The 3 Best Free MMO Games Available Online

freemmo   The 3 Best Free MMO Games Available OnlineThe roots of of massively multiplayer online games, or MMOs, are deep in the realm of subscription based gameplay. While today the idea of charging a subscription fee for a game seems cliche, it was revolutionary when MMOs began to gain popularity roughly a decade ago.

Everquest, while not the first MMO, was the genre’s most amazing success story. Suddenly everyone wanted a piece of the pie, and numerous subscription-based games were created, although most of them were crushed by World of Warcraft.


Today, however, a huge number of game developers and publishers across the globe have teamed up to create whole set of free MMO games which allow players to enjoy content without cost. There are literally hundreds of free-to-play games available, but to be honest, most of them are terrible. Anyone who has enjoyed World of Warcraft or any other quality MMO will find that most free mmo games feel like they’re free simply because no one would buy them.

But there are some exceptions, and the exceptions are very, very good. If you’re looking to play a MMO, but you’re too thin on funds to afford a subscription MMO, check out these three free MMO games. You’ll find that they’re surprisingly fun.

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited

freemmodd1   The 3 Best Free MMO Games Available Online

Dungeons and Dragons Online has lived an odd life. The game was released in 2006 as a traditional subscription based MMO under the name Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach. It promptly tanked due to a combination of bugs and lack of content. The game was put on life support, and as the years dragged on it failed to gain an audience. Then, in mid 2009, the game was converted to a free-to-play MMO under its current name. Since then it has earned a much larger and more dedicated player base.

D&D Online’s roots as a subscription base game purchased at retail gives it a large advantage over other free-to-play MMOs. While free MMOs have come a long way, most still have basic gameplay and poor graphics. None of this is true of Dungeons and Dragons Online. Dungeons and Dragons Online is a beautiful game, and it still feels like a title you’d expect to pay forty dollars for at Best Buy or Walmart.

Graphics aside, D&D Online’s gameplay sets it apart from other MMOs. The focus of the game is the same as the pen-and-paper version of D&D. There isn’t a heavy focus on crafting, or equipment, or player against player combat. The focus of the game is on groups of players fighting through intense dungeons full of monsters and traps.

No other MMO can touch D&D Online’s combat mechanics, which are simply superb. However, players who enjoy crafting items or finding incredible loot may not find D&D Online to be what they’re looking for.

Allods Online

freemmoallodsonline   The 3 Best Free MMO Games Available Online

A relatively new free MMO game, Allods Online focuses on the remains of the world Sarnaut, a planet which was destroyed during an apocalypse in which millions of the planet’s inhabitants died. The remains of the planet, called allods, are small islands of land stabilized in space by mages.

You might expect, given the back-story, that Allods would be a rather grim and dark game. In fact, the opposite is the case. Allods Online takes the bright, colorful style pioneered by World of Warcraft and turns it up to eleven, resulting in a vibrant, well polished game.

The game’s lore also opens the opportunity for original and interesting gameplay mechanics, one of which is the construction of Astral Ships, gigantic ships which are a cross between space cruisers and 17th century sailing vessels. Every player in the game can construct their own Astral Ship once they’ve reached the appropriate levels and gathered the required materials. Once the ship is built it can be used to explore the game world and travel to new allods. This isn’t a party for one, either – players can invite up to six other players to their ship, and each player can attend to a different part of the ship’s functions.

Astral Ships aside, you’ll still spend a lot of time on the ground in Allods Online. Anyone who has played World of Warcraft will be pretty familiar with what the basic combat feels like. The combat mechanics aren’t revolutionary, but they are well implemented and entertaining. If you’re looking for a game like World of Warcraft, but you don’t want to have to pay monthly subscription fees, Allods Online is your best bet.

Atlantica Online

freemmoatlanticaonline   The 3 Best Free MMO Games Available Online

You know the MMO formula, right? Third person perspective, skill-based attacks, forced group combat – etc. This all works well, but it of course can become a bit boring after months of play, and most MMOs don’t do much to change the status quo. Allods Online, for example, is great – but if you’re bored to death of combat in World of Warcraft, fleeing to Allods Online isn’t likely to make you feel any more excited.

Enter Atlantica Online. Like most other MMO games, there are substantial role-playing elements to Atlantica Online. You pick a character, you level up, and you occasionally take place in crafting and other activities. When you step into combat, however, you’ll be thrown for a bit of a loop. Atlantica Online’s combat is turn based, and it doesn’t just focus on your character. Instead, your character is a commander, and you have a number of units at your disposal which you’ll need to use strategically in order to achieve victory. Anyone who has played the old Heroes of Might and Magic games will instantly feel at home here.

The unique combat makes Atlantica Online an perfect haven for MMO burnouts. If you’ve played tons of free and subscription based MMOs and you feel that you’ve seen it all, give Atlantica Online a try. Its turn based combat will appear difficult to some, and it certainly won’t cause an adrenaline surge. It is fun, however – even relaxing – to command units instead of running up to an opponent and hitting auto-attack.

Which To Play?

There is a lot of fun to be found in all of the games found here, and none of them are clearly better than the others. However, each free MMO does target a specific audience.

Those who enjoy group play and dungeon-crawling will adore Dungeons and Dragons Online. Those who prefer traditional MMO mechanics but want a new world to explore should flock to Allods Online. And those looking for something completely different from the status quo will love Atlantica Online.

If you’re looking for the best free MMO games for children, check out our article “Top 3 Online Multiplayer Games for Youngsters.”

So, what are you waiting for? There are levels to be gained!

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24 Comments -

0 votes

Stephen

I hope you have some real statistics to backup your claim that these are the “3 Best Free MMO”

Is Atlantica free and finally out of beta? I think I’ll try it out…

0 votes

Jonathan Bennett

What kind of statistics would those be, exactly? Player numbers? Review scores? I suspect this article is opinion based and there’s nothing wrong with that. :)

0 votes

Stephen

I hope you have some real statistics to backup your claim that these are the “3 Best Free MMO”

Is Atlantica free and finally out of beta? I think I’ll try it out…

0 votes

Anonymous

I’ve played Allods Online and Atlantica, not played Dungeons & Dragons unfortunately.
I found Atlantica to be real boring right at the beginning and I gave it up! The beginning battles drag out for ages although being real easy and therefore are very annoying.

0 votes

althafhameez

I’ve played Allods Online and Atlantica, not played Dungeons & Dragons unfortunately.
I found Atlantica to be real boring right at the beginning and I gave it up! The beginning battles drag out for ages although being real easy and therefore are very annoying.

0 votes

Brian

I beta tested allods back in closed beta and it was pretty good. Very much a wow clone when it comes to combat interface and questing, but surprisingly pretty polished for a free game.

0 votes

Jonathan Bennett

Good list. For those who like WoW, I’d recommend Perfect World or Runes of Magic as good free alternatives.

0 votes

Rookierook

If you want some serious medieval PvP bashing while still have fun killing monsters, I’d highly recommend Fantasy Earth Zero. Also worth going if you’re a Final Fantasy fan as the game is developed by Square Enix and is also free to play.

0 votes

eric

LOTRO will be free in august. I imagine that it is a better game than any of those (excellent engine, giant map, and so pretty). Are any of these ones just free-to-play, or is it created so that all content is free?

0 votes

M.S. Smith

Free to play. Generally any free MMO worth playing is “free to play” because, well, MMOs cost money to make.

I agree about LOTRO, that is going to be awesome when it goes free-to-play. I might start playing again.

0 votes

M.S. Smith

Free to play. Generally any free MMO worth playing is “free to play” because, well, MMOs cost money to make.

I agree about LOTRO, that is going to be awesome when it goes free-to-play. I might start playing again.

0 votes

shawnlanglois

Any chance we could get something similar for the Mac? The closest thing is D&D Online, but you have to jump through a whole slew of hoops to make it work, and even then it’s far from perfect.

0 votes

Apleh

One thing that lacks mention here, is the fact that these “free” mmorpg’s always offer benefits to players who pay for them. Be it special items, or extra in game money. This essentially means, that is you want the “best” experience, you still need for fork out money, and can’t experience the full game without doing so. This I can also see causing balance issues.
That being said, I am a bit surprised after saying, “Everquest, while not the first MMO, was the genre’s most amazing success story.” one did not mention any free servers biased on that client. I personally have always loved the original EQ, and nothing has been able to compare to it, so when I found a server, that is 100% legit, that used the old EQ client, well. I play on Shards Of Dalaya http://www.shardsofdalaya.com and what I mean buy 100% legit, for those that don’t understand the term in relation to mmorpg emulators, this means that no one is treated any different then anyone else. Doesn’t matter if you are the founders best friend, or know one of the gm’s personally, things aren’t handed out. You earn it. You don’t get to max level within a few hours (Or even a few weeks) of playing, its work. And for the most part, it doesn’t matter if you are a player that plays for free, or if you donate hundreds of dollars to the server each month, you don’t get any special treatment. That combined with friendly staff, in my books, makes this one the best free mmorpgs out there.

0 votes

Apleh

One thing that lacks mention here, is the fact that these “free” mmorpg’s always offer benefits to players who pay for them. Be it special items, or extra in game money. This essentially means, that is you want the “best” experience, you still need for fork out money, and can’t experience the full game without doing so. This I can also see causing balance issues.
That being said, I am a bit surprised after saying, “Everquest, while not the first MMO, was the genre’s most amazing success story.” one did not mention any free servers biased on that client. I personally have always loved the original EQ, and nothing has been able to compare to it, so when I found a server, that is 100% legit, that used the old EQ client, well. I play on Shards Of Dalaya http://www.shardsofdalaya.com and what I mean buy 100% legit, for those that don’t understand the term in relation to mmorpg emulators, this means that no one is treated any different then anyone else. Doesn’t matter if you are the founders best friend, or know one of the gm’s personally, things aren’t handed out. You earn it. You don’t get to max level within a few hours (Or even a few weeks) of playing, its work. And for the most part, it doesn’t matter if you are a player that plays for free, or if you donate hundreds of dollars to the server each month, you don’t get any special treatment. That combined with friendly staff, in my books, makes this one the best free mmorpgs out there.

0 votes

Baris Bicer

I’m looking for a new MMO to indulge in because I’m sick of RuneScape and Stellar Dawn isn’t coming out until early next year. Allod looks interesting, so I might try that out.

0 votes

Aibek

Hey Baris,

I recommend asking for recommendation on MakeUseOf Answers,
http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/

I am sure you will get some nice recommendations from other MakeUseOf
authors and readers.

Aibek

0 votes

Aibek

Hey Baris,

I recommend asking for recommendation on MakeUseOf Answers,
http://www.makeuseof.com/answe

I am sure you will get some nice recommendations from other MakeUseOf
authors and readers.

Aibek