13 Obscure Free to Play MMORPGs to try if You’re Bored
So this month I thought I’d do something a little different.
People are always so caught up with what the “best MMORPG” is that we often forget that the smaller more obscure titles have a certain.. charm. A certain.. je ne sais quoi that isn’t often replicated in newer games.
With this in mind I went ahead and sifted through.. yikes, like.. 1,400 videos? I believe are on the channel right now to find 13 MMORPGs that I believe are obscure enough and warrant further inspection.
These games are by no means “the best MMORPG,” “the most aesthetically beautiful MMORPG,” nor do they have “the best combat” or anything of the like.
They’re just worth taking another look at – especially if you’re bored for whatever reason.
So, here we are. 13 obscure free to play MMORPGs that you can try if you’re bored.
What better way to start this list off with than perhaps one of the most unique, innovative MMOs pretty much ever released? Yup. Atlantica doesn’t “look unique” in any capacity.
It’s your traditional mid-to-late 2000’s carbon copy Asian MMO. Graphically, the game looks pretty subpar. But that isn’t where the game shines.
Where most MMO’s have you create your character, play through the game with that character, leveling and ultimately gearing yourself to become the OP hero of your story, Atlantica has you level, gear and customize a whole party of them.
Throughout your journey you come across various NPCs to recruit into your party. You can level them, gear them up like you would yourself and then deploy them in an interesting turn-based combat system.
If you ever played JRPGs like Suikoden, Star Ocean, the Tales of games or, I guess even Final Fantasy, then you’ll recognize the turn-based system right away.
However, unlike the aforementioned games, Atlantica has you deploy your characters in a 3 by 3 grid with the battle cycling through enemy and ally turns respectively.
It’s something I believe is worth testing out purely if you’re a fan of older JRPGs. There’s a certain nostalgia to it that I’ve never really felt anywhere else.
Man. I played FlyFF way back when it was still popular, had several active servers and was published under GPotato.
The grind was horrendous. It took me so damn long to hit level cap – I was grinding away at that game for literal months to hit level 50.
And the game was difficult. Ridiculously difficult. I remember going around getting 2-3 shot by monsters whenever I attempted to do quests more than a level or two above me.
At the time FlyFF was the only game I’d come across that had flight. It allowed you to mount a flying mount and take to the skies.
While flying in MMOs these days is much more common, back here it wasn’t. When I first got my mount and had the ability to fly it felt amazing.
Seeing the world from a completely different perspective was something I’d never experienced and honestly.. even though the game definitely looks dated by todays standards, I have yet to get the same feeling from flight in an MMO.
RF Online is the only sci-fi MMORPG on this list, and perhaps one of a handful of sci-fi MMORPGs in general that still have any semblance of a population.
And I use that lightly, as RF’s population is.. well, let’s use this analogy. Imagine a densely populated forest – filled with lush trees and wildlife. RF is a desert. No trees, no animals, not even any water.
But the desert is still very pretty to look at and explore, just like RF is. Fun to explore, anyway. You can tell at first glance that the game is old.
For a game released back in 2004, it holds up particularly well. Characters look surprisingly good and mechanics present in much newer titles – mechanics and features like obtaining and completing quests long-distance.
RF doesn’t really do anything innovative but if you’re interested in trying out a sci-fi MMO and games like Warframe or PSO2 aren’t quite doing it for you – then I’d recommend at least testing it.
The difficulty is.. out of this world. Okay, I’ll stop.
Yes, Void Elsword. AKA, the private server alternative to the official Elsword MMO.
Elsword is probably one of the only successful Anime-themed side-scrolling brawler type MMOs out there, with MapleStory and Dungeon Fighter being the only two real contenders.
The amount of customization of your character in Elsword is possibly the most extensive I’ve seen outside of… Ragnarok Online.
Every Hero has several classes they can become – and have several stages of advancement. As an example, take Elsword, the character the game is named after. He begins as a Knight.
After hitting level 15 he can become a Sword Knight, Magic Knight or Sheath Knight. Each of those classes have a second, third and fourth class advancement associated with them, totaling 12 subclasses.
So.. yeah, you can see how deep this can go. Add on to that the outdoor content and instanced dungeons.. you got yourself an almost one-of-a-kind game.
Again though, I want to make it clear that Void Elsword is the better choice if you’re looking to try Elsword out. Official Elsword just.. isn’t.
Dragon’s Dogma Online
I dunno if you’ve ever had the opportunity to play through Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen on the PS3 or PS4 but I have and I spent hundreds of hours in it.
However while playing it one thing became very apparent to me: This would work so much better as an MMO. Or, heck, even a multiplayer RPG with some co-op involved.
Unfortunately that dream never came to fruition.. until I came across Dragon’s Dogma Online, an MMORPG based off of the Dragon’s Dogma game.. I think? Loosely adapted from? Or something, not entirely certain of its history.
Dragon’s Dogma Online provided me with something that I hadn’t experienced in an MMO before: Interactible environments.
If you go through older footage we recorded you’ll see us engaging with our surroundings, and even the enemies themselves!
There was nothing quite as exhilerating as scaling that giant ogre, stabbing him in the head and smacking him with my shield, then making a getaway by grappling onto the nearby building.
This is the kind of gameplay I feel like MMOs are missing. This is the kind of innovation I wish was made in the genre but is disappointingly.. absent.
And having a little Pawn that I get to make follow me around everywhere and customize was a nice addition as well. Makes playing the game less.. lonely.
Plus you can have them occupy the position of monster punching bag in your stead.
I’ve played through my fair share of Eastern themed MMOs and Loong is probably one of the few that have left a lasting impression on me.
It was released back in 2009 and to me – feels like the game that Revelation Online and Moonlight Blade were based off of.
Both Revelation and Moonlight Blade use a hybrid tab-target action combat system and Loong kinda did as well. Well, it used less of one. But the resemblances between the three games is actually a little uncanny.
The gameplay doesn’t really stand out and the graphics, although not bad for a 2009 MMO aren’t all that impressive, the expansive world and the freedom it gives you to explore it is.. well, I guess probably comparable to Perfect World.
There we go – the game is like Perfect World but with a fun weapon system providing us with quite a unique, diverse selection of classes to play with.
Digimon Masters Online
Have you ever wanted to be the very best? Like no-one ever was? Wait, whoops. Wrong Anime. My bad. I get those mixed up sometimes.
Let me try this again.
Have you ever wanted to be similar to the very best? Like.. only one other thing has ever been? Then you’re in luck, as Digimon Masters Online is here to meet those expectations!
The game is set in the not-so-distant future, I think. Or maybe it’s set in present day. But a fantasy version of the present day.
You go out, obtain eggs of Digimon, hatch them, train them to become your weapons of mass destruction and ultimately bring down your wrath upon everything and everyone else.
I mean at the end of the day the game is a pretty generic MMO in terms of what it is and what it offers but it’s set in a Digimon setting and allows players to hatch and train their very own Digimon.
Unfortunately it doesn’t have that large of a population but then again Digimon never really reached the acclaim of Pokemon so it’s understandable.
Like Atlantica, Granado Espada is probably one of the most unique MMOs out there.
Again, you play through the game as a character you create, taking quests from and completing quests for potential party members.
As you make progress through the game you unlock new characters to add to your party, level and gear up.
Combat gives you the freedom to control where each of your party members go and what skills they use – with battles being quite difficult.
One thing I learned while playing was that strategy seemed to be key to making it out of battles alive, especially when you tackle encounters that are higher than you are.
It also has one of the most beautiful graphical styles out there – an era in history that I wish I could’ve experienced once.
Riders of Icarus
Do you wanna be the very bes- Wait, I already used that joke.
But for real, that’s probably one of the closest games I could say Riders of Icarus resembles. I mean not overall, but the main selling-point of the game, anyway.
See, while graphically Riders of Icarus looks pretty damn good, especially considering when it was released, the game is – at least pertaining to its gameplay, very.. uninspired.
Interestingly though, it has one of the best Pokemon-esque features I’ve come across in an MMO outside of Dragomon Hunter – which is shut down, and Bless Online – which is shutting down.
You can essentially tame and train the majority of creatures, both common and rare to create the ultimate team of monstrous pets with which to.. ride. Yup, a lot of them are actually mounts.
Since you’re capable of riding your mount, flying was obviously going to play a part in this. Interestingly enough, Riders of Icarus allows for complete aerial combat, something not often found in the genre.
There’s nothing quite like soaring through the skies raining down destruction unto your enemies.
Lord of the Rings Online
If you’re a fan of Lord of the Rings then you’re gonna love Lord of the Rings Online. Or at least I’d think you would but the game’s population is incredibly lacking considering the gargantuan success of the movie trilogy.
Both of them.
I mean the game doesn’t really offer much in the way of unique gameplay mechanics or features that aren’t already prevalent in every other MMO but what it does offer us is a solid MMO set on Middle Earth.
So if playing through the game with a small group of friends and experiencing a giant Lord of the Rings inspired MMO-world sounds like fun to you.. then yeah, good time to try it out.
Okay, so I may not have made it all that far through Wizard 101 but I get it recommended to me every other week. So obviously you guys enjoy it quite immensely.. or you’re all screwing with me.
Either way, Wizard 101 is like a magical version of World of Warcraft with turn-based combat that has you utilize various cards to duel monsters and other players in.. like, weird battles.
It was weird for me. It was really weird. Enemies summoned creatures, Wiggy and I summoned creatures, and we did battle with cards. But if you’ve ever wanted to be a wizard or play a 3D Yugioh.. then this might be for you.
Combat may have been a little on the weird side for me but overall I can definitely say I had a lotta fun playing through it and would recommend it even if only for a good laugh and something lighthearted.
With an R. ArcheRage, not ArcheAge by Trion.. or Gamigo now since they bought Trion out. ArcheRage is the private server for ArcheAge and I would recommend playing it above the official Gamigo version ten times over.
Now ArcheAge itself.. was a giant when it released. Millions of players. The potential to be the largest release in the genre that wasn’t pay to play like WoW or Final Fantasy XIV but that didn’t pan out too well.
It offered so many things that most games released prior to it didn’t though: Addicting faction vs faction PvP content, ridiculously large open worlds to explore and quest in and an interesting naval system.
You could sail the oceans, do battle with other players atop your ship, raid other ships, murder people and end up in jail.. I’m not kidding, ArcheAge had it all.
If it was handled by a better company, it could’ve potentially been so damn good. Thankfully, the ArcheRage private server is significantly less pay to win and is on an earlier, much more fun version of the game.
Seriously, if you’re looking for a game that A.) Looks good B.) Plays good and C.) Is generally pretty damn good, then the private server is the place to be.
My very first MMORPG. Ever. Not kidding.
Man, what can I even say about this.. It’s old, yeah. I played this back when I was a teenager and I’m in my late 20s now. I still go back on occasion to play for a few weeks because to me it’s still that addicting.
It’s pretty much completely open-world. You can travel around the entire continent you’re on without a single loading screen.
To date I’d say it’s still my favorite Anime MMORPG – being one of the most difficult-yet satisfying grinds I’ve ever done.
Its combat – its PvP – its scaling difficulty and progression is something that takes time and effort to push through.
This is by no means an easy game.. at all, and is not for the weak-hearted. You need balls of steel to make it to end-game and play competitively.
And there we have it. 13 obscure MMORPGs that I have liked up to this point in my life that I know don’t get the kind of recognition or attention I feel they should.
Again, these are not in any way “the best MMORPGs” so don’t get the wrong idea. I just think these are games you should definitely consider trying out, especially if you’re bored.
Worst case scenario? You waste a little time trying out something new. Best case? You have fun.
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