The best MMO games offer immersive, compulsive experiences that can last over a period of years, offering players the chance to work together or against one another in storylines spanning hundreds of hours of content.
We’ve put together our list of the best MMO games to play in 2022, featuring beloved classics, stories with new expansions (Have you heard of the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV?) and games with high pop playerbases.
Read on to find your next gaming grind!
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The Best MMO Games To Play In 2022
Set on the continent of Tamriel, The Elder Scrolls Online combines the traditional Elder Scrolls experience – travelling, dispatching a horde of weirdly competent bandits, more travelling – with the world of MMORPGs and instanced dungeons. After a lukewarm release in 2014, ESO has undergone successful redevelopment, offering players the chance to team up and explore the locations we love from the game’s single-player cousins. PvP in this game sees you engage in siege warfare in Cyrodiil, great for if you’ve ever wanted to wipe the smirk off an imperial’s face.
Still going strong over 17 years after its initial release in 2004, World of Warcraft has cemented itself as one of the best MMO games of all time. Known to many as the ‘MMO of MMOs’, the game has a fantastic high fantasy setting in Azeroth, featuring elves and orcs (and humans!) in increasingly large pauldrons. WoW popularised many mechanics that we now expect from the genre: instanced dungeons, high-end raiding and levelling via quests are just a few of its many laurels. A ninth expansion, Dragonflight, has recently been announced.
Considered a spiritual successor to the Diablo series, Path of Exile takes a darker look at fantasy, with players becoming titular exiles on a procedurally-generated continent of ruined civilisations and bloody secrets. A free-to-play action RPG with massive amounts of player customisation, Path of Exile offers alternate play modes and temporary leagues for increasingly hardcore experiences. There are seven character classes available, with a large part of gameplay focusing on synergistic builds and equipment. Interestingly, there’s no in-game currency, ensuring players rely on an intricate craft / barter / trade system to advance.
Destiny 2 describes itself as a “shared world shooter”, where Guardians take to the solar system and defend the last survivors of humanity from a variety of warfaring alien races. More of an MMO-lite than other titles on the list, the best part of Destiny 2 is nevertheless its raiding experiences, where players work together in fireteams to solve puzzles and face off against bosses in a high-stakes environment. Destiny 2 brings back iconic fights from the first game, including Vault of Glass, which might just be one of the best MMO gaming experiences ever.
One of the best retro fantasy games available, Old School RuneScape was released in 2013 to accommodate fans of the 2007 version of the game. Charmingly grindy and with a vote-based content schedule, Old School RuneScape ironically has far more players than its modern counterpart, proving that it’s hard to improve on simple fun. If your introduction to MMO gaming has been more recent – say, with Lost Ark or ESO – then the sandboxy, no-apron-strings approach of Old School RuneScape can seem intimidating, but it’s worth it for the feeling of finally maxing out a skill.
Check out our next page for more of the best MMOs to play in 2022, from slick Warframe to fantasy epic Final Fantasy XIV.