Once rare like a legendary loot drop, new MMOs are now more common than ever. And as part of a genre built upon freedom and vast numbers of players coming together, they are among the most ambitious games around. Each one promises a sprawling world, a vibrant community, and enough content to make you blush and go all dizzy.
New MMORPGs are full of potential, but they’re also precariously close to failure – history is littered with MMOs that have had their moment in the spotlight or never garnered the attention they deserved.
In the interest of saving you hours spent in character creation for a game you might not even like, we have compiled a handy list of all the new MMOs that are worth your time. But we have also gone one step further: as the worlds of MMORPGs are ever-changing, we have included games with recent updates, new content drops, and the like, plus new massively multiplayer online games with RPG elements. So, from newly updated sword-and-sorcery classics to emerging action-RPGs, these are the new MMOs you should be paying attention to.
The best new MMOs are:
Rift felt like a breath of fresh air in a stagnant genre back in 2011, and it has only got better since. For starters, it costs a lot less than it did: gradually, the base game and all of its expansions have gone free-to-play.
Everything that helped Rift garner rave reviews at launch still holds true: this is a game that excels at pulling large groups of players together and throwing them at convincing threats. It handles quests and raids with practiced ease, and weaves spontaneous events into the mix too. Classical yet modern, Rift is a fantasy MMO for this decade.
Think Mad Max with even more vehicular combat and you have Crossout: a post-apocalyptic MMO on Steam based around building and customisation. There are a multitude of body parts, weapons, electrical gadgets, and cosmetic oddities with which to create your mobile death machine. Then join one of many weird and wonderful Crossout factions, each with their own distinct style and selection of vehicle parts, and make use of a robust marketplace where you can trade with other players.
The game’s economy ensures that you get drip-fed as you progress. There is also a limit to what can and can’t be welded to your car’s exterior, and managing this is just as important as clever manoeuvring and decent marksmanship. If you are looking for a trip into a nightmarish future full of crumbling cities and desolate barrens – and hey, who isn’t? – then jump behind the wheel. Just be sure to get your license first; that’s what our Crossout beginner’s guide is for.
Blade & Soul is a new MMORPG for fans of high-wire martial arts and movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Every MMO can boast something distinct about its combat and Blade & Soul gets the bragging rights for its visually arresting battle scenes, replete with complex animations and devastating combo attacks.
This new MMO proved so popular in Asia that a 10,000 signature petition was signed to convince its publisher to release it in North America and Europe. Explore a fantasy world inspired Chinese mythology, choose one of the 11 distinct classes, and discover a tale of revenge so devilish it would make Hamlet blush. Be sure to check out our Blade & Soul guide for some tips and tricks for conquering this MMO.
When it launched in 2012, Guild Wars 2 was almost certainly the strongest MMO since World of Warcraft, and six years on and it is showing no signs of failing. It’s latest expansion, Path of Fire, tasks players to kill Balthazar, the rogue god of war, before he brings Tyria to ruin, while the latest episode of the Guild Wars 2 Living World story introduces an open-world jungle. It is all very exciting, and continues to prove Arenanet’s storytelling chops.
Guild Wars 2’s expansive, beautiful world is its main pull – just check out the Guild Wars 2 concept art – but there is elegance in its systems, too. Dynamic events pull players – friends and strangers alike – together for mad dashes across its landscapes, while the combat feels pacey and dramatic despite being based on the traditions of hotbars and cooldowns. The core game is free, but you’ll need to buy the expansion packs, and best of all it’s refreshingly light on microtransactions.
ArcheAge is an ambitious MMO; a giant sandbox where you can fulfil your dreams of soaring through the sky on the back of a dragon, roaring so hard everything else falls out of the sky through sheer force of intimidation. Like so many MMOs, its world is ever-evolving through frequent updates.
The game is free-to-play with an optional subscription, but as of August 2019 players can buy a separate version of the game, titled ArcheAge: Unchained, which gives them access to everything for a one time fee. In whichever version you choose to play, you’ll be sieging castles, sailing the seas, and planting happy little trees.
While it’s not exactly a new MMO, Neverwinter has recently received a massive new story and content update that ensures this D&D MMORPG feels fresh. This update extends the game’s main storyline, adds a new playable race called the Gith, and completely revamps the new-player experience to make starting out in this richly detailed world a lot easier. With Baldur’s Gate 3 on the horizon, there’s no better time to start diving into D&D lore.
Path of Exile 2
While Path of Exile 2 is a quasi-sequel in the same vein as Overwatch 2, the upcoming re-launch of Grinding Gear Games’ morbid and moody ARPG provides the ideal opportunity to jump in if you’re new to the MMO. PoE 2 adss a second main campaign that leads players to the same endgame as the first game’s campaign, overhauling progression, skills, and much more in an effort to make the onboarding process better for beginners and solve some long-standing fan gripes, too. While there’s no solid news of a Path of Exile 2 release date, a beta is expected to arrive by the end of 2020.
New World is a fantasy MMO currently being developed by Amazon Studios. Set on a magic-infused island that straddles several historical periods, New World is part pure sandbox, part survival game, and part classic MMORPG.
Related: Our guide to the best sandbox games on PC
You can pursue a number of different combat and non-combat character classes, set up camp anywhere on the island, and buddy together with others to form strong alliances. Eventually, your company will be able to engage in siege battles with other groups of players, so there’s plenty to aim for when you first arrive on the island.
Conqueror’s Blade is a new MMO that focuses almost entirely on tactical, siege battles. You pick a hero from a selection of medieval classes ranging from Poleaxe to Nodachi, and then get to work leading your army into battle, which involves taking over castles using siege tools, and switching between third-person combat and a top-down view where you can dictate your brigade’s combat style and positioning.
Combat marries the ability-cycling of MMOs like WoW with the precision and timing of a medieval brawler like For Honor, ensuring there’s plenty of depth all the way up to endgame. But the main reason to check out Conqueror’s Blade is its massive battles. With each player commanding both their own hero and a brigade of roughly 40 troops, 15vs15 battles fill the screen with skirmishes and bloodshed, creating scenes reminiscent of Lord of the Rings battles.
Life is Feudal: MMO is anything by friendly for new players. This is a hardcore, survival MMO with an emphasis on community play and grinding for resources, so don’t expect to make it very far unless you’re willing to reach out to guilds and put in some graft. However, if you’re committed then you’ll find a medieval MMO teeming with depth as you help to grow and improve your guild’s settlement, progressing from basic shelters made with rudimentary tools to a fully functioning village. Eventually, you’ll even be able to take part in large-scale medieval battles between rival clans.
Last Oasis is another upcoming MMO with perhaps the most visually striking world design in any MMO that we can recall. Billed as a nomadic survival MMO, Last Oasis is set in a dying world where you’re forced to keep moving in order to survive and thrive. The best way to do that is to construct wild mobile bases called Walkers, which are wooden, wind-powered walking bases inspired by Dutch artist Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests.
Beyond that Last Oasis is also promising plenty in the way of crafting, combat, resource-gathering, and is a sprawling and diverse open-world game with a player-driven economy. It’s certainly ambitious, but if it all works then Last Oasis should be a new MMO worth seeking out.
The gates to WoW Classic opened on August 26 2019, and the memories have all come flooding back. Veteran fans who remember the challenge and camaraderie of pre-Burning Crusade WoW have been enjoying reliving the quests, raids and WoW Classic Dungeons they tackled back in the day, while new players who might not have even been born when WoW originally launched 15 years ago are hopping on the best WoW Classic mounts and discovering the adventure for the first time. Now is a great time to get started in the shiny new WoW Classic, and we’ve got a WoW Classic guide for new players to help you out.
MapleStory 2 is a new MMO from Korean developer Nexon, and it’s a sequel that shouldn’t escape your attention if you’re looking for a fresh massively-multiplayer timesink. Set in the eye-catching, voxel-based Maple World, you and your fellow Maplers must rid the world of evil with plenty of powerful weapons and fancy armour sets at your disposal.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for fun, too. Besides the deep dungeon crawls, devilish bosses, and tough public events to tackle with your anime-style mates, you can unwind with mini games and by decorating your own home – all of which you can learn more about through our MapleStory 2 guide. In this massive world that is just as sweet as its name suggests, there are activities for all tastes.
The all-online iteration of Final Fantasy has been around for a while, but like all great MMOs, it’s still growing. The latest major expansion, FFXIV Shadowbringers, is a definitive hit with the MMO’s community, fleshing this enormous MMO out with two new jobs, new dungeons, some of the best MMO bosses around, and a revered main story. This might be a long-running MMO, but its developers manage to reinvent it time and time again.
Revelation Online is one of many new MMORPGs making the journey from East to West, but it stands out amongst many of its competitors because of its stylish, free-flowing combat, ludicrously deep character creation and progression systems, and gorgeous open world. It also has plenty of content for players of every MMO denomination, whether you’re after a solid PvE grind packed with questlines and NPCs or just want to hunt down and kill your fellow virtual man in PvP duels and battles.
It’s also got one particularly neat trick up its sleeve: you can reset your character at any point. For free. If you’ve ever ploughed 60 hours into an MMORPG and realised you’d rather be a ranged build than melee then you’ll know how valuable such a feature is to the amount of free time you have.
If you’re also a fan of the MOBA genre then good news: the Revelation Online Mythical Combat update adds a separate game mode inspired by MOBA titans like League of Legends and Dota 2.
Every new MMORPG nowadays has to have a unique selling point, and for Riders of Icarus that feature is mounts. Sure, plenty of MMOs have mounts, but as you might have guessed from the title, mounts are pretty central to character progression and questing in Riders of Icarus, which is just as well, because there are hundreds of potential pets to ride and battle with in this otherwise traditional MMO.
Wherever you travel to in Riders of Icarus, you are bound to encounter plenty of new and powerful creatures to capture and use for yourself, from adorable kangaroo-like woodland critters to ancient, fire-breathing dragons. Of course you will have to tame them before you can utilise their strengths, and Riders of Icarus makes this a game mechanic as important as dialogue or combat – check out our Riders of Icarus guide for help on this. It being an MMO and all, you will also get to show off your mount to friends. Sort of like Pokémon, except in a fantasy setting and with much, much more killing and bloodshed.
Like so many new MMOs, Riders of Icarus is also constantly being updated with major new features and fresh content, like the Rift of the Damned expansion, which brings floating islands and a suite of new dragon mounts to the game.
Not many game franchises have been as successful as instilling a sense of immortal power in their players as Blizzard’s Diablo series has. Enter Mu Legend, a top-down, action-RPG that manages to make mowing down a horde of demons with a greatsword feel as great as it sounds. This new MMORPG boasts a diverse character creator, a range of levelled and endless dungeons, and PvP for you to sink their teeth into.
As the focus is predominantly on fast-paced and brutal combat, there is a lot less helping farmers bring in their crop and hunting down badgers in Mu Legend than in other MMOs. Mu Legend is also the follow-up to the immensely popular Mu Online, so expect more highly addictive loot drops and a level cap you could never, ever reach.
Eve Online is a constantly evolving creature, thanks to its dedicated player base who have organised themselves into corporations – which have then formed alliances, all competing with each other. Tales of large-scale clashes in Eve Online have ascended into legend, but there are still more epic stories to come – the developers are keen to sow chaos with updates such as the wonderfully petulant sounding ‘Kicking over Castles’, which when implemented will encourage players to destroy anything that isn’t well enough defended.
Entering Eve Online as a free player only holds you back from the highest echelons of upgrades and abilities, so you’ll still be able to work your way up the ranks of whichever space trade you fancy the look of most. Fortunately, CCP Games have also reworked the game’s introduction to ensure that getting to know this famously complex space game is much easier.
Thanks to constant updates from Bethesda, The Elder Scrolls Online is now one of the biggest, grandest, and deepest MMOs around. If you are familiar with The Elder Scrolls franchise – and frankly, who isn’t? – then this is effectively a fresh fix of the same kind of fantasy RPG gameplay that made Skyrim and Oblivion such huge successes. Of course, there is an online element too that allows you to finally duel your friends and enter a dungeon with more than a clunky AI NPC by your side, but at its core this is classic Elder Scrolls through and through.
Read more: The best RPGs on PC
It is also still getting bigger, with frequent The Elder Scrolls Online expansions adding new regions to the game like Elsweyr, Morrowind, and the beautiful Summerset, while updates like Dragon Bones adding new dungeons and PvP Battlegrounds. This MMO is now exploring places the main games have only mentioned in passing like the Argonian homeland of Murkmire, so if you want to stay on top of the lore before the Elder Scrolls 6 release date then this is your best bet.
Not everyone can get enthused about traditional MMO combat, which is where TERA comes in. It is an action-focused game, with Devil May Cry-style flips, slices, and sword thrusts that are a far cry from the click-and-wait cooldown systems seen in pretty much every other MMO. Combine that combat with the flashy visuals you will see everywhere else in the game, and TERA is quite the sight to behold.
It is getting on a bit now, but the future holds as much for TERA as when it launched back in 2011. Regular updates, such as the Unmasked update and the addition of Celestial Dragon mounts in the latest patch, keep the world of Arborea a vibrant, busy place. And since TERA is also one of the best free MMORPGs, there is no reason not to dive in and see what is going on.
And that’s it for our all-encompassing look at the freshest massively multiplayer experiences you can get on PC. If you’re looking for quality over recency, our list of the best MMOs will serve you well, or if you’re ok with less than a world’s worth of players then why not check out our picks of the best multiplayer games? As you can see, playing together with friends and strangers is a pretty big deal these days. Don’t resist; leave your single-player games alone for a while and become one with the massively multiplayer machine.