The competition in the free MMORPG space has gotten remarkably intense in the past few years, as more and more top notch games get converted to free-to-play models, and new games hit the market reveling in their unabashed freeness. Because of all the fierce competition, free games are no longer guaranteed to develop large fanbases just because they’re free, like many of the first free MMORPGs did.
This is of course good news for all of us gamers, as it means free-to-play MMORPGs are higher quality than ever, and there are more sub-genres and styles of free MMO’s available than ever before. So check out our top 10 free MMORPG’s to play in 2013 list.
10. C9 (Continent of the Ninth Seal)
C9 (Continent of the Ninth Seal) represents one of the better hack and slash MMOs available. It features an indepth combo system which allows players to chain multiple unique abilities together to form long and complex attacks. With the first major expansion just launching and an already established competitive PvP scene, C9 aims to keep gamers busy with new classes and new instances to explore. For those looking for a fast paced action MMORPG with a competitive PvP scene C9 is a notable conteder.
Play Now: Continent of the Ninth Seal
Since DC Universe Online has gone free-to-play, the number of players and revenue increased drastically, once again proving that the F2P model is a great choice nowadays. It’s great to fight with iconic DC characters and the action is fast and spectacular. A nice choice for some occasional superhero brawling, you should definitely give this one a go.
Play Now: DC Universe Online
8. Dragon Nest
Dragon Nest is an action RPG published by Nexon where some of the greatest visuals ever seen in a free MMORPG go hand in hand with charming anime characters and exciting real time combat. There’s a lot to be amazed at in this game, an all-round polished offering that any self-respected fan should try.
Play Now: Dragon Nest
7. Dungeons and Dragons Online
DDO seemed to have everything going for it upon its initial release, but never seemed to find an audience. It had great graphics, a unique play style, and the pedigree of one of the best MMO developers behind it in Turbine. Despite its failure as a pay-to-play game, don’t be fooled into thinking that was due to the quality of the game. Though it suffers from some of the repetition that other instance-based games suffer from, it’s still an incredibly challenging and enjoyable experience.
Play Now: Dungeons and Dragons Online
6. The Lord of the Rings Online
LoTRO went free-to-play recently, and surely stands as one of the best free-to-play games on the market. A massive world, challenging combat, haunting music, and beautiful graphics await all those who wish to enter the enchanted realm of Middle-Earth. Player-owned houses and mounts, a unique monster-play PvP system, epic raids and gear, legendary crafted gear, and much more exists in Turbine’s masterpiece.
Play Now: The Lord of the Rings Online
Runes of Magic was dismissed by some people as a World of Warcraft clone upon its release, but others viewed this as a great compliment. While there was a definite comparison to be made in terms of graphical and gameplay style, the overall quality that exists in every aspect of this game was also comparable to WoW, and cause for celebration. RoM’s most unique feature is its dual class system, which allows you to choose two different classes for your character and enjoy the skills of both. Runes of Magic has enjoyed numerous major updates which introduced a lot of new content to the game – Frogster has done and continues to do a great job. If you’re looking for a free MMORPG that rivals the best games in the genre, RoM is it.
Play Now: Runes of Magic
4. Allods Online
It’s easy to make the comparison to World of Warcraft when looking at Allods Online. The graphical style is eerily similar, though the art direction is actually quite original, and melds fantasy and sci-fi elements like few other MMO’s on the market. Allods features two distinct races in conflict with each other, and this conflict spills over into the game’s PvP mode. Humorous writing and scenarios are another hallmark of this charming little game. Don’t be put off by the WoW look, and give this one a shot.
Play Now: Allods Online
Vindictus was probably the most hyped free MMORPG ever when it released. The combination of stunning graphics and an action-based battle system that still retained the RPG elements we all know and love had gamers giddy with excitement. While the hype surrounding Vindictus has now died down somewhat, it still remains an enjoyable and unique game, with some thrilling combat. And those graphics… (drool).
Play Now: Vindictus
MMORPGs have begun moving away from the classic hotbar style of combat to a more open action combat system which focuses on aiming your skills rather then have your character automatically lock on. RaiderZ has one of the best action combat systems currently available, allowing players to join others in large dynamic confrontations against some of the largest and most varied open world bosses in an MMORPG. Players are also not bound to a specific class, but instead are free to choose among different weapon and skill types, allowing the player to choose what style of combat best suits them. All of this combined offers a refreshing experience for players looking for a more skill-based MMORPG.
Play Now: RaiderZ
Aion was released in the west as a pay-to-play game and quickly fell out of the limelight due to the games incessant need to grind for level progression. However with the release of the 3.0 update and the switch to a free to play model, Aion has gone from a traditional Korean grinder to one of the most promising and enjoyable F2P MMOs around with true depth and diversity. Players now have access to all content in Aion with no restrictions allowing them to enjoy the full range of the game. The MMO features breathtaking visuals, air combat, large scale PvP, raids set atop sky fortresses, competitive dungeon runs and much more. One of the most notable features is the large scale keep assaults players can participate in where players must deal not only with the imposing raid bosses within the keep but must also fight off players from the opposing faction who are also fighting for control. With Ncsoft continually updating the game with huge content releases players can expect a long and enjoyable MMORPG experience with Aion
Play Now: Aion
Remember that we are featuring only the most recent free to play MMORPGs so we are not including big free mmorpg classics. We wanted to include all the relevant MMORPG games but we can only choose ten.
With these and other great free games on the market, 2013 promises to be an amazing year for MMORPG players. So grab your weapon of choice and maybe an energy drink or two and get prepared for thrills to last a lifetime.
*This page will be updated from time to time so don´t forget to share your top 10! Last update: 10/08/2012.