplayer form. The game doesn’t receive major content updates, having had some in 2016 and 2017, but performance updates and optimisations are released periodically – the game is well-maintained.
Old-School Runescape or OSRS is one of the most popular MMOs out there, despite being somewhat dated compared to other entries on the list. The original Runescape was released in 2001 – preceding even WoW. The current iteration of OSRS was released in 2013, and though updates do happen, the game absolutely looks its age.
One of its points of appeal is that it can be run on just about any computer with almost no minimum requirements – that, and the fact that for many players, playing it is pure nostalgia. At any given time you’ll see some 200k people online, with over a million active players total. There is even a mobile version of the game. While it isn’t exactly a mobile esports game, it still has a number of dedicated fans.
The game just received a content drop four days ago. If something screams commitment to a title, its definitely Runescape still growing the content after nearly two decades.
Guild Wards 2
Guild Wars 2 has always been considered one of WoW’s strongest competitors. Boasting over 2.5 million active players, the game never managed to close the gap to WoW, but it still manages to attract a number of dedicated fans and players.
The setup is similar to WoW too – set as a sequel to the original Guild Wars, it features a unique event system rather than traditional quests, and one that is dependent on the player’s actions. This system is well-liked by players, as is the fact that unlike many others, there is no subscription needed to play. In other words, it’s one of the best free MMORPGs out there.
Guild Wars had a rough year in 2019. Players despaired over new raid and fractal content lacking and the publisher low-key giving no news. Finally, the end of 2019 welcomed the 5th season of the Living World with the Icebrood Saga. We are still in this content cycle with the latest part being called “No Quarter”. It commenced on may 26th 2020.
Final Fantasy XIV Online
The Final Fantasy series is one of the most well-loved game series in the world – it’s no wonder that its MMORPG version is just as popular. There are roughly a million active players, with some 12+ million characters overall. The current version is a replacement of the 2010 release that was met with a lot of negative feedback on its gameplay, interface, and just about everything else.
Known for its spot-on storytelling, gorgeous environment and design, this game also stands out for giving single characters the ability to level every class and crafting profession.
The second version received a much better reception and was praised for many of the things that the first one lacked. The game provides a solid level-up and quest system that features both PvE and PvP elements. The game’s latest expansion is called Shadowbringers.
Similar to Blizzard, Square Enix and Fantal Fantasy hold various player centric Fan Festivals that attract a dedicated following. Us being in 2020, of course means most of those were just cancelled a few days ago.
This is an odd one on the list. Star Citizen made our “best MMORPG” list not because of what it is now, but because of what it promises to be when finally released — a vast, interactive expansive universe. Intergalactic war, travel, colonization and commerce. It is envisioned as all of these games above combined into one fully immersive complete MMORGP experience.
Star Citizen is a crowd-funded game that has managed to rack up just below 300 million USD for its creators. Could this be the world’s most successful game crowdfunding project, I hear you ask.
Well, let’s rewind.
Chris Roberts brought the idea of a crowdfunded space simulator to Kickstarter in 2012. He had set a humble USD 500,000 funding goal and a 2014 release date. It is now eight years and millions of backers later, yet the final product is yet to be seen. The good news is that players can play around in a slowly releasing alpha phase for a glimpse of what’s to come.
From what we’ve seen and played, Star Citizen could in fact become the Mother of all Spacefaring MMOs, or it could become the biggest money grab in history.
We could potentially go on and on about PerfectWorld or ArchAge, Lineage, Conquer Online and even Star Trek Online. There are hundreds of MMORPGs for you to explore and settle in. The one’s we selected are the best MMORPGs in our opinion and out on the market in 2020. So much could change until next year.
We have a dedicated team of experts exploring the MMO sphere for the next big engaging content bomb.
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