The best MMORPGs for 2024 - online worlds to get lost in

A FF14 character stands looking out over a lush vista. Flying creatures can be seen in the distance
(Image credit: Square Enix)

The best MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. From sci-fi epics to sprawling fantasy adventures, you'll find a wide range of different experiences across the MMORPG landscape. 

However, no matter the genre in question, all of the best MMORPGs attempt to build their own online communities, where players can meet, cooperate, and sometimes compete in a persistent virtual space. Some of these titles even rival the best co-op games when it comes to enabling players to work together. MMORPGs also take the qualities that make the best RPGs and place them in online worlds, offering experiences that you simply can't find in even the best single-player games

Below, you'll find a comprehensive round-up of all the best MMORPGs at the moment. These include subscription-based games and free-to-play offerings in an effort to provide you with as broad a range of options as possible. Read on to find your next great online adventure.

The best MMORPGs 2024

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Fallout 5 - Fallout 76 Wastelanders screenshot

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Fallout 76

Return to the wasteland

Platforms available: PC, PS5, PS4, XSX|S, XBO

Fallout 76 was a well-documented catastrophe when it first launched, but since then, and thanks to some major updates, it's genuinely a very good time indeed. The Wastelander update added NPCs, breathing some much needed life into the Appalachian wasteland. From that point on, Fallout 76 really started to prove its chops as an MMORPG, with some new quest lines, and updates to existing adventures.

Why we love it

Fallout 76 has really come a long way since its tumultuous launch all the way back in 2018. You'll now find a bustling open-world jam-packed with fun stuff to do, whether you want to bring friends along or not. A real redemption story from a game that seemed dead on arrival.

These days, Fallout 76 is well worth your time, offering a great Fallout experience that you can take on with friends in tow. Base building is better than it's ever been, and enemy variety is some of the best in the series. What we love about it is that while it can be fun with friends, it actually provides a fun and rewarding single player experience as well. Annoyingly, crossplay is still unlikely to come to the game, but you can pick it up for free on Xbox Game Pass on consoles and PC.

An orc and a human square off

(Image credit: Blizzard)

World of Warcraft

The gates are open

Platforms available: PC

Easily one of the best MMORPGs of all time, World of Warcraft practically invented the modern form of the genre when it was originally released in 2004. By offering enormous fantasy environments with minimal loading screens, World of Warcraft had an almost open-world feel, encouraging players to form spontaneous groups to face up to the challenges on offer.

Why we love it

World of Warcraft invented the modern fantasy MMORPG. To this day, Blizzard Entertainment's flagship MMO continues to carry the torch lit by its original innovations, offering a wide fantasy world rich with tough challenges and engrossing lore.

Since then, the game has been through a total of nine expansions, each offering a chance to iterate on these mechanics, allowing Blizzard to fine-tune the experience. In its current incarnation, World of Warcraft retains the expansive setting but possesses far stronger storytelling chops, offering a fantasy epic of impressive scale and depth. Plus, with three new expansions on the horizon, it looks as though there's plenty to look forward to in the game's future, too. 

A sleek spacecraft flies towards a planet, surrounded by orange and gold cloud nebula

(Image credit: CCP Games)

EVE Online

Corporate wars
Why we love it

EVE Online may be two decades old, but its online sci-fi sandbox is just as vibrant (and cutthroat) as it's ever been. In developer CCP's simulated galaxy, players call the shots, taking on roles as heroes and villains in the game's emergent story. 

Platforms available: PC, browser, and tablet (though not available on mobile, the game does have a companion app)

EVE Online is, arguably, the best MMORPG when it comes to emergent player-driven narratives. In EVE, you play as a pilot with your own collection of starships. Overcome the game's steep learning curve, and you'll soon find that the galaxy's your oyster. Want to stake your claim on disputed territories? You can join a player alliance and wage war alongside thousands of others. Prefer making things to breaking things? You could take up mining and become an industrial tycoon. Not of the lawful persuasion? Piracy's always an option. 

EVE does little to hold its players' hands, but more than makes up for this in terms of the agency it offers. While developer CCP has crafted a game that can be intimidating at times, EVE Online rewards dedicated players by allowing them to do almost anything they set their mind to. The careers on offer boggle the mind with their breadth and diversity. There's even an EVE pope. Plus with the addition of a free-to-play version of the game back in 2016, the bar to entry is temptingly low.

Three player characters in in Guild Wars 2 standing side by side

(Image credit: NCSoft)

Guild Wars 2

Secrets uncovered
Why we love it

Guild Wars 2 is a breath of fresh air, offering a take on combat that separates it from the MMORPG pack. Rather than picking from a huge list of spells, Guild Wars 2 asks you to commit to a specific loadout in battle, helping to give your character a sense of uniqueness.

Platforms available: PC

One of the more innovative titles on our best MMORPGs list, Guild Wars 2 offers a well-told single-player storyline on top of a wide range of breathtaking environments. In addition to oodles of world quests, Guild Wars 2 actively rewards players for surveying the world and tracking down landmarks. While the action-oriented combat system is great for getting your blood pumping, NCSoft's decade-old MMO also provides a fantastical world ripe for exploration. 

Guild Wars 2 also includes a large amount of well-written, voice-acted dialogue which does wonders for inviting players into its world. More than that, the MMORPG dispenses with many traditional fantasy tropes, offering a novel list of species and classes for players to enjoy. Few games let you play as a rifle-toting tree-person, or a laser-shooting illusion wizard, but Guild Wars 2 will oblige you.

Final Fantasy 14's Krile showing off the new Pictomancer job in Dawntrail's full trailer

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 14

Story time
Why we love it

Final Fantasy 14 offers one of the best single-player storylines in modern gaming. Despite its slow start, the MMORPG spins an epic yarn that snowballs over several expansions before culminating in an emotional gut-punch. Bring tissues.

Platforms available: PS5, PS4, PC, and in beta on Xbox Series X|S

One of the best MMORPGs of recent years, Final Fantasy 14 offers a holy grail of storytelling, community building, and satisfying endgame content. Not only are there hundreds of hours of content to enjoy, but the types of content on offer vary wildly. Final Fantasy 14's main story distinguishes itself with its mature storytelling and strong characters. However, if you're looking for a break from the drama, you can just as easily take up fishing, decorate your own home, or even go to a nightclub.

More important than any of this, however, is Final Fantasy 14's famously welcoming community. Since even veteran players are incentivized to help out with lower-level content, new players (lovingly nicknamed 'sprouts') will usually find themselves supported by experienced adventurers when confronting challenges for the first time. This means that the title supports a culture where players 'pay it forward'. After all, today's sprout is tomorrow's mentor, and with the Dawntrail expansion on the horizon, this wholesome community has plenty to look forward to.

Two adventurers look out over the Telvanni Peninsula, which is littered with giant mushrooms and tall mountain spires

(Image credit: Zenimax Media)

The Elder Scrolls Online

You're finally awake
Why we love it

The Elder Scrolls Online gives Bethesda's beloved fantasy setting the MMORPG treatment, offering players the chance to get lost in the world of Tamriel. The game is jaw-droppingly vast, allowing you to explore the land of The Elder Scrolls at your leisure.

Platforms available: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One

One of the best MMORPGs in terms of immersion, The Elder Scrolls Online bathes players in gorgeous environments and stirring music. Almost all of Tamriel is yours to explore. If you so choose, you can even return to memorable locations from Skyrim or even Oblivion. Much like its single-player forbears, The Elder Scrolls Online is bursting at the seams with quests and delightful nuggets of environmental storytelling. 

All in all, the MMORPG amounts to one of the best fantasy playgrounds out there. The combat system is more active than many of its competitors, requiring you to dodge and block proactively. You can also specialize across a variety of skill trees and combat roles, allowing you to build a character that's truly your own.

Knights of the Old Republic screenshot showing a rookie, a ship and a blue Jedi character

(Image credit: Aspyr)

Star Wars: The Old Republic

A long time ago...
Why we love it

Star Wars: The Old Republic is bursting with high-quality BioWare storytelling. Though dated in some respects, the main storylines provide plenty of thrilling setpieces and climatic moments that'll satisfy even the most curmudgeonly Star Wars enjoyer.  

Platforms available: PC

Though the graphics are a little dated, Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) remains one of the best MMORPGs when it comes to storytelling and writing. Set shortly after BioWare's well-received single-player RPG Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, SWTOR carries an RPG torch lit by the former, offering players the chance to make narrative choices as part of a fully fleshed-out cinematic storyline.

Though the game's multiplayer content can be hit and miss, the main storylines are fantastic and are well worth experiencing for both fans of Star Wars and fans of BioWare RPGs. Like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, you'll collect companions, get to know them better, and even, possibly, kindle a romance or two. Since the game is free to play, there's no excuse not to give it a go. 

An adventuring party fighting a large monster that can use its arms like roots

(Image credit: Jagex Ltd)


Go at your own pace
Why we love it

Runescape is set apart by its sheer accessibility. Available on PC or mobile platforms, Jagex's classic MMORPG can be played on anything from a powerful gaming rig to a tablet. A great entry point into the genre, Runescape offers an impressive fantasy playground.

Platforms available: PC, Android, iOS

Perhaps the best MMORPG in terms of accessibility, Runescape is mobile-friendly, easy to grasp, and rewarding to boot. Originally released in 2001 as a browser-based game by UK-based developer Jagex, Runescape has gone from strength to strength in the years since. 

The game takes heavy inspiration from classic CRPGs like Baldur's Gate with open-ended game design and a semi-real-time combat system. The fantasy world of Gielinor is very much a sandbox and the game doesn't follow a linear storyline. Instead, it encourages players to set their own goals and objectives. Runescape is one of the better entry points into the MMORPGs, showing off what the genre is capable of without even requiring a gaming PC.

A big green dargon-lizard roars as a warrior charges at it with a sword

(Image credit: Smilegate RPG/Amazon Games)

Lost Ark

A whole new world
Why We Love it

Lost Ark blends action-based combat with all of the hallmarks of a classic MMORPG. It's relatively new, though it has been well supported so far. Definitely worth trying out if you're looking for something new.

Platforms available: PC

Lost Ark is one of the newest MMORPGs on our list, but even though it came out just two years ago, there's plenty of post-launch updates to dig into. Lost Ark is definitely more action-focused than your standard games in the genre, allowing players full control over combat. There's a decent, and ever-expanding list of classes to try out too.

Raids are added in very regularly indeed, alongside monthly content drops that help Lost Ark feel fresh every time you log in. One thing that sets Lost Ark apart is its setting, which allows for ranged pistols and more modern weapons than what you might be used to. The Gunslinger class, for example, employs dual pistols for damage at a considerable distance.

Explore seven continents, hundreds of islands, and all the seas between them. Engage with interesting and varied cultures, befriend or battle magnificent beasts, and dive into immersive lore.


Alisaie admires a strange fruit in the Final Fantasy 14 Dawntrail trailer

(Image credit: Square Enix)

What's the best MMORPG right now?

Though Final Fantasy 14 continues to impress, ideas of 'best' are very subjective. Those looking for a stellar storyline and well-developed characters will find what they're looking for in Final Fantasy 14, while those keen on exploration would probably be better served by Guild Wars 2 or The Elder Scrolls Online.

In the same way, if you're looking for more open-ended sandbox games, EVE Online and Runescape are some of the best MMORPGs that you could play. With their shared emphasis on player agency, both of these titles allow you to interact with their worlds on your own terms - a must for some players.

Are there any good MMORPGs anymore?

From the joyful drama of Final Fantasy 14 to the granular sci-fi simulationism of EVE Online, there are still plenty of great MMORPGs out there for anyone looking to give the genre a whirl. 

While it's true that many of the titles on this best MMORPG list were first released many years ago, part of the beauty of these games is that they boast years of updates. World of Warcraft has come a very long way in two decades. In some ways, it's still the ambitious, old-school RPG from 2004, but, in others, it's a dynamic, modern experience. Every other MMORPG on our list followed this trend, and, as a result, is well worth checking out. 

How we made this best MMORPGs list

When crafting our best MMORPGs list, we sought to offer a range of games across different genres and consoles while ensuring that the products we selected were of sufficiently high quality. The tough, politically intensive player vs player (PvP) of EVE Online is a far cry from the meticulously crafted single-player storylines of Final Fantasy 14. However, both titles accomplish what they set out to do with competence and flair - a quality shared by every game on our list.

At TechRadar Gaming, we've put thousands of hours into MMORPGs, doing our best to understand the systems that underpin these titans of the gaming landscape. We brought that experience to bear when crafting this list. Every entry, no matter the genre, is something we've played and tested ourselves and can recommend to readers.

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Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on,, and, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.