Best MMORPGs 2019 - The Top MMOs to Play Going Into 2020!
We’re just 3 weeks away from the end of 2019. This year has been absolutely crazy – not only with regards to MMO releases, but also for me.
The channel has grown so much over the course of 2019. This time last year we were at 120,000 subscribers – now we’re about to hit 200,000. That is some ridiculous growth considering all the people claiming the MMO genre is dead.
And that’s all thanks to the amazing community we’ve built up over the last 3 years. You guys truly are awesome and have made it possible for me to pursue this as a full-time career.
I hope you all stop by my “Thanks for 200k!” video in the next week or two so I can thank you in more detail!
But enough of that. This video is about what I consider the best MMORPGs to play currently in 2019, and what I believe will be the best MMORPGs to play going into 2020, future releases included.
I know some of you will see some of the games in this list and disagree with them and you’re more than welcome to your opinion.
But remember that this is mine, and just because you don’t necessarily enjoy a game, doesn’t mean you should discourage other players from potentially enjoying something you don’t.
So if your sole intention is to express toxicity in the comment section, just leave the video and let people who actively enjoy the genre discuss amongst ourselves.
Now with that outta the way, let’s jump in and see if we can’t find something awesome to play, yeah?
FINAL FANTASY XIV
We’ll start this off with Final Fantasy XIV. I’ve devoted probably over a year worth of playing this game 6 to 8 hours a day, honestly, and I can safely say that I do not in any way regret a single moment.
Even the slow base game. But then again I’m a big fan of story in my MMOs – something that is often overlooked by developers.
I grew up on JRPGs – with franchises like Final Fantasy, Star Ocean, the Tales of games, Suikoden, Legend of Dragoon, the Mana series, Chrono games… you name a JRPG and I’ve played it.
So I’m used to games starting off slow and picking up speed as they continue to develop, and if you make it through to Shadowbringers, then.. yeah, you’re in for a treat.
The world itself is large and filled with content to explore, with every expansion introducing additional regions increasing the overall size and scope of the world to delve into. Regions are segregated, meaning there are loading screens between each one.
Combat is tab-target, with a plethora of different skills to learn and master.
The character creator offers players the ability to create some truly beautiful characters but lacks some of the customization that other MMOs provide.
However, what the creator tools lack, the game more than makes up for with outfits in-game.
There is a plethora of dungeons, raids and PvE content to partake of between patches, although the PvP community is fairly small.
Overall, one of my favorite MMORPGs in my 15 years of playing in the genre. Definitely worth it if you’re looking for a high quality PvE MMORPG and aren’t really all that concerned with PvP.
ASCENT: INFINITE REALM
Ascent: Infinite Realm is one of the most anticipated MMORPGs of 2020.
It was one of the most anticipated MMOs of 2019, but after several test phases, it turns out the game wasn’t nearly as good as people were hoping for and the devs behind A:IR decided to delay the game another year to make sure it was up to player’s standards.
I played through two separate test phases of the game – and I have videos of my experience through it if you want to take a look, but honestly, I enjoyed myself.
I knew there were some rough edges and facets of the game that just wouldn’t work but it looks like they’ve worked to iron out the majority of issues, so realistically, the game looks to be in top-shape.
The game is completely open-world, meaning that there are no loading screens between areas. Content takes place both on the land and in the sky – with A:IR offering players the ability to do battle on both fronts.
There’s a basic story, but like most South Korean MMOs the story really isn’t all that deep, with the majority of people I’ve met and talked to regarding the game saying they skipped through it.
Combat is a hybrid between tab-target and action combat, offering free-aim tab-targeting. I hear they’ve made improvements with the combat since I last played, so I guess we’ll need to see what form it ultimately takes.
The character creator is pretty intense, offering a lot of customization options. But then again South Korean MMOs tend to focus on graphics above other features – like story, so this is no surprise.
You get to make pretty crazy looking characters, which is always a plus for me. The game is a PvPvE MMORPG in so that there is open-world PvP but also a fairly large focus on PvE as well.
Overall, Ascent: Infinite Realm is a beautiful upcoming MMO that has a release date all but confirmed for 2020 over in the West. If you’re into ganking people out in the open world while questing, this’ll likely be something right up your alley.
GUILD WARS 2
Guild Wars 2 is part of the foundation of this channel. Back when we were first beginning our journey into this genre online, my sister Wiggy and I played through Guild Wars 2 quite extensively.
We both recorded the game in our own time, and streamed it over on Twitch with all of our viewers actively participating in our journey. If you remember those times – then wow you’ve been watching us for way too long. But thanks for sticking around for so long.
So I have quite the history with the game, playing it several times per week actively for about 8 months. Like Final Fantasy XIV, Guild Wars 2 has quite the focus on story – providing players a non-linear experience through the game’s world.
Each expansion and large patch introduces new content for players to play through and an extension to the overall story, meaning that the game never grows stagnant in terms of progression.
The world offers large, segregated zones with loading screens separating regions and locking them to specific level ranges. This is a unique feature that prevents you from ever steam-rolling zones and proposing an interesting dynamic between new and old players.
Combat is action based, providing several different weapon types and an in-depth skill system providing a lot of customization over your character.
The character creator offers a fair amount of options to create your character, but like Final Fantasy XIV – the majority of customization is found in-game in the form of outfits.
There are plenty of dungeons, events, fractals and raids to participate in with a pretty active PvP community.
Overall, Guild Wars 2 is a great MMO to play if you’re more into the casual side of things, with plenty to do if you’re into both PvE and PvP.
PHANTASY STAR ONLINE 2
Phantasy Star Online 2 is by far the most Anime-esque MMORPG you’ll ever come across. I’ve played through probably 50, maybe 60 hours of the game over the course of a several month period and I can say I haven’t really seen anything like it.
The reason I didn’t devote as much time as I would’ve liked was because the game was only available in Japanese with an English fan-translation, and as such, there were some parts of the game left untranslated.
While not necessary to progress through the main game, I felt as though that gated some of the content for me and I dislike content-gating in any form other than progression.
Fast forward to a few months ago, it was revealed that Phantasy Star Online 2 would be releasing in Spring 2020.. so with that confirmed, I and a lot of other players are highly anticipating the launch of the game next year.
Phantasy Star Online 2 is a very story-heavy game, which seems to be the case for Japanese MMORPGs.
The world that the game takes place in is hub-based, but not in the same way as Vindictus or Soul Worker. Instead, PSO2 has larger more interactable areas with larger-scale encounters to participate in.
Combat is action based with lots of combos, several weapon types allowing you to swap your combat style on the fly, and lots of customization over how you want to engage each encounter.
The character creator offers the most Anime-inspired characters you’ll ever come across. It has a large variety of options for each race and provides endless customization, both through the creator tools and in-game via outfits and events.
Since the game is hub-based, the majority of the game feels like dungeon-running, but there is plenty of variety between missions you take, boss fights you tackle and a little PvP on the side.
Overall, Phantasy Star Online 2 is by far the best hub-based MMO around, and if you’re looking for an Anime MMO to play.. this’ll be your go-to.
LEAGUE OF MAIDENS
League of Maidens is a little different. While technically an MMO, featuring tons of players participating in content at the same time, it’s also less of an RPG.. but has RPG elements. A lot of RPG elements, blurring the line between genres a little bit.
The easiest way to label this game would be to call it an MMOARPG with a heavy emphasis on PvP. There’s a little story to the game – but from what I’ve seen and heard, story isn’t the main focus of the game.
The world and its regions are all fairly substantial in size, providing large fields to take missions and do battle on.
Combat is action based, providing players the ability to swap between various types of combat while out in the heat of battle, and allowing for players to wield a diverse selection of weapons and skill types.
The character creator allows for more customization than probably any MMO I’ve ever seen. Yes, even more so than Black Desert. The creator tools are truly beyond impressive for me and allow you to create your dream avatar.
From what I can tell, there are various types of content to engage in ranging from PvE missions and PvP battlefield modes, but that’s all I’ve been able to find.
The game is expected to launch at least in some capacity during 2020, so it should be interesting to see where it goes, since this is probably the only MMOARPG of its kind.
Overall, League of Maidens is a promising superhero-esque MMOARPG for players that are looking for something a little.. different.
ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE
I’ve been a fan of the Elder Scrolls games for as long as I can remember. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was probably my first Xbox game back when I was a kid and I poured a thousand or more hours into that game.
Yes, I was addicted. I enjoyed Oblivion with the Dark Brotherhood and Skyrim – admittedly heavily modded, was quite a treat as well.
So when The Elder Scrolls Online was announced you can bet I was ecstatic. While I played Guild Wars 2 and Final Fantasy XIV both during the infancy of my channel, ESO was definitely recorded and posted, albeit not nearly to the same level of depth.
I’ve played, probably about 4 to 5 months of the game and poured maybe 4 to 8 hours per week over those months into progression.
And let me tell you, one thing I’ve noticed about popular MMORPGs is that they all have pretty well thought out storylines, providing a lot of depth to the world these games take place in.
The world itself is large and open, but split between segregated zones, but that provides the devs the option to truly make every new area you visit truly unique and filled with its own story and personality.
Combat is action based, allowing for players to play as literally anything they want. Heavy-plate armored fireball wielding assassin using a wooden stick to kill your foes? Sure, seems completely normal and practical.
It’s that kind of customization that had me really enjoying what I played through.
The character customization offers quite a few options but they don’t have nearly as large of an impact on the characters as I would normally like.
Overall, The Elder Scrolls Online offers players a lot of PvE content to do in the way of dungeons and raids, while also offering quite a bit of PvP content for players interested in that aspect of the game, both of which have fairly active populations.
TemTem is probably my most anticipated MMORPG of 2020. I love Pokemon. I’ve been a fan of Pokemon ever since I played Pokemon Red for the first time as a kid. Granted, I was more a fan of Yellow but that’s beside the point.
I’ve played through every generation of Pokemon since the franchise first came out and I gotta say – one thing that always bothered me was the fact that they never released a Pokemon game in MMO-form.
Sure, there were private servers for the games released but nothing official. So when TemTem was announced, and I saw footage of the game via trailers and screenshots, to say I was ecstatic would be an understatement.
I played through around 6 or so hours of the TemTem Alpha so if you’re interested in seeing what it has to offer, you can go ahead and take a look.
Like a Pokemon game, TemTem has quite an emphasis on story – without a story, you’d have no reason to leave town on a journey, no reason to really do battle with Dojo leaders or meet new people.
The world is completely open – meaning that everywhere is explorable, although new areas are locked behind story – meaning you can’t continue without first meeting the story-related requirements.
Combat is turn-based, with you and your enemies each choosing between a selection of 4 attacks and taking turns trying to K.O the other team.
The character creator offered quite a bit of customization – I was actually surprised by how much it provided me with, with additional outfits unlockable in-game as you progress.
TemTem plays much like a Pokemon game. It doesn’t really offer “dungeons” or “raids,” but does offer PvP in the form of duels.
Overall, I could not be any more excited for this game. It’s a one-of-a-kind MMORPG that is going to offer players something that is truly going to take the genre somewhere new.
When both Lost Ark and Lineage Eternal were announced, I was torn between which I thought looked better. They were the same kind of game but differed enough that they looked and felt completely different.
Years went by and Lost Ark eventually launched in South Korea, whereas Lineage Eternal fell off the map, before rebranding under the new title: “Project TL.”
Then they went radio silent for another year before announcing they were almost ready to launch the game in 2020 – after all this time.
Exactly what kind of MMO Project TL is going to be is unknown, as honestly not a whole lot pertaining to the game overall has been revealed.
We know that it’s going to be very similar to Lost Ark in terms of camera-views and combat-style – with combat being action based – but whether it has a large focus on story, is PvP-oriented, has dungeons or not.. remains to be seen.
If it follows its original plan from back when it was Lineage Eternal, then it’ll likely be open-world, but that’s probably all we’re capable of surmising at this point.
Overall, Project TL could rival Lost Ark when the game launches – it truly looks and feels incredible but we’ll have to wait and see.
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
Whether you enjoy World of Warcraft or WoW Classic, the fact remains that WoW in whichever form still remains one of the most populated and highest quality MMOs out right now.
This is probably the MMO I’ve invested the most time into, having an active sub since 2008. Yes, that’s 11 years worth of $15 per month wasted on this game but to this day I still don’t regret a thing.
WoW has a lot of story, and a lot of lore associated with the characters and areas found throughout the game.
It has by far one of the largest open worlds ever created in an MMO to my knowledge, and that’s made very apparent when you opt to run on foot from zone to zone and fully explore what the game has to offer.
Combat is tab-target, probably some of the best in the tab-target genre. People who have played WoW competitively in either PvE or PvP will be able to attest to above anything else – the combat being perfectly utilized for the style.
The character creator is pretty basic and there aren’t really any outfits to be found in-game, but there are so many tiered gear sets that running older content collecting gear to transmog into is part of the game nowadays.
There are a significant number of dungeons and raids for players to run if you’re into PvE and quite a few battlegrounds and arenas to run if you’re into PvP.
Overall, World of Warcraft – both the current live game and WoW Classic are incredibly high quality games. If you haven’t played them in the past, then you’re truly missing out.
I’m gonna go ahead and end this with Blue Protocol. This is probably one of the few MMORPG’s on the horizon with the potential to really exceed player expectation.
Not because most MMOs these days suck – but because Blue Protocol looks like it’s actually a AAA MMO title with the backing of a large studio that knows what they’re doing with their games.
Not much has been revealed regarding the actual game, mainly due to there being an NDA in place, but during their first testing phase players were able to gauge a few things.
The combat is pure action based, meaning no tab-target, no free aiming tab-target, complete and proper action combat.
The game was incredibly large and open to explore, with nobody running into loading screens outside of perhaps the town? I don’t recall if the town had loading screens or not, I think only one person I spoke to discussed that.
No information on story, dungeons or raids, but there were quite a few different characters and character creation trailers were revealed in the last few months, so there’s some depth to character customization.
But anyone you ask will tell you that the game was more fun than they expected it to be, which leaves me with high hopes.
Yes I have yet to play the game myself, and I haven’t seen much in the way of gameplay, but man am I looking forward to this game next year – even if it only has a confirmed Japanese release right now.
And that’s it.
These are 10 MMORPGs that I believe were the best of this year – and will no doubt be some of the best going into next year as well, thus my inclusion of more than one title that isn’t fully playable but is playable in some state.
I know the majority of you have probably played well over half of these, but for those of you that haven’t, and, heck, even for those of you that have, hopefully there’s one game out of these 10 that you haven’t played. Or at least haven’t played nearly enough.