Gameplay often trumps everything else in MMORPG games. Players want to know what the endgame is like, what makes the classes unique, and learn about the PvP. For many, however, the story can be the king of content, especially when it is done well. For those of you who crave a little more narrative in your MMORPGs, we've got 10 games that you should check out.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
It should come as no big surprise that BioWare can crank out a good story in a video game. They've been doing it for a long time. Sure, not everything they produce is a winner, but when it comes to Star Wars: The Old Republic they've hit a home run with their storytelling. The class stories are all top-notch, and even the expansion stories are quite good. The biggest knock on SWTOR today is that the story comes out in such small chunks over long periods of time. The narratives they tell, however, are still top-notch.
Secret World Legends
A real sleeper on this list, I absolutely love the world and storytelling that takes place in Secret World Legends. All myths and legends are true, and you explore a masterfully crafted world full of mystery and intrigue with fully voice-acted quest-givers who really set the tone for what is happening. Combat admittedly isn't the greatest out there even with the change to a more action-combat style, but the world and the stories taking place in it more than make up for that and provide a really good reason to play through the game at least once... even if no more stories will be added.
Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV is a classic MMORPG that features some of the best world-building and storytelling in the genre. Fans often rave about the fantastic stories that just seem to get better with each expansion. Several major story arcs can be found within the game, and each main story quest sends you on a rollercoaster of adventure. There are plenty of twists and turns, so buckle up and hold on tight as you prepare for the ride of a lifetime.
Guild Wars 2
The episodic story chapters in Guild Wars 2 bring life to the game and move the story of the entire world forward. You're not just the chosen one moving around the world with no consequence. The story evolves not just your character or the narrative, but the world around you as well. From boss encounters, to political intrigue, to whole new continents whose doors have been closed for centuries, there is plenty to explore and do in the story of GW2.
The Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls Online's voice-acted quests do a fantastic job of immersing you in the story and the world around you. Exploring to find more quests is a big part of the game, and each DLC and expansion brings more and more stories to a world already overflowing with narrative.
Star Trek Online
I'm a huge Star Trek fan and there's no better place to take part in the adventures of The Federation than in Star Trek Online. Simply follow the story through the game and you'll be treated to all the usual Star Trek tropes and stories you would expect. There are space missions and away team missions which make up a nice mix of story content for your space-faring pleasure.
The Lord Of The Rings Online
One of my personal favorite games to get lost in, The Lord of the Rings Online, sets you on an adventure adjacent to that of the main Lord of the Rings story. You'll be fighting Nazgul and other threats to the Fellowship and saving the lands of Middle-earth from enemies far and wide.
Each continent in Lost Ark has its own storyline to follow, providing more unique experiences and adventures as you go further and further into the game. The top-down perspective brings a different feel to this MMORPG and makes for unique combat, but it's the stories that will keep you going from zone to zone, seeing where each new breadcrumb takes you.
Dungeons & Dragons Online
If you're looking to adventure in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, then there's an MMO for you. Dungeons & Dragons Online tells some wonderful stories with each adventure and immerses you in a world of magic and adventure.
New World has come a long way with its storytelling since launch, adding in lots of voice-acted quest givers that tell the story of its starter regions, and the latest expansion of Brimstone Sands was a joy to adventure through with all of the characters bringing the world to life. The game continues to add more story quests and is truly striving to bring its storytelling to the next level.
That's our list of the top 10 MMORPGs that tell a great story. What's your favorite MMO story of all time? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
Troy “Noobfridge” Blackburn has been reporting on the video game industry for over a decade. Whether it’s news, editorials, gameplay videos, or streams, Noobfridge never fails to present his honest opinion whether those hot takes prove to be popular or not.More Stories by Troy Blackburn