We are well into a new year! So, I decided to bring to you my list of best free to play MMORPGs! It wasn’t so long ago, that a list like this would be pointless. MMORPGs that were free to play were few and far apart, and the ones that were out looked only slightly better than ASCII. Now, not only are there multitudes to choose from, but the majority of them don’t just look good, but look outstanding.

However, nice graphics does not always make a fun MMORPG. For me, a good MMORPG offers a compelling story or brings something new to the table. Something to make it stand out from the rest!

It’s not surprising that most of the games on this list were once subscription based. Games originally intended to be subscription only, tend to have a higher production value, and because of that, more time and effort put into the game.

I also want to say, that if you really enjoy any of these games, and find yourself playing one a lot, then I highly recommend subscribing to the game. You usually receive special perks, and you get full enjoyment out of the game, without having to spend time and extra money purchasing the needed content to continue your adventure.

Lastly, I will say right from the go: World of Warcraft is not on this list. Some may argue that it is sort of free to play, however they would be wrong. Sure, you can buy pets from a cash store, and yea, you can play for free. However you can only play up to level 20, and then no further unless you buy the game and subscribe. Although, even if it were free to play, I am not sure it would make it to this list, since at the time of this writing, it doesn’t really offer anything new to the MMORPG community.

Without further ado, the 10 best free to play MMORPGs!

10) Tera – This free to play MMORPG only went free to play last month, and it looks gorgeous! To fully appreciate the beauty of this game you need to have a fairly decent computer, however you can lower the settings, and play it on lower performance systems, but it doesn’t look anywhere near as nice. The game has a ton of races and classes to choose from, and features a detailed character creator.

The only thing keeping this game from being higher on the list is the controls. They are clumsy and awkward, though I am sure some will love them. I am used to traditional MMORPG controls, and this style, just fries my dome.

9) Star Trek Online – This MMORPG has been out for 3 years, and has only gotten better. If you are a fan of star trek, or Sci-fi in general, then this is definitely worth checking out. The game features voice talents of many Star Trek actors and actresses and some stunning graphics. After a short tutorial mission, you become a captain, and get your own ship! This ship also serves as your player housing, and as your mount. Piloting your ship takes a little getting used to, but afterwards, it becomes second nature. This unique blending of space missions and ground missions helps the game to stand out from other titles, but what really sets it apart is the Foundry. The foundry allows you to create your own quests and missions and share them with the community. Which means that there is a never-ending flow of new quests and missions being added daily, and since Star Trek fans are known for their passion and creativity, the majority of these missions are of higher quality than the official missions.

8) Age of Conan – An MMO that captures the savagery of Hyboria and the tales of Conan! The game has unique combat controls, which requires you to watch your enemies and attack where they are weakest. Sure, you can just button mash, but you won’t last very long doing that! It’s also important to note, that this game is based on the novels, not the movies, so don’t be surprised that people don’t speak in an Austrian accent. The only thing keeping this game from being MUCH higher, is the fact that after the starting area, the game seems less polished. Tortage is fantastic and gorgeous, and if the rest of the game was anywhere near as fleshed out as that area? This game would be number one with a bullet!

7) Lord of the Rings Online – This MMORPG is based on the novels by Tolkien, not the movies! Meaning, you will see and interact with characters not in the movie. The game takes place during the same time as the events in the books, and you play a character living in the world. Sometimes, you may find yourself bumping into the fellowship, or following in their footsteps, in your own unique story worthy of the title Lord of the Rings.

6) Fallen Earth – An MMORPG set not just in the future, but in a post apocalyptic future! A wasteland reminiscent of the Fallout universe, or Mad Max. The world is huge, the setting unique and the story? Well, the story is alright, but it’s there, and better than most MMOs.

5) Dungeons & Dragons Online – One of the earliest subscription based MMORPGs to go free to play, and still one of the best. The game is challenging to master, but easy to learn. If you are a D&D pen and paper player, then you should be playing this, if you aren’t already. The game is set in the Eberron Campaign, which admittedly is not my favorite setting, but the game is fantastic never the less. The controls can be remapped to any button(Or controller if you use an Xbox 360 controller for windows), which means the controls can and do fit everyones needs.

4) Champions Online – An action based MMORPG where you get to play a super hero! The game features graphics that are top notch, and resemble comics with their slightly cell shaded appearance. Not a fan of the look? Don’t fret! That graphic filter can be switched off, for more of a traditional gaming look. The game has deep character customization tools, so you can literally create the super hero of your dreams. Worried that your hero name will be taken? Not a problem either, since the can be multiple Super Heroes with the same name(whispers and mail is determined by your login name).

3) APB Reloaded – While it’s not your traditional MMORPG, it does have enough in common with other MMORPGs to appeal to the same userbase. The game takes place in a modern setting, and is similar in many ways to the grand theft auto games. Will you be a cop or a thug? Bring peace to the streets or anarchy? The choices are yours! The game is heavily group dependent however, so if you are a soloist, this might not be the best game for you. The controls also take a while to get used to, and since the game has recently gotten rid of its tutorial level, you are pretty much just forced to figure it out on your own. Which means, you will end up dying a lot at first.

2) Star Wars: The Old Republic – This game is made by Bioware, the same guys who made the Mass Effect, Dragons Age and Knights of the Old Republic games. So, you know it’s going to be kick-ass! The graphics are amazing, and the stories(the are different for each class) are unbelievable! Your actions shape the entire outcome of the game. How you play it is entirely up to you!

1) The Secret World – While not free to play in the same sense as the others on this list, it is still free to play. Sure, you have to buy the game, but that’s it! You can buy more items from the cash store, but not required for full enjoyment of the game. The game reminds me of the Story Telling games by White wolf, called World of Darkness. To be even more precise it reminds me of the Mage games. The game takes place in a modern world, wrapped in dark secrets on conspiracies. A world where hidden things do go bump in the night, where shadowy organizations pull the strings. This game borrows heavily from Lovecraft as well as numberous other writers, and is an insanely enjoyable experience.

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