MMO Snapshot: The Top MMORPGs of Today And Tomorrow


Posted December 10, 2010 - By Leah Jackson

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The Most Popular MMORPGs of Today and Tomorrow

This week marked the launch of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, a title that will most likely set sales records across the globe while it continues to increase the population of Azeroth. It's no surprise that WoW is the most popular massively multiplayer online role playing game right now, but there are others that also deserve some recognition as well.

Not only that, but in 2011 a few new MMO IPs are being released that stand a good chance to finally knock WoW off the top spot. Let's take a look at the most popular MMOs of today, including WoW, and what we as MMO players have to look forward to in the coming year.

The Most Popular MMORPGs of Today and Tomorrow

World of Warcraft

Genre: Fantasy
Subscription Fee: $15 / Month
World of Warcraft has been the MMORPG that can't be beat for five years now. Its incredible success is due to constant content being pushed out every few months, as well as the release of three game-changing expansion packs. WoW is not just about any one thing, and that's why so many people of all different skill levels are able to return to the game again and again to always experience something new.



Genre: Fantasy
Subscription Fee: $15 / Month
Aion originally gripped players with its stunning winged character models and graphics in general. The game, taking place in a world called Atreia, created a new concept for MMORPGs with its PvPvE system. Players at max level fight against the opposing faction for control over various fortresses, which can later be upgraded using items obtained in a raid setting. The game also released its first free expansion this year, Assault on Balaurea, providing new content to players.


EVE Online
Genre: Sci-fi
Subscription Fee: $15 / Month
EVE Online is very different from any other MMO, as it takes place entirely in space. Not only that, but instead of controlling a character that you can level up, you control a space ship. The game also breaks the MMO mold because of how its entire player base is housed on one gargantuan server with no scripted events. Things in the game only happen based on players' actions, so it requires you to drive the action. EVE also has the best PVP combat available in MMORPGs to date, and offers up some fascinating economic scenarios with its monetary system.

The Most Popular MMORPGs of Today and Tomorrow

Final Fantasy XIV
Genre: Fantasy
Subscription Fee: $13 / Month
Final Fantasy XIV had its fair share of problems at release earlier this year. But, with monthly content patches being released to fix some of its larger issues, the game is finally blossoming into a gorgeous and interesting experience. Taking place on Eorzea, the game removes the "grind factor" most MMORPGs are faced with. In FFXIV, you choose a weapon which becomes your class, and various activities performed with this weapon will in turn raise your class level. Each class is very different from the next. It's a bit confusing, I'll admit, but once you get the hang of it the game actually has a lot to offer.


Genre: Fantasy
Subscription Fee: Free
Vindictus, which was we released late this year by developer devCAT, is one of the best free MMORPGs out there. It's best described as an action MMO, as you basically just mash buttons to do damage and actually run around to dodge attacks. Also, since the game uses the Source Engine, the entire environment is able to be manipulated and destroyed based on play style. While the game does offer perks to people that are willing to spend real money in their marketplace, the experience as a whole is still very fun even if you're not willing to pay for the extra stuff.

All of the aforementioned MMOs have their merits, but none of them are perfect. While WoW certainly sits at the top of the MMO subscriber chart, there are a few games coming out (hopefully) next year that could absolutely cause a hiccup in the MMO subscriber population as a whole. These two titles, Star Wars the Old Republic and Guild Wars 2, have captured most of the MMO world's attention, and are considered the frontrunners that will be challenging Blizzard to be king of the hill.

Star Wars: The Old Republic
Genre: Sci-fi
Subscription Fee: TBD
Taking place in the Star Wars universe thousands of years before the popular movie franchise events, SWTOR allows players to be a part of either the Galactic Republic (good guys) or the Sith Empire (evil guys). The game is quite unique as there aren't certain pre-defined MMO roles players will fall into. In other words, no tanks, dps, or healers. Everyone can perform any role with the help of a companion each player receives, which is quite a refreshing take on things. The game will also offer more extensive voice acting than any other MMO, space combat, and a differing yet engaging storyline for each of the eight available classes. The best part about this Star Wars MMO? It will hopefully make you forget about Star Wars Galaxies forever.

Guild Wars 2
Genre: Fantasy
Subscription Fee: Free
The only thing carrying over to Guild Wars 2 from the original Guild Wars is the name. The game is a completely new experience, and it's looking to be something unlike anything we've ever seen before. Again, this game won't have the typical healer, dps, or tank archetypes that are common in MMOs today, but it's also taking an even further leap in action MMORPG innovation by having all of the available spells (except channeled abilities) be castable while on the move. No more standing around mashing buttons over and over at a boss, combat now revolves around moving and dodging. They're also implementing a new dynamic leveling system which is basically a bunch of scripted events that lead to follow-up events based on the success or failure of the previous mission, so two people going through the same zone could have completely different experiences.

With the time commitment required to get into any MMO, most people choose to just stick with one for quite a long time. What MMO are you playing right now? There's a lot to choose from: Dungeons & Dragons Online, Everquest, Lord of the Rings Online, Final Fantasy XI and more. Are you thinking of switching to a new one in the future?

MMO Snapshot: The Top MMORPGs of Today And Tomorrow


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