The online gaming classics that keep on giving

From World of Warcraft to RuneScape, MMORPGs have been the much-loved pastime of gamers the world over. After all, who doesn’t love the thrill of grinding for loot or assembling a guild and racking up XP?

In this article, we run through the best MMORPG games – from the classics you can’t forget to the titles that first attract you to the genre.

Fantasy

World of Warcraft

No list of the most popular MMORPGs would be complete without a mention of World of Warcraft.

Released in 2004 by the geniuses at Blizzard Entertainment, this was the title that turned a whole generation of gamers to online gaming. Considered one of the best MMORPG games ever, this title threw players headfirst into the spellbinding world of Azeroth.

Whether you were in it for the player vs player (PVP) brawling, dungeon crawling or world quests, World of Warcraft holds a special place in gamers’ hearts.

Runescape

If you’re talking top MMORPGs, it doesn’t get more classic than RuneScape.

Many gamers of a certain age will remember sneaking in gaming sessions during school computer classes. At 17 years old, it’s one of the oldest games and still going.

Easy to run on even the slowest machines, RuneScape gave gamers their first taste of quests, combat and skill building.

Sci-fi

EVE Online

Notorious for espionage, trade wars and the occasional heist, EVE Online is not for the faint-hearted.

Still, it's the cutthroat complexity of this sandbox sci-fi that makes it one of the best MMORPGs going. The ability to customise ships, explore the galaxy and take part in the odd trade war is what’s kept players coming back for 14 years.

Phantasy Star Online 2

Technically, this is a more recent addition to the classic Phantasy Star series, but it still deserves some recognition.

It’s predecessor, Phantasy Star Online, was one of the first online role-playing games available. The follow-up modernises the game whilst serving its legacy well.

Set in a vibrant sci-fi fantasy world, this popular MMORPG lets you play as a variety of races and classes. As well as high-octane gameplay, players have the freedom to customise their characters.

Historical

Neverwinter Nights

Although a role-playing game (RPG), Neverwinter Nights still deserves a special mention. This game was one of the first you could play online. The RPG was also one of the earliest games to introduce popular MMORPG staples such as guilds, PVP and dungeons.

Ultima Online

Ultima Online was a trailblazer in the MMORPG genre and many still play it today.

Though it started off small, this fantasy/history styled game paved the way for countless others like it.

Among its main selling points were its multiple worlds and a regular stream of expansions and updates.

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