5 Best Free MMORPG Games That Used to Be Pay to Play
The MMORPG industry is vast, with a ton of subscription-based and Free to Play MMORPGs on the market all set in a variety of online fantasy worlds. This might make it difficult to decide which subscription or F2P MMORPG is worth your time and/or money.
We have decided to take a look at some subscription-based MMORPG games that became Free to Play MMORPGs sometime after launch; online games that now offer free experiences and are not bogged down by monthly subscription fees. If you are strapped for cash or looking to venture into new online worlds then this best F2P MMORPG list should help you decide which free MMORPG games are best for you.
The Elder Scrolls Online
Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC & Mac
The Elder Scrolls Online was released by Bethesda and Zenimax Studios on April 4th of 2014, with a subscription fee as well as a requirement to purchase a key for the MMORPG game in order to be able to enjoy it. This was in addition to the premium currency and micro transactions available within The Elder Scrolls Online.
As of January 21st 2015; Zenimax announced that The Elder Scrolls Online would no longer have a mandatory subscription fee, instead there would be an optional subscription called ESO Plus, which provides free access to all current and future downloadable content, as well as a monthly allowance of 1500 crowns (TESO’s premium currency.) ESO plus also provides various perks that allow a paying subscriber to progress faster than a free account holder. Despite this, MMO fans with a no budget looking to play one of the best free MMORPG games, should definitely look into ESO online as one of their options.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
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Based on cost estimates the Star Wars: The Old Republic, developed by Bioware Austin is one of the most developmentally expensive video games ever made; This successor to the Knights of the Old Republic franchise released on December 20th, 2011 still has a very loyal fanbase. Star Wars: The Old Republic began with a subscription fee, however after struggling to find a player-base at launch this popular MMORPG became a Free to Play on November 15th, 2012.
After the transition into the F2P MMORPG market, Star Wars: The Old Republic regained a portion of its fanbase, and is now going strong with regular updates and over 1 million estimated monthly players. Star Wars: The Old Republic (like ESO) also has an optional Pay to Play subscription system that provides access to the expansions (without having to pay for them) as well as faster leveling, no gameplay restrictions, and a couple of coins that can be used in the store.
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The MMORPG Wildstar by Carbine Studios’ received positive reviews upon its June 3rd, 2014 release date; however the subscription based model turned out to not be a good fit for the sci-fi MMO, leading to the developers changing WildStar to a Free to Play MMORPG model on September 29th, 2015.
Like the other best free MMORPG games on this list players can still subscribe if they want, becoming “signature” members who get increased experience and currency gains as well as other small perks and benefits. Unlike Star Wars: The Old Republic and ESO, Wildstar allows players use their gold to buy an in-game item called C.R.E.D.D which activates 30 days of “signature service” play time with a non-recurring subscription.
Dungeons and Dragons Online
Platform(s): PC & Mac
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The award-winning adaptation of the Tabletop Dungeons and Dragons online game was released on February 28th, 2006 to a large fanbase having been drawn to the Forgotten Realms setting and gameplay based around the Dungeons and Dragons Version 3.5 rule set. This wasn’t enough to save Dungeons and Dragons Online from going Free to Play in 2009 however, though you can still contribute to the MMORPG by becoming a VIP member.
VIP members of Dungeons and Dragons have access to all game updates and expansions, with 10% extra experience and exclusive VIP-only events, races and classes.
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Created by Trion Worlds, the MMORPG Rift was released on March 1st, 2011 and was (at the time of its release) marked as a standard of beautiful gameplay that tested most PC hardware at the time it was created. Two years later Trion Worlds announced that Rift would become a Free to Play MMORPG on June 12th, 2013. You can become a patron of Rift however, which gets you store discounts, loyalty rewards, and experience and currency bonuses.
This best F2P MMORPG list contains five of the most popular subscription based MMO’s that are now some of the best free MMORPGs on the market. Don’t be afraid to dip your feet into any one of them as they offer a risk-free online game experience (besides your data cap, if you have one). If a subscription-based MMORPG like World of Warcraft isn’t your thing then maybe one of these free MMORPGs catches your eye.