The Best MMORPGs on Steam to Play RIGHT NOW in 2020!
I know a lotta you guys are avid fans of Steam as a platform to play your games through. I’ll admit, the majority of games I tend to buy these days are all through Steam as well – so I understand the appeal.
MMOs however are a little different. The vast majority of MMOs are still unavailable via Steam – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a surplus of them to play. It just means we have a little less of a selection to choose from.
That’s what I’m here to talk about today – the 10 best MMORPGs on Steam right now. That you can navigate to, add to your library and probably play in the next few hours if you set them to download.
I’ll be rating each game out of 40, with “combat,” “story,” “gameplay,” and “playerbase” being the key factors I look at.
Now let’s talk about what MMOs you should be playing on Steam. Maybe you can even add us as friends to play with us!
Tree of Savior
Combat – 7/10 Story – 2/10 Graphics – 5/10 Playebase – 3/10
I’ve always found Tree of Savior – or Ragnarok Online inspired MMOs to be cute. I’ve always had a soft spot for them, and this was no different.
This is one of the few MMOs out there to have an incredibly expansive class system, providing so many different ways to play the game.
Each class has their own unique abilities and playstyle, which when coupled with the very fluid action combat system makes for some highly engaging combat.
I haven’t really seen much, if any story in Tree of Savior which was highly disappointing for me. There’s nothing worse than being disconnected from the world you’re playing through, pushing through the game for the sake of leveling.
Graphically, Tree of Savior is a very unique looking game that I’m quite fond of. It uses really adorable little sprites and has really high quality attack and skill animations.
The playerbase, however, is very low. Not empty, but there are maybe a thousand, a couple thousand total players playing each month. Which is enough to sustain the game, but not nearly as many as it could’ve had had the game not fumbled when it launched initially.
Overall, this is an MMO that I feel every MMO fan needs to try, but I can understand why the game never really took off having played both the initial incarnation of Tree of Savior and the version that’s available now.
Combat – 4/10 Story – 4/10 Graphics – 5/10 Playebase – 7/10
Okay, so maybe this rating won’t do the game justice as the majority of what I’ve used to rank all 10 games works for them.. with Albion Online probably being the only game it doesn’t really apply to.
Albion Online is a large sandbox MMO – one where neither graphics, nor combat, nor story are really the main focus of what is presented to players – instead, it’s the sense of freedom to do whatever you want that really makes this game shine.
But nevertheless, this is how we’re doing things. The combat is a point-and-click style – where you click the enemy, cycle through abilities, then click the next enemy. It’s pretty basic – at least at the introductory levels of the game. I can’t say I ever got far enough to be able to claim otherwise.
The story was there – but wasn’t really very prevalent throughout my experience, unfortunately. I enjoy sandbox games, and I’m aware that they often don’t hold your hand, so this was expected.
Graphically.. Albion Online doesn’t look bad. It has a very specific graphical style that definitely doesn’t appeal to everyone, but I find it to still be pretty good.
The playerbase is actually much higher than I had expected it to be, having hundreds of thousands of active players logging in to play per month.
Overall, this is an MMO that provides you almost endless freedom to play what you want, how you want. It’s something players need to experience at least once.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Combat – 4/10 Story – 10/10 Graphics – 5/10 Playebase – 5/10
Story in my MMOs – heck, story in my games is something that is required for me to fully become enthralled in. Whenever people talk about an MMO having a good story, I can think of maybe a handful of games. Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of those games.
This is one of only two different scifi MMO in this list, and is set within the – you guessed it – Star Wars universe.
I’ve played through my fair share of slow combat in games, but – and I say this from a place of love.. I’ve never been a fan of the combat in The Old Republic. It felt very dated, incredibly clunky – especially considering when the game was released, and just.. felt very bland when compared to a lot of its competitors.
The story is incredible though, providing so many branching choices that effect the narrative, the characters you meet, recruit, end up allying with, enemies with.. this is probably the MMO with the most in-depth, well thought out story available in an MMO. And I know a lotta you can relate to that sentiment.
Graphically, The Old Republic doesn’t look bad. It definitely looks and feels dated, sure, and that can make it difficult for new-generation gamers to really acclimate to – especially with the likes of games like BDO out there, but for a scifi MMO.. this is okay.
The playerbase has grown exponentially after launching on to Steam and as such the playerbase is at higher numbers than it probably has been in years.
Overall I’d say this is an above average MMO.. but it’s definitely held down by its dated look, combat and bad business model.
Phantasy Star Online 2
Combat – 7/10 Story – 6/10 Graphics – 7/10 Playerbase – 6/10
This is one of two hub-MMOs in this list. Typically I find open-world MMOs to be the superior MMO-type – I feel like many of you guys would agree, as that sense of freedom is.. for lack of a better word, freeing, but this is one of those rare instances where it just ends up being so much better than the norm.
Plus, you’re given the freedom to take groups and groups worth of players out into large-scale battles which makes it quite different to all of its hub-competitors.
Combat in PSO2 is one of the better combat-types out there, especially for an Anime MMO. It’s not the best, despite what some players will argue but it’s damn good – being able to swap between 3 different weapon-types on the fly makes certain of that.
While the story is definitely interesting, it’s so disconnected from the game overall that I’m really not sure what to say about it. Yes it’s a lot of fun to play through.. but it almost seems optional.
Graphically, this is one of the best looking Anime MMOs out there, and the sheer levels of customization present leave you able to create something truly unique. I don’t think there’s another Anime MMO out there currently with the level of customization that PSO2 has.
The playerbase is doing exceptionally well right now, split between PC and XBox players. And with New Genesis coming soon, you can bet that’ll increase further next year.
Overall, PSO2 is probably one of the better MMOs out right now. Yes, it’s held back a little by its dated.. everything, but that will change next year with its mass graphical overhaul.
Combat – 7/10 Story – 6/10 Graphics – 8/10 Playerbase – 6/10
There aren’t many monster-collecting MMOs out there currently. Dragomon Hunter shut down, Shin Megami Tensei shut down, we have some Pokemon MMOs and DokeV is on the horizon.. But this is.. probably the only type of game of its kind I’ll include, or, rather, this is the only type of game I believe in the entire genre as a whole.
Being a huge Pokemon and Digimon fan this really appealed to me – and to quite a few players considering how many copies this sold on Steam.
The combat is turn-based, with your two Temtem and the two enemy Temtem taking turns attacking one another.
The story is actually what pushes you through the game, unlocks new Dojos, new Temtem – entirely new land-masses. And it plays about as well as you’d expect out of a Pokemon game – if a little more mature.
Graphically, the game is incredibly crisp. Environments, characters, Temtem and even abilities all look incredibly high quality. I never expected such a good looking game to come from an indie developer, especially with how many indie games – especially MMOs have turned out as scams.
The playerbase originally had over 40,000 players playing at any given time, but since they’re still slowly pushing through Early Access to finish the game, they average around 1,000 players concurrently logged in, with tens of thousands likely playing each day.
Overall, Temtem is one of my favorite MMOs. I log in from time to time, and await every new large patch with additional regions and Temtem with eager anticipation.
Dungeon Fighter Online
Combat – 8/10 Story – 5/10 Graphics – 5/10 Playebase – 10/10
This is one of two hub-MMOs in this list. I’m sure you can guess which the other is, but let’s talk Dungeon Fighter. This is an MMO that I’ve found myself coming back to year after year, and there are a few different reasons for that.
The class system in this game is so deep, so well thought out – with every class having several classes they can evolve into. Each class further has their own unique backstory, their own history and that leads to a lot of opportunities for personal identity and growth.
The classes all play very differently from one another, but the combat, being entirely action-based is probably the best I’ve had the pleasure of playing in a dungeon-crawler like this.
The story is pretty well thought out. There’s a lot of it – possibly too much of it at times, honestly, but that’s never an issue.
Graphically, the game also uses a unique sprite-based graphical style, one that I thoroughly enjoy watching both in-game and during the little cinematics. Skill effects are ridiculously good quality – and having my character fly all over the screen utilizing those abilities is crazy.
The playerbase is – if I include China – the highest of any game in the entire world, having tens of millions of active players in China alone per day.
Overall, this is an MMO that I thoroughly enjoy, having played through it many times over the last several years. I do find that it gets repetitive at times, but that’s when I take a long break.
Combat – 7/10 Story – 6/10 Graphics – 6/10 Playerbase – 10/10
I know some of you might not technically consider Destiny 2 an MMO, but according to the developers themselves, after dodging being referred to as an MMO for many years, they recently began listing themselves as a “full action MMO.” So here we are, including it in this list.
I haven’t played much of Destiny 2, I’ll be the first to admit this, so I guess it’s a good idea that we’ll be beginning to stream it over on our Twitch channel starting next month, right?
This is one of two scifi MMOs on this list – but where one is a full MMORPG, Destiny 2 is an MMOFPS. Combat is taken from a first person perspective, rather than third person like the majority of MMOs. Since it’s an FPS you can imagine the gameplay, right?
The story I’ve only seen a little of, but I’ve heard is quite detailed and incredibly enjoyable. I look forward to pushing through more of it myself as I enjoy what scifi games typically offer their players.
Graphically the game looks good – not amazing like some of the other titles in this list, but still pretty damn good. But considering this is a scifi title, there’s really only so much you can do with it, right?
The playerbase is ridiculously high, totaling almost 300,000 players logged in concurrently during its peak – and at least 200-230,000 concurrent players every day, totaling tens of millions of active players monthly – which is insane.
Overall, this is a game you absolutely NEED to play. If you haven’t yet – you’re missing out and need to.
Black Desert Online
Combat – 10/10 Story – 1/10 Graphics – 10/10 Playebase – 8/10
I know, I know. “Why would you include Black Desert in a list of top MMOs?” Honestly, because if you ignore the blatant pay-to-win, this isn’t a bad game at all. In fact, there are various facets of Black Desert Online that are pretty damn amazing.
I’ve played this game on and off for.. what seems like years at this point and like a few other games in this list, have always found myself coming back. This is mostly due to the new classes, though, as opposed to me missing the game overall.
The combat is arguably the best combat in an action MMO. People have been claiming this for years, and there has yet to be a release that could compete with it. Maybe TERA or Blade & Soul could be considered worthy of having comparable quality combat systems, but even they’re pushing it.
The story in Black Desert Online is.. well, I mean I’d have to actually see the story to talk about it. What I played through of it was.. well, lacking. Severely.
Graphically, Black Desert looks stunning, even more so after the recent Remaster that came out. The gorgeous environments, the attention to detail on gear, on characters – and don’t even get me started on the character creator. Yeesh! That thing is a beast.
The playerbase for the game is actually on the decline for the first time since its release, but it still holds more players than the vast majority of the rest of the genre, being in the 10 most played MMOs this year.
Overall, this is an experience you need to have. There is plenty to do – just not in terms of story. But that’s what Crimson Desert is supposed to remedy.
The Elder Scrolls Online
Combat – 5/10 Story – 10/10 Graphics – 7/10 Playerbase – 9/10
I’ve never really dedicated as much time as I perhaps should have in The Elder Scrolls Online, but I have played it on and off for the last few years. This is one of the few MMOs that are actually set within an already-existing gaming franchise, and as such the funding they have is.. more than almost any other game in the genre.
One issue I’ve always had with the game, and I know a lot of people mirror this sentinemt.. is the kind of slow combat. Maybe not at endgame, but unfortunately I’ve never made it to endgame in ESO. While it definitely has a very deep, complex class and ability system, the combat has always been a turn-off for me.
The story in the game – both the main story and zone stories is some of the best in the genre. They built this game in a way that you become completely immersed in the zone you’re actively leveling in – something I really haven’t found in any other MMO.
But this also leads to a slight disconnect from the overall story, as often I found myself wandering around questing for hours with no idea what was even going on in the main story as it had been that long.
Initially, people were kinda upset that the MMO didn’t look substantially superior to Skyrim, which had been out for years already, but honestly I’ve never found the graphics to be bad. I find them pretty good, actually – just the character models are a little too.. Iunno, 2015-ish? Maybe a little earlier?
The playerbase has always and likely will remain for the forseeable future quite a bit larger than the majority of MMOs. This is after all in the top 5 most populated MMOs on the market.
Overall, The Elder Scrolls Online is a very high quality game with an incredibly active playerbase. And with the content patches it regularly gets and expansions coming out every other year.. this is a game that will always find new players to enjoy what it has to offer.
Final Fantasy XIV
Combat – 8/10 Story – 10/10 Graphics – 9/10 – Playerbase – 9/10
I think outside of World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV is probably the only MMO I’ve dedicated years of my life to. Now I do take breaks between patches, but always come back to the game.
The reason for that is because this is one of the best quality MMOs out there right now – and being based in an already existing, and incredibly successful franchise allows for crossovers, collaborations and more with the main series that you don’t see anywhere else.
I know combat has been a pretty controversial topic in Final Fantasy XIV – some people believe that the combat is far too slow to really enjoy, but being a fan of tab-target myself, and playing at endgame every expansion.. I can safely say that the combat is far from being too slow – at least at endgame. Making it to endgame, though? Definitely.
The story – especially with Shadowbringers, has solidified this as the greatest story in any MMO to date for me. There are only a handful of MMOs that have a story that can really captivate me – and this is one of those games.
Everyone will tell you how good Shadowbringers has been, but I’ve never felt as immersed in a game – with its NPCs, its world as I have in Final Fantasy XIV.
Graphically, Final Fantasy XIV is beautiful. I know not necessarily as good looking as some other MMOs out there – but I feel like its softer, warmer aesthetic allows for a different type of beauty. The character models, the environments themselves.. even the boss fights are all incredible to look at.
The playerbase was, at the time of Shadowbringers’ release, at 1.2 million active subscribers – an all time high for the game. This remains one of the 2 most actively played MMOs in the genre to date.
Overall, Final Fantasy XIV is by far one of the deepest, most complete MMOs I’ve ever played. It’s a type of MMO experience you won’t find anywhere else.
And these are what are arguably the best MMORPGs currently available on Steam as of 2020. 2021 might change this, but right now.. you won’t find games better than these.
In my opinion, anyway, and this is after all what this entire list is – my pure, raw, subjective opinion of the genre right now.
What do you guys think though? What is your top 10 list of the best MMORPGs on Steam right now? Let me know down in the comments below and let’s talk about it.