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The List: The Best Laptop MMOs

Column By William Murphy on November 23, 2013

It’s been a year or two now since I opted to buy a gaming laptop to take with me on trips. But not everyone’s going to shell out a thousand dollars or more for a laptop that’s not as easy to upgrade as a desktop. With so many of us getting set to go on trips for the Holidays, Lord knows we all want to game even when we’re traveling. In honor of this desire, today I decided to make The List: The Top Five MMOs for Laptops. By no means is this the end-all, be-all List. In fact, if you have a decent GPU, chances are you’ll be able play any MMO you’d normally play on your beefed up rig at home. But for those of you who have a regular Integrated graphics card or an old laptop that you still want to connect to virtual worlds with... this List is for you.

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5.) EverQuest

One of the genre’s forebears, still going strong today and on to its 20th expansion. If you want an MMO that will run on just about anything from the last ten years, EverQuest is your game. There’s so much content to go through, and almost every bit of it is free for the taking thanks to SOE’s new F2P initiative. Sure, Old Norrath’s not the same as it once was, but there’s still a to like about the game that started an addiction for many, many gamers.

4.) Wizard101

There’s something for everyone on this List, and W101 is definitely fitting. The game’s child-friendly visuals and themes may not attract those of you who prefer their worlds dark and gritty, but there’s little denying that Wizard101 is one of the most unique and deeply strategic MMOs on the market. If you’ve not yet tried W101, do yourself a favor and at least give it a go. It’s easy on most rigs, and will definitely keep you entertained if you like card collecting and turn-based combat.

3.) EVE Online

EVE is ideal for laptop gaming, though it’s only gotten prettier and prettier since expansions keep being added (20 so far, in just 10 years). The specs remain fairly low though, if you don’t mind playing on lower settings, and because EVE tends to be a slower more methodical space-exploration sandbox, it also means you don’t necessarily need a companion mouse and can opt to use the mousepad build onto your laptop instead. Hell, this fact alone means I’ve re-subbed after more than several years away.  Because it’s the kind of experience that’s easy to attack with a rabid hardcore approach, or even something more casual like mining in high-sec. There’s a 14-day free trial, and then the game itself is only $14.95 with a free month’s game time.  You can even get it on Steam right now for 4.99 with 60 days playtime until Noon EST.

2.) Ultima Online

EverQuest may have gotten more notoriety, but Ultima Online is still many people’s idea of the ideal MMORPG. A fully sandbox world where you could be anything from a prince to a pauper, and create your own towns or castles, empires or roving bands of brigands... UO is still a ton of fun after all these years. It also happens to be so “low-tech” that it could probably run on your old PalmOS phone if you knew how to make it work. Seriously, they should make Ultima Online into an HTML5 game and watch their activity skyrocket.  But in any case, UO is still one of the best examples of the sandbox MMORPG on the market, though it’s certainly long in the tooth. Definitely a solid addition to this list.

1.) World of Warcraft

I know I’ll get berated for this, but WoW is almost custom-built for traveling and MMO-gaming to go hand-in-hand. Most of its content can be digested in bite-size chunks, it runs on machines going back to 2000, and there’s so much to do in Azeroth, especially with Warlords of Draenor around the corner.  It may be the whipping boy of the disenfranchised, but WoW is still a great casual MMORPG with plenty of life left to give a gamer looking for something to play on holiday.

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