Top 10 Most Played MMORPGs in 2018 – What MMOs You SHOULD Be Playing!?!

Top 10 Most Played MMORPGs in 2018 - What MMOs You SHOULD Be Playing!?!

What‘s up guys – Stix here. Today marks the one year anniversary of my Top 10 Most Played MMORPGs in 2016 video.
It was only 6 minutes long, but went on to gain over 750,000 views, thousands of comments and likes, and become the fourth most popular video overall on our channel.
Now, I recently asked the community what Top 10 video they wanted next, and over 2,200 users voted.
66% requested a “Top 10 Most Populated MMORPGs In 2018” video. Meaning, the 10 most populated MMORPGs going into 2018 for people that want to invest time into.
Because let’s be frank here – nobody wants to invest time into a dead MMORPG, right?
Let me preface the video by saying two things:
1.) These games aren’t listed in any specific order, but they are the 10 MMORPGs with the most active populations nevertheless.
2.) Most MMORPGs and their deveolopers no longer report accurate population numbers. Therefore these are ascertained through various means.
Now let’s take a quick look at which games are still active.

Elder Scrolls Online

When The Elder Scrolls Online launched, people thought it’d be the next greatest MMORPG. People figured it’d be like an online Skyrim game, and were met with a swift punch to the gonads when they realized it wasn’t.
That, combined with bugs had ESO meet with an almost untimely end.
People didn’t give up on it though, and the team behind ESO worked hard to bring the game back from the edge of the cliff.
The Elder Scrolls Online went on to grow larger and larger, recently releasing their Morrowind expansion which proved to be a huge success.
Going by Steam, almost 200,000 players played ESO in the last 2 weeks alone.
According to Zenimax, the team behind ESO, the console population is a little larger than the PC playerbase. Meaning we’re looking at at least another 200,000 or more players on console.
Then we have users that play the game through the standalone launcher. This would likely bring the population numbers up for the game over a one month period to a significant amount over half a million.

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 launched to critical success – people finding its storytelling and combat to be both compelling and entertaining to experience.
However, its population declined due to people realizing it was quite different to the original Guild Wars game, and other games coming out at the time.
This forced ArenaNet to opt for a free to play model to continue growing – and since going free to play, the games numbers have soared.
Now, there are still a fair amount of people that dislike Guild Wars 2 because it’s different to the original – but the game is great fun to play and a much more modern take on the MMORPG genre.
Now, with the recent Path of Fire expansion coming out for Guild Wars 2, you‘d expect quite a large amount of sales – akin to ESO and Final Fantasy XIV’s, however, that wasn’t the case.
ArenaNet never gave numbers on the actual number of units sold for Path of Fire, and people didn’t notice large boosts to the overall playerbase as opposed to when Heart of Thorns launched.
But – Guild Wars 2 is free to play, until expansion content, so you can expect new players to pop in and out regularly to try the game out.
Numbers are unknown, unfortunately, but there are at least over 100,000 players based off of estimated sales and previous estimated numbers.

Black Desert Online

Black Desert Online was so hyped that naturally it launched to ridiculous numbers.
Over time those numbers dwindled, and the complaints that the game had become pay to win didn’t do it any favors.
However, with the constant addition of new classes, combined with the unrivaled action combat and breathtaking graphics, the game just kept growing.
Recently, BDO also launched onto Steam which assisted in boosting its sales and playerbase further.
General numbers for Black Desert are known: As of December, 2017, the game has sold almost 5 million copies.
830,000 of those were through Steam, and on Steam there were well over 100,000 active players in the last 2 weeks.
If you do the math, and apply a similar purchase:active ratio to the non-steam players, you‘ll likely end up with over half a million players over the last month, similar to, but likely still less than ESO.

EVE Online

EVE Online is one of the only Scifi MMORPGs out there outside of Star Wars the Old Republic, and Star Trek Online.
It is also by far the most popular Scifi MMORPG on the market – having launched and remained as a pay to play MMORPG for many years.
However, with better games out there, EVE saw an ever increasing decline in population – prompting them to go the same route as Guild Wars 2 and make the game free to play.
This upset a lot of players, but also gave new opportunities to players who couldn’t play due to the paid model.
After going free to play, EVE saw a substantial boost in population numbers.
Over the last 2 weeks alone, there have been 80,000 players playing EVE through Steam, however outside numbers are not revealed.
Numbers before going free to play were not over 100,000 – so with the addition of active steam players over the last month, we’re likely looking at 150,000 or more active players over a month-long period. Maybe less.

Blade and Soul

Blade and Soul, like Black Desert Online, came at a time when Eastern MMORPGs weren’t as hated as they are presently.
As such, it launched to quite a good reception. Granted, not as good as BDO’s but still. For a free to play MMORPG – it launched fairly well.
At the beginning of 2017 – Blade and Soul was played by 45,000 players.
Prior to the release of its latest expansion – Dawn of the Lost Continent – Blade and Soul was sitting at around 40,000 active players.
Since the expansion, with all the people they reached out to, you can likely expect that to see a large bump – even if only temporarily, to well over 50,000 active players.

Secret World Legends

Secret World Legends launched years ago as a pay to play MMORPG and has remained as such up until recently, where they buckled under the pressure of a dying game and relaunched as a free to play MMORPG.
Like Guild Wars 2, it is one of the most story-centric MMORPG available, and a very fun game overall.
However, it is definitely on the lower-side of the popularity spectrum, boasting only around 15,000 active players on Steam over the last 2 weeks, totaling around 20,000 over the month.
But the Steam numbers are decidedly lower than the playerbase that plays through the official launcher – as most players played the game without Steam all this time.
So, while the game may not have a huge population, you can be sure that there are around 40,000-50,000 active players over the course of the month.
Maybe that’s a little generous, I don’t know. We don’t have specific numbers anymore.


Although RuneScape launched many, many years ago – the game has gone through multiple iterations and remains one of the most popular completely free to play MMORPG on the market.
Admittedly, there are two varying versions of RuneScape that are currently both running simultaneously, both Old School RuneScape, and the updated version – the combined totals equate to well over 100,000 active players.
Which is fairly insane for a free to play MMORPG – and even crazier given when RuneScape was originally released.
Although the population has dipped somewhat over the course of 2017, with updates slated for 2018, RuneScape players should expect to see a familiar spike back up in the future.


TERA launched way back in 2012, and was met with quite a bit of praise. Initially, anyway.
The game retained peoples attention with its graphical style and combat until people found that there wasn’t a whole lot to do in the game after hitting endgame.
So the game began to decline, forcing En Masse – the team behind TERA to adopt a free to play model to attempt to survive.
And it did.
TERA, as of 2017, has had over 65,000 players over the last 2 weeks alone. Through Steam. Not counting people who still play and launch it through the official launcher – which I admit I still do myself.
With the recent release of the Elin Gunner, and the upcoming release of new classes and content on the horizon, TERA has managed to boost the playerbase to back up to well over 100,000 over the last month period.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Final Fantasy XIV is probably one of the biggest success stories of all time when it comes to MMORPGs.
Not only did it die upon release, being touted as the worst MMORPG to have ever been released, but its playerbase dwindled down to the single digit thousands. Which is insane, considering its popularity today.
Now, official active numbers are not 100% known, but going by Steam players, which total almost 70,000 active in the last 2 weeks,
the Final Fantasy XIV Census which puts active players at 700,000, and the Lodestone research putting players at around 300,000-400,000..
We’re capable of guesstimating that over at least a single month period, there have been well over a half million active players playing Final Fantasy XIV.
This is likely however due to the recent Stormblood expansion, much like ESO and Guild Wars 2.

World of Warcraft

I know you all knew this was going to be here. Why wouldn’t it? Even now, it is the most populated MMORPG on the market.
And no, Final Fantasy XIV and The Elder Scrolls Online do not have more players than WoW. Not even close. When they report their numbers – they report *total accounts*, not *total active accounts*.
I don’t know how many times I’ve had to defend this point – it seems like every day people seem to think WoW is less popular than Final Fantasy XIV and ESO.
Now we know that in Warlords of Draenor the population dropped from 10 million subscribers, all the way down to 5.6 million. That was claimed to be World of Warcraft’s lowest population point of all time.
With the release of Legion – WoW had its subscriber base boosted to numbers that hadn’t been seen since Wrath of the Lich King. Well over 10 million active subscribers.
Some people claimed that there were over 12 million at one point based off of the amount of units sold for Legion, but we can’t know for certain.
However, what we do know is that Legion is still more actively played than Warlords of Draenor was, and has been much better received.
Since it had a larger player pool, and is still more actively played, we can assume that at the very least it is more populated than Warlords of Draenor at its worst.
Whether that’s 6 million, 7 million or more, remains to be seen, but the fact that there is very likely still over 6 million active players in World of Warcraft makes it by far the most actively played MMORPG to this day, still.
Now, with the release information of Battle for Azeroth and Classic Servers.. World of Warcraft could soon see numbers higher than ever before in its entire lifespan.
  • author image
    Lord Of Chains Reply
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