World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is still the absolute king of MMORPGs. With a constant stream of new features keeping things fresh, this fantasy world is home to over 80 million player characters. Although Blizzard does not publish active player numbers, conservative estimates assume that around 7 million players actively play the game.
The setup of World of Warcraft is well-known – set in the land of Azeroth, the fantasy-world is split into two factions with several races and classes for players to choose from. It’s an incredibly huge world with a near-endless list of activities, dungeons, and more.
There are countless locations, raids, dungeons, and quests, not to mention a large amount of lore for players to get stuck in. Some WoW Guilds are pushing their 15th anniversary. Overall, it’s considered the most polished MMO out there, so much so that it’s considered one of the premier esports games. Though somewhat niche, the Arena World Championship, and the Mythic Dungeon International are attracting thousands of loyal viewers consistently.
The next big content drop for World of Warcraft is called Shadowlands and is set to hit the market later this year.
Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online is one of the more “recent” games on this list. The visually polished and appealing fantasy MMO is definitely one of the better-looking MMORPGs of 2020 – it offers incredibly advanced character creation tools, varied skill trees, and an incredibly gorgeous world to play in.
While the mechanisms of the game can be tacky to grasp at first, players love it for the challenge.
There is plenty of varied content as well, with 19 different classes, explorable oceans, and even taming and breeding of mounts. Estimations say that there are roughly two million active players and over 3 million created characters. Additionally, if you are seeking to sandbox your own property, Black Desert and ArchAge are the best games for such en devours on the market.
Unlike most entries on this list, EVE Online is set in a futuristic sci-fi world. It’s well-known for having a gigantic universe with plenty to explore and do. It features elaborate systems of mining, manufacturing, piracy, trading, and almost everything a spacefaring citizen might want.
Despite being released in 2003, it still has a decent amount of active players – several tens of thousands at any given time with many more overall playing. Like most of the best MMORPGs, it has a free to play and a paid tier – this is definitely one where you’ll want to pay for the subscription though as you’ll struggle to advance at all in the free tier.
EVE Online is not easy to master and is very costly if you want to delve deeper into galactic politics and conquest. Fleets of ships costing upwards of tens of thousands of real-world Dollars are constantly battling for supremacy of the universe. In our opinion, EVE Online also wins the title for one of the types of trailers on the market.
Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls games have always had an incredible following – while Skyrim alone marked an important milestone in RPG history, many fans have been around since the days of Daggerfall and co – so the addition of an online version of the world excited many.
ESO boasts around 2.5 million active players, with over 15 million copies sold in total. Set in the same world as other Elder Scrolls games, it features the same races, setups, and lore that so many players love – except of course, in multiplayer form. The game doesn’t receive major content updates, having had some in 2016 and 2017, but performance updates and optimizations are released periodically – the game is well-maintained.