Top 10 Most Played MMORPGs in 2019 - What MMOs SHOULD You Be Playing!?!
It’s that time of the year again. Almost Christmas – and subsequently the end of the year.
With the end of the year being right around the corner, we’re left once again wondering what MMORPGs are worth our time going into 2019.
While I will do a video on that sometime in the future, I’ve had a plethora of requests to do a follow-up to our most viewed video of all time: “The Top 10 Most Played MMORPGs in 2018”.
So in this video, I’m going to address the most populated MMO and MMORPG alike going into 2019. I will be including non-traditional MMOs in this video as well, so do take note of that.
Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV is one of the few pay-to-play MMORPGs left capable of maintaining a subscription-based model.
Many other MMOs like Rift, Aion, WildStar, TERA, Lord of the Rings Online, EVE Online and a plethora of others had to swap to a free-to-play model to survive, but Final Fantasy XIV proved that people are more than willing to pay for quality.
Unlike a lot of currently popular MMOs, Final Fantasy XIV employs a tab-target combat system. Some people are turned off by the lack of action combat and by the long global cooldown on skills at lower levels, but honestly.. I’ve not had any issue with it.
The game has one of – if not the largest focus on story that I’ve come across in an MMO. I’ve never, personally, been as engaged in the story of an MMO as I am in Final Fantasy XIV’s. And each expansion continues that story to alarming depths.
It also has one of the most unique classing systems I’ve come across, allowing for every single class in-game to be leveled on a single character.
This removes a lot of the tedium players often get when leveling alts and means that any store-related purchases can be retained on one single character.
Although the game lacks a little in terms of character creation initially, it does offer an extensive customization system in-game with which you can personalize your character to quite a substantial degree.
With the state that World of Warcraft is currently in, along with the genre itself, Final Fantasy XIV is fast on its way to becoming the most populated MMORPG online.
Especially considering it’s Shadowbringers expansion is set to debut as its largest expansion to date.
Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls Online is one of the few buy-to-play MMORPGs capable of maintaining a purchase-to-play model.
This means that players are capable of purchasing the game a single time and playing it forever without paying a single cent more.
However, like a lot of non pay-to-play MMOs, ESO offers players the ability to upgrade their membership with the addition of “ESO Plus”, providing players access to every DLC, additional crowns, gold and XP boosts and more.
Some players state that the game is semi-pay-to-win because of the bonuses received but honestly, although a little frustrating at times, the game is fully playable without paying for any.
The Elder Scrolls Online employs action combat, but puts a.. different twist on it with their unique class system.
It allows for players to live out their weirdest, wildest class fantasies – a blood-crazed berserker armed with nothing but a knife, fireball and loin-cloth.. a staff wielding assassin that poofs outta the shadows and.. heals.. Yeah, you name it, you can probably do it.
ESO also has a fairly large emphasis on story-telling, with each area players explore being influenced by its own unique story in some way. This makes zones more fun to play through and provides reason to visit other areas or level as other races.
Like Final Fantasy XIV, the character creator leaves a little to be desired and some things are locked behind a pay-wall, but otherwise you can customize your character quite a bit.
Player population has honestly been in decline, but with the new Elsweyr expansion on the horizon it looks as though that could potentially change. The Morrowind expansion did wonders for the playerbase!
MapleStory 2 is, actually, a newer MMORPG. It is completely free-to-play and released late in 2018. Players are capable of going directly to their website right now, downloading it, and playing it.
MapleStory 2 offered players that purchased a Founder’s Pack a “Premium Club Membership”, granting increased XP from monsters, money, and other bonuses.
The game employs a pretty cute action combat system. It may not be as flashy as most the other titles in this list but that doesn’t detract from gameplay.
For an Anime-inspired MMORPG, MapleStory 2 offers players quite a bit in the way of character creation. I was shocked when I saw this because traditionally, Anime MMOs aren’t known for their large selection of customization options.
Unfortunately for MapleStory 2 fans, the playerbase has declined quite significantly over the last few months. While it is in no danger of being classified as “dead” yet, the playerbase has been very vocal about a lack of end-game activities.
This has proven to have left the playerbase starved for things to do and ultimately.. yeah, you know what happens when players have nothing to do. They move on.
Burning Soul Worker
Burning Soul Worker is a private server based on the Anime-MMO, Soul Worker Online.
Burning Soul Worker is completely free to play and offers players probably the most complete action Anime experience outside of KurtzPel.
The game is hub-based, having players form parties in various towns and take quests that require you enter a large variety of instances. I know this can be a turnoff for some players, so I’m making note of it now.
It is a very story-driven game with each action you make in-game being a direct result of the ever-evolving story.
The story is the driving factor between every new area you visit, and the characters you meet throughout the game all play a pivotal role in how the story progresses.
The character creation is very basic, like most Anime MMOs tend to be. However, there are a large selection of outfits, hairstyles, colors and more to choose from both in-game and via the store that it provides quite a bit of character customization.
The action combat is probably the very best you’ll find in an Anime MMO though. Better than Aura Kingdom, better than Closers, better than MapleStory 2. Heck, it’s actually better than a lot of non-Anime inspired MMOs as well.
Now, I am well aware Gameforge publish the official Soul Worker, but Gameforge made the game so blatantly pay to win that it’s utter garbage.
Both RuneScape, Old School RuneScape, and the recent introduction of RuneScape Mobile have turned RuneScape into one of the most played MMOs on the web.
All 3 iterations are completely free to play and have a playerbase that many companies would kill to have.
Although RuneScape offers players the option to purchase a VIP membership – unlike most free to play MMOs, it doesn’t offer the same kinds of bonuses. No advantageous XP or gold boosts here, boys!
The game offers traditional point-and-click, tab-target combat.
The combat can be quite slow at times, especially early on, and first impressions are honestly detrimental to a new players ability to tolerate what they’re experiencing and continue on, but as you get a better grasp of the game it does actually become much more engaging.
There really isn’t much in the way of character customization, but I mean.. that’s to be expected. It was released back in 2001. That’s almost an entire lifetime ago.
Thanks to the release of RuneScape on mobile devices, the playerbase is actually tremendous in size.
Dungeon Fighter Online
I honestly wasn’t a fan of Dungeon Fighter Online when I first started it. Side-scrolling brawler MMOs like this and Closers and the original MapleStory aren’t really my style game.
And yes, before a few people complain, I’m well aware that over in the West Dungeon Fighter Online is nowhere near as populated as it is over in the East but Dungeon Fighter Online has, year after year, been one of the highest grossing games in the world.
There are an absurd amount of classes in-game that each have their own unique fighting style, and unlike pretty much.. all games of its kind, DFO goes a step further and provides both male and female variants for a large selection of the classes.
The game is a hub-based MMO, where you form parties and run instances – with each instance you run tying into the story and opening up additional content as you complete them.
I’m gonna be honest here though, the combat in DFO is astounding. Truly astounding. The special effects and sheer.. havoc and destruction I can wreak is just.. so satisfying.
The game might not be nearly as populated over here but the servers are still absolutely packed with players.
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is free to play, technically, but requires the purchase of each expansion to actively participate in end-game content or unlock the features that accompany them.
Guild Wars 2 makes use of a level-scaling system, scaling players to the maximum level-range of the zone you’re currently in. This makes it possible for max level and max geared players to return to lower leveled areas to help with world objectives and quests.
The game also utilizes a very unique class-system. The classes themselves are traditional in nature, but the skills you have access to are dependant on what kind of weapon you have equipped, both on land and in water.
This is something I don’t really see done in many games, and especially MMOs. Why shouln’t I have access to a separate selection of skills if I equip an aquatic gear-set?
The game uses an action combat system that makes very good use of weapon swapping – meaning you’re required to micromanage what you have equipped at what time.
I actually found this a little confusing playing melee since I’d never done it before but I was promised it gets easier with time!
Like Final Fantasy XIV, Guild Wars 2 offers a fairly standard character creator but provides players access to a very, very in-depth customization system for players to play dress-up in.
And we all know that MMOs are only as good as the outfits we get to dress our characters in. Yes, the game was initially called “Guild Wars 2” but rapidly transitioned into “Fashion Wars.”
Unfortunately, the game has been in a state of decline, and the layoffs at ArenaNet are a sign of future potential decline, with the slower release of content.
Blade & Soul
Blade & Soul is one of the few free-to-play MMORPGs left with any semblance of a population.
It launched to over a hundred thousand players and has dropped down quite significantly over the course of the year. I wonder why..
Blade & Soul offers some of the best character creation in an MMORPG – providing players access to gorgeous characters, if a little.. overexaggerated at times. Okay, all the time. Especially their fingers. I’ve never seen someone with 2-foot long fingers.
That is just nasty. Seriously.
Like most free-to-play MMOs, the game has a VIP membership offering things like additional daily rewards, increased XP, gold and other currencies, discounted cash shop items and more.
This has lead people to claim the game is very heavily pay to win, especially since the items purchasable from the store can be used to further ones self in-game.
The combat is completely action-oriented and makes heavy use of a combo-system, allowing players to combo skills together to make for some pretty slick combinations, especially with other players.
As I mentioned, the game at one time had well over a hundred thousand players. These days, with all the merges that took place.. yeah. It’s not in a great spot but it’s still more played than 95% of the other MMOs on the market.
Warframe is a free to play scifi action MMO. Or, kind of an MMO. It’s no less an MMO than games like Vindictus, Phantasy Star Online 2 or Soul Worker Online are, but it’s far from an MMORPG.
Warframe, like the aforementioned games, is a hub-based game that has players participate in mission-based content.
Unlike the others, however, Warframe provides players the option to set their group to “public”. This promotes activity in the community by allowing random players to join your group and complete quests alongside one another.
That is where the “MMO” aspect of Warframe comes into play: By giving you the option to group with and meet new people outside of your social circle.
Combat in Warframe is probably one of the most interesting parts of it. It’s complete action – but relies on things like guns, bows and melee weapons unlike traditional MMOs.
There is no character creation initially, but players unlock it along with other customizations in the form of “Frames” and “Ships”.
Seriously, Warframe’s monstrous population is so large that other than potentially Final Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft.. there isn’t really anything out there in the genre that could even begin to compete.
Vendetta Gaming Network
I’m mentioning this because the cumulative total of their three games totals in the tens of thousands.. and I love the games that are published.
NosTale itself has tens of thousands of active players, moreso even than Blade and Soul or TERA, surprisingly.
Scarlet Blade and Eden Eternal, admittedly, have a smaller population but these are some of the only remaining Anime inspired MMORPGs left on the market with a population outside of, perhaps, Soul Worker or Aura Kingdom.
Scarlet Blade is the only game of its kind, offering complete nudity and features not found in other MMOs. Seriously, we did a video on it recently, you should check it out.
All 3 are tab-target, with both Eden Eternal and NosTale being Anime MMORPGs. However, both Eden Eternal and Scarlet Blade have a modicum of action in their combat.
Scarlet Blade has some pretty impressive character customization, and Eden Eternal has more outfits than I’ve ever seen in an Anime MMO.
Lineage 2: Classic
Lineage 2: Classic is a free to play MMORPG that was re-released by NCSoft in an attempt to play off of some nostalgia surrounding the game, and it worked wonders.
The game doesn’t offer much in the way of character creation or character customization unfortunately but games released back when Lineage 2 did never offered much in the way of customization, so it’s no surprise.
Its combat is fairly traditional tab-target, not offering anything exceptional to set itself apart from the other tab-target MMOs released at the same time.
It does have a VIP membership that offers things like increased XP and SP, increased item drop rate, a daily box and other handy little boosts.
Lineage 2: Classic’s population is actually higher than I would’ve thought. I’d heard good things about it, but currently it sits at around 30,000 concurrent players split across their servers.
To put that into perspective, the non-classic version has around 12,000 players.
Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online is probably the only buy-to-play MMORPG other than Elder Scrolls Online capable of maintaining a purchase-to-play model.
The game has what is generally considered the best character creation in an MMORPG, ever. It also has what is, once again, considered the best action combat ever released in MMO-form.
It doesn’t have as many outfits as other games like Blade and Soul so the potential for character customization is a little lower, but the sheer control you have over your characters appearance is.. ridiculous.
BDO doesn’t really provide much opportunity to keybind skills to your action bars so instead you’re required to remember unique button inputs to utilize your class to its fullest extent.
The game is also considered by many to have a very large, very prevalent pay to win issue however even though that issue persists.. so many people continue to play the game.
Tens of thousands, probably significantly more once it releases onto Xbox.
World of Warcraft
I know, I know. Some of you guys love WoW, others hate it. But the fact of the matter is, World of Warcraft is still the number 1 most played MMORPG on the market as of this video.
At least for the time being, until Final Fantasy XIV potentially surpasses it due to the mistakes made during Battle for Azeroth.
WoW has maintained a pay-to-play model ever since its release and shows no signs of that changing.
The combat is tab-target, and the game doesn’t really provide much in the way of character creation. There are so many expansions and so much content out though that there are more outfits and sets than probably any other MMO.
Blizz have refused to release information pertaining to the active subscriber-population since Legion, but even at their lowest point with Warlords of Draenor, they still had upwards of 5 million active players.
Battle for Azeroth has been reported to not be in that situation yet, but the future remains uncertain.