The word ‘free’ has been thrown around an awful lot lately when it comes to MMORPG’s, and as we all know, free doesn’t always mean free. We know what you want. You want to go on an epic fantasy adventure, delving into a world of sword and sorcery, and you want to do it without putting a huge dent in your wallet. Don’t worry, it’s not impossible! We’ve put together a list of some of the top F2P fantasy MMORPGs. Now keep in mind that all of these have a cash store, there’s no way around it, but what we’re really looking at here is whether or not you can actually have fun playing it without entering a credit card number. Let’s get started, shall we?
Allods Online is one of the few MMOs that allows you to play a Bard. It does have a bit of a cash wall, but there are tons of classes to play, and lots of adventures to go on. In addition to that, it’s a pretty small game which is aesthetically pleasing, easy to play, and has a great user interface. It’s definitely worth a look, even if you don’t decide to spend all of your time there.
Here’s another game that’s been around since the days of yore, though it’s definitely seen quite a few updates. The cool thing about this one is that while there is a downloadable client, it can be played right in your browser. Now it is a free to play game, but there are certain limits on the free servers, many of them having to do with skill caps or exploration. Well actually a good portion of the continent simply doesn’t exist if you don’t pay, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had. Though it is a good game, and a pretty one at that, we’re going to dock it a few points for the exploration restrictions.
If you want to delve into the world of Everquest, but don’t want something that’s difficult to get into, this might be what you’re looking for. With a highly customizable user interface and years worth of content to explore, Everquest 2 will show you what an MMO ought to be. The quests are amazing, the stories are enthralling, and crafting, well, that’s a game all by itself. There are also a ton of raids and even player created content that you can purchase from the in-game store. There are some limitations of course, if you haven’t signed up for the all access membership, but it’s nothing too severe until you get to the end-game or want to do some raiding.
I personally remember when we had to pay $49.99 to get into the head start for this game, and while it didn’t quite click with me, it’s really not a horrible title. Instead of restricting you to a single class it allows you to use the souls of past adventurers to give you the attributes of multiples. In addition to that, it’s a game that actually allows you to play as a bard, so how cool is that? You want to be a bard, don’t you?
The game is set in the world of Telaria, and you are a time traveling super human sent to heal the world, close Rifts, and generally do a bunch of cool stuff.
Here we have the game that practically slaughtered Dungeons and Dragons Online. It’s pretty fun, though there is an optional subscription, just like most of the other games on this list. If you aren’t focused on becoming all powerful, this is a nice game, and you’ll definitely find the dungeons to be challenging. Unlike the others on this list, the game is mostly instanced, meaning there isn’t an open world for you to traverse. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty to do, especially with the player created content. Yes, you can do that.
This is an older Korean MMO, having come out in 2009, and for those of you who remember, it actually came in a box. Well, it’s not a boxed game anymore, and the subscription fee has been quashed. These days, Aion is truly free to play with absolutely no restrictions. Honestly, if you’re looking for something that you can stick with for a number of years, this is probably the one, especially if you never plan to pay a cent for anything.
Aion is unique in a few ways. First of all, at level 10 you gain a pair of wings and are allowed to fly, which is pretty cool if we do say so ourselves. Secondly the grouping system is pretty damn neat. Six players can form a group, but four groups can form an alliance. Then, eight alliances can form a league, allowing for 192 players to share a single group. Okay, I don’t know what raid boss takes 192 players, but you can be sure I’m about to download the game and find out.
Age of Conan
If you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory then you’ve probably heard this one mentioned a few times. Age of Conan is based in the universe depicted by Robert E. Howard’s ‘Conan: The Hour of the Dragon’, and the game’s release actually celebrated the 76th anniversary of the franchise. The biggest difference between this entry and all of the others on the list is that it takes place in a low fantasy setting. Of course there’s also the fact that it’s more of an action RPG, so definitely something different for you to try.
Here we have one of the great sandbox games of our time that actually allows you to build your own residence in world. No, not an instanced player housing, an actual house in the world that people can visit. Player politics rule the land, and you can have a real impact on how the game plays out if you spend enough time in it. As a Trion game, it is free, but there are definite benefits to signing up as a patron.
This game is pretty, but it’s also solid. The control system is more ‘actiony’ than other MMORPG’s, and we had a lot of fun playing as an archer. You can dodge, roll, click to attack, and all manner of other things that MMORPG’s tend to lack. The guild system is pretty robust, and there are even territorial wars to take part in. We believe this is one game that speaks for itself, so if you’re looking for some modern MMO fun, give this one a try.
This is another older game, but it still checks out. It doesn’t quite have the control scheme that modern MMO’s have, though you can still play with WSAD if you wish. Additionally, it has lots of elements that modern MMO’s seem to have omitted. The one thing we don’t like about this game, is that somehow this older MMO managed to expand to 25 gigs. A small price to pay, we suppose, for the free experience.
Guild Wars 2
You might be thinking we’re a little biased, giving this game a 10/10, but we do have our reasons. Now to be perfectly honest, you could probably play this game on a dual core processor and a mid-range graphics card, but we strongly recommend you upgrade to a quad core so that you can fully enjoy the world events, bosses, and the new Maguuma jungle, which is a bit graphically heavy.
The free version gives you the core game and allows you to embark on a personal story that is crafted around your character, ultimately leading up to a battle between yourself and the Elder Dragon Zhaitan. Guild Wars 2 has one of the most dynamic party systems we’ve see, and quite frankly, we’re surprise it’s free.
We obviously couldn't list every single free fantasy game here. Some were excluded because of their state of development, and others because they had a bit too much of a pay wall. Despite that, I would like to mention these, simply because they are staples in the fantasy MMO world:
Dungeons and Dragons Online
Life is Feudal
There are plenty more, of course, and as the MMO world goes increasingly free to play, it won't be a surprise when some of our old favorites join up. In the meantime, check out the games we mentioned above, and go on an adventure. There are entire worlds waiting for you.