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The List: Five MMOs for Experienced Players

Columns By Som Pourfarzaneh on October 05, 2015

Five MMOs for Experienced Players

Remember how iTunes used to separate its playlist suggestions into “Essentials,” “Next Steps,” and “Deep Cuts?”  Also, remember when the iTunes user experience wasn’t intolerable?

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In the same vein, we’re going to piggyback on last week’s List of the Five Best MMOs for New Players and suggest five more MMORPGs that you should at least give a try if you’re looking for a new game.  And next week, we’ll take it a step further and recommend five “deep cuts” for the hardcore crowd!


5. Dungeons & Dragons Online

There are a lot of D&D-based video games out there, each bringing one or more aspects of the pen-and-paper experience to the digital table.  Dungeons & Dragons Online’s strength is in its unfailing dedication to the Eberron and Forgotten Realms source material.  The ruleset, from skills to feats, is super crunchy, the action-based combat is serviceable, and the party mechanics can provide for some excellent adventuring.  If you haven’t played DDO, or if it’s been a long time since you have, Turbine’s game is certainly worth a try.

4. The Secret World

Tired of traditional science fiction/fantasy MMOs?  Funcom’s The Secret World might just be the survival-horror MMORPG experience you’ve been looking for.  TSW has a dark sense of humor that is self-aware as it is entertaining, and it’s a game that makes you think in a metagame context that is unlike any other MMO on the market.  It also leans into its unique modern setting, which is worth checking out as a counterpoint to the majority of other games out there.

3. WildStar

If you’ve been raised like the rest of us on games like World of Warcraft and EverQuest, and are looking for a new take on the conventional MMO formula, WildStar may be the next MMORPG deserving of your attention.  Carbine Studios has worked to emulate everything that has made traditional MMOs successful, with a number of twists here and there.  Furthermore, the player housing has to be experienced to be believed, and the game’s just gone free-to-play, making it easier to jump in and try it out.  Just give the servers a minute to settle!

2. The Elder Scrolls Online

How many hours do you think we - gamers at large - have spent on Elder Scrolls games?  Millions?  BillionsBethesda has a knack for creating single-player RPG experiences that are vast and engaging, and their sister company, Zenimax, has done their darnedest in building an MMO to match.  It’s taken some time, a free-to-play conversion, and a console launch to get everything working the way it’s supposed to, but The Elder Scrolls Online is now a close approximation to what we expected from it at launch.  It features all of the hallmarks of an Elder Scrolls title, with the added benefit of massively multiplayer gameplay and live updates.

1. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Last week’s List was met with a slew of comments suggesting that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn should be numbered among the Five Best MMOs for New Players.  It’s an excellent game, but its job system and other features are a bit complex, making it a better fit for players who can attest to at least the most basic MMORPG experience.  FFXIV is a phenomenal realization of Final Fantasy world building, with an incredible amount of depth and polish.  If you like fantasy worlds or JRPGs, you owe it to yourself to give Square Enix’s MMO a try.

What are some of your favorite MMOs?  Be sure to chime in here and on our 35 Greatest MMOs of All Time!


Som Pourfarzaneh / Som is a Staff Writer at MMORPG.com and a Lecturer in Media, Anthropology, and Religious Studies.  He’s a former Community Manager for Neverwinter, the free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG from Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment, and is unreasonably good at Maze Craze for the Atari 2600.  You can read his weekly column or exchange puns and chat (European) football with him on Twitter @sominator.

Som Pourfarzaneh / Som is a Staff Writer at MMORPG.com and a Lecturer in Media, Anthropology, and Religious Studies. He’s a former Community Manager for Neverwinter, the free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG from Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment, and is unreasonably good at Maze Craze for the Atari 2600. You can exchange puns and chat (European) football with him on Twitter @sominator.