14 Action MMORPGs You Should Play in 2022

14 Action MMORPGs You Should Play in 2022

Finding an MMO is difficult. Seriously. I’ve been playing MMOs for 17 years now, and having played almost everything the genre has to offer, I often find myself drifting from game to game, with absolutely no idea what I should be playing.
Looking through the list of games in my Steam library is a whole ‘nother mood all together.
2021 has given us quite a number of new MMOs, and I appreciate that. But that doesn’t mean these games are the game we should necessarily be playing, especially going into 2022.
While I have a video on the “Most played MMORPGs in 2021,” and “Best free MMORPGs in 2021,” I don’t have a list specific to only action MMOs.
I’m well aware that many players aren’t avid fans of tab-target combat, and.. well that’s where this video comes into play.

Today, we’re taking a look at some of the best action MMOs available to play in 2021, going into 2022 – with no restrictions. These are action games you SHOULD be looking to play if you’re… well, looking for something to play.

Now these aren’t necessarily the “best MMORPGs,” but they are some of what I believe to be the best of their respective sub-genre. So please don’t misconstrue the purpose of this video.

Black Desert Online

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Let’s start this off by talking about what many argue is the “pinnacle of the action genre” – Black Desert Online.
Now not every one of you will agree that this is “the greatest action MMO,” and honestly, that’s more than fine. Everyone’s opinion is, after all, entirely subjective.
Yet regardless of whether you mirror that sentiment, there’s absolutely no denying the fact that Black Desert not only looks absolutely stunning, but it plays better than almost all of its competition.
The world is large, open and without any loading screens present. It offers players a diverse selection of life-skills to pre-occupy themselves with, and has an open-ended progression system. Yup, you can continue leveling.. indefinitely.
Now this is a very grindy game, but there’s so much to do and the game is updated more frequently than almost any other MMO. So you can be sure there’ll always be content that warrants coming back to.

Blade & Soul

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Next, let’s talk about Blade & Soul. When people “discuss” – and I use this term very loosely here – their opinions on what MMO features the best action combat, it typically comes down to 2 games: Black Desert Online and Blade & Soul.
Blade & Soul’s combat differs to Black Desert’s. Black Desert is kinda.. spammy, requiring memory of different button combinations, whereas Blade & Soul utilizes your action bar to combo a much smaller selection of abilities together.
After their recent Unreal Engine 4 overhaul, Blade & Soul looks better than ever. Character models look polished, loading times have been drastically improved. The game is in a better state than it has been in years.
Unlike Black Desert, Blade & Soul utilizes a segregated world, connecting areas together via small loading screens. The game isn’t instanced – but the areas aren’t seamlessly connected.
This is a highly narrative-driven game, but NCSoft are kinda sloppy and slow with their updates, so new content takes a very long time to come, often resulting in players spending months at a time in other games.

C9: Continent of the Ninth Seal

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Continent of the Ninth Seal, often referred to as C9, is a hub-MMO.
What this means is that there is no open world for players to explore. Rather, the world exists as several “hubs,” where you can take and complete various quests from different NPCs.
You’ll find plenty of other players within these hubs – or, well, you would if there were more players actively playing, but honestly, C9’s population is pretty low. Nevertheless, traditionally, you’d find a large number of other players populating the hubs.
From these hubs, you’d queue for a variety of different dungeons. And.. that’s the bulk of the game. You group up with other players, and run dungeon content.
This definitely isn’t for everyone. And there are better hub-MMOs out there, but this is a great option if you’ve tried everything else there is to offer.

Dragon Nest

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Dragon Nest is one such alternative. Much like C9, Dragon Nest is a hub-MMO. However, where C9 is pretty much entirely instanced, Dragon Nest has plenty of different areas to explore outside of each hub.
Areas that are connected to entirely new zones. These areas actually house multiple instances found within them, each with their own unique individual aesthetic.
This was generally considered to be “THE PvP MMO,” with many players often regaling me – to this day – with stories of the incredible feats they achieved.
It’s also one of the few MMOs that have a very, very large focus on narrative. Something the MMO genre really isn’t well known for.

Dungeon Fighter Online

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Okay, I’m beginning to see a recurring theme here. A lot of hub-MMOs actually employ an action combat system. And, interestingly enough, a lot of hub-MMOs also happen to utilize Anime aesthetics. Huh, who’d have thunk it.
Dungeon Fighter Online might very well be the greatest hub-MMO of all time in my opinion. Not only does it have some of the best looking AND feeling combat, but it features more classes than any other MMO here. Not just classes, but advanced classes, too.
The sheer depth present in this game is almost unrivaled. There are a plethora of hubs present so you never feel like you’re stuck in the same area too long, although I guess I should note that unlike every other MMO in this list… Dungeon Fighter Online is a horizontal MMO. One of the few of its kind.
I know this isn’t going to appeal to everyone, but including the Chinese playerbase, there are several million players logged in concurrently at any point of the day, with tens of millions of active users daily.

Elyon

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Elyon is actually the most recent MMORPG to release, coming out just a couple weeks ago. Interestingly enough, while the game had some buzz around it when it went under the “Ascent: Infinite Realm” moniker, when it launched as Elyon.. it kinda fizzled out.
Barely scratching 10,000 players playing it concurrently during its first week. Something that even the largely hated Bless Unleashed still remained above for months after launch.
This is a large MMO – it’s entirely open. No loading screens splitting any of the game world up. Everything you see, you can run to without issue. Well, if players don’t murder you along the way – as this is an open-world PvP game.
Graphically, Elyon looks great. It plays great as well.. well, some of the classes do. Some of them are actually horrifically poorly designed and feel terrible. But that’s the case in all MMOs.

Guild Wars 2

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Guild Wars 2 is arguably the only MMO in this list that, while definitely an action title… is also a unique hybrid blend.
Yet while not as flashy, not as fast, and not nearly as spammy as some of its competition, it also has one of the deepest, most customizable selections of classes available.
Most MMOs provide you a weapon for your class. A sword and shield for Paladin. A greatsword or greataxe for Warrior. A stave for Mage. Yet Guild Wars 2 allows for a multitude of different weapons to be equipped per class, with each combination of weapons vastly altering your entire skill selection.
Guild Wars 2 is also a segregated MMO. Meaning that, yes, the world itself is split between small loading screens, but it also utilizes some of the largest, most expansive zones I’ve ever seen in an MMO like this. Unless you could Final Fantasy XIV’s later expansions.
Guild Wars 2 also happens to be one of the 10 most played MMOs, so if that isn’t enough to convince you..

Lost Ark

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Okay, so this is the only title in this list that is.. well, it’s playable in Korea. Japan. Russia. And Amazon have confirmed they’re looking to release it in the West in the first quarter of 2022. So it is 100% playable. I even have a guide on how to play it in English if you’re looking to.
Much like how Dungeon Fighter Online is a unique horizontal MMO, Lost Ark is an interesting top-down isometric MMO. This is one of a handful of MMOs that make use of this specific graphical style.
The world is segregated. Zones aren’t really too large, but there are plenty of quests – both main and side that provide ample opportunity to explore.
The combat is also some of the most fun I’ve had in the genre. Having abilities bound to your letter keys makes for some epic combat, however movement being bound to your left mouse button is.. awkward.

New World

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New World launched a little over a month ago, and has become one of the most played MMORPGs right now. Sure, it’s had its fair share of bugs and exploits, and Amazon are.. questionable developers.
Nevertheless, you cannot deny that underneath, deep, deep down, is an incredibly addictive, enjoyable game.
Its large, seamless open world. Its basic, yet fairly chill combat style. Admittedly, while many of the MMOs listed, Guild Wars 2, Lost Ark, Blade & Soul all have fantastic narratives, New World.. well, it’s a bit of a hot mess.
But much like Black Desert and TERA, if you just kinda.. skim over it, you’ll probably find yourself having quite a bit more fun overall.

PSO2/PSO2 New Genesis

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Since both PSO2 and PSO2 New Genesis are.. connected? I guess I’ll go ahead and list the two of them here together.
PSO2 is a hub-MMO that utilizes an action combat system, and PSO2 New Genesis is a much larger MMO that utilizes segregated zones. But is much closer to the traditional MMO we’re all used to. New Genesis has absolutely incredible combat. For an Anime MMO, you won’t find anything better.
They’re both very narrative-driven, and provide the most.. Anime-y experience you’ll come across.
Admittedly, while New Genesis launched earlier this year, it’s still running very low on content. However, with the announcement that there’s an entirely new region coming soon – that’s definitely going to change.

Soul Worker Online

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SoulWorker is my favorite Anime MMO. It’s one of my favorite MMO of all time, weirdly enough. Like, in the grand scheme of things… there’s really nothing about it that’s better than something like PSO2 or Vindictus. Yet at the same time.. I just find myself drawn to it. Repeatedly.
I guess that’s partly due to the combat. It’s fast, it’s fluid and the abilities all look so damn good. Or.. maybe it’s due to the absolutely adorable Anime aesthetic? Because this game, with the single exception of PSO2 New Genesis is by far the best the Anime genre has to offer.
SoulWorker is a hub-MMO, though, without an open world to explore. Yet at the same time, there are a surplus of different hubs – and even regions connecting every town together that are actually co-operative. Meaning you’ll see other players running around fighting or just.. traveling.
Ever since Lion Games re-acquired publishing rights for the game, it has averaged tens of thousands of active players logging in to play per day, making it one of the most active Anime MMOs out there.

TERA

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TERA is, interestingly enough, the MMO responsible for taking me off the market. Yup, if it weren’t for TERA, I never would’ve met Mrs Stix. Suffice it to say, this game will ALWAYS hold a place in my heart. Partly because I’d still be single right now if not for it.
And partly because this is the action MMO I’ve dedicated more time to than any other. At the end of the day, we all have completely subjective opinions of what we consider to be great action combat. To be good MMOs. TERA, to me, while it’s become a shell of its former self, still has some of the best action combat in the genre.
The world is large and open – I honestly don’t recall if they even have open-world PvP servers anymore. I don’t think so. I feel like most players gave up on PvP in the game.
The narrative is incredibly disconnected from itself now, and you pretty much just run dungeons from level 1 to max level, but in 2021, this is still one of the better action titles out there. Again, a it’s a shell of what it once was, but.. I can’t bring myself to not play it every year.

The Elder Scrolls Online

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TERA is, interestingly enough, the MMO responsible for taking me off the market. Yup, if it weren’t for TERA, I never would’ve met Mrs Stix. Suffice it to say, this game will ALWAYS hold a place in my heart. Partly because I’d still be single right now if not for it.
And partly because this is the action MMO I’ve dedicated more time to than any other. At the end of the day, we all have completely subjective opinions of what we consider to be great action combat. To be good MMOs. TERA, to me, while it’s become a shell of its former self, still has some of the best action combat in the genre.
The world is large and open – I honestly don’t recall if they even have open-world PvP servers anymore. I don’t think so. I feel like most players gave up on PvP in the game.
The narrative is incredibly disconnected from itself now, and you pretty much just run dungeons from level 1 to max level, but in 2021, this is still one of the better action titles out there. Again, a it’s a shell of what it once was, but.. I can’t bring myself to not play it every year.

Vindictus

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And finally – if you hadn’t guessed yet, by the way, I’ve been doing this alphabetically. Did any of you realize that?
Anyway, Vindictus, at least to its fans, is generally considered to have the most advanced action combat, being even better than Black Desert or Blade & Soul.
And you know what? That isn’t entirely incorrect. The combat in Vindictus provides unique opportunities that just aren’t present in other MMOs. Like picking up enemies and using them as weapons. Disarming enemies and picking those weapons up to use yourself. The options are limitless.
While this is a hub-MMO with a few hubs in total, and therefore you spend the majority of your time grinding dungeons, if you’re looking for a game that simply allows you to smash some skulls in highly rewarding fashion… this is it.

And that’s it. They’re… well admittedly I don’t even know how many MMOs were included in this list. 10? 20? Those are a TON of action MMORPGs that you should play in 2021, going into 2022.

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