The Best MMORPGs in 2018 To Play For Low-End PCs
This has actually been a heavily requested video for a while. People look at our gameplay videos and think “That runs so smoothly”, before the reality kicks in and they realize we just have very powerful computers.
This then invites the question.. what MMORPGs can my computer even run? What games can my crappy little PC even handle?
Back before Wiggy and I had monster PCs, we spent day after day looking for games that could run on our crappy laptops.
We had wished at the time that there were lists that could elaborate on games that were still good – games that were populated, worth playing, that didn’t crash our computer whenever we tried to boot the game up.
Now, at the time, which was the mid 2000s.. there were none. The only MMORPG channels were MMOHut with Omer, and OnRPG with.. I don’t even remember.
Neither of which did top 10 lists like people do these days.
So, in light of that, I wanted to go ahead and make a list compiling some great quality games that will definitely run on low-end computers.
A quick note before the video begins; this video features random footage from our time playing these games. The footage shown is not definitive of progress made through the game.
Video Review - The Best MMORPGs in 2018 To Play For Low-End PCs
EverQuest is a 3D Fantasy MMORPG that released way back in 1999.
EverQuest was one of the very first MMORPGs to be released and can be credited with assisting in pioneering the entire genre.
Graphically, the game looks very much like it was released in the early 2000s for the PS2 or Xbox. It kinda reminds me of a less detailed Morrowind, or an older Western RPG like Summoner 2.
Even so, EverQuest manages to still look better than a half dozen indie games that’re released these days that call themselves “MMORPGs”.
Combat is tab-target, meaning it isn’t in any way action oriented. You click your target, your character fights them, and you can cycle through your skills.
The world of EverQuest isn’t completely open world. It’s like Blade and Soul, having you occupy individual “zones” that are separated by loading screens.
All in all, EverQuest is still populated enough to enjoy going around and exploring. It may not be the most elegant looking MMORPG, nor does it play the best, but it will get the job done.
Plus, it’s got an active community over on Reddit as well. Link will be included in the description and pinned comment.
Mabinogi is an Anime inspired MMORPG released back in 2004.
It has a completely unique graphical style never used by any other game that features hand-painted textures stylized with edge detection outlining. Truly, it looks quite impressive.
Even though it was released back in 2004, Mabinogi holds up well against other games like Fiesta and FlyFF – both of which are still alive and kicking today, barely.
The combat is tab-target, although Mabinogi has a very unique combat style.
See, combat is also about predicting what skill the enemy is going to use, and making use of your own combat skills appropriately.
Mabinogi employs a very tactical combat style – adding on to how unique the overall game is, requiring careful analysis and timing of what skills to use.
Unlike most MMORPGs that have the holy trinity of tank, healer, DPS, Mabinogi has none, having the player make use of countering the enemy.
It’s a very unique style of combat and I haven’t ever seen it done before.
The game world, like EverQuest, is instanced – you access each “zone” through portal. However, the zones you’re able to access are insanely huge in size, so large even that it takes literally forever to get around.
The game’s population, although not large, is still active as the game is worked on every month with new content being pushed out.
RuneScape is a 3D fantasy MMORPG released way back in 2001. It has the capability of both being played with a client – or as a browser game – but don’t let that fool you, it is nothing like any other browser MMORPG out there.
Interestingly, RuneScape has more than one current iteration of itself: The updated RuneScape that many people play currently, and Old School RuneScape – the version that fans of the game before it got updated play.
The combat in RuneScape is tab-target. I feel like this entire list will likely feature tab-target combat games but nevertheless, RuneScape although tab-target, has a semi-real-time combat system.
Unlike most MMORPGs, RuneScape’s combat system is divided into three distinct sub-categories: Melee, Magic and Ranged.
Like traditional MMORPGs that utilize a class holy trinity, RuneScape utilizes a combat trinity that more or less governs the effectiveness of each combat style. For example, Melee beats Ranged, Ranged beats Magic, and Magic beats Melee.
This makes for some very interesting combat mechanics.
Graphically, RuneScape is a fun, surprisingly good looking MMORPG – which has to do with the fact that they gave the game a huge makeover in the past.
And I will say now.. it worked for it. Similarly to what World of Warcraft did with Warlords of Draenor.
RuneScape is also one of the most played MMORPGs today. If that doesn’t spark an interest in the game.. I don’t know what will.
Guild Wars 2
You’d be surprised how well this one runs – many people actually being shocked it’s so well optimized. Guild Wars 2 is a 3D fantasy MMORPG released back in 2012.
The very best looking game in this list graphically, and probably the most recently released MMORPG in this list as well, Guild Wars 2 features some of the best graphics in MMORPGs.
Sure, some people might argue with this saying it’s nothing like Black Desert or Blade and Soul and they’d be right. It isn’t.
But it doesn’t try to be. It has a very basic graphical style like Final Fantasy XIV and utilizes that style to make for a very beautiful, and well optimized experience.
Granted, when you have 200 people running around in a zone using all kinds of magic and skills, the game can very well slow down or even lock your computer up – but the likelihood of that happening is small.
Combat in Guild Wars 2 is action combat – so above, where I said every MMORPG would likely be tab-target I was wrong.
Not only is the combat action-based, but it’s also got an incredibly in-depth class system with ridiculous amounts of character customization.
It would take minutes to go through how in-depth the class system in Guild Wars 2 is, but suffice it to say you have weapon-specific skills, there is a class trinity of sorts, being damage, support and control, and you have various ways of customizing your character in combat.
The world is instanced into “zones”, with each zone being incredibly large and filled with players.
It is also one of the 5 most populated MMORPGs currently in 2018. So again, that’s pretty insane!
Path of Exile
Whoa, whoa. Back up there for a minute. Before you scroll down and leave a hateful comment I will preface this one by saying I know it isn’t an MMORPG.
Path of Exile is a free-to-play online action role-playing video game released in 2013. It isn’t an MMORPG but it is an MMO.
One so good that I feel like it needs to be mentioned here.
It is the only isometric game in this list and the only non MMORPG that I will list here, but the game itself plays so well and looks so good that it needs talked about.
Graphically, the game looks very raw – very bloody, very gritty. It’s one of the few games I’ve played that looks this way – and definitely the only one outside of Requiem I’ve played that is an MMO.
Borrowing from the Diablo games, Path of Exile’s combat is very hack ‘n slashy. Very fast, action-based combat with ridiculous special effects that don’t break your computer.
The population is also incredibly large given that it isn’t a MOBA or MMORPG.
Neverwinter is a 3D fantasy MMORPG released back in 2013.
Right off the bat you’re able to tell Neverwinter is set in the world of Dungeons and Dragons – as it has a very DnD feel to it.
For a low end game that runs this good it also looks surprisingly good – which could be in part due to the fact that the “zones” you play in, yes, “zones”, are relatively small.
That isn’t a problem though as there is plenty to do in each.
Neverwinter utilizes action-combat – and great action combat at that. So far Wiggy and I in our 14 or so hours of playing have only tried the mage and archer out, but they move fast and fluidly, while offering plenty of flashy special effects to please.
Again, since the world is instanced off, and much more so than games like RuneScape, Guild Wars 2 or Mabinogi, the game runs incredibly well. There isn’t a whole lot that needs rendering at a given time.
Population-wise.. The game isn’t doing too great but that is due to how Perfect World Entertainment handles their business models.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
I’d actually done a review on Star Wars: The Old Republic a month or two ago detailing whether or not it was worth playing in 2018. So shameless plug here.. go check that out if you’re interested in that.
Star Wars: The Old Republic though was initlally released way back in 2011. Yes, it truly is that ancient.
One of the only Scifi MMORPG left outside of EVE, Star Trek and Wildstar off the top of my head, Star Wars The Old Republic absolutely nails the beauty of Scifi MMORPGs.
Although the game looks a little dated, the fact that it captures a lot of what made the Star Wars movies so beautiful to me is a huge bonus.
Combat isn’t that bad either. It’s not great by any means, but you can tell it’s a little dated.
Uniquely, Star Wars The Old Republic features differing classes per faction, each with distinct backstories and branching storylines that are affected by players’ moral choices in-game.
Morality and choice in Star Wars The Old Republic is by far one of the most engaging parts of it and you’ll experience exactly why it’s so interesting when you play it.
The world, much like World of Warcraft, is not instanced by any means. The world is contiguous – in so that the planets you are able to traverse are accessible through space travel, but still share the same persistent virtual space as every other planet.
Speaking of population though, Star Wars The Old Republic isn’t doing too bad. It’s not in the top 10 most played MMORPGs of 2018, sure (and we have a separate video for that as well,) but it’s not in too bad a state.
Do note that this list is of MMORPGs that will run and are playable on low-end computers.
This does not by any means guarantee that they will run perfectly at a crisp 60 FPS.
It really is dependant on how bad your computer actually is.
Regardless, hopefully this list helps you find a game you’re interested in playing – something that took us a lot of time and effort to find ourselves.