Korean martial arts-centered free MMORPG Blade and Soul was very recently released to Western audiences earlier this year in January. Featuring an innovative and unique combat system that focused on the proper timing and execution of martial arts moves to take down opponents, all juxtaposed against a big open world setting, it looks like Blade and Soul is on its way to becoming one of the most played MMORPG heavy-hitters out there.
Additionally, another new MMORPG is being talked about in gaming circles due to its insanely detailed character customization and overall gorgeous visuals: Black Desert Online. Whether or not it’ll be as big as other popular MMOs remains to be seen because of its relatively young lifespan at the moment, but it is possible.
New MMORPGs with fresher mechanics and features are taking the internet by storm, but that doesn’t mean older ones are any less active. Long-time and most played MMORPGs, like World of Warcraft, are still around and kicking, and as long as they keep up with churning out quality content they won’t be going anytime soon. They do vary in terms of business models: some are free MMOs; others make use of the pay-to-play system. Regardless, you’ll find something up your alley out of the most played MMORPG games we’ve picked out.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the popular MMOs out in the market today.
World of Warcraft
Small wonder that the MMO juggernaut World of Warcraft still reigns supreme in terms of both number of registered users and active user count, even if you count in the fact that its numbers are constantly fluctuating, something that might have to do a lot with the release of new content. It’s actually gotten to the point where Blizzard hasn’t been sharing active subs numbers. But with a movie coming out this year as well as a major expansion called Legion, the number might see a rise.
Blizzard has been keeping mum about subscriber numbers, but if we could venture a guesstimate, the number of active players might still be around the 4-6 million marks going by the tally released late last year. Even then, it’s hard to ignore World of Warcraft’s long-held status as the most played MMORPG – it’s been referred to the most in other pop culture mediums such as South Park, something very few other MMOs, if at all, are capable of.
Final Fantasy XIV
The MMO version of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy franchise retains the tone and core mechanics that is so at home in the beloved series. As such, it’s no surprise that Final Fantasy XIV has a dedicated fanbase. Featuring colossal lands to traverse, accessibility to any sort of gamer, tons of customizable content, and compelling storytelling, FFXIV is a must-try for any hardcore Final Fantasy fan. Do it for the Chocobo! As for speculation regarding the number of subscribers, the closest number we can get is probably close to 1-1.5 million active players as a very rough estimate. Nevertheless, their website boasts over 5 million accounts created and is a worthy addition to our list of most played MMORPG games as FFXIV’s fanbase is still growing every day.
Guild Wars 2
With the release of a new expansion called Heart of Thorns late last year, ArenaNet’s free-to-play MMORPG title Guild Wars 2 hit a 7-million player landmark. Though the expansion itself is a buy-to-play feature, Guild Wars 2 has been attracting players by the droves with its free-to-play MMO model and emphasis on player cooperation and community-building. And truly one of its most attractive features to would-be players is the openness to newbies, on top of the cool PVP, enjoyable combat and sprawling locales to explore. Often praised by critics as a fresh way to experience the MMO genre, Guild Wars 2 will most likely see bigger numbers if they keep up the constant content updates.