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Top 5 Free MMORPG's
For as long as I can remember, I've loved MMORPG's (Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Games). From the early days of EverQuest to Star Wars Galaxies up until World of Warcraft, MMORPG's have always been one of my favorite genre's of video games.
However, major MMO's come with a price. Every month, you must pay in order to play the game which can be a burden for those that don't have expendable income or too young to own a debit or credit card.
My interest in MMORPG's began to expand. I soon found a dozen great free MMO's that were just as much fun as the big named ones out there. In between playing WoW and EQ, I would find msyelf regularly playing the free MMORPG's because they provided just as much entertainment and didn't come at a price.
What I would like to do, with this hub, is to share what I think are the top 5 free MMORPG's in existence today. Here we go...
Lord of the Rings Online
The Lord of the Rings Online was originally released as a paid title but over time it began to dip in subscribers so it moved to a free model. LOTRO is incredible in terms of free MMORPG because it had all of the major backing, design and development of a high profile online RPG so you get great graphics, thousands of quests and a very large player base in comparison to many other free MMO's out there.
I had a chance to play LOTRO for a month when it first came out prior to going to the free model and I must say it was an absolute blast. In the game, you get all the usual when it comes to MMO's such as quests, great worlds to explore and awesome fighting but what made LOTRO different was the heavy emphasis on cinematic game play. You get to act out a lot of the book's story through story driven missions.
I have a few friends that still play this game and they love it. LOTRO is by far one of the better free MMO's out there.
Runes of Magic
Runes of Magic was slated to be a huge MMORPG but at the last minutes things went a little south and the game eventually became a free-to-play MMO. Although, nothing is wrong with the game because it followed many of the same parallels as LOTRO (described above). The game is very polished and has a TON of features because it had major backing before it became free.
I had a chance to play the game in beta and it was extremely fun. The game is very similar to World of Warcraft but there are many different elements that definitely make the game unique in its own sense.
If you're looking for a game that will eat up tons of time, give you a lot of PvP and has stellar graphics than Runes of Magic is your deal. The community is still going strong and the developers are still releasing new content which a lot of free MMO's can't really boast.
Champions Online is about as close as you're going to get to a real Marvel style comic book MMORPG because it was originally slated to be the official Marvel MMO before they pulled out their backing and the game became Champions Online.
For the comic book lovers out there, this is THE game to play. Champions is a step up from City of Heroes/Villains because it's made by the same company. The company poured all of their resources into the game to make the old platform better so you get all the great villain pounding action on a much better engine.
You can choose characters from all over the place so if you wanted a Superman type character you've got it. If you want a Batman type character you can do that too. Almost every part of the game is free to play with the exception of the adventure packs otherwise it's a very solid, complete game to jump right into.
Although I did not get to personally play Champions, I did have an account for City of Heroes and if it's anything like it (which it is) than it's an excellent game to play.
Flyff (Fly for Fun) is one of the "essential" free MMORPG's on my list because it was one of the first that I really got into. Flyff is about as basic as they come when you start out with free MMO's; the majority of your game play is grinding to level up but what really makes the game fun is the community which is still very active and fun to interact with.
Flyff was different because it has a heavy emphasis on flying around which, at the time, few paid MMORPG's even offered. It was nice to fly up a mountain side and look down upon the world; maybe it was just me. It also had aerial combat which was a nice change of pace after killing mobs on the ground all day.
The game, as I've mentioned, is very simple but wildly addictive. You'll find yourself playing hours on end and not realize the time has been flying by (no pun intended). If you're just getting into free MMO's than I highly recommend Flyff to give you a taste.
ArchLord is down-right awesome when it comes to free MMORPG's because it has one of the coolest PvP systems even compared to free games like WoW and Everquest. In fact, if you play ArchLord you'll pretty much only want to do player vs. player because it's so fun.
What made ArchLord different was the gritty look to it. You got to play a character that was controlled by your clicks which made you attack; it almost felt like a first person shooter in some ways. This was a different feeling compared to spamming number keys to do spells and sitting back as your character auto attacked in other MMO's.
ArchLord has been out for quite some time now and it's started to look a little dated but the development team is still going strong and have been releasing new events quite regularly for their community. If you want to play a game where you feel really epic than check out ArchLord, I definitely recommend it.
Final Thoughts about Free MMO's
I've been an MMO gamer since the the early 2000's. My first introduction was through Everquest and I've never looked back. I've played dozens of paid and free MMO's over the years but there's something about the free one's that are mindlessly fun.
Paid MMO's always made me feel like I had to accomplish something in order to get my money's worth out of the game. Free MMO's, on the other hand, was something that I could load up and just sit back while I watched some comedy videos and chatted with friends online - it didn't feel like as much of a hassle, in some ways.
Over the years, I began to explore Free MMO's and learned as much as I could about them. In fact, I started a now defunct website about these games which I may still revive. There has been a lot of development in Free MMO's over the years. A lot of them are free but have payment models in place through exclusive items in-game. You can certainly get a lot of entertainment out of these games in the list; I recommend starting with these five because they definitely are the top of their class.