Today, we’ll talk about some of the oldest MMORPGs that you can still play online.
Massive multiplayer online games (MMORPGs) have been around for almost 25 years, but we still think of them as new. Before more casual MMOs like Final Fantasy XIV came along, there were a lot of different kinds of online games to choose from. Not all of them had the typical fantasy look, and some took big risks with the setting, story, and characters that would set the standard for games that came after.
Even if you don’t believe it, you can still play some of the first MMORPGs that were made. Some of them are free, and others you have to pay for, but they all have active communities and worlds that get maintenance and updates from time to time.
Age Of Conan (2008)
Age of Conan has changed a few times, but the game is still the same as when it came out in 2008. Instead of being based on a series of comic books or movies, the game is based on the books written by Robert E. Howard. This makes for a big world with a lot to discover.
Age of Conan: Unchained is its full name now. Before, it was called Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. Today, the game is called Conan: Exiles, and it has a hardcore PvP server, a real-time combat system, and the ability to build and defend fortifications.
The Lord Of The Rings Online (2007)
Considering how popular Peter Jackson’s movies are and how many people already like The Lord of the Rings, this game probably should have come out sooner.
The game’s expansions have names like “The Siege of Mirkwood” and “Moria,” so you know they’re serious about getting ideas from the books. At first, it was a game that you had to pay for. But now you can play it for free.
Dungeons & Dragons Online (2006)
You might think D&D Online would be more popular since the rules for the tabletop game are the basis for almost every RPG ever made. It never had the same number of online fans and came a little late to the party, which may be why it never had more than a few thousand subscribers when it first came out and is now only free-to-play.
Aside from the marketing, the game has an impressive pedigree, with some legends from the D&D series helping to make the game in the beginning. That has narration from Gary Gygax himself, as well as information from Wizards of the Coast about the story and where it takes place. It may not be the most fancy MMORPG, but it is the most real for those who want to play a classic RPG.
Guild Wars (2005)
Guild Wars 2 is also a popular follow-up to this game. But the original game is still online, so you can play it if you want to. This game is set in a medieval fantasy world like a lot of other MMORPGs, but it stands out with its instance-based combat system and high-quality graphics.
It was also one of the first games to make money without a monthly subscription fee. You don’t have to pay anything to keep the tradition going.
World Of Warcraft (2004)
The game that made MMORPGs popular and opened the market to casual players has grown into the Hydra of the MMO world, with an older version and servers for previous expansions. The original game that came out in 2004 is still being changed, and WoW players often call it “retail.”
Ironically, the “Classic” version of the game was released in 2018. Because many people wanted legacy servers that were more like the old game from 2004. Dragonflight, the most recent addition to the original game, was well received and brought back both old and new fans.
EVE Online (2003)
It’s one of the biggest and oldest MMORPGs out there, turning 20 this year. Since it first came out, it hasn’t changed that much, except for getting a free-to-play version. Which has been out since 2016. EVE Online is different from other online MMOs because it is set in space and science fiction instead of fantasy or the Middle Ages.
EVE Online is set 20,000 years in the future, when Earth’s resources have been used up and people have moved to other parts of the galaxy. The size of the game is impressive, and it includes combat, crafting, exploring, PvE challenges, business, and even piracy.
A Tale In The Desert (2003)
There are a lot of MMOs that are more about crafting, farming, or building than fighting. And A Tale in the Desert is one of them. It doesn’t have any ways to fight at all. Instead, players can work on their own projects while taking part in group challenges called “Tests.”
The game “updates” in a unique way and, in reality, ends every 18 months. It starts over after the players have said what tweaks, fixes, and other changes they want to see. The first download is free, but if you want to play for more than two days. You have to pay for a subscription.
Most people got their start in MMORPGs with RuneScape, back when Everquest was only for serious players and Warcraft was just an RTS. Fans asked for different versions of the game in later years, and it’s easy to get them mixed up.
RuneScape Classic is the game’s original version, while Old School Runescape is a version from 2007. You can play for free, and there are also flexible subscription plans that you can pay for with real money or special tokens in the game.
Dark Age Of Camelot (2001)
Most MMOs are set in a fantasy world, and Dark Age of Camelot is no different. What makes it different, though, is how many different mythologies it brings together. Your character’s history and adventures are based on old stories from Norse, Celtic, and Arthurian mythology.
The way the game is set up is very cleverly based on these old stories. For example, players can start on one of three realms. And each one is based on a place from mythology that happened in the real world. Play as a Ranger, Enchanter, or Champion on Albion, Hibernia, or Midgard.
Anarchy Online (2001)
Back in the day, what made Anarchy Online stand out was that it was set in a science fiction world. It’s one of the reasons why the game is still going after 20 years.
Your character is a colonist on the dangerous planet Rubi-Ka. As they settle and build up the land around them, they collect the valuable mineral Notum. There is a story going on in the background, but the game is mostly a sandbox where players can make their own unique experiences.
If the only device you have is one that runs macOS, you might not be able to do this. After ten years, the version of Everquest that was made for that operating system was taken offline in 2013.
Even though the company that runs it has changed hands a few times in the past few years. The game is still going strong on other platforms. This is the game that made MMORPGs what they are today. And almost every popular MMO that came after it used some of its basic design ideas at some point.
Ultima Online (1997)
The Ultima series is one of the oldest in the history of video games. It started in the 1980s with some of the first role-playing games for computers. It has always been known for its intense PvP action. And the main focus is still on the PvP combat system.
In 2010, the Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn expansion made the game much better. Like Happy Wheels, it has a free version and a monthly fee version, but if you are a subscriber, you can’t do or go to certain things.