Do you want to sign up up for a new massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), but with such a ridiculously huge number to choose from nowadays are you feeling a bit overwhelmed? Well, that was me yesterday, until I stumbled on an MMORPG I eventually signed up for last night and have been playing ever since.
But, before I get to the one I eventually chose, after researching about 50 others, I thought I would give you what I think are five of the most fun MMORPGs on PC for 2017, by looking at four other MMORPGs in 2017 besides the one I picked.
Unchartered Waters Online — I’ve always had this thing for old sailing ships as I think they are beautiful. So when I came across Unchartered Waters Online, an MMORPG based on the high-seas during the Age of Exploration (15th to 18th century), I was almost sold. That’s because Unchartered Waters Online is free to play (unless you’re in Japan, where a monthly fee is necessary,), and it is a deep game that not only includes combat, but also exploration, trading, banking and adventuring.
There are huge amounts of things to learn about this game, things that could keep you going for months without getting bored, especially if you love to fiddle with trading and banking systems. But, if you love straight-forward battles on the high-seas, the game does those well too.
Unchartered Waters Online is updated often and, since it has been around since 2005 (in Japan, 2010 in the US and Europe), it’s not likely to be going anywhere soon. If you like the swashbuckling side of life, this one could be a winner.
The Secret World — I have been dying to play this MMORPG since it was released in 2012, (remember that amazing music from the game’s trailer?) as its subject matter is right up my alley. Conspiracy theories, secret societies, cults, immortal beings and mythological creatures like vampires, werewolves and zombies — I mean, seriously, what more could you want in a game?
The Secret World has tightly focused gameplay, (no spending months just going backwards and forewards on quests to collect things), combat that often requires strategy rather than just happily smashing at things, a superb leveling system, exceptional writing, and thus a cool storyline.
Throw in the secret societies, one of which you get to join, and this MMORPG was almost my choice.
The only downer? You can still only play The Secret World if you buy a copy of the game first. And at $30, after an already expensive month, I decided I was putting this one off for another day.
Neverwinter — A massive fan of the Neverwinter series of books and games, the Neverwinter MMORPG was almost a shoe-in for me last night, as this free-to-play online game could give just about any one of them a run for their money. What’s also interesting in the way the game plays is that its a cool mix between Forgotten Realms, and the rules and combat of Dungeons & Dragons — tabletop version.
You can be one of eight character classes in the game, and join and control parties of up to five player characters. Gameplay is story-based and quite linear, but with tons of free expansions, you will never run out of things to do or places to visit.
I have heard, though, that as you spend more and more time in the game it starts to take a long time to really get anything done. Unless you decide to take advantage of the freemium nature of the game and pay for the privilege, of course. For me, that made me decide to put it off for a while.
Lord of the Rings Online — If you are looking for an enormous game that includes all the elements you loved about the Lord of the Rings movies and books, you won’t be disappointed with the Lord of the Rings Online MMORPG, as it covers Tolkien’s massively intricate world superbly.
You start the game by deciding to be either a Human, Elf, Dwarf, Beorning or a Hobbit, customize your character, and then set off on to see the world just like Bilbo did.
You’ll get to visit the Mines of Moria, Eriador, Gondor and Helm’s Deep among many other places, and have the same classic adventures you know so well already. You can even learn to play a musical instrument.
Expansion packs also add a huge amount of gameplay to LOTR, so you can expect a few hundred hours of enjoyment here.
In fact, if you have always wanted to travel along with Bilbo since you were a little kid, now is your chance.
Being a huge J.R.R. Tolkien fan, Lord of the Rings Online, of course, is the MMORPG that will be my next one as soon as I can extricate myself from the one I eventually picked. Which probably won’t be for a while yet.
Drakensang Online — Yes, the German MMORPG Drakensang Online is the one I decided was pushing all my buttons at the moment, and for some very good reasons I have found out after just 12 hours of initial gameplay. Because this MMORPG is highly entertaining.
Drakensang Online is one of the world’s largest MMORPG’s with over 35 million people registered to play it currently. It is also one of the few ever developed in the European Union, which definitely made it grab my attention, especially as it doesn’t seem to land on a lot of ‘best of’ lists, and it should.
The game is based on one of my favorite RPG games, Drakensang: The Dark Eye, and its follow up Drakensang: The River of Time. You start off by choosing to be a Dragonknight, Ranger, Spellweaver and Steam Mechanicus, customize your character from an enormous number of customizations, and then are immediately off into gameplay with an easy tutorial that gets your character leveling up quickly while you learn the lay of the land.
The 3D graphics are gorgeous, effects are beautifully done, navigation is easy to figure out, and the inventory system is potentially huge and superb.
What sets this MMORPG apart even more, however, are the large numbers of customizations you can choose for not only your character, but also its skills and its magic ability. Well, characters, should I say as, in Drakensang Online, you are allowed four characters per account. And virtually unlimited accounts as well.
So far, I’ve been playing last night and half of today, and have only scratched the surface of what there is to learn.
Yes, Drakensang Online is a freemium game, but there are so many ways to earn the game’s currency without having to spend any actual money, I don’t foresee that being a problem. Besides, I think the developers have done such a great job with this game, I certainly don’t mind kicking in a few dollars here and there.
All in all, Drakensang Online is a lot of fun, and an MMORPG I would tell anyone to give a try.
I'm a former radio DJ, an ex non-profit Director of Development, and a left-wing human rights advocate with a 20 year background in gay rights and HIV/AIDS rights advocacy. I'm also an avid video game player. Minecraft is my obsession.