It’s time for us to think about 2015. Which game will turn out to be the bestselling or most popular MMO of the year? Here is our Top MMORPG 2015 list. These are the massively multiplayer online roleplaying games that we think show the most promise.
Top MMORPG 2015 Index of Contents:
Section One Free to Play
Section Two Buy to Play (No Subscription Games)
Section Three Pay to Play (Subscription Games)
Top MMORPG 2015: Free to Play
Sparta: War of Empires – in this new MMO strategy game the player takes on the role of a lord of a city-state in 5th century Greece. Using your leadership, diplomacy, and warrior skills, strengthen your army to fight the Persian threat with help from King Leonidas of Sparta. New players receive a free gift of 200 gold when they sign up.
Drakensang Online – this is a game that is ideal for those who want to play right away or are using a laptop. Drakensang Online is playable on your browser, with no client download needed so you can start playing immediately. It is a full-featured 3D fantasy MMORPG with fast-paced combat, interesting lore, tons of epic quests, unique class skills, dungeons, bosses, PvP, and more. The graphics are on par with modern console games and is easily the best of all the browser MMOs currently available. One of the most popular MMORPGs of 2015, Drakensang Online has 23 million registered users. (Available for PC and Mac)
Planet Calypso – a scifi MMORPG that goes beyond hack-and-slash, Planet Calypso has tons of social, economic, and even political gameplay features. What sets it apart from other MMOs, however, is its rather controversial real-money based economy. In almost all free online games players can buy items with cash. This is true of Planet Calypso, too, but with an interesting twist: players can also sell in-game items, often for large amounts of money. The most expensive item ever sold is a $635,000 virtual resort.
Top MMORPG 2015: Buy to Play
Buy to play games are those that players must purchase before they can play but there is no subscription or membership fee needed. In other words, there is a one-time payment only.
Our top picks are:
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is a big-budget, highly-polished triple-A fantasy MMORPG with gorgeous graphics and fun gameplay. In addition, the price of the game (currently below $30) is a steal since there are no monthly fees to consider.
- Dynamic events – a genius feature that replaces traditional quests. How it works: players explore and as they move around, dynamic events might be occurring nearby. For example, monsters might be raiding an area. All players in the vicinity can then jump in and start to kill monsters, repair defenses, heal allies, etc.
- No kill-stealing or hogging resources – to prevent griefing everyone who participates receives 100 percent of the loot and experience. Likewise, resources appear full for everyone but you can see it get depleted for you personally if you have used it.
- Personal storyline – when you create a character you create a story which changes based on your actions in the game
Where to buy: Guild Wars 2 on Amazon.com
The Secret World
The Secret World (TSW) is one of the most underrated MMORPGs of 2015. Its unusual setting in a genre of games that is dominated by medieval fantasy is one of its biggest selling points.
Set in the modern-day world, with recognizable locations such as New York, London, and Seoul (Korea), TSW is unique in its emphasis on urban myths, folklore, and conspiracy theories.
Three secret societies (the Templar, Illuminati, and Dragon factions) exist in the shadows and pull the strings from behind the scenes. Players will encounter everything from regular humans to werewolves, vampires, wendigos, zombies, golems, Cthulu-like monsters, etc.
TSW is great fun and highly recommended.
Where to buy: The Secret World on Amazon.com
Top MMORPG 2015: Pay to Play
Pay to play MMORPGs are also called subscription MMORPGs because to play these games requires a monthly membership fee. This section is currently under construction but the MMOs are already listed.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
This is our top pick for the best pay to play MMORPG of 2015. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (FFXIV:ARR) has everything you could possibly want in an MMORPG – awesome graphics, cool setting, beautiful character designs, great combat, and a friendly community.
Where to buy: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on Amazon.com
One phrase that describes Wildstar is “a hilarious romp through a cartoony scifi universe full of kooky characters.” This game can sometimes turn off people due to its lack of seriousness but this is exactly what its fans love about the game.
Where to buy: Wildstar on Amazon.com
The Elder Scrolls Online
On the other hand, if you don’t want wacky hijinks, then The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO) might just be the game for you.
Where to buy: The Elder Scrolls Online on Amazon.com
Top MMORPG 2015: Best Upcoming Games
Introduction: This is our somewhat eclectic mix of small, big, indie, niche, and mainstream MMO games that we feel are the best upcoming MMOs of 2015.
There are actually fewer big-budget, hugely hyped releases this time. In 2014 there were a lot of “big” launches like The Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy XIV, Wildstar, etc. In contrast, 2015 has fewer hyped-up games but it looks like it will be an interesting year for indie MMO games.
Generally speaking, MMOs are the type of game that is difficult for smaller developers to make. However, these days the indie developers have been able to turn to crowdfunding to get support for their games. Unlike the previous top list, in this top MMORPG 2015 list you find a few Kickstarter games.
Topfreemmorpg.net feels that this is a good thing because in 2015 there will be a lot of unique MMOs that are very different from each other. In recent years MMORPGs have typically fallen into two categories: World of Warcraft (WoW) clones and Eastern MMO grinders.
In 2015 the MMO will be redefined. Check out the list of games below to find out exactly what we mean.
Important notice: As usual the release dates are not all confirmed.
Developer: City State Entertainment
Release Date: December 2015
Camelot Unchained (CU) is the brainchild of City State Entertainment and Mark Jacobs, Mythic Entertainment founder and the lead developer of Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer Online. CU is an upcoming “old school” MMORPG with a focus on realm-vs-realm (faction-vs-faction) PvP, crafting, and housing.
Apart from the faction PVP, there will also be tons of content for crafters. The economy will be purely player-run with no auction house but with player shops and bazaars. Unlike most MMORPGs, magical items cannot be found through NPC drops but will have to be crafted by players. The housing system will allow players to construct many different types of buildings from houses to mines.
Monetization: Pay to play. Purchase and monthly subscription are both required.
Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade
Developer: Behavior Interactive
Release Date: 2015
Platforms: PC, possibly Xbox One and PlayStation 4 after launch
Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade is an upcoming combat-oriented player-vs-player (PvP) MMORPG by Behavior Interactive. Pre-order packs are already available at the official website so it looks like everything is right on track for the late 2015 release date.
The main focus of the game will be on the player-run factions fighting over control of territories. At launch the factions will be the Orks, Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, and Eldar. Each faction will also have different “chapters.” Space Marines, for example, will consist of the Ultramarines, Dark Angels,Blood Angels, and Space Wolves.
For those who prefer player-vs-environment (PvE), there will be Lairs and Hives in which groups of players can cooperate to beat hordes of monster aliens and earn rewards.
Monetization: Freemium. There will be a limited free version and an unlimited version for those who buy the game. No monthly subscription needed.
Developer: Frontier Developments
Release Date: PC version late 2014, Mac version 2015
Platforms: PC and Mac
Technically Elite: Dangerous will launch in 2014 on the PC so it should not really be listed here. The thing is, we were looking for a good Mac MMO to feature in the top list and we thought of this game right away since the Mac client is due to be released in 2015.
The concept is simple: players are given a spaceship and some money then they are free to choose legal or illegal ways to get by, including methods such as trading, piracy, bounty-hunting, assassination, and so forth.
Elite: Dangerous is unusual in that it will feature a persistent open world (or open galaxy) but also has a single-player mode.
Monetization: Buy to play with no subscription.
Developer: Citadel Studios
Release Date: Beta on Winter 2015
Shards Online is an upcoming sandbox MMORPG that is currently being developed by a small indie game studio that is run by former Ultima Online developers. It’s not just one persistent world but many since players will be given the tools to create content and run their own community.
In short, using Shards Online, players will be able to mod the game as they see fit and run an MMO server separate from the official one. This is pretty cool because if the idea takes off and Shards Online is able to attract a good community, players could potentially explore tons of different worlds from fantasy to scifi-themed settings.
To quote the Shards Online website:
Adventurers might step through a gateway and indeed find themselves in a medieval world of elemental magic, but then enter another gateway to be bewildered by clanking gears and gushing steam-engines in a Victorian setting.
Monetization: Buy it once then play forever on community servers and even run your own server with no subscription needed. Purchase and a monthly subscription is required for the official server.
Developer: XL Games
Release Date: TBA
Civilization Online is already in closed beta in Korea and the release date for North America is TBA (to be announced). In this upcoming MMO players will work together to advance their civilization by creating structures and items such as houses, cities, clothing weapons, transportation, etc. Politics will also play a role in the game as each civilization will have leaders such as the mayor or military commander.
The player-run territories become bigger every week until they eventually the buffer zone between them disappears and they are right next to each other. When that happens players can start trying to conquer other civilizations through PvP warfare.
All in all, it seems like a pretty good game.
Developer: Pearl Abyss
Release Date: 2014/2015
Platforms: PC, possibly Playstation 4
Website: http://black.game.daum.net/black/index.daum (Korean website)
We have a review of the second closed beta of Black Abyss. To summarize: closed beta was great. Features: parkour, sandbox gameplay elements, lovely graphics, castle seiges, player trading, real-estate management, and probably more but this was only the beta version.
Black Desert is due for a 2014 release date in Korea and the English version is under development. The European release has been stated to be either 2014 or 2015. Seeing as the game is still in beta testing in Korea, a 2015 launch date seems more likely but officially the release date is TBA.
Monetization: Free to play.
Developer: Entrada Interactive
Release Date: unknown
The early access/alpha release was supposed to be June 2014 but it has been pushed back. Hopefully the game will be playable by 2015. Despite the delay, we still want to feature Miscreated in the best MMORPG 2015 list because it seems like a very promising game.
What is Miscreated about? Well, it is a post-apocalyptic horror hardcore survival MMO game. Your goal is to find essentials such as food, water, weapons, and gear to survive. The entire setting is open world PvP with no safe zones.
Monetization: Pre-orders are available now and it looks like its buy to play. No subscription has been mentioned.
There are also two games we like the look of but there simply isn’t enough information about them yet. Here are the links to their websites:
Project: Theralon – all that is available is this teaser website
Skyforge – a new MMORPG from Russia that is being made by same people who created Allods Online. Looks promising so far.
Icarus Online – this is their Korean website. No English version yet but the game is in open beta in Korea.
Top MMORPG 2015: A few final thoughts
So that’s the list so far. Don’t forget to share, tweet, pin, etc. this post if you liked it. If you have any feedback or insights you want to share then please leave a comment below. The responses here are all moderated so don’t be alarmed if they are not instantly published. If you are a developer, publisher or PR professional and want your game featured then you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.