10 Free to Play MMORPGs You Should Try In May, 2020!
“Stix, what’s a good free to play MMORPG?” It’s questions like this that make these monthly “top 10” videos such an integral part of the channel.
Every month I do a video titled “Free to play MMORPGs you should try in x month,” where I go on to list 10 games you may or may not have played in anticipation of satiating that thirst you have for something to kill the boredom you no doubt feel.
These videos essentially highlight less popular, sometimes obscure games that you guys may have overlooked at one point or another, or might not even know exist.
This is especially important right now with so many people stuck at home looking for something to do.
Each list will have 2 “big MMOs” and 8 “smaller,” more “obscure” games. So note that your favorite free MMO might not be included in this months list but might have been in last months or might end up in next months.
So, let’s take some time and spread not only some love, but also some activity around the genre a little bit, yeah?
TERA was released back in 2012 as a pay-to-play MMORPG, requiring you pay a monthly subscription fee. Shortly after in 2013 the game rebranded from TERA to TERA: Rising with a transition of business model over to free-to-play.
This is due to steep decline in player population over the course of its first year within North America and Europe.
However, the game found critical and commercial success as a free-to-play game, having almost 30 million registered players back in 2017, and over 2 million players after its console launch in 2018.
The game, at the time was one of the most visually stunning MMOs on the market, and to date, has remained an incredibly attractive game.
Despite releasing back in South Korea in 2011, TERA has retained the title of “one of the best action MMOs” ever since its release, and its combat alone is one of the reasons I often find myself making my way back to the game.
While a lot has changed over the years, TERA remains one of the highest quality free-to-play MMOs I’ve ever played.
Allods Online was released back in 2011 and was referred to at the time as the “WoW killer,” one of the first of many MMOs that would attempt the WoW formula and ultimately fail to adequately adapt what made WoW.. well, WoW.
But just because Allods failed to replicate the success it was after, that doesn’t mean the game itself was a failure. Quite the opposite, actually.
Allods, at its peak had millions of players. I remember logging into the MMO I was playing at the time, which if I’m not mistaken was Perfect World International, and hearing all about how there was this new, exciting MMO shaking up the market.
Everyone I knew flocked to the game and sung nothing but high praise for it. However that was short lived due to the pay-to-win mechanics introduced.
After realizing their mistake, Allods and the devs behind the game decided to introduce a brand new server for players to play on that was free of pay-to-win, but required a subscription fee, much like they were after initially.
While Allods may have started out as a “WoW clone,” it definitely became much more than that. It’s a quirky, voice acted tab-target MMO that has retained a loyal playerbase for a decade.
Champions Online was released back in 2009. Wow, has it been 11 years since this game came out? Geez, now I feel old. Can you believe that this game actually came out years before DC Universe Online?
Unlike DC Universe Online however, which began as a subscription-based MMO, Champions Online has remained completely free for its entire life.
These two MMOs are pretty much the only superhero themed MMOs available on the market right now – although there are a few indie games currently in development that aim to take down the competition.
Honestly, though, Champions Online is a pretty solid game in terms of what it has to offer. It utilizes tab-target combat, and allows for you to interact with various parts of the environment, something rarely done in MMOs.
Its selection of customization options and super-powers is also very impressive allowing for you to make the hero of your dreams. The only issue I see people having with the game is with its graphics, which are pretty dated at this point.
I actually just finished a video on Kritika’s new class a couple days ago – if you’re interested in Kritika I urge you to go ahead and check that out!
Kritika Online released originally back in 2017, and re-released under the new Kritika: REBOOT title at the end of 2019 after the developer, ALLM decided to self-publish the game outside of South Korea.
Kritika is a hub-based MMO, where the game takes place in various different town “hubs,” having players take missions and socialize with other players, but otherwise, you run dungeons to progress through the story.
I know this doesn’t necessarily appeal to all types of MMO players because, let’s be honest.. there are a lot of us that enjoy open-world, freely-explorable games. But nevertheless, with thousands of active players, these games have their place.
Especially when your combat is as good as the action combat found within Kritika.
Secret World Legends
Secret World Legends was released back in 2012 under the title “The Secret World.” The game initially utilized a buy-to-play business model with an optional subscription for players, but after declining to a point where the game was no longer profitable, the devs opted to transition to a free-to-play model.
Interestingly, though, Secret World Legends is one of the very few MMOs that take place in the real, modern world. Well, it’s probably the only one that occupies this setting that is currently still alive and active.
Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of the setting, nobody can deny that this game has some pretty damn good action combat considering when it was released, and even better voice acting. Some of the best voice acting in an MMO that isn’t WoW or Final Fantasy XIV.
It’s a highly unique game with a very large emphasis on story – having fully voice-acted cutscenes that really add a lot of personality to the game.
A lot was changed when they rebranded under the “Secret World Legends” title, and I know plenty of people were unhappy with those changes but for a completely new player to the game, this was definitely a treat to play through.
Phantasy Star Online 2
While Phantasy Star Online 2 is currently only available on the Xbox console, it has been confirmed that we’ll be getting a PC release this month which is why it’s in this list!
PSO2 was originally released back in Japan in 2012 with us finally gaining access to the game on Xbox earlier this year. Yet even after remaining a Japanese-exclusive MMO, it has remained one of the most highly anticipated MMOs year after year.
The game is a beautiful Anime MMO that takes place in a large social quest-hub where you take missions with other players and tackle fights ranging from small-scale encounters you can complete on your own to large-scale encounters you need several groups for.
Despite when it was released, the action combat the game employs is better than most games released even in this day and age. You have the option of equipping various different weapon types and swapping between them on the fly.
This allows you to fill different roles at any given time and provides players a lot of individual utility.
While the game is mostly instanced content, there’s so much to do and so much to explore that you don’t really feel it. Especially considering you can meet other players around instances randomly at times.
The first time I had another player join my instance, I was mashing buttons attempting to eliminate all the enemies within the instance when this guy walked up to me. I figured they were an NPC until they turn to me and go.. “hey.”
Suffice it to say, I was a little freaked out.
So Perfect World released originally in China back in 2005 but in North America in 2008. I believe I played the game back in 2009 and continued playing it for approximately 2-3 years. It was my life.
While the game is a shell of its former self, having become a very hardcore pay-to-win game, if you play the game exclusively for the PvE aspect and avoid PvP for the most part, you’ll still be able to see why I devoted years of my life to the game.
Yes, it’s pretty damn old by this point, the tab-target combat is also a little slow, but with how many abilities you have and how many unique, interesting classes are available to play as in-game now.. especially the non-melee classes, you likely won’t really feel much of it.
The character creator is also still, in 2020, one of the best most intuitive creators in the MMO-verse. No joke. Go look at a video on it and you’ll see just how absurd the characters you can create are.
While Perfect World is an incredibly grindy game, since nobody really does quests to level up, you’ll probably find a difficulty that isn’t common in MMOs anymore, and that’s refreshing. Even with some players spending a billion dollars to essentially become PvP gods in-game.
C9: Continent of the Ninth
Continent of the Ninth Seal was released back in 2012 to quite a bit of success. It was one of the few hub-based MMOs available at the time and it had a very large focus on PvP, something that people were obsessed with having in their MMOs back in the day.
C9 is one of the few free MMOs that players can arguably agree on as having some of the best “action combat” in the genre. Some of the developers that worked on designing the combat in C9 actually ended up working on Black Desert.
Much like both PSO2 and Kritika: REBOOT, C9 is a hub-based MMO that has players tackle instanced dungeons, with dungeons being re-runnable on varying difficulties, providing additional challenge for those of you interested.
However, if I’m to believe the general consensus on every one of my C9 videos, PvE is only an afterthought, with PvP being a main focus, or rather, THE main focus of the game.
While I can’t comment on that personally, if a fun, hub-based action MMO with a lotta PvP sounds like something you’d enjoy, then look no further.
Blade & Soul
Blade & Soul released back in 2016, after spending years teasing us with the South Korean version of the game.
It launched to ridiculous popularity – having millions of players playing within the first week alone. I hadn’t seen as large of an MMO launch as that in quite a while.
The game retained a lot of its playerbase over the course of its first year as it had incredibly detailed character customization, one of the best action combat systems in an MMO, free-to-play or buy-to-play, and absolutely gorgeous graphics.
However, its poor performance, heavy pay-to-win PvP system and lack of much to do at endgame other than grind quickly buried the game.
Over time there has been a lot of additional content released, but the fact that the game is a large grind has always been an issue for players.
The game has been such a huge success that there are what? 4? 5 mobile spin-offs currently in the works. If you’re a fan of the Blade & Soul PC MMO then you’ll probably be excited for these projects as well. Or at least one of them.
Eden Eternal is one of the first Anime MMOs I ever played. Tales of Pirates, FlyFF, Fiesta and Eden Eternal. Eden Eternal itself was released back in 2011 under the now defunct Aeria Games.
I played this game on and off over the years because it offered me something that no other MMO did: That was customization over my class.
Not only did it have a lot of customization over your skills and abilities, but at the same time it provided you the option of unlocking additional classes to play as through leveling and meeting certain conditions.
This allowed for players, like me, to level several different classes all on the same character: Something altaholics will understand was groundbreaking for me.
It also provided one of the most adorable worlds, and had some of the best tab-target combat I’d seen in an Anime MMO. Even in 2020 I feel as though Eden Eternal has some pretty amazing skill animations and provides more than almost any other Anime MMO.