MMOs aren't what they used to be, but that doesn't mean gamers aren't playing them. Actually, MMOs are still one of the most popular game genres, you just don't hear about them often because the people who play them are too busy.
You might be wondering what the most popular MMOs are in 2017. Well, we have an answer.
8. TERA Rising
NA Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Equipped with scantily-clad women and an action combat system, TERA: Rising has remained one of the most popular MMOs of recent years. Just two years ago it transitioned to free-to-play, and quickly surpassed 1.4 million registered accounts. It's presently one of the more popular games on streaming sites such as Twitch, and brings in many new players each month even if they don't stay for long.
7. EVE Online
Release Date: May 6th, 2003
Although World of Warcraft is the MMO most commonly commended for its long and healthy life, EVE Online deserves its share of praise. At 12 years of age it is the oldest game on this list, and arguably one of the most compelling.
This space-borne MMO features one server for all players, hosting a massive galaxy dense with star systems that can be explored. Due to the nature of its real time based skill system veteran players are apprehensive to quit the game if only because their significant advantage over other players makes the experience enjoyable in a way that no other MMO offers.
Developer CCP Games has recently stopped sharing subscription numbers, and has intentions to lower the barrier for new players. This makes it appear that the game is currently in decline. Nonetheless, it had over 500,000 subscribers in February 2013 ensuring that it's still one of the most popular MMOs on the market.
NA Release Date: September 16th, 2014
ArcheAge is a somewhat newer game, meaning that it wasn't long ago that it was a hot topic in the MMO community. Discussion and active players have died down, but it's still remarkably popular with its sandbox world that has a remarkable volume of activities to participate in. It's particularly popular in Korea where its grind-heavy content design is most favored.
5. Star Wars: The Old Republic
NA Release Date: December 20th, 2011
With an IP as big as Star Wars, SWTOR's future was bright from the onset. Within a year it transitioned to free-to-play and has consistently been one of the top five most popular MMOs on the market since. Its strict adherence to the Star Wars world and its rules has made it a go-to for many fans of the IP resulting in a current playerbase of over one million players.
4. Guild Wars 2
Release Date: August 28th, 2012
Although you probably don't hear much about it, Guild Wars 2 is one of the most popular online games in the world. A lot of that is owed to its strong mechanical foundation, but its consistent popularity is owed mostly to its welcoming buy-to-play model and bi-monthly updates. As a result, hundreds of thousands of the over five million players who have purchased it return to consume the latest content on a regular basis
3. The Elder Scrolls Online
NA Release Date: April 4th, 2014
TESO saw a large boost of players from its debut on Xbox One and PS4. This, combined with its transition to free-to-play, has resulted in its popularity exploding after almost a year of decline.
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TESO is the first multiplayer Elder Scrolls game, which has been reason alone for millions to dive in and see what its all about. Many players have quit since they first gave it a try, although a significant number have remained. Its addictive quest design and multiplatform nature are sure to keep it healthy for the duration of 2017.
2. Final Fantasy XIV
NA Release Date: September 30th, 2010
After suffering from one of the worst launches in MMO history, Final Fantasy XIV has risen to insurmountable heights. It currently stands at roughly one million subscribers and five million accounts that have paid for a subscription in the past two years. While having Final Fantasy in its name has surely given it an advantage, its noteworthy patches and wide variety of well-designed content are what keep players invested.
Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward just launched, pushing the game's popularity to a point where most servers disallow character creation around the clock. It's remarkable success is a far-cry from where the game stood five years ago.
1. World of Warcraft
NA Release Date: November 23rd, 2004
Whether you like it or not, World of Warcraft has remained the most popular MMO on the market for 10 years. In January 2014 it was announced that over 100 million accounts have been created at one time or another, a feat previously unheard of in the genre. Despite recently being in a subscriber decline, it boasts around 8 million active players which is more than five times what any other subscription-based game can say.
World of Warcraft is a phenomenon. As time has passed and veterans of the game have waited for it to be dethroned, they have begun to realize that what the game has done in the past 11 years may never be repeated.