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Great Free Online PC Roleplaying Games

Updated on November 16, 2008

Get 'em cheap

Even though you might not think you do, if you're reading this then you have a gaming computer. Sure, it might not be be able to run Crysis, but there is an almost endless source of free video games available to play online. The internet has allowed for anyone with some programming knowledge to sit down and create their own games. This new freedom has resulted in hundreds of quirky, unique games that are just as good as the ones you pay for in the store, but you would never see because they're too short or off-beat to achieve mainstream success.

Right now, let's take a look at some of the best in a few limited genres.

Maple Story
Maple Story
Anarchy Online
Anarchy Online
Talesworth Arena
Talesworth Arena
Adventure Quest
Adventure Quest

Online Roleplaying Games

RPGs have been played on the PC from the early days of monochrome monitors. Bussiness is booming, with Blizzard's World of Warcraft raking in over a billion dollars a year and console games like Final Fantasy selling to millions worldwide. But just because you don't want to open your wallet doesn't mean you don't have a chance to play. Their are some great options to choose from in a varied field of genres.

Free Online MMOs

Like the idea of World of Warcraft but aren't so excited about paying the fees? Understandable. Here's a list of some great free games to gather up your friends and kill some dragons.

Maple Story

This Korean MMORPG borrows side-scrolling and platforming elements to create a solid multi-player gaming experience. Supporting itself, through users having the option to spend money to skip long quests for items and just purchase them outright with real dollars, Maple Story has built a large following. Accentuated by whimsical 2D graphics, the game is a refreshing change of pace from the dark and gritty generic fantasy trappings of most RPGs.

Be aware, though, a large portion of the game's user base is young and more interested in chatting and dressing up their characters than they are in adventuring, so don't expect to find a group of hardcore gear fiends.


One of the Granddaddy's of them all: RuneScape has been running for just under a decade, and has over one hundred thousand players online during any given day. Free to play, this is a very conventional MMO, based off of the classic MUD archetype. Most players choose to adventure, but one of the unique options available in RuneScape is the ability to never pick up a sword or cast a spell. Instead, player's can focus on fishing, cooking, or crafting.

Supporting itself through ads and a membership which provides extra skills and abilities which aren't available to those who choose to play for free, RuneScape offers a retro game with a thriving playerbase. And even though its getting up there in years, the developers haven't abandoned it. As early as last June there was a huge graphical revamp providing an improvement from the antiquated visuals.

Anarchy Online

Once a retail pay-for-play MMORPG like Everquest and WoW, Anarchy Online has found a new life as a free-to-play game supported by in-game billboards and advertisements. From experience, the futuristic run-and-gun RPG had some exceedingly clever design, and is definitely worth a look.

Playing as either a member of the heroic rebel army or the corrupt corporation that has taken control of the world, players form dynamic relationships through guilds and playerr-un businesses. Much of the gameplay is instanced, so you'll run into less obstruction while you're out questing.

This one requires a little more power computer juice than the other ones on the list, but any computer bought int he past three years should be able to run it without any complications.

Single Player RPGs

Not every game can be World of Warcraft, and thank God for that. Take a look at some free online RPGs where you enver have to talk to anyone but yourself if you don't want to.

Adventure Quest

Adventure Quest is a turn-based, point and click RPG. The flash-based graphics are a little shoddy but have slowly improved over the game's long life-cycle. Regulalry updated, there's new content made available multiple times a year. The game is peppered with in-jokes and puns, and is an excellent way to waste an hour of your day.

Some content does require a small-free, but over one-hundred hours of game are readily available to consumers without ever costing anyone a single penny.


A Final Fantasy-esqe epic starring an amnesiac zombie (?) fighting and exploring a foreign landscape. The game features a robust tech tree and skill system and some very difficult battles. Sometimes too difficult, as you can expect to die more than a few times if you don't plan each battle carefully.

Full voice-acting and a decent storyline round-out this smash hit flash game.

Talesworth Arena

An RPG where timing and quick thinking are just as important as stats and armor. A thin story provides the opportunity to go into the arena and battle it out. Interrupting your enemie's attacks and making sure you have the right ability queued at the right time are essential to success in this action-packed RPG.

Easily completed in a few hours, give Talesworth Arena a try.

Play surgeon with Dark Cut 2 (not for the squeamish)
Play surgeon with Dark Cut 2 (not for the squeamish)

Quirky Games

The truly great thing about the new outcropping of homebrewed games is the creativity and innovation they display. Here are some of the games that take advantage of their freedom to create something truly unique.

Dark Cut 2

Take on the role of a Civil War field medic, and get ready to give some men gangene. Each level is a different wound, and you don't have long to patch them up before your Union soldier dies. Get them good and drunk and get ready to use all the tools at your disposal to keep your boys alive.

Blisteringly difficult ane extremely graphic, the game really does make you feel like you're on the front lines of a battle field. Play the game, and you'll have a new respect for what doctors in the 1860s had to deal with as well as how far we have come in the field of medical science.

Karoshi: Suicide Salaryman

You're an overworked Japanese officeworker and it is time for you to die. The goal in every level is to find a way to kill yourself to put an end to the drudgery that is your life. A unique puzzle game with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, Karoshi turns the platforming genre on its head by making the player want to fall into that bed of deadly spikes.

Forum Warz

A browser-based RPG that simulates your desktop, Forum Warz features some clever technical tricks and a laugh-out-loud story. You play an internet nerd who likes to hang around internet forums. Sound familiar? Choose your favorite class, and troll the hell out of them for fun and cash.

Definitely for mature players, the game deserves notice just for all the crazy tricks it does to fake a real browser and website.


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