In the world of increasingly amazing graphics, and higher and higher minimum requirements, what are the options for people with low tech machines or people on the go to get their game on? Sure, there are loads of flash game sites out there, and if you hunt you can find some real gems, but there are still options for people craving that social MMORPG feel without the 16GB of hard drive space that come along with it.
Here we have a list of browser MMORPGs that are guaranteed to run on almost any system, and some of them are still quite artistic. Simple and fun mechanics are the hallmarks of these browser MMORPG games. You can go to their website, login, and start playing in a matter of minutes with no download at all, in the case of most of the games on the list. Some may require an updated to flash, or downloading some additional plugin, but even that is maybe around a MB or two.
zOMG! is a simple browser game brought to you by the makers of Gaia Online, another MMO, and follows in a similar anime style. It features very simple controls and fluid animations. It requires no extra download to start and even features a guest mode meaning you don’t even need to sign up to give it a shot!
Play Now: zOMG!
9. Pet Forest
Pet Forest (Originally titled Canaan Online) is a 2D free browser MMORPG produced by PlayOMG, but with a twist. It has more of a cel-shaded look. When you start, you’ll notice that this game has a more in-depth tutorial than the previous game on the list. It also has a couple other interesting features. First of all, it has a pet capturing system, reminiscent of Pokeman or Digimon. Also, when you enter combat, it enters a separate area like old-school RPG games.
Play Now: Pet Forest
Gunshine is produced by Supercell. It’s a top down game, similar to the previous titles, but without the anime style. This art style is more comparable to that of Team Fortress two: a cel-shaded comic book look with enlarged bodies and smaller arms and legs. It has a modern feel, and simple class and avatar customization options. If you prefer guns and bullets over bows and arrows, this would be your first stop on the list.
Play Now: Gunshine
7. Battlestar Galactica Online
This game comes to us from SyFy, the television channel, and is based off of the television show of the same name. I believe of all of the MMOs on this list, Battlestar Galactica Online is the most radical. Instead of being the normal MMO, it starts off as more of a space flight sim. You pick your ship, customize your avatar, and fly around blowing people up. It runs on a 3D engine, and the controls are fairly simple for a seemingly complex game. This is also the first game on the list that requires an extra download before playing, though it still runs in a browser.
Play Now: Battlestar Galactica Online
6. Adventure Quest Worlds
This game is a spinoff of an earlier browser game, Adventure Quest. It has the same graphics, but much more complex gameplay than its original. It gives players moderate customization options but a lot of gameplay options. There are different classes and tons of quests. There’s also a very large player base which gives people a lot of social options as well.
Play Now: Adventure Quest Worlds
5. Fusion Fall
Like Battlestar Galactica Online, this game comes to us from a television network; Cartoon Network, to be exact. If you’re expecting it to look like the cartoons they mimic, however, you’ll be in for a surprise. The art style’s biggest difference is bringing many 2D characters to a 3D world, but beyond that they also give them an anime style tweak. This game, like Battlestar Galactica Online, runs on a 3D engine. It also has an additional download before you can play it. Once you get in, you can use the game’s random name generator to create a three-part name, or enter in your own custom name. The looks of your avatar has some basic customization options similar to other titles on this list. The game has very simple controls and an intuitive interface. It’s also very kid friendly, and is a great game for both parents and kids to enjoy.
Play Now: Fusion Fall
4. Free Realms
Free Realms is from Sony Online Entertainment. This is a powerhouse name in the entertainment industry as a whole, let alone the MMO community. Their foray into the browser MMO world brings us another extremely child friendly alternative to raiding and killing in most other MMO games. Like some others on the list, it requires a download prior to playing, but also like the others it offers a rich and expansive world in which kids and adults can explore. The art is very vivid and cartoony, and while the starting customization may be light, with a three part name generation system similar to that of Fusion Fall, the in-game customization is quite impressive. You have free reign to change to a multitude of classes from the get go ranging from fighter style classes to demolition derby racers. Also, if you don’t feel like making your own character, there are premade characters available to choose from.
Play Now: Free Realms
3. A Mystical Land
This 3D game takes a step in a different direction than the previous games on the list and offers slight tweaks on traditional MMO gameplay. Each action, for example, may have an associated skill which can be used to level up your character. For example, mundane tasks like cooking or harvesting plants can produce experience. Currently the game is in open beta, and requires a download before playing. Like a few other games on the list, A Mystical Land promotes daily play by offering login incentives. For each day you log in, you get a different prize, which escalates in value depending on how many consecutive days you’ve logged in; quite a nice tactic. However, A Mystical Land limits constant play with their energy system. Whenever you do things in the game, it takes energy. Energy replenishes over time, when you level up, or if you buy certain items. It’s a nice system to keep it from being a time sink for kids.
Play Now: A Mystical Land
Drakensang Online is a free to play 3D Diablo-style browser MMORPG developed by Bigpoint (specifically by the Radon Labs studio, now a part of Bigpoint). Drakensang Online is an interesting alternative to Diablo with visually stunning 3D graphics, an action-packed world, and great gameplay reminscent of a few PC classics. If you enjoy games such as Diablo or Torchlight don’t hesitate to give this one a try!
Play Now: Drakensang Online
Runescape has been around for a while now and has built up quite a player base. In fact, on their website they boast being the world’s most popular free MMORPG. While its age does show a bit in its graphics, the game still stands with the rest of them and holds the top spot on the list. With a nice compliment of customization, regular updates, and rich gameplay, it’s easy to see why Runescape has been consistently popular for so long. The game can be played in a close view, or zoomed out to a top down perspective. There is a large player base, many different quests, tips on loading screens, varied combat and equipment, the list goes on and on. It’s a game that feels like a subscription MMO, but in compact form. Definitely not for the faint of heart, this game can be daunting to the casual player. If you’re new to MMOs, or even games in general, the complexity may throw you for a loop, and you’d be better building up to it through some of the other great games on the list. Once you get the hang of it, though, Runescape will be ready and waiting to test you on everything you’ve learned.
Play Now: Runescape
Now, I’d like to conclude saying that this is not an all inclusive list. There are plenty of other fantastic browser based MMORPG games out there, and I’m sure a lot of you have favorites that may not be on this list. Just enjoy! That’s what this is all about, after all!
*This page will be updated from time to time so don´t forget to share your top 10!