Few genres in gaming bring together thousands of players like MMORPGs do, promising interesting lore and oodles of content across massive worlds. Most importantly, these games are an excellent source for social interaction, which can continue on outside the game. Whether you’re looking for something light and easily accessible or a hardcore experience, here are the 10 best MMORPGs to play in 2022.
10 Best MMORPGs to Play in 2022
Several years before World of Warcraft hit the market, there was Everquest, a high-fantasy universe where players inhabited Norrath. The success of future MMORPGs can be traced all the way back to Everquest, and yet it’s still going strong with 28 expansions under its belt.
However, Everquest isn’t for the faint of heart due to its steep learning curve and a massive world full of over 500 zones. Compared to the other entries on this list, Everquest is definitely the most “hardcore” of the bunch, as it never holds your hand through any of its gameplay elements. If you can look past its dated graphics and difficulty, Everquest is incredibly rewarding both in gameplay and lore.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who would’ve thought that combining the easily approachable elements of World of Warcraft with the narrative excellence of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic would create something so compelling? Of course, it also helps that it’s set in the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars: The Old Republic took popular characters from the Star Wars films and built classes around them, such as the dangerous bounty hunters and Force-wielding Jedi. What’s arguably the best part is that each class has its own story, with branching decisions, companions to recruit, and a dark and light alignment system.
Final Fantasy 14
Final Fantasy 14 has come a long way since its original release in 2010, a launch that did so poorly the game was killed off and relaunched a few years later. Gone was the poor performance, the gameplay was vastly better in every way, and a story that’s actually awesome and even incorporates the death of the original game into its storyline.
Final Fantasy 14 is top-tier Final Fantasy, borrowing many features and class identities that the series has created over the years, like the iconic chocobos and Dragoons. There are 20 fantastic jobs to choose from (jobs are classes), but what differentiates FFXIV’s job system from other MMORPGs is that you can switch classes at any time you want, so you’re never stuff creating new characters over and over again.
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 strikes a great balance between engaging PVE and PVP content, combating one of the genre’s biggest issues: staleness. It has a living world, one that changes over time; for example, some zones might be inaccessible due to a recent event. If PVP is your thing, Guild Wars 2 has large-scale battles that pit hundreds of players against one another.
What sets Guild Wars 2 apart from other MMORPGs is its combat system, which isn’t your typical zone-out-and-auto-attack. You have to commit and play an active role in combat by dodging incoming attacks, using chain skills, and creating combos, or else you’re kissing the ground.
The Elder Scrolls Online
Ever wanted to visit the snowy peaks of Skyrim or visit Morrowind and the volcano that resides there with your buddies? Well, then we suggest playing The Elder Scrolls Online, especially now with how much content the game has, in addition to excellent storytelling.
More importantly, The Elder Scrolls Online is very player-friendly. The combat isn’t overly complicated, there’s a scaled leveling system so you can quest anywhere, and there’s a surprising amount of depth with the game’s class system.
World of Warcraft
If we’re talking MMORPGs, World of Warcraft cannot be ignored, nor its contribution to the genre. When WoW made its debut, it took a genre that originally had a high learning curve and made it easily approachable throughout its eight expansions, soon to be ninth when Dragonflight is released.
Enter the world of Azeroth, a journey that expands across continents, islands, and even planets. You’ll have a choice between 12 unique classes, like the Death Knight, Druid, and Warlock, each with its own subclasses that offer different ways of playing said class. There are also raids, dungeons, PVP, achievements to complete, professions to master, and mounts to collect.
A newcomer to MMORPGs, Lost Ark takes a different approach to the genre by way of its isometric camera view and combat similar to that of Diablo and Path of Exile. While the story is pretty cheesy and certainly not its strongest point, it makes up for it through class identity.
There are five classes to choose from, and you’ll start off in their most basic form and unlock advanced classes at a certain point. An advanced class choice could mean the difference between a tanky warrior using a sword and shield or a big sword-wielding berserker. If that wasn’t enough, your abilities can also be upgraded to further enhance your play style.
If Everquest is hardcore, the RuneScape is on the opposite end; Runescape can be as relaxing or as difficult as you want it to be. What started off as a 3d world inhabited by 2d sprites has turned into something that millions of gamers hold dear in their heart.
What Runescape accomplishes is an MMORPG that doesn’t ask much from you. Do you want to spend the day mining or cooking? Sure! Do you want to go questing with your friends, like slaying a demon outside Varrock? You can do that, too, but only if you want to! On top of having over 200 quests to complete, there are 28 skills to master, like Slayer and Dungeoneering.
Maybe you don’t care much for the sword-and-board fantasy gameplay elements and prefer a run-and-gun playstyle, much in the same way Call of Duty is played. In that case, Destiny 2 fits the bill perfectly, which combines FPS and RPG mechanics, in addition to being an MMO.
You play as blessed warriors of light known as “Guardians,” separated by three distinct classes: Warlock, Titan, and Hunter, which are modeled after popular MMO classes such as caster, tank, and rogue, respectively. There is both PVE and PVP content, such as raids and the Crucible, along with oodles of loot to find and equip. Also, did we mention it’s free-to-play?
If Everquest is hardcore high-fantasy, then EVE Online is hardcore science fiction goodness, a sandbox MMO that can be greatly influenced by its players. Entire communities of players can take control of multiple solar systems and enact their own rules, restrictions, and access to lucrative materials and trade routes.
EVE Online allows players to cruise around in their own ship, visit various planets, join factions and guilds, and even learn professions, all in an effort to carve out their own existence and purpose in New Eden.
There you have it, the 10 best MMORPGs to play in 2022. There’s something here for everyone, many of which also have free-to-play options to at least try the game out before you buy. For more on MMORPGs, read up on the latest news on the upcoming HIT 2.
Featured Image Source: Square Enix