The best MMORPG 2016 list – which MMO games are on top this year and what are they doing differently? 2016 will have some of the biggest and most anticipated games in recent memory.

best mmorpg 2016This is going to be a year-long adventure. Before 2016 starts we will list all of the upcoming MMO games that we think are worth watching. When 2016 comes around we will update it every month with newly launched games as well as existing titles that continue to entertain us. Finally, at the end of 2016 we will look back and check how our top recommendations fared.

Below is the table of contents with links for easy navigation.

Best MMORPG 2016 List: Table of Contents

Best Free to Play MMORPG 2016

Free to play is currently the most popular type of MMO. Since downloading and playing the game is free, it is easy to start playing or even invite others to play with you. This list is always under construction and will, of course, be populated with the newest and best MMORPGs when 2016 comes around (continuously updated). For now, here are a few good MMOs you can play.

Skyforge

SkyforgeSkyforge is one of the best open beta MMORPGs around. It has everything: absolutely breathtaking graphics, unique scifi/fantasy world design, tons of character customization options, and great action combat.

In addition, the Skyforge developers get it: they know players want to look cool and have awesome powers from level one. This game is all fun, no waiting. Right from the start characters get to use some very impressive skills and wear a wide range of costumes, from elegant business suits to magnificent battle armor. This game is one of our top picks because of its topnotch AAA quality design and fun gameplay.

Link: official Skyforge website

Magerealm: Rise of Chaos

best mmorpg 2016When you first start playing Magerealm: Rise of Chaos, prepare to be amazed by its stunning graphics, superb character designs, interesting story quests, and well-crafted dungeons. Even though it can be played on a browser, the amount of content available and the complexity of the game is truly astounding.

Magerealm: Rise of Chaos is the best browser MMORPG of 2016 for the following reasons:

  • free to play
  • gorgeous visuals
  • no install needed, play it on a browser
  • tons of unique PvE and PvP modes
  • active player community and devs
  • it’s a lot of fun to play!

Link: Magerealm: Rise of Chaos official website

ArcheAge

ArcheAge craftingThis is a great choice for those who want to play a sandbox MMORPG. ArcheAge has been praised for its superb graphics and polished PvE/PvP combat, but it’s ArcheAge’s harvest, craft, and trade system that makes it really stand out.

ArcheAge has 22 crafting professions but it doesn’t stop there. Land based, oceanic, and transcontinental trade routes are a major part of the game. It works like this: using raw materials, a player crafts a trade pack then transports it via ship, wagon, donkey, airship, etc. to the target destination where it can be sold for a big profit. Pick this game if you love crafting and a player-controlled economy.

Link: ArcheAge official website

Rift

top MMORPG 2016Rift is great because it is an MMORPG that you can pick up and have fun with immediately by using its “Instant Adventure” feature.

Simply by clicking a button, players can be transported to an open questing zone with around 20 other players. Your group is tasked with killing enemies, gathering items, and defeating a boss. The experience and gold rewards are generous. Players can enter and leave and adventure whenever they want to, which is pretty cool.

Of course, there are also tons of other things to do such as quests, stronghold that you can capture and defend, solo dungeons, 5-player dungeons, 10 or 20-player raids, and PvP warfronts.

All in all, it’s a wonderful MMORPG experience and it’s all free.

Link: official Rift website

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Best Browser MMORPG 2016

These are the best MMORPGs that you can play on your browser. You won’t need to download and install a game client for these games.

League of Angels 2

browser mmorpg 2016Newly launched! Released on April 7, 2016, League of Angels 2 (LoA2) is a free to play fantasy MMORPG that can be played on a browser. LoA2 is a sequel to the best-selling League of Angels game. Not just your ordinary browser game, LoA2 features an active skill system for combat, beautiful graphics created on a next-gen 3D engine, and 60 different heroes and angels to collect, each with a unique backstory, personality, and abilities.

Players will never get bored since the game world is quite large, with tons of quests, dungeons, boss monsters, PvP arenas, and mini-games. This is the best choice for those who want to play a the most popular new browser MMORPG.

Link: League of Angels 2 official website

Guardians of Divinity

guardians

Guardians of Divinity is a brand new free to play browser MMORPG with an epic story based on Greek, Egyptian, Norse, and Chinese mythology. Launched on January 14, 2016, this is a fun game that doesn’t take itself too seriously but has awesome content like giant spaceships (for fighting wars in space!), the ability to morph into various gods and steal their powers, cross-server territory battles, group dungeons, and more.

This is one of the top new MMO games because of its excellent graphics, fun gameplay, and interesting characters.

Link: official Guardians of Divinity website

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Best Buy to Play MMORPG 2016

Buy to play is a rather new concept in MMORPGs. Generally, MMO games have either been free or subscription-based. Now there is a third option – buy to play – in which players must buy the game to get access to it but there is no subscription needed. In short, there is a one-time fee for unlimited play.

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 (GW2) is definitely the best buy to play MMORPG around. GW2 has everything an MMO needs to succeed: high-quality graphics, an interesting personalized story, vast maps, awesome quest mechanics and fun combat. That’s why it is the bestselling MMORPG in the world.

Top Features:

  • the gameplay encourages player cooperation – kill/loot-stealing is not a problem, resources and exp are shared fairly
  • exploration is an enjoyable and a core part of the game
  • fun server-vs-server PvP war zones
  • races and classes are balanced
  • active and large player community

Where to buy: Guild Wars 2 on Amazon (Note that this link goes to the latest expansion pack. The core game is included in the expansion purchase so this is the best way to buy the game.)

Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited

ESO Tamriel Unlimited

The new Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited MMORPG is now buy to play. No more subscription fee is needed if you buy the game. There are a few Downloadable Content (DLC) packs that you can buy but they are optional.

Features:

  • awesome graphics that are AAA quality with a vast, beautiful game world
  • ten races, four classes, and three factions
  • set 1,000 years before The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the game tells an epic story of heroism and war
  • quests are truly amazing and interesting – no silly “kill x mobs” quests
  • also available on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Where to buy: Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited (choose PC, Mac, PS4 or Xbox One version)

Which one to pick? GW2 is overall the best game for combat, community, and PvE/PvP. However, if you love the “RPG” part of “MMORPG” then try ESO because it has a better, more memorable story and setting.

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Best Pay to Play MMORPG 2016

Subscription or pay to play MMORPGs are those that require a monthly membership fee. This type of MMO has generally been less popular nowadays because there is so much competition from free to play titles. However, there are still quite a lot of people who prefer to one monthly fee instead of having to buy items from a cash shop.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

ffxiv mmorpg review

This is the game that proved that there is still a market for subscription MMORPGs even though there are tons of free to play games around. The fact is, if your game is good enough, people are more than willing to pay a monthly fee to play it. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (FFXIV:ARR) is a game amazing enough that people will pay for it even though there are free options around.

So what makes this game so good? Well, first of all the Final Fantasy franchise is quite popular. Fans trust the developers to produce and maintain an awesome MMO game. Secondly, the quality of the game is topnotch. Everything from the character designs, environments, animations, cutscenes, sound, voice acting, etc. is a joy to see and hear. Thirdly, it is playable on the PC, Mac, Playstation 3 and Playstation 4. That makes the audience for the game bigger. Lastly, the core gameplay is very fluid and smooth, which makes it easy for players to get completely immersed in the game.

Specifically it has the following features:
ffxiv-crafting

  • a flexible class system that allows players to level up all classes and crafting skills with one character
  • the usual fun Final Fantasy content such as materia, Chocobos, airships, Final Fantasy monsters, etc.
  • guild-based activities
  • Full Active Time Events (FATE) system, dynamic events that randomly appear in the map
  • in-depth crafting
  • excellent party dungeons

Where to buy: Final Fantasy XIV:Realm Reborn and Heavensward Expansion Bundle on Amazon (core game and expansion)

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Upcoming MMORPG 2016

Here is the list of the best upcoming MMORPG games of 2016. These are are all currently under development but are expected to be released in 2016. However, most release dates are not set in stone so the information given below is a bit more speculative than factual.

Star Citizen

Star Citizen
Release Date: end of 2016
Developer: Cloud Imperium Games
Publisher: Cloud Imperium Games

When 2016 comes around, Star Citizen will be a game that has already released several “modules” of content. The single player parts will most likely be finished and playable. The massively multiplayer part of the game is scheduled to be launched in 2016.

So what is Star Citizen? It is a space simulation that seems like it is trying to be all things to all people. If the developers can pull this off then this could very well be the best MMORPG of 2016. The list of the features is eye-poppingly ambitious: customizable ships, real physics, multicrew spaceships, first person space combat (of course!), a player run economy, an MMO persistent universe but with private servers, both single-player and co-op multiplayer campaigns, etc.

Link: Star Citizen official website

Camelot Unchained

Camelot Unchained
Release Date: June 2016
Developer: City State Entertainment
Publisher: City State Entertainment

An MMORPG without PvE? Say it ain’t so! But this is exactly what Camelot Unchained promises: a completely Realm vs Realm (RvsR) MMO experience with absolutely no grinding on mobs. Another crazy thing is that in a game genre where free to play is the norm, this upcoming MMO game is going to be pay to play (with a monthly recurring subscription).

The game will not have instanced PvP, instead the RvsR will play out in a massive open world. The three realms are the Realms of the Tuatha Dé Danann, King Arthur and Vikings.

This is worth keeping an eye on, if only for the revolutionary concept behind the game.

Link: Camelot Unchained official website

Pathfinder-Online

Pathfinder Online
Release Date: Early 2016 (open enrollment/open beta)
Developer: Goblinworks
Publisher: Paizo Publishing

A highly anticipated sandbox MMORPG, Pathfinder Online is due for an open beta in 2016. The developers have promised players a world in which they can build structures, harvest resources, craft goods, and sell them in markets. In short,it will have a player-driven economy. Social groups such as parties, companies, settlements, and kingdoms can work together as a social/political unit and war with other social groups. Open world PvP will also be available. It looks really fun. Is it going to be like Eve Online except with a fantasy theme?

Update: Sadly, it seems that Goblinworks doesn’t have enough money to finish developing the game. They do still have some staff that are keeping the game working but the future is uncertain.

Link: official Pathfinder Online website

Crowfall

Crowfall
Release Date: December 2016 (early/alpha version)
Developer: ArtCraft
Publisher: ArtCraft

Crowfall is Kickstarter-funded MMORPG that is being billed as a “Throne War Simulator” or, in other words, a hybrid strategy/MMO game. This high concept game will work as follows: there is an eternal War of the Gods and Immortal Champions (the players) travel in between realms to fight in campaigns that last 1-3 months or until some condition is met.

So while all player characters are persistent, campaign worlds are not. The temporary campaign worlds last for four seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter), progressively getting more and more dangerous. The idea is that at the start of the campaign players will begin with nothing. They need to explore, adapt, and survive in a completely new, deadly world with the “fog of war” in place.

One of the developers innovations is that the worlds are made of voxels (think Minecraft) so that the entire setting is destructible. Sounds exciting! This could be the next big thing.

Source: http://crowfall.com/

Civilization Online

Civilization Online
Release Date: currently open beta in Korea
Developer: 2K Games and XLGAMES

According to PCGamer, Civilization Online will be a sandbox MMO game where players must work together to acquire resources, build structures, research new technologies, create cities, and progress their civilization. Every week new land will be opened up and as the new areas become available, the borders of the different civilizations will touch. This is when civilization vs civilization PvP wars will occur.

Sadly, there is no scheduled release date for the English version of the game yet.

Source: http://www.civilizationonline.com/

City of Titans

City of Titans
Release Date: Mid 2016 (beta version)
Developer: Missing Worlds Media
Publisher: Missing Worlds Media

When City of Heroes (CoH) closed, a group of fans and developers decided to create a spiritual successor to their beloved game. City of Titans is an upcoming superhero themed MMORPG full of costumed crimefighters and crooks of every description. The concept is intriguing enough but the game is quite low budget (for an MMORPG) so it would be best if players don’t expect super amazing graphics. A few videos have been released such as this one. Nonetheless, this is one MMO that is worth checking out.

Source: http://cityoftitans.com/

Life is Feudal Sandbox MMO

Life is Feudal
Release Date: 2016 (closed beta)
Developer: Bitbox Ltd
Publisher: Bitbox Ltd

Over 200,000 people have already downloaded the early alpha version of Life is Feudal: Your Own (LiF:YO), a niche indie game by Russian developer Bitbox Ltd, according to their press release. Confusingly, there are actually two versions that will be released, the aforementioned (LiF:YO) and the Life is Feudal: Sandbox MMORPG (LiF:MMO) which is scheduled for release in 2016. The concept of both games is the same: a sandbox game in which players can build wherever they want, with a robust crafting system and hardcore full loot PvP.

Crafting in the game will not be limited to items or buildings – players can expect full terraforming capabilities including changing ground levels, digging tunnels, raising hills, building structures, and more. The graphics of the game look quite decent so far, with a reassuringly realistic style. This is another ambitious project that seems like it could be enjoyable to play.

Source: http://lifeisfeudal.com/

Rohan II

R.O.H.A.N. II
Release Date: early 2016 (English version)
Developer: Playwith
Publisher: Playwith

R.O.H.A.N. II is the sequel to the R.O.H.A.N: Blood Feud MMO game. Unlike the original, R.O.H.A.N II will feature MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) and RTS (real time strategy) gameplay elements. The developer’s press release confirms that it will be out for the PC by early 2016. The game looks promising but there is very little information about the game right now but you can visit the Korean language teaser site linked below.

Source: http://www.rohan2.co.kr/ (Korean)

Nebula Online

Nebula Online
Release Date: Q2 2016
Developer: Mizar Games (formerly Komar Games)
Publisher: Mizar Games

Nebula Online is an upcoming space MMORPG with old school full loot PvP. It has been in development since 2013 by Komar Games (a Ukrainian studio) which has since been bought by Mizar Games. Apart from the old school hardcore PvP, the game will also feature real-time space battles, a player driven economy, customizable ships, player-built space stations, and three unique races. It looks like much of the early gameplay will be exploring the infinite reaches of outer space where there are aliens, abandoned stations, undiscovered planets, and more. The official website states that Nebula Online will be available for the Windows, Mac, Linux, and various devices such as iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

The game looks very promising right now. Although Komar/Mizar Games is not known for MMO games because they have made only mobile games so far, they have been regularly releasing gameplay videos that show the progress they have made.

Source: http://www.playnebula.com/ and the Kickstarter page

Das Tal

Das Tal
Release Date: TBA but they already had alpha test weekends
Developer: Fairytale Distillery
Publisher: Fairytale Distillery

Das Tal is an upcoming MOBA set in an MMO-style persistent fantasy world. The developers also call this a “PvP Sandbox MMORPG” and are promising a “high adrenaline” experience with open PvP, full loot, a player-controlled economy with all gear crafted by players, skill-based combat, and a large variety of randomly-generated game worlds with unique maps and rules. Game worlds will last for around three months and will end in a large-scale PvP event.

The actual release date is unknown. They have a lot of news, videos and twitch streams that you can find on their Facebook page.

Source: http://www.das-tal-game.com/

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That is the end of the list so far. Bookmark this page and visit it later to see which games have launched. We will be updating the list as more information about upcoming games is released.

Thank you for reading. Please leave a comment below if you have something to say.