Once as rare as a legendary loot drop, new MMOs seem to be launching every other month. MMOs offer near-boundless freedom in a world populated by a vast number of players, making them among the most ambitious games around. Each one promises a sprawling world, a vibrant community, and enough content to last a lifetime – or at the very least, several years. Thanks to the rise of the free-to-play market, they’re also now more accessible than ever.
New MMORPGs hold the potential to become the best PC games on the market, but many come precariously close to failure. History is littered with MMOs that have had their moment in the spotlight or never garnered the attention they deserved, and our list of the best new MMOs only includes those with thriving communities that aren’t about to be put to pasture any time soon. As the worlds of MMORPGs are ever-changing, we’ve also included games with major updates and expansions that deliver enough content to make the old feel brand new again. So, from newly updated sword-and-sorcery classics to emerging action RPGs, these are the best new MMOs available to play right now.
The best new MMOs are:
At this point, there are more WW2 shooter MMOs than there are stars in the sky. Okay, that’s not strictly true, but what is it that sets Enlisted apart from the rest? Well, for many, it’s the squad-based gameplay. You battle against 25 other players, controlling a a team of up to nine soldiers and if you die as one character, you switch back into one of the others.
Enlisted has technically been in open beta since 2021, but it feels like a very complete experience – one which the developers are continuously expanding with new content. Most recently, its Jungle Fire update added New Georgia as an extra map, along with a ton of other tweaks and enhancements to the gameplay.
Final Fantasy XIV
The base Final Fantasy XIV game may not be a new MMO anymore, but the Endwalker expansion released in 2021 gave it a welcome breath of fresh air. Endwalker is furnished with all the usual trappings you can expect from any expansion: a new level cap, dungeons, and gear. However, Endwalker takes the definition of ‘expansion’ and runs with it, setting you on a journey that’s out of this world – literally. You can visit new and unexpected locations in and around Hydaelyn, before setting your sights on the stars themselves. It also introduces a playable male version of the bunny-eared Viera race, as well as the Reaper and Sage classes that dramatically change the way you approach battles.
Of course, even Endwalker is getting on now. Fortunately, the next expansion, Dawntrail, is only just around the corner. With the promise new jobs, locations, dungeons, and more, it does a fantastic job of keeping itself new and relevant. Read our Final Fantasy XIV Dawntrail release date guide to find out everything we know about the upcoming expansion.
If you’ve never played before, this new update could be the perfect time to start. You can even play for free up to level 60, which offers a huge number of hours of gameplay without requiring you to spend a single penny; take a look at our list of the best free MMOs if you want to see more games like that.
Neverwinter continues to boast a thriving player population and ongoing content updates that keep this D&D single-player MMO from 2013 feeling fresh. The latest expansion, Northdark Reaches, was released in November 2022, in collaboration with fantasy novelists Geno and RA Salvatore. It explores the events between Starlight Enclave and Glacier’s Edge, the first two books in RA Salvatore’s The Way of the Drow trilogy. These events will take place in the Northdark Reaches themselves, a new adventure zone that boasts a new campaign, dungeons, and encounters. With all of this to explore, there’s no better time to start diving into D&D lore.
Tower of Fantasy
Released in China in December 2021 before coming to the west the following August, Tower of Fantasy has quickly established itself as a mainstay figure in the MMO landscape. In the few months of its release, it was touted as the next Genshin Impact, and in some cases, a Genshin Impact killer. While these predictions were a little premature in hindsight, it’s easy to see what prompted people to make the comparison. Nevertheless, Tower of Fantasy continues to comfortably endure alongside Genshin as an open-world action MMORPG with an anime aesthetic.
However, it diverges from Genshin by forgoing high fantasy in favour of a neo-dystopian sci-fi world set in the distant future. You begin as an amnesiac Wanderer that wakes up in a settlement of humans living on the planet Aida, following a huge catastrophe that’s wiped out much of their population. It’s a fascinating world to step into, and with so much to do alongside your friends, it’s easy to see why people are pouring so many hours into this game. There are plenty of events and activities being introduced on a regular basis, as well as an ever-growing roster of Tower of Fantasy characters available to unlock, each with their own unique and varied abilities. If the world of Aida has captured your interest, our Tower of Fantasy leveling guide will stand you in good stead, along with our list of the upcoming Tower of Fantasy banners so you can start saving up for your latest waifu.
Gamers in South Korea have been enjoying Lost Ark since 2019, but it finally made its debut in the west in February 2022. Primarily a PvE action game, its combination of ARPG and MMO mechanics are integral to overcoming massive hordes of monsters from an isometric perspective. Lost Ark is an odyssey that includes a classic angels versus demons storyline, as you go head to head with the Demon Legion in an effort to claim the eponymous Lost Ark itself. Its storytelling and level progression have both been compared to Final Fantasy XIV, while the moment-to-moment gameplay bears more than a passing resemblance to Diablo.
Lost Ark’s reputation speaks for itself; after winning six awards at the 2019 Korean Game Awards, it’s quickly established itself as one of the most popular new MMOs on the global scene. You can read our Lost Ark review to find out what we thought about it. We also have a handy tier list of the best Lost Ark classes, and some helpful tips on how to get Lost Ark gold. Finally, if you’re looking to level up quickly, be sure to appraise yourself of the Lost Ark Pass and the various rewards and skins you can expect to find on the premium path.
Set on a magic-infused island that straddles several historical periods, New World is a sandbox survival game that includes all the trappings of a classic MMORPG. The island of Aeternum has long been thought a legend – that is, until you end up shipwrecked on its wild and dangerous shores. Unlike most MMOs, New World has no defined class system. Instead, you’re free to experiment with your arsenal as you please, shaping your character in accordance with your own preferred playstyle. There’s a host of supernatural abilities at your disposal as well as a bevy of swords, shields, bows, and even more modern armaments like the devastating blunderbuss. Check out our list of the New World best weapons if you’re feeling spoilt for choice.
In true survival fashion, you can strike out into the wilderness and set up camp anywhere on the island, and buddy together with others to form strong alliances. You can dedicate your time to uncovering the island’s secrets and history, picking through its many ruins and dungeons. Alternatively, you can align yourself with one of the three New World factions that are active along the island, expanding your territory and defending it from invaders in a constant colonial tug-of-war to decide the future of Aeternum. 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. Take a look at our New World beginner’s guide while you’re finding your feet in Aeternum.
Guild Wars 2
Yes, Guild Wars 2 has been around for over a decade, but it continues to provide new MMO experiences that keep it fresh. The latest expansion, End of Dragons, shines a spotlight on the mysterious and primordial Elder Dragons that govern the cyclical nature of life, death, and renewal in Tyria. The story is set to shake the very foundations of Guild Wars 2’s worldbuilding as it presently stands – but if that wasn’t enough, End of Dragons also includes four new maps to explore, nine elite specialisations, as well as new weapons and armour.
While you’re not busy saving the world, you can also take to the open waters with your very own skiff, either to bask in the quiet solitude of an afternoon spent fishing or to explore distant shores with a full party in tow. You can also ride on the back of a giant siege turtle and send it into battle. No, we’re not kidding. If you’ve never played Guild Wars 2 before, our Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons review proves that this would be a great time to dive in. Alternatively, if you’re an old player, why not return and find out what new features and stories it has to offer?
World of Warcraft Dragonflight
World of Warcraft may be an ancient behemoth of an MMO in comparison to New World and Tower of Fantasy, but – as our WoW Dragonflight review readily points out – the latest expansion breathes new life into old bones. The latest region to adorn Azeroth’s map is the Dragon Isles, the ancestral home of the dragonflight currently under threat from forces unknown. The Dracthyr Evoker is the first playable race-and-class combo, allowing players to switch between a draconic and humanoid form, with the ability to take to the skies without a mount and breathe fire on your enemies.
Aside from the usual content updates you can expect from an MMO expansion, WoW Dragonflight marks a new era for WoW with quality-of-life improvements to combat, gameplay features, and even lore. It’s still early days, but Dragonflight could prove a solid revival for the grandfather of the MMO genre. If you’re looking to soar back into the world of Azeroth, be sure to check out our WoW Dragonflight tier list for a rundown of the best classes, as well as some of the big changes to the WoW Dragonflight talents and professions systems. Finally, we’ve got a WoW Dragonflight leveling guide that’s indispensable for reaching endgame.
Like many South Korean MMOs, Black Desert Online received a staggered release, launching in Korea in 2015 and then further afield in 2016. While it was certainly no bad apple upon release, the free remaster in 2018 took it to new heights. In 2023, Black Desert is – in a word – gorgeous, and its highest resolutions could give even the heftiest gaming PCs a run for their money.
Black Desert’s combat is closer to an action game than what you’ll find in traditional MMORPGs like WoW, forcing you to be a bit more tactical when it comes to positioning and stamina management. You’re also not locked into one class, and the wide variety of specialisations available makes diversifying your playstyle relatively painless. You can take part in grand-scale PvP castle sieges, or focus on farming and crafting activities while exploring Black Desert’s sprawling world. While Black Desert can prove overwhelming to newcomers, it also includes servers designed specifically for newbies that provide bonuses to health and experience that aid character growth.
Plenty of games on this list come complete with character creation tools designed for total immersion. Conan Exiles goes one step further by including an endowment slider, so you can step foot into the world of Conan safe in the knowledge that your barbarian is sporting a schlong built to your exact specifications. Once you’ve meticulously designed your character down to the last inch, your first task is to survive. The Hyborian wilderness is harsh, but you can hunt for food and craft materials to keep you alive long enough to build a shelter.
Conan Exiles boasts impressive building mechanics that make it possible to expand your small patch of land into a sprawling city, complete with the defences necessary to keep invaders outside your walls. Small skirmishes have the capacity to evolve into siege warfare, and you can also rely on rudimentary weapons – as well as sorcery – to best your foes in action-oriented combat. The latest chapter of Conan Exiles, the Age of Sorcery, arrived in December 2022, bringing with it a new battle pass system alongside headhunting activities and even more versatility when building your character.
That’s it for our look at the freshest massively multiplayer experiences you can get on PC in 2023. 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? Either way, we invite you to leave your single-player games alone for a while and become one with the massively multiplayer machine.