Top 10 Most Played MMORPGs in 2019 – What MMOs SHOULD You Be Playing!?!
It’s that time of the year again. Almost Christmas – and subsequently the end of the year.
With the end of the year being right around the corner, we’re left once again wondering what MMORPGs are worth our time going into 2019.
While I will do a video on that sometime in the future, I’ve had a plethora of requests to do a follow-up to our most viewed video of all time: “The Top 10 Most Played MMORPGs in 2018”.
So in this video, I’m going to address the most populated MMO and MMORPG alike going into 2019. I will be including non-traditional MMOs in this video as well, so do take note of that.
Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV is one of the few pay-to-play MMORPGs left capable of maintaining a subscription-based model.
Many other MMOs like Rift, Aion, WildStar, Lord of the Rings Online and a plethora of others had to swap to a free-to-play model to survive, but Final Fantasy XIV proved that people are more than willing to pay for quality.
Unlike a lot of currently popular MMOs, Final Fantasy XIV employs a tab-target combat system. Some people are turned off by the lack of action combat and by the long global cooldown on skills at lower levels, but honestly.. I’ve not had any issue with it.
The game has one of – if not the largest focus on story that I’ve come across in an MMO. I’ve never, personally, been as engaged in the story of an MMO as I am in Final Fantasy XIV’s.
It also has one of the most unique classing systems I’ve come across, allowing for every single class in-game to be leveled on a single character.
Although the game lacks a little in terms of character creation initially, it does offer an extensive customization system in-game with which you can personalize your character to quite a significant degree.
Official numbers haven’t been given recently, but various unofficial sources put Final Fantasy XIV in the five most populated MMORPGs on PC to date, having hundreds of thousands of active players as of December 2018.
Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls Online is one of the few buy-to-play MMORPGs capable of maintaining a purchase-to-play model.
This means that players are capable of purchasing the game a single time and playing it forever without paying a single cent more.
However, like a lot of non pay-to-play MMOs, ESO offers players the ability to upgrade their membership with the addition of “ESO Plus”, providing players access to every DLC, additional crowns, gold and XP boosts and more.
The Elder Scrolls Online employs action combat, but puts a.. different twist on it with their unique class system.
It allows for players to live out their weirdest, wildest class fantasies – a robe wielding barbarian, a staff wielding, fireball shooting assassin.. you name it, you can probably do it.
ESO also has a fairly large emphasis on story-telling, with each area being influenced by its own unique story in some way. This makes zones more fun to play through and provides reason to visit other areas or level as other races.
Like Final Fantasy XIV, the character creator leaves a little to be desired and some things are locked behind a pay-wall, but otherwise you can customize your character to a fair degree.
Once again, official numbers have yet to be given but various unofficial sources put ESO in the five most populated MMORPGs on PC to date, having hundreds of thousands of active players as of December 2018.
MapleStory 2 is, actually, a newer MMORPG. It is completely free-to-play and released late in 2018. Players are capable of going directly to their website right now, downloading it, and playing it.
MapleStory 2 offered players that purchased a Founder’s Pack a “Premium Club Membership”, granting increased XP from monsters, money, and other bonuses.
The game employs a pretty cute action combat system. It may not be as flashy as most the other titles in this list but that doesn’t detract from gameplay.
For an Anime-inspired MMORPG, MapleStory 2 offers players quite a bit in the way of character creation. I was shocked when I saw this because traditionally, Anime MMOs aren’t known for their large selection of customization options.
Official numbers have yet to be given as of December 2018, but according to the Steam charts and percentage of players playing directly through their Nexon launcher, we can safely assume they have an average concurrent playerbase around 20,000.
Both RuneScape, Old School RuneScape, and the recent introduction of RuneScape Mobile have turned RuneScape into one of the most played MMOs on the web.
All 3 iterations are completely free to play, but house different playerbases.
RuneScape also offers players the option to purchase a VIP membership – although unlike most free to play MMOs, it doesn’t offer the same kinds of bonuses. No XP or gold boosts here, boys!
The game offers traditional point-and-click, tab-target combat. The combat can be quite slow at times, especially early on, but as you get a better grasp of the game it becomes much more engaging.
There really isn’t much in the way of character customization, but I mean.. that’s to be expected. It was released back in 2001.
Official numbers have yet to be revealed for December 2018, but RuneScape Mobile has over a million players, and both PC versions cumulative total number in the hundreds of thousands as well.
Burning Soul Worker
Burning Soul Worker is a private server based on the Anime-MMO, Soul Worker Online.
Burning Soul Worker is completely free to play and offers players probably the most complete action Anime experience outside of MapleStory 2.
The game is hub-based, having players form parties in various towns and take quests that require you enter a large variety of instances. I know this can be a turnoff for some players, so I’m making note of it now.
It is a very story-driven game with each action you make in-game being a direct result of the ever-evolving story.
The character creation is very basic, like most Anime MMOs tend to be. However, there are a large selection of outfits, hairstyles, colors and more to choose from both in-game and via the store that it provides quite a bit of character customization.
Official numbers for the game are unavailable, but unofficial sources put the active population at quite a bit more than Gameforge’s version.
Which is understandable, because.. Gameforge kills games.
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is free to play, technically, but requires the purchase of each expansion to actively participate in end-game content. So, it is, once again, technically, one of the few buy-to-play MMORPGs capable of maintaining its.. unique business model.
Guild Wars 2 makes use of a level-scaling system, scaling players to the maximum level-range of the zone you’re currently in. This makes it possible for max level and max geared players to return to lower leveled areas to help with world objectives and quests.
The game also utilizes a very unique class-system. The classes themselves are traditional in nature, but the skills you have access to are dependant on what kind of weapon you have equipped, both on land and in water.
This is something I don’t really see done in many games, and especially MMOs.
Guild Wars 2 uses an action combat system that makes very good use of weapon swapping – meaning you’re required to micromanage what you have equipped at what time.
Like Final Fantasy XIV, Guild Wars 2 offers a fairly standard character creator but provides players access to a very, very in-depth customization system for players to play dress-up in.
And we all know that MMOs are only as good as the outfits we get to dress our characters in.
Official numbers are unavailable, but unofficial sources have the game at at least over a hundred thousand active players, still.
Blade & Soul
Blade & Soul is one of the few free-to-play MMORPGs left with any semblance of a population.
It launched to over a hundred thousand players and has dropped down quite significantly over the course of the year.
Blade & Soul offers some of the best character creation in an MMORPG – providing players access to gorgeous characters, if a little.. overexaggerated. Especially their fingers. I’ve never seen someone with 2-foot long fingers.
Blade & Soul, like most free-to-play MMOs has a VIP membership offering things like additional daily rewards, increased XP, gold and other currencies, and discounted cash shop items.
The combat is completely action-oriented and makes heavy use of a combo-system, allowing players to combo skills together to make for some pretty slick combinations. And yes I’m well aware I made extensive use of the word “combo” in that sentence.
As I mentioned, the game at one time had well over a hundred thousand players. These days, with all the merges that took place, the population sits at less than 20,000 active players.
Warframe is a free to play scifi action MMO. Or, kind of an MMO. It’s no less an MMO than games like Vindictus, Phantasy Star Online 2 or Soul Worker Online are, but it’s far from an MMORPG.
Warframe, like the aforementioned games, is a hub-based game that has players participate in mission-based content.
Unlike the aforementioned games, however, Warframe provides players the option to set their group to “public”. This promotes activity in the community by allowing random players to join your group and complete quests alongside one another.
That is where the “MMO” aspect of Warframe comes into play: By giving you the option to group with and meet new people outside of your social circle.
Combat in Warframe is interesting. It’s complete action – but relies on things like guns, bows and melee weapons unlike traditional MMOs.
There is no character creation, but there is quite a bit of character customization in the form of “Frames”. You can adjust what pieces of gear you have visibly equipped and what colors each of them are.
Numbers have not been officially reported on for Warframe, but if you take Steam, the official Warframe launcher, and the new Switch release, you’re looking at a solid several hundred thousand concurrent playerbase.
Meaning it likely has more players than any MMO here other than WoW.
Vendetta Gaming Network
I’m mentioning this because the cumulative total of their three games totals in the tens of thousands.. and I love the games that are published.
NosTale itself has tens of thousands of active players, moreso even than Blade and Soul or TERA, surprisingly.
Scarlet Blade and Eden Eternal, admittedly, have a smaller population but these are some of the only remaining Anime inspired MMORPGs left on the market with a population outside of, perhaps, Aura Kingdom.
Scarlet Blade is the only game of its kind, offering complete nudity and features not found in other MMOs.
All 3 are tab-target, with both Eden Eternal and NosTale being Anime MMORPGs.
Scarlet Blade has some pretty impressive character customization, and Eden Eternal has more outfits than I’ve ever seen in an Anime MMO.
Lineage 2: Classic
Lineage 2: Classic is a free to play MMORPG that was re-released by NCSoft in an attempt to play off of some nostalgia surrounding the game.
The game doesn’t offer much in the way of character creation or character customization unfortunately.
Its combat is fairly traditional tab-target.
It does have a VIP membership that offers things like increased XP and SP, increased item drop rate, a daily box and other handy little boosts.
Lineage 2: Classic’s population is actually higher than I would’ve thought. I’d heard good things about it, but currently it sits at around 30,000 concurrent players split across their servers.
To put that into perspective, the non-classic version has around 12,000 players.
Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online is one of the few buy-to-play MMORPGs capable of maintaining a purchase-to-play model.
The game has what is generally considered the best character creation in an MMORPG, ever. It also has what is, once again, considered the best action combat ever released in MMO-form.
It doesn’t have as many outfits as other games like Blade and Soul so the potential for character customization is a little lower, but the sheer control you have over your characters appearance is.. ridiculous.
BDO doesn’t really provide much opportunity to keybind skills to your action bars so instead you’re required to remember unique button inputs to utilize your class to its fullest extent.
Official numbers are unavailable, but unofficial sources have the game at at least over a hundred thousand active players, even with all the outrage the game gets.
World of Warcraft
I know, I know. Some of you guys love WoW, others hate it. But the fact of the matter is, World of Warcraft is still the number 1 most played MMORPG on the market as of this video.
WoW has maintained a pay-to-play model ever since its release and shows no signs of that changing.
The combat is tab-target, and the game doesn’t really provide much in the way of character creation. There are so many expansions and so much content out though that there are more outfits and sets than probably any other MMO.
Blizz have refused to release information pertaining to the active subscriber-population since Legion, but even at their lowest point with Warlords of Draenor, they still had upwards of 5 million active players.
Battle for Azeroth has been reported to not be in that situation yet, but the future remains uncertain.
So.. That’s my list of the most populated MMORPGs going into 2019. Yes, some are as low as the tens of thousands but that’s the kind of situation we’re in right now.
So many MMOs have populations that number in the hundreds that really.. having a game that has a few thousand players is now considered “fairly populated”.
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