If you enjoy traveling but you’re on a strict budget, you can immerse yourself in one of hundreds of free games on the Internet. Free-to-play massively multiplayer online (MMO) games are often as deep and engaging as full-priced retail games, and they come in all kinds of flavors. Part one of our guide to MMO games offers recommendations for enjoyable titles in the action, arcade, adventure, role-playing and classic card and board game genres.
TOP 5 FREE ACTION/ARCADE MMO GAMES
War Rock — War Rock is a multiplayer first-person shooter game. Players battle one another in Derbaran, a post-apocalyptic Republic. War Rock is divided into five modes of gameplay (Urban Ops, Hero Mode, Battle Group, Close Quarters Combat, and Zombie AI mode), each of which change up the rules of the game. You’re bound to find a method of killing that pleases you.
MapleStory — A long-running Korean RPG with platforming elements. Defeat monsters, build up your character, interact with other players, and claim a killer dragon as your sweet, sweet ride. The game’s colorful anime-style graphics make the world fun to interact with.
Dragon Nest — Dragon Nest is visually splendid, features skill-based combat that’s thick with combos, and even boasts randomized dungeons for added replay appeal. A big winner from Nexon that should appeal to fans of more light-hearted MMO fare.
World of Tanks — In World of Tanks, you form teams and blast opposing forces with–what else–tanks. You’re gifted with war machines that are historically accurate from the period dating 1930 through to 1950. There are several game modes, but teamwork is a constant necessity to vanquish your foes.
APB — APB is a third-person sandbox-style MMO that takes place in the violent city of San Paro. Players must decide if they’re going to side with the Enforcers or the Criminals, two factions that are constantly battling each other. It’s not unlike a never-ending digital take on the childhood game of Cops and Robbers.
TOP 5 FREE ADVENTURE/ROLE-PLAYING MMO GAMES
Dungeons & Dragons Online — The original version of Dungeons & Dragons (dead tree manuals and all) can be considered the first mainstream role-playing game, so it’s appropriate that the franchise would hop online and invite MMORPG fans into its fantasy world. The combat is in real-time, and the option to map action buttons to a controller makes D&D Online a comfortable experience for console gamers.
Guild Wars — Guild Wars is a more action-packed, streamlined take on the massively-multiplayer online RPG (MMORPG) formula. The game’s designers have done their best to make the more tedious traits of MMORPGs a thing of the past, including level grinding, camping, and line-ups for quests. Moreover, every Guild Wars player exists in a seamless world, so everyone can cooperate–and compete–without being separated by different servers.
Lord of the Rings Online — A free-to-play online RPG that’s as massive as Tolkien’s trilogy. And much like Tolkien’s works, LOTRO is a pretty traditional take on the MMORPG: You create an avatar, slay monsters, interact with non-player characters, and explore the vast world. There is also a player-versus-player element, which should help solve the world’s greatest mystery. Namely, who would win in a fight? Dwarfs or hobbits?
World of Warcraft — Blizzard’s biggie is free-to-play up until your character reaches level 20. World of Warcraft is by far the most popular MMORPG on the market, so you ought to know something about how it works. Here’s a refresher: Choose your race, choose your faction (either the Alliance, or “For the Horde!!”), choose your class, fight monsters, level up, go on quests, cause mayhem, have fun.
DC Universe Online — If running around as an orc, dwarf, or a giant cow isn’t your style, try on some tights. DC Universe Online lets players perform heroic deeds under the banner of the Greats, such as Superman and Wonder Woman. Alternatively, players can skulk around like scumbags in the name of the Joker or Lex Luthor.
TOP 5 FREE MMO CARD GAMES
Magic: the Gathering — Tactics — Magic: The Gathering — Tactics is a turn-based MMO that is formulated around Magic: The Gathering (surprise, surprise). Players control a Planeswalker; the object of the game is to beat your opposing Planeswalker with your free starter deck (using strategy and cunning, not by physically throwing your cards). Additional, better cards can be purchased in-game.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Online — It’s time to d-d-d-duel online. Yu-Gi-Oh! Online is a card-based MMO that revolves around the highly popular Yu-Gi-Oh anime universe. Players receive a basic starter pack and are set loose on other young card sharks. There are tournaments too, if you wish to be soundly trounced.
Urban Rivals — Urban Rivals utilizes cards that are based on real people or familiar fictional characters. The rules and regulations should be familiar to anyone who’s interested in online card games, though Urban Rivals also boasts an interesting “sponsorship” mechanic, with which experienced players can take newbies under their wing.
Cabals: The Card Game — If you want to get into a card-based MMO but are a bit intimidated by piles of rules, Cabals might be a decent place to start. Players utilize cards to conquer each others’ strongholds. It’s easy to learn, but will take considerable time to master.
Alteil — Alteil is a card-based MMO with a story behind it (War, Knights, Heroes, etc). The cards’ anime artwork is appealing, and the average match lasts ten to fifteen minutes, which makes it a good choice for anyone who’d like a quick online alternative to a ponderous duel.