Defiance DEF_ACT_MatronsAndMonarchs_02

From wizards to ninjas, starships to battleships, there’s a free-to-play game for just about everyone out there. Some are better than others, though, whether it’s due to gameplay, the cash shop, or just that special “something” you can’t quite quantify.

But quantify we will do over the next few weeks, as the staff of MMOBomb takes a crack at ranking the top 50 free-to-play games in existence as of the end of 2015!

To qualify for the list, a game had to be “effectively launched” in North America. That did count games in beta, as long as they were fully free and didn’t require any selection process (like a typical closed beta) to get in. That’s why you’ll see Brawlhalla on the list, which is in open beta and anyone can play right now, but not H1Z1, which requires payment at this time, or Total War: Arena, which requires a beta key to play.

The four of us – Mike, Jason, Zach, and Quintlyn – rated our top 50 choices to create this list, which we’ll reveal to you, 10 games at a time, every Monday for five weeks. Our selections were averaged out and tweaked slightly if one person was way far off from everyone else’s choices to develop the final rankings.

We’ve reached the halfway point in our rankings, and we’re on the cusp of the top 20. This is where you’ll find games that are more than just niche titles that appeal to a few hardcore fans. We’ve got the biggest MMO in the world on the list, a few decade-old games, and some newer titles that have impressed.

Games #41-#50
Games #31-#40

EverQuest-Altar of Malice key art FINAL

30. EverQuest 2

Launching the same month as World of Warcraft all but secured EQ2’s fate. Still, it’s aged better than its world-famous predecessor, and sees new content as much as any 11-year-old MMO can expect. It’s adapted well to the changing times and shows little sign of slowing down as it enters its second decade.

29. RuneScape

It’s easy to forget how huge RuneScape is; over 200 million players have tried the game, more than World of Warcraft and League of Legends combined. Jagex continues to innovate, implementing a hardcore-rules “DarkScape” server and creating a card game based on the MMO.

28. Skyforge

One of the most modern MMOs on our list, Skyforge brings all the pretty and has a combat system that blends traditional tab-targeting with action controls. The repetitive nature of the game and subpar voice acting, however, have prevented it from being the true breakout hit many were looking for.

Trove

27. Trove

When it was first announced – a few weeks after the preview of EverQuest Next and Landmark – it didn’t seem like Trove could stand up to SOE’s shinier concepts. But it came to market quickly and sports a bunch of innovative gameplay that’s converted skeptics into happy players.

26. MapleStory

Like RuneScape, MapleStory is a game that was free-to-play before free-to-play was a big deal, and it’s huge on a worldwide scale but hasn’t drawn nearly as much attention in North America. A 3-D sequel is in the works, and it’ll be interesting to see if it can even approach the overall success of the original.

25. Defiance

At the midway point we have, appropriately, Defiance. It’s never quite gotten the press – good or bad – that other Trion games have, but it still does a good job as an open-world MMO with a quality story and free-to-play implementation. It might not be spectacular, but it’s a solid game.

Neverwinter Tiamat

24. Neverwinter

Perfect World Entertainment’s take on the Dungeons & Dragons world is more traditional, MMO-wise, than Turbine’s attempt, and that’s helped it to draw in a large pool of semi-casual players. The Foundry lets amateur dungeon masters create their own content, keeping things fresh during down times between official releases.

23. Nosgoth

Nosgoth is sort of the herald of all the “battle arena” games coming out soon, like Overwatch, Gigantic, LawBreakers, Paladins, and so on. Don’t let the grim visuals put you off; it’s got that same kind of competitive gameplay, and, unlike those other games, it’s available right now.

22. World of Warplanes

Wargaming’s second entry into the combat arena hasn’t fared quite as well as its first, due in part to another plane-fighting game that you’ll see later. Still, it has that polish and shine you expect from the company, making it highly accessible.

dcuo_scr_Ep15_BombshellParadox_001

21. DC Universe Online

After a hasty F2P transition on PC, DCUO found a huge audience as one of the few free-to-play MMOs available on the PS3 and PS4. SOE/Daybreak is constantly adding new content and refining the mechanics, and the roster of familiar characters doesn’t hurt either.

11 Readers Commented

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  1. Piou on January 5, 2016

    where is Warface developped by Crytek ? it is the best looking F2P FPS and you don’t even mention it …

  2. Guest on December 25, 2015

    (Pay to win games)
    ———————————————————————————
    (Option list)
    1.Flyff
    2.Elsword
    3.Grand chase
    4.Fiesta
    5.Tales Runner
    6.Lost saga
    7.ELOA
    8.Maplestory
    9.Dragomon hunter
    10.Eden eternal
    11.Aura kingdom
    12.DCUO universe
    13.Need for speed
    14.conquest 2
    15.Cross fire
    16.Heartstone
    17.Dungeon fighter online
    18.Legend of edda
    19.Cosmic Break
    20.Getamped 2
    21.Rumble Fighter
    22.Echo of soul
    23.ArcheAge
    24.One Piece 2
    25.Wartune
    26.Tiny mighty
    27.Gun and robot
    28.Rose online
    29.Battlefield free to play
    30.Heroes Go
    31.world of tanks

  3. Faesarn on December 25, 2015

    Some games on that ‘all time’ list are F2P since a few months/years like Lineage 2, which has been P2P for a very long time. It was an amazing game while being pay to play, now it’s not that good anymore.
    I disagree with World of Warplanes. Tried it. Hated it. War Thunder is much better IMHO. But World of Warships is uber cool !

  4. animalinstinct on December 22, 2015

    its got trove and DC games its fake

  5. dark on December 21, 2015

    Mu online #1

  6. Curst on December 21, 2015

    World of Warplanes is placed higher than Neverwinter, Skyforge, Star Trek Online, Armored Warfare? Those games are thriving (well, more or less) and WoWP has been struggling to maintain enough players for full matches for more than a year. They’ve even added bots (with intentionally misleading “un-bot-like” names) to fool new players into thinking that their game is alive. … Even Scarlet Blade is doing better than WoWP.

    Whos idea was it to put it that high? How could you? 🙁 Sigh.

  7. Syntheziz on December 21, 2015

    I’m still surprised people consider runescape f2p? All the good content is premium

    • Gahen on December 21, 2015

      For example, in DCOU most of the content is premium, it’s still on the list.

    • grimsbane on December 22, 2015

      yea but the core skills that matter being via attack, defence, strength, and range along with prayer are f2p, along with the few core skilling skills that are also f2p. Which technically makes it f2p. The p2p side just all the other crap thats not really even worth bothering with.

    • Mern on December 26, 2015

      you can play it for free so it’s f2p. woah that was difficult.

  8. Curst on December 21, 2015

    Woah. World of Warplanes is better than Neverwinter, Skyforge, Star Trek Online and Armored Warfare? Isn’t it too big of a stretch?

    Those games are thriving (well, more or less) while WoWP has been struggling to maintain enough players for full 15vs15 matches for more than a year now. They’ve even added bots (with intentionally misleading “un-bot-like” names) to normal PvP matches because of that. Seriously, even Scarlet Blade is doing better than WoWP. I mean they are trying, no doubt here. There is no prize for trying though. At least not where I’m from.

    Whos idea was it to put this game so high anyway? How could you? ಠ_ಠ >_< 🙁 Sigh.

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