The 10 Best Action MMORPGs in 2020
Today’s a little different. Today, we’re talking about my 10 favorite action MMORPGs. Not free-to-play MMOs. Not upcoming MMOs. My favorite action titles right now, that you can go right ahead and download and play.
Some of these are free games, some of them are paid games, some are open-world, some are hub-based. We got a variety here – and I believe that’s what’s key to a good selection of games: variety. If they’re all the same type of game, then you have no real options, right?
Now, I know some of you might disagree with one of more of these titles, but remember, this is purely subjective. So if you have your own games you’d like to point out, please go ahead and include them in a comment below!
I’d love to know why you think the game deserves to be in a list like this and would love to potentially include it in a list next time!
Phantasy Star Online 2
Let’s start this off with Phantasy Star Online 2.
This actually just launched internationally this year, and has since went on to garner quite an active playerbase numbering in the tens of thousands concurrently at any point during the day.
Unlike most action MMOs – or rather, unlike most MMOs in general, PSO2 allows for players to equip 3 different weapons at any given time with each weapon having its own unique style of play.
This provides quite a lot of room to highly customize the type of character you want to build and allows for you to fill a variety of different roles simultaneously.
However I think the one single drawback to PSO2 is the fact that it’s a very limited hub-based MMO, something that the New Genesis release next year aims to remedy.
But the sheer amount of raw fun you can have with groups of people all tackling the same large boss encounters is almost unrivaled in both an action MMO, a hub-based MMO and an Anime MMO.
Lost Ark hasn’t truly released globally yet, but Amazon Game Studios are working on getting it to us next year in 2021.
Mrs Stix and I have been streaming the Russian version of the game and have so far been having a lot of fun.
Like every top-down isometric MMO, the game has a world that’s split into “zones.” Each zone has a plethora of quests to do, monsters to kill and most of the time has a dungeon – either story related or random.
Graphically, this is one of the best looking games in this list. And its action combat is some of the best I’ve found, allowing for players to combo quite a few abilities together and unleash havoc.
And the graphics.. both for abilities and the world itself are absolutely stunning.
Guild Wars 2
Okay so Guild Wars 2 is actually a little debatable in terms of whether or not you’d classify it as an “action MMO,” but considering the vast majority of my abilities are usable without a target, I’d say it is.
We’re actually getting a brand new expansion in the future – End of Dragons, and with that there’s been a resurgence of activity.
Guild Wars 2 is one of the largest free MMOs I’ve ever played, having a ridiculously large world split between the base game and 2 expansions, although the world itself utilizes segregated zones, not that that’s an issue considering the sheer size of each zone.
Combat provides players the option of equipping 2 different weapons at any given time along with an underwater weapon, giving quite a bit of freedom over how you want to play your class.
I know some people believe the game isn’t really “action” oriented, but I feel as though it most definitely is. And you know what? Is probably one of the highest quality, most complete experiences available in a free MMO.
Soul Worker Online
Soul Worker Online has always and likely will always be one of my favorite Anime MMOs. Yes, it’s a hub-MMO but at the same time, it offers so many different towns, so many different maps to run that it really doesn’t feel nearly as bad as some others in the genre.
It’s only been available in the West for a couple years now and I’m gonna be real here.. while Gameforge aren’t really the greatest publisher, and have kinda run the game into the ground a little bit, it’s worth noting that that doesn’t make it any less fun.
This is a beautiful game that has equally as good combat, allowing you to bind several abilities to your hotbar, and bind combos on to the end of one another, allowing for you to customize how your abilities follow up from one another.
I know the population in Soul Worker’s actually a little on the low end right now, and it makes sense as to why, but this is one of the most Anime-ish MMOs you’ll find and I cannot recommend it enough – I always have.
Vindictus is much like Soul Worker – but with less diverse hubs to explore. However that doesn’t mean that the game doesn’t have a lot to do or a lot to look at as the game probably has more content than any other hub-MMO I’ve come across.. with the exception being maybe Dungeon Fighter Online or PSO2.
Many players claim that Vindictus actually has some of, if not the best action combat in any MMO to date, and I’ll admit, it does have some very good combat.
Not only is it incredibly flashy and not only does it have some absolutely incredible looking encounters, but being able to actively interact with your environment: Pillars, broken fences – heck, even monsters themselves, makes for some ridiculous fun.
Yes, there isn’t much to explore, and quests are typically fairly generic, but if you’re after something where combat is your main concern – well, combat and great graphics, then this is by far one of the titles you should be singling out.
If it weren’t for TERA Mrs Stix and I never would’ve met, and I’d still be single. Sorry ladies. So this game, regardless of the state it’s currently in will always hold a very, very special place in my heart and my memories.
While the leveling experience has been fairly truncated over time, and is mostly dungeon-farming until level 65- well, dungeon farming in general, the game offers an incredibly large, beautiful world that was once filled with players out participating in all of the quests the world used to offer.
Some people still do, of course, but not nearly to the same degree unfortunately. Thankfully, even if most players run dungeons almost exclusively to level, and most of the endgame is also running instances, the combat is top-tier.
Actually it’s probably one of the highest quality combat systems in an action MMO. It has tiered combos, a large hotbar, a plethora of different abilities to learn and upgrade, and the game looks fantastic while doing all of it.
There’s plenty to do in-game if you take the time to look, and perhaps find a guild or group of friends to run content with.
C9: Continent of the Ninth Seal
This is actually quite similar to Vindictus, if Vindictus were made by some of the team that made Black Desert Online. C9: Continent of the Ninth Seal, while yes it definitely looks a little dated is still played by thousands of players every day because of its addicting combat system and diverse selection of instances.
Yes, this is a hub-MMO and as such what you’re capable of doing is definitely limited to the instances you can enter, but they take up quite a variety of different environments that you don’t feel as though you’re really ever running the same content for too long.
And I know I said it looks dated but honestly it doesn’t look bad at all – just when you compare it to most the other titles in this list you can definitely see the.. noticeable difference.
I’ve never devoted nearly enough time to C9 but that isn’t because it’s a bad game. I just never had the time to dedicate to truly push through it as far as I perhaps should have.
Black Desert Online
I mean I’m sure everyone that loves action MMOs has played Black Desert, right? Well in theory you should have, but then every time they hold a sale, which seems almost monthly these days, so many people jump in and buy it that I’d almost think nobody has played this game before.
I mean let’s be honest.. it’s one of the kings of the action genre, right? It has, what is arguably some of the, if not the best action combat of any MMO and set the benchmark for what an MMO should look like to truly impress players.
Yet at the same time, the game also lacks much in the way to do. If you’re a fan of endless grinding, then this will definitely be the game for you. Or if you’re a fan of slowly tackling life skills, things that have no relation to combat whatsoever, then this also might be the game for you.
But if you’re looking for a title with epic combat that also has core MMO mechanics like dungeons, raids and maybe PvP… you’ll find out rather quickly that this game – while yes it definitely has PvP, doesn’t really have much else.
But don’t let that dissuade you from playing the game because even Mrs Stix and I find ourselves coming back to the game every few months to play the new classes.
Dungeon Fighter Online
This is the last hub-MMO I’ll include here – but at the same time, Dungeon Fighter Online is the most populated MMO in the entire world. Yeah, no kidding. It isn’t in North America or Europe, but has several million Chinese players logged in concurrently – yeah, it has more players logged in at any time than WoW over an entire month.
Crazy, right? I’m honestly not sure why that is, as while Dungeon Fighter is a very good game, it really is, I don’t think it’s THAT good where it is more played and more profitable than any other game in.. the entire world?
It has some pretty crazy, fantastic looking action combat, don’t get me wrong, it has some really great class diversity and customization, and it looks great for the type of game it is.
It also has a variety of different hubs and a very deep, rich story. I daresay it’s one of if not the best hub-MMO out there, but at the same time.. more popular than any other MMO? I don’t think so.
Regardless, if you’re into side-scrolling brawlers, or – well, if you like what you see, then this might be just what you’re after!
Blade & Soul
And finally, while this list has been in no particular order, please don’t think it is – this is completely unordered – what is arguably the second best action MMO on the market right now: Blade & Soul.
While people argue between BDO and Blade & Soul, to me it’s more along the lines of what type of combat you prefer. BDO requires you memorize a lot of shortcuts on your keyboard, while Blade & Soul has you remember combos and have efficient ping, because let me tell you.. this game is very ping-reliant.
The combat is beautiful, it has that “wuxia” theme to it – and there really aren’t many MMOs that are inspired by Asian culture anymore. It also has a very engrossing story – one that both Mrs Stix and I thoroughly enjoyed the first time we played through it.
And with both its large open environments, and open-world PvP it makes leveling and playing the game a lotta fun.
If only NCSoft would fix the game and release the Unreal Engine 4 overhaul this could be something truly great.
And they’re my 10 favorite action MMORPGs right now. That might change next year when more games actually come out – or – should I say – if when more games come out.
But they’re purely subjective after all. What is your favorite action MMO, or rather, what are your favorite action MMOs? Let me know down in the comment section below – it might help a few people out if they’re unhappy with my list!