Dark or Light

Best Console MMORPGs To Play In 2023

Some of the best MMO worlds to plunge into

Joseph Bradford Updated: Posted:
Columns The List 0

MMORPGs have long been the domain of the PC crowd, but with the addition of more PC-like architecture in the last generations of consoles, these experiences have started to trickle back to the living room. While consoles haven’t been devoid of MMOs in their lifetimes (Phantasy Star Online and Final Fantasy XI say “Hi!”), games like The Elder Scrolls Online and Black Desert have helped define the type of experiences console fans can expect from MMOs moving forward on the platforms. Here are the best console MMORPGs to check out next time you’re looking for something to play while lounging on the couch.

Star Trek Online

Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S|X

Star Trek Online

Star Trek Online first released on the PC and was one of the first MMOs to make the jump to Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2016. Rebuilding much of the control schemes and UI layout for console from the ground up, Cryptic Studios has brought its free-to-play MMO set in the expansive Star Trek universe to home consoles.

The MMO sticks pretty true to the storylines and in-universe lore established by the shows and movies, sometimes bringing cast members from the franchise to voice their characters in game. If you ever wanted to command your own Starfleet vessel and explore strange, new worlds – Star Trek Online is your place to start.


Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S|X


Another Cryptic Studios MMO, Neverwinter takes players to the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons & Dragons. While not part of the previous Neverwinter game series from yesteryear, Neverwinter lets players live out their D&D fantasies in one of the most iconic locations in the Role-playing game’s history.

Another free-to-play title, the ruleset was recently adjusted to account for the latest tabletop version of D&D, 5th Edition. Cryptic keeps releases coming as well, with the recent Ascent into Avernus campaign launching alongside the table-top variant, and most recently the studio released a campaign battle pass that saw players journey to stop the Cult of the Dragon. If you’re looking for a way to jump into the world of Dungeons & Dragons, but want to skip the table top, Neverwinter is a good place to start.


Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, and Nintendo Switch

Digital Extreme’s sci-fi space opera Warframe continues to be a critical success for the development studio, with the recent release of its largest story expansion yet, The New War. This free-to-play action MMO takes players on a cinematic story that houses more than 30 hours of free story content, as well as plenty of co-op activities such as PvP.

What makes Warframe so compelling for many beyond the storytelling is the sheer amount of collecting and customization that the MMO brings to the table. With 48 different Warframes to collect, each one with its own unique look and skill set, as well as thousands of in-game items to choose between, there is no wrong way to build your Tenno and play. And with the promise of cross play and cross save on the horizon, Warframe is poised to keep console fans happy for years to come.


Available on PlayStation 5; coming to Xbox Series S|X and Nintendo Switch

Temtem is what happens when The Pokémon Company doesn’t release their own MMO. A creature collecting game by Spanish studio Crema, the console MMO sees players capturing and training up creatures, aptly named Temtems. While this title is still in Early Access, it provides its own story campaign, a fully online world, and competitive gameplay.

Trainers explore the islands of the Airborne Archipelago, where players will collect and battle Temtems to become the ultimate Temtem trainer. It all sounds rather familiar if you’ve played any Pokémon game in the last few decades, but the colorful world, unique style of the Temtems and the promise of even more to come from the developers make it a game worth watching. Unlike the rest of the titles on this list so far, Temtem  is a buy to play game, meaning you’ll need to purchase it to have access to the content, though as of now there is no added subscription fee.

Final Fantasy XIV

Available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5

Have you heard of the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV? With an expanded free trial which you can play through the entirety of A Realm Reborn and the award winning Heavensward expansion up to level 60 for free with no restrictions on playtime.

Memes aside, Final Fantasy XIV is one of the greatest MMORPGs on the market, with its most recent expansion, Endwalker, having just released smashing player records. The MMORPG is the right mix of old-style tab-targeting combat of MMOs from a bygone era while melding the JRPG flavor of a mainline Final Fantasy title beautifully. With some stunning visuals, incredibly music and stellar storytelling, this subscription-based MMORPG has seen a surge in popularity thanks in large part to that free trial and just how good the content has been the last few years. With no signs of slowing down for the studio, it’s onwards and upwards as the 8-year story arc comes to a close with new, exciting stories still to be told.

Black Desert

Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X

Black Desert is, without a doubt, one of the most stunningly beautiful MMORPGs on any platform, period. It also helps it’s a really good game too. More than just eye candy, Black Desert combines some incredible PvP systems, a complex node crafting and trading system and satisfying action combat to great effect.

Pearl Abyss, the company behind the MMORPG, is constantly updating the MMO as well, releasing each major addition as a free upgrade. While you’ll need to buy the MMO to get started (and it’s often on sale), the amount of content you’ll get at the start (and will continue to get while the developers support the title) more than makes up for it.

While there are legitimate concerns about its microtransactions feeling a bit too “pay-to-win,” it’s worth checking out if all you’re looking to do is smash goblins with comically large shields as the Nova or throw hands as a Striker. With its first major co-op dungeon, Atoraxxion, just released, there’s plenty to do in the world of Black Desert.

DC Universe Online

Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, and Nintendo Switch

DC Universe Online

Set in the comic book DC universe, DC Universe Online is still going strong after releasing initially in 2011. With the entire DC Universe as its playground, players will meet iconic characters such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and villains like the Legion of Doom and The Joker. Its action combat is also well suited for controllers, making it one of the most accessible console MMORPGs out there – especially given it’s on every major home console in some form. Thankfully too, players who want to catch up can do so as in May 2021 all episodes were made free to all players, regardless of whether you opt into the optional subscription.

Bless Unleashed

Available On PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X

Set in the Bless universe, this free-to-play action MMORPG built on Unreal Engine 4 hit consoles back in 2020 and has since moved to PC in 2021. Bless Unleashed’s persistent open world allows players to join up and quest across the untamed landscape. World events such as bosses dot the world, while others might want to jump into the challenging PvP. Bless Unleashed’s action combat is based on combos, with players taking the role of Mages, Archers, Berserkers and more, meaning proper execution and positioning on the battlefield make a difference.

No Man’s Sky

Available On PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X

No Man's Sky

After a rough launch on PC and PlayStation 4 years ago, the team at Hello Games has quietly turned No Man’s Sky into one of the best exploration games on the market. No Man’s Sky allows players to explore a seemingly limitless galaxy of stars, charting planets, building bases and exploring the history of the universe together. Or maybe you just want to build the most impressive space port, delve into the deepest caverns of a barren, radioactive planet, or simply become the best fighter pilot in the galaxy – you can do all these and more. No Man’s Sky continues to churn out new content for free, adding to the vision Sean Murray laid out years ago, finally bringing it to fruition for those who are willing to jump into their ship and simply explore.

Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis

Available on Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X

Phantasy Star Online 2 released onto Xbox One a few years ago to almost universal fanfare here in the West. While an older MMO at the time, finally seeing one of Japan’s most popular MMOs officially supported on Xbox One was a treat for long-time fans of the series. Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis is an upgraded version of the older MMO, featuring an open world to explore in the console MMORPG. With an updated character creator, enhanced graphics over the original and more, Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis brings the aging MMO into the next generation, setting itself up for years to come. And it’s free-to-play!

Elite: Dangerous

Available On PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (XSX and PS5 versions run in backwards compatible mode)

Elite Dangerous

Ever wanted to explore the Milky Way galaxy, but curse the fact you were born before interstellar flight is an everyday occurrence? Fear not, as Frontier is here to give you the sci-fi fantasy many of us have dreamed of since we were kids. Elite: Dangerous features a fully persistent 1:1 recreation of our Milky Way galaxy, allowing Commanders to live out their dreams in space. Fancy yourself an explorer, charting unknown systems and stars? Or perhaps you want to become one of the most profitable traders across the galaxy? You can do these, and more. With factional power struggles to join up with, as well as a PvP arena to prove your worth as a fighter, this console MMO has something for everyone. And with the planned Odyssey expansion coming to console allowing players to leave their ships and walk in station or on planet, the possibilities continue to feel as limitless as the stars themselves.

The Elder Scrolls Online

Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X

One of the best console MMORPGs on the market, The Elder Scrolls Online continues to pump out content year after year. Exploring the familiar world of Tamriel either completely solo or with friends thousands of years before the mainline RPG games in the Elder Scrolls franchise never feels old. With a progression system that sees players leveling up as you use a weapon or item, there are seemingly limitless ways to build your perfect character.

Fancy yourself a heavy-armor, staff wielding healer that can also raise the dead? You can do that. Want to wield a two-handed greatsword while slinging spells as a Sorcerer? Go for it. The fact that any content can be done, for the most part, regardless of your level also makes ESO one of the most accessible console MMORPGs on the market. And with each new Chapter (what ESO calls expansions), there’s no need to feel like you have to catch up – rather you can jump into the new content right away. The Elder Scrolls Online is a buy-to-play MMORPG with an optional subscription, however, with hundreds of hours of content to push through, there’s always something to do.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore