Top 15 Most Played MMORPGs in The World in 2024

Y’shtola, the best character in Final Fantasy 14, warding off evil with her legendary magic.

Take it from someone who has played nearly every MMORPG under the sun—finding a good virtual world to waste all of your free time in isn’t easy. I’ve decided to make that process, at the very least, a bit simpler for you with this list of suggestions.

World of Warcraft

WoW is an MMORPG based around an ongoing war between two factions known as the Horde and the Alliance; they sometimes like to get together for romantic dinner dates—though they usually end with a tragic, resounding bang. Read on to find out more about why I spent over 10,000 hours playing this game.

World of Warcraft is a fantasy MMORPG, arguably the best one available today. The game unceremoniously plops your poor character down on a world filled with strife known as Azeroth. Throughout your career, you will graduate from this blue marble of doom and take to the very stars themselves, giving the game a very unique sci-fantasy feel that many others have tried to emulate over the years, only to fail.

You spend your earliest dozen or so hours in the game leveling up through quests, dungeons, as well as PVP—assuming that tickles your fancy. The end-game content is arguably infinite thanks to a system known as Mythic+, which has you and your friends smashing your heads against your keyboards as you take on increasingly challenging versions of the dungeons you found yourselves leveling up in; this is usually paired with a fun and insane twist in the form of a system known by most as the dreaded “weekly affixes”.

The game is unique in the sense that it has one of the largest, if not the largest world in gaming history; seriously, it’s absolutely massive. Other games have struggled to keep up with the amount of content this monstrosity has poured out over the decades. It is also host to what many attest to be the most gratifying and challenging end-game content across the board—I can personally attest to this.

Alexstrasza, Nozdormu, Wrathion and others—all gathered and discussing the fate of Azeroth.

Final Fantasy 14

FFXIV is a true masterpiece—it somehow manages to scratch every itch a gamer can have. This gem has you start out as a nobody, gradually increasing your importance to the beautifully-crafted world around you, as well as its people, using masterful storytelling through its quests, dungeons, and raids.

Final Fantasy 14 starts players off on the world of Eitherys—in a region known as Eorzea. The people who live on this world are fresh out of the oven from a cataclysmic event that destroyed most living things, and I can only assume this is why the gear they start you off with is so puffy and padded—so that you don’t fall down and hurt yourself, further reducing the global population.

The majority of the early gameplay is spent familiarizing yourself with the game world, and experiencing the story—which is amazing, by the way—through what can feel like a bit of a slog at first, but take my word for it, if you soldier through the early game, you won’t be able to put it down. That’s a promise.

There truly is no other MMORPG on the market today that compares to FFXIV in terms of story; it is completely unique in the mind-blowing tales its writers weave for us, the lucky and sometimes not so lucky if you lean towards the emotional side, gamers—this game has made me weep like a child on countless occasions. In this MMORPG, the journey itself is the reward.

My character, Taylor Blackstone, defending himself under the onslaught of a demigod known as Ifrit.

Guild Wars 2

GW2 is a game centered around what the name suggests, wars and guilds. As simple as that may make it sound, the game is anything but—it is a lovingly-crafted MMORPG featuring lore to rival that of all the other greats on the market today; it is also host to several incredibly unique classes and races that will appeal to even the pickiest of gamers. 

This is a fantasy game with a hint of steampunk spice—the game is set on the continent of Tyria, which is located on the world of Tyria. Yes, the landmass you are playing on and the planet share the same name. 

The game has you leveling up through world events that other players can take part in along with you, as well as voiced story quests—all of which are uniquely tailored to your race, class and the background options you choose during character creation. 

The game is very different compared to its competitors in the way that it melds story, PVP, as well as gameplay together. It nearly matches Star Wars: The Old Republic in the way that it presents its many players with various alternate choices in terms of story, and it has the same diverse feeling as World of Warcraft when it comes to the myriad of unique and interesting races you may choose from when you create your character.

A player riding a skyscale into the great blue beyond.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

SWTOR is one of the most entertaining MMORPGs available on the market today; you play a character set in a time before most of the movies and TV shows you may be familiar with take place, however it’s just as good, if not better. Like World of Warcraft, there are two factions in this game: the Empire, and the Rebels—both of which have their own unique races, classes, and starting planets for you to choose from.

The game takes place amongst the stars, even the first worlds you start on are different for each class! You aren’t locked to one world, however, as a few hours after starting the game you are awarded with your own starship, and then you are free to travel the universe as you please—the game allows you to make your own choices about which planets you wish to level up on, often providing you with one to three choices every five or so levels.

You will spend the majority of your time in the game experiencing the storyline for your class, which is what makes this game so good. Seriously. The storyline is absolutely amazing, even the random quests you complete across various worlds are a cut above what you are used to in most triple-A games, never mind MMORPGs—which are known to be a bit weak in terms of storyline and pacing.

The game is completely unique in the fact that it offers unmitigated options when it comes to playing how you please—the choices you make at level 1 will affect the way the game plays out over the course of several dozens of hours of questing—even the side quests will point back to choices you made in the early game. There is no other MMORPG like this on the planet, and I heavily endorse it—I recommend all gamers  try this game at least once. It may not be for everyone, but if you like a good story with more variety than any other, this is your MMORPG.

A dark Jedi issuing a challenge for a fight to the death

Old School Runescape

Ah, OSRS, where most of the world’s older MMORPG players got their first online experience—many of them never even bothered to leave, and after playing the game for a few hours, it’s easy to see why. It’s old, the graphics leave a lot to be desired, but the gameplay, my god, the gameplay is incredible and makes it incredibly difficult to put this one down.

Much like Runescape 3, the game takes place in the world of Gielinor—a medieval fantasy realm filled with violence, magic, monsters, knights and castles. 

The majority of the game, like its modern cousin, is spent leveling up your skills in order to face increasingly-difficult enemies, dungeons, and quests—all of which reward the player with better and better rewards, which makes the game incredibly enticing to continue playing. 

Despite the game being in the same vein as its modern version, Runescape 3, it is a beast of its own in the sense that it offers a classic, old-school experience that you won’t be finding anywhere on the market today—at least not anywhere near as well done.

A hero, new to the realm, striking out on his first adventure into the world of Gielinor.

Black Desert Online

BDO is one of the most unique games on the market today—it offers players a large variety of content that will take even the most dedicated of gamers years to digest. Black Desert throws you into a living world that actually rewards players for turning on PVP and participating in the world of traders and bandits; while it may be lacking in races to choose from and a solid storyline, it incentivizes players who enjoy making their own stories in MMORPGs—if you’re anything like me, this will be enough to convince you to check it out.

Black Desert Online is a hardcore-fantasy game that thrusts players into an unnamed world, on an unnamed continent; it follows most of the usual fantasy tropes, namely being composed of dwarves, elves, humans, and various types of giants—but don’t let that fool you. The game is a living, breathing entity that allows you to carve out your own path to greatness. 

Have you ever wanted to be a mining magnate, with workers doing all the heavy lifting for you while you rake in the profits? What about a master alchemist who sends his minions out to gather the materials needed in order to run a successful shop? If either of these things sound interesting to you, I recommend you give the game a try—there are many, many more options available, the sky is truly the limit.

There are very few MMORPGs out on the market today that cover the amount of features BDO will throw your way—you can be a sailor, a pirate preying on sailors, or even run a group of bandits that thrives by relieving your fellows of their possessions while they travel between the game’s many cities, all of which are highly lucrative ways to play the game if what you want is to make a profit.

A stylish archer spending some time in a friendly town.


Runescape 3 is an MMORPG that is all about an old-school leveling system that involves raising your skills in a world that is mostly run by players. From archeology to construction, all the way to increasing your own health by allowing monsters to smash your face in, Runescape is one of the oldest and most popular MMORPGs in the world for a very good reason: it works—and it works damn well.

The game takes place on the world of Gielinor, a medieval fantasy realm that provides players with hundreds of unique and interesting locales to PVE and PVP in. Gielinor is host to several interesting continents, cities, and island nations that you will find yourself exploring—always on the lookout for the next area to improve your skills in.

You will primarily be spending your time in Runescape leveling up whichever skill you find the most entertaining. Most players opt to go for the combat route, becoming masters of dungeoneering—yes, dungeoneering is an actual skill in the game—in order to slay monsters for loot and to complete various quests that reward the players with the highest skills the most.

There is really no other game on the market today that is similar to Runescape; the game borrowed its skill-leveling system from an archaic form of gaming known as MUDs—multi user dimensions—but it has transfered over well, making for one of the most entertaining and unique gaming experiences available today, even two decades after its release. Best of all, this game is free to play.

A player engaging a ferocious reptilian beast.

Albion Online

Albion Online, much like Black Desert, is a game that involves an enormous, player-run world; it shares Runescape’s system of leveling up skills rather than leveling up your character itself to move up in the world, and it leans towards PVP, pitting guilds against each other for control over resources, key and strategic locations, and even access to certain dungeons and challenges.

This MMORPG is set in the world of Albion—a realm of fantasy inspired by ancient British mythology. The world is split into six large continents, all of which are host to their own unique biomes, monsters, and resources. 

The game is all about becoming as powerful as you can and leveling up your skills so that you can take part in the guild PVP that composes the majority of the game; that isn’t to say it doesn’t have some PVE, of course. In fact, PVE is one of the most important aspects of the game! However, taking what other players acquire in PVE is also a big part of it—you and your friends can even own and manage your very own towns and castles! 

Albion is a rather unique MMORPG, an odd combination of Black Desert and Runescape with a bit of EVE thrown in. But that’s where the beauty lies: there’s nothing else like it out there, and it’s worth a try if you haven’t already given it a go. Not to mention, it can be run on virtually any system—much like OSRS, the game can be played on a potato hot-wired to a monitor. Did I mention it’s free?

Two players being ambushed by a PVPer in a dungeon.

The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls universe will always have a special place in my heart. This game is completely open-world—meaning you can go anywhere you want, whenever you want. Do you want to explore the sweeping vistas of the deserts of Elsewyr?You can do that. Want trudge around through the muck of the Argonian homeland? No problem. Feel like sifting through the volcanic ash of Morrowind to uncover terrible, ancient Daedric relics in order to crush your enemies? You get my point.

TESO looks like a typical fantasy game—it is however anything but a typical fantasy game. The universe is so lovingly-crafted and increasingly complex as you peel back each layer of lore that it boggles the mind. The game takes place on a world known as Nirn, on the continent of Tamriel. The game is filled with unique countries and cultures that actually make you want to learn about countries and cultures.

The entire point of the game is to level up your character, along with the skills that you want your character to have. While the game has several classes, you can play them however you want. Do you want to be a sorcerer that wields a giant, two-handed sword, clad in the heaviest metal armor around? You can do that. And thanks to the bonuses you get from equipping the different sets of gear you come across, the game offers a virtually unending supply of entertainment because of how many different ways there are to play your classes.

Truly, you won’t find another game like TESO; the amount of character and class customization offered in the game is unmatched in any other MMORPG. The way you can play however you want, go wherever you want, and do whatever you want is almost unheard of—the WoW developers thought this system worked so well, they decided to emulate it because of its success.

A player and their friend locked in battle with a dungeon boss in first-person mode.


A cross-platform South Korean game that is host to some of the most beautiful characters in gaming, MIR is a genuinely interesting game that is easily one of the best at what it does—which is to offer a compelling gaming experience across vastly different devices, both cell phone and PC.

MIR4 is a fantasy game based on the original MIR game that was released back in 2004; the players find themselves on the continent of Mir, where they complete quests, fight monsters, and explore various unique regions.

When playing MIR, your main goal will be to become the most powerful martial artist you can—it even includes guild wars that you can take part in, all to increase yours and your friends’ influence within the world. 

Although another of the games on this list is available on both phones and computers, that game being Albion, there are very few cross-platform MMORPGs available that do it quite as well as MIR4—the game offers a vast world filled with story to explore, and is worth considering if you’re on the lookout for something new and different to play in 2024.

A new taoist about to begin her exploration of the world of Mir.

GTA Online

Much like the name suggests, Grand Theft Auto Online is all about stealing cars, customizing them, customizing your character, and generally becoming the baddest guy or gal on the block. You can even customize your guns!

The game takes place in the modern city of Los Santos, a fictional city in America. The city is a den of murderers, thieves, drug runners and general gangland delinquency. The world is lovingly crafted by Rockstar, one of the best companies around when it comes to delivering a compelling gaming experience.

Your objective in the game is to accrue as much wealth as you can, all so that you can spend it on the tools you will need in order to deliver death to the NPCs and players all inhabiting your beautifully deceptive new home. The game also requires that you level up in order to increase the gameplay options available to you, though this isn’t as pivotal to the gameplay experience as it is in most other MMORPGs.

Obviously, there’s nothing out there that rivals GTA Online’s gameplay options; you can be the leader of a motorcycle gang, run a club, a corporation, or a weapon-smuggling business. What isn’t there to love about that?  

A player-owned nightclub.

The Lord of the Rings Online

Tolkien’s universe is unarguably the most interesting available to you; if you’re a fan of the movies, or the books, or the Amazon series we don’t talk about, this is the game for you. The game is lore-accurate, and it is filled with all of the characters you know and love from the aforementioned media. 

This MMORPG  is of the high-fantasy genre, and it is set in Middle-Earth—the primary continent on the world of Arda. As you progress through the world that the genius J.R.R. Tolkien created, you will explore all of the most prominent locations from the movies and TV series, even the books.

Your main focus in the game will primarily be to level up while experiencing the quests, though once you reach the end-game content you will be given the chance to create an orc that starts out in Mordor, which you can use to participate in PVP against the forces of men, elves, and dwarves. 

Why should you play this one? Well, the answer to that is obvious—Tolkien is unmatched in his world building, and the MMORPG borrows from this fact quite heavily. Every NPC has been crafted and perefect by a master storyteller, every location, every town, every NPC is inspired by the original writings; this is one of the best story-based MMORPGs in existence—do yourself a favor and ignore the game’s aging graphics, give it a chance and you won’t regret it.

A group of players striking out into the world.


It’s Dungeons & Dragons online. Somehow, the developers of this game managed to successfully capture the feeling one has when taking part in the riveting adventures a dungeon master guides his friend through while playing D&D. 

The game is set in the Forgotten Realms, arguably the best campaign setting in the tabletop’s history. Most of the gameplay takes place on the continent of Faerûn. From there, you’ll be visiting the most prominent and interesting locations within the setting, such as the city of Neverwinter—obviously—Baldur’s Gate, and even the infamous Yawning Portal of Waterdeep.

Neverwinter is all about leveling up and experiencing tabletop D&D in a video-game format—and in my opinion, it does the best job at achieving this; it’s even better than the original Neverwinter Nights RPG, rivaling even Baldur’s Gate 3 in terms of character creation and customization.

This game is so different compared to every other MMORPG available today, it’s worth a try for that reason alone. If you’ve ever wanted to roll dice but you’re too busy or shy to give tabletop D&D a go, at least play this so you can take part in the experience!

An adventuring party engaging the captain of a spelljammer vessel.

EVE Online

EVE, the addiction that consumes you while you slowly forget about everything else that matters. Some may call the game a spreadsheet simulator, but those people have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about, and they lack imagination. EVE is a sci-fi game that thrusts you into the cockpit of a starship, leaving you at the mercy of a cruel and uncaring universe—but that’s what makes it so good.

EVE, while difficult to master, is quite possibly the most well-done science-fiction MMORPG available today. The universe is a series of solar systems interconnected through thousands of warp gates, which are how you get from point A to point B; the path between these 2 points is usually filled with several interesting and unique ways to die.

Your primary focus in the game will be acquiring vast amounts of wealth while you train your skills, all of this to spend said wealth on increasingly powerful starships and armaments to outfit them with. You can even buy space stations and factories on planets, both of which produce goods and natural resources that you can sell to other players! I used to run an exploration business on this game, where the heads of player-run corporations would reward me with millions of ISK—EVE’s primary currency—for noteworthy information about their enemies or profitable locales.

EVE is a truly unique beast in a world of MMORPGs that all try to piggyback off of one another’s success. No game in existence has filled me with the joy, sorrow, or anger that this game has managed to permanently etch into my soul. The learning curve is steep, but worth every second thrown at it—do yourself a favor and give this game a try.

Several mining vessels actively harvesting ore from asteroids.

Lost Ark

This MMORPG takes a much different approach compared to most South Korean games; the top-down point of view and the beautiful graphics make for an interesting and incredibly fun combination, especially when fighting large packs of enemies! This is a true action RPG in every sense of the word.

Lost Ark is a fantasy game set in a world named Arkasia with several locations, spread across two different planets—each one representing two halves, one of light and one of darkness.

You will spend the majority of your time in the game completing quests and progressing from area to area, visiting different towns across both of the worlds as you search for, you guessed it, the lost Arks.

Lost Ark is different from other MMORPGs in the sense that despite being a top-down action RPG, it boasts some of the most intricate and creative character-creation systems in gaming—the characters and armor both being completely unique and beautiful. Most games in this genre fail to deliver, but Lost Ark is a happy exception. 

Players taking on a fiery raid boss

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