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MMORPGs To Watch In 2015

by Daniel Tack on Jan 21, 2015 at 05:52 AM

While there may not be an expansive roster of new MMORPGs coming out in 2015, new content and constant updates make games that are years old attractive options in the space. While many MMORPGs have opted to go the free-to-play route over the last decade, there are a lot of different models and options out there to pick from. Here is a selection of titles that might have what you’re looking for headed into 2015.

World of Warcraft

Why not start here? Blizzard’s 10-year-old MMORPG continues to command a legion of subscribers as the Warlords of Draenor expansion introduced garrisons and fresh takes on questing. With one raid currently available with difficulty settings tailored to every kind of player from ultra-casual to hardcore performance raider, there’s something for everyone here. Whether you’re tackling Highmaul on mythic difficulty or just messing around with combat pets in your player housing, you’ve probably got something to do each time you log in

If you’re okay with throwing down some hard-earned coins for a subscription fee in today’s free-to-play world, this is a tried-and-true option to explore.

That said, there’s a big question on the horizon: Can Blizzard crank out enough content to keep the ball rolling throughout 2015? Mists of Pandaria, the expansion prior to Warlords, went without new content updates for a year – something we’d definitely be disappointed to see a repeat of this time around.

Dungeon Fighter Online

We’ve had access to this game before in North America, but it didn’t last. Now Neople is set to bring the game back outside of its huge following in the East. If you didn’t have a chance to check it out last time around, you don’t want to miss giving it a try when it supposedly comes back around this year.

Featuring fast, side-scrolling fighting action with a RPG core, the game is unlike many other MMORPG offerings available and lends itself to play on a joystick as players explore dungeons, battle other players in PVP, and unlock access to impressive screen-shattering abilities. This free-to-play MMO fighter provides a unique twist on the formula, and after you play a few dungeons it’s easy to see why it has gained such a following overseas.

ArcheAge

This one is a great free-to-play option to consider for MMORPG players that want to experience the genre at the almost-sandbox level. While things are rooted in classic leveling, classes, weapon advancement and enhancement, you’re also able to participate in huge guild wars or simply tend to your farm if that’s what tickles your fancy.

It also brings seafaring into the spotlight, with players able to roll around on everything from tiny dinghies to epic ships, participating in massive raids against denizens of the deep like the Kraken or pirating from each other as they navigate the not-always-friendly seas. This is a solid option to consider if you’re looking for a lot of options within a familiar framework.

Tree of Savior

The spiritual successor to Ragnarok Online, this title could be just what fans have been waiting for after Ragnarok Online 2 spoiled the spirits of many lovers of the original title. While it’s anyone’s guess whether or not we’ll see an international version in 2015, the closed beta is under way in Korea.

Featuring a huge selection of classes and customization with combat and art styles that made the original Ragnarok Online an understated MMORPG powerhouse during its lifespan, this title is expected to launch as a free-to-play game.

Tera

If you’re looking for a little more action in your MMORPG over the tab-targeting antics that permeate the genre, Tera might be a solid option for you to give a shot. While the gameplay can be a little grindy at times, you won’t get bored as you dodge huge enemies with lethal attacks.

Controller compatible, this free-to-play title has a lot going for in in the active combat department, which might be exactly what you’re looking for if simply moving out of highlighted fires and watching your castbar has been putting you to sleep in other games.

Atlantica Online

While the game itself is starting to show its age, free-to-play Atlantica Online is one of the only tactical strategy MMORPGs out there, so if you’re looking for a little Final Fantasy Tactics in your MMO, this isn’t one to be missed.

Commanding, equipping, and selecting skills for an army of nine highly-customizable mercenaries in turn-based combat is a unique experience in a sea of traditional MMORPGs, so this may be an excellent choice if you’re looking for something far outside the norm. Expect to see tons of new mercenaries and dungeons launch this year.

Guild Wars 2

As the Living World of Guild Wars 2 continues to develop week after week, month after month, it’s an interesting buy-to-play option to consider. With a beautiful and unique art style and events that change the very landscape of the world constantly put in the spotlight, players can delve into a huge variety of classes and combat alongside exploration puzzles

As you’d expect, if PVP is your thing, there’s massive World versus World combat to engage in either solo or with your guild, as well as a wealth of other skill-based small-scale PVP options.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

While the original launch of Final Fantasy XIV left much to be desired (and that’s putting it mildly) the revamped remake of the MMORPG was a game reborn. Taking many modern day aspects of the MMO and combining them with the beloved Final Fantasy IP, A Realm Reborn has continued to deliver post-launch with consistent updates from cool new classes to big new raid bosses. The game's first major expansion, Heavensward, is expected to launch this year.

This is one of few subscription models still in existence, and if you’re looking for Black Mages blasting away and battles on boats with Leviathan, this is an excellent choice to check out.

Landmark

Lots of the systems that are going to form the backdrop of EverQuest Next are currently being explored in Landmark, from combat to players actually building prospective content like dungeons and castles.

Whether you’re a Minecraft fan looking for a persistent world in which to develop a character alongside your creations, or an explorer interested in blasting deep beneath the earth with a pulverizer to locate ruins, riches, and monsters, Landmark has come a long way since its alpha roots.

Neverwinter

The action-oriented free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons title continues to push out new content and classes as it moves onward with its Elemental Evil expansion.

The new expansion will feature the paladin class, increased level cap, and Strongholds. Potentially even more interesting than the expansion is the fact that Neverwinter will become available on console for the first time this year, a match that seems excellent to take advantage of the game’s action-centric combat and feel.

WildStar

The sci-fi action MMORPG WildStar launched last year, and it will be interesting to keep an eye on this year as it starts to push out significant post-launch offerings.

With a cool housing system that tied into many other aspects of the game via decorative experience bonuses, and mini-games on your plot of land full of cosmetic rewards and punishing dungeons that rival the difficulty of other MMORPG’s raids, where WildStar goes in 2015 will be critical to its success and survival.

EVE Online

Oh, the drama. EVE Online has become a permanent home for many a MMORPG player, and although some of the “spreadsheet in space” banter isn’t too far from the mark for novice players attempting to make a living mining scrap and asteroids, the endgame is filled with diplomacy and intrigue revolving around the game’s many corporations (guilds).

Massive space battles and treachery form the backbone of the game’s player-driven, continually evolving story.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

With the Shadow of Revan expansion hitting near the end of last year, all eyes are on 2015 to see what happens in the MMO set in the Star Wars universe. It’s hard to go wrong with stories around Jedi, space smugglers, and bounty hunters, so we’ll see if SWTOR can get the MMORPG run down to 12 parsecs this year.