Korean martial arts-centered free MMORPG Blade and Soul was recently released to Western audiences early 2016. 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 of 2016 that was 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 of 2016.
1. 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 release in 2016 as well as a major expansion called Legion, the numbers definitely saw an increase.
Blizzard has been keeping mum about subscriber numbers, but if we could guesstimate, the number of active players might still be around the 4-6 million mark worldwide. 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.
With the servers being merged and cross world play most servers feel much more alive than ever. In Activision Blizzard’s recent Q3 2016 financial report World of Warcraft was mentioned as still holding the number one spot as the top subscription based MMORPG.
2. 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 the worldwide population, FFXIV has approximately 320,000 active players (124,000 in the US, 143,000 in Japan, and 55,000 in Europe). Nevertheless, Final Fantasy XIV’s official website boasts over 6 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 with tons of content updates.
3. The Elder Scrolls Online
We have more than a strong feeling that Bethesda’s The Elders Scrolls Online (TESO) lends most of its success with the user base count to the popularity of the offline Elder Scrolls games, most prominently Skyrim which achieved nothing short of a god-like status with both casual and regular players alike when it was released. It has its faults, yes, but it’s popular. On top of that, another factor might be its availability on consoles (The game is playable on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on top of the PC and Mac OS systems), something not a lot of the other popular MMOs can boast about.
Bethesda hasn’t ‘officially’ confirmed their active player numbers, but in a recent interview they stated that they had 250,000 people playing simultaneously with an additionally 250,000 requests to their servers at that same time during it’s console release. TESO’s player base is mostly made up of console users.